Tag Archives: Michael Smerconish

Smerconish begins to show his true stripes

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Smerconish interviewing President Barack Obama

 

An article for the Philadelphia Inquirer, as politically liberal a rag as exists anywhere in America today, titled “Sorry, but for me, the party is over“, written by local quasi-celebrity Michael Smerconish was published in that paper’s Sunday, February 21st edition ‘Currents’ section.

In this article, Smerconish reveals what every true local Philadelphia Republican has known for more than a year.

The man who has billed himself as THE local Republican voice, who glommed onto the popularity of programs such as Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor“, and who attached themselves at the hip to commentators such as Sean Hannity, is in fact not a Republican after all.

The article, which carried a secondary headline where it continued on page C3 titled “Parting ways with the party, after 30 years”, reveals that Smerconish recently had an epiphany of sorts. And he had it while standing in line at, of all places, the DMV.

The Inquirer, of course, then bent over backwards to advertise this alleged political change away from conservatism. But is it really a change at all?

Smerconish goes to get his license renewed and the clerk asks him at one point as to whether he would also like to change his voter registration party affiliation.

Why this is an appropriate question for some clerk at the DMV to be asking in the first place is never revealed, nor ever fully explored by the allegedly dogged journalist.

Smerconish then goes on to reveal that this was his “hallelujah” moment. One can imagine a mystical light shining down on him from above and revealing that he is actually not a Republican, nor is he a Democrat, but instead he is that most cherished of ideals. He is an “Independent” thinker, beholden to no party values! Hallelujah!

He has the clerk switch his voter registration status from ‘Republican’ to ‘Independent’, leaving behind his party of the past three decades. Smerconish writes that in doing so he is better reflecting his personal values. He claims that actually, he is “not sure if I left the Republican Party or the party left me. All I know is that I no longer feel comfortable.”

Now let me state before I go on that I myself have switched my formally registered political affiliation a few times over the years. As I have explained in full detail before here at this blog, during my 20’s in the 1980’s I was a fully-indoctrinated liberal Democrat.

It was at some point during the first Clinton administration where I had my own ‘hallelujah’ moment, realizing that my values and positions had evolved to conservative ones. I made the switch to Republican and have not looked back.

During the time that I was a registered Democrat, however, I switched my party affiliation from Dem to Republican a couple of times. Each time I did so at the request of, and specifically for, my father.

My Dad was involved in the political process and publicly supporting Republican candidates such as John Egan for Mayor of Philadelphia. I would always switch back to Dem following the election cycle, and remained so until making the permanent switch during the mid-90’s.

However, unlike the spineless Smerconish, I did not ever try to paint myself with the brush of mediocrity that is the act of being a registered Independent. Smerconish tries to make himself out to be some sort of victim to the system. “Where political parties used to create coalitions and win elections, now they seek to advance strict ideological agendas.”

Malarkey! Political parties have existed in America since the earliest decades of our founding, particularly in the years following George Washinton’s first Presidency.

From those early parties like the Whigs through to Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” Party to today’s liberal-dominated Democrats, political parties have displayed polarizing differences in their platforms and in their personalities.

Smerconish tries to defend his decision by pointing to a handful of examples of party inclusion of disparate ideas and visions. In every party there will always be individuals who are slightly moderated from the main party platform and ideals. But you rarely, if ever, can find a full-on conservative Democrat or a full-on liberal Republican, especially among the politicians.

That may prove Smerconish’s point, that the parties are indeed ideological, but the fact of the matter is that situation has been in existence since those early years of our Founding Fathers. It didn’t suddenly happen in the last election cycle. It didn’t slowly develop in recent decades. Political party ideology has been around forever.

The fact is that Smerconish began broadcasting full-time in the early years of the George W. Bush administration in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He took up the Republican mantle fully, supporting most Bush policies and positions vocally and publicly, including the use of torture on terrorist suspects.

