Profiles in Fecklessness

Saturday, November 13, 2010 \AM\.\Sat\.

By now most are familiar with the story of the boy whose school told him to remove the American flag from his bicycle.  If not, here is the story at Creative Minority Report. After the public outcry reached a fevered pitch the school reversed its decision.  But of course no decision to ultimately do right can be made without a lame explanation.

Ed Parraz, the Superintendent of the Denair School District told us a school supervisor asked Cody to take down the flag. The supervisor will not be fired or face repercussions. Parraz says the supervisor had information that Cody Alicea’s safety was at risk because of the flag. Some students had complained about it and had apparently made threats.

“The last thing we wanted was to deny Cody his rights,” said Parraz speaking about the boy’s wish to fly the American flag.

Parraz said national flags were banned from campus after a Cinco De Mayo incident when tensions escalated between students displaying the Mexican flag and those waving the Stars and Stripes.  Recently, several students complained and there was even one threat.

“I think it would be irresponsible of us if we kind of shined it on and let him have the flag and he got jumped or something like that and got hurt,” said Parraz.

So the proper way to respond to threats is to cave in to the people doing the bullying?  Is that really the lesson we ought to be imparting to our children?

Of course, this rationale is probably a poor attempt by the school to cover its, err, behind.

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Jim DeMint Speaks the Truth

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

When a politician says something that’s this on the money, one wonders if there is a “but” in there to soften the message.  Not with Jim DeMint:

You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.

Naturally this bothers AllahPundit and some of the other shrieking libertarians at Hot Air, but DeMint is of course right.  Read the rest of this entry »


1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Picture it: Upper East Side of Manhattan, November 9, 1994.  There is a buzz throughout the halls of Regis High School, and it’s not just because today is student exchange day and there will actually be girls in our school.  The previous night the Republicans had won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, and my friends and I – little Republicans in training that we all were – were quite joyous.

First period was US History, and our teacher knows that I am certainly excited about the election.  So he writes on the board the following:

1994=1946

His point?  As was the case in 1946, the Republican victory would be short-lived.  Republican gains in 1946 were wiped out – and then some – in 1948.  On top of that, Harry Truman was re-elected.  History would repeat itself.

I scoffed at this ridiculous notion.  There was certainly no way that Slick Willy Clinton could possibly earn a second term as US President.  I had been counting the days to his 1996 electoral humiliation since roughly November 7, 1992.  Surely this was the first stage on the road to that inevitable defeat.

Fast forward to November 5, 1996.  Needless to say I was as disappointed on that night as all us Regians were at the end of that November day in senior year. (I mean come on, we’re talking about a bunch of nerdy kids from an all boys school.  It took most of us a full year of college before we could properly talk to members of the opposite sex.)  Mr. Anselme was right.

But not entirely.  Though Bill Clinton had indeed won re-election, the election was not a total repeat of 1948.  The Republicans lost a few seats, but in the end they retained control of both houses of Congress – something they had not done in successive cycles since the Hoover administration.

History is informative, and we certainly should be aware of the lessons of elections past when we think about what will happen down the line.  But we should refrain from assuming that events will necessarily repeat themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


Sliding Further Down the Path of Irrelevance

Thursday, November 4, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

Now would be a good time as any to re-visit this David Frum column from about a year ago:

Republicans heading for a bloodbath in Florida.

Well, I suppose if Frum meant that the Republicans would be the one administering the bloodbath, he was right on the money.  Alas, I don’t think that’s what he meant.

Now that Republicans, led by an array of conservative candidates, have enjoyed their most successful election in 80+ years, Frum and his acolytes must be fairly chastened.

Yeah right.  FrumForum contributor Andrew Pavelyev writes that the blame for the failure of the GOP to re-capture the Senate lies in the successful campaign of men like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Read the rest of this entry »


TAC NFL Rankings – Week 8

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

I’m filling in for Michael this week as he’s getting acclimated to the world of fatherhood.

It was a comparatively uneventful week as for once we’re all basically in agreement, though it was Michael’s turn to make one particularly questionable omission.   The AFC remains very strong, though a couple of NFC teams are finally making some noise.  Though perhaps the most interesting development had to do with some teams not even on the list: the Vikings and the Redskins.  Coach Shanahan’s decision to bench Donovan McNabb in the final two minutes against the Lions was greeted with everything from shock to outrage, and this humble correspondent is just soaking in the joy of a week’s worth of sports talk outrage in DC.  As for Brad Childress’s decision to dump Randy Moss, well, I’m sure he’ll be enjoying his time next year as someone’s offensive coordinator. Read the rest of this entry »


The Day After

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

In the aftermath of the best electoral night for the Republicans since the age of flappers, I thought I would share a few reflections on some of the common memes that have sprouted up over the past 24 hours.

Evidently at about 4 in the morning CNN was running with a headline on their website that read “Split Decision.”  Even less hopeless cases pondered why the GOP seemingly didn’t do as well in the Senate as it did in the House.  While it’s true that there were some disappointing results in Nevada, Colorado, and West Virginia, the fact of the matter is the Republicans won 25 of the 37 contested Senatorial contests.  Republicans had to defend 19 of their own seats and then win an additional ten in order to gain majority control of the Senate, a rather long-shot proposition to begin with.  As it is the Republicans won two-thirds of all Senate contests, lost none of their own seats and picked up six in the process.  That would be a good night  by any measure. Read the rest of this entry »


Where They Stand: House Races

Monday, November 1, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

I am certainly not ambitious enough to forecast all 435 House races, but Jim Geraghty of National Review is.  Here is his roundup of all 435 races.  He is predicting 76 Republican pickups, with 6 seats switching from Democrat to Republican, for a net Republican pickup of 70 seats.

I think the Republicans should net at least 60, though it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly how many seats the Republicans will have when all is said and done.  The Gallup generic ballot puts the Republicans up double digits, which is just unprecedented.  Alan Ambromowitz, a professor of mine at Emory, translates how many seats to expect the GOP to win based on the generic ballot total. A GOP margin of +10 would give them a net gain of 62 seats, and a 68-seat pickup if the margin is 12.

It’s also interesting to note that the highest number of seats the GOP held during the twelve years they recently had control of Congress was 231, and that was after the 2004 election (they held 230 after 1994).  Therefore if the Republicans gain a net total of 54, they would have more seats than they’ve held at any point since 1946.  They would have basically erased two elections worth of Democratic gains in one night.  Amazing.