leden 2010

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Comments

Jason

Absolutely! There is a great deal in the classical conservative philosophy that is truly valuable. I think it is unfortunate that O'Rourke feels it necessary to childishly categorize liberals as either "potheads" or "treehuggers" and implies that concern for the environment is somehow a mincing, faddish preoccupation, but whatever. That's his water to carry.

The fight right now for the soul of the Republican party is very interesting to watch. I hope the intellectuals win. Honestly. I can't take one more minute of political discourse in which a serious candidate for high public office thinks creationism should be taught in schools, Africa is a nation, and the Vice President is in charge of the Senate.

Jaime

I agree that O'Rourke seems to have some fairly sweeping prejudices and blind spots... but, yeah to all you said.

All I read nowadays are conservative blogs, because I really want to understand how these people cannot share the sense that America has taken a huge step forward in electing Obama. Also, reading my own opinion over and over again in other places is simply less interesting.

I read this one today on wingnut blog "Pajama's Media" -- pretty interesting, too, which argues that the Republicans are in danger of permanent marginalization if they don't re-tool, and if they continue to "maintain a tone of class resentment, paranoia, and vitriol and adhere to policy positions which are either extraneous or offensive to large segments of the electorate."

I'd say that's some straight thinkin'.

I also enjoyed this one from Newsweek, where George Will breaks out the double-edged sword to indict demagogic populism from wherever it should spring. I don't think popular election is such a bad way of choosing nominees, but it's an interesting point of view.

Jason

Very interesting. Particularly the George Will piece. While I don't think asking ourselves "What would the forefathers do?" is an infallible oracle in the matter of policy mysteries, I do agree that we are swiftly moving away from our original republican form of government. Undiluted democracy has become a tool for subverting courts and legislative bodies. We have been taught that the strength of our government has its foundation in a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, we have lost sight of the wisdom the forefathers saw in placing a check on popular will, too. While it sounds appealing, popular will often works to undermine individual liberty, which is the ultimate goal of the American Experiment.

Jason

Check out this very brief article on the The Daily Beast by Jeffrey Hart. Hart was a Nixon and Reagan speech writer and an editor of the National Review for over 30 years.

Jaime

My question is, why are these people coming out of the woodwork NOW? I have to say, conservative arguments, when they aren't all about legislating one group's religious values or chanting "supply-side economics" like a mindless mantra, no matter what the question, appeals to me. For me, a great part of Obama's appeal is that he is a fairly conservative family man and is a religious person who advocates tolerance. I feel like I can understand and share his moral and ethical vision.

I think Republican's tend to lump all liberals together as America hating godless pinko commie bastards, but that isn't true at all, any more than all Republicans are evangelical Christianist racist rube idiots who deny science and think women should mind the house.

How I WISH that the likes of blowhards like Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly would SHUT THE F*#K UP and let the clever conservatives get a word in edgewise. They'd get some more votes that way, I can tell you that.

For a not so impressive take on the Conservative "calamity," there's this by John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine. He is probably right that to think of Obama's victory as a liberal "realignment" is premature, but he inexplicably persists in saying that we know nothing about Obama's positions, or what he will do. Where do Conservatives get this? Is it simply that he hasn't been in Congress for 25 years, or that they simply haven't read his positions? Even more likely, they just don't believe him; thinking instead that he is a trojan horse for the horror they call "European Socialism". Though, just what they mean by that, and why it's such a horror, in view of the quality of life in much of Europe, is another question they answer inadequately, with nothing but the usual mantra, or a repetition of the unreconstituted claim that unregulated free-market capitalism equals (or allows for) societal virtue and freedom.

Also, why is it that these people can't admit that a change in policy in response to circumstances is not always political chicanery, sometimes it's the only intelligent response to circumstances. Personally, I see a tremendous amount of logic to the things Obama says, and particularly in the way he shifts and re-aligns to accept new information. I find his responses to be predictable, and see in them the inner-logic of a principled and pragmatic position. For the first time in recent memory, I feel like the President(-elect) thinks in a way that I can understand, and his decision-making process does not feel like a complete mystery.

Perhaps this inability of the right's to give even a moment's thought or credence to such a notion is an indication of how deep the ideological divide is, but to me, Podhoretz's article reads like the words of a man with his fingers in his ears screaming "no, no, no! I am not listening!"

Jason

Hey, check out this interesting article/interview with Richard Rodriquez on Salon about gay marriage, religion, and feminism.

Tara H.

Hi Jaime, Happy Thanksgiving. And, hope you had a nice birthday. Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays. xo

Jaime

Thanks, Tara! I'm looking forward to seeing you, too.

Jason, that article was BRILLIANT. That guy, it seemed to me, was very, very right. All in all, it made me feel optimistic about the future.

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