Archive for the ‘Conservatism’ Category

Presenting this link with essentially no commentary other than to also point you towards Ace’s recent post on the Tea Party.

Arthur Brooks of AEI on “a conservative social justice agenda“.  (And the aforementioned Ace post.)

Looking for some freestyle commentary from the readership here.

I ask this (1) as somebody who has a strong dislike for Mike Huckabee, and (2) rhetorically, as he committed no real offense.

The supposed transgression was so subtle that David Gregory could not express it with any precision when questioning Rand Paul on Meet the Press, choosing only to play the clip, and then ask, “Is this helpful?”

Not satisfied with Senator Paul’s response, Gregory followed up, “My question, about whether you think it’s appropriate for the party, key figures in the party, to be talking about women, women’s health, women’s bodies, and the role of the federal government related to those things?”

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!  So Republicans are not even allowed to broach the subject of the federal role in matters of women’s heath?!?  When did this rule go into effect?

So there’s this highly controversial –frankly, unconstitutional on many dimensions– federal mandate forcing all Americans into insurance policies that, in part, pay for abortifacient drugs regardless of their religious (or secular) objections, and Republicans are just not supposed to express any opinions on the absurdity of the matter.

Yeah, that makes all the sense in the world.

I defend Huckabee in this despite my strong dislike for him.  He’s not particularly conservative from a fiscal perspective, and has no qualms about launching demagogic attacks on those darned greedy Wall Street folks who have the nerve to call him out on it.  Perhaps more important to the issue at hand, he’s a complete hypocrite, having signed a sort of birth control coverage mandate as Governor.

But in the context of recent events, he has committed no crime except to use the word “libido” in a sentence that was more than six words long, and thus impossible for a journalist to parse.  Ace and Allah have taken a stab at why his suggestions concerning women’s libidos, even though he was attributing the thought to the Democrats, betrayed a judgmental attitude about recreational sex.  There is almost something to this, but Huck continued, “…because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government…”  A more complete reading of the sentence diminishes this interpretation.

I think, having been caught with their pants down, the media has determined to find some fault with what was said.  What you’re seeing here is a bunch of wagon-circling and butt covering.

[Related post: My send-up of the Sandra Fluke controversy from March of 2012.]

Little help here from the lawyery types…

In philosophy, there’s a moral principle that “ought implies can“.  Put otherwise, it means that in order for some action to be obligatory, it must be possible for the agent to perform that act.

Is there a similar principle in law?  If the Congress enacted a law requiring the executive to provide a free unicorn to each citizen (or some non-zero subset of citizens), could that law be considered Constitutional?  Clearly it is impossible.  Wouldn’t impossibility imply unconstitutionality?

Similarly, Obama’s defense of his endless improvisations that substantially alter the law seems to be that the law is impossible to implement.

I hope you can see where I’m going with this.

Any such principle, law nerds?

The Republican Party: Nobody Asked You

Posted: November 17, 2013 by Sean M. in Conservatism, Lame

Joe Scarborough took some time away from his job as the ill-fitting fig leaf over MSNBC’s naked Democrat Party advocacy to write some book, an excerpt of which ran in today’s Parade Magazine under the title “Joe Scarborough: How I Would Fix the Republican Party,” and it’s about as squishtastic as you’d expect.
 
He starts out with some pro forma Tea Party bashing (“amateurs,” “ideologically extreme”) in making the point that we maybe could have won the Senate in 2010 with some better candidates, but then starts talking about his opposition to a 1996 Colin Powell presidential campaign that never materialized anyway:

I spoke out against the possibility of Colin Powell’s presidential candidacy in 1996 ­because his political moderation was so off-putting to me. The thought that he could be the standard-bearer of my Republican Party was offensive. But watching the retired general on Meet the Press in recent years has made me understand why ­Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush drafted him to a be a critical ­player in their administrations. In retrospect I realize how much better the GOP would have fared against Bill Clinton in 1996 if I had not let my hopes for a conservative stalwart get in the way of our best hope to beat Clinton.

Right, because in foregoing a “moderate” (more on that in a moment) like Powell, we ended up with that extremist right wing firebrand…Bob Dole.
 
