Patterico's Pontifications

5/12/2012

Making the right side of history

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 12:58 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The idea pops up in Jonah Goldberg’s new book, The Tyranny of Clichés:

Goldberg *** explained that there “is a certain Marxist sting” to the cliché of being “on the right side of history.” It’s a way, he continued, of “saying to your opponents, ‘hey, look, you’re going to lose this argument eventually so you might as well quit now and stop complaining.’”

Indeed, Marx’s stages of history smack of this sort of determinism.  Moreover, given his gig at National Review, it’s not surprising that Goldberg — by way of Burke — alludes to part of the magazine’s mission statement, in which William F. Buckley, Jr. famously proclaimed the mag “stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

At times, I run the risk of falling into an inversion of this cliché.  Less than a week ago, I wrote:

The past century has been one in which progressives have put forth the idea that Soviet communism is what works, that Eurofascism is what works, that Maoism is what works, and that Eurosocialism is what works. The actual history of the past century is one in which Eurofascism was defeated in WWII, Soviet communism was defeated in the Cold War, Maoism has degenerated into a fascism and crony capitalism that only Tom Friedman finds attractive, and Eurosocialism is taking its own road to the dustbin of history. To be sure, voters in the UK and France are resisting, the Germans less so. But fiscal realities will continue to intrude, regardless of which governments they elect. They will eventually figure out what the OECD and IMF already have about the solution to their problems: spending less is the answer.

(More on the degree to which failed European “austerity” has relied on taxes here.)  I have also been fairly optimistic about what the current state of the Eurozone will teach Americans:

I am not for doing nothing about the debt ceiling and have written a number of pieces about the need to do something about the public debt at all levels of government. Moreover, it is certainly possible that in a debt crisis, the intransigence of the left could force the federal government to take a tax-heavy approach proven to fail in all those other OECD countries. I tend to think there is still enough of the American spirit around to resist becoming wage slaves to the state. Assuming we can manage to avoid a more statist approach than Canada, Sweden and Finland, it would seem the left ought to have the greater interest in defusing the debt bomb now, as a crisis will likely be tougher on their priorities.

Goldberg’s book, as much as the current political tensions in parts of the Eurozone, is a reminder that good policy choices do not make themselves.  Indeed, Matt K. Lewis is very likely correct in declaring austerity “in and of itself,” a political loser today.  Unfortunately, simply talking up economic growth is not only insufficient as a policy matter, but also too easily embraced as a political dodge of our debt problem.

History, like policy, does not make itself.  One thing the right should grudgingly admire about the left is their relentlessness.  The left never stops agitating, “educating” and organizing to push its version of history, even in the face of its evident failure over the past several decades.  Excepting Walter Mondale, they rarely run on the promise of massive tax hikes for the middle class  — but they never stop talking and writing about the future necessity for them.  They never stop writing and talking about their dream of socialized healthcare — and take whatever jumps they can in that direction whenever they have sufficient control over the government.

Non-statists need to be equally relentless, both in pursuing our vision and in confronting the left’s vision.  Indeed, non-statists should be even more driven, given the left’s effective control of the establishment media.  This structural disadvantage makes our candidates even more important, because for all the of the media’s attempted agenda-setting, campaign coverage (and advertising) still necessarily focuses on the candidates and their messages.

Although I have had my share of problems with Mitt Romney, one of his primary virtues is that he frequently makes the point that Obama is leading America in the direction of Eurosocialism at precisely the moment Eurosocialism is imploding.  It is my hope that when Team Obama starts its Mediscare campaign in earnest, Team Romney will lead its response by noting that the do-nothing Obama approach will also end Medicare as we know it — but that the likely result will be the non-innovative, rationed healthcare of Eurosocialism.  Even when the left thinks it can put non-statists on defense, we should be working to create the environment in which statism is understood as not “what works,” more tax revenues are a small part of any solution to public debt (preferably from tax reform and consequent growth), and reform of the entitlement state is politically palatable.  Many find Romney a weak standard-bearer for conservatism, but he has been willing to carry this banner — and it is a crucial one to carry, not only for this election, but for cycles to come.

–Karl

169 Responses to “Making the right side of history”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. French feelin’ froggy
    Five Days That Shook Sarkozy
    eat horses don’t they?

    Colonel Haiku (bd479c)

  3. no fate but what we make Mr. Karl!

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  4. Better to be on the “correct” side of history than the “politically correct” side.

    Icy (9d3cbd)

  5. Collectivism is the worst kind of cancer ever produced by mankind. It’s what makes us not trust catholic priests, teachers, cops, politicians, unions, day care providers, or any other “brotherhood” that purports to help.

    It’s what stops us from cleaning house, so to speak. Back when I was a republican, my democrat friends used to say, “they’re lying to you!” and I always said, “that’s the difference between us: I know my politician is lying. You’re still pretending to believe yours.”

    I still have friends who think Obama is antiwar. Because of collectivism. “I’m a democrat and I’m against war, and Obama is a democrat, ergo…”

    I’m rambling now, but you get the point. It’s like we’re living out Ayn Rand’s Anthem. Eff “we.” I’ll work with you, but I won’t work for you.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  6. I trust day care providers

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  7. hey, wait a minute… who were you named after, Karl? you got an uncle?

    Colonel Haiku (bd479c)

  8. 5: . Back when I was a republican, my democrat friends used to say, “they’re lying to you!” and I always said, “that’s the difference between us: I know my politician is lying. You’re still pretending to believe yours.”

    Great! Stealing that!

    Alex (abfc29)

  9. So, Ghost… you stopped voting for “your” politician, right? Since you knew it was lying? Or was that “Anthem” stuff just bluster?

    Leviticus (870be5)

  10. Leviticus,

    Have you ever chosen the least bad option? For example, when it’s time to eat lunch but you only have a little time and less money — so you pick Burger King over Jack in the Box, even though neither is your favorite? That’s how voting is after awhile.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  11. Socialism has worked, long term, in no country. Even Sweden has abandoned it.

    The last vestiqes of the iron rice bowl are found in government employment and that has about 2 years more to run. Sure, many government employees are diligent and dedicated, but it isn’t, strictly speaking, necessary.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  12. DRJ,

    But you still hold out for the dream of In-N-Out.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  13. In local races where my vote counts, I vote libertarian unless the democrat or republican is tolerable. I’m still registered as a republican so I can vote for the most libertarian candidate in the primary.

    But seriously, you’re asking of I’ve stopped voting all together. I just vote for the most honest (in my opinion). This time around, it might be Gary Johnson (I live in Oregon, it’s going to Obama anyway) or, depending on how mitt handles himself, I might vote for him.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  14. DRJ,

    But do you stop going to those two restaurants when they give you food poisoning? If a politician is dishonest, why should I support him?

    Leviticus (870be5)

  15. And either way, if I had decided to settle for a lesser-of-two-evils system, I wouldn’t be bringing up Anthem.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  16. History is written by the winners.

    nk (875f57)

  17. Quite true, nk. Have you read “The Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick?

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  18. We don’t have that option, Leviticus, if we want to have any influence. The answer isn’t to refuse to vote but to recruit and support better candidates. That’s what the Tea Party and the libertarians are doing in Texas and other states. Of course, it’s easier for those groups to succeed in places like Texas than it is in other states, but success will be much more rewarding in those other states.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. 18: I have, great book. My fav is “A Scanner Darkly”

    Alex (c76e4d)

  20. But do you stop going to those two restaurants when they give you food poisoning?

    Well, we should get the answer to that in California soon, although here it’s just one restaurant and they only serve ptomaine and lots of it. How long can a one-party system fail and continue to win elections?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  21. 21: As long as the other party insists on letting them :-(

    Alex (c76e4d)

  22. How long can a one-party system fail and continue to win elections?

    As long as there are enough 1%ers to keep re-electing Democrats. Judging by Obama’s $15 million dollar haul last week, I don’t think we’re any where near seeing a shift in power.