Over the next half-dozen years, Smerconish became a quasi-celebrity, his public conservative positions landing him gigs as a guest host for O’Reilly and Glenn Beck and his largely conservative writings leading to New York Times best-sellers. Smerconish made a lot of money and gained a measure of celebrity in these years thanks to what were perceived to be his intact, well thought-out, mature political and social positions.

But what also was going on is that Smerconish was doing all of this while working at a local Philadelphia radio station. He was not a nationally syndicated host with a vast network of listeners supporting him, he was broadcasting in one of the most liberal cities in America. His stated positions made him a number of political enemies, and shut him out of a number of local sources.

Realizing over time that he was not going to break out nationally as had people like Beck and Hannity, Smerconish saw himself stuck in Philly and treading water. Then suddenly it happened, the savior, Barack Obama, came along with his glib tongue and his two faces.

Smerconish began earlier than most to sense the momentum of the Obama campaign, and the alleged Republican talk radio host did the unthinkable in endorsing Obama for President.

It was in this moment that those of us who had suspected for years that Smerconish was simply a charlatan opportunist, using 9/11 and the Republican Party popularity of the early part of the last decade to his advantage, got our proof of that as fact.

There is no way that anyone who took any time to evaluate a politician’s actual record before endorsing them, as a public personality with a radio talk show in a major market should, could ever find anything other than the facts. Those facts were that simply from his voting record and previous public associations, Barack Obama was one of the most, if not the single most, liberal members of the United States Senate.

Michael Smerconish threw in with Obama because he saw the momentum switch, believed strongly that Obama was going to win, saw that Obama was articulate and intelligent, and further believed that the sun was setting on the ideology of conservatism. Smerconish basically glommed on to the next big thing to maintain his local audience relevancy.

In the beginning it was actually a good thing to say that he was a Republican who was supporting Obama. In that way, Smerconish could actually try to portray himself as not being ideological himself, despite what was out there in the public purvey for the past half dozen or so years.

But as time has gone on, Smerconish has become more and more enamored with the Obama celebrity himself, tossing aside the substance of the issues for increased access to the administration.

Thanks to his position as ‘the Republican talking head who supports Obama’, Smerconish was actually given the first live radio broadcast, interview, and listener question-answer session from inside the White House with the new President in August of 2009.

A man whom I happen to admire, Glenn Beck, has been an outspoken registered Independent for some time now. But with Beck there is a major difference. He legitimately sees and eloquently expresses his own ideology of American exceptionalism, pointing out with detailed precision how leaders of both parties have been led astray by political and social ‘progressivism’ and calling for a return to the Constitutional direction of the Founders.

Whatever their motivations, I still believe that whether it be in Beck’s principled stand against progressives or in Smerconish’s unwillingness to publicly embrace either his change to liberalism or that he has no political backbone, registering as and championing oneself as a registered ‘independent’ is a bit disingenuous.

There is no doubt that Beck’s conservative lean would, for example, find him in the voting booth ever pulling the lever next to the name of any current Democrat, while there are any number of Republicans who share his basic ideals.

In contrasts to Beck’s independence status, Smerconish is simply a fraud. He is an opportunist who now sees his best opportunity at continued celebrity by casting in with Obama and his liberal followers. Smerconish is waiting for this type of characterization. He is waiting for it and expecting it so that he can use it as well. He is waiting for conservatives to let loose on him for his alleged betrayal.

No, this indictment of Michael Smerconish and his allegedly changed political positions and resulting party registration change do not stem from feelings of betrayal. They come from a long-held belief that the man is all about himself, not any true, bedrock values or political positions. He has no political backbone whatsoever, and has only proven his irrelevancy with this registration switch. That is one man’s opinion based on what I have seen and heard.

It is also my opinion that this move to alleged ‘independence’ is only itself a temporary move. Right now, Smerconish senses the unsure direction of the future political winds as Obama’s plans prove to be the socialist failures that many of us predicted.

