January 30, 2009
Is it possible history is repeating itself? As House Republicans defy President Obama over his stimulus package, the party seems to be reverting to form after decades of overreaching ambition and outsized growth; think of the GOP, perhaps, as the Citigroup of politics. Many Republicans seem resignedÂ—even contentÂ—to go back to being the party of Barry Goldwater. In other words: We don't care if we're marginalized. In our hearts we know we're right. Never mind that the party suffered terrible defeats in 2008 and 2006, some thoughtful Republicans (mainly on the Senate side, like Lindsay Graham, as well as intellectuals such as David Frum) have been fretting for some time that the GOP base is getting too narrow. These days, you hear little talk of Karl Rove's bigger tent or reinventing conservatism. Quite the opposite: it seems as though the party has decided to go back to basics. The message they're sending: "We don't care if Obama won or that he's popular; let's just wait until the country sees the truth again, as old Barry did. Until then, we'll be happy to be the righteous minority again, proudly willing to go down in flames for our beliefs: government spending never works, and tax cuts always do. Keynesian stimulus is for liberal witch doctors."
I laughed because it just shows such a gross misunderstanding of what it means to be a conservative or Republican, while stating the obvious as if it were some kind of joke. He writes about my entire worldview as if it's something to mock. As if Republicans are the only ones who stick to their guns in the face of opposition. Didn't Democrats do that for the last eight years and get lauded for it? And now we're the ones who won't roll over and die because a Dem got 52% of the vote?
We're not "resigned" to going back to being the Goldwater party; that's where we want to be! And yes, we are willing to "go down in flames for our beliefs," because we do what we think is right, not what is popular.
Actually, I don't think "right" and "popular" are mutually exclusive, but I can't really test that theory because Republicans keep trying to out-Democrat Democrats by granting them too many premises.
The article continues in laughable fashion:
True, Wednesday's unanimous GOP vote against the $819 billion stimulus package was partly driven by the peculiar politics of the Hill. Some House Republicans wanted to send a "message" to Obama, and they may come around and vote for the final bill after the Senate approves its version. But for many Republicans the vote reaffirmed the old philosophical divide. Never mind that Obama reached out, lunched with GOP leaders on the Hill, and pressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drop family planning and National Mall renovation. Not a single House Republican could bring himself or herself to vote with the president on a measure to prevent what could become the most serious recession since the 1930s.
Good heavens, how could the Republicans not side with Obama after he took them to lunch? Value systems and deeply held beliefs be damned; Obama invited us out to lunch! And to the SuperBowl! Let's forget everything we stand for and do whatever he says.
But reaching a new consensus would require a reassessment of basic premises, and it appears, at least for the moment, that there will be very little of that. The emerging Republican consensus suggests that Bush grew so unpopular because he strayed from, rather than stood behind, the old GOP verities by creating a vast national-security state and giant deficits. Hence the Republicans are flocking to a proposal by the House Republican Study Committee calling for no new government spending at all, and nothing but tax cuts instead.
Those bastard Republicans. If they'd just become Democrats, the world would live in peace and life would be flowers and sausages for everyone. But nooooo. They have to go and ruin it for everyone by having principles and values and other such nonsense that keeps us from consensus!
Read that first sentence again: "But reaching a new consensus would require a reassessment of basic premises, and it appears, at least for the moment, that there will be very little of that."
Translation: The last eight years, we held our ground. But now you Republicans, you need to reassess your premises. Because they're wrong.
For eight years, dissent was patriotic. Now it's a big travesty.
The laughable piece ends with this:
A little over a week after Obama's inauguration, "stale" political arguments again rule the day. So much for the post-partisan era.
Obama tried to move beyond politics and make everyone on the planet live in harmony and agree. He's tried for a whole ten days! And you jerkwad Republicans won't put aside your differences and become Democrats. If you did, the world would be perfect. But you won't. Obama tried to be post-partisan, and you Republicans ruined it.
I mean, there are just too many things to fisk here. See something you'd like to pounce on? Feel free...
January 29, 2009
We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra, and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world's energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we'll be fine. Don't worry about us. That's not leadership.
The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.
Â“HeÂ’s from Hawaii, O.K.?Â” said Mr. ObamaÂ’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. Â“He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.Â”
While looking for the original quote, I realized Ed Morrisey has already blogged about this today, and rightly notes in Heat For Me But Not For Thee:
Many people in America, especially where I live, would like to heat their homes to a comfort level where sweaters and coats become unnecessary. However, Obama and the Democrats want to impose ruinous taxes and penalties on energy production and fuel that produces carbon dioxide Â— a naturally-occurring element Â— and make that choice economically unbearable for us.
