Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Personal Asides: Continuing the Endorsements…How Long Will It Take for the “Sun-Times” to Change Back to It’s Former, Vastly Better Format?...The “Tribune” Asks Readers to Tell Them What a Conservative and What a Liberal is



One of the most important races of the entire season concerns the presidency of the Cook county Board. Even many Democrats are concerned with the arrogant way the party has (a) withheld medical news on the condition of John Stroger following a massive stroke…(b) juggled the news so Stroger could be nominated by his party so that the party chieftains could hand-pick a successor…(c) continued to stonewall the news of Stroger’s medical condition with what appeared to be an “auto-pen”—a machine that reproduces original signatures, rather than have the ailing candidate sign it himself…(d) when pressed produced a paper signed with a few pathetic pen scratches that represented Stroger’s current dire physical condition…(d) rammed the candidacy of Stroger’s son Todd down the party’s throat—a young man serving in a junior capacity who has demonstrated in his candidacy no serious grasp of the very important presidency…(e) raised as the only major condition of Todd Stroger’s candidacy a kind of Hallowe’en specter, accusing Tony Peraica of being a clone of Alan Keyes—a ridiculous contention not worth a response.

These are all negative reasons to support the Republican candidate Tony Peraica. But there are many positives…(a) Peraica’s obvious mastery of the job including an impressive grasp of the responsibilities and duties…(b) Peraica’s forthright outline of positive proposals to return the post to fiscal solvency…(c) Peraica’s cool analytical and debating skill…(d) Peraica’s impressive grasp of the budget and his ability to recite verbatim items that are extraneous.

I’ve criticized Tony on certain elements of his pro-life stand. I understand my critique here was used yesterday in the Union League Club debate by Todd Stroger. It’s true so far as it goes but my criticism in itself serves as refutation of Stroger’s view that Tony is an Alan Keyes conservative. Would that Tony were more conservative than he is on social questions. Notwithstanding, the role of president of the County Board is so important that it is essential to have a man of Tony Peraica’s competence in office especially when the contrast is between superb grasp of governmental essentials and lackadaisical lassitude. In fact the waste and cynical inattention to detail by the senior Stroger matched by the ineptitude of the junior, makes me passionate about the need to elect Tony. I’m happy to endorse for president of the county board Tony Peraica.


It’s been about 10 days since the “Sun-Times,” once a perfectly valid Democratic newspaper of record, fell into the morass of schlock layout and adolescent pre-mastabatory fascination with sex under the tasteless guidance of Michael Cooke. The whole tone of the paper is adolescent, tumescent on sex and disgusting in format. The question is: how long will it take before the new debased tastelessness is repudiated? Since Michael Cooke has no standards, they should be imposed on him. This front-page stuff with its succession of huge portraits, the camera being so close as to detect the hair in the nostrils…usually representing a feature belonging on page 47…is ridiculous. The ludicrous thing is that it usually gets the news first over its thick competitor.


We have been referring to the Hinsdale…er, pardon, the “Chicago Tribune” as the newspaper that does not know what it believes: a terrible indictment of a grand tradition that once knew exactly what it believed and played a major role in public affairs. Now as proof of its cluelessness, the newspaper is actually asking readers to write it to define for it what is conservative and what is liberal.

It is folly to hope the “Tribune” will somehow return to its former state—the only lingering hint remaining of which is the exemplary John Kass. Let’s start with the understanding that of the welter of columnists only two—Kass and the once-a-week Op Ed’er Dennis Byrne have any concept of authentic conservatism, principles of which can be described in Burkean terms as follows:

First conservatives believe in a transcendent moral order. Second: in the principal of social continuity. Third, they adhere to the concept of prescription, understanding that modern men and women stand on the shoulders of giants. Fourth, they are guided by prudence i.e. any step to be taken in public policy should be evaluated by its long-term consequence and unintended consequence. Fifth, conservatives are not deluded by uniformity and deadening egalitarianism masquerading as equality since it will only occur when we all stand before God’s throne at the Last Judgment. Sixth, conservatives understand the principle of human imperfectability.

Seventh, conservatives are unimpressed by ever-increasing demands for redistribution of income based on the state’s role as dispenser of largesse to classes or businesses. Eighth, as conservatives are convinced as this nation is the hope of the world, they believe we have the right and duty to ward off attacks on this shore by far-sighted preemption. Ninth, conservatism should undertake the protection of the helpless, weak, aged and unborn by means of personal compassion and lastly with public action if necessary. Tenth, conservatism should not be a dead fly captured in amber as relic of the past but recognize that modern times have dealt the old order terrible blows from which it shall never recover wholly, to which adaptation must be realized.

If the “Tribune” were resourceful, it would determine something like the above, post it and live by it instead of pathetically asking for public help to explain what philosophies of right and left are. Then it would get rid of that crank columning refugee from the “New Republic” passing as a libertarian…send that oddball Garrison Keillor back to Lake Woebegone…hire Byrne to do several columns per week…scrub Molly Ivins…supply some iron to the backsides of its editorial writers…and hire a cartoonist with the spine to make fun of liberaldom today. But this it cannot do because its masters think it should continue to be as drab as used bathwater.


  1. Tom, since for you "pro-life is always uber alles", there are *more* pro-life reasons to support Judy than there are to support Tony, who I also support.

    For example, Judy could veto the ridiculous Fritchey bill that would gut the current parental notification law. Tony can't touch this issue.

    Second, Judy goes further and supports parental consent and against partial birth abortion. Tony, makes it clear that he will not change any existing abortion law or regulations.

    Third, Judy brings Joe Birkett to Springfield with her. He will be the natural to succeed Judy when she retires. Tony brings along no such continuity.

    Tom, you wisely support Tony for Cook County Board President.

    Why don't you apply the same logic to Judy in the Governor's race?

    Let's see--Judy would wield a veto pen; she'd sign a partial birth ban and parental consent requirement; and she'd help Joe Birkett.

    Are you not damaging the pro-life cause by your stubborn and prideful refusal to put the veto pen in Springfield?

  2. Neither Topinka nor Peraica has ever really stood-up on the pro-life cause. Just a little election year lip service from some desperate campaigns. Both candidates put out a bunch of double talk on this issue, and neither side of the abortion debate trusts these two.

    No one believes a word Topinka says anymore anyway. So any promise is worthless.

    It's all moot in any case. Both Topinka and Peraica will lose.

  3. Three and a half weeks to go until election day is a political lifetime. Consider how long it took for the Foley incident to impact--about a weekend.

    The willingly blind may not trust Topinka, but the NRA and ISRA, the subject matter experts on Second Amendment issues, do.

    My very conservative church does.

    The military, police, hunters, gun owners, and bikers do. The wimps don't.

    Let me repeat Ronald Reagan's 1984 saying:

    "Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one."

  4. William, the problem with your silly little fable is that your "jackass" is running around acting like she's got the Mad Cow.

    And building a barn? You've got to kidding. She set it on fire long ago. Probably with one of the Marlboros she chain smokes.