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April 09, 2009

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Hear, hear!

I get disdain from some conservatives that we're in a liberal echo chamber for focussing on things like this, that they don't know conservatives like this.

My answer is that...if the leadership is focussing on these silly issues, it doesn't matter. Republicans need to change their leadership to reflect their concerns.

And honestly...all parts of the political spectrum would be better if they did...

In the fourth graf, you have identical hyperlinks with the phrases "with his response" and "a retort." Regardless, great post.

The last time I thought about Erick's sources was during the Journolist thing, when he claimed to have sources saying that Keith Olbermann, David Schuster, and kos were on the list. All of them denied it. He was wrong. But he doubled down again, saying his source was solid, and reconfirmed what s/he had said. It was still false.

Focus on the practical and the positive.

But they are Von. I just read this morning that scores of Republican congresspeople are sponsoring a constitutional ammendment that John Cole's commenters have called the No Child Left Unbeaten Act.

What could be more practical and positive than that?

All you teenagers out there, remember: abstinence is the way to go. If you are foolish enough to have premarital sex, all sorts of bad things could happen to you--like getting conscripted into a failed presidential campaign, and ending up 6 months later getting accused of incest.

The Republican Party has been just one long Jerry Springer show since last August. It couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people.

Erickson: "And he [Levi Johnson] will be greeted as a hero by the left because boosting him hurts Sarah Palin."

Highly doubtful.

"Ross Douthat is right: it's naive to think that you can ride wedge issues and last century's tactics any longer."

I find persuasive the notion that the current Republican congressional leadership recognizes that they can accomplish little in Congress when they have such a minority, and thus are completely uninterested in any sort of bipartisan efforts, and instead are focusing fully on maintaining their own, personal, leadership status in the Republican Party, and the only route to that goal in today's Republican Party (sucks to be you in this scenario, von, sorry) is to out-extreme and out-right-wing your competition.

Thus what we'll continue to see is praise of Palin and Limbaugh, and ever more extreme and worthless rhetoric.

Perhaps one or more of the Republican congressional leadership will demonstrate that this hypothesis is incorrect.

I won't be holding my breath.

I actually listened to the YouTube clip of the Levi and family interview. According to Levi's sister the problem with Bristol Palin was Bristol was incredibly jealous that Levi's sister had continuing friendships with former girl friends of her brother. This was what precipitated the "white trash" comments from Bristol. If true, reflects poorly on the maturity of Bristol- and maybe on Sarah's parenting.
So clever to direct the spotlight back on to the Palin family.
Maybe somebody will answer the question that has always mystified me:

Sarah Palin outed her daughter's pregnancy as a response to the rumours that she was not the birth mother of her fifth child.
It was always a puzzle to me: why didn't she just produce the birth certificate?
It seemed a very unfair and misguided strategy. Why? was it in expectation that Obama campaign would engage in personal attack, allowing the McCain forces to counterattack with something? Was it as simple as "-well Obama's mother was an unwed teen when she became pregnant; what a hypocrite that Obama's people are attacking Bristol Palin"
Of course, Obama's first response eliminated this.

meet me in the middle.

Where's that? What does it mean to be a Republican these days?

Health care financing doesn't work so well these days. McCain's proposed solution was to make things worse.

Climate change is real. The R solution is to deny the science.

Deregulation of the financial industry has failed. The R response is unknown to me.

Soc.Sec. is fine. Yet the R position is to attack it ruthlessly.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq haven't gone so well. Yet one of the leaders of the R party proposed starting a war with N. Korea over its missile test.

etc.

I like to think of myself as a pretty reasonable, moderate guy. Here in California, much of the Democratic party is fiscally utterly irresponsible. It'd be nice to have a choice of political parties, to at least try to rein in the worst of the Democrats' impulses.

But the R party here in California and at the federal level has simply gone insane. Their consistent stance on hard problems is to pretend they don't exist and/or propose solutions that make things worse.

Howard Ahmanson, of all people, has registered as a democrat.

One would think that the R party would need to have just a few more election cycles of rejection by the public before it starts rebuilding. But that hasn't happened in California. The party seems to delight in its hard-core minority status.