I predict here that Michael Smerconish’s political independence itself will not last, and that it is only a matter of time, and more security in the direction of those future political winds, before the big ‘R’ is back, or before the big ‘D’ takes a permanent place on his voter registration.

For local Philadelphia morning drive-time radio listeners, you do indeed have a choice. The intelligent, articulate, personable Bill Bennett can be heard by sliding your radio dial over to 990AM weekdays from 6am-9am. There, Bennett’s ‘Morning in America’ program is a part of the “intelligent, conservative talk” that local station WNTP offers each weekday.

The one thing that Bill Bennett will never be accused of by anyone is being spineless, and you won’t ever see him change his political affiliation for career or financial expediency.

Grannie hits a grand slam

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Sarah Palin knocked one out of the park in accepting the GOP Veep nomination

Soon-to-be grandma Sarah Palin stepped to the podium last night at the Republican National Convention as Presidential nominee John McCain’s prospective running mate.

There was much on the line as the VEEP prospect waved off a lengthy standing ovation that had the feel of a group protecting a member of it’s own family.

The chills were palpable as the crowd’s applause and cheers continued on and on, and the strength and length of the crowd reaction to her appearance was obviously in support of the candidate having come under vicious, personal, liberal media attacks since being announced.

It is fairly obvious that the vast majority of the conservative wing of the Republican Party is ecstatic about the Palin pick as the Veep nominee due to her character and her positions on the key issues.

It is just as obvious that attacks on her and her family have touched that ‘don’t talk bout my _____ like that’ nerve (fill in the blank with ‘mother’, ‘sister’, ‘daughter’, ‘girlfriend’, ‘wife’…whichever most applies to you) with many folks.

But then Palin began to speak, and proved over the course of the next 36 1/2 minutes that she is plenty tough enough to stand up for herself.

Palin proved more than capable of standing in the box and staring down the hardball’s thrown at her from the Dems and, as local radio talk show host Michael Smerconish said afterwards “hit a grand slam” with her speech.

The grannie hit a grand slam, and a new Republican political superstar was born. She began by accepting the nomination and acknowledging the tough campaign to come:

“I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election… against confident opponents … at a crucial hour for our country.”

Her eldest son, Track Palin, will deploy to Iraq on September 11th of all dates, and she related to all the troops and their families: “I’m just one of many moms who’ll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm’s way.”

She answered the critics of her family life being too much to handle, what with being a new mom of a special-needs child and with her 17-year old daughter Bristol Palin being 5-months pregnant:

From the inside, no family ever seems typical. That’s how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other … the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.”

Palin beamed over her husband Todd: “We met in high school, and two decades and five children later he’s still my guy.”

Her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, were in attendance and she praised them for teaching her “..one simple lesson: that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.”

If she didn’t win over Democrats who previously had supported Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as a woman with that statement, then they don’t have the courage of their convictions.

She answered the critics who say that she was just the Mayor of some small town:

I grew up with those people. They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America … who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars. They love their country, in good times and bad, and they’re always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.”

Did you notice the subtle slap at Michelle Obama there, who claimed that she was only now proud of her country for the first time in her adult lifetime. Sarah’s people are “always proud of America.” What a tremendous contrast.

She laughed off talk that she was just some ‘soccer mom’ or ‘hockey mom’ with a joke: “What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.”

Then Palin took the liberal media deep: “Now, here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this great country.”

She spoke of today’s political partisanship: “No one expects us to agree on everything. But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and a servant’s heart. I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States.”

Palin recalled how she took on the establishment in Alaska, winning the Governor’s office, and then set about making reforms such as selling the Governor’s private jet on EBay and getting rid of the office’s personal chef. In her home state, Palin cut taxes, reduced spending, and left her ‘The Last Frontier’ with a budget surplus.

