Patterico's Pontifications

2/18/2014

Thomas Sowell: Ted Cruz Is Somehow Hurting the Cause He Stands For

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:08 pm

I am an admirer of Thomas Sowell, but here, I think he just doesn’t get it. Read it all and then return here for the criticisms.

Sowell begins his piece by, essentially, arguing that Ted Cruz sure does talk purdy, but so did Barack Obama, and where did that get us? Sowell then quickly arrives at the crux of his argument:

Senator Ted Cruz has not yet reached the point where he can make policy, rather than just make political trouble. But there are already disquieting signs that he is looking out for Ted Cruz — even if that sets back the causes he claims to be serving.

Those causes are not being served when Senator Cruz undermines the election chances of the only political party that has any chance of undoing the disasters that Barack Obama has already inflicted on the nation — and forestalling new disasters that are visible on the horizon.

Sowell goes on to emphasize the stakes. ObamaCare has fundamentally restructured the relationship of the government and the individual. Hear, hear. I have said that in this space often. The new FCC plan to monitor how media makes news is another federal intrusion on freedom. Hear, hear. I noted this here days ago.

The basic, brutal reality is that the federal government can do whatever it wants to do, if nobody stops them. The Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision shows that we cannot depend on them to protect our freedom. Nor will Congress, as long as the Democrats control the Senate.

Until recently, I might have agreed. After all, who is going to stop Obama, if not Republicans? But here is the problem, Mr. Sowell: Republicans have not done a damned thing to stop this. None of them voted for it, true. But that was not good enough. It was still passed. And now, what are we doing to stop it? Are we dreaming that we will retake the Senate and the Presidency and keep the House — and then, if we do, that it will mean something?

Tell me, Mr. Sowell: when Republicans last controlled Congress and the Presidency, precisely what did they accomplish to rein in the size and oppressive ubiquitous power of the federal government? During those golden years from 2003 to 2006, what government excesses were ended? Did we reform Social Security or Medicare? I don’t seem to recall that we did.

Here’s what I do remember: we passed a new prescription drug benefit. We passed some tax cuts but did not rein in spending; instead, we ran deficits of half a trillion dollars per year or more.

So yes, Mr. Sowell: the Republican Party is the only party that could put a stop to what Obama is doing — but the fact that they could does not mean that they will.

It does not matter too much who gets elected if they’re not going to do anything when they get there.

So what is Cruz doing to hurt Republicans’ prospects? Remarkably enough, Sowell doesn’t tell us. But you don’t have to guess, because (if you didn’t already know) I will tell you. For one thing, he is holding Republicans accountable for their decision to continue the temporary abolishment of the debt ceiling:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sat with eyes glued to his mobile device as the chaos he provoked ensnared his Republican leaders on the Senate floor.

Legislation to raise the nation’s borrowing authority with no strings attached was short of the 60 votes it needed to advance — a threshold Cruz demanded — and without a few conversions, Republicans would be blamed for its failure. The stock market was watching. [Actually, borrowing authority was unlimited before the vote and is still unlimited; the real issue was whether to re-impose the debt ceiling, which was suspended last year and was re-suspended earlier this month. I got this wrong several days ago and had to correct my post; this is probably worth a post of its own. There is no debt ceiling in effect right now; it is suspended and the country can spend anything it wants. -- P]

After what seemed like an eternity, a grim-faced Sen. Mitch McConnell, the party leader who faces a tea party challenge back home, finally voted yes. An equally grim-faced Sen. John Cornyn, the party’s No. 2 leader and Cruz’s Texas colleague, changed his vote from no to yes.

Cruz showed no mercy in exposing Republican leaders to widespread criticism from their primary challengers over a procedural vote on the debt limit after their pronouncements about the imperative of spending cuts. It could have been a simple 50-vote requirement, with Democrats delivering the votes to lift the debt limit, but Cruz insisted.

Pressed after the vote about what he made his leaders do, Cruz was unapologetic.

“It should have been a very easy vote,” he told reporters. “In my view, every Senate Republican should have stood together.” He added that the verdict on McConnell “is ultimately a decision … for the voters in Kentucky.”

That is called holding Republicans accountable. You want to give Barack Obama free rein to spend anything he likes? Put your name down on that blank check so we can all see it.

The rest of Sowell’s piece goes from unconvincing to just plain bizarre:

The most charitable interpretation of Ted Cruz and his supporters is that they are willing to see the Republican Party weakened in the short run, in hopes that they will be able to take it over in the long run, and set it on a different path as a more purified conservative party.

Like many political ideas, this one is not new. It represents a political strategy that was tried long ago — and failed long ago.

In the German elections of 1932, the Nazi party received 37 percent of the vote. They became part of a democratically elected coalition government, in which Hitler became chancellor. Only step by step did the Nazis dismantle democratic freedoms and turn the country into a complete dictatorship.

The political majority could have united to stop Hitler from becoming a dictator. But they did not unite. They fought each other over their differences. Some figured that they would take over after the Nazis were discredited and defeated.

Many who plotted this clever strategy died in Nazi concentration camps. Unfortunately, so did millions of others.

What such clever strategies overlook is that there can be a point of no return. We may be close to that point of no return, not only with Obamacare, but also with the larger erosion of personal freedom, of which Obamacare is just the most visible part.

Yes, we are at that point. We are at a desperate point. And the silly Nazi analogy only serves to reinforce that Cruz is doing the right thing. Sowell portrays Cruz as the one who wants to wait, but Sowell is the one who wants to wait: he wants to wait until we “control” the Senate with 50+ Republicans, plenty Republicans in name only, who won’t dare pass anything that means a damn.

Cruz says, by contrast, we have power NOW. We have the House NOW. Let’s use that power. If Sowell wants to go full Godwin on us, then Sowell waiting for the Senate to go GOP is Stauffenberg waiting to assassinate Hitler until he gets Himmler in the room too. Cruz says: we have the bomb NOW, and if we’re not going to set it off when we have it, then we may end up having to wait until we’re in a room with some damned fool who kicks it with his leg. Why wait? If the situation is desperate then we fight NOW, and those who refuse to fight must be named and shamed.

I’m sorry, Mr. Sowell, but as much as I like you, this piece is rambling, odd, and totally unconvincing.

169 Responses to “Thomas Sowell: Ted Cruz Is Somehow Hurting the Cause He Stands For”

  1. Ding.

    I plan to do that debt ceiling post in the morning.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Cruz is fighting, both intellectually and as a Patriot. Cruz is NOT on of the COOL CROWD. CRUZ hasn’t been “APPROVED” by the GOP. Correct me where I am wrong thus far!! K?? The COOL CROWD, A.K.A. the ESTABLISHMENT, is not happy that CRUZ might take their POWER away.
    Tell me WHO, is the LEADER, the GENERAL PATTON of the GOP????

    Gus (70b624)

  3. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPING JOHNNY BOEHNER MELLENCAMP, is not a LEADER.

    Gus (70b624)

  4. I’m sorry, Mr. Sowell, but as much as I like you, this piece is rambling, odd, and totally unconvincing

    I feel schizoid because I both agree with your take on things, but I also fully sympathize with where Sowell is coming from. However, I’d be less understanding of Sowell’s viewpoint if opinion polls — which I’m sure that noted columnist is fully aware of — showed a large percentage of America was reliably conservative. But he must see the growing cracks and fractures in this nation’s layer of common sense — drooping further as each year goes by (and we become more and more like a Mexico, Greece or France) — when far too many Americans, even in 2014, still blame George W Bush instead of Obama for ongoing economic problems. That to me epitomizes what’s truly “silly” about the situation today.

    Mark (0553f9)

  5. Here’s what I do remember: we passed a new prescription drug benefit. We passed some tax cuts but did not rein in spending; instead, we ran deficits of half a trillion dollars per year or more.

    Also, the DHS was created, the TSA was created, and a little later, its employees turned into federal workers.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (73b524)

  6. Since I live in Texas and voted for him I think I have a certain right to make this statement: Senator Cruz, so far, has done exactly what he promised he would do if elected.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  7. this piece is rambling, odd, and totally unconvincing.

    Yes, and very disappointing.

    So many are still waiting for the GOP to do somethinganything…to stop the madness but the GOP will not do what is necessary. However, Cruz steps up to the plate, stalwartly stands on principle while tipping the GOP apple cart to do the job they won’t, and he is the one undermining conservatism. Exactly how does that work?

    Dana (9f8700)

  8. I found the Nazi analogy offensive.

    Dana (9f8700)

  9. If squishes like George Will and John Hinderaker can figure out what’s wrong and where we’re headed, anyone can. Sowell disappoints.

    The last pol to make me feel as good about being a Republican as Mr. Cruz makes feel was Ronald Reagan.

    If there is a future, Cruz is it.

    ThOR (130453)

  10. sounds like Mr Sowell is starting on the creation of a body of w*rk that will, in his mind, keep him out of the re-education camps…

    if he writes more BS like this, stick a fork in him: he’s done.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  11. The more I learn about Reagan, the more his rhetoric inspires … which makes the shortcomings of his policies that much more bitter.

    His deficits were monstrous (yes, budgets were passed by Democrats, but did the ink in his veto pen run dry?). Thank you for the amnesty, Mr. Reagan. And nothing beats a secret war carried out in direct opposition to the expressed wishes of Congress, the body entrusted (with good reason) with the exclusive authority to declare war.

    (It seems that the radical libertarians are gaining ground with me. They still mostly lose me on foreign affairs and completely on criminal law. But for those issues, I could have voted for Ron Paul with enthusiasm.)

    God, Reagan’s speeches were great, though. He really seemed to care about federalism.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  12. Mr. Sowell can stick his nazi analogy where the sun won’t shine.
    Just another writer who has lost it. Team R can sure screw up a life long work of good intentions.

    mg (31009b)

  13. This land of the lost we occupy needs a Mr. Cruz to save it.
    The low life man that’s running this country is a scab on society.

    mg (31009b)

  14. Good analysis.

    Now I’m personally no longer a huge fan of this whole politics thing, but if the people you send to office to do the job aren’t doing the job, but you’ve got someone there who fights, you support him or her.

    And primary. Primary like mad.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  15. “The more I learn about Reagan, the more his rhetoric inspires … which makes the shortcomings of his policies that much more bitter.”

    Yup.

    Bill Clinton was more financially responsible. And I realize it sticks in the craw to admit that.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  16. I don’t hold Sowell accountable, and I certainly don’t hold Cruz accountable for the Venezuela-ization of the US. But I definitely hold a large portion of the populace accountable. It’s they who deserve a lot of the blame for the quagmire we’re stuck in. It’s they who’ve caused the pathetic squishiness that is making too many Republicans even more spineless than they’d otherwise be—eg, who received most of the blame for the sequester several months ago? Liberals/Obama/Democrats or conservatives/Boehner/Republicans? Here’s a hint: the following report, involving people not even a blue state but a relatively red one, points in the direction of where banana-republic-ized America is headed.

    washingtonexaminer.com, February 7, 2014: Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger for Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., now leads the Senate minority leader according to a new Kentucky poll. The latest WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows Grimes at 46 percent and McConnell at 42 percent. McConnell leads his primary challenger, Matt Bevin, by 26 points among registered Republicans.