It seemed a very unfair and misguided strategy. Why? was it in expectation that Obama campaign would engage in personal attack

Bristol and Levi were used to burnish Gov. Palin's antiabortion credentials

what Gary said.

they aren't trying to govern, they're trying to win the adulation of The Base. because that's where the money and the primary votes are, i assume.

my late father-in-law was apparently on every wingnut mailing list out there and, since we had his mail forwarded to our house, we get letters every day screaming at him to donate money because Obama's a "Marxist" (right on the front of the envelope, from a Congressman, no less), because he's destroying America, because he's going to "silence his critics" with the Fairness Doctrine, because he's a socialist, because he wants to advance the elite homosexual agenda, etc..

the base pays the bills. gotta keep em happy.

Is there a problem?

The Palin family chronicles are John McCain's and the GOP's gift to the world. It's the best of reality TV without commercial interruption. There's greed, sex, drugs, crime and shooting wolves from helicopters.

Anybody who says otherwise is a leper.

Leper™ is a trademark of Red State and may not be used without permission of Erick Erickson or having to listen to a really long and especially heraldic poem from Moe Lane.

Posted by: rea: "Bristol and Levi were used to burnish Gov. Palin's antiabortion credentials."

But wasn't the existence of Trig sufficient evidence of Sarah's antiabortion credentials? why expose Bristol? After the kids waved merrily at the convention, couldn't they all have gone back to Alaska, and do what kids normally do in september?

Erick's "attack" on Levi's sister is no different than the tacky uterus diving Andrew did to the Palins' -- Oh and now I can't wait to see Ashley Biden snorting coke since the lives of VP children matter so dearly.

Why is the word attack in scare quotes?

Do you not consider allegations of incest to be an attack?

Oh and now I can't wait to see Ashley Biden snorting coke since the lives of VP children matter so dearly

But isn't the point people are making on this thread is that they shouldn't matter?

After the kids waved merrily at the convention, couldn't they all have gone back to Alaska, and do what kids normally do in september?

I'm tempted to say, snarkily, that no, they were supposed to be practicing abstinence.

But seriously, I probably understand the use to which Bristol and Levi were put in the culture war side of the election. They were also supposed to get married, setting an example for young people everywhere: "Don't have sex, because if you do, you'll end up having to get married."

There was some talk at the time, which came to nothing, that they were going to have a big wedding about a week before the election. That may have been the original plan . . .

Hei!
What are you guys doing giving them wise advise. Let them keep doing what they are doing. The best we should do is bring out the popcorn, sit back and give loud encouraging applause.

The Douthat link doesn't actually say anything about wedge issues. Instead, it offers this on the Republicans' proposed budget:

But the overall outline - an across-the-board tax cut and a flatter tax code, substantial means-testing for Social Security and Medicare, and a five-year discretionary spending freeze - strikes me as the opposite of cynical. Rather, there's a kind of deep innocence about it: The purity of its small-government vision is more detached from the grubby realities of American politics than any similar document I can remember.

Of course Douthat is wrong. Purity? This was a phenomenally stupid proposal. It is sloganeering, not an attempt to lay out a serious, responsible alternative.

And BTW, what if they could ride wedge issues? Does anyone think that would be good for the country?

GOPukes don't care about governing. They hate 'government.' The word was robably ruined for them by their first president's babblung on and on about 'government of, for, and by the People.' That's not gonna win you any friends on Ms. Mitch's side of the latrine partition. In the word "government" there is just a latent hint of accountability which is, of course, anathema to the Elites and their favored satraps and boot-lickers.

Pukes do care about ruling.

Listen hard and you cannot hear even the faintest whisper of 'accountability' in that word. Rulers rule. Make rules. Rule over. To rule is to command, and nobody who is commanded holds commanders accountable.

Murkins are bout three-quarters of the way through a program that is designed to exaggerate and make acceptable the already seeded, but still not completely flowered tree of AUTHORITY! Murkins, as a whole, nowadays, really WANT a ruler. They especially want one who will tell them to do what they want to do but will not accept accountabiliuty or responsibility for.

That's pretty much the explicit promise of the GOPuke wing of the PoPP (Party of Privilege and Property).

Johnny Canuck: I just figured that Palin, or her campaign people, were assuming the story of Bristol's pregnancy would get out somehow anyway -- which seems like a reasonable assumption, unfortunately, in this day and age -- and they decided to try to pre-empt it by saying "Guess what, she'spregnantandthey'regettingMARRIED, and it's a GOOD THING! We're happy about it!! You betcha!!!"