Palin demonstrated a grasp of foreign affairs and important issues such as energy and terrorism by relating to Mexico, Russia, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, al Qaeda, and Iraq among others.

She was tough politically, taking a swipe at her opponents while pointing out the heroism of her running mate:

“…though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, “fighting for you,” let us face the matter squarely. There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you … in places where winning means survival and defeat means death … and that man is John McCain.”

And then she took one final comparative swing at Obama: “For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.”

During this granny’s grand-slam speech, she stated that the reason pols should go to Washington is “to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it.”

After last night, no one doubts that John McCain and Sarah Palin intend to do just that beginning in January of 2009.

My Catholic lament: Failure of my faith

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office this week released the results of a lengthy, indepth investigation into previously alleged charges of sexual abuse by priests of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The grand jury findings proved to be shocking and abhorant, showing dozens of priests over a multi-decades span sexually molesting and abusing young children.

To further compound the scandalous findings, the Church leadership and their representatives appear to be trying more of the same recipe that has proven disastrous to the victims, and to the Church body: deny, deny, deny.

No, there is no denial that molestation and abuse has gone on, that would be ridiculous in light of the now incontrovertible proof.

The denial aspect comes into play when Church leaders, particularly Cardinal Justin Rigali, put out vehement defenses for Cardinals John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua, his immediate predecessors.

In the grand jury findings, the two Cardinals are specifically singled out for a failure of leadership. They are accused of handling the problems as they surfaced over the years largely by sweeping them under the rug.

As the allegations would come to light and be found credible, priests were shuffled from parish-to-parish in a sort of shell game that did nothing to solve the problems, only serving to expose even more individuals to the predator priests practices.

It is long past the time for the Church to stop playing the same old game of denial, and instead it is overdue that the Church and it’s leaders take on the full measure of their responsibility for these grave sins against it’s own membership.

I am a lifelong Catholic, and from what I can gather from speaking with and observing my own family and friends, a fairly typical one. I go to Mass many weeks, but not every week. I donate funds to my Church, but probably not as much as I could, and certainly not as much as the Church would like me to donate.

I consider myself a good Christian, but sin continuously, only infrequently turning to the Church’s provisions of Confession/Penance to make my amends.

But the fact is that the Church expects these things of me. They expect me to live a Godly life. They expect me to resist temptation and the occasion of sin, that act of continually putting myself in potentially sinful situations, let alone the commission of sin itself.

They expect me to follow the Church teachings and leaders, to make appropriate donations to the Church causes, and as much as possible to evangelize on behalf of the Church by my words and deeds, particularly with my own children and family.

And you know what, I don’t mind. I don’t mind one little bit. In fact, I have come to expect all of these things of myself over the years. I have come to know that the Church is right in all of these expectations.

I don’t do it all, I don’t make the grade. I often fail, sometimes miserably. But the point is, I never give up. I never throw in the towel. I never throw up my hands and say that it’s all just too hard. I never abandon the Church.

And I won’t now either.

But the fact of the matter is, the Church owes me now. It owes us all something now. It particularly owes those who have been directly victimized by it’s priests over the years, and those people’s families.

The Church now owes every one of us it’s own transparency. For far too long, the game was one of cover and conceal within the Church walls.

If a priest had a problem in St. Gabriel’s parish, transfer him to St. Christopher’s parish, for example. Rather, every single priest who was found to have molested and/or abused any child should have been immediately removed from the priesthood. Period. And the authorities should have been notified of any charges, allowing a full and proper criminal investigation to take place.

Church leadership has tried to make the argument that it’s previous leaders, including Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua, acted in the ways that were most appropriate for their times, saying that things we now know about conditions like pedophilia were not known back then, and that the previous leaders handled the situations appropriately based on what they knew at that time.

That previous leadership did not recognize the obvious, outlandish, soul and life-destroying evil in the act’s of it’s dozens of pedophile priests is the biggest piece of lying garbage that the Church has tried to spew this past week.