    The poll also shows that President Obama suffers a 60 percent disapproval rating; the same rating McConnell has. Forty nine percent of voters in the poll said that Obamacare should be repealed, while 44 percent said that the program should be implemented and fixed.

    The poll of 1,082 registered voters, of which 404 were registered Republicans, was taken Jan. 30-Feb. 3 and had a 3-percentage-point margin of error.

    Mark (0553f9)

  17. Bill Clinton was more financially responsible. And I realize it sticks in the craw to admit that.

    Vis-a-vie Obama, not Reagan? Yep, I can buy that. Plenty of dyed-in-the-wool liberals/Democrats who don’t want even the slightest of aspersions cast upon their idol in the White House. Moreover, the same liberals who sidestep the fact that Clinton (1) faced a Republican Congress — I still recall how chastened Bill looked after the mid-term elections when pols like Gingrich came out on top — and (2) had the built-in benefits of the dot-com boom years.

    Mark (0553f9)

  18. I’m pretty much a libertarian absolutist these days when it comes to people people going where they want and associating with whom they want. And I’m not using that as code for not associating with those who are different. I love associating with people from all over.

    However, if one opposes the, as you call it, “Venezuela-ization of the US”, it really comes down to demographics. John Derbyshire, Peter Brimelow, Pat Buchanan, etc., are correct epistemologically (perhaps not ethically). Somehow most of the GOP has bought into the notion that all groups of people are the same except for ideology.

    Err, no.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  19. You make good points, Mark. Perhaps it’s simply the case that control of the Congress has historically been more important than control of the Presidency, except now that the Congress are all double-dosing on estrogen pills and the President is wresting power in himself.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  20. 8. I found the Nazi analogy offensive.

    Comment by Dana (9f8700) — 2/18/2014 @ 9:52 pm

    I thought that was one of the few things Sowell nailed. But then I’ve been reading Shivelbusch’s Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939.

    http://www.amazon.com/Three-New-Deals-Reflections-Roosevelts/dp/0312427433

    There are broad similarities between all three approaches to economic policy, use of mass propaganda, and other areas. As the author takes pain to point out, just because we can compare the these programs for substance as well as means of implementation is in no way saying that they are identical. There are also large differences. One difference is that FDR didn’t resort to the violence and the level of intimidation of either of the other two men. I say level of intimidation because some of his appointees did resort to intimidation in the form of organizing illegal boycotts (participation was optional, but non-participation was intolerable) which reminded observers at the time to how the Nazis compelled compliance with their winter appeal.

    Also I just finished watching this presentation by author and former professor of history and the humanities at Cooper Union, Fred Siegel. As much as Obama liked to style himself the new FDR with a New New Deal we are in a much more dangerous place than this country ever was under FDR.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqyOAG521ZY

    Fred Siegel “The Revolt Against The Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined The Middle Class”

    I think you’ll have a far better idea of who Barack Obama is after you watch that video. Certainly I know I do. I also think that Ted Cruz is one of the very few people in Congress who does understand who Barack Obama is. The problem is that the majority of the GOP congresscritters do not. Moreover as we’ve seen they are not equipped to deal with him even if they could open their eyes to who he and his fellow travelers are. The leadership and the Senior members of both chambers are hopeless in the latter regard; John McCain is the poster child for completely failing to understand what’s going on around him.

    Maybe you might not be so offended by Sowell’s analogy after you watch that hour long video of Siegel’s presentation.

    As for the rest of Sowells essay it’s complete crap. Especially as Pat points out just because the GOP could stop Obamacare doesn’t mean they will. Particularly since, as Siegel points out, if the GOP takes the Senate then Obama will really try to govern without Congress entirely. Obama has contempt for republicanism (not the GOP per se but but the separation of power, federalism, and counties and cities have local control over anything). What he wants is obviously centralization. He also has the same attitude towards democracy as his one close friend among foreign leaders, Recep Erdogan.

    “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.”

    As an aside it’s no wonder that he gets along so well with the Muslim Brotherhood, and his first act as President in the realm of foreign policy was to side with Castro and Chavez and back Honduran President Manuel Zelaya’s unconstitutional bid to stay in office.

    Siegel predicts that Obama will force some very ugly confrontations with Congress. And he has Boehner and McConnell so thoroughly intimidated they will probably let him get away with it. Of course, they’ll try to lie to their base about it as they did with this debt ceiling vote. And as they are were and still are trying to do on immigration.

    http://www.humanevents.com/2013/04/17/if-rubios-amnesty-is-so-great-why-is-he-lying/

    Coulter does a good job cataloging the lies. One thing she doesn’t touch on why it’s laughable to claim this amnesty isn’t an amnesty as Rubio, Ryan, and all Republicans that pushed amnesty absurdly claim with a straight face. Rubio talked about how illegal immigrants have to pay back taxes and a fine. At no time did he or anyone else talk about making anyone pay for committing perjury when they “self certified” that they could legally work in the US on their W2 forms. And the document fraud that went with that perjury. I know for a fact the former is a felony, and I believe the latter is as well. Then there’s the identity theft. So the question isn’t whether or not these characters were proposing an amnesty. The question is how many amnesties are they proposing.

    So I believe the GOP will be too intimidated to stop Obama even if they were so inclined. I can hardly wait for the mantra to change from “we’re powerless to stop him when we only control one-half of one-third of government” to “we’re powerless to stop him when we only control one-third of government.”

    But there are too many signs that they aren’t so inclined. They are too attached to their perks and their cushy lifestyles so likely they’ll be accept being the junior member in Obama’s fundamentally transformed federal government. I’ve listed some of the indicators. Then there’s this.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/17/Pat-Caddell-Says-Establishment-Republicans-Want-the-IRS-to-Go-After-the-Tea-Party

    On Monday, Rush Limbaugh addressed Caddell’s charges against establishment Republicans in his nationally syndicated program.

    “That is a serious charge,” Limbaugh said. “That is a very, very serious charge, that the Republican establishment is aligned with Obama and is okay with Obama using the IRS to investigate the Tea Party. But it’s believable, because we know the Republican establishment, the political class in Washington, is spreading the word that they are not gonna criticize Hillary, it isn’t gonna happen, and we shouldn’t, either. It shouldn’t happen.”

    Reagan biographer Craig Shirley told Breitbart News on Monday that he agrees with Limbaugh that Caddell’s charges are credible.”The Washington Republican party is no longer a political party in the way we understand political parties,” Shirley said. “It more resembles a crime family than a movement of ideas.”

    Rush observed the establishment GOP and their attendant consulting and lobbying class would rather lose in the short term if it means being rid of the TEA Party. So I’m not onboard with the establishment notion that was being pushed back in September that Cruz making a huge mistake by confronting Obama over the Budget because “we all share the same objectives, we just differ on tactics.” Remember their preferred tactic before the Cruz forced the partial government slowdown? The debt ceiling was where the real battle was going to take place, baby! That was the more “favorable ground,” according to the establishment types. How’s that working out.

    So color me skeptical. The GOP doesn’t have any competent leadership. They don’t have the skills to be able to stop Obama. And even if they could, I don’t know if they even want to try. As Cruz pointed out on Mark Levin the other night, there’s a reason why Congress has such a low approval rating. It’s because people don’t like to be lied to.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  21. Somehow most of the GOP has bought into the notion that all groups of people are the same except for ideology.

    FC, but as I pointed out in comparing the city of Detroit with the country of Argentina, ideology and politics truly may trump anything and everything else.

    Of course, it would require an act of magic to prove or disprove that theory. IOW, the people of Detroit would have to be miraculously transformed from 95-plus percent liberal/Democrat to 95-plus percent conservative/Republican in order to gauge the outcome. But the feckless, corrupt nature of Argentina — which is a predominantly white nation — is a roundabout way of verifying how left-leaning politics can destroy any society, regardless of its demographics.

    Mark (0553f9)

  22. They don’t have the skills to be able to stop Obama. And even if they could, I don’t know if they even want to try

    I guess the wishy-washy nature of various Republican politicians is merely a window into the wishy-washy nature (ie, people who are more liberal than truly centrist, even though they describe themselves as independent and moderate) of far too much of the electorate, including non-liberal Republicans (I won’t even say conservatives or rightists) who express more cynicism about “mean ol’ rightwingers” and, in turn, feel lovey-dovey towards the supposed compassion, do-gooder (ie, “progressive”) crowd, politicians included.

    Mark (0553f9)

  23. When I mentioned intimidation, I was specifically thinking of the activities of Hugh Samuel Johnson, FDR’s first director of the National Recovery administration, and other administration officials against businesses and individuals that didn’t dance to the NRA’s tune. Schivelbusch writes of Johnson and the NRA:

    …Conversely, the absence of a Blue Eagle emblem suggested that a person or business did not support Roosevelt and did not belong to the national army fighting the Depression, and that therefore that person or business was to be treated as an enemy. NRA head Hugh Johnson as to the symbol’s polarizing intention, proclaiming, “Those who are not with us are against us.” (p 88)

    …The Blue Eagle campaign – or as Johnson called it, “the greatest peacetime assault on a national enemy this country has ever seen” – lasted from July 14 to September 13, 1933.” …The idea was to create a bandwagon effect that, once launched by mass propaganda, would be driven by its own momentum. Persuasion and coercion worked hand in hand.(p 90)

    …Johnson was anything but a model democrat. An authoritarian hothead who raged that Blue Eagle detractors deserved, “a sock right on the nose,” he considered the corporatism of the Italian fascists a model worthy of emulation and saw his task as so important that, as he said, “this law stuff doesn’t matter.” (p91)

    …But what if individual entrepreneurs, despite all this, still refused to sign on? For Johnson the solution was simple. He spoke of receiving thousands of complaints of non-compliance and the government’s plan to explain the citizens’ obligations to each and every detractor. The next step, he suggested, was to unleash the force of public opinion.

    What this meant in plain English was the threat of a boycott. …Even Johnson realized such a call was unconstitutional. Thus, he was careful to argue that “of course what the people are doing is not a boycott. The public,” he added, “simply can not tolerate non-compliance with their plan.”

    In a fine example of doublespeak, the argument maintained that cooperation with the president was completely voluntary but that exceptions would not be tolerated because public opinion was so unanimously behind FDR. As one historian put it, the Blue Eagle campaign was “based upon voluntary cooperation, but those who didn’t volunteer to participate would be forced into participation. (p92)

    …And in a 1935 book comparing Bolshevism, Fascism, National Socialism, and the New Deal, Ethan Colton concluded, “The bombardment of the public mind bore resemblance to the smashing propaganda drives put on by the Bolshevik and Nazi machines.” (p93)

    …The phrase “symbolism of compliance” was coined by Fritz Morstein Marx, a high ranking bureaucrat in the administration of the German city-state of Hamburg before 1933 and later a professor of administrative law at Harvard University. He applied it to expressions of loyalty by Germans toward the National Socialist regime. As examples he cited the use of “Heil Hitler” as a greeting, the prominent display of swastika flags hanging from the windows of private homes, and the outpouring of contributions to the Nazi Winter Relief charity. These expressions of fealty were not officially required. In reality of course a kind of indirect compulsion did exist.

