Patterico's Pontifications

12/29/2011

Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:54 pm

Discuss what you like.

Traci Nobles: Weiner Proposed a Threesome . . . With Another Dude

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:57 pm

I just had a shower. Time for another:

“I’m not really talking about other chicks… How about with another guy?” Weiner asked Nobles.

“Hmmmm, haven’t done it before,” Nobles said.

“It can be hot,” Weiner replies.

“Are you turned on by other guys?” Nobles asked.

“Well it depends on the guy, but generally yes,” Weiner divulges.

Shudder.

Only Republicans Will Name Decent Justices

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:56 pm

And — pay attention — hardline conservatives sometimes name weak justices while milquetoast conservatives sometimes name strong constitutional conservatives.

Let’s start with the premise outlined in the title. Name me the last decent justice named by a Democrat. The answer is Byron White, named by President Kennedy nearly 40 years ago. JFK also cut taxes. Those were different times, folks.

Now, for the justices named by Republicans. I think we can agree that Ronald Reagan is our Gold Standard for a Republican president in recent times, whereas tax-raising George H.W. Bush is likely the weakest Republican of modern times.

And Reagan gave us Antonin Scalia and Robert Bork, solid nominees both.

But he also gave us Sandra Day O’Connor and (God help us) Anthony Kennedy. Bad and worse. (And yet still better than any Democrat appointee since Kennedy.) So having a solid conservative in office is no guarantee of uniformly solid justices.

Is a weak Republican a guarantee of weak judicial nominations? Well, the biggest Supreme Court disasters of recent times were David Souter (a George H.W. Bush pick (although you can thank John Sununu for that one) and John Paul Stevens (nominated by the never-elected Gerald Ford). So that would seem to support the idea that weak conservatives nominate terrible justices.

Except that the best Justice sitting on the Court is probably Clarence Thomas, and he was a George H.W. Bush appointee.

What have we learned from this brief examination of recent Supreme Court appointments? That having a Republican in office could mean disaster, whether he is solid or weak — while having a Democrat means certain disaster.

So look. I’d rather have a Reagan over a Pappy Bush any day. I’d rather have a Rick Perry over a Mitt Romney any day. But you can bitch and moan about Mitt Romney all you like, but if you think Obama’s justices would be better than Romney’s then you’re either exaggerating for effect, or you’re not to be taken seriously. I understand the backlash against Mitt. I really do. But to refuse to vote for him if he’s the nominee, and thereby surrendering to Obama, is in my view little different from raising your leg and pissing on the Constitution.

I saw a great quote on Instapundit yesterday from one of his readers:

You know, I just wish that my friends on the Right—whom all say that they detest the policies of Barack Obama and his supporters—would just soldier their way through this next election. I’m afraid they will sit it out, in a electoral fit of pique because the nominee isn’t conservative enough or is too conservative or whatever.

After we get this gang (and I use that word intentionally) out of the Oval Office, then, my friends on the Right can form their Third Party, or push a candidate that they feel is “conservative enough” and so forth.

2012 is too important. And sitting out the election, or carping about a particular candidate…well, it just makes Axelrod smile. And it smooths the path not toward “Four More Years,” but “Four Worse Years.”

That’s a very good point. I would just add that, if we surrender control of the Supreme Court to Democrat appointees, we are looking at far more than four bad years. We’re looking at decades of Constitution-shredding hell.

We can’t let this happen, folks. We can’t.

Yes, a conservative candidate is electable

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:07 am

[Posted by Karl]

Commentary’s Jonathan S. Tobin (tough competition for Jennifer Rubin as the media’s most shameless Mitt Romney shill) defends National Review’s anti-endorsement of Newt Gingrich against the critics:

 The latest to vent his spleen about this alleged betrayal of conservative principle is Jeffrey Lord who wrote in the American Spectator that the attack on Gingrich was akin to NR’s founder William F. Buckley blasting Barry Goldwater​ in 1964 or Ronald Reagan​ in 1980. His point was not just that any of the other conservatives still in the race was better than Romney but that Buckley’s magazine had become the moral equivalent of the old-line GOP establishment that its founder had spent his life battling.

But Lord’s anguish is misplaced. Newt Gingrich isn’t Ronald Reagan. Neither is Rick Santorum​, Michele Bachman​ [sic] or Rick Perry​. And if you really think any of them are worthy successors to Barry Goldwater, does anyone on the right believe another 1964-style wipeout that would mean four more years of President Barack Obama is a good idea?

A focus on winning in 2012 is what many conservatives think is wrong with NR’s editors and others who have come to grips with the fact that Romney is the Republicans’ best chance for victory next November. Lord, and others who agree with him are not really arguing that Gingrich should be president any more than they are making a serious case for Perry, Bachmann or Santorum. None of them have a ghost of a shot at beating Obama though all of them can make a much better case than Gingrich for representing a consistent conservative stance on the majority of the issues. Rather, Lord seems to be making the case that ideological purity is a higher value than electability.

What does Tobin have against strawmen that causes him to beat them so repeatedly?  His column makes most of the same errors John Hawkins made earlier this week in claiming Romney is unelectable.  Like Hawkins, Tobin likely exaggerates the impact of ideology on voter choices, ignoring the fundamentals.  The general consensus among political scientists is that in presidential elections, the dominant factor is the economy, with candidate ideology being a distant second. Indeed, the studies suggest that a moderate does 1% or 2% better.  The 1964 wipeout of Barry Goldwater is remarkably well-explained by the fundamentals of peace and prosperity that year.  Absent the most remarkable economic turnaround in American history, a 1964-magnitude loss would probably not be in the cards for any of the candidates Tobin mentions.

This is not to argue that only the fundamentals matter; in October, I would have placed the odds of Obama’s re-election at better than one-in-seven, and they are likely even better now.  Rather, the point is that people who fixate on electability at the expense of the fundamentals tend to lapse into foolish arguments.  They also tend to be unknowingly drenched in irony.  If you want to fixate on electability, ideology is part of the mix, but so is the very basic Dale Carnegie notion of making friends and influencing people.  The snide arrogance of many Romney supporters is every bit as annoying to others as the spoon-banging of True Conservatives claiming they will stay home in November if Romney is nominated.  The voices shouting the loudest on both sides about electability seem to have a shaky grasp on the concept.

–Karl


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