What really galls me about this, though, is that Scarborough’s squishy mea culpa misses the point: that he was actually right all along. Colin Powell may still nominally be a Republican, and Scarborough is correct that he’s surely no conservative, but he’s not a moderate, either. Powell is a liberal, and while that’s his prerogative, I don’t think it serves anybody to pretend otherwise. He voted for Obama in 2008 and fucking endorsed him in the last election over that other knuckledragging, just-to-the-right-of-Albert-Speer conservative…Mitt Romney.
 
Scarborough claims that Republicans (and he really means conservatives here) “kick moderates like General Powell out of the party’s mainstream and drive them into the arms of the Democratic Party every four years,” but let’s be honest here–In an election between Obama and Colin Powell, Colin Powell probably would have been too conservative for Colin Powell.
 
He closes his piece by invoking Reagan and makes some noise about “fighting for the core ­principles of conservatism and emphasizing values that most Americans agree with” before saying that sometimes we’ll have to use “principled pragmatism” like Reagan sometimes did too. The difference, as I see it, is that someone like Reagan started out from a credibly conservative position and knew when to be pragmatic when he absolutely had to. When “pragmatism” is your default position at best and a handy excuse to stab your base in the back at worst, what’s the point of getting into the Big Tent, anyway?
 
An additional thought:
 
Maybe it’s just because I don’t pay much attention to intra-party stuff like this on the other side, but it sure as hell seems to me like we conservatives are the only ones who get hectored about this coalition-building business on a regular basis. When was the last time you heard, for example, anybody telling the Democrats with a straight face that they had to pay more than lip service to moderating their stance on one of their core issues like, say, abortion on demand? Yeah.

Last night I tweeted, “If you’re a Republican who is STILL yammering about how the Cruz strategy was bad, you’re doing it wrong.” I’m not sure what good it’s doing at this point. Let’s discuss.

Ponnuru & Lowry at NRO:

It is a politics of perpetual intra-Republican denunciation. It focuses its fire on other conservatives as much as on liberals. It takes more satisfaction in a complete loss on supposed principle than in a partial victory, let alone in the mere avoidance of worse outcomes. It has only one tactic — raise the stakes, hope to lower the boom — and treats any prudential disagreement with that tactic as a betrayal. Adherents of this brand of conservative politics are investing considerable time, energy, and money in it, locking themselves in unending intra-party battle.

Actually, except for that third (objectionable) sentence, this applies as much –if not more so– to the “moderate”/establishment faction of the party. I mean, did I imagine John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham’s incessant bitching and name-calling?

I could go on at length about who was actually at fault here, but at this point it really doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, the “establishment” insists on playing the part of the nagging girlfriend – “I told you we should have turned left at Albuquerque!”

The key premise that has been guiding these conservatives, however, is mistaken. That premise is that the main reason conservatives have won so few elections and policy victories, especially recently, is a lack of ideological commitment and will among Republican politicians. A bigger problem than the insufficient conservatism of our leaders is the insufficient number of our followers. There aren’t enough conservative voters to elect enough officials to enact a conservative agenda in Washington, D.C. — or to sustain them in that project even if they were elected. The challenge, fundamentally, isn’t a redoubling of ideological commitment, but more success at persuasion and at winning elections.

This is an oft-repeated fallacy, or at least vast oversimplification, the narrative of the ideological purists (“priests” in Mike Murphy’s parlance) demanding more ideological commitment from the “mathematicians”. Say three Hail-Reagans and sin no more, my child. Yes, there are some “priests” –just as there are genuine RINO squishes– but this is a toddler’s crayon drawing of the problem.

The problem, as has been discussed recently on AoS, is that of not ever making the case for freedom/markets/enlightened self interest/etc. Scoring an inconsequential political vote might get you a five-second mention on the news and a good fundraising bit, but the summation of all this nothing is… nothing. The problem conservatives wish to address is exactly that – of conversion and education.

Are they always good at it. No? Is the establishment? Ask Presidents Dole, McCain, and Romney.

In their piece, Lowry and Ponnuru continue to play the nagging girlfriend for what seems like forever. They’re wrong on a whole host of points, but rather than give myself a migraine and carpal tunnel syndrome going back over it all, I’ll take my own advice and shut the hell up about the shutdown.

RIP Tom Clancy

Posted: October 2, 2013 by aliceaitch in Conservatism

No words.

I’m seeing stray reports that GOP House members are talking about shifting from the continuing resolution to the debt ceiling.  While I appreciate the never-say-die sentiment, this makes zero sense.