I wish my house were warm enough to wear summer clothes, but I have to pay my own heating bill, so it's not. Shame on you again, President Obama.
And also, you're from Chicago, not Hawaii. You should be used to cold weather and wearing sweaters.
[Thanks to AirForceWife for angering up my blood this morning with this link.]
January 22, 2009
same as the old boss.
I may actually have to start watching The Daily Show again...
4. Words, words, words
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, though starkly different men, both viewed the presidency as pre-eminently a decision-making job. Clinton often waved away speech drafts bloated with lofty language by saying: Â“Words, words, words.Â”
Obama seems to have a different view of the presidency. He thinks that the right decisions can be reached by putting reasonable and enlightened people together and reaching a consensus. He believes his job as president is to educate and inspire, largely matters of style.
He knows he is good with words. He knows he has great style. So thatÂ’s why he projects exceptional confidence in his ability to do the job.
We donÂ’t know yet how justified Obama is in his self-confidence Â— or how naive.
But he is almost certain to face many tests, probably imminently, in which the test will be ObamaÂ’s ability to act quickly and shrewdly Â— and not merely describe his actions smoothly or impress people with nuance. And an unlike a governor Â— who must decide whatÂ’s in a budget and what gets cut, or whether a person to be executed at midnight should be spared Â— Obama has not made many decisions for which the consequences affect more than himself.
January 21, 2009
Today, as reported at the Corner, Brokaw "compared the spirit of this inauguration to the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. " In other words, replacing George W. Bush as president after a regularly scheduled presidential election is the moral equivalent of freeing your country from Communist tyranny.
Jonah Goldberg rightfully titled that post "Oh Come On!"
And another thoughtful comment by Auster:
How would an intellectually consistent race-blind conservative, i.e., a right-liberal, react to the election of the first nonwhite as president? Answer: he wouldn't make a huge deal of it. He would say, "Starting in the 1960s America ceased to place arbitrary obstacles in the way of people because of race, and the election of Obama proves what has been the case in this country for a long time." And that would be it. Going further than that, going into the ecstatic celebration of Obama's presidency, becomes a celebration of Obama BECAUSE he is nonwhite, which contradicts the right-liberal belief that race doesn't matter.
Amen to that. To quote Lileks, "I never thought America wouldnÂ’t elect a Black president." I don't give a rip what the man looks like; I only care what he does.
And he sure hasn't overthrown a regime, Brokaw. You punk.
January 18, 2009
MORE TO GROK:
Seems I agree wholeheartedly with what William F. Buckley, Jr. (pbuh) said back in 1988:
Two terms is enough for a President. And if we are going to change the Constitution let's have a three-term limit for senators, and a five-term limit for congressmen.
Now there's an amendment idea.
You speak with a forked tongue and I will have a hard time typing this letter without resorting to swear words.
We no longer need to kill Bin Laden, claims Barack Obama
All throughout the campaign, you went on and on about how the Republican administration had failed the American people for letting Bin Laden out of their sights. You claimed Iraq was a distraction from the real goal, which was getting Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
In a presidential debate in October, he said: 'We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.'
And now that you've won, before you're even sworn in, you decide that an extremely difficult task, one that George Bush has worked on for seven years and one that you claimed was the most pressing security issue for our country, now all of a sudden it's no big deal since you're at the helm.
You, sir, are a pandering, no-good son of a bitch.
Oops. I swore.
January 16, 2009
I'm gonna try to break Bush's 2008 record.
I had already decided to keep a log of what I read this year, prompted by k2sc1's post and also John Hawkins, who reads voraciously. But now I have a goal to work towards and some healthy competition.
You're dead meat, Bush.
Also, you read The Stranger, Mr. President, which is totally slim. I am going to re-read Animal Farm like all those hoopleheads in high school who picked it because, like, it's only 128 pages long.
And that totally counts.
January 15, 2009
This president's popularity and the respect that he has earned throughout the world gives America a chance to re-engage not only in the region, but in a way that will in the long term make this job easier, take some pressure off our troops. And that's a compliment to you and the way you have campaigned.
I'm sorry, but what the frick has Obama done to earn respect throughout the world? He hasn't earned squat; he was just automatically given it by nature of being a Democrat and the kind of douchebag who blathers on and on about transnational progressivism. He hasn't earned a damn thing because he's been on the political scene for about five minutes.
Holy hell, I find that annoying. It's one thing to be polite to the office of the presidency; it's a whole nother thing to fawn all over the opposition as if they're so much better than we are.
January 13, 2009
(Seriously, you have to click to hear about the phone call FbL got.)
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