    And unfortunately, as a result, the right is losing strong conservative elected officials (including Chuck DeVore)who were making inroads but could no longer afford the exorbitant price of living here, both financially and politically. It’s very discouraging and yet unlike Leviticus, I don’t see opting out as a viable or responsible option. The privilege and right to vote is simply to long fought for to give up because there is not the perfect candidate.

    Our job is to tirelessly work at the grass roots level to support and encourage strong candidates to jump in to the mix. Good grief, we live in America – there are a plethora of opportunities to see this happen… (of course you’re in Cali this can get a little depressing…)

    Dana (4eca6e)

  23. BTW, it sure does look like Scott Walker is on the right side of history.

    Jerry Brown says CA budget deficit now $16 billion, and more taxes are our only hope. Hope they get voted down again.

    If Schwarzenegger’s 2005 reforms had been passed we wouldn’t be here. Own the deficit, Dems.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  24. The answer isn’t to refuse to vote but to recruit and support better candidates.

    Which is what you do if you happen to get a case of the “trots” from your local fast foodie – yet to happen after eating this “junk” since the early 50′s (YMMV);
    you find a better place to chow, and/or notify the local health authorities (who are supposed to be monitoring this after all) that they have a problem to deal with.
    Why are so many “Progressives” food-snobs?
    Particularly when it comes to basic American chow?

    Thanks, Kevin, for posting Gov. Moonbeam’s great embarrasment – the one thinking Californios knew would occur.

    CA has gone from a $9B deficit to $16B in just a matter of months – maybe they shouldn’t have spent all that time in dealing with the severe problem of people walking around with unloaded shotguns and rifles. But, if they did that, they wouldn’t be the Progressives that they are.

    AD-RtR/OS! (189894)

  25. When the majority of Cali voters truly believe we don’t have a spending problem but rather a revenue problem, then can nor will change. It may be necessary for the state to go into complete bankruptcy before the deniers will see the light.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  26. In the late 19th century the Intellectual Class formulated the notion that the world would just run soooooo much better if they were in charge. That this made them morally identical to the fading Aristocrats was not something they cared to examine. The history of the 20th century is the history of assorted madmen and thugs taking advantage of the Intellectuals’ hunger for importance, using them shamelessly, and once in power liquidating them as soon as possible.

    That there are still self-styled Intellectuals who are ready to buy into this imposition is a telling inditement of Intellectualism.

    C. S. P. Schofield (df34af)

  27. And a telling indictment of the performance shortfalls of “thuggery” – though both Mao (who was an intellectual) and Pol Pot made valiant attempts to see the task through to completion (It is interesting to comprehend how ineffectual one of our homegrown messianic thugs – Billy Ayers, are you listening – would be. He’d probably end up offing himself – by accident, of course).

    AD-RtR/OS! (189894)

  28. DRJ,

    The structure of our political system disincentivizes accountability to district constituents. To my mind, it’s not a matter of recruiting better candidates, because in the current system you lose your grip on them once they are elected. To my mind (to bang on my old worn-out drum), it’s a matter of changing the electoral structure which allows politicians to trick people into granting them the power (and considerable electoral advantage) of incumbency.

    And to Dana and others,

    I’m certainly not advocating not voting. I vote, I’m gonna vote. I’m advocating not voting for Democrats or Republicans who have compiled an ignominious track record of manipulating their constituents.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  29. Leviticus,

    I’m not sure I can really identify with your concerns because the elected officials who represent my town/districts generally do what I want. There are times when we disagree but it’s rare and our disagreements aren’t substantial. If I lived in a place where that weren’t the case, I’d probably agree with you.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  30. Leviticus,

    I certainly sympathize with the sentiment. I’d love to see third party candidates in Governor’s mansions, and House and Senate seats. I do get a little weary of candidates like Ross Perot who seem to think that President is an entry level position.

    C. S. P. Schofield (df34af)

  31. Our political system is not the problem. The citizens are.

    Politicians want to get re-elected, and hence seek to please the voters. The problem is that the voters want magic.

    They love government benefits, but don’t want higher taxes. They want somebody else’s program cut, but not the program from which they themselves benefit.

    They want free health care, and they don’t want rationing.

    They want cheap oil, but they don’t want drilling in ANWR, the Gulf of Mexico, or near the California coast.

    They want good schools, but will take their precious child’s side, and sue the school at the drop of a hat, should the child get disciplined, or fail to be promoted.

    They want cheap produce, but want illegal immigrants removed.

    They want to outlaw drugs, and then are aghast at all the crime that results from the lucrative black market they created.

    They want police to fight crime, but won’t allow police to give special attention to groups who commit a disproportionate share of crime.

    They want criminals locked up, but don’t want to build any new prisons.

    They want to have a secure retirement, but they don’t save and invest. They expect social security to be their retirement, and refuse to acknowledge that social security was never meant to be a replacement for retirement income.

    The people think they can have it all. Is it any wonder that politicians attempt to give it to them?

    The people want politicians to speak honestly, but guess what, people? “You can’t handle the truth!”

    norcal (6859de)

  32. I have read everything by Philip K. Dick, David. Including “Deus Irae”, a collaboration with Roger Zelazny (it had my head spinning).

    You are a movie person. “Screamers” is a wonderful adaptation to the screen. “Blade Runner” is only good for the scenery — Ridley Scott totally created impossibility to suspend disbelief in any other respect.

    nk (875f57)

  33. BTW, it sure does look like Scott Walker is on the right side of history.

    Jerry Brown says CA budget deficit now $16 billion, and more taxes are our only hope. Hope they get voted down again.

    If Schwarzenegger’s 2005 reforms had been passed we wouldn’t be here. Own the deficit, Dems.

    Comment by Kevin M

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    watch Brown raise taxes
    heckuva job Brownie
    governor m00nbeam

    Colonel Haiku (29801e)

  34. nk, methinks His Bitterness was trying to insult you with that reference. I can promise you that he only cares about science fiction by Chip Delaney. If that.

    As for Zelazny, I don’t recall if we have discussed his lovely, lovely comic SF novel, “Doorways in the Sand.”

    But if you are into the SF community and inside jokes, I highly recommend:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bimbos_of_the_Death_Sun

    Sharyn McCrumb (a wonderful novelist) had a lot of fun lampooning science fiction conventions in it. Several SF types, including the, um, temperamental Harlan Ellison, took umbrage.

    I’m fond of McCrumb’s sequel to that novel, “Zombies from the Gene Pool.”

    Simon Jester (40fb51)

  35. ;) There’s an interesting story, that the prop maker had to comply with the NFA (machine gun laws) to make Harrison Ford’s “pistol”, because he cut down a rifle and glued on cool looking parts.

    nk (875f57)

  36. The problem was ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep’ was probably unfilmable in a conventional sense, so Scott made it into a near future noir,
    I suppose one Screamers, is a good adaptation of ‘Second Variety’ but do you want to watch it, a film along similar lines, with Gary Sinise, unfortunately released right around September 11th,
    probably was a better treatment,

    narciso (1c125b)

  37. This is what I was referring to, I think the reviews were unduly harsh:

    http://jason-parent.suite101.com/review—philip-dick-story-based-film-impostor-stars-gary-sinise-a238985

    ‘right side of history’ seems to be a way to rationalize actions you already know were wrong.

    narciso (1c125b)

  38. Doorways in the Sand is a wonderful book. But I am only a recording device.

    Lord of Light, I have read a 100 times. Creatures of Light and Darkness, too. Please, do not Call me Conrad. And I am not Legion.

