Archive for ‘Wolverines’

May 12, 2009

Fortune Favors the Bold

Inspired by the musings of a new-minted ex-Democrat at The American Thinker, I wrote a little bit for the American Spectator blog:

A projected federal deficit of $1.8 trillion, borrowing 46 cents for every dollar they spend. The Secretary of Heath and Human Services announces she’ll save $2 trillion in health care costs, but the numbers don’t add up. It’s mere “political theater,” as Megan McArdle says. The “Underpants Gnome” approach. There are only two things standing in the way of health care reform, says Cato’s Michael F. Cannon: Math and politics. Obama and the Democrats may have the political power, but they can’t overcome the math problem.

Everybody on the Right nowadays is talking about how to fix the problems of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. The problem with a lot of this talk is that most people on the Right have been Republican all their lives. They don’t have the experience of becoming an ex-Democrat, so they don’t understand what kind of messages cause such conversions, and they get it all wrong.

The GOP’s problem is not that it is too “extreme” or “mean-spirited.” There is no need to yield ground on social issues, global warming, health care or anything else. The Republican Party elected as president George W. Bush who, as Bruce Bartlett extensively documented, was never really a conservative. The GOP then nominated John McCain — short, old, grumpy and bald — who was even less of a conservative than Bush.

Yet when this abandonment of sturdy principle yielded the inevitable electoral disaster, what did the likes of David Brooks tell you? “Blame conservatives!” But what did I tell you?

Conservatives who sought to prevent McCain’s nomination cannot be blamed for his defeat. And it is his defeat, not yours.
Ideologues tend to see election results in ideological terms. Right now, “progressives” are congratulating themselves on the triumph of progressivism. But Obama will be the next president because millions of non-ideological “swing” voters — those I call the Ordinary Americans — saw him as the superior candidate. A vote for him was not, in the eyes of those key voters, an endorsement of any ideology. . . .
Good candidates win elections, and bad candidates lose. John McCain was a bad candidate and he lost. Those who try to put an ideological spin on this election will miss that basic point.

With the GOP “brand” at low ebb, reaping the harvest of ex-Democrats is crucial now. And that harvest will not be reaped by fearful, defensive RINO squishes peddling an apologetic message of moderation: “We’re Republicans, but we’re not really so bad. Please don’t hate us, OK?”

That wasn’t the message that made me an ex-Democrat in the 1990s. It was the economics, stupid. Whatever the spark that causes someone to become disaffected with the Democrats (and most Democrats are Democrats because, like me, they inherited their parents’ partisan loyalties), the ultimate weakness of the Democratic Party is that its agenda flunks the test of basic economics.

This bold truth is why Meltdown is a bestseller, why sales of Atlas Shrugged are soaring and why you’re hearing a lot more people talking about Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. The Democrats are in charge, the numbers don’t add up, we’re heading toward a stagflation trap, people are starting to figure out that It Won’t Work, and they’re seeking answers.

The answer is not those “new ideas” that people keep telling us the Republican Party needs. No, what the GOP needs is some very old ideas: Limited government and economic freedom.

The GOP also needs something else: Courage. Without the courage to speak boldly in favor of solid political and economic principles, all else is in vain.

The pathetic whining of a spoiled brat like Meghan McCain, the intellectual elitism of Ross Douthat — these are of no use to the conservative cause in this crisis. We need to “cowboy up,” mustering the courage to speak plain truth, in the confidence that there are still enough Americans with the good sense to prefer truth to lies.

Nothing succeeds like success. The Tea Party movement succeeded in bringing hundreds of thousands together on April 15, and plans to bring that success to the nation’s capital on Sept. 12 for the Taxpayer March On Washington. That’s 120 days from today. What are you doing to make it a success?

Let the elitists and the moderates keep wringing their hands and whining. Conservatives need the courage to speak the truth, and speak it boldly, because fortune favors the bold.

UPDATE: In reaction to the talk of Gary Sinise as a GOP leader, Michelle Malkin says:

Mimicking the Left’s idolatry isn’t the path to GOP salvation. It’s the path to permanent ruin.
The rebranders have it ass-backwards. The key isn’t rebranding the GOP. It’s rebranding Obama.

Not to argue with The Boss, but:

  • A) It is important in politics to have attractive, articulate candidates.
  • B) I’ve heard very good things about Sinise from Andrew Breitbart.

That doesn’t mean Sinise is The Real Deal, or that Nicolle Wallace has a freaking clue. And MM is certainly right that the “rebranders” are strategically mistaken about the nature of the GOP’s problem. But having sharp candidates doesn’t hurt. I’m thinking Marco Rubio is looking pretty sharp right now.

PREVIOUSLY:
3/21: Patterico: ‘The final word’?
2/28: Tea Parties, Defeatism and Wolverines
2/23: Rick Moran takes counsel of his fears

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March 21, 2009

Patterico: ‘The Final Word’?

“Conservatives believe that Americans understand that freedom is the foundation of this country. Too many in America started down the wrong path in the last election. But we can’t hold these people in contempt, and we can’t discount how they will hear the message we preach. Americans are fundamentally reasonable people. And ultimately, our message will win them over — if we preach it in a proud, confident, and positive way.”
Patterico

This, as he says on the Tweet deck, is what he means to be “the final word” in his long-running dispute with Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom over Rush Limbaugh and the whole question of conservative “messaging” in general.

My opinion? I’m not sure that the entire Socratic dialogue, amounting to however many tens of thousands of words over the past two weeks, is as important as any 15-minute segment of the Limbaugh show.

What makes Rush different from any other conservative spokesman is that Rush has an independent platform from which he reaches something like 20 million people weekly. There is no network CEO or programming director who can influence Limbaugh. He can’t be fired or threatened by some little pencil-necked geek: “Don’t say that again, or we’ll put you on 90-day probation — and you know you’re coming up on your annual evaluation . . .” blah, blah, blah.

To quote Wally Onakoya, “He is a man, you know.”

By virtue of his “talent on loan from God,” Limbaugh has utter independence. No radio station that carries him is going to pull him off the air because of a single ill-phrased comment. Having Rush means carrying the No. 1 radio program in America. To pull Rush out of your program lineup means automatically to surrender the lead in your local market.

Therefore, what is remarkable about Limbaugh is not that he occasionally says something like, “I want [Obama] to fail,” which can be taken out of context and portrayed as something unseemly. Rather, what is remarkable is that, in 15 hours of live programming weekly over the span of 20 years, Limbaugh has never uttered that one career-destroying gaffe. This suggests to me that Rush is a thoughtful person who fully understands the enormous responsibility that weighs on his shoulders, and who is determined to make his spectacular success a force for good in America.

There is an entire mini-industry of Limbaugh monitors, vile little left-wing worms who spend three hours a day recording and transcribing his broadcasts in hope of catching that one “gotcha” quote. (Pathetic, isn’t it?) These nests of vermin specialize in the Ransom-Note Method of partial quotation, claiming to be “fact-checking” Limbaugh’s monologues when in fact they’re just partisan smearmongers. And then there is the standing offer of a handsome fee for a Newsweek cover story available to any Republican who will denounce Rush. So the man is always a target, always the object of the withering gaze of critical scrutiny.

Do I agree with everything Rush Limbaugh has ever said? What kind of question is that? The point is that Rush “is a man, you know,” as the driver of Fairway Cab No. 1 so succinctly put it at CPAC. Whatever Limbaugh’s faults, he has that one redeeming value: Courage to speak out, even when speaking out makes him the target of vicious personal smears.

One of the basic principles of military strategy is to reinforce success. If you see a man who fights and wins, give him reinforcements, and bid others to emulate his success. It’s like the time when Abraham Lincoln was urged to relieve U.S. Grant of command because Grant was accused of having been drunk on duty. Lincoln answered bluntly: “I can’t spare this man. He fights.” It’s also like the time when Robert E. Lee, confronted at Richmond with George McClellan’s much larger Union force, decided to send a division of his little army to the Shenandoah Valley to reinforce Stonewall Jackson. Lee said, “We must aid a gallant man if we perish.”

That’s why when I see somebody like Kathy Shaidle — who is to Canada what the Tasmanian devil is to Tasmania — my instinct is to yell, “Hell, yeah! Give it to ’em, girl! Hit ’em where it hurts and force the cowardly bastards to defend themselves!” Reinforce success.

Tell you what: You find yourself a thousand David Brookses and a thousand Kathleen Parkers, and you give me one Rush Limbaugh and one Kathy Shaidle and, buddy, we’ll whup your ass before sundown.

They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty . . .
Psalms 69:4 (KJV)

The other day on the phone, I was telling Cynthia Yockey about my admiration for George S. Patton. He was a proud, profane and hot-tempered man. His faults were many, but Patton had two saving graces: Faith in God and a determination to fight.

He believed himself destined for victory, and when he was sidelined after slapping a soldier he considered a malingering coward, Patton felt unfairly cheated of command in the Normandy invasion. He was in a low place, that dark valley that David spoke of in the Psalms, but he was steadfast in his faith.

When the Allies finally broke out of the beachhead at St. Lo, it was Patton who spearheaded the assault. He pushed all the way through to liberate the Brittany peninsula, then turned around and raced southward to crush the German forces around Paris — a campaign that ranks among the greatest achievements in the history of American arms.

What happened next? Over Patton’s vehement objections, Eisenhower reinforced failure, diverting resources for Montgomery’s ill-conceived and ill-executed Operation Market Garden, which sacrificed gallant men for minor gains (a tragedy captured in Cornelius Ryan’s classic A Bridge Too Far, the film of which I highly recommend.) As a result of this blunder, Hitler was able to regroup and launch the final desperate winter assault that became famous as the Battle of the Bulge. And when the 101st Airborne was besieged at Bastogne, who was it that punched through the encircling enemy to rescue them? Patton, of course.

Constitutional liberty and a free economy, the true principles that conservatives should always aim to defend, are in deep peril. We are in that dark valley. Talk to veteran Republican operatives, and you will find them profoundly concerned about the apparent disorganization at RNC-HQ. If the conservatives are going to prevail in this crisis, it will be up to the grassroots troops in the field.

A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi — a precipice in front, wolves behind. Yet we see the wheels falling off the wobbly bandwagon of Hope, and we are certain of one thing about Obamanomics: It Won’t Work. If truth can get a fair hearing, there is still hope against Hope.

What we need most in this crisis is courage for the fight. We must not take counsel of our fears (click that link to read what is probably my best effort at an in-depth analysis of the current situation). If we heed the voices of defeatism and despair, if we allow ourselves to be distracted by carping criticisms from The Dogs Who Bark While the Caravan Moves On, if we start endlessly second-guessing our gut instincts because we’re afraid of offending the sensibilities of the editors at Newsweek — well, that way lies disaster.

Patterico speaks of the American people as “fundamentally reasonable,” and I believe this to be true. When I refer to The Ordinary American, it is this basic decency and the common sense of common people I mean to praise, in contrast to the viciousness and folly of the Establishment elite. (David Brooks being the most salient example of how elitism is a bipartisan problem.) The people may sometimes be misled or deceived, but they cannot be deceived forever.

As the incompetence and corruption of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime become increasingly evident, the Ordinary American seeks an alternative. The task of conservatives in this time of peril is to raise a banner around which the good and true will rally. We need a fighting creed, and courageous hearts with strong voices to shout it: WOLVERINES!

March 16, 2009

Everybody Was Blog-Fu Fighting

(Or: Parable of the Doubting Padwan of Fu.)

“It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question,” said Barack Obama, quoted by Clever S. Logan, who also quotes Adam Smith as she returns to the blogosphere today. She took a 5-day hiatus after her first Instalanche, meditating and seeking God’s judgment whether her blog-fu was altogether righteous, and now comes back with the basic economics of Caveman Craigslist.

Monique Stuart, meanwhile, has been slamming the Old School blog-fu like whiskey shots at a Reason magazine open bar. She got her first Red State-o-Lanche yesterday, and is getting lots of good Rule 2 from American Power. I keep reminding her that Jammie Wearing Fool blogged six months before he got his first Instalanche. Be patient, young padwan. Grow strong in the Force. Righteous let your blog-fu be, and righteous your reward shall be.

Recently, I have been impressed with the fine blogging at Pundit & Pundette, whence the Rule 2’s are coming frequently enough that I’m beginning to suspect that Pundette may be harboring a blog-crush. It’s OK, Pundette; my unrequited admiration for Dr. Helen is a notorious scandal around the ‘sphere. But your blog-fu is also righteous, and you may be just days — even mere hours — from the Promised ‘Lancheland. And tell Mr. Pundette not to be so suspicious; just because you’re trying to make him jealous doesn’t mean there’s actually anything to worry about. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Now, the good husband’s trick of acting like he’s All That in order to make his wife unjustly suspicious is practiced to perfection by The Original Alabama Poonhound, Stephen Gordon of Liberty Papers. The ‘Hound is a lot like me: If you ever meet his wife, you know the secret of his success. The other day I called him to talk about plans for the Alabama Tea Party, and Gordo was painting the porch, part of his honey-do list. The ‘Hound also has the righteous blog-fu, having gotten both the Instalanche and the Malkinlanche (and every other ‘Lanche worth having) for his “Going Galt” roundup.

Life is like a box of chocolates, says Cynthia Yockey, whom I still owe an apology. Yet acting on the principle of turning the other cheek and praying for them who persecute you, Miss Yockey continues to minister in mercy, helping me keep my Lenten vow. (I am defiantly Protestant, and the Catholic friend who talked me into this idiotic stunt is chuckling with evil papist schadenfreude at the multitude of my ironic sufferings.) Sister Cynthia is numbered among the ‘Lanche-worthy, and with porn-worthy rackage dealeth she the mighty blog-fu: WOLVERINES!

Jimmie Bise Jr. of Sundries Shack is working on his blog-fu black belt, and is also a man who appreciates fine art and culture. He salutes Ron Silver, a man whose film-fu was legend. Blessings, Jimmie. Go forth and blog thou.

Dan Riehl has been dealing ‘fu since Old School was new, and his fierce independence produces a meaningful engagement with Professor Douglas.

Speaking of Old School, there are ancient masters who whisper reverently of the lost art known as Moe Fu. Let the newbie initiates study the ways of sensei Master Moe Lane. How do you think he does it? What makes his ‘fu so good?

To be Old School in New Media, the acolyte needs to heed the Neologian of the Blogosphere, whose study of the New Word has made him also ‘Lancheworthy. And one there is, of the Tribe of Troglodytes, who yet shall be uplifted in the ‘fu, for he hath seen with his own eye the reward of Rule 2. Ed of Blue Hat and Stephen the Green link ye therefore also, as must too Fausta, David and Michael be linked.

Now, as any member of the High Learned Council of Righteous Fu-Meisters could tell you — if they weren’t sworn to a sacred oath of secrecy — there is a Hunnish wench named Attila, also known as She Who Must Be Linked. This Hun girl, endowed with massive blog-fu, is something like the household goddess of the Ninja ‘Sphere Temple Cult, whom the reverent newbies ritualistically link before going into combat in quest of the ‘Lanche. If your SiteMeter is sagging, my young padwans, always ask yourself, “Have I linked Little Miss Attila lately?”

Be sure, ye Acolytes of ‘Fu, that the wise and learned masters check their SiteMeters and Technoratis, to see whence cometh their traffic. Acolytes must observe and emulate the masters. Michelle Malkin and Insty are not blind; Allah and Ace and Rusty and Jeff observe with Argus-eyed vigilance the young padwans, seeking out the promising practicioners of ‘fu. The Rule 3 is the All-Seeing Algorithm of ‘Fu. And the Grapevine and Erick the Red watcheth also.

“All these things have we done,” answered the padwans. “Yet still our SiteMeters surge not. What more shall we do to acquire the righteous ‘fu?” Therefore answered he them . . .

“Have you hit the tip jar lately?” said he, and they were sore astonished at his teaching. For the ways of ‘fu are righteous, and ye have been told that a curse rests upon those ungrateful wretches who read the blogs without tipping, always taking and never giving. How much more then shall be accursed ye ungrateful Acolytes of ‘Fu who, having been given the Rules by grace, hit not the tip jar? Dost thou not know that there are a wife and six children who depend for their daily bread upon the ‘Fu? Yea even there are creditors and utilities companies and a 2004 KIA Optima to be considered. Verily soon cometh also the day when all must render unto Caesar.

Then one among them said, “But master, I hit the tip jar, and have given ye many Rule 2s. How then is my ‘fu yet unrighteous?” Answered he: “Hast thou not friends and family? And hast thou asked them also to hit the tip jar? Hast thou cast forth -emails to seek for tip-jar hitters, that the ‘fu may go forth to teach all who blog in righteousness?”

Tears of repentance and joy streamed forth from the eyes of The Doubting Padwan, who hit the tip jar in full measure, and went forth to proclaim the word: “It’s For the Children! All UR Links R Belong to Us!”

And all the congregation said, “Amen!”

March 15, 2009

Lesbian war cry: "WOLVERINES!"

Conservative lesbian Cynthia Yockey declares herself part of the guerrilla resistance. One of the amazing things about Obamaism is how it has clarified allegiances so starkly. You are either a butt boy for The One, or else you will inevitably find yourself in the wilderness bunker with all the other outlaws whose names appear on Patriot Rock.

Jed Eckert: Well, who is on our side?
Col. Andy Tanner: Six hundred million screaming Chinamen.
Darryl Bates: Last I heard, there were a billion screaming Chinamen.
Col. Andy Tanner: There were.

The oft-repeated saying “9/11 changed everything,” is not literally true. Yet if 9/11 didn’t really change everything, it definitely changed some things, and the rise of the Pelosi/Reid/Obama hegemon has changed a few more. As I recently told my friend Tito Perdue, the past few years have been like watching a geological upheaval, as political alliances shift like tectonic plates.

You’re either with the Evil Coalition of Liars and Fools, or you’re against them , and if you’re against them, let me hear you scream: WOLVERINES!

(The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. However, the Apocalypse Will Be Blogged.)

A few years ago, Phyllis Chesler sent me her book The Death of Feminism, and when I got home with it and started reading, I was shocked to see her citing Jean Raspail’s notorious novel, The Camp of the Saints. (That passage is substantially excerpted in an online essay at her Web site.)

For years, Raspail’s 1973 French novel enjoyed a sort of samizdat cult following among critics of multiculturalism and opponents of open-borders immigration policy (which would be more properly termed a non-policy, but let us not digress.) Raspail himself has said that Le Camp Des Saints could not be published in France today because of the “human rights” nonsense that is slowly strangling free speech in Europe (and Canada). And the book’s reputation as a hateful expression of xenophobic nativism makes it one of those Books You’re Not Supposed to Read.

Thus, I was startled to see Chesler, a liberal feminist all her life, citing Raspail’s book as prophetic. Yet Chesler had been able to see past the superficial text of the novel to comprehend its deeper significance as a metaphor for the demoralization of the West. In this sense, Raspail was describing the same larger phenomenon that Shelby Steele describes in White Guilt, that Pat Buchanan describes in The Death of the West, that Michelle Malkin describes in Invasion, that Thomas Sowell describes in The Vision of the Anointed, and that Peter Brimelow describes in Alien Nation.

These are all very different writers, with different interests, different aims, and different philosophies. However, they all share the fundamental understanding that liberalism is a soul-destroying disease, a sort of intellectual anti-virus that exposes its host to destruction by weakening the individual cells of the national immune system. To the extent that your mind is cluttered with the glittering generalities of modern liberalism — “social justice,” etc. — you will be unable to resist and will inevitably succumb to the agonizing spiritual death that beckons at the end of that road.

In war, few things are more important to an army than morale. And it breaks my heart to see the discouragement and demoralization when the enemy is seemingly triumphant and when all the glory and honor of this world accrues to so-called “conservatives” who do everything in their power to undermine actual conservatism, while genuine conservatives are fighting their hearts out in obscurity. Dan Riehl:

I’m mostly sick of it and hard-pressed to find good reason for good conservatives not to simply go off the grid. If the day ever comes for conservatives to have a serious voice again, I’m unconvinced it will be through the GOP and I know for a fact, it’ll never be through the New York Times.

(H/T: Cold Fury.) To quote Jed Eckert again: “Let it turn.” Let them choke on their ill-gotten gains. Let them have their 30 pieces of silver. Let your rage and resentment toward them turn to something useful: The savage fury of the warrior.

Resolve to fight that much harder. Train your mind so that when you are not fighting, your constant object of contemplation is how to fight smarter. Excuse the martial metaphors, but a War of Ideas is a war nonetheless.

When you’re in a fight, the only things that really matter are the fight itself, your own willingness to fight like hell, and knowing who’s on your side. (IFF: Identity Friend or Foe.) Those who join up with The Republicans Who Really Matter like Coddy Voorhees and Brooksie Frumdreher are de facto allies of the Evil Coalition of Liars and Fools. You who live on scanty cold rations, huddled in the wilderness, short on supplies and wondering how much longer you can hold out — you, the soldiers in this Army of Davids, will one day proudly recall that you served with heroes in the Camp of the Saints.

Courageous new recruits like Cynthia Yockey are coming into camp every day. Whatever their histories, whatever their reasons for hating the Evil Coalition of Liars and Fools, their willingness to join a seemingly hopeless cause in combat against an evidently invulnerable opponent tells us that they are real fighters. These recruits need training and leadership. As this army grows stronger, we know that victory awaits us, but we don’t need to wait for Election Day to cheer.

Every time another soldier joins the ranks, this is a victory in its own right and should inspire the troops to scream out the battle cry: WOLVERINES!

UPDATE: Linked as “Quote of the Day” by Ed Driscoll.