- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 10, 2006

Gridlock is good

“Let me say right off that I believe Glenn Beck might just be the most naturally talented television commentator of our time. He’s bright, glib and humorous. He’s also gracious and polite (even to liberals) and pays no heed to the PC virus. …

“But, alas, even Glenn Beck isn’t perfect. … The faux pas that bothers me most — one that he repeats all too often — is: ‘What I want to know is, when are these guys (in Congress) going to stop bickering and actually “get something done”?’

“Libertarian message to Glenn: No, no, no! Stop thinking that it’s a good thing if government actually does something. Government action has brought us Social Security, Medicare, the U.S. Department of Education, student loan programs, affirmative action and every kind of obscene welfare program imaginable. …

“So, Glenn, my superbly talented friend, remember this well: The only good government is a gridlocked government. Now that you have a nightly forum, please be careful what you wish for, or you may just get it — for all of us.”

— Robert Ringer, writing on “Message to Glenn Beck,” Thursday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Right, R.I.P.?

“Remember everything we were told about the 2004 election? You know, the one held on the day the Enlightenment died, when America was conquered by Jesusland. The religious right had already taken over the Republican Party; with the re-election of President Bush and GOP gains in both houses of Congress, it seized control of the entire United States government. …

“Now forget all of that, because the old conventional wisdom has been supplanted by the new: the religious right is dead — or at least anachronistic. …

“Whenever the Republican candidates do well, there is hand-wringing about the power of the religious right; when the GOP loses, these social conservatives are surely to blame. …

“Yet pundits should be more skeptical of analysts who draw electoral maps in which the Bible Belt is ostracized. The Christian right’s recent history is full of resurrection stories.”

— W. James Antle III, writing on “Last Rights,” Friday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.com

Strangely serene

“Unlike anguished wartime presidents of old, he seems resolutely un-anguished. Think of the shattered Lincoln of the last Mathew Brady photographs, taken just weeks before he was assassinated. He’d gone from a bounding man of young middle age who awed his secretaries by his ability to hold a heavy ax from his fully outstretched arm, to, four years later, “the old tycoon.” Or anguished Lyndon B. Johnson sitting in the Cabinet room by himself, literally with his head in his hands. History takes a toll.

“But George W. Bush seems, in the day to day, the same as he was. It is part of the Bush conundrum — a supernal serenity or a confidence born of cluelessness? You decide. Where you stand on the war will likely determine your answer. But I’ll tell you, I wonder about it and do not understand it, either what it is or what it means. I’d ask someone in the White House, but they’re still stuck in Rote Talking Point Land: ‘The president of course has moments of weariness but is sustained by his knowledge of the ultimate rightness of his course. …’

“If he suffers, they might tell us; it would make him seem more normal, which is always a heartening thing to see in a president.”

— Peggy Noonan, writing on “A Father’s Tears,” Friday in the Wall Street Journal

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