    Were I asked to pick a favorite author, I would spend days deciding between Hammett and Zelazny.

    nk (875f57)

  39. As for David, I apologize for trying to be more irascible than he is. When he talks to me civilly, I respond civilly. And the best way to respond to condescension is with condescension.

    nk (875f57)

  40. Thank you, narciso, I did not know about the second version. I have Netflix, let’s see if it has it.

    nk (875f57)

  41. My stages of voting:
    1. The naive stage, actually believed lots of stuff from an idealistic point of view. Voted for Carter, for re-election.
    2. The cynical (and too busy to pay close attention) stage. Voted for Perot.
    3. Vote for the person who you catch lying the least. Voted for GW.
    4. Vote for anyone with a chance to win who is not a Democrat, until they stop nominating disengenious and delusional candidates who want to remake the country in their own image.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. Leviticus,

    In the real world, there are elections.

    If one holds his nose and stays home on election day, there is still an election that bears fruit.

    One can act all self-righteous and believe that he’s above the people on the ballot, but at the end of the election evening, there will be a winner. And that winner will be making decisions on behalf of his constituents, regardless of how many people elected him, or regardless of how many people stayed home under the covers in protest…

    As your beloved Obama stated a few years ago to some of his opponents who sought compromise from the President, “I won.”

    Rarely does a voter have the opportunity to elect “the perfect candidate.”
    Thus, it’s often a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    And being a naive college student does not give you a monopoly on such green-behind-the-ears thinking. We on the right have our utopians. Currently, we often refer to them as “Ron Paulistinians.”
    Sometimes they’re called Libertarians.

    As Winston Churchill once famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government….except for all the others.”

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  43. Cali came up $3 Billion short of projections this April 15. Oh, and they went $2 Billion over budget, expecting only a $9 Billion shortfall and Magic.

    IL is like $9 Billion in arrears, i.e., the same boat.

    Close the doors, shmucks.

    China has opted to reflate, imports are up like 600% and bills must be paid without income.

    The big one is imminent.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  44. “Being a naive college student does not give you a monopoly on such green-behind-the-ears thinking. We on the right have our utopians. Currently, we often refer to them as “Ron Paulistinians.””

    - Elephant Stone

    Are you going to bring my “naive-college-student” status up in every comment you make?

    Democracy is a philosophy; I’m talking about an electoral system. There are many different electoral systems which are possible in a given democracy.

    Also, for the record – leave it to a Parliamentarian to advocate “democracy” above and beyond “republicanism.”

    Leviticus (870be5)

  45. Leviticus,

    Once again, you’re speaking about the theoretical, rather than about the real politik. (Then again, that pretty much defines lefty thinking.)

    Sitting at home on election day as as a protest against “liars,” and “cheaters,” and whatever other characteristic you wish to ascribe to politicians whether collectively or individually, still ends up resulting in an election result.

    Major party X can put up candidate Jones, who is a total liar.
    Major party Y can putup candidate Smith, who is a total jerk.

    One of those two candidates will emerge as the victor, regardless of whether or not you sit home on the couch in protest against “liars” and “jerks.”

    Thus, the point is that indeed it IS a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    And for you to chastise other commenters for approaching it that way is evidence of your naivete.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  46. You’re going to need two thirds of both houses of the Congress (?) and thirty-eight states, Leviticus. Start lobbying.

    nk (875f57)

  47. Giant douche or a turd sandwich.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  48. But the turd sandwich isn’t a commy, so…

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  49. 44. The current state of affairs with our two party system is intolerable. We have, hands down, the weakest participation by an electorate of any western ‘democracy’.

    Even a revolution from within, e.g., the TEA insurgency, has enountered significant countering assault.

    That said, I am not persuaded that the 17th ammendment or an elimination of the Electoral College are anything but mistaken as remedies.

    Regardless of the outcome in 2012 our Republic is in existential peril.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  50. gary- I am more concerned with barry turning our country into a slave for the united nations, as well as pardoning himself, holder and the rest of the vomit. Mittens in a landslide. Even mass hole dems are changing their tune.

    Sen.Ed Markey (44de53)

  51. 49-old sock sorry.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  52. Senator Ed Markey, what hell is this, but you’re fundamentally right;

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/attack_of_the_tea_party_zombies.html

    narciso (1c125b)

  53. Comment by MD in Philly — 5/12/2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Father, mother, brother, me, went and voted en bloc for Bush Senior against Clinton. After, my father said, “We polluted our hand”.

    nk (875f57)

  54. “Major party X can put up candidate Jones, who is a total liar.
    Major party Y can putup candidate Smith, who is a total jerk.

    One of those two candidates will emerge as the victor, regardless of whether or not you sit home on the couch in protest against “liars” and “jerks.”

    Thus, the point is that indeed it IS a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    And for you to chastise other commenters for approaching it that way is evidence of your naivete.”

    - Elephant Stone

    The thing that everyone forgets (in service to pragmatism or latent partisanship) is that if enough people stopped voting for the parties that have deceived and manipulated them for years, and started voting for third parties instead, they’d get third party representation. It’s literally that simple – if everyone started voting for libertarians instead of Republicans, you’d get a Congress as full of libertarians as it ever was of Republicans.

    The two-party electoral structure throws up psychological barriers to supporting third parties, which is one of the main reasons I’d like to get rid of it. But the fact remains that there’s nothing preventing us from third-party representation under our current system, if enough people put their money where their mouth is and supported in fact the third parties they claim to support in principle.

    Again: I’m not advocating not voting. You’re pulling that out of the Stereotype Hat. I’m advocating voting for the parties and people that you actually believe in instead of the ones that you believe can win because they’re powerful. If you turn around and tell me that that’s a surefire way to get stuck with a worst-case scenario, I’m gonna turn around and tell you that you’ve succumbed to glorified political slavery. Tell me with a straight face that four or five million votes for “No” wouldn’t kickstart serious reforms.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  55. You know, you do not insult that much of your potential audience, that way, specially when the main story, which they miss with great alacrity,
    about the airline plot, is inside,

    narciso (1c125b)

  56. Ghost said it well.

    I also live in an Obama-certain state, California, and will probably vote for Gary Johnson in the general election. He’s someone I can vote for, instead of just being a protest vote against Obama and Romney.

    And since CA now has open primaries, I just might cross party lines to vote for Ron Paul.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (d8404c)

  57. Leviticus is also cogent about breaking the two-party hypnosis.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (d8404c)

  58. Brother Bradley,

    The fact that you’re talking about voting for Gary Johnson or Ron Paul shows that you don’t buy into the “Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich” mentality, doesn’t it?

    Leviticus (870be5)

  59. No, it’s more like Douglas Adam’s lizard hypothesis, with the risk, that the wrong lizard will get through,

    narciso (1c125b)

  60. The right side of history…

    “Harvard University’s Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna looked at 107 attempts to reduce the ratio of debt to gross domestic product over 30 years in countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They found fiscal adjustments consisting of both tax increases and spending cuts generally failed to stabilize the debt and were also more likely to cause economic contractions. On the other hand, successful austerity packages resulted from making spending cuts without tax increases. They also found this form of austerity is more likely associated with economic expansion rather than with recession.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2012/05/two-kinds-austerity/596441

    Colonel Haiku (5fefee)

  61. Leviticus,
    Yes, you’re right, I don’t buy into it. Last time around, I did, and voted for (retch) John McCain. This time around I’m voting my beliefs instead of holding my nose.

    Romney and Obama exchange predictable banalities while ignoring such issues as the out-of-control TSA and other infringements on individual rights. Gack.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (d8404c)

  62. “Father, mother, brother, me, went and voted en bloc for Bush Senior against Clinton. After, my father said, “We polluted our hand”.”

    prolly better to do that than pollute our land, which is what Willie Clinton did.

