Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2014

Separating Potential Allies from The Enemy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:13 pm

I feel like doing a thumb-sucker on the state of the Republican party today. I was musing yesterday in my head about the need for the establishment and Tea Party elements of the GOP to work together to accomplish positive goals, rather than becoming embroiled in a civil war. It wasn’t long before my mind grew resistant to the idea of cooperating with certain types of establishment people, though. That then led me to distinguish between the types I can see working with, and those I can’t.

The people I don’t mind working with are those who believe that constitutional government is a good goal — but who believe that, realistically, the country is not yet ready to go as far as it should. These people argue that we should accomplish what we can, recognize what we can’t accomplish . . . and attempt to persuade people to come around to our point of view on issues where we currently can’t achieve all we would like.

The people I have a problem with are those who are contemptuous of Tea Party ideals. Who laugh derisively at the very idea that we should revert to constitutional government. Whose rhetoric is the rhetoric of Big Government and Statism. This includes Republicans in government who seek out Tea Party votes, but (like Thad Cochran) appeal to voters by touting their ability to bring home government benefits.

The problem, of course, is distinguishing between the two. Let me provide a couple of examples of pieces I have read lately by pundits who appear to fall into the latter category.

Let’s start with Michael Gerson, columnist for the Washington Post, who penned a piece recently titled The tea party risks scaring away voters:

The movement has developed a characteristic tone and approach. It is often apocalyptic. The torch of liberty sputters. The country is on the verge of tyranny. Yet, without apparent cognitive dissonance, the movement’s goals are often utopian. The nation’s problems can be solved by passing 10 amendments to the Constitution or by impeaching the president. And those who don’t share a preference for maximal (sometimes delusional) solutions — those who talk of incrementalism or compromise — are granted particular scorn.

The tea party temperament is often accompanied by an easily reducible political theory. “The word ‘education,’ ” McDaniel has argued, “is not in the Constitution. Because the word is not in the Constitution, it’s none of their [the federal government’s] business.” Neither are the phrases “health care,” “retirement assistance,” “disaster relief,” “food safety” or “cancer research.” And there goes much of the modern state.

These habits of mind — desperation, utopianism, purifying zeal and ideological simplicity — have had their uses throughout history. But they can’t be called conservative. This is one theme of a careful, instructive essay by Philip Wallach and Justus Myers in National Affairs that ought to be required beach reading for conservatives. The authors describe the attributes of the conservative temperament — humility, an appreciation for what is worthy in our society, a preference for incremental reform, a distrust of abstraction — and contrast them with the “misguided radicals of the left and right.”

That last paragraph makes Gerson sound like a Burkean conservative: willing to seek smaller government, but preferring incremental approaches. That’s not the type of conservative I am, but I can try to work with people like that — especially when they make it clear that their ideals are substantially the same as mine, but their path for getting there is simply more pragmatic.

I understand that point of view. I have held that point of view. I am not contemptuous of it.

But look at the second paragraph in the quote above. There, Gerson seems to actively accept “the modern state” in its current form — including, as I interpret his phraseology, a substantial federal role in topics such as “retirement assistance” and even “health care” (!). When he says: “And there goes much of the modern state” my reaction is: “you’re damned right!” But when Gerson says “And there goes much of the modern state” he is saying, as I read his words, that people who want to dismantle the “modern state” are radical and extremist.

For people like Gerson, things like Social Security, Medicare, the Education Department, ObamaCare, and the rest of the apparatus of the giant state — all these things are a given. No matter how precipitously they were imposed on us, people like Gerson are worried about doing away with them too hastily, if at all. Better to tinker with them around the margins. But let’s not have any of this crazy talk about how the so-called “Constitution” doesn’t provide a role for federal government interfering in such areas. That sort of talk is Simplistic — why, it’s even Scary.

I can’t work with someone who talks like that. I can’t work with someone who, for example, believes that a federal role in health care is “conservative.” To me, that person’s philosophy is pernicious. In some ways, it’s more insidious than the leftist philosophy — because it poses as “conservative” and therefore as a way of thinking that I have to tolerate.

Well, I don’t. Such a philosophy is the philosophy of the political enemy. When I say “the political enemy,” I want it to be clear: I do not mean mortal enemy in the sense that Al Qaeda is the “enemy.” But my political enemy is a real opponent. His way of thinking is something that I need to fight with every ounce of energy in my body. I’ll fight it with every ethical means at my disposal. Those means include attempts to persuade — but I will recognize that, more often, persuasion won’t work, and such philosophies must simply be crushed.

But I’d like to think that Gerson does not represent a large part of the Republican party. I’d like to think that many people on the right believe in the ultimate goal of limited constitutional government, and that their main disagreement is over how much we can accomplish, and how quickly it needs to be accomplished.

I can work with people who disagree with me on such issues. And I invite them to work with people like me. Where there are disagreements, let’s air them, respectfully.

But people like Michael Gerson, whether they call themselves “conservative” or not, are the political enemy. And I think those of us who love liberty — all of us — need to identify the enemy for what they are . . . and stamp them out.

337 Responses to “Separating Potential Allies from The Enemy”

  1. I didn’t even have room to address Ross Douthat’s latest.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. This. Fucking this.

    JWB (c1c08f)

  3. Gerson and Wehner (to a lesser extent) are cut from the same cloth.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Look at what gets Gerson excited:

    A party that is genuinely excited about conservative anti-poverty proposals, the child tax credit and other reforms — rather than impeachment and the abolition of modern government — might even be judged worthy of the presidency again.

    What are the “anti-poverty” proposals? The only worthwhile one is abolishing modern government, actually.

    The only specific proposal he alludes to in this entire piece that he supports is a “child tax credit”? That’s it?

    Nope, I cannot make common cause with this man.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  5. “The people I don’t mind working with are those who believe that constitutional government is a good goal — but who believe that, realistically, the country is not yet ready to go as far as it should. These people argue that we should accomplish what we can, recognize what we can’t accomplish . . . and attempt to persuade people to come around to our point of view on issues where we currently can’t achieve all we would like.”

    I think I am one of the people you’ve described. I can’t agree with those who believe it’s all or nothing, I think that is naive, unrealistic and ultimately fruitless.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Gerson’s problem is that he thinks it’s a winning argument to say that conservatives can deliver the modern welfare state in a cheaper and more efficient manner, while at the same time making it even more personalized and compassionate than it currently exists under progressives. Both George Bushes are fine men — far more accomplished than I will ever be — but both of them also buy in to this basic idea: big government isn’t so bad in itself, it’s just badly applied and managed by left-wing ideologues. But to me that’s a lot like the kindhearted woman believing that she can reform the lazy and shiftless drunk if only she can get him to marry her. It may be noble and sweet, but it is incredibly naive.

    JVW (feb406)

  7. when Gerson was W’s speechwriter, he had the president overpromise on Katrina, on the Middle East, he doesn’t consider how ‘Rotten Core’ as I’ve dubbed it, doesn’t deliver the results promised, neither did the previous iteration under NCLB, because it followed ‘constructivist’ guidelines

    narciso (24b824)

  8. When I say “the political enemy,” I want it to be clear: I do not mean mortal enemy in the sense that Al Qaeda is the “enemy.”

    I have bad news for you. Your political enemies consider you more of a threat to them — and so more deserving of being dealt with violently — than al’Qaeda.

    Don’t believe me? Consider how difficult it was for them to get Obama’s “approval” for the raid that took out bin Laden, compared to how easy it was for him to give his approval for using the IRS, EPA, BATFE, etc. against True the Vote and others.

    (What? You say he didn’t give any approval of that? Really? Notice how he shifted from “we’ll get to the bottom of this and deal with it” to “not a smidgen of corruption” once all the documentation was destroyed?)

    Rob Crawford (45d991)

  9. I think impeachment is a Utopian fantasy right now. The “first black president” will not be impeached and he knows it. He will become even more obnoxious as time goes on. I should have qualified that with “if possible.”

    What we have is the “ Ruling Class of Codevilla. Sorry to link to my own blog but it is gone from the Spectator site. Not everyone in Washington has the Ruling Class mentality but the exceptions are few.

    Some pessimists seem to think Romney would have been no better than Obama but that is a negative fantasy. A sort of sour grapes defense.

    Douthat has some decent points although I suspect I am more libertarian than he is.

    So, for instance, while I’m personally skeptical of the “pass immigration reform to win Hispanics” theory of Republican modernization, I’m quite invested in the “make an actual pitch to African-American voters on issues they care about and stop obsessing over voter ID” theory. And I think both reform conservatives and our close cousins, libertarian populists, have pushed Republicans (many of whom, from Rand Paul to even a Chris Christie, haven’t needed that much pushing) to take up causes like sentencing reform and drug law reform that might further this kind of outreach. It’s not a complete strategy, it obviously exists in tension with other impulses and ideas within conservatism — but it’s a first step, at least.

    I am not ready to give up on election reform, including voter ID. India for Crissake, has more than a billion voters and an average wage The annual median per capita income in India stood at $616, the 99th position among 131 countries.

    Yet India has voter ID cards !!!!!

    I see no problem with legalization of marijuana and even heroin with some controls like prescriptions for the latter. Not cocaine, though.

    I don’t give a crap about gay marriage even though I think it is a fad brought about by AIDS as panicked gays try to alter the gay lifestyle of promiscuity. I think gay adoption will create psychiatric problems in kids but that is a banned topic for a decade until the kids are old enough to talk about it. Transsexuals have psychiatric problems but, if I don’t have to pay for it, so what.

    I think the border fiasco might start to get the attention of blacks. Better late than never.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  10. stop obsessing over voter ID

    Because the integrity of elections is such a pointless issue. It’s curious that every demographic slice supports voter ID, yet the functionaries of one political party oppose it tooth-and-nail. It’s almost as if they have a vested interest in easily-corrupted elections…

    Mike — every nation in the world, even ones where elections are even more pointless exercises than in Chicago, has voter ID. A few elections ago, lefties brought in a pack of observers from overseas, looking for a propaganda coup — and instead got handed a report saying priority #1 was an ID requirement.

    Rob Crawford (45d991)

  11. Well, Patterico, I guess I’m the enemy too.

    Most people my age (Boomers) are going to need those SS and Medicare benefits. It has been part of our retirement planning for years (and until the 80′s it was pretty much all that was allowed, other than a 5% passbook account). There were no 401(k)s or IRAs until Reagan’s reforms.

    Now, perhaps those of us with government jobs, exemptions from paying into social security and medicare, and a separate subsidized retirement system don’t care. But, like most baby boomers, I’ve been forced to pay through the effing nose for social security and medicare for over 40 years. Some years it was more than my state and federal income tax combined (mostly when self-employed).

    If I had been able to put that into conservative stocks, I’d have a couple million dollars saved, but that wasn’t the plan. I won’t get that out of SS, BTW.

    IRAs and 401k(s) and such are are not that old — they’ve been around for about 20 years, so all those graphs about how much one could put away over 40 years don’t really work for the Boomers. And after 3 market crashes in 15 years, many people got their savings reset more than once.

    So, most of my generation has the reasonable expectation (and now necessity) that Social Security and Medicare will continue in some form and we will NOT allow that to change.

    You talk all about how this is a matter of principle, but it really looks to older folks like you want to welch on the deal.

    If you really think that it should be a matter of principle, fine. I have an offer for you: pay the taxes that we-all paid, but forgo the future benefits. That way you can plan and save where we could not.

    But impoverishing 50 million voting Americans is JUST NOT GOING TO WORK.

    Find another plan.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  12. Kevin M,

    There’s a difference between saying we shouldn’t cut off people who have paid into the system their whole lives, and saying that Social Security can and should continue for current and future generations. I can work with people in the first group. I can’t work with people in the second.

    If you believe FDR was right to set up Social Security and — as a matter of principle — we should not try to phase it out? Then yes. You are the political enemy. Doesn’t mean I can’t like you as a person. Doesn’t mean I don’t want you reading my blog. It just means that I am out to defeat your point of view.

    I didn’t think you were that type of apologist for Social Security. I still don’t. But if I’m wrong, hey, let me know.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  13. If I had been able to put that into conservative stocks, I’d have a couple million dollars saved, but that wasn’t the plan. I won’t get that out of SS, BTW.

    Right. It has a horrible rate of return. That’s why nobody in their right mind thinks it’s a good plan for retirees.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  14. I think I am one of the people you’ve described. I can’t agree with those who believe it’s all or nothing, I think that is naive, unrealistic and ultimately fruitless.

    OK. We can have a discussion about tactics, then, to achieve the goals we