Hob: If so, you'd think they would have chatted with Bristol and Levi before doing so.

And not publishing Trig's birth certificate?

Other than at RedState (and now, heavens-to-Betsy, here at ObWi) the rest of the searchable universe is pretty much unanimous: it's Johnston... not Johnson.

I'm now officially flaberghasted: There are people who care what Andrew Sullivan has to say????

Brett, however well-supported your general view, I don't think that anyone can argue that Andrew Sullivan favorably compares to the current strategists at the GOP.

Thanks, xanax. As Eric Martin will tell you, my personal speciality is misspelling the names of folks featured in my front-page posts.

Corrected.

There are people who care what Andrew Sullivan has to say????

Yeah. People opposed to torture, for instance.

Which rules out most of the Congressional GOP, I realize. But maybe, god willing, they aren't the Party.

I'm just surprised it slipped by uber-editor Farber.

I am aware of all von traditions

Is anyone still shocked by anything that goes on at RedState these days? It's just another example of what passes for logic there: anyone who attacks one of their guys is a liberal, and liberals get attacked without mercy, scruple, or regard for plausibility.

And it amuses the hell out of me that in the midst of a discussion of a complete waste of space like Erick Erickson, someone questions the importance of Andrew Sullivan.

I can commiserate with Von . I'm a conservative across the board and I'm not comfortable with the republican party. Altho I'm socially conservative, few issues in this arena get me excited politically. I would self-classify myself as an originalist since individual liberty rests at the top of my priorities and every new power exercised by government, at any level, diminishes individual liberty in my view. This view does not mean that I can never be convinced of the value of a government role in any given matter, just that I start out skeptical and that whatever loss of liberty is incurred should be worth that price. As an originalist, of course, I already conclude that the federal government long ago exceeded the range of appropriate roles and I have couched my support for lower taxes as a way to limit government actions, not that there is no call for the government to tax at all.

I have a lot of issues related to the conduct of foreign policy and international relations by republicans, but the biggest problem I have is with the 'corporatist' republicans (and democrats) who have done much to get us in this current financial debacle and created a strong negative image in the minds of many young people regarding free markets. Most of the favoritism and self-dealing and self-serving behaviors of the politicians and the financial elites (Wall Street and corporate and industrial executives) do a great disservice to the true concepts of capitalism.

So even though the Republican Party on its face looks like where I should be, it is not comfortable for me.

I'm another 'conservative'. Here's the thing: today's Republican party is not at all like your father's(or grandfather's.) Though a lot of people wouldn't ever dare admit it, Clinton would have been a very good Republican candidate (modulo the social issues) . . . in 1956. Shoot, even Nixon is looking pretty 'liberal' by modern standards.

About the only thing the Republican party has left from those days that is even remotely current would be the brand name itself. Once upon a time, it's members could with various degrees of plausibility call themselves the party of main street. But they were parasitized by the political equivalent of hagfish long ago. Now that the Republican party has been sucked dry by the corporatists, it seems to be more like a refuge for the 80-year-olds who actually care what Bill O'Reilly thinks; that and a haven for people who have been conned repeatedly into sending donations to Falwell, Robertson et al. Oh, and of course the ever-relevant ever-angry middle-aged white guys.

Sadly, the parasite is trying to transfer to a healthier host and seems to be getting a warm reception from the DLC types. It's no more a Democrat than it was a Republican, of course, but it's eager to make use of those who think they can safely handle it. Same as it ever was.

The Republican Party has been the party of Bidness since 1856; it's just that they've managed to be accomodating to various types of more-popular motivation over the years. Teddy Roosevelt's accidental promotion to the White House began a reforming impulse that died in the GOP roughly the same time TR did. The GOP governments of the 1920s look familiar for a reason: except for the war, there's a lot of similarity to 2001-08. Same result, too.

Even the Eisenhower/Nixon moderation was driven more by the trauma of 1932 than any common-sense regulationary impulse. Taft, and then Goldwater, were still out there.

What's new is the rise of the Confederate wing of the GOP, touting all kinds of social conservative policies that don't sell too well west of the Mississippi River. The fact, too, that the formerly-pro-business GOP has leaders calling for the bankruptcy of GM (!) indicates how far that influence has gone.