    …In 1933, Americans who did not publicly support the Blue Eagle campaign invited the threat of social ostracism or economic boycott – the results of which were no less devastating for having been brought about by the state’s tacit recommendation rather than by official decree. (pp94 – 95).

    He observes that of course in Nazi Germany those who failed to participate suffered far harsher penalties than Americans did at the time. To say something is comparable isn’t to equate them. Still, he observes that it’s impossible to ignore the similar approaches to compelling conformity and takes a closer look at the Winger Relief campaigns to make that clearer.

    This is one reason I suppose I’m not offended by the Hitler analogy. Because people at the time were making the same analogies. They were obvious. As the correspondent for Britain’s Daily Herald reporting on the parade in New York that launched the Blue Eagle campaign:

    “There were more Blue Eagles than Swastikas in Germany.”

    But another reason is that in Barack Obama’s 21st century New New Deal we already know the penalties are more like those in Nazi Germany than under Roosevelt. Roosevelt did use the IRS to target his political enemies, true.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-16/news/sns-rt-us-usa-tax-irs-scandalsbre94f16v-20130516_1_tax-exempt-status-irs-audits-rich-history

    1930s – President Franklin Roosevelt used the IRS against political enemies, launching investigations into the finances of publisher William Randolph Hearst, Louisiana Governor Huey Long and controversial radio priest Charles Coughlin.

    But Obama is taking it a step further. The “symbol of compliance” he is requiring of businesses is a “self-certification” under penalty of perjury. A loyalty oath with the threat of criminal sanction. FDR never went that far.

    Guess who did convict people of crimes for non-compliance?

    For all their claims of “voluntary contributions,” popular participation was enshrined in the tax regulations, since the German tax authority automatically deducted 20 percent of workers’ taxable incomes if they did not explicitly opt out of the contributions. Those who paid up were issued a monthly placard that exempted them from door-to-door solicitations. Those who did not could be fired on the spot, and although they could sue to regain their jobs, the legal route was risky. While teh courts reaffirmed Germans’ de jure right to nonparticipation in voluntary campaigns, judges de facto convicted recalcitrants of of antisocial behavior toward the German Volk. One such conviction in 1937, for instance, found the plaintiff guilty of “gross misuse of the freedom accorded to him by the Fuhrer in his confidence in [the essential goodness of] the German soul.”

    Divergent as the New Deal and Naziism were when it came to the application of direct state coercion, they were similar in the political rhetoric and the psychology behind that rhetoric.(pp 97-98)

    Schivelbusch did not write with Obama in mind; he’s a German author who originally wrote this book in the late ’90s. It was first published in English in the US in 2006. But he might as well have. Because the one area where the New Deal and Naziism diverged, direct state coercion, have converged under Obama and the signature piece of legislation of his New New Deal.

    Some people may find Sowell’s analogy offensive, but it’s historically accurate.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  24. By the way, from that Chicago Tribune article about the IRS and their history of abusing their authority:

    1960s – During the administration of President John Kennedy, the IRS created an “Ideological Organizations Audit Project” that investigated conservative groups and challenged their tax-exempt status. The IRS started the project after Kennedy complained about right-wing groups getting tax-exempt status during a news conference. Targets included the American Enterprise Institute and Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.

    Anybody notice any similarities to the present situation?

    A President with a (D)after his name doesn’t need to issue a written directive to tell the IRS to target his enemies. He just needs to complain publicly about it, as Obama did many times even identifying people for scrutiny by name, and the IRS will take that as their marching orders.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  25. Before anyone gets started, I realize there are huge differences between FDR’s NRA and the Nazi Winter Relief charity on the one hand and Obama’s ACA on the other. Participation in the first two was at least nominally voluntary, while participation in Obamacare is almost entirely compulsory.

    Which already makes Obama worse by comparison.

    But oddly Obama and his spokesmen have argued to a great extent that participation in Obamacare is voluntary. When Obama’s solicitor general was defending the constitutionality of the individual mandate, he argued that individuals who didn’t want to pay it could always avoid it by earning less money.

    By the same token businesses can avoid the penalties, too, so they are similarly “voluntary.” They can avoid the employer mandates by employing less, the same logic used by Obama’s solicitor general.

    They just can’t say they’re doing that. They can fire as many people they need to, as long as they produce the symbol of compliance.

    So I am struck by the similarities between FDR’s implementation of the Blue Eagle campaigns and Obama’s implementation of Obamacare. Because in FDR’s America could avoid the penalties of ostracism and boycott by producing the symbol of compliance. As long as a business owner put up the blue eagle of the NRA he’d be left alone whether or not he was actually complying with the “code of conduct” or really following the regulations, too. Just as long as he said he was onboard with the program, just as Obama demands now.

    Also the doublespeak is strikingly similar.

    Schivelbusch quotes historian Andrew Wolton:

    …the Blue Eagle campaign was “based upon voluntary cooperation, but those who didn’t volunteer to participate would be forced into participation.”

    Chris Stirewait of Fox News:

    To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  26. When this country of chicken-shits looks like the Ukraine, we will have begun to fight. Time to refresh the tree of liberty with real men, not suit wearing mouths.

    mg (31009b)

  27. Yes, they impeached Nixon, for attempting what JFK and Johnson actually did, you don’t think that Dems victory was only about their popularity do you.

    As for Reagam, he was fighting a multifront war, against thankless serpents like David Stockman, against the media which was as mendacious as ever with the likes of Moyers and Stahl, and the Democrats who were on the other side in Central America, as they were in Western Europe, on the nuclear question,

    narciso (3fec35)

  28. Back then the GOP front bench, can one recall any of them, were more often then not willing to work with the Democrats, on pushing their agenda, the Doles and McCains of their day.

    narciso (3fec35)

  29. he could have made a parallel with the radical republicans who pushed Reconstruction, but then
    why give up a Godwin mark,

    narciso (3fec35)

  30. Ridiculous blog post, even by government employee standards. But sadly all too common and predictable within the horrific demographic parameters of the erstwhile conservative chattering classes.

    The references to Social Security and Medicare not being undone under W. Bush especially were rich. As if a tenuous GOP Congressional majority could undo those programs within four years(!) and as if it’s at all rational not to support the party because it didn’t snap its fingers and make seven consecutive prior decades of profligacy go poof and disappear. Sharron Angle just felt a tingle in her crotch. Meanwhile Norm Coleman, Mike Castle and George Allen are shaking their heads slowly, in disgust.

    So the country will continue devolving into a de facto third-world banana republic. The whole “I’d rather starve than accept 2/3 of a loaf of bread” coffee klatch will continue unabated, projecting their spoiled brat syndromes. Counting their trust fund monies. Preening at church. “Patterico” himself will be at Disney World. Counting his defined-benefit pension monies. Paid for by taxpayers. Not even grasping the various ironies. Rinse, repeat.

    Lawrence Westlake (48fb95)

  31. the Dems take the opportunity to fundamentally transform when they are in power, no matter how toxic that transformation is, the GOP is almost
    always in a rear guard action,

    narciso (3fec35)

  32. There was no more fundamental transformation of America than the dismantlement of our factories and the consequent shipping our manufacturing to China. In conjunction with bringing down China’s fearsomest rival, the Soviet Union. Making China a superpower — now economic and soon military too. And us unemployed beggars living off our credit cards with a debt service we will never be able to pay. But we proved “the failure of Communism”. Snicker. Mr. Secretary brought down that wall. A great victory for democracy and free market capitalism. Truth, justice and the American way, too. Sob.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. No, that is not fundamental transformation, China is like Wilhemine Germany, perhaps smarter,

    narciso (c552e4)

  34. America not being able to produce our own antibiotics (the constituents all come from China) is not fundamental transformation? No factory jobs is not fundamental transformation? Detroit, the city which put an automobile in the hands of the poorest Okie fleeing the Dust Bowl, now a post-apocalyptic wasteland is not fundamental transformation?

    nk (dbc370)

  35. I know, the mini dress is fundamental transformation.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. Thank you, Patrick, for acknowledging Republicans’ role in creating our economic and political disasters. George W. Bush lit the fires. Barack Obama poured gasoline on them.

    creeper (30983d)

  37. We will hang the capitalists with the rope they sell us. — Lenin

    We will build the factories and sell capitalists cheap rope which they can only use to hang themselves. — Deng Xiaoping

    Just goes to show — Far Easterners are smarter than Eastern Europeans.

    nk (dbc370)

  38. I could not be happier with Senator Cruz. He could wash my car and make me a ribeye right now and I wouldn’t be happier with him.

    Yes, he has exposed some issues that the GOP finds tactfully inconvenient in its endlessly cynical clutching at power for power’s sake. That this truth being exposed angers the GOP so much should be a clarion call to all of us. Something is sick in this party. I can hear this sickness every time Judge Cornyn pops up on my radio with his simplistic conservative ad campaign. Surely you have Republicans who have helped this country towards fiscal crisis who insult your intelligence every election year as well.

    I met several of this stripe in my brief time working in DC and wound up nearly burnt out from politics altogether. Seeing the GOP nominate Mccain and then Romney to fight against policies they would just as soon champion for another percentage point in the polls has taken any chance of my calling myself Republican away. There is no character left when such unprincipled ‘men’ are trusted to lead us.

    Senator Cruz is only one part of the solution, and it’s a painful solution that takes digging deep and growing a pair, if you will pardon my being crude. Looking the voters in the eye and saying “we cannot afford to give you the things you say you are entitled to” is difficult for a politician. These days just skirting the issue instead of promising more is what passes for conservative in the GOP!

    If you love this country like I love this country, like most Texans love this country, you want to save her from the financial future that we are heading towards. It is time for reductions in the debt ceiling, a surplus budget amendment, term limits, the fair tax, and REAL skittles from REAL unicorns with ZERO carbs!!! Granted, absolutely none of that is feasible. It’s like hitting the brakes as the car is already halfway out over the cliff. But we must do what we can, and keep the faith.

    Those who have given up as Thomas Sowell clearly has may think they are salvaging the least bad future of least leftward policies. Maybe they are right. I don’t care.

    Dustin (303dca)

  39. Sowell has been honored at Stanford and protected from the hateful criticisms of leftist guttersnipes for so long now that he’s morphing into just another GOP establishment duck talker. Rather than rub shoulders with the zeitgeist, Sowell slips into Stockholm Syndrome defending the same old worn out rationalizations Republican mandarins used to oppose Ronald Reagan.

    ropelight (138fb3)

  40. A fair tax would be 90% of any profit derived from goods manufactured abroad and marketed in the United States. They don’t contribute to the workforce, they don’t contribute to workers’ healthcare pools, they don’t contribute to local economies, they don’t contribute to local taxes, they don’t contribute to Social Security and Medicare, they don’t contribute to unemployment insurance; let them contribute to the general revenue.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. Whether they disburse the profit as dividends, buy up shares to increase share value, or keep it as cash reserves.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Which already makes Obama worse by comparison.