    Colonel Haiku (5fefee)

  63. It was a protest vote, Colonel, to a wee bit extent, we did not like either Bush or Clinton, but better the wolf you know than the wolf you do not know. We did not vote for the third-party candidate or stay home.

    nk (875f57)

  64. == The thing that everyone forgets (in service to pragmatism or latent partisanship) is that if enough people stopped voting for the parties that have deceived and manipulated them for years, and started voting for third parties instead, they’d get third party representation. It’s literally that simple…… Tell me with a straight face that four or five million votes for “No” wouldn’t kick start serious reforms==

    Leviticus–I know it may sound simple. But one just cannot assume that the “third party candidates” are any more honest, or clean, or competent in governing, or true to their stated “principles”, or truly able or capable to effect reform that the candidates of the major parties. We’d all like politics to be about the public–and to some extent it is. But mainly it’s about power. It’s always about power–and about the specific winners and losers which that specific power enables at any given time in history. Our founding fathers understood this tension. This is key to understanding every election from local councilman all the way up to the presidency.

    elissa (672288)

  65. Now, rubber gloves and antiseptic wipes are available at the convenience store. I’m voting Romney. I won’t be a crybaby because Santorum didn’t make it.

    nk (875f57)

  66. elissa has it down pat. There are people who want to serve. My former partner is one of them. He refused appointment, stood for election, and he is the best judge in Cook County. But most of these guys, they want power over the lives, liberty and property of other people. Whether they are Republican, Democrat, Jedi, or Sith.

    nk (875f57)

  67. Now, rubber gloves and antiseptic wipes are available at the convenience store. I’m voting Romney. I won’t be a crybaby because Santorum didn’t make it.

    Comment by nk

    Usually not required when the candidate has lived an honorable, exemplary life and when he shines like a rare jewel compared to the incumbent.

    Colonel Haiku (5fefee)

  68. “On the other hand, successful austerity packages resulted from making spending cuts without tax increases. They also found this form of austerity is more likely associated with economic expansion rather than with recession.”

    Colonel – Prof. Sammy Krugman needs to familiarize himself with studies such as these.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  69. I find nothing wrong with Obama’s personal life. He is a good husband and father. And Michelle is as good a soccer mom as you can find.

    It’s issues. It’s the economy, it’s bending over for Russia and China. And, him, basically using the Presidency as a vacation and retirement plan.

    But it’s got me thinking (I hate it when I do that): What do Americans want? King Stork or King Log?

    nk (875f57)

  70. “I find nothing wrong with Obama’s personal life.”

    nk – I don’t like his friends.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  71. I don’t want to stir anything up, nor battle with anyone (especially on such a beautiful Mothers’ Day). But…

    “…Tell me with a straight face that four or five million votes for “No” wouldn’t kick start serious reforms==…”

    Well, I remember 1992. And how many votes did Ross Perot get as a Third Party Candidate that would Send a Message? Over 19 million votes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Perot_presidential_campaign,_1992

    And the resulting reforms seem to have been eight years of Bill Clinton. Who is better than the current President, to be sure. Still…

    I recall Santayana’s warning.

    Simon Jester (47427b)

  72. I actually have a huge problem with Obama’s personal life… Hard drugs, possibly a drug dealer, no record of personal achievements (school, work, elected office), associating/working for/working with with known terrorists, mixes lack of knowledge with outright lies–would make a used car salesperson/lawyer blush, hidden financial records of earlier life (who paid for drugs, expensive education), virtually nobody “seems” to remember him growing up/working, tossing people with close personal relationships under the bus (grandmother, pastor, etc.), getting along by going along, etc…

    Has Obama sacrificed even a finger nail clipping of his for somebody else.

    BfC (fd87e7)

  73. elissa @ 64,

    That is a spot-on comment. Party affiliation of any kind, whether D, R, or third party is no guarantee of honesty and clean hands. It would be foolish to assume so.

    Because a third party will still have a mere mortal in the race, they will be just as subject to the temptations to lie, cheat, and manipulate their way to the top. Can there ever be enough vetting? I don’t think so.

    Also, the mere fact that one seriously believes themselves to be the *one* to lead our country indicates a massive ego is involved and some sort of distorted view of self. Power is intoxicating and very few have the self-discipline to to manage it wisely.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  74. …we did not like either Bush or Clinton, but better the wolf you know than the wolf you do not know. We did not vote for the third-party candidate….

    And I voted for Perot in that election, and 19% of the voters did likewise. Won no state. But we did make a very loud protest and in the end we got most of Perot’s agenda enacted, particularly the balanced budget.

    The two party system pretty much ignores the gnats biting its ankles. The LP, the Greens and the rest are just annoyances and steam vents to the majors. Been there, done that, and it’s just a lot of useless wank. Nobody cares.

    But take away 1 vote in 5 and they DO feel threatened. If 15 million people ignore all the “Don’t waste your vote” propaganda they worry that they could lose it next time if they don’t respond.

    But most times the only one you impress with a 3rd party vote is yourself.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  75. “I find nothing wrong with Obama’s personal life.”

    I don’t like that he tried to bribe Jeremiah Wright into silence. until after elected. Either you stand for what you believe in, or you stand for nothing. He stands for nothing.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  76. Dana, the fellow does stand for one thing, always and forever: his own entitlement. And he has a whole well oiled machine helping him reinforce that self-regard.

    He’s like Vanity Smurf with the nuclear codes.

    Simon Jester (47427b)

  77. “I find nothing wrong with Obama’s personal life.”

    nk – I don’t like his friends.

    Comment by daleyrocks

    Same here, daley. And I don’t like the way he’s conducted himself during his term in office… and I don’t like his policies… and I don’t like most of the people he has surrounded himself with.

    I think he is a cheap-minded, petty politician who has been carried on the shoulders of those who would seek to profit from his career and who are right there with him in his fervent desire to make a fundamental transformation of what our nation is all about.

    And he’s a preening, incompetent executive who has always believed his own bullsh*t.

    Colonel Haiku (5fefee)

  78. Colonel #67,

    I’m voting for Romney because Obama is (at a minimum) a socialist who is succeeding in changing America to fit his worldview and he needs to be stopped. I’m not voting for Romney because he’s a capitalist or a great guy. Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush were capitalists who lived honorable, exemplary lives but that didn’t make them good Presidents, any more than it means Romney will be. I hope he turns out to be a great Preident but, at this point, his best quality is being the only person who has a chance to beat Obama.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  79. The current writers at National Review, led by editor “Rich” Lowry, run alongside whatever liberals do and yell “Go Ahead!”

    DN (ad6cba)

  80. So well said, DRJ. It would be nice to enthusiatically vote for someone, but I haven’t felt that way since the first time I cast a vote in 1976.

    I’m kind of with Alan Simpson on this topic:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2003-05-12/politics/column.shields.opinion.stupid_1_soft-money-campaign-finance-reform-hard-money?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

    Simpson was a pretty funny guy, but his humor had a bite to it.

    Simon Jester (47427b)

  81. I understand nk’s view. President Obama is indeed a devoted father and husband, as is Michelle a devoted wife and mother. However, how he uses his position of power to directly affect voters is informed by his political ideology and determinations. And his view of what our country should look like is not one I agree with.

    So, while he may be a man of character with the women in his life, that doesn’t really mean a whole lot when it comes to his attempts to make our country resemble something out of socialist Europe.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  82. Leviticus,

    There are many aspects of life that can seem corrupt or are corrupt — in some places more than others, and in some endeavors more than others. That’s because of humanity, not politics. It’s good to try to find ways to minimize that fact. Ultimately, though, I think the best solution is to encourage the best people to run for office, and for me that means the people who share my values. It always comes down to people, and think that’s a better answer than systemic changes that may or may not work.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  83. Simon,

    My first vote was for Nixon in 1972. Even knowing what I know now, I’d still vote for Nixon instead of McGovern, but it’s a good reminder that presidents are just people. We can’t put too much faith in them but we also can’t expect them to be superhuman.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  84. As for his personal life, just why is it that Obama and his wife are friends with violent terrorists?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  85. I agree with all of you guys. Obama is a miserable golf-playing failure as a President. But as a person … well my sense of justice kicks in.

    As for the hard drugs, and the hummer in the back of a limousine, do you believe everything you read on the internet?

    BTW, I have gone to 7 cigarettes, from two packs, a day just for walking out of the house to smoke. I wonder if he has, also.