"I'm just surprised it slipped by uber-editor Farber."

I actually spotted my typo as soon as I posted it, but was too lazy to post a second comment correcting it.

"...and I have couched my support for lower taxes as a way to limit government actions"

But the Reagan and Bush and Bush administrations have proven beyond a doubt that that theory doesn't work at all. Carrying on with the idea that it somehow will work in the future flies in the face of all evidence.

(Note that I'm not disagreeing with your right to have your preference; I'm just saying that you'll have to find another route to succeeding in limiting government spending and action than trying to starve the beast, because all that happens when you starve the beast is that conservative Republicans run deficits.)

I agree with you, Gary.

"Shoot, even Nixon is looking pretty 'liberal' by modern standards."

With the more or less singular exception of wage and price controls, Nixon only looks liberal in retrospect because people forget that all the liberal stuff passed by the still quite liberal Democratic Congress during his presidency that he signed, he signed with the utmost loathing, because he wasn't in a position to veto stuff like the creation of the EPA, etc.

The times pushed forward liberal legislation: environmental, particularly. Remember what 1968 was like. But make no mistake, Nixon loathed liberals, liberal thinking, liberal acts, liberal legislation, and all things liberal, with the most flaming passion of any president since the modern conception of a liberal.

Also, Nixon just hated domestic policy, period; he didn't care about it, other than to loath liberals and minorities; he was all about foreign policy; his only interest in domestic policy was political.

Nixon didn't have a liberal cell in his body. He was hired by Eisenhower to curry favor with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and he was the conservative hatchetman for the entire Eisenhower administration, having started out as his own conservative hatchetman when he first ran for Congress against Jerry Voorhis, gained fame for his "service" on the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and then ran for the Senate against Helen Gahagan Douglas.

Both those opponents were true liberals, and Nixon painted them as indistinguishable from communists. ("The Pink Lady.")

Nixon, when not seen through the haze of distance of time, can't be seen as any kind of liberal.

"Teddy Roosevelt's accidental promotion to the White House began a reforming impulse that died in the GOP roughly the same time TR did"

TR died in 1919; he and the Republican Party divorced years before, in 1912, when Teddy was unable to win the Republican nomination, after his split with Taft, and TR formed the Bull Moose Party to defeat both the Democratic and Republican Party.

(Yes, you said "roughly": I just like talking about the details of history. :-))

It's worth noting, though, that his era was also the era of the Robert LaFollette Progressive wing of the Republican Party. For a brief time, the National Progressive Republican League was a Republican movement, before LaFollette also split off, to found the Progressive Party.

But he was a true liberal Republican.

"Taft, and then Goldwater, were still out there."

Robert Taft, yes. William Howard Taft, no. Robert was far more conservative than his father, and led the conservative wing of the Republican Party for many years. His father, William Howard, though, while distinctly more conservative than TR, or any liberal, wasn't at all as conservative as either his son, or his successors, Harding, and Coolidge.

William Howard, of course, was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by Harding, in 1921, which took him out of politics until he retired in 1930, and died five weeks later.

Gary, the sad part is that we're both more or less right. That was part of my point, actually, hence the 'even Nixon' and the tic marks around liberal.

Von,
When you're not busy monitoring the Republican party for vital signs, take a peek at Terri Schiavo and let us know how she's doing.

Is anyone still shocked by anything that goes on at RedState these days? It's just another example of what passes for logic there:

they are GOP cheerleaders, nothing more, nothing less. their M.O. is Promote The Party, Attack The Opposition. it's all logical, it you look it that way.

but, yes, i'm still shocked, because they are really really bad at what they do; they're clumsy, ham-handed, tone-deaf, shameless and hypocritical. they make the GOP base look like a bunch of meatheaded rage-addicts.

Von: you're ruining the party?!??

28%ers: Then we shall preside over the ruins.

Stupid is as stupid does.

So, here's the tradeoff: closing the secret CIA prisons, but no investigations of who engaged in torture.

I have to say that I don't really want the hands-on folks punished; it's Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Feith, Yoo, Addington, Gonzalez, and the other top figures responsible for the policy whom I hold responsible, and whom I believe should be held responsible.

And speaking of them, Jane Mayer reported the other day on the Bush Six, and Philippe Sands' push for prosecution.

Good post. Except for the "left wing site" part. I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

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