    1960s – During the administration of President John Kennedy, the IRS created an “Ideological Organizations Audit Project” that investigated conservative groups and challenged their tax-exempt status.

    Interesting glimpses into the past, and an example of history repeating itself.

    FDR was a 1930′s version of Obama, albeit less overtly leftwing or not quite as glaringly extreme since he existed within the context of a nation that still hadn’t become as thoroughly debased and dumbed down as it would be during the post-1960s, post-1990s era. IOW, some of the dysfunction and political-cultural liberalism — including political correctness run amok — that are solidly inserted into the fabric of the US in 2014 would have been very odd, foreign and extreme over 60 years ago.

    FDR has long been cited as the beginning of the socialization or liberalization of America, his New Deal being the predecessor to LBJ’s “War on Poverty.”

    There’s the saying that “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” Deja vu, what goes around comes around, and what goes up must come down. Quite simply, America is following in the footsteps of banana-republic nations of South America or the decadent societies of the EU. We have doomed ourselves.

    Mark (0553f9)

  43. I agree with every word Sowell said.
    The partial government shutdown was a political failure for the GOP, and so would a debt-ceiling stand-off, and Cruz’s calling those Republicans who disagreed with him the “Surrender Caucus” only served to piss off Republicans and ensure that they would not stand behind him. That’s not what leaders do. It wasn’t what Reagan did.
    Cruz’s support of Senate TP candidates who were sure losers in the general only served to move the party backward. We had sure wins in Delaware and Indiana and Missouri, but Cruz’s TP favorites were unqualified losers. What he has done is take a Republican minority in the Senate and ensured that it will not be unified against the real problem, the Reid-led Democrats. Rather, Cruz has fractured the GOP minority. What do you think Reid would prefer? I’m sure he’d love more Cruz’s to stand against him.
    Cruz also has credibility issues. If a so-called leader can only say something true or mostly true only 20% of the time, then he’s not qualified for leading a damn thing.
    Obama can’t pass any new legislation in this present environment, and neither can Republicans, and that’s going to have to be good enough until 2016.

    Bird Dog (130699)

  44. he’s a fun lil senator

    but no he’s not president material

    but then what Republican is?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  45. Thank You, Dustin.

    mg (31009b)

  46. happyfeet-you voting this go round?

    mg (31009b)

  47. I wholeheartedly agree with this post by Texan-in-exile Patterico and with the comments by Dana and my fellow Texans, Ag80 and Dustin. I vote to name Dana an honorary Texan.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  48. nk – You want to resurrect the incredibly successful Republican Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act to return manufacturing jobs to America or some other nonsense?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. Ronald Reagan made me a Republican despite mind boggling policy shortcomings. Yes, Iran-Contra made my head spin. A big one for me was his change of course mid-stream on tax reform, when he pulled Donald Regan off the project, in response to K Street griping, just when it looked like there would be real progress. Regan, who liked to refer to K Street lobbyists as “the Gucci Boys,” was replaced by the conniving James Baker and any chance for major reform was lost. To this moment, I feel betrayed. But I digress.

    Reagan did one very important thing and he did it very well. He validated and mobilized conservatism in a way no post-war president had. Without Reagan, there would have been no Speaker Gingrich and no Gingrich Revolution. There also would probably be no “children of Reagan,” as Ted Cruz has dubbed fellow young conservatives. Without Reagan, I probably would be a grumpy political nihilist like the otherwise admirable Ken White and not a committed conservative Republican.

    Similarly, I have found myself thinking about George Bush Jr. quite a bit over the past 5 years – probably because President Obama is always bringing him up. Bush also had major domestic policy shortcomings, but the thing he did well, he did very well. He was a wartime president of the highest caliber and that was what we needed most at the time. In the great tradition of American exceptionalism, George Bush rose to the occasion to marshal our nation in a remarkably successful campaign against the incipient Muslim war against the non-Muslim world. And for eight grueling years, he stuck with it. I can’t think of another politician of the current era that would have had the same determination.

    ThOR (130453)

  50. nk – You want to resurrect the incredibly successful Republican Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act to return manufacturing jobs to America or some other nonsense?

    Nope. I want to squeeze the multinationals which owe no loyalty to America, or to anyone else except their quarterly earnings for that matter, for every penny I can. Don’t worry. If they still make money, they’ll still do business. They won’t just “take their ball and go home” because there is no ballpark like the American consumers.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. Well done Rico. Even I, Sammy’s mirror twin, feel no compulsion to add another word.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  52. “Nope. I want to squeeze the multinationals which owe no loyalty to America, or to anyone else except their quarterly earnings for that matter, for every penny I can.”

    nk – Cool. Like a Bill of Attainder aimed at multinationals? Free market and Mao have got nothing on you, dude.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  53. Tariffs are not the best way to go. They’re just added on to the cost of goods. They hurt both the importing business and the consumer, with dubious benefit to competing domestic producers. When domestic producers exist. No benefit when we have no domestic producers. Profits are the way to go. Let the importers worry about keeping high margins or keeping their market.

    nk (dbc370)

  54. It’s not a Bill of Attainder, it imposes no penalty. It’s a tax on income as good as any under the Sixteenth Amendment. Moreover, we would not be bothered with the residence of the importer. Too much trouble. Simply, is the stuff he sells here made abroad? If it’s a multinational, that’s just a happy coincidence.

    nk (dbc370)

  55. I’ve seen some compare establishment Republicans and Whigs — a suggestion that the current GOP can’t continue to take weak positions and keep its base, let alone return to power. I’m not a historian so that may be an apt analogy, but it reminds me of what I’ve read about Americans in the years before the Revolutionary War. Establishment Republicans seem like Loyalists to the British King who, instead of worrying about what they and their fellow countrymen had lost under British rule, were more concerned with losing their remaining security, property and benefits.

    The GOP is a Party of people who are torn between the glass half full and the glass half empty. It’s the same glass but it’s all how you look at it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  56. 43. This dog can’t hunt. Cruz long post-dates disintegration of the Right.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  57. nk – Taxing profits or taxing selling price amounts to the same thing, a tariff. It’s Smoot-Hawley all over again, sorry.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  58. 38, 39. Dr. Sowell is old, his tone valedictory. He knows he won’t be with us a lot longer, his perspicuity at-the-ready to check our hot-blood.

    Evidently, a paucity of the former is more to be feared in his parlous state than an absence of the latter.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  59. We would have to withdraw from the WTO.

    nk (dbc370)

  60. 30. “Meanwhile Norm Coleman, Mike Castle and George Allen are shaking their heads slowly, in disgust.”

    This courtesy is not expected from another quarter:

    Simple self-identification as a Rightist concomitant with survival until a Second Constitutional Congress do not and will not confer a seat at the table.

    Vetting will be excruciating and possibly fatal.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  61. 38. “He could wash my car and make me a ribeye right now and I wouldn’t be happier with him.”

    Thread winner by me.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  62. 45. You know, mg, this Dustin fellow has made HUGE progress as a writer, and not least in expressing an estimable self.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  63. “We would have to withdraw from the WTO.”

    nk – Why, we’re talking out of both sides of our mouth right now on tariffs on solar panels and their components to China and India. This Administration has no problem telling different lies to different people.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  64. 29. Ill-considered, like a standard, appropriate use of ‘niggardly’.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  65. Mr. mg i would vote in 2016 but I don’t want to sway the outcome

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  66. By fair tax I meant replacing corporate and income taxes with a consumption tax.

    Now that I’m kinda hungry I am revisiting the ribeye issue.

    I co-sign DRJ’s motion to grant honorary Texan status upon Dana. So git’r written, so git’r done.

    Dustin (303dca)

  67. 29. he could have made a parallel with the radical republicans who pushed Reconstruction, but then
    why give up a Godwin mark,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/19/2014 @ 3:56 am

    Well, Sowell probably thought comparing the reconstruction parallel probably be to0 obscure. In any case, he clearly thinks the parallels with Hitler and other charismatic leaders is more accurate.

    Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

    By Thomas Sowell
    Posted 06/21/2010 06:13 PM ET

    When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

    Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

    “Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

    Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/062110-537967-is-us-now-on-slippery-slope-to-tyranny-.htm#ixzz2tnnjpL5I
    Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

    As a matter of the historical record, he’s right. Obama is trying to be FDR, but his style is more Austrian Corporal (maybe that’s why he thinks Austrian is its own language).

    It’s interesting to see how many similarities observers noted between FDR and Hitler back in the early ’30s before the words “Hitler,” “Nazi,” “Fascism,” etc. became pejoratives. Both were seen as charismatic leaders who were outside and above the system. If you go back up and read some of the quotes from Schivelbusch’s book, people such as Hugh Johnson insisted that FDR’s program embodied the will of the people. Hitler was portrayed as the soul of the Volk incarnate. Naturally they came from different socio-economic strata, but they were seen as either rising up from humble origins or descending from patrician heights to stand with the ordinary working man against powerful moneyed interests.

    Another similarity was that both FDR and Hitler had the ability to communicate directly to the people. They did it differently; FDR through the fireside chat while Hitler through the large rally. But observers say both had the same affect; the people they were speaking to felt they were talking to each one individually and not to a crowd or nationwide audience.

    Both were talked about as being messiahs. Remind you of anyone?

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-archbold/8-most-hilarious-and-unsettling-obama-as-deity-metaphors

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/18/barbara-walters-admits-we-thought-obama-was-next-m/

    It’s just that in style, what with the styrofoam Greek columns, the permanent campaign where he jets off from one rally to another fundraiser, turning his campaign organization into a permanent group of agitators he reminds me of a cruder, cheaper version of the Viennese paperhanger than of the sophisticated New Yorker. Probably Sowell thinks so, too. He’s trying to use the communications style of both. He does his weekly addresses but unlike FDR nobody pays any attention.

    Of course, he’s not the second coming of Hitler. He isn’t even the second coming of FDR no matter how much the libs want to paint him as such. He’s nowhere nearly as popular as the other two. In fact, he’s destined to go down as the most polarizing figure in US political history. This has been obvious from the start. The problem is he thinks he’s the embodiment of the “will of the people.” That’s why he arrogantly told the Republicans “I won” and “elections have consequences.” That’s why he told the banksters, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2009/04/obama-to-banker/

    Liberals are a cult looking for a personality to latch onto. They thought Obama was The One. Obama was convinced by his handlers he’s The One. He’s not, but he thinks he is. So comparing him to a political faction isn’t really a good analogy.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  68. Yes, but there is more then a bit of category error, there, it was the Communists who attacked the Social Democrats, thinking they would be the ones left standing, ‘they chose poorly’ in that regard.

    narciso (3fec35)

  69. Some figured that they would take over after the Nazis were discredited and defeated.

    Many who plotted this clever strategy died in Nazi concentration camps

    There were some German Nationalists. Many of them, and from the regular opposition didn’t make it to the camps. They died in 1934 in the “Night of the Long Knives.”