It doesn’t matter what any current psychology or psychiatry of any particular era knew at that time. If you have a priest who is having sexual relations with a child, that is wrong, that is sick, and that is evil. Period.

The Church knows it now, it knew it then. To say otherwise is hogwash, and shows that the current leaders have a long way to go before winning back the full trust of it’s own faithful, let alone the good will of outsiders who don’t share that faith.

The Church needs to immediately take a number of steps to begin to turn around.

It first needs to fully acknowledge it’s own sinful past as an entity. It’s priests are it’s direct representatives to it’s parishioners, they are supposed to be direct representatives of God Himself.

Next, the Church needs to spell out exactly what steps it will take to handle any future accusations of this type. These steps must include immediate removal of accused priests from the care of children, a full internal investigation into any allegations, and a reporting to and full cooperation with law enforcement agencies. And when charges are substantiated, priests must be defrocked.

All of these steps in the process, when allegations are proven true, must be public and fully transparent.

Also, the Church must not stop at pedophilia. Any type of sexual activity by a priest or nun should be cause for removal from their position. The Church teaches that these individuals, it’s shepherds to the flock, are to be chaste. That covers both homosexuality and heterosexuality. You can’t live up to those expectations, don’t be a priest. Period.

My Catholic Church, Catholic meaning “One”, is supposed to be one full body, the one directly descended group of followers of Jesus Christ Himself, it’s leaders the direct descendants of Peter. We are one body as a group, the one anointed Church. As such, we are all culpable in this dark period. We all have sin to lament, atonements to make.

One morning this week, immediately after the grand jury findings were released, local Philadelphia talk radio icon Michael Smerconish related a story of how his children had made their Sacraments, and had received congratulatory letters from the Cardinal, and he asked “What am I to think now?”

He previously had looked on these letters, and the meaning behind them, with pride in his kids and respect for his Church.

I would say to Michael Smerconish that you should continue to look on those letters, but more importantly look on the attainment of these milestones of faith by your children with both love and pride. I would say to him that you should continue to teach your children the positive messages of Christ. I would say to him that you should remain faithful to the Church and all of it’s teachings.

I would also say to him, and to all Catholics across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and around the world, that you should, while continuing on your own sinful journey through this life, realize that the Church is led by men.

Wherever there are men trying to spread the Word of God, wherever there is that shining light, there will be a creature of darkness trying to snuff it out, using the weakness of man to accomplish that task.

Forgive yourself and your Church. Stay true to your faith. Never turn your back. Never
surrender to darkness. And don’t allow your Church to do it either. Hold the Church, and it’s leaders, accountable for their actions and inactions. By your own demands and expectations, show the Church that you support it’s demands on yourself.

May God fully heal the lives of the victims of this dark tragedy. May He heal those who have perpetrated this evil on those victims. May he enlighten our current and future Church leaders to change. And May He heal us all as one body. May he heal His, our, Catholic Church.

Michael Scheuer calls a spade a spade

Former CIA senior analyst and anonymous author of the book “Imperial Hubris” Michael Scheuer speaks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” during a taping at the NBC studios Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004, in Washington. Scheuer talked about the war on terrorism and the search for Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Meet the Press, Alex Wong) 

 

This morning on his local radio broadcast, Philadelphia talk radio icon Michael Smerconish had on as his main guest Michael Scheuer, former head of the “bin Laden” desk for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Scheuer has just released a book titled “Imperial Hubris”, which he wrote under the pseudonym of “anonymous”.

One thing that I found refreshing about Scheuer’s opinion is that he was and is able and willing to look beyond the usual labels that all political and ideological sides of the terrorist issue like to hang on bin Laden, and to simply call a spade a spade.

What I mean by this is that far too often those on the far end of the political Right want to label bin Laden as a terrorist, a madman, a demon, a devil, a deranged killer, a murderer.