The debt ceiling is a bigger bomb than the CR.  If the Vichy Republicans are unwilling to have a little ol’ government shutdown over the CR, they will absolutely shit their pants at the prospect of hitting the debt ceiling.

It ain’t happening.  The CR is the only way we’re going to get any significant concessions.

re: Ave Imperator

Posted: September 8, 2013 by socklessjoe in Conservatism, Notes on the Revolution, Obama's Fault, Op/Sped

Yeah, we need to get something for our acquiescence.

First, I’m for having this fight on the CR, not on the debt ceiling*, but the principle remains the same.  Pass a CR with everything but …. [fill in the blank here].  It could be the biofuels standard, or Obamacare, or any number of other things.

Maybe pass a whole bunch of different bills, each extracting a different pound of flesh.  And if the government should shut down, Republicans can say, “Hey, we passed 4 different bills to fund the government. Looks like Harry & Barry are the ones holding things up here.”

 

* – (I think the debt ceiling issue is much more dangerous for us than the CR.  If you think shutting down the government through the CR is bad, you didn’t have the stomach for having the fight on the debt ceiling.  Similarly, I think we’ll lose a lot more of our own guys on the debt ceiling than we would on the CR, giving us a potential to hold stronger in negotiations.  You know, should anybody on Capitol Hill discover where there testicles are located.)

I’m planning on revisiting this Robert Costa piece at NR, but this quote speaks volumes:

“His early moves have been good,” says Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican operative who managed the McCain-Palin presidential campaign.

Steve Schmidt.

Steve.  Bloody.  Schmidt.

That is all.

Sorta important, above the post update.

Eh, it didn’t matter much to me, I was just curious and I saw something today that gave me a clue on how to find out.

Aaccording to this Catholic News Agency article,

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has confirmed that the Pope intended to take his name from the 13th century aristocrat who left his wealthy family to serve the poor and rebuild the Church.

So, St. Francis of Assisi.

Now, back to the post!

My subscription to spell check ran out so you gets what I gives.

I’m all depressed today, Nicole wrote what I was worried about, I’m becoming an OUTRAGE!!!! monger. Apcray.

Denial is just not strong enough for today and I can’t stay drunk all day. Maybe I should turn to LSD. Eh, I’ll try to see the funny.

This one actually does make me laugh,  It’s a drudge link and he’s talking about Obama slapping around a Dem congresscritter. What makes me laugh is this

Obama was referring to his $1 billion proposal for 15 manufacturing “innovation centers,”

He actually expects people to take that shit seriously.

The article goes on to note this

the details of which are still somewhat hazy.

“Hazy”, yeah, we’ll go with that. It sounds so much better than, “Ridiculous crap that doesn’t mean anything.”

We all saw Cruz make Feinstein look like a fool yesterday. You know it was bad because Andrea Mitchell declared DiFi the winner, but we also see this as another proof they know she looked like the moron she is (Dumber than a box of Boxers!)

Feinstein told Wolf Blitzer she “felt patronized” by the “arrogant” junior senator and had to take some time to cool off afterward.

Awwww, did the mean old man make ems look stupid?

How arrogant and clueless do you have to be to piss off the men who are dedicated to give up their lives for yours?

A former agent blasted President Obama for blaming the Secret Service for the decision to shut down White House tours,

That’s right, Obama arrogant and clueless.

What lefties do understand is indoctrination, they’re only fer it when they’re indoctrinating kids to believe the right things.

I just intro’d bill to prevent kids under 12 from going to gun shows.

Yup, can’t let 12 year olds learn how cool guns are or they might want one.

Also via Say Uncle, … Cold Fury (the exact link is below about sedition) we see this bit of common sense about gun laws.

You cannot “protect” a right while calling for limitations on it.

Preach it brother!

How do you say, “How many divisions does he have?” in Mandarin? (unsafe, NY Times Link)

China congratulated Pope Francis on Thursday on his ascension to the papacy, but also warned the Vatican not to interfere in what China deems to be its internal affairs.

I know who I’m rooting for.

Hmmm, now I have to wonder how to say it in English.

