Archive for the ‘Conservatism’ Category

In the revolt against The GOP Establishment, it’s important to differentiate several distinct clusters of entities that might occasionally be called “establishment”, and to narrow down who rightly deserves the moniker.

First and foremost are the axis of the Donor Class and their agents in the government. This includes the Chamber of Commerce, any company that might benefit from the Ex-Im bank, Wall Street firms, the Big Agriculture/Ethanol axis, etc. The subservient politicians of those entities are more than willing to pretend to support free markets, stricter immigration, and generally smaller government… for about the first thirty seconds after they are elected and have to vote on something that contradicts one of their benefactors’ interests. In case there is any question, all national GOP bodies (and probably most of the state bodies) fall into this category.

Secondly, there are the “Business of Conservatism” crowd. These people sell conservatism and conservative-flavored-outrage products to individual voters in exchange for donations to keep fighting for the cause. Much like charities, there is a spectrum of honest effort toward effecting change versus callous and parasitic exploitation of their donors. I leave it as an exercise to the reader precisely which groups belong in this category and where they belong on the spectrum.

Lastly, there are the intellectuals, writers, and pundits. This includes National Review, The Weekly Standard, the American Spectator, individuals such as George Will and Thomas Sowell, and I would probably include such organizations such as AEI and the Hoover Institution.

Some organizations such as Heritage probably straddle these last two categories since they do put out quite serious public policy analysis but also engage in the Business of Conservatism. Certain talk radio hosts also straddle these last two categories since they too sometimes engage in both serious policy discussions but also outrage peddling. Again, the exact identities of these radio hosts and their position on the spectrum is left as an exercise to the reader.

I consider the intellectual-pundit category not to be engaged so much in the “Business of Conservatism” in that business is generally not so good. These folks rely on what Dennis Prager has termed “moral bank accounts” for their paychecks. When they make a “withdrawal”, they risk making a bad business decision. And yet, occasional withdrawals are a necessary part of the job.

When I say “Establishment”, I mean primarily the Donor Class and their agents in the government and party infrastructure.

So when National Review and other noted and respected writers take a principled stance against Trump while simultaneously agents of the donor class are warming to Trump, I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to suggest that “The Establishment” is trying to take out Trump. NR is much less “The Establishment” than are Bob Dole and Trent Lott.

To the extent that The Establishment has let conservatism down, it is much less NR than it is the Donor Class. NR, whatever missteps they might have made over the years, doesn’t get rich by selling out conservatism. The Donor Class does.

Myth: If you aren’t for Trump, you’re in favor of the Establishment.
FACT: A lot of us have been working against the Establishment for years. Also, the Establishment hates Cruz more than Trump.

Myth: Trump is the only reason we’re talking about immigration.
FACT: Would that be why John McCain was forced to lie about supporting a fence back in 2010? Because nobody was riding him about that?

Myth: Trump is the best bet to beat Hillary Clinton.
FACT: Hillary may have defeated herself with this email stuff, but Trump has absurdly high negative ratings. (And yes, I would still vote for Trump over Hillary and/or Sanders. As a long-time GOP voter I am very familiar with voting for the lesser evil.)

Myth: Trump’s previous positions don’t matter.
FACT: Somebody who doesn’t understand conservatism and feel it viscerally is unlikely to be able to defend or promote conservative positions on an ongoing basis. (See Romney, McCain, etc.)

Myth: Trump is conservative.
FACT: Anybody who has been in the conservative movement for more than five seconds knows Trump isn’t conservative. Trump has a history of actively undermining conservative causes.

Myth: Trump will get things done to fix our problems.
FACT: This is the new version of Obama’s “Hope and Change”. Long on rhetoric, short on substance. Trump is almost certainly a stronger and better deal-maker than Obama, but so is a head of cabbage.

Given my lack of posting at all I hope I can be forgiven for double-posting on the Palin endorsement of Trump.

Consider me officially out of the Sarah Palin fan club. It’s been a long time coming, but here it is.

Up until yesterday you might have gotten me to be a Palin apologist.  She was treated poorly by McCain’s stooges, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, who did not even remotely understand the great gift that they had squandered. This gave license (-as if they needed it) for the major media to crucify her.

When properly prepared, she could give a damn good speech.  Once upon a time even her off the cuff stuff wasn’t too bad.  Obama had in fact palled around with terrorists, namely Ayres. “Drill baby, drill” was not only right, but downright prescient.  In stark contrast to Obama and the progressive movement generally, she once displayed a healthy epistemological humility that folks like me appreciate in a politician — the kind of humility that keeps a person from trying to half-assedly socialize a fifth of the economy with some slap-dash legislation that nobody ever bothered to read.

