Archive for ‘jonah goldberg’

April 3, 2009

Will Rossy D. set down his teacup on 15 April?

By Smitty
Ross Douthat is sniffing in a self-congratulatory way about ‘A Coming Tax Revolt’. He responds to a Jonah Goldberg tidbit saying that the death knell on tax cuts as a winning issue for Republicans may have been premature:

Speaking as one of those conservative reformers, I’d make two points. First, nobody was saying that tax cuts couldn’t potentially become politically salient again if the Republicans got clobbered repeatedly at the polls and a sizable Democratic majority enacted large tax increases. The point – which Reihan and I started making in 2005, back when the GOP’s hold on government still seemed reasonably strong – was that it would be nice to prevent that sort of thing from happening, and that an anti-tax message alone was insufficient to the task of forestalling a Republican collapse. In this regard, I don’t feel like our obituary was premature; I think it’s been largely vindicated by events.

Amidst this self congratulatory talk, what were you and Reihan peddling in ’05? (emphasis mine)

The third possibility–and the best, both for the party and the country as a whole–would be to take the “big-government conservatism” vision that George W. Bush and Karl Rove have hinted at but failed to develop, and give it coherence and sustainability. This wouldn’t mean an abandonment of small-government objectives, but it would mean recognizing that these objectives–individual initiative, social mobility, economic freedom–seem to be slipping away from many less-well-off Americans, and that serving the interests of these voters means talking about economic insecurity as well as about self-reliance. It would mean recognizing that you can’t have an “ownership society” in a nation where too many Americans owe far more than they own. It would mean matching the culture war rhetoric of family values with an economic policy that places the two-parent family–the institution best capable of providing cultural stability and economic security–at the heart of the GOP agenda.

Ross, are you one of those Conservatives Unusally Neighborly Towards Socialism? A RINO, as it were? If you have Conservative hair #1 where it matters, tell me how you interpret the 10th Amendment, and whether any of the CBO charts so conveniently hosted by Mr. Perot mean anything to you. If the citizens of a state want their government ‘serving the[ir] interests’, that may be fine. But the Freddie/Fannie nonsense cannot be seen as something the Framers would support.

Surely an Ivy League graduate must realize that getting serviced in one chamber by Barney Frank, with Chris Dodd in the other is not the kind of servicing many find acceptable. How do you refer to yourself as conservative without denouncing this kind of crap, and the federal taxation you seem to welcome, with every breath, sir?

Are you going to be at a Tea Party on the 15th? We need you to set down the tea cup and to avoid being an I-told-you-so sycophant if there is going to be any “conservative reform”.

March 7, 2009

When Did We Start to Make Stuff Up?

by Smitty

The Blogfather points to Professor Bainbridge, who poses one of those boring but expensive questions: is health care a right? Allow me to up the ante: just when did we start to make stuff up?

Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism made a reference to an FDR speech that sent me to Google to scour the cloudywebs, arriving at this gem:

FDR 1944 State of the Union excerpt:

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights–among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however–as our industrial economy expanded–these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

Oh, Franklin, Franklin, Franklin. Who needs to amend the Constitution via Article 5 when you can just cook it on the fly? Life sure is easy when you can convince free men to sell their precious liberty for the perception of security.

Even if the intentions were initially noble, the results have been a mixed bag, and the precedent set simply disastrous.