Archive for February 3rd, 2009

February 3, 2009

‘There is a marked tendency for heterosexual men to be interested in women’

Says Donald Douglas, quoting Little Miss Attila, in a discussion of “family values” in the blogosphere. (Just as there is a marked tendency of heterosexual women to be interested tanned, lean men in Speedos.)

I believe the original context for LMA’s remark was the hotness of Sarah Palin. Some women (hello, Kathleen Parker) are not sufficiently secure with themselves and therefore are compelled to project their insecurities onto people of whom they are secretly jealous. Other people are repressed old fuddy-duddies (or worse, young fuddy-duddies) and are offended by reference to the fact of hotness.
I am an objective journalist and, as such, cannot suppress or ignore objective facts. So if somebody’s hot, they’re hot, and for me to pretend otherwise would be a violation of professional ethics. Discuss among yourselves.
February 3, 2009

A good whippersnapper

Elizabeth Nolan Brown, though admitting I might be “marginally despicable” — fine phrase, that — nonetheless realizes that the Internet has helped inflate the egos of smart young fellows, who’ve never been chastised for their hubris, as all smart young men need to be chastised from time to time.

The gold-stars-for-everyone culture has produced too many of these young men who won’t stand chastisement, which makes them peevish and unteachable. Well, if they won’t learn in one school, they’ll learn in another. This recession will take some slack out of the sails of these fellows who’ve known nothing but prosperity and success the entirety of their young lives. Nothing like poverty and failure to build character.
February 3, 2009

Attention, Chairman Steele

Dear Sir:

I’m at the home of mutual friends — you’ve enjoyed their hospitality — where the dear lady and I were discussing the wretched cluelessness of Republican political operations, including this good ol’ boy network of consultants/vendors who are overpaid to deliver crap. There is this thing where, if you’re somebody’s buddy from College Republicans 20 or 30 years ago, you therefore will get a contract to do . . . something
It’s the old “Jobs for the boys” patronage principle, and the GOP can’t afford to roll that way anymore.
The problem can be summed up, said our mutual friend, in two words: Charlie Black.
And then later, our friend made an unintentional pun when she said, “There needs to be some sort of blacklist” of people that don’t get RNC business anymore. Ever. Period.
Well, a Freudian slip, perhaps, but I think you get the idea. As my country kin might say, “There’s too many pigs for the tits.” And as I can imagine that the whole world right now is trying to get your attention to tell you what to do or to seek favors, all I can do is throw this up on my blog and tell you that our friend has hit the nail squarely on the head. Some fat pigs who’ve been sucking on the GOP tits too long need to be retired, voluntarily or otherwise.
Chairman Steele, you are the new sheriff in town. To the Charlie Black class of Republican Party operatives, you should say, “There is this thing out there called ‘the private sector,’ where you get paid according to results. Good luck with it, because we’re not going to pay you to lose any more elections. Nice doing business with you. Now get out of my office.”
February 3, 2009

To Joe Carter

I will try to update later with a more thorough response to your comment, but some quick points:

  • I know things about the decision-making at Culture11. I can think of one decision in particular where a reasonable person would have stood up and said, “That’s it. I’m walking out the door.” Personnel is policy.
  • The author of Tempting Faith, by the act of authoring that book, proved himself unworthy of responsibility.
  • I have an e-mail address, you know.

Nothing personal, Joe. I know you’re good people. But I’m tired of seeing good people get screwed over through misplaced trust.

February 3, 2009

‘You know where he stands’

Dave Weigel interviewed a Republican activist from Virginia at the RNC meeting:

According to Chase, what the Republicans needed was more clarity, more conservatism, and more exposing of how the Democrats wanted to run people’s
lives — how they wanted to decide which baby birds got the worms. “I supported Mitt Romney, because John McCain was not a real conservative,” Chase said. Chase has been given new hope by her party’s unanimous vote in the House of Representatives against the stimulus package. Going into [Friday’s] vote for Republican National Committee chairman, Chase supported Katon Dawson, the conservative head of the South Carolina Republican Party. “He’s a fantastic messenger,” Chase explained. “You know where he stands.”

Like you knew where George Allen stood. The operative word here is “you,” by which Jo-Ann Chase means to indicate the conservative base, who require constant assurance that their candidate is a True Believer who is with them 100% on every issue, or else they fear they’re being sold out.

This kind of political paranoia, this obsessive fear that your Republican friends are not really your friends — and perhaps not really Republican — has a basis in fact. (Cf., presidents named “Bush.”) But it is stoked to the point of psychopathology by certain prominent people (I won’t name names) who don’t seem to understand a fundamental principle of coalition politics: You can’t govern if you don’t win.

I share with Ms. Chase her disdain for John McCain, for whom I would never vote if you put a gun to my head. But at some point, you have to get over that particular species of recto-cranial inversion which tells you that Katon Dawson is what the RNC needs at this desperate juncture. Katon Dawson would have been fine when the party was at its zenith of power circa 2003. At this point, however, he simply will not do.

That isn’t really Katon Dawson’s fault, nor Jo-Ann Chase’s fault, but it is the reality of the situation, and conservatives who want to live in a cloud-cuckooland where every swing voter understands what is meant by “true Republican principles” have got to get a grip on reality, or else the GOP will go the way of the Whigs.

The Republican Party’s problems may not really be as bad as they look right now, in the immediate aftermath of S.S. Maverick‘s encounter with the Obama iceberg, but solving those problems will require some very shrewd messaging and very shrewd messengers, and if Jo-Ann Chase wants to do something to save her party from further disasters, she needs to get her prayer circles working for Michael Steele. He’s gonna need all the help he can get.