Naturally, after her career as an office-holder was clearly over, she got lazy. I get it. I’m lazy too.  If I could be paid to crack-wise at CPAC with Big Gulp in hand I’d do it in a heartbeat.

But this Trump endorsement… dang.  I just can’t wrap my head around that one.

I could give two wet farts about Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner.  But I’m amused at how disgusted the other folks in this video are at the suggestion that overly generous social programs can be a disincentive to work.

The fundamental thrust of any libertarian-ish ideology rests on two ideas:

  • That people should be free to pursue their own happiness.
  • To the extent that it can be avoided, nobody else should be compelled to subsidize or participate in another person’s pursuit of happiness.

What individual welfare entitlement programs have to do with being trans or gay or female or black or Martian is beyond my comprehension.  It’s a rather annoying little trick that the Democrats play that if you’re anything other than a WASP then you should clearly be for socialism.  And it’s particularly annoying because Republicans by-and-large let them get away with it.

Hillary just recently said that GOP noise about de-funding Planned Parenthood would “deny access” to women’s health services.  Because everything which is not forbidden is compulsory.

As far as I can tell, nobody on the right said a fucking thing about Hillary’s ridiculous statement.

We’re not even talking about shutting Planned Parenthood down, we’re just talking about the concept that maybe some people don’t want their tax dollars funding a highly politicized criminal syndicate that traffics in baby parts for profit.  If you want to murder babies and sell their organs, do it on your own dime.

But no, that simple, minimalistic argument is beyond the national GOP’s messaging scope.

In attempting to write about the Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice incidents, the apparent futility of conservative blogging has once again caused me overwhelming despair.

As it concerns the death-by-cop incidents, the post-factual nature of our political discourse becomes palpable. “Hands up, don’t shoot!” is an utter fabrication, exposed as a lie by overwhelming physical evidence and the preponderance of eye-witness testimony, such that no charges were brought by a grand jury against the officer.

There’s much more room for concern in the Garner and Rice cases, but the public backlash in these three cases seems inversely proportionate to the evidence of police wrongdoing. (How many of you are going to Google “Tamir Rice” now?) But the incident drawing the most ire, the Michael Brown shooting, is the one with the least genuine merit – nil by my reckoning.

Presented with the futility of attempting to dislodge an erroneous belief from the public consciousness, one recalls the many other instances of valiant but Sisyphean work by conservative and libertarian bloggers. Whether it is the exposure of the IRS criminality, or the Gosnell little abortion shop of horrors, or the Jonathan Gruber recordings, nothing seems to stick or matter. Obama’s even back to funding ACORN as health insurance navigators.

I will from time to time find cause to write, but for now I expect the sparseness of my motivation to continue. In a world where facts don’t matter, there’s little reason to discuss facts.

Many times on this site and elsewhere, I have documented the impact of my daughter and her life upon my own and my zeal to do whatever I can to make her life better than mine. As part of the never-ending series of events that have shaped my life as a result of being a parent, several over the last two years have reshaped my life and changed my focus.

One of the greatest tests of a parent is to let your child go and hope that you have provided her with the upbringing and tools to handle the troubles that the world throws at a child, all while hoping that they come home safe at the end of the day, ready to start anew with the sunrise. For me, that all came home a few months ago when, for the second time in her life, I had to watch through a glass barrier as she had to recover from a medical challenge, and the helplessness I felt as I realized I couldn’t protect her as medical professionals worked to help her, burned a feeling inside of me I thought I had put away.  Not only did I feel fear, but I also became angry. I became so angry, that anger bled over to hate: hate for the recipients of liberalism who caused this (and, no, I will not discuss what happened), and hate for those who allowed this to happen.

Thankfully, she has made a full recovery, and after some post treatment, is back in school and a regular 4th grader who just tested as a 7th grade reading level and a 5th grade math & science. She is fine, and I am relieved. But I also thought about what I could do to prevent, as much as I could, anyone else to have to go through this helplessness via the legal means available. And that brought me to today. I have been away from this site for some time. I have been away from many sites for a while, and my life focus now stresses that I probably limit my exposure even more. All that said, I put myself in the position of considering what I can do to protect her yet again and so my best to halt that which threatens all of us. Yes, it may be futile and useless, the candidates will disappoint, and the politicians will suck, but voting is all I can do at this point. Voting to remove as much as possible, or limit it at worst, the liberalism that endangers us all. And besides, futile gestures are better than nothing at all.