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

    The regime did not limit itself to a purge of the SA, however. Having earlier imprisoned or exiled prominent Social Democrats and Communists, Hitler used the occasion to move against conservatives he considered unreliable. This included Vice-Chancellor Papen and those in his immediate circle. In Berlin, on Göring’s personal orders, an armed SS unit stormed the Vice-Chancellery. Gestapo officers attached to the SS unit shot Papen’s secretary Herbert von Bose without bothering to arrest him first. The Gestapo arrested and later executed Papen’s close associate Edgar Jung, the author of Papen’s Marburg speech; they disposed of his body by dumping it in a ditch.[40] The Gestapo also murdered Erich Klausener, the leader of Catholic Action, and a close Papen associate.[35] The vice-chancellor himself was unceremoniously arrested at the Vice-Chancellery, despite his insistent protests that he could not be arrested. Although Hitler ordered him released days later, Papen no longer dared to criticise the regime.[41]

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  70. Dave in MA,

    The bill was renamed when the subject of the legislation changed to a debt limit extension.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  71. So here we have Thomas Sowell who has been one of the leading lights in Conservative economics for years. He is a black man who worked his way up from nothing to become both a thoughtful and thought provoking scholar of history and an academic, as well as an observant and widely read essayist. He has surely at the very least earned the right to have his opinions considered carefully and respectfully. He is the exact opposite in every respect from the shallow race baiting black writers of the left. Sowell has written hundreds of things of substance that we all embraced and agreed with. This week he wrote something that offends some people and now they are ready throw aside his lifetime body of work and burn Sowell at the stake.

    Please people- as much as we all admire and respect Ted Cruz and have very high hopes for him, we must not allow a cult of personality to develop around him in the same worshipful and non-questioning way that a different group once viewed another “rock star” politician, Barack Obama.

    elissa (da4ba3)

  72. well we don’t dismiss him outright, but we question his analysis, since the establishment doesn’t seem to want to challenge ‘the anointed’ the class of apparatchik, which is ‘fundamentally transforming’
    the country,

    narciso (3fec35)

  73. I agree gary. I never skip Dustin’s writings.

    mg (31009b)

  74. Our party has helped lifting it higher
    Than it’s ever been lifted before
    To keep it up, which is their desire
    They seem to want our pitchforks at their door?

    Jackie Wilson (804c65)

  75. Good stuff, elissa #71.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  76. We are not worthy’

    http://minx.cc/?post=347251

    narciso (3fec35)

  77. Dr. Sowell is one of our national treasures. Indefatigable… like James Brown, only he’s the Godfather of Letters.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  78. In Dustin’s parlance, he’s teh Filet of Soul.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  79. Elissa, this is all Purity of Essence stuff. Again. Six years ago, folks got this way and put BHO into office by not voting or voting for 3rd party people who don’t stand a chance.

    Sort of like how Bill Clinton got elected.

    Then they did it again two years ago.

    In all of these cases, the “real” conservatives were going to show the establishment what was what. And what happened? Did anything move one iota toward their goals?

    Nope. But they are ideologically pure, aren’t they?

    And the part that saddens me is how these good and kind folks are acting Exactly Like the Ideologues They Despise.

    Just in a different direction.

    But hey, what do I know?

    I just remember what nonsense people here, wrote in 2008 and 2012. For Purity’s Sake.

    We are in a lot of trouble because of this. This has gotten to be a pretty odd place, which is why I appreciate reading your posts, elissa.

    And yes, Tom Sowell is brilliant, and deserves respect—even if you don’t agree with him. Funny how respect only comes from lockstep agreement, huh? I thought that was bad.

    But hey, they have their purity, elissa.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  80. I think you’re taking some of the critique of Sowell’s opinion piece a little too harshly. Nothing Sowell wrote offends me. I think he’s dead on in some regards.

    It’s just that Sowell seems to overestimate the ability and/or willingness of the current crop of senior GOP leaders to stop Barack Obama. Here’s an example from today’s headlines:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/198675-sen-mccain-blasts-kerry-for-climate-change

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday night slammed Secretary of State John Kerry for his recent climate change remarks and accused Kerry of “butterflying around the world.”

    In an interview on Phoenix radio station KFYI’s “The Mike Broomhead Show,” McCain was asked for his reaction to the speech Kerry delivered over the weekend in which he called climate change a “weapon of mass destruction.”

    “Why should he talk about climate change, when we’ve got a 130,000 people in Syria killed, and … the whole Geneva thing was a fiasco, the Iran-U.S. talks are obviously a joke, and the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations haven’t even begun,” McCain said.

    …“So he has to go over to Asia and talk about climate change and say it’s the most important issue. Hello? On what planet does he reside?” McCain said.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/198675-sen-mccain-blasts-kerry-for-climate-change#ixzz2tob6G8tL
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    John McCain has been in the Senate since 1987. He’s known and worked with John Kerry for 27 years and he’s just now figuring out who John Kerry is? John McCain answered his own question. The planet on which John Forbes Kerry resides is the planet where John Sydney McCain III votes in committee to recommend Kerry for Secretary of State and the Senate overwhelmingly confirms him.

    As I said in #21, “…John McCain is the poster child for completely failing to understand what’s going on around him.” I’m disappointed McCain has to validate my conclusion about him so frequently. The thing is, he’s not that much worse than the other GOP Senators as Kerry’s 94-3 confirmation vote demonstrates. If after 3 decades he and the other Senators can’t figure out who John Kerry is, what are the odds they’ll get a handle on Barack Obama anytime soon? Because John Kerry is doing exactly what I expected of him. He’s been living in an alternate universe his entire adult life. That’s why he’s Obama’s SecState. They see eye-to-eye.

    Also I think Sowell is underestimating Cruz. I don’t think Cruz is trying to weaken the party, not even in the short term. Cruz does understand who Obama is and what kind of danger Obama has put the country in. He’s a very smart man; if he thought the others in his party saw the danger as clearly as Thomas Sowell does I don’t think he’d be taking this course of action. Consequently I think he realizes he only has a short time to wake his party up. A united GOP as it’s currently constituted would just go obliviously and ineffectively to the slaughter.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  81. McCain has got the first part, right, however the rest of it, loses something, the Baathist clique is practicing the same ‘eradication’ that allows Brahimi, to hold his job in his native Algeria,
    it’s not for us, to get involved in talks with the Palestinians, of course the whole Iran thing is a bitter joke,

    narciso (3fec35)

  82. It is precisely because we respect Sowell so much, that this statement seems off, out of character with the rest of his analysis,

    narciso (3fec35)

  83. I don’t avoid other women, but I do deny them my essence.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  84. You know, it’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core ideologue works.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  85. 80. Elissa, this is all Purity of Essence stuff. Again. Six years ago, folks got this way and put BHO into office by not voting or voting for 3rd party people who don’t stand a chance.

    …And the part that saddens me is how these good and kind folks are acting Exactly Like the Ideologues They Despise.

    …We are in a lot of trouble because of this. This has gotten to be a pretty odd place, which is why I appreciate reading your posts, elissa.

    And yes, Tom Sowell is brilliant, and deserves respect—even if you don’t agree with him. Funny how respect only comes from lockstep agreement, huh? I thought that was bad.

    But hey, they have their purity, elissa.

    Comment by Simon Jester (c8876d) — 2/19/2014 @ 4:10 pm

    This has nothing to do with purity. This has to do with comprehension, judgement, and competence. We need a new leadership team.

    We are not in trouble because of “purity.” Purity has nothing to do with what’s going on now. And what’s going on now is the GOP is proving to be completely ineffective as an opposition party. They think as you do in that regard; they’ve gotten the notion in their head that Cruz is the reason Romney didn’t win. Cruz isn’t the problem. The establishment Republicans are the problem. Nobody outside of their staffers and family members approve of the job they’re doing. I note Cruz isn’t getting censured by the Texas Republican Party. McCain on the other hand has been censured by the Arizona state GOP.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/26/arizona-gop-rebukes-mccain-for-not-being-conservative-enough/

    The resolution actually refers to legislation such as immigration that’s harmful for AZ. That’s the problem with these long term inside-the-beltway types. They stop representing their states to DC, and instead represent DC to their states.

    But the time for business-as-usual is long gone, and a few Senators like Ted Cruz get it. It’s the rest of them who could use the history lesson from Thomas Sowell (where I agreed almost entirely). Not Cruz.

    I’m not picking on McCain at this point. After all, they demonstrated their lack of judgement or unwillingness to oppose Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State when only three voted against him. I suppose if Chuck Hegel’s disgraceful performance wasn’t enough to motivate them to refuse to rubberstamp Obama’s picks, nothing is. But McCain is the one who asked today about Kerry, “Upon what planet does he reside?”

    This one.

    http://niqnaq.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/john-kerry-assad-s_2659846b.jpg?w=700

    The crazy thing is after Kerry has long demonstrated his cluelessness on nearly every foreign policy topic that’s ever crossed his desk, even declaring Assad a “reformer, the same people who still confirmed him are surprised that he’s conducting clueless diplomacy.

    This is how seriously they take their Article II “Advice and Consent” functions.

    No, purity isn’t the problem.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  86. By the time this thread winds down, I imagine one of our pure friends will have exposed the wonderful Dr. Sowell as a secret Alinskyite. Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  87. at times one would think that most are simply puppets going thru the motions as they line their own pockets as fast as they can.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  88. Reagan did the following:

    Ended inflation for tow generations
    Ended the Cold War and the USSR
    Allowed world trade to flourish
    Made the world safe for capitalism.

    All with an opposition House of Representatives, which wasn’t worth a warm bucket of spit for the Democrats.

    I don’t know what exactly Sowell’s criticisms of Cruz are, but I find he’s mostly hat and very little cattle so far. HE talks the good talk, but he’d be FAR more effective with 8 more Republican Senators or any stripe, who are infinitely more likely to vote for what we all want than anyone with a “D” after his name.

    To me, “using the House” is a fall-back and a poor one. Winning the Senate is game, set and match. *IF* what Cruz is doing is going to make winning the Senate less likely, then he’s counter-productive.

    Politics is the Art of the Possible, and when you forget that, you lose.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  89. barbara walters
    teh old bag’s hooked no not drugs
    on her vibrator

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  90. *two*

    Still waiting for the edit function. Spell-check misleads.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  91. just give us some pragmatic folks with principles!

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  92. the world keeps turning
    0bama’s a laughingstock
    Kerry’s on hard drugs

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  93. “It is precisely because we respect Sowell so much, that this statement seems off, out of character with the rest of his analysis,”

    BURN THE WITCH!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  94. Sec of State Botox
    0bama’s clueless buffoon
    science is settled

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  95. I’m writing a book… “Killing O’Reilly”… hey… a man can dream, can’t he?