    (Behavioral/Cognitive a/k/a “Get your act together”. My psychologist told me, “Let’s reach a goal, twenty, then ten, then five, and then who cares?”)

    I am still a heavy drinker, and alcohol is a hard drug. I tore up the morphine prescription, but I have about 50 Ativan pills that I do not take because I want to be able to drive.

    I will not vote against Obama because he is a bad person. I will vote against him because he is a weak person who is not qualified to tell me what to do.

    nk (875f57)

  86. I agree with DRJ that Romney is the only option for beating Obama. And I look forward to voting against Obama. My expectations are merely an average presidency and decent foreign policy, which = a worthwhile improvement.

    I think nk’s right that Obama isn’t quite the devil he’s made out to me. He wants to transform this great country, but he wants to do it because he thinks that would be good. He does have the weak character and creep buddies and arrogance, but he’s actually trying to help (Reagan reference). That’s the funny part of this unfunny administration.

    Dustin (330eed)

  87. That’s not necessarily personal, SPQR. Neither is Wright. I’m trying to teach it to my daughter. You create relative distances in your relationships. What did Coppola write? God help me if people knew what people I know. Do we really know how close Obama was to the Ayres and Wright?

    nk (875f57)

  88. Dustin,

    I think most of us know that Romney is the only option we have to prevent further demise of our country. I also think that’s a shame on a certain level because there were potential candidates who more closely represented Tea Party values and goals. Just as Obama created his composite girlfriend, it’s unfortunate we cannot create a composite candidate.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  89. “Do we really know how close Obama was to the Ayres and Wright?”

    nk – Throw in Franklin Marshall Davis, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, Tony Rezko, Derrick Bell, and many more into the mix and you have a panoply of crooks, swindlers, terrorists, pedophiles, communists, socialists, anti-Americans, anti-semites, and race baiters of the first degree as part of what appears to be Obama’s inners circle over the years.

    How close are they? Does it really matter when there are so many that he calls friends?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  90. it’s unfortunate we cannot create a composite candidate.

    Why not? Obama did in 2008. Of course, the probability wave collapsed upon observation, but for a while he was everything to everyone.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  91. you can throw convicted insider trader George Soros in with the rest too Mr. daley

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  92. Nixon over McGovern, DRJ? No question. And McGovern was quite brave during WWII.

    My point is that I have always voted against what I considered to be the “less good” or “more worse” candidate.

    Hero worship is a dangerous thing, as the MSM is demonstrating.

    Simon Jester (47427b)

  93. I think that bashing Obama on the economy and on his horrific foreign policy will be message enough. Making it about Ayres and Wright just confuses people, most of whom have no idea who you are talking about. But they DO know the economy and they can relate to Obama hugging dictators and bowing to kings.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  94. I also hope that we can show Obama’s foreign policy is so bad that OBL’s dream of a pan-Islam Caliphate is forming under Obama’s watch.

    Libya, Egypt, northern Mali, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, large parts of Indonesia. Soon Syria and Turkey. When Algeria goes it’s all but done.

    Then we get to have a real war, and Iran will seem like the good guys.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  95. 93: and getting Osama, and the recent underwear bombing? Mitt has totally flubbed foreign policy debate…. Maybe if he’d come out for leaving Afghanistan?

    Alex (b07679)

  96. Obama did in 2008. Of course, the probability wave collapsed upon observation, but for a while he was everything to everyone.

    No, Kevin M, he wasn’t everything to everyone. He tried to be though, I grant you that. But, were you ever fooled? Did you ever believe he was what and who he said he presented himself to be? I didn’t. I saw him as a chameleon, proficient in changing colors depending on what those around him needed to see to be reassured.

    He attempted to be a composite of what everyone wanted/needed, but the curtain was pulled back very early on in the game. (Mostly, I recall the media gasping at every turn in high pitched excitement and chatter just how amazing this man was and how we’ve never seen anything like him before! Ironically, those who carried water for him inadvertently provided the biggest red flag of all.)

    Dana (4eca6e)

  97. “But we did make a very loud protest and in the end we got most of Perot’s agenda enacted, particularly the balanced budget.”

    Kevin M. – That’s some pretty fancy historical revisionism by my memory. Ross Perot was a quirky ( kinder than kooky), rich businessman who was weak on policy solutions and overall weighed out in the moderate spectrum, taking votes away from both Clinton and Bush. He was vehemently anti-NAFTA and loved talking about that “giant sucking sound” of American jobs moving out of the country. Neither position worked out well for him. He was pro-choice and favored a federal solution to health care in the long-term. As you could infer from his NAFTA stand, he was a strong trade protectionist.

    Pulling out of the presidential race in the Summer of 1992 only to reenter it in the Fall only cemented his “quirkiness,” in my mind, especially when he divulged his explanation(s) for his behavior.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. “Mitt has totally flubbed foreign policy debate…. Maybe if he’d come out for leaving Afghanistan?”

    Alex – Yes, Mitt should say he would sit down with all these foreign dictators and leaders who hate America and solve the world’s problems with the force of his personality, just like Obama, right?

    What could go wrong?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  99. I suspect a whiff of concern troll in all this, daley. Sigh.

    Simon Jester (47427b)

  100. “As for the hard drugs, and the hummer in the back of a limousine, do you believe everything you read on the internet?”

    What??? 0bama has admitted and written about his “enthusiastic” hard drug use. Yes, it was at a younger age.

    Colonel Haiku (74682c)

  101. Simon, if you follow Alex’s uh, contributions to this blog he regularly toggles back and forth from being a “right leaning” concern troll to a blatant and shrill lefty troll depending on the hour and the thread.

    elissa (672288)

  102. 101: Elissa, I find your comment offensive and trashy. Please defend it or apologize. To defend please list my comments that were those of a “shrill lefty troll”. Go!

    Alex (b07679)

  103. Nah–I’ll pass on your request, Alex. You like to play games. I don’t.

    elissa (672288)

  104. daleyrocks,

    Please allow me to go cynical, or pragmatical, your choice. How many voters have heard of, or have heard and cared about, those guys? They care about food, clothes and rent. First fill their bellies, then teach them virtue.

    nk (875f57)

  105. Leviticus,

    Seriously, I remember the college dormitory BS sessions at 2 in the morning with a Heineken in my hand. Somebody would inevitably devise a solution to world problem X, and then everyone would nod their heads in agreement, and do a touchdown dance as if they believed they were in the presence of the first person to ever hypothesize how to “solve” X.

    In politics, ideology is the issue.

    I don’t care how “honest” or how much “integrity” a big government liberal has. It’s his ideology—it’s his desire to expand the government which is most concerning to me.

    Since you’re a lefty, I don’t know why you’re so allegedly passionate about the prospect of Congress being inhabited by people (Libertarians)who are MORE resistant to big government expansion than the existing establishment GOP currently is.

    Unfortunately, we have too many Americans who are dependent upon the government for either an entitlement check or an employment check.
    The notion that a good percentage of those people might be receptive to a Libertarian candidate’s message of reducing spending and reducing the size of government is between slim none and none.

    I don’t know how a person can call for “honesty in politics !” yet at the same advocate for an expansion of big government.
    It is fundamenatlly dishonest for a person to assert that we can continue down this path of accruing this national debt.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  106. “Please defend it or apologize.”

    Alex – Defend your own comments. There was nothing wrong with elissa’s.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  107. “I remember 1992. And how many votes did Ross Perot get as a Third Party Candidate that would Send a Message? Over 19 million votes. And the resulting reforms seem to have been eight years of Bill Clinton.”

    - Simon Jester

    Simon,

    I understand what you’re saying, but I think Kevin M’s response at #74 is a good response. Perot’s success was a big deal – an important statement, and nothing to sneeze at. It was the main reason Bush lost the election. If the Republican Party changed its policies in subsequent years, it was because they were responding to the dissatisfaction they witnessed in 1992. That’s an important first step, I think.

