“War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perserverance, by time, and by practice.” – Alexander Hamilton

“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” – Augustine of Hippo

“I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom.” – Calvin Coolidge

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.” – Edmund Burke

“We are apt to be deluded into false security by political catch-words, devised to flatter rather than instruct.” – James A. Garfield

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

“We focus on the negative and our politicians stoke our unhappiness all the more. They bribe us with our own money, promising to expand the government to address the grievances that they promote. But we ought to be careful what we wish for.” – Tom Purcell

“The time is long overdue to stop gullibly accepting the left’s vision of itself as idealistic, rather than self-aggrandizing.” – Thomas Sowell

“[O]ver the course of Bill Clinton’s (bungled, distasteful) presidency and Hillary Clinton’s (bungled, distasteful) campaign for the presidency, the couple have separately and together become incarnations of the most unattractive attributes of their generation’s elite- blind ambition cloaked in do-good self-righteousness, a sense of entitlement, high-handed snobbiness, hedonism, narcissism. As a poster couple for people of a certain age and demographic, they have become a bit of an embarrassment.” – Kurt Andersen

“After years of learning how to fight an unfamiliar war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to protect us at home, we are finally getting most things right. But if our soldiers and intelligence agencies have learned how to win, our politically correct diplomats and the American consumer haven’t- and are doing as much at home to empower radical Islam as those on the front lines are to defeat it.” – Victor Davis Hanson

“Oh, let’s also point out that, as a matter of political reality, Clinton might as well be calling for a ban on the use of unicorn meat in dog food, because there is no way her [gas tax holiday] proposal can actually, you know, happen.” – Jonah Goldberg

“Every several weeks, I write a column suggesting what this presidential election might look like if we had serious candidates and a press corps that treated the presidency as an important office in which vital decisions would be made by its incumbent. I invariably get flooded with e-mails telling me, basically, ‘Blankley, don’t hold your breath’.” – Tony Blankley

“I wouldn’t want to give you the idea that my hometown newspaper is entirely heartless when it comes to right-wingers. In fact, just recently, I had occasion to write the following letter to the editor: ‘First it was William F. Buckley who got a terrific, extremely respectful, front page send-off. Today, it was Charlton Heston’s turn. Clearly, all a conservative has to do in order to get his just desserts from the L.A. Times is to die on a slow news day.” – Burt Prelutsky

Jay Leno: Happy Cinco de Mayo. People love Cinco de Mayo. I saw this one woman throwing back shots of tequila one after the other. Then I realized it was Hillary Clinton working the Latino vote. … Hillary Clinton told People magazine this week she’s never had cosmetic surgery. She said it it’s not for her. You know how politicians hate anything that’s fake. … Actually, there was a rumor she had cosmetic surgery back in the ’90s. They said she had her eyes done when she was First Lady. It turns out it was right after the scandal. They just took the blinders off. That was all. No actual surgery was involved. … Because of where John McCain was born- he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, you know, not in the United States- there was a question as to whether he could legally become president. Well, this week, the Senate declared McCain is eligible to become president, and listen to this, because of his age, also eligible to be a greeter at Wal-Mart. So that worked out great for him. … President Bush blasted Congress for not allowing oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Democrats said it wouldn’t do any good, because it wouldn’t produce oil for 10 years. You know, the same thing they said 10 years ago.

Democrats: Party of the Elite

Democratic Party of Elites:

Through May 1, the Democratic presidential field has suctioned up a cool $5.7 million from the more than 4,000 donors who list their occupation as “CEO.” The Republicans’ take was only $2.3 million. Chief financial officers, general counsels, directors, and chief information officers also break the Democrats’ way by more than two-to-one margins. The Democrats’ advantage among “presidents” is a less dramatic but still significant $7.2 million to $6.1 million. And this isn’t new: In 2004 all but one of these categories of top corporate officers broke just as dramatically for the Democrats, the “presidents” being the exception.

Republicans do somewhat better further down the corporate food chain, but still lose the competition for contributions from executive vice presidents, vice presidents, and managers.

Wall Street firms, long a symbol of American elite accomplishment, also tilt decisively toward the Democrats. Employees in storied Wall Street institutions such as Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley have all favored the Democratic field by a large margin. Even both sides of the recent Bear Stearns/JP Morgan Chase deal choose Democratic candidates over Republicans by two-to-one margins.

Democrats also enjoy enormous fundraising advantages among well-educated professionals — lawyers, teachers, accountants, journalists and writers. They carry practitioners of the hard sciences, winning solidly among physicians ($8 million to $4 million), biologists, chemists, physicists, and plain old scientists. Republicans must settle for a slender advantage among rocket scientists.