So, to that end, I offer that tomorrow will be one more chance to stand up via the legal and electoral process to protect our country. And at the same time telling the left and its destructive minions a simple message:

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I recently received an odd, frantic email from some wannabe politico in search of a conservative blogger who would write a column about Obamacare and jobs to save Tom Corbett’s re-election campaign from itself. As if such a Column to End All Columns could be written.

I don’t want to be too hard on this fellow, as I too sometimes suffer from wannabe-ism. Far less so than in the past, as I become more jaded and more likely to just give up and flee the state. I have little hope for an electorate that thought “binders full of women” was a substantive and revealing gotcha against Romney. I’m still not even exactly sure what that binders thing was all about.
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Civilization

Posted: August 5, 2014 by veeshir in Conservatism, I'm Afraid I Can't Blog That, Op/Sped, PEBKAC

Ace links to a Federalist post about atheists (and agnostics) being able to be conservatives.

Let me say that I am agnostic. I think an atheist says, “There is no God, god or gods.” while I say, “I don’t know.”

Maybe there is a God or god or gods, who knows? I will say that, in my opinion, maybe.

But then we get to which God, god or gods? As Heinlein said, all of them have to go in the hat. Sorry if that pisses you off, but that’s the way I see it.

Maybe Zeus is pissed off we’re not sacrificing white bulls to him or Huitzilipochti is pissed off we’re not sacrificing people, Baal has to be partly happy with our abortion rate (especially partial-birth abortion), but we’re not exactly sacrificing babies to him so his happiness is qualified.

Personally, I’m rooting for a Jonathan Livingston Seagull sort of deal of going up, sideways or down the ladder.

A quote from the Federalist link

My point is not just that it is possible to offer a secular defense of free markets and liberty and the moral values that support them. My point that is these arguments have a power to persuade that cannot be matched just by quoting chapter and verse from the Bible.

Exactly.

I’ve been Troll for a Day a number of times because I try to explain that I can be in favor of civilization without believing in God.

Take something simple like traffic.

A lane ends on the highway, so what happens? If you’re in any metropolitan region, most people line up but a bunch of assholes have to be first so they screw the whole thing up.

If everybody worked together we’d all go through more quickly, the people being assholes screw it up for not just the polite people but for all the assholes behind them as they force traffic down to a crawl.

Civilization is a compilation of like situations, if we all work together, in a Christian manner, then life is better for all of us.

You do not need to believe in God to realize that or to believe that Jesus was probably the very best, most wise western philosopher ever (Bush should not have taken shit over that, he was right in my opinion), certainly the one whose philosophy has led to the best outcome for the most people.

Besides, many of the worst, non-commie, things we’ve done to each other is in service to a religion. There are few, non-commie, things more scary than a despot who thinks he’s doing God’s will. I will also say that communism/socialism/nannarchism is a religion without a god. Today’s leftism is a religion with a god, Gaia, and we’ve pissed her off by being imprius so…global worming.

 

My point, if we stop fucking with each other, life is better for everybody. It’s that simple.

You do not need a religion to believe that, as Ace says, you merely need to look at empirical evidence, logic and results.

It should be noted, of course, that religious people do not rely exclusively on religious precepts to make their cases. They, too, point to observable evidence and make secular (math-based, policy outcome based) arguments.

 

Preach it brother.

Striking a bold move, Michigan Congressman Kerry Bentivolio returned his Chamber of Commerce award.

Daily Caller:
“If you notice, they call it the Spirit of Enterprise award, not the Spirit of Free Enterprise Award,” [Bentivolio’s chief of staff Rob] Wasinger told The Daily Caller via email. “Crony capitalism is alive and well at the Chamber of Commerce.”

Naturally, the Chamber now supports his opponent.

Just in case you were confused about who the good guy is here, Bentivolio has quite a respectable conservative report card with an ACU score of 88, a Club for Growth score of 88, and a Heritage Action score of 83.

As previously discussed, the Chamber is also attempting to primary Justin Amash, who sports even more impressive credentials with an ACU score of 89.22, a Club for Growth score of 99, and a Heritage Action score  of 89.  The Club for Growth has explicitly endorsed Amash in the primary.

Ricochet?

Posted: June 9, 2014 by socklessjoe in Brevity etc., Conservatism

Anybody subscribe to Ricochet?

Recommend it?

I’ve been listening to two of the free podcasts, and they’re pretty good.  Problem being I don’t really have time to read (let alone post) as much as I used to.