February 3, 2009

‘Contrary to true progressive politics’

Depends on what your definition of “true” is:

Apparently, snatching someone without a court order, not giving them a lawyer, and then placing them in a remote country were never too much of a problem after all.

(Instapundit via AOSHQ Headlines.) The problem, of course, is that the pursuit of power is the purpose of all politics. “Progressives” made an issue over what they saw as Bush’s abuse of power and, in doing so, attacked the power qua power. But then, when they elected their guy to the same office, he looked at the power and said to himself: Power is good.

If Obama didn’t want power, he wouldn’t have run for president. And while self-styled “progressives” will find a way to rationalize the Messiah’s cynical betrayal of his campaign rhetoric, I’m thinking about some of my arch-libertarian buddies who were all about the O as part of that idiotic “Obamatarian” thing. (Don’t blame me, I voted for Bob Barr.)

I wonder what someone like Dave Weigel is thinking now. If Obama loses the Weigel types — all those clever young people who were understandably repulsed by the dumbed-down ideological gooeyness of “compassionate conservatism” — you can see them being the fulcrum on which the zeitgeist shifts. Two things would be necessary to such a shift:

  • These clever young people would have to penetrate through the imagery of Obama the Magnificent to understand that they have been hustled, ripped off and sold out like a bunch of stupid chumps.
  • Republicans would have to find a message (and a messenger) that appeals to the wised-up sensibilities of these disillusioned young smart-alecks, bruised by the realization that just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you can’t be a chump.

Step One will take care of itself. There is only so much bullshit the Weigel types will swallow. Step Two is the tricky part. The natural instinct of the GOP (and you saw this with the “Maverick” candidacy) is to play for respectability, to appeal to the timid sensibilities of middle-aged Rotarians. The disillusioned 20-somethings will never go for that lame-ass act. They want someone with a little more of the hell-raiser attitude. But someone smart and hip — i.e., someone like them, because they’re so fucking smart and hip they can barely stand themselves.

February 3, 2009

Charlie Martin on ‘technological hooey’

While I was consumed by flame wars and the RNC election over the weekend, Charlie Martin published a necessary debunking of a meme promoted by the Washington Post. Read it. Charlie’s good people.

February 3, 2009

Jazz Shaw, political expert

Frequent commenter Smitty nominates the assistant editor of the (woefully misnamed) Moderate Voice for his prestigious Asshat of the Day Award:

[P]oll data like this could indicate that the Republican Party is getting ready to relive the classic cycle of ruling parties who get turned out of power in a landslide: With the party base itself shrunk down, the people who are still around are the most hard-line members, and are really the least fit people to fix the situation.

“The people who are still around” represent 46% of the electorate, voters who held their noses and voted for a RINO in an election where the decisive factors were (a) the unpopularity of Bush, and (b) the media’s leg-thrilling raptures over St. Obama of Chicago, whose amorphously vague rhetoric (tax cuts for 95%!) went unexamined even as a function of simple mathematics, to say nothing of more complex fiscal and economic questions. (One more time: It. Won’t. Work.)

If 46% is the rock-bottom insoluble core of the anti-“progressive” vote, the GOP’s problems are not as dire as they seem, and the solution may be as simple as nominating a candidate who’s not a grumpy, bald 73-year-old RINO. Gee, can anybody here think of such a candidate?

February 3, 2009

Attention, Doug Kmeic

Let a real pro-lifer tell you something:

Obama has promised to sign a measure called the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate virtually every federal, state and local measure that limits or restricts abortion.
That means no restrictions on public funding of abortion, no parental-involvement or informed-consent requirements, and a re-emergence of partial-birth abortion.
There’s no reason to doubt Obama’s promise; his pro-abortion voting record and policy positions pave the way for him to sign such legislation into law.
But don’t count the pro-life movement down and out. It has withstood devastating Supreme Court rulings and pro-abortion presidents before. And it will again.

Doug Kmiec, traitor. “No serious pro-lifer that I know has followed him into the Obama camp, and for good reason.” Here’s a “serious pro-lifer,” Charmaine Yoest:

February 3, 2009

Thomas Sowell on principles

A very timely message:

What principle separates the Republicans from the Democrats? If they are just Tweedledee and Tweedledum, then elections come down to personality and rhetoric. If that happens, you can bet the rent money on the Democrats winning. . . .
When have the Republicans won big? When they stood for something and told the people what that something was. . . .
Too many Republicans seem to think that being “inclusive” means selling out your principles to try to attract votes. It never seems to occur to them that you can attract a wider range of voters by explaining your principles in a way that more people understand.

(Via Conservative Grapevine.) Sowell is talking about his specialty, economics — especially the idiotic mortgage price-fixing scheme proposed by Senate Republicans — but he could be talking about any number of other issues where weak-kneed Republicans pander by endorsing liberal ideas. These organ-transplant candidates (lacking eyes, brains, spine, and testicles) do not understand that standing firmly on principle is ultimately good politics: Better politics than appearing weak, wobbly and wish-washy.

That’s why last week’s solid “no” vote against the stimulus bill was so beautiful. Rather than give Pelosi and Obama a fig leaf of “bipartisan” camouflage for their budget-busting nightmare of pork, the Republicans stood up on their hind legs and said to the Democrats, “Take it, it’s yours.”

It. Won’t. Work. And because it won’t work, the fewer Republican fingerprints on it, the better. When Obama’s economic plan fails — and it will — the GOP needs to be in a position to tell voters, “We told you so. We voted against it. And here are the TV ads showing our members, speaking in January 2009, predicting exactly the economic disaster that has now unfolded.”