Not surprisingly, universities offer Democrats a hotbed of support. Professors favor Democrats over Republicans by a nine-to-one margin ($3.7 million to $430,000). Their students, though presumably struggling with sky-high tuition bills, nevertheless sacrificed enough late-night pizza and chips to send $4.1 million to their professors’ favorite candidates and another $1.4 million to the GOP. The “objective” media — reporters, journalists, publishers and editors — also breaks heavily for the Democrats. But no listed occupation gives the Democrats a greater edge than the unemployed. These presumably idle folks have dropped over $14.6 million into the laps of the Democrats. Their idle Republican neighbors, in contrast, have unburdened themselves of a mere $9,775. Go figure.

Who favors the Republicans? The Democratic field, after all, enjoys an overall fundraising edge in excess of $200 million, so any pocket of Republican strength is noteworthy.

In this upside-down campaign season when populist GOP campaigners like John McCain and Mike Huckabee surprised the pundits with their primary victories or, in the case of Ron Paul, their fundraising prowess, it almost makes sense that the party of the country club set has been winning the fundraising race among the common man. That’s right. The white-shirt/red-tie brigade of Republican presidential aspirants holds a nearly three-to-one edge among janitors, custodians, cleaners, sanitation workers, factory workers, truckers, bus drivers, barbers, security guards, and secretaries. While Democrats command the financial loyalty of architects, Republicans successfully woo contributions from the skilled craftsmen who turn their blueprints into reality — specifically, contractors, hardhats, plumbers, stonemasons, electricians, carpenters mechanics, and roofers. This trend extends to the saloons, where the Democrats carry the bartenders and the Republicans the waitresses. The GOP field even secures more financial support from teamsters, steelworkers, bricklayers, and autoworkers.

In defense of super-delegates

The notion of super-delegates has taken quite a beating in recent months as the contest between Hillary and Obama has heated up. Given the general weakness of Democrats and their inability to resist those who yell loudly, it’s likely that super-delegates will either be abolished or reduced in importance by next election. This would be a mistake.

For one reason, this is the exact sort of primary that super-delegates can lend their expertise to most clearly. Putting all histrionics aside, this is a very close election. Despite the common media meme that Obama is sweeping away the primary season, he has less than 53% of the pledged delegates so far. (Hillary has a slight lead among super-delegates.) When also taking into account that many of Obama’s delegates were elected in caucuses rather than primaries, which include a larger number of people, it’s hard to portray Obama as the overwhelming choice of the Democratic electorate. Further, Hillary won votes in two states that aren’t included in those delegate totals either. The plain fact is neither candidate can claim to be the clear choice of the Democrat party delegates.

The popular vote is similarly close. RealClearPolitics has Obama with a 2.2% margin in the popular vote. But when Florida is included, his margin shrinks to 1.2%. Include Michigan, and it shrinks to 0.26%. Add in estimates from the caucus states, and his margin rises to 0.57%, which can hardly claim to be an overwhelming mandate.

So, this is the perfect situation for super-delegates to resolve. With no clear mandate for a candidate, super-delegates can look at each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and can choose who they feel will best represent the party in the general election. People are chosen super-delegate based off years of experience and service to the Democrat party and should therefore best understand politics and what the party needs to compete in the fall.

In addition to their superior knowledge of the political process, as a result of their involvement, super-delegates may know information about a candidate that hasn’t become widely known yet that may greatly diminish a candidate’s chances of winning should it come out during the general election campaign. (In this context, examples might be that Obama really is a practicing Muslim or that Hillary really does play the other side of the field, so to speak.)

I’ve actually had experience with this sort of matter. I won’t name names, but there was a candidate a few years ago who had some embarrassing issues in their past. (I don’t remember the issue now.) Had this come out, their family would have been humiliated. Any chance they had of winning the election would have vanished. The issue had happened years in the past, and by all accounts the person had turned their life around, and so didn’t deserve the matter being brought up. And the person’s spouse and children didn’t deserve to be put through the wringer of having this become public. We only found out about it after a local news agency discovered it and was planning on running the story. Fortunately, they were talked out of it since the candidate was extremely unlikely to win, was largely unsupported by the GOP and didn’t deserve to be embarrassed. The person has not run again for any office, but I’ve kept my eyes out since to make sure they don’t try to. If they should decide to run again, I’ll be sure to take them aside and explain that their “secret” is out and will likely become public should they proceed in their candidacy.

It’s that sort of insider knowledge that super-delegates can bring to the table and can use to prevent embarrassment and humiliation to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

So, super-delegates do have an important role to play in the process and tossing them aside could hurt the Democrats in the future. They dispose of them at their own risk.