This past Sunday, a Chicago area church sponsored a Second Amendment Sunday filled with “assault” pop-tarts, “combat” cupcakes and a sheet-cake that featured a chocolate semi-automatic Glock handgun with a quote from Jesus that read “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

That last is a very nice touch except they really needed it to be a Colt, not a Glock.

pop-gun

Okay, headlines that just seem fucking ridiculous.

US Can’t Make Dominos Founder Offer Contraceptives To Employees

Seriously, imagine going back to the 50s and showing that article to people. They’d lock you up for your own good.

A question, could you let him off if he promises to take acting lessons?

Headine

Hah!… Iranian Regime TV: Ben Affleck Could Be Hanged For War Crimes

I ask because I could see that question coming up.

Hmmm, this is interesting.

Egyptian media outlets are reporting that a number of Hamas members were involved in the August 2012 attack on an Egyptian military base that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. The three Hamas members linked to the attack are Ayman Nofal, Mohamed Ibrahim Salah Abu Shamala, and Raed al Attar.

On the one hand, I doubt the Muslim Brotherhood likes Hamas killing people in Egypt without their permission, on the other hand, they were killing the main obstacles to the MB’s takeover of Egypt. Interesting to see how it plays out.

Now sure about this one either.

“The Lebanese cabinet is required to hold an extraordinary meeting to ask the army to deploy along the border,”

Whose side would they be on? So far in Syria we’ve seen homegrown terrorists, al Quaeda, Hezbollah and Syrian military in a dog’s breakfast of a nightmare scenario, I guess whose side they’ll be on depends on how many Hezbollah units are included.

Steyn on Islamophobes getting their blood all over the place.

The attempted murder of an “Islamophobe” is part of the scene in today’s Europe. Among those targeted have been such obvious “right-wing extremists” as secular feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, gay hedonist Pim Fortuyn, and coke-snorting anti-monarchist Theo van Gogh. While I was in Copenhagen paying a visit to Lars’s Danish Free Press Society, a young Chechen jihadist opposed to all this outrageous Islamophobia prematurely detonated while assembling his bomb in his hotel room, and we all had a good laugh. But sometimes, as on Lars’s doorstep, the jihad wannabe is less incompetent and gets a little closer.

It being EUnuchstan, they need to provide ‘balance’.

The author Hedegaard is one of the few Danes who is a certified racist, as he some years ago was fined by a High Court for having stated in a blog interview that Muslim fathers rape their children. He was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.

Hmmm, where does one get one of those certificates? And since he was acquitted, isn’t he a “formerly certified racist” as he’d have lost his certified status?

I’m surprised we haven’t seen this bit of sorta good news at Hot Air, Ace, Drudge, Gateway pundit or any of the other news aggregators.

… jumped out a window from the family’s co-op apartment Wednesday afternoon with 10-month-old son Keston in her arms. She died instantly.

The baby survived by bouncing off his motionless mom’s chest upon impact.

I’m always in favor of them failing at the “murder” part of a “murder/suicide” deal.

Now I’m not saying they’re related, but Girls Gone Wild was hounded into bankruptcy and what happens the very next spring break?

Two masked men armed opened fire in a bar on the outskirts of the Mexican tourist resort of Cancun on Thursday, killing six people and wounding five,

While I abhor the violence, as a titty-man, I understand it.

Apparently illegal immigration causes global worming.

It’s one reason I feel it’s urgent that we get real immigration reform, allowing millions to step out of the shadows and on to a broad path toward citizenship. It will help, not hurt, our environmental efforts, and potentially in deep and powerful ways.

The biggest lack in today’s world are people who stand back and say, “You know, that’s pretty fucking ridiculous, maybe you should not say that.”, that’s why it’s often so funny out.

I’ve been wondering something lately, who will be the first con-blogger to be arrested for sedition.  Mike at Cold Fury has a list of some of the people I think are in the running.

I’m figuring it’s between the Emperor and Bob Owens.

I just realized that SMOD should be plan B, FrnakJ notes what we all used to know was Plan A.

So, what do you think should be the future of conservatism? I’m thinking conquering other planets. Going to other planets looks like the only realistic way to escape big government now.

Yup, Heinlein, in Time Enough For Love, I think, said that space travel hurt the Earth as freedom lovers escaped the increasing loss of freedom on Earth.

Just as immigration to America hurt EUnuchstan as all the freedom lovers left for America for generations.

In other words, I’ve been rooting for stuff traveling in the wrong direction! That’s pretty funny.