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  96. they gave away the debt ceiling, they don’t push on repeal, and still send signals re amnesty, how motivated do you think the base will be, in November?

    narciso (3fec35)

  97. yer right, narciso… just wash our hands of the whole goddam mess. Makes sense to me.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  98. I guess we should start preparing our lunch so teh enemy can eat it again.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  99. I was really hoping to see “Government Shutdown; The Sequel.”
    Because the first one was so good !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  100. our theme song…

    http://youtu.be/pXfUk-jF6UE

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  101. DRJ & Dustin, y’all are so kind to make me an honorary Texan… I’ll get right to work on big hair and tolerating loving football!

    elissa,

    I don’t fear a cult of personality re Sowell. Because I have admired and respected him for so long, this analysis of his somewhat stunned me. I read it three times just to make sure. And for him to go Godwin in his analogy was very off putting. Steve57′s points aside, at a base level it was disappointing to see him give the left tools to work with. So McCain(ish).

    With that, the reason I have respect for the conservative commentariat here is that we are not hesitant to criticize one of our own when they go off the reservation a bit. Unlike the left, we want to hold to conservatism and those who espouse it publicly, accountable. That honesty, as well as our principles are what set us apart from the left. And if that means taking down one of our own (in this case) and chewing him up, working it through, and thoroughly scrutinizing him so as not to misconstrue or misrepresent, so be it. The left circles the wagons no matter how absurd, dishonest, or wrong one of their own may be. I like to think we operate at a more honest level.

    Dana (9f8700)

  102. I do take issue with part of Sowell’s history lesson. It leaves the impression the transition was gradual. It wasn’t.

    In the German elections of 1932, the Nazi party received 37 percent of the vote. They became part of a democratically elected coalition government, in which Hitler became chancellor. Only step by step did the Nazis dismantle democratic freedoms and turn the country into a complete dictatorship.

    Actually the Nazis turned the country into into a dictatorship as soon as they could.

    Hitler became Chancellor on 30 January 1933, he convinced President Hindenberg to sign an emergency decree that gave him the power to arrest political opponents following the Reichstag fire on 28 February, and then was voted dictatorial powers by the Reichstag via the enabling act on 23 March.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  103. listen to teh words
    the message that I have heard
    it’s pure and easy

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  104. narciso, with the current Senate configuration, how many votes are needed in the Senate in order to repeal ? And then to overturn a Presidential veto ?

    I was no math major—but Dr. Sowell was.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  105. “they gave away the debt ceiling, they don’t push on repeal”

    Sounds like Obama. Everything is somebody else’s fault.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  106. the Communists attacked the Social Democrats, and spared the Nazis, that was Second International policy, read Jan Valtin,

    narciso (3fec35)

  107. Well said, Dana 104.

    PS — I’m proof that big hair is optional but you’re right about football.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  108. daley @108, being able to claim that something is somebody else’s fault has been Mitch McConnell’s entire plan in the Senate ever since Obama took office. He has never bothered to try to work out a strategy to actually stop Obama, just a way to try to make the Democrats take the blame. Remember the “McConnell plan” for dealing with the debt limit from 2011?

    http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=88F20236-5B1A-4F96-816C-FD53AEC1C42C

    The Congress would vote to make the debt ceiling extensions automatic. If the Congress disagreed with a debt ceiling hike, they could vote to disapprove it. And then Obama could veto the bill. Which would then never become law, so Obama would get the debt ceiling hike he wanted, since certainly the Senate and probably the House could never get a 2/3 majority to override the veto.

    The only reason for McConnell’s proposal was to turn every debt ceiling vote into a meaningless show vote.

    In effect lawmakers would be surrendering the very power of approval that the GOP has used to force the debt crisis now. But by taking the disapproval route, Republicans can shift the onus more onto the White House and Democrats since a two-thirds majority would be needed to stop any increase that President Barack Obama requests.

    “It gives the president 100 percent of the responsibility for increasing the debt limit if he chooses not to have any spending reductions,” Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Republican Conference chairman, told reporters Tuesday

    …Politically, the new debt process is a McConnell classic in that it seeks to shift all of the blame for any debt increase on to the president and Democrats. Republicans would be free to vote in opposition without the consequences of risking default.

    …Getting to a two-thirds majority in the Senate to override a veto will be immensely difficult for Republicans, who have only 47 votes at this stage. Even in the Republican controlled House it would be a climb, but going into the 2012 elections, the plan offers three opportunities then to put Democrats on the spot.

    So yes, blaming someone else is how the liberals operate. In the case of the Democrats it works. In the case of the Republicans it doesn’t. For the same reason. The MFM “moderators” and “fact checkers” like Candy Crowley in a presidential debate will always side with the Democrats.

    So McConnell and the rest of the establishment types can try to blame Cruz and the TEA Party for their problems. But it’s headwork that produced the “McConnell Plan” that produced their problems. And the TEA Party. They really think everyone is that stupid? They actually thought they could vote to give all the power to Barack Obama and the Democrats and put themselves in an impossible position, then tell their constituents it’s not their fault they couldn’t stop the Democrats from using the power they gave away.

    As far as Sowell goes, when he draws historical parallels between our current political situation and early 1930s Germany he’s making a valid academic argument. He doesn’t do himself any favors by talking about Nazis in public, though. Godwin’s law needs to be amended; as far as the left is concerned they’re the only ones who can legitimately make references to Nazis and fascists. Stupid, illiterate, ahistorical smears. How dare Sowell actually refer to facts.

    But in that opinion piece Sowell has a firm grasp on history. It’s when he analyzes the present that his argument falls apart. The House and Senate GOP leadership has had years to come up with a plan to stop Obama. And Cruz is right; they have the power to do it. But they’re not interested. As we saw earlier this month, the plan was to talk tough, have a nice, quiet, meaningless show vote, then go home and tell the locals what a conservative voting record you have. Just like it was back in 2011.

    Give McConnell the Senate, and the Congressional leadership will start whining about how they can’t really do anything to stop Obama since McConnell still doesn’t have a veto proof majority.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  109. if Team R can’t get these filthy-stale Boehnerpoofter McConnellwhores out of their leadership then tis proof they know naught of leadership

    i piss on their nasty debt-loving socially backwards heads

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  110. it’s these ‘cunning, cunning,’ plans that worry me, Steve, they always end up with ‘the never pay’ insurance,

    narciso (3fec35)

  111. #107,

    The Dems have 21 seats up. If they lost them all to Republicans (or TEAs), which they won’t, the right would have 66 seats, which is one short of the 2/3rds you’d need to override a veto (or some other things). We’d need a Dem to die of stay home or change sides or something.

    BUT… If the Republicans make a good showing and pick up seats in the House, and Obamacare is to blame, the Democrats are certain to become open to significant changes and some might vote to override a veto.

    Remember, Democrats have no more backbone than Republicans, especially not when the axes are swinging. If Rs are nervous on the uptick, imaging Dems on the downtick.

    Republicans, if they don’t get truly stupid (see Akin, Todd) should pick up Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina and West Virgina, which gets them to 51.

    They could, perhaps in a blowout, win Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Virgina, getting to 57. After that you’re talking October surprises.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  112. Please explain how exactly Republicans can put a stop to Obamacare.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  113. who should leave the party are Meghan’s coward daddy and that weirdo Peter King child molester-looking guy

    not Ted Cruz

    he’s entertaining

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  114. DRJ, is big hair passe in TX? All my Texas aunts had big hair …. but that was the sixties.

    SPQR (768505)

  115. From narciso’s link:

    I mean, this guy is a bomb thrower, he’s a flame thrower, but he’s got no exit strategy, he’s got no Plan B. (Talking about Cruz.)

    That’s why we like him, Mr. LaTourette. Those are the people who win. “He who fights and runs away” may live to fight another day but why bother? He’ll run away from that fight too.

    nk (dbc370)

  116. Wendita has big hair. Maybe it’s only for governors? I’ve read that in the Dark Ages in France, there was a superstition against having a king who was bald. Bad luck for the country.

    nk (dbc370)

  117. 116. The irrepressibility of Republican loyalists never fails to amuse. Here they are, as always, counting their wins in November.

    All because a generic Republican polls a point or two better than a generic Democrat.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  118. What say we try some cunning stunts this time instead of the usual.

    Colonel Haiku (804c65)

  119. Here’s the history, and both camps have their reasons for being wary of the others. The TEAs overreached in 2010 in the Senate (although the House thing was pretty cool). In 2012, the establishment underwhelmed the base (and the base is getting it good and hard as a result). This year is the best chance in decades as a number of open seats and Democrats who won in 2008 in red states up for re-election. The TEAs are afraid that the Establishment will try to play it too safe, and the Establishment is afraid the TEAs will overreach again.

    2010:
    The Republicans needed 10 seats for control. They won 6 (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). Only one of these (R0n Johnson) could have been desrived as TEA. They had hoped to pick up Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada and Washington state, but in the first 4 of those contests, insurgents (Ken Buck, Linda McMahon, Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle) won the primaries and proceeded to lose to vulnerable Democrats. In 3 of those races the establishment Republican (Norton, Castle and Lowden) probably would have won. So, instead of a 51-49 Senate and real opportunities, it was 47-53

    Establishment Republicans point to 2010 as a reason why they are unhappy with the TEAs.

    2012:
    The Republicans needed to win 4 seats for control. Instead, they lost two, Scott Brown and Richard Lugar’s seat. The Indiana loss can be laid squarely at the feet of Conservative insurgents who took out a shoo-in Lugar in favor of a SoCon who liked to talk about rape. Democrats also picked up Olympia Snowe’s seat, for a gain of a half.

    Republicans had hoped to win Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, VIrginia and Wisconsin but only won in Nebraska. The Romney loss had coattails.

    Unlike 2010, however, except for Indiana the Republican candidates were all from the establishment, and they still lost. TEAs point out 2012 as a reason they are unhappy with the Establishment.

    2014:
    Going in at 45-55, Republicans ought to do well in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, looking at a 52-48 result. They could win in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnisota, New Hampshire, and Virgina. They could lose Georgia, and Kentucky. The Republican establishment views Obamacare as the issue, and if everyone stays on message, the are hoping for a result in the mid-50′s and view 2014 as a golden opportunity. Just like 2010 was. It’s pretty obvious why they’re not too keen on Ted Cruz, or the 4 or 5 insurgencies against shoo-in incumbants. Sure, if eveyone wins all is forgiven, but if 2014 goes like 2010 and 2012, it really won’t matter what Ted Cruz or the House did or didn’t do.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  120. desrived *described*

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  121. What is it that the House Republicans can do to stop Obamacare? Can somebody clear this up?

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  122. 125. It’s a little late for that Gerald, don’t you agree?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  123. 125. What is it that the House Republicans can do to stop Obamacare? Can somebody clear this up?

