Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for June 15th, 2008

Tim Russert’s Empty Chair

Posted by Ryan on June 15, 2008

As we all know author, political commentator, and moderator of NBC’s popular Meet the Press, Tim Russert, died on Friday from a heart attack while at work, recording voice-overs for today’s wow.

This morning NBC honored him by having today’s Meet the Press be about him, beginning the show with Russert’s chair, empty.  Then, Tom Brokaw moderated a cast of those who were there to remember him: historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the political odd-couple of Mary Matalin and James Carville, Gwen Ifill, Mike Barnicle, Maria Shriver and others, along with numerous highlights of past shows.

I liked Tim Russert.  I always thought he tried to be objective.  He definitely had favorites and his political roundtables were always loaded with Libs.  But, he had class, tried to get politicians a little uncomfortable by using their own words against them, and wrote two books Big Russ and Me and Wisdom of Our Fathers, about his respect and admiration for his father.  Poignant, that today is Father’s Day as Tim leaves behind a son, Luke who recently graduated from Boston College, and a wife of 25 years, Maureen.

NBC photo.

Advertisements

Posted in Culture, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

EU Constitution Rejected Yet Again

Posted by Mike on June 15, 2008

Kudos to Ireland for rejecting the EU Constitution in Thursday’s referendum.  Although the rejected document was actually titled the “Lisbon Treaty,” voters realized that it was nothing more than the previously-rejected Constitution under a different name.  How do we know this?  Angela Merkel admitted it last year.

The main question on everyone’s mind at this point is whether EU proponents will find a way to implement their treaty over the objections of their citizens.  I’m more interested in Gordon Brown’s position.  During the last General Election, the Labour Party promised voters that the UK would not implement the EU Constitution without first obtaining the people’s approval in a referendum.  Sensing his country’s opposition to the treaty, Brown ignored his party’s promise and rammed the Lisbon Treaty (EU Constitution) through Parliament without holding a referendum.  Thankfully and ironically, the Irish saved  British sovereignty for the time being.

Brown has already paid an enormous political price for his arrogance on this issue (and many others).  Despite this, he is now desperately searching for some other way of forcing this Constitution upon his unwilling country. Let’s just hope the Cameron’s Conservatives can win the next General Election occurs before this abomination is implemented

Posted in Europe, Politics, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Historians: McCain’s Going to Lose

Posted by Ryan on June 15, 2008

According to this Politico story, historians (mostly liberal ones rooting for Obama I sure) give McCain a small chance of winning in the Fall.  (The rest of this post may seem like a little inside baseball if you’re not an historian.)

One historian compared this election to 1932, when FDR trounced Hoover.  Another compared it to the 1980 thumping of Jimmy Carter or Ike’s 1952 smackdown of Adlai Stevenson.  Some, more reasonable historians have related this to 1968, but on both ends: McCain as Humphrey, tied too closely to the party in power, as well as McCain as Nixon, taking advantage of a Democrat Party in total disarray.  Some cite historical cycles, which I can see hinders McCain in this case, and that those candidates tied to incumbent party’s popularity go against McCain in this cycle.

The article falls flat for me when it states that “the Democratic-controlled Congress is nearly as unpopular as the president.”  Um… not quite: the Democrat-controlled Congress is considerably LESS popular than Bush, by nearly half.  Remember, McCain is not an incumbent, and in the last non-incumbent race (1952) the war-hero trounced the intellectual and articulate liberal.  Plus, like Richard Nixon in 1968, everyone knows McCain, and unlike Jimmy Carter in 1976, the more we know about Obama, the more he seems like more of the same — he’s not a refreshing outsider like Carter seemed, rather Obama’s an unaccomplished political opportunist who occasionally doesn’t even know who his friends are.

I agree with the premise that McCain’s got a tough road, but so does Obama in my opinion:  we are at war, Obama is too inexperienced, has a cowardly voting record, and he’s not very bright when pushed on the issues. 

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ireland Says No to Latest EU Treaty

Posted by Ryan on June 15, 2008

In a stunning defeat for proponents of the latest take on a future European Union Treaty, Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum Thursday, which has sent shockwaves throughout the continent and may derail this latest effort at union. While other nations have ratified this treaty, Ireland was the only country thus far that has actually let the people vote, rather than legislators or executives.

The Lisbon Treaty is highly complex, bureaucratic, cold, and top-heavy with confusing voter rules and qualifications.  Simply, it’s typically European at a cool 271 pages!  Those in Ireland who voted against the Treaty said it was too complex and too alienating.  And they’re right.  It’s huge, cumbersome, and easily has the capacity to squash local rights once approved by all and implemented.  The Irish people were simply voting in their self-interest.

Any American can pick up the American Constitution and, though the language has oldened, can make pretty good sense of it:  three co-equal branches with enumerated powers, rules about statehood and state interaction, an amendment process with 27 Amendments tacked onto the end.  True, it’s purposely vague and broad in many spots, but the Founders left it to elected and appointed officials to figure out the details later through a republican/democratic process.  With small, still readable writing one can fit the entire document and its Amendments on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper (front and back, of course). 

Oh, and it’s lasted nearly 221 years, surviving a Civil War and the international upheavals of the mid-20th Century.  Maybe Europe can learn something from America on the issue of individual rights and responsive government.  Maybe then the people will rally around it, rather than bureaucrats who seemingly just want a new way to guarantee they keep their jobs at the end of the process.

Posted in Europe, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »