“The President’s speech today will be viewed by terrorists as a victory,” said Chambliss, who recently golfed with the president, in a statement. > more ... (1 comments)
As some of you may have surmised from the increased posting rate today, I’m rested, refreshed and back from my vacation. This will bring to a close the official period of bloggysitting by our good friend-of-the-blog, Gherald. It seems as if he sparked a good amount of interesting debate in my absence and wrote some in-depth, thought-provoking articles. Even though I’m back, I hope he’ll still consider writing an occasional post or two.
Here’s White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs when asked a question about something Darth Cheney said:
I’m not entirely sure that Dick Cheney’s predictions on foreign policy have borne a whole lot of fruit over the last eight years in a way that have been either positive or, to the best of my recollection, very correct.
Conservative Bruce Bartlett* is down on the Republican Party lately and generously took the time to explain why over at New Majority:
I think the party got seriously on the wrong track during the George W. Bush years, as I explained in my Impostor book. In my opinion, it no longer bears any resemblance to the party of Ronald Reagan. I still consider myself to be a Reaganite. But I don’t see any others anywhere in the GOP these days, which is why I consider myself to be an independent. Mindless partisanship has replaced principled conservatism. What passes for principle in the party these days is “what can we do to screw the Democrats today.” How else can you explain things like that insane op-ed Michael Steele had in the Washington Post on Monday?
I am not alone. When I talk to old timers from the Reagan years, many express the same concerns I have. But they all work for Republican-oriented think tanks like AEI and Hoover and don’t wish to be fired like I was from NCPA . Or they just don’t want to be bothered or lose friends. As a free agent I am able to say what they can’t or won’t say publicly.
I think the Republican Party is in the same boat the Democrats were in in the early eighties — dominated by extremists unable to see how badly their party was alienating moderates and independents. The party’s adults formed the Democratic Leadership Council to push the party back to the center and it was very successful. But there is no group like that for Republicans. That has left lunatics like Glenn Beck as the party’s de facto leaders. As long as that remains the case, I want nothing to do with the GOP.
I will know that the party is on the path to recovery when someone in a position of influence reaches out to former Republicans like me. We are the most likely group among independents to vote Republican. But I see no effort to do so. All I see is pandering to the party’s crazies like the birthers . In the short run that may be enough to pick up a few congressional seats next year, but I see no way a Republican can retake the White House for the foreseeable future. Both CBO and OMB are predicting better than 4% real growth in 2011 and 2012. If those numbers are even remotely correct Obama will have it in the bag. Also, Republicans have to find a way to win some minority votes because it is not viable as a whites-only party in presidential elections. That’s why I wrote my Wrong on Race book, which no one read.
Scientist Historian (of science) Thomas Levenson has another go at Gherald’s BFF. In his lengthy riposte, he mentions a style of argument I wasn’t aware of:
McArdle then approvingly quotes from that notorious bearer of bad-faith arguments in defense of faith, C.S. Lewis, to advance in someone else’s name the logical fallacy known as the slippery slope argument. It is certainly true that milk drinking leads to heroin addiction, but what’s even wierder about McArdle’s citation of Lewis’ Mere Christianity is that Lewis’s point, however flawed, has no discernable connection to McArdle’s argument. This is what I mean when I see in McArdle the bored monkey style of argument: fling enough faeces at a wall and perhaps something will stick, if only by oderiferous association.
I’ve noticed a very unsettling trend lately. Former water carriers for all the Republican-led excesses of the last eight years are suddenly calling themselves “libertarian” (e.g. Tucker Carlson). It seems that the Republican brand is so toxic right now that people would rather not associate themselves with it. DarkSyde came up with an insightful (and funny) top 10 list of signs that someone claiming to be a libertarian really isn’t one (don’t worry Gherald, you’re legit):
- If you think Ron Paul isn’t conservative enough and Fox News is fair and balanced, you might not be a Libertarian.
- If you believe you have an inalienable right to attend Presidential townhalls brandishing a loaded assault rifle, but that arresting participants inside for wearing a pink shirt is an important public safety precaution, there’s a chance you’re dangerously unbalanced, but no chance you’re a Libertarian.
- If you think the government should stay the hell out of Medicare, well, you have way, way bigger problems than figuring out if you’re really a Libertarian.
- If you rank Anthonin Scalia and Roy Moore among the greatest Justices of all time, you may be bug fuck crazy, but you’re probably not a Libertarian.
- You might not be a Libertarian if you think recreational drug use, prostitution, and gambling should be illegal because that’s what Jesus wants.
- If you think the separation between church and state applies equally to all faiths except socially conservative Christian fundamentalism, you’re probably not a Libertarian.
- You’re probably not a Libertarian if you believe the federal government should remove safety standards and clinical barriers for prescription and OTC medications while banning all embryonic stem cell research, somatic nuclear transfer, RU 486, HPV and cervical cancer vaccination, work on human/non human DNA combos, or Plan B emergency contraception.
- If you think state execution of mentally retarded convicts is good policy but prosecuting Scott Roeder or disconnecting Terri Schiavo was an unforgivable sin, odds are you’re not really a Libertarian.
- If you argue that cash for clunkers or any form of government healthcare is unconstitutional, but forced prayer or teaching old testament creationism in public schools is fine, you’re not even consistent, much less a Libertarian, and you may be Michele Bachmann.
And the number one sign: if you think government should stay the hell out of people’s private business — except when kidnapping citizens and rendering them to secret overseas torture prisons, snooping around the bedrooms of consenting adults, policing a woman’s uterus, or conducting warrantless wire taps, you are no Libertarian.
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