    Comment by Gerald A (bfbd30) — 2/19/2014 @ 8:15 pm

    They can start by doing what they should have been doing since 2010. And failing that, since the 2012 election. Making the case to the American people why it needs to be stopped. They haven’t done that.

    Then they can settle on one goal. Delay the individual mandate.

    Who’s the extremist when Obama is willing to shut the government down or let the US default just because he wants to penalize people whose health insurance he destroyed?

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  124. “So yes, blaming someone else is how the liberals operate. In the case of the Democrats it works. In the case of the Republicans it doesn’t.”

    “So McConnell and the rest of the establishment types can try to blame Cruz and the TEA Party for their problems.”

    Steve57 – Completely disagree. In fact I am seeing the exact opposite on this blog with the vilification of Sowell for one bad column. It’s always easier to blame somebody else, to be a critic, than to actually do something.

    You hit the nail on the head why I don’t recall any of the big name established conservative columnists (I may have missed some) not seeing a government shutdown as a winning strategy last fall, liberal control of the media. We got to see some good spite come out of Obama in the way the shutdown was handled, but does the public view it as victory or something to be forced again? Who currently stands with Cruz in Congress taking a hard line in an election year on potentially forcing another shutdown?

    Names please.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  125. Team r has become a group of substandard intellectual egotistical malcontents that enjoy voting for losers . team r and it’s posse of dolts will continue to fold on any and all issues. Get rid of this farty party.
    I get it happyfeet, but why not write in some conservatives name just for fun!!!

    mg (31009b)

  126. In fact I am seeing the exact opposite on this blog with the vilification of Sowell for one bad column.

    daley, I don’t see Sowell being vilified here for his bad column. I see an exemplary, consistent man who surprised his readers with an unexpected point of view, being thoroughly considered, examined and thoughtfully discussed. I haven’t lost respect for him and I would guess others haven’t either. When one is so highly regarded and has a what the heck! moment, it demands a longer look. I will continue looking forward to his columns and gleaning from them.

    Dana (9f8700)

  127. When did I vilify Sowell?

    It is pretty easy to be a critic. Who was saying they were going to stand with Cruz and take a hard line?

    Some of them are in this article.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/358849/new-cantor-plan-jonathan-strong

    September 18, 2013 1:00 PM
    The New Cantor Plan
    It will give the GOP its chance at a fight.
    By Jonathan Strong

    It’s easy to be a critic because I look at the date. They’re just coming up with a plan to deal with the budget in the middle of September when the fiscal year ends on the 30th? Perhaps if they didn’t waste all that time on the Gang of 8 bill they might have gotten around to it earlier.

    But since the plan was always to pretend to have a plan until the last minute, then fold, I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything from them in the way of planning. But since that’s the case, the plan is to con the base with talk like this, why shouldn’t I be a critic?

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/sen-mcconnell-gop-will-attach-demands-to-debt-ceiling-vote/

    Sen. McConnell: GOP Will Attach Demands to Debt Ceiling Vote

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  128. Look, I learned last year that RINOs are freaking touchy.

    It’s a waste of time to try to explain this to them.

    Dustin (621e43)

  129. “daley, I don’t see Sowell being vilified here for his bad column.”

    Dana – No, you made a point not to vilify him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  130. “When did I vilify Sowell?”

    Steve57 – Did I say you did?

    This is easy. If you want to dictate the agenda in Washington you either need more seats or public opinion on your side. Blaming other people because you have neither is a cowards way out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  131. I learned over the past three years that pure conservatives can’t be reasoned with and have no plans other than to be perpetually angry, so they’re mostly not worth speaking with. Spending time with negative people is not high on my bucket list, which is why cheerful people like Mr. Feets and I get along so well.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  132. Here, more vilification of Thomas Sowell. Not.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371501/void-ted-cruz-fills-thomas-sowell

    February 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Void Ted Cruz Fills
    Someone must communicate GOP ideas, and party leadership can’t be bothered.
    By Thomas Sowell

    …One of the most maddening qualities of establishment Republicans has for decades been their can’t-be-bothered attitude when it comes to explaining their positions to the American people in language people can understand. A classic example was Speaker of the House John Boehner’s performance when he emerged from a meeting at the White House a while back. There, with masses of television news cameras pointed at him and a bank of microphones crowded together, he simply expressed his disgust at the Obama administration, turned, and walked on away.

    Here was a golden opportunity to cut through the Obama-administration rhetoric and set the record straight on the issues at hand. But apparently Speaker Boehner couldn’t be bothered to have a prepared and previously thought-out statement to present, conveying something more than his disgust.

    …The Republican establishment has more than a tactical deficiency, however. They seem to have no principle that they offer or follow with any consistency. Their lack of articulation may be just a reflection of that lack of principle. It is hard to get to the point when you have no point to get to.

    The last paragraph is especially insightful. If he’s correct, and I suspect he is, then last fall in the lead up to the budget fight the GOP campaign to convince the base that “we all share the same objectives, we just differ on tactics” was just one huge lie. Which is believable, since so was the GOP campaign to convince the base that the Gang of 8 immigration bill wasn’t an amnesty and was tough on enforcement, as well as the noises McConnell was making right up until the end of January this year that the GOP intended to confront Obama with some demands because it would be “irresponsible” to pass a clean debt hike suspension.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  133. 136. …Blaming other people because you have neither is a cowards way out.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/20/2014 @ 12:30 am

    So now you’re vilifying Sowell. He’s taking the same “coward’s way out” that I am. Noting with disgust that the GOP leadership never even tries to get public opinion on its side.

    That’s the difference between them and Cruz. Cruz thinks he can move the needle. Boehner, McConnell, and the other establishment pols and their attendant consultants just think public opinion is like the weather, that they can’t do anything about it, and whatever it is at the moment defines the parameters of the best deal they can cut.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  134. …which is why cheerful people like Mr. Feets and I get along so well.

    i’m cheerfully cynical: does that count? 8-)

    (and i like tacos!)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  135. 137. I learned over the past three years that pure conservatives can’t be reasoned with and have no plans other than to be perpetually angry, so they’re mostly not worth speaking with. Spending time with negative people is not high on my bucket list, which is why cheerful people like Mr. Feets and I get along so well.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/20/2014 @ 12:34 am

    I still don’t consider Boehner and McConnell to be pure conservatives, so how do you explain their complete lack of plans? They haven’t come up with a plan except to whine about how they only control 1/2 of 1/3 of the government, the media is against them, and hope that Obama crashes and burns so they’ll take the Senate.

    Oh, also to try to set things up so the Democrats take the blame. Which doesn’t seem like much of a plan since no matter what happens the Democrats and the MFM (but I repeat myself) will blame the Republicans. There’s no way that the MFM is going to let anyone but the GOP take the blame for Obamacare.

    You sort of have to wonder what it’s going to take to get it through McConnell’s thick head that if the liberals can blame Republicans for the mess that is Detroit, when Detroit hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1963, then relying on the MFM is a bad plan. You might think that they’d get a clue that Mr. Sowell and I have a point; they need to bother to do that job themselves.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  136. I’ve been educated by rinos, and have come to reason that they have one course of action-to lie, just like obama.

    mg (31009b)

  137. Question:

    Let’s say that Boehner announced his retirement, effective immediately.

    Who would you support as Speaker?

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  138. Another question:

    Who have you given money to directly, in 2014?

    For me that’s Martha McSally in the AZ 2nd CD and Mia Love in Utah. I’ll give more to each later and maybe others.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  139. 137, 140. Mr. red, for my part, I honestly take every opportunity to flatter the realist, pragmatist vapidity of the Trilobite Whigs here exemplified by Mr. daley, Mr. Colonel, Mr. Stones and Mr. Jester foremost among them.

    Indeed, on occasion, I almost(were such a thing possible) embarrass myself in contorting Honesty and Integrity in doing so.

    Why, why do they hate us so? I am desolate over the ‘purity’ stigmata oozing from my pores.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  140. 142. They are so wretchedly pathetic in their open avaricious, mercenary veniality that they weekly trip out Willard for a cameo of his feckless niceness, a passionless, flaccid cipher.

    138. A fine counter point but even here Sowell extends far too much credit to Boehner with “can’t be bothered”.

    DC Republicans are beneath contempt. They desperately beg 4 extermination.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  141. 143. The Republicans do not merit a Speaker; it is unworthy to require that a replacement, e.g., Price, be in place prior to disposing of Boehner.

    F*ck them.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  142. 144-Kevin M- Speaker daleyrocks
    He would show them how to give in patriotically.

    mg (31009b)

  143. 145-Kevin M- No one, never have given money, never will.
    I have done plenty of ground work for pols. dating back to the early 70′s. Probably why I’m so f*cking bitter.

    mg (31009b)

  144. Kevin M:

    Let’s say that Boehner announced his retirement, effective immediately.

    Who would you support as Speaker?

    Jeb Hensarling.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  145. I think Boehner is retiring to Florida, but not immediately. His final gift to the GOP — and I’m not being sarcastic because I think he believes it would be a gift — may be one last attempt at immigration reform after the 2014 GOP primary races are over.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  146. I think this reflects a state of disarray of those who are at all to the right of Obama, and a bit of desperation and panic, trying to scramble to find a way to “do something”.

    In my simple-mindedness, I think it is important for someone to lead by knowing their core beliefs and having the energy, wisdom, and grace to pursue them and not be dissuaded or lured off track.

    I wasn’t a big Reagan fan, but he believed in some basic things and stuck to them. He didn’t go out of his way to offend others, but neither did he shrink from saying what he thought was basically true.
    Freedom is good, oppression bad. The Soviet Union is oppressive and bad, the US has been a champion of freedom and we need to continue to be. The way to achieve peace is through strength, not appeasement. We want everyone in America to prosper.
    And when he was attacked, “There they go again”, somehow being above the fray.

    To a large degree, I thought that was what Cruz and Lee and some others have tried to do. ObamaCare is bad, we will oppose it every chance we get.
    Unfortunately, they have received not only little backing, but little appreciation and understanding. I can see other Repubs saying they disagree with some of the tactics, but still affirm the basic principle of opposition to ObamaCare. That does not seem to be what they are getting.

    I think it is fundamentally a spiritual problem. Do people want freedom to live like responsible human beings, or do people want to grovel for a bit of temporary security, at least imagined if not real?
    Do you trust in God or mammon, in this case mammon supplied by a government administration that wants your submission and reverence (=worship)?
    Obama is not “the” antichrist, but he is “an” antichrist, one who sets himself up against the fundamental principles of life lived for God while promising peace and prosperity. “Peace, peace, where there is no peace”, has always been the message of the false prophet. Finding someone else to blame, to make a scapegoat and refuse to accept responsibility, has been a well rehearsed strategy from the beginning.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  147. The Void Ted Cruz Fills

    Someone must communicate GOP ideas, and party leadership can’t be bothered.