    Beyond that, I mean… what the hell are we doing if we feel doomed to coerced participation in our own civil processes? Do you think the privilege of voting means to us what it meant to the Framers?

    What is Santayana’s warning, by the way?

    Leviticus (870be5)

  108. As for the hard drugs, and the hummer in the back of a limousine, do you believe everything you read on the internet?
    Comment by nk — 5/13/2012 @ 10:53 am
    Should I believe what Obama “wrote”?

    Here’s the passage from his book, Dreams from My Father, where he discusses his drug use:
    “I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though—Mickey, my potentional intiator had been just a little too eager for me to go through with that. Said he could do it blindfolded, but he was shaking like a faulty engine when he said it. Maybe he was just cold; we were standing in a meat freezer in the back of the deli where he worked, and it couldn’t have been more than twenty degrees in there. But he didn’t look like he was sweating, his face shiny and tight. He had pulled out the needle and the tubing, and I’d looked at him standing there, surrounded by big slabs of salami and roast beef, and right then an image popped into my head of an air bubble, shiny and round like a pearl, rolling quietly through a vein and stopping my heart… Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d be headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. Except the highs hadn’t been about that, me trying to prove what a down brother I was. Not by then anyway. I got just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory. I had discovered that it didn’t make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmmate’s sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of some brother you’d met at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl.

    BfC (fd87e7)

  109. “Please allow me to go cynical, or pragmatical, your choice. How many voters have heard of, or have heard and cared about, those guys?”

    nk – The people in this discussion. I did not know we were shifting the discussion to the broader electorate.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  110. it’s unfortunate we cannot create a composite candidate.

    Comment by Dana

    Heh. That’s timely wit that expresses something I’ve been thinking for months.

    Such is life, though. The USA is the kind of country that shouldn’t even need a great president. But we kinda do right now. I hope Romney proves to be that man. It’s at least a possibility.

    Dustin (330eed)

  111. Stay Klassy Elisa! Hope DRJ doesn’t get upset at u for not answering questions (I’ll hold my breath!)

    Off to the market now…

    Alex (b07679)

  112. “Elissa, I find your comment offensive and trashy. Please defend it or apologize. To defend please list my comments that were those of a “shrill lefty troll”. Go!”

    - Alex

    Why don’t you f*ck off, man? No one wants you here, because you’re here to talk at us, not with us. Calling elissa “trashy” demonstrates how little you know (or care) about this community.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  113. “How many voters have heard of, or have heard and cared about, those guys?”

    nk – And that, is exactly the problem with Democrat Media Complex.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  114. I see that Veronique de Rugy has conceded that there really have been spending cuts in Greece, by acknowledging this chart:

    https://twitter.com/#!/JohnBarrdear/status/199798597418614785/photo/1

    The chart shows a trend of over 10% a year annual imncreases was reversed to equally sized cuts. That’s a steep cut.

    She’s still trying to argue that maybe GDP went up in Greece but I think everyone knows and everything shows it went down. She shouldn’t even raise it as a point.

    According to a Business Week article in the May 12-18th issue (Unhappy in Their Own Ways)

    http://www.economist.com/node/21554544

    Greek GDP went down 7% last year and is expected to fall 4.7% this year, with a cumulative slump since 2007 of 17%

    There’s another couple of things that need to be said. Just like we can probably safely say that a cut in spending is not exactly identical to an increase in taxes of the same amount – and let us say an increase in taxes has a far worse effect on the economy, so it should follow that not all taxes are identical and some are really destructive to an economy and some are not. Also,
    some can’t be paid or won’t be collected.

    Another thing being overlooked that actually collecting a tax or the full amount of taxes or a larger portion of taxes levied than had been collected, is really a tax increase. It is not just “enforcement” It is really a new tax, and must be treated that way, and may be a much worse tax than some other taxes. The taxes that nobody took seriously were not imposed with regard to the consequences. (An example might be a tax on swimming pools. The consequences might be first, using up savings, and then the destruction of swimming pools or sale of the house – at a lower price than otherwise)

    According to that same Business Week article in the May 12-18th issue (The threat of a Greek exit: Unhappy in Their Own Ways) Greece has reduced its primary deficit (deficit minus interest payments) by 8% from 2009 to 2011, and it supposed to go down another 7% (leaving it with a primary surplus of 4.5% by 2014.

    According to other things I read, and logic, Greece its now overshooting its targeted reductions in the deficit by around 20%. This is logical because whenever some kind of control board is brought they always use very conservative accounting. The deficit is being overestimated, just like it was underestimated and hidden away in years past.

    This only becomes apparent slowly. Monthly and quarterly figures tend to be ignored. But Greece is actually now on a course to have a primary budget in balance by this October.

    http://lolgreece.blogspot.com/2012/05/primary-deficit-continues-to-fall.html

    This doesn’t end Greece’s problems. It’s paying 23% a year interest. The total size of the debt is around 160% of GDP. To get down to where Italian and Portuguese debt is expected to peak
    (at about 120%) they’d have to run a 4.5% surplus through 2020.

    Greece could just default and might do OK. Alternatively, they could lease the seabed for oil and gas drilling.

    Sammy Finkelman (a5ab05)

  115. I agree with Leviticus. Whether one agrees with Elissa or not (and I’ve done both), she never shows trashiness. Alex, on the other hand, is consistently an asshole.

    Dustin (330eed)

  116. Thank you, BfC. I stand corrected.

    I think most of it is fiction, bull-hockey, likely by Ayres, or some anonymous ghost-writer, but it is his signature.

    nk (875f57)

  117. Alex,

    Adios amigo. Tu eres una chingada, muy puta.

    nk (875f57)

  118. “If the Republican Party changed its policies in subsequent years, it was because they were responding to the dissatisfaction they witnessed in 1992.”

    Leviticus – My point is that people have a habit of misremembering the issues of Perot’s campaign. He was a gadfly on the deficits, but many of his other positions could not be called conservative by any standards.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. NK,

    I too think his first book was ghostwritten–probably by Bill Ayres (Ayres’ dead girlfriend’s description is closer to Obama’s composite girlfriend than Obama’s “real” girlfriend.

    But it is interesting that all it takes for the Romney “gay bullying” story in the Washington Post is (it appears) one person.

    But for any Democrat–The media plays an active role in their cover-ups.

    BfC (fd87e7)

  120. daleyrocks,

    My point is that Perot’s third-party candidacy certainly had an impact on our political perceptions, whatever his politics were and whether or not you or I agreed with them.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  121. daleyrocks,

    No. What I say at Patterico’s, I want published on the front page of the National Inquirer. Your response, too, if you will permtit it. This is a conversation but I do not demand it a private conversation.

    nk (875f57)

  122. There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that Ayres is the ghostwriter of “Dreams From my Father.”

    Particularly the fact that both “Dreams” and Ayres’ own memoir (“Fugitive Days”) contains the same misspellings of names of obscure activists, poets, and cities in South Africa.

    Also, Ayres spent time in the Merchant Marines. “Dreams” uses all sorts of nautical metaphors that do no appear in any of Obama’s “other” writings.

    And the fact that the timeline of when Obama got together with Michelle Robinson is wrong.
    And he didn’t even catch his error when proofreading the manuscript that the publisher sent back to him ?

    I call BS.

    Of course, the fact that Obama is generally unpublished at Harvard Law Review and University of Chicago, then wrote two books, then reverted back to not writing anything is….well, just a little bizarre.

    And if his writing is so good, then why won’t release his senior thesis or his college transcripts ?

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  123. “This is a conversation but I do not demand it a private conversation.”

    nk – I don’t demand it either, but I did not think the context was the broader electorate. That is an entirely different conversation, as I indicated, an involved the complicity of Democrat Media Complex rather than a specific simple father/daughter conversation on character, which I what I thought you were talking about.