Those on the far end of the political Left have called him an Islamic freedom fighter, a rebel, an insurgent leader. And of course, many have found far more colorful labels to hang on the man.

Scheuer points out that bin Laden is neither a demon nor a freedom fighter. He is a mainstream Muslim, a devout believer in Islam, a sincerely spiritual man.

Osama bin Laden says what he means, and he means what he says, and in this way he is a man of integrity. You don’t have to wonder what bin Laden thinks about any issue, he tells you how he feels, over and over.

In fact, more than we Americans, Osama bin Laden is willing to call a spade a spade.

For this reason, bin Laden is more dangerous to the United States and the future of our nation than most any other single man has ever been.

Radical Islam as an entity is a bigger threat to freedom, democracy and capitalism than any other ideology that has ever come down the pike. This includes everything from Nazism to Communism.

Scheuer puts forth in his book and in his commentaries a point-of-view that is enough to rankle both ends of the political spectrum. He holds the opinion that we are losing the War on Terror, not winning it as the Bush administration would have us believe. “Great stuff, this guy is on to something”, the liberals might say.

Not so fast. Scheuer believes that, rather than pull back or pull out, we should ratchet up the war, that we should “proceed with relentless, brutal, and, yes, blood-soaked offensive military actions until we have annihilated the Islamists who threaten us.

Wow. I may be in love. Someone who is willing to look beyond all the usual patriotic flag-waving, to see through all the appeasement weakness, and simply call a spade a spade.

Osama bin Laden is an incredibly intelligent, organized, worthy adversary. He is generous to his closest followers and those who suffer in the name of Islam. He is compassionate to his people. He is focused and forward-thinking. And he must be killed.

So often here in the United States we dance around political issues. We take the easy, go-along-to-get-along path. We use politically correct speech in public, and in front of our enemies, and then speak our real, true feelings only among other same-thinkers, or behind closed doors, or “off the record”. We concern ourselves more with how we are perceived by others, rather than living our lives true to ourselves.

Some call this being moderate, or being political. Some say that it is showing sensitivity, or respect, or consideration. Some say that it is simply being nice. I say it is nothing more than complete and utter “bull”!

If you think one thing, really and truly believe it in your heart and in your soul, and yet are unwilling to stand up publicly for that belief, for those feelings, then you are being dishonest with both yourself and your opponents. You are being insensitive, disrespectful and inconsiderate. You are saying one thing to someone’s face, and something entirely different behind their backs.

I think it is time to stop sugar-coating our messages here in America. It is time to stop saying things with a press sound bite in mind. It is time to speak our minds, and it is time to speak the truth. It is time to do what Michael Scheuer does when speaking and writing about Osama bin Laden. It is time to call a spade a spade.

Liberalism in general and the American Democratic Party in particular, are trying to lead us down a path towards central government intervention in nearly every facet of our lives.

The Dems are firmly against the President of the United States on every issue, no matter their own personal feelings, simply because they personally resent his holding of the office to begin with.

The liberals want to tax us more, and redistribute our hard-earned income to those they feel are more needy or more worthy. They want to weaken our military and our ability to defend ourselves, to such an extent that many of them refuse to even see our enemies for what they are.

They want to be able to take our property, our very homes, and give them to others who could perhaps make money with the property to fill the lib politician’s coffers, and those of their supporters.

And they want desperately to retain the liberal control of the Supreme Court that they have been able to orchestrate in the past few decades.

It is time to call a spade a spade. Michael Jackson is a weirdo. O.J. Simpson is a murderer. Hillary Clinton is an ultra-liberal politician masquerading in moderate sheep’s clothing.

Osama bin Laden is a dangerous, driven, organized leader of the greatest threat to freedom in history. A leader who must be killed and a movement that must be eradicated completely.

Call a spade a spade. The more people who are willing to finally do so, the easier it will be to do the difficult work of keeping America free, and the quicker we can return to some semblance of living in peace.