    By Thomas Sowell

    …One of the most maddening qualities of establishment Republicans has for decades been their can’t-be-bothered attitude when it comes to explaining their positions to the American people

    The problem is they think that’s too political, or that it’s inside baseball, and the public won’t be interested.

    Consultants told them that, and this is what the Democratic Party says.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  148. There’s no Live Preview.

    The Void Ted Cruz Fills

    Someone must communicate GOP ideas, and party leadership can’t be bothered.

    By Thomas Sowell

    …One of the most maddening qualities of establishment Republicans has for decades been their can’t-be-bothered attitude when it comes to explaining their positions to the American people

    The problem is they think that’s too political, or that it’s inside baseball, and the public won’t be interested.

    Consultants told them that, and this is what the Democratic Party says.

    I’m talking here about the details of the negotiations between them and the White House, and that’s exactly what they need to explain. And that’s what Boehner didn’t explain.

    In 1995, at the time of the government shutdown that President Clinton, NOT the Republicans, caused, House speaker Newt Gingrich stopped trying to explain himself after the New York Daily News published what amounted to a front page political cartoon, and Congressman Charles Schumer went onto the House floor with a bill board reproducing it, treating it like it was some kind of objective reporting.

    This is after Newt Gingrich had pointed out that on the long flight back from Israel ot maybe both ways, to Yitchak Rabin’s funeral, where Newt Gingrich and the Republican leadership went along on the same plane with Presidnt Clinton, thinking they’d be doing soem negotiating over the budget, Preident Clinton refused to see him, and instead spent the time playing the card game of hearts with the publisher of the New York Daily News (and also U.S. News and World Report) Mort Zuckerman.

    Later the Daily News ran this cartoon depicting Newt Gngrich as a crybaby with a diaper after he complained about it.

    And later on Bill Clinton used that mostly uncontradicted impression he gave to the public (only in certain markets – ads were not run in Los angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York, where it might come to the attention of the Republican leadership) to win the 1996 Preidential Election over Bob Dole.

    Before Clinton succesfully blamed the Republicans for the government shutdown, the Republicans were sure that if he vetoed the continuing resolution, Clinton would be blamed for any government shutdown, like Bush was after he vetoed the continuing resolution in 1990.

    But the public didn’t realize he had caused it,

    And Clinton also narrowed the differences between himself and the Republicans over the budget to the minimum necessary to get the Republicans NOT to agree so it looked like the Republicans had shut down the government for close to trivial reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  149. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 2/20/2014 @ 6:32 am

    And when he was attacked, “There they go again”, somehow being above the fray.

    That was BEFORE President Reagan was elected, in the one 1980 debate he had with President Carter. It didn’t even really apply to what had just been said.

    I can see other Repubs saying they disagree with some of the tactics, but still affirm the basic principle of opposition to ObamaCare. That does not seem to be what they are getting.

    Is any Republican NOT saying they are opposed to Obamacare, and that’s it’s a terrible piece of legislation?

    If Ted Cruz’s tactics are supposed to be about anything besides calling attention to his opposition to this or that – and a case can be made for doing something like that – nobody has understood it.

    He’s pretending it’s about something more than calling attention to his political positions, and that the votes he forces are votes it would be logical to win.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  150. “Peace, peace, where there is no peace”, has always been the message of the false prophet.

    I think Obama is realizing that’s a problem in Syria, and he also doesn’t like what’s going on Ukraine.

    In Syria, he’s asking for options that don’t involve military force, and he gave up his opposition to the shipment of missiles to the opposition, although he still wants to control it (there was a meeting of intelligence chiefs in Washington the other week, including therefore Prince Bandar, where they were trying to agree on who was to get them, according to Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. Of course, Prince Bandar will pretty much get his way.)

    In Ukraine Obama and gthe european Union haven’t been willing to spend money to outbribe Putin.

    And the ceasefire Obama has negotiated has been broken – with typical Russian circa 1980 KGB tactics of killing a few people here and there.

    With Iran maybe he hasn’t yet looked down and discovered he went over thc cliff.

    The Sudan policy isn’t working either.

    Nor that in Afghanistan/Pakistan, and look at Iraq.

    Interesting thing – Iran’s government now maybe now thinks they can work with Maliki, and al-Sadr has abruptly pulled ot of politics.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  151. # 72 Comment by elissa (da4ba3) — 2/19/2014 @ 3:28 pm

    I agree, Elissa – I do not want to see that happen, either.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  152. Sorry, I meant #71 Comment by elissa (da4ba3) — 2/19/2014 @ 3:28 pm

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  153. 157 – correction as to source:

    “In Syria, he’s asking for options that don’t involve military force, and he gave up his opposition to the shipment of missiles to the opposition, although he still wants to control it (there was a meeting of intelligence chiefs in Washington the other week, including therefore Prince Bandar, where they were trying to agree on who was to get them, according to Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. Of course, Prince Bandar will pretty much get his way.)”

    Actually the story was in the New York Times.

    ….Recognizing that a political settlement is unlikely if he keeps the advantage, administration officials said that Mr. Obama and other Western leaders had dropped their objections to proposals by Saudi Arabia and other countries to funnel more advanced weapons to vetted rebel groups, including portable antiaircraft weapons, often called manpads.

    It should be noted that if Obama was opposed to hat a year ago, he was opposed to that at the time Benghazi happened, september 11, 2012.

    A secret meeting in Washington last week among the intelligence chiefs from almost all of the countries attempting to oust the Assad government included extensive discussion about how to best provide that new lethal aid to rebel groups, the officials said. The gathering of the top intelligence officials from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France and the United Arab Emirates, and several others from the 11-nation group known as the Friends of Syria, reflected a belief that the diplomatic track has been exhausted unless Mr. Assad sustains significant military setbacks.

    So that means Prince Bandar was in Washington the week of february 10-14, 2014, to discuss giving some missiles, to rebels. What missiles? Probably including the ones impounded in Turkey as a result of Ambassador Stevens’ intercession, which was possibly accompanied by a blunt warning.

    The article also reported that Secretary of State John Kerry had critized Russia for the escalating the violence in Syria, saying it was undermining the prospects of a negotiated solution by “contributing so many more weapons” and giving poltical support President Bashar al-Assad.

    The article pointed out that back in May, 2013, Kerry flew to Moscow and ontained agreement about peace talks. At that time “the administration hoped that Russia would encourage the Syrian government to move toward a political settlement without Mr. Assad.”

    But then the article says a senior United States official said on Tuesday there had not been a change in policy, and the United states still “remains opposed to any provision of Manpads to the Syrian opposition.”

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  154. …“So he has to go over to Asia and talk about climate change and say it’s the most important issue. Hello? On what planet does he reside?” McCain said.

    The planet Clinton. Bill Clinton was saying in the 1990s that was the greatest danger from China.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  155. 125. What is it that the House Republicans can do to stop Obamacare? Can somebody clear this up?

    Comment by Gerald A (bfbd30) — 2/19/2014 @ 8:15 pm

    They can start by doing what they should have been doing since 2010. And failing that, since the 2012 election. Making the case to the American people why it needs to be stopped. They haven’t done that.

    Then they can settle on one goal. Delay the individual mandate.

    Who’s the extremist when Obama is willing to shut the government down or let the US default just because he wants to penalize people whose health insurance he destroyed?

    Comment by Steve57 (a7ff60) — 2/19/2014 @ 9:30 pm

    Actually most of them have made the case at one time or another. Even Boehner did – when it was still being debated in 2010. It’s true that they haven’t worked together on a coherent unified message which is very frustrating. The Democrats excel at that.

    But Pat says “Republicans have not done a damned thing to stop this” like there’s a some procedural thing they could do all by themselves. Maybe he’s just being imprecise.

    I don’t know what the point would be in delaying the individual mandate. It would arguably be like the Republicans were otherwise okay with it and just want to fix it like a few Democrats are saying.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  156. This is the trap created by being the borrower in today’s world. There is not one politician that is going to be perceived as held accountable for the loss of whatever wealth on paper that is left in this country; even if most Republicans fully understand what Ted Cruz is doing, they know that the next Senate elections are key. So Sowell is glumly making this point. Aside from explaining common sense to the public, Republicans can do nothing at this point until next elections can provide some control. It’s bad but necessary. That being said, the potential for righting this ship may have already passed for generations to come.

    DJones (9a4da8)

  157. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/02/21/351621/saudi-arabia-ditches-bandar-over-us/

    On February 19, the Washington Post also reported that the Saudi interior minister had recently represented Saudi Arabia at a conclave of Western and Arab spymasters in the United States, where he held talks with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice over the policies in Syria.

    So Bandar did not attend that meeting?

    There’s this, too:

    There has been no mention of Bandar in Saudi media outlets since January. He was reportedly in a hospital in the US for treatment and is currently living in Morocco.

    Morocco?

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  158. http://www.tacticalreport.com/view_news/Saudi_Prince_Bandar_unclear_future!/3810

    Saudi Prince Bandar, unclear future! (45 credits)
    Posted on: Thu, Jan 23, 2014

    There are contradictions regarding the personal situation of Chief of the Saudi General Intelligence Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, who also acts as Secretary-General of the Saudi National Security Council (NSC)…

    Yeah, I suppose so.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  159. Let’s lighten the mood up a bit, shall we? Local politics at its best. Perhaps unclear on the concept, Tarrant Texas Tea Party leader attacks Methodists.

    Ever busy ridding Tarrant County of evil, a local Tea Party has found a new threat. The co-founder and president of the NE Tarrant Tea Party has come out against Methodists.
    Republicans should vote for a straitlaced fellow Southern Baptist instead of a Methodist for a vacant judgeship because Methodists believe “everything goes,” Tea Party co-founder and president Julie McCarty of Grapevine wrote on Facebook.

    Arlington lawyer Don Hase, the Methodist, replied on his page: ” God does not want politicians spinning to the public.”

    Hase is one of three candidates for County Criminal Court No. 1 along with Bedford lawyer David E. Cook, a Baptist, and current state District Judge Everett Young of Fort Worth, a Lutheran.
    Both Hase and Young have been recommended by other Tea Party affiliates. A local bar association poll rates both as “well-qualified,” Cook only “qualified.”
    McCarty declined comment Thursday but posted and then deleted a Facebook comment criticizing the United Methodist Church for having women as pastors and welcoming gay worshipers.

    Co-founder of the Grapevine-based NE Tarrant Tea Party in 2009 as an offshoot of the Dallas Tea Party, she is described in an online biography as a lifelong Baptist who has led mission trips.

    LOL. Can you even imagine what she’d have to say if a Presbyterian was running for that office?

    ttp://www.star-telegram.com/2014/02/20/5587683/in-grapevine-a-tea-party-leader.html?rh=1

    elissa (7d21db)

  160. Not much to choose from the three in any case. They’re all schismatics, heretics, and blasphemers. At least the Methodists still follow the Apostolic Tradition. Some Lutherans do too, I heard, but the Devil is the father of all lies. The Baptists have pastors ordained by other pastors. Can you believe it? Pastors ordained by pastors!

    nk (dbc370)


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