    I have no problem with either, just moving goal posts.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. “My point is that Perot’s third-party candidacy certainly had an impact on our political perceptions”

    Leviticus – We are making different points.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  125. Leviticus,

    Why would a left winger such as yourself be so passionate about wanting to see “more” Libertarians in Congress ?

    If you believe that the establishment GOP is too stringent in its approach to bureaucracy and spending, wait until there’s a Capitol building full of Gary Johnsons and Ron Pauls.

    You don’t advocate for LESS spending and less bureaucracy—you advocate for MORE of it.

    You may have achieved a decent score on the LSAT, but your math doesn’t add up, buddy.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  126. “Leviticus – We are making different points.”

    - daleyrocks

    Okay.

    Elephant Stone,

    You don’t know anything about me. I would love to see more libertarians in Congress, just as I would love to see more members of the Green Party. I care about the integrity of the system – I could care less about the specific inputs. Stop making up positions for me to hold.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  127. Fair enough, daleyrocks.

    Ω εγραφα, εγραφα.

    nk (875f57)

  128. Leviticus,

    I’m glad you finally admitted you don’t care about the particular fruit borne of legislative actions. Rather, you’re more concerned about the beauty contest of it all.
    (That’s been pretty obvious, if I may use a subtle pun.)

    On the other hand, I DO care about the fruit of Congress’ labors.

    I’m a grown man with money.

    I’m interested in outcomes, results, growth, and my bank account and investments.

    As a right winger, I do not want to see more members of the Democrat Party, the Socialist Party, or the Green Party in Congress. Their ideologies stink.

    It’s hilarious that as a left winger who advocates for bigger government, you claim to want more members of Congress who want to shrink government.

    You sound like a vegetarian who eats steak. Or a tee-totaler who drinks bourbon.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  129. Yeah… except that I’m not “a left winger who advocates for bigger government.” I’m “a left winger whose primary concern is breaking the two-party chokehold.”

    Ask one of the many intelligent conservative commenters who frequent this place about it – someone who knows what they’re talking about. I can list off some names, if you want.

    You may be interested in “outcomes, results, growth, and [your] bank account and investments”; that’s fine. I’m interested in political freedom and discourse; that’s also fine. I’m not interested in using Federal politics to protect my personal finances, and you’re not interested in discourse. We have different interests. Such is life.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  130. What I mean to say, Elephant Stone, is that you should feel free to continue to gorge yourself on the fruit of a poisonous tree for as long as it satisfies you. I’m gonna try something else.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  131. Quite true, nk. Have you read “The Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick?
    Comment by David Ehrenstein — 5/12/2012 @ 3:24 pm

    – Ehrenstein, there might be a shred (okay, maybe a scintilla) of hope for you, yet!

    Icy (12b2db)

  132. Leviticus is just another Fically Conservative, Social-Liberal who resents the Founders’ greatest invention:
    GRIDLOCK!

    Government is not supposed to be efficient, or able to move on a dime.
    Remember that the Senate is supposed to be a “saucer”; and if they still represented the Sovereign States, it still might.
    Instead, as popularly-elected officials, they are nothing but a group of wannabe Presidents-in-waiting.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8f3829)

  133. Elephant Stone,

    I can’t say for sure but I think Leviticus is more of a libertarian than a liberal, at least when it comes to economic policies — and at this point most Americans care most about the economy. FWIW I also happen to agree with him about the impact of Ross Perot on the Republican Party, and in the long run I think it was a good thing for the GOP.

    Most of all, however, I don’t see why we need to label everyone here instead of responding to their ideas. Leviticus supports proportional representation as a way to make politicians more responsive to voters. It’s an idea worth discussing, don’t you think?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  134. Proportional representation has not provided good governance IIRC anywhere it has been tried.
    The one thing it does do is bring (more) fringe elements into the polity, who proceed to muck things up.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8f3829)

  135. They’ve gone fully Tufnel;

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/05/newsweek-cover-the-first-gay-president-123283.html

    straight to eleven,
    Comment by narciso — 5/13/2012 @ 8:10 am

    – Can you imagine how proud Obama is? “The First Gay President.” And he didn’t even know that he’s gay, but there he is! Under a rainbow halo, (again with the halo? Really?) with a cover story written by none other than “Power Glutes” Sullivan himself.

    I hear that VP Biden just declared this to be the most important historical event since Moses parted the Red Sea.

    Icy (12b2db)

  136. AD-RtR-OS!,

    I don’t resent gridlock. In arguing for proportional representation, I’ve gone out of my way to avoid arguing that we should do away with checks and balances. I think it’s contemptible that the Democrats are trying to do away with the filibuster when it’s being used exactly how it was intended – as a test of mettle. I appreciate gridlock. What I don’t appreciate is being forced to choose between two parties that everyone here seems to acknowledge have no merit but longevity.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  137. “Proportional representation has not provided good governance IIRC anywhere it has been tried.”

    - AD-RtR/OS!

    Awwww… where’s that vaunted American Exceptionalism when we need it?

    Leviticus (870be5)

  138. “I can’t say for sure but I think Leviticus is more of a libertarian than a liberal, at least when it comes to economic policies.”

    - DRJ

    Well… maybe. I believe in maintaining a social safety net, but I believe in a balanced budget (i.e. I believe in paying for any program we decide we want as a people). In the meantime, I believe we need to take drastic measures to reduce the deficit, by a combination of spending cuts and tax increases (more spending cuts than tax increases).

    We’d probably cut spending in different places. I don’t know how the notion of a social safety net fits into your average libertarian worldview; I would figure that they key point was paying for it.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  139. …and the hummer in the back of a limousine, do you believe everything you read on the internet?
    Comment by nk — 5/13/2012 @ 10:53 am
    Do you believe Newsweek?

    It’s easy to write off President Obama’s announcement of his support for gay marriage as a political ploy during an election year. But don’t believe the cynics. Andrew Sullivan argues that this announcement has been in the making for years. “When you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work.” And President Obama has much in common with the gay community. “He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family,” Sullivan writes.

    From Icy’s link above. Guess we can now expect the …hummer in the back of a limousine…” front page article from the Washington Post tomorrow.

    …just teasing…I don’t believe everything on the Internet. And I don’t believe anything from the major newspapers/tv/ratio/etc. media.

    BfC (fd87e7)

  140. Leviticus:

    Well… maybe. I believe in maintaining a social safety net, but I believe in a balanced budget (i.e. I believe in paying for any program we decide we want as a people).

    The Democratic Party (both the White House and its platform) don’t support a balanced budget amendment, but both the Libertarian and the Republican Party platforms do. However, the Democratic Party supports a pay-as-you-go policy without a balanced budget.

    Where do you fit best when it comes to economic policy?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  141. the socialists only support pay as you go when Team R is in the majority… it’s just a tool for to help them press for tax increases

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  142. … or to oppose tax reductions

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  143. DRJ,

    I support a balanced budget amendment; your point is well taken.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  144. I don’t agree with the Libertarian’s categorical prohibition on realizing a balanced budget through tax increases, though. I think that tax increases and spending cuts are both viable tools for balancing a budget and should be (and will have to be) utilized in concert.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  145. the dirty socialist economy-rapers what see no problem with not passing a budget for 3+ years wouldn’t give a fig about a balanced budget amendment I don’t think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  146. I believe in maintaining a social safety net, but I believe in a balanced budget (i.e. I believe in paying for any program we decide we want as a people).

    Leviticus is Bob Dole!

    AD-RtR/OS! (8f3829)

  147. What I don’t appreciate is being forced to choose between two parties that everyone here seems to acknowledge have no merit but longevity

    When either, or both, of those parties have stopped being useful, the American Polity will consign them to the dustbin of history, just as the did the Federalists, the Democrat-Republicans, and the Whigs.

    And, au contraire Mon Ami, each of our two predominant parties have points of merit; it is just that so many of them are not in political fashion so much.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8f3829)

  148. Leviticus,

    I put you in the Libertarian Party because I figured you would balk at being called a Republican. But if you don’t fit in the Libertarian Party, then let me be the first to welcome you to the GOP. Solely, of course, for its economic policies.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  149. But you know the powers of Patterico.com are great. Who knows where you may end up?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  150. These are then “Ten Key Values” of the New Mexico Green Party. I stumbled across them reading through their bylaws:

    1. Grassroots Democracy
    2. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
    3. Ecological Wisdom
    4. Nonviolence
    5. Decentralization
    6. Community-Based Economics and Economic Justice
    7. Gender Equity and Cooperation
    8. Respect for Diversity
    9. Personal and Global Responsibility
    10. Future Focus and Sustainability and Quality of Life

    Very broad, of course, but no more so than “fiscal responsibility” I don’t think. I would support projects in service of those values.

    My fiscal positions are probably far more conservative than the standard Green Party member.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  151. ==What I don’t appreciate is being forced to choose between two parties that everyone here seems to acknowledge have no merit but longevity==

    The two party equation conundrum is complicated by the fact that the two parties themselves are quite differently comprised and mean different things to voters depending on whether they happen to live in West Virginia, New Jersey, Missouri, or Massachusetts (etc.). Then there are intrastate variances, too. Other than name, (and a few core principles) the Democrat and Republican parties that serve and represent voters in downstate Illinois are two very different parties than those which vie for votes in the Chicago suburbs. Something similar can be said for Texas and California, too, I hear. All this is to say that I think at least some of the major frustration and dissatisfaction about the parties by both team D and Team R voters arises from regional differences in what those voters expect from their national party.

    elissa (672288)

  152. ==just as I would love to see more members of the Green Party (in congress)==

    Cynthia McKinney thanks you! :)

    elissa (672288)

  153. Leviticus,

    You share many of the values my good and decent NM friends believe in. However, in my experience those values don’t lead to financial success for people or communities. Ultimately, it’s financial success, not good intentions, that enable people and communities to protect the environment and to promote similar values.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  154. By the way, Leviticus (and daley and Dustin and several others) thank you for your comments of support and standing up for me earlier. I appreciated it.

    elissa (672288)

  155. Reagan, a very conservative President, ran the country, the whole time he was in office, on deficit. His 1986 tax cuts were in fact a very big tax increase. He eliminated the capital gains exception and taxed amortization upon sale as regular income. Although admittedly at a lower rate (25%), it was a substantial increase in “revenue”. I remember Christmas through New Year’s Eve 1985, guiding clients through selling their apartment buildings.

    nk (875f57)

  156. Elissa, you can count on many, many folks…including me…to hold folks who insult you in great disrespect. That’s not chivalry; it’s in recognition for how and what you post, and the value you bring to discussions.

    Simon Jester (47427b)

  157. Put not your faith in princes.

    Nicolo M.

    nk (875f57)

  158. What Simon said, elissa.

    Alex e una putana. Not worthy of regard.

    nk (875f57)

  159. #

    “On the other hand, successful austerity packages resulted from making spending cuts without tax increases. They also found this form of austerity is more likely associated with economic expansion rather than with recession.”

    I need to look at that to see what’s wrong with that, But I very suspicious of this thing because I can see right away what would be wrong with that.

    The first problem is that this is after the fact.

    So now, suppose, for whatever reasons, you have an economic expansion.

    There probably won’t be much of a tax increase passed. In fact there are more likely to be cuts.

    But because in the period probably studied, a lot of government expenses are one form or another of welfare programs – unemployment insurance, aid to the poor, etc. even disability benefits – if you have an expansion, all those things are going to go down.

    Do these people count it as a cut even though it happened without any changes in law? And do they count any increase in government revenue that occurred as a tax increase, or do they only count as a tax increase, increased revenue that occurred as a result of a change in a law?

    You know, the whole thing here could be a tautology.

    Sammy Finkelman (a5ab05)

  160. Comment by BfC — 5/13/2012 @ 1:55 pm

    No, BfC. I do not believe Newsweek or Andrew Sullivan. Or Drudge, for that matter. Obama is not being gay to gays, he is being kind.

    The homosexuals need to understand that they rely on acceptance. But “acceptance” does not mean us letting them shove it down our throats.

    nk (875f57)

  161. “You know, the whole thing here could be a tautology.”

    Sammy – Sort of like your comments?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  162. Or poutting history on your side.

    Commentary’s contentions writes today:

    Many of President Obama’s fervent devotees are young enough not to have much memory of the political world before the arrival of The One. Coincidentally, Obama himself feels the same way—and the White House’s official website reflects that.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on http://www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford).

    [Ford was never elected - SF so maybe that's why he got left out= SF]

    Here are a few examples:

    On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.

    In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.

    President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed (sic) into law in 1965—providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”

    On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.

    In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.

    I imagine Bill Clinton will be especially receptive to Obama’s habit of shoehorning himself into the limelight previously occupied by others.

    As you can see, the bullet points make clear that while each president has done something historic or notable, Obama is carrying forward every one of those accomplishments since Coolidge. No wonder he always seems so proud of himself.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  163. How did he connect himself to Clinton!??

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  164. Speaking historically, is President Obama a modern day Caligula? Well, certain striking similarities abound that make the comparison eye-opening. Caligula was the Roman Emperor from 37 to 41 AD when he was murdered the Praetorain Guard, ending his infamous reign. This dictator has gone down in history as one of the worst Roman emperors that ever held the position. Through his financial excess, out-of-touch domestic policies and seemingly erratic behavior he is the embodiment of a poor leader.

    Ironically, despite his record, the people of Rome loved him during his day. Instead of cheering his assassination they sought out his killers and brought them to justice. It seems almost counterintuitive but history does not lie- on the contrary, it tends to repeat itself.

    You may ask why such a notorious dictator was so loved during his day. Well, when you look at what’s going on today you will understand. Caligula was one of the first politicians in recorded history to use class warfare. Like Obama, he denounced the rich and successful of his country and frequently made an example out of them to increase his popularity. He excessively taxed them, imposed charges similar to our modern day capital gains, and took their inheritance. Not only did he believe extorting from the rich would help the economy but he also believed that it would bolster his popularity among the Roman people. Well, he was certainly wrong on the first point but was correct on the second.

    Is what Caligula did any different from the Buffet tax? Financially, this tax would have done nothing to help the economy or reduce the national debt. However, the only thing it could accomplish would be to punish the successful and have Obama gain favor among the American people.

    Caligula was also remembered for his excessive spending. Caligula’s payments for support, generosity and extravagance had exhausted the state’s treasury and began bankrupting the country. Unfortunately, this is exactly what we see today. With the vast expansion of government, increase in spending and a 16 trillion dollar debt Obama has done the same thing to the United States as Caligula did to Rome. However, instead of just exhausting our treasury, he has put our country into a financial whole. Plus, like Caligula, we see Obama’s excesses. From his wife’s trip to Spain to his own over-the-top inauguration he is the modern day Caligula.

    Lastly, Caligula was considered mad for promoting his own horse to the position of consul. This was the highest elected political office in Rome, second only to the emperor. Well, when we look at some of those Obama has appointed to high ranking governmental positions the similarities become obvious. Van Jones, Al Armendariz and Eric Holder are just a few of his winners. To be honest, I’d rather see him appoint a horse instead of many of the people he has surrounded himself with.

    Unfortunately, the similarity between Obama and Caligula is clear. Caligula only had 4 years in office. Let’s do the same to Obama and vote for Romney this November!

    Steve Martino (6ef0b4)

  165. Caligula was also directly descended from two lines of distinguished soldiers, the Claudi and Agrippi. His father, Drussus, was Rome’s MacArthur under Octavian. Caligula was a soldier as a toddler — he was with his father in the German frontier. “Caligula” is the diminutive of “caliga”, the Roman soldiers’ boot/sandal. Plutarch uses the word “distinction” to describe his defense of Rome’s frontiers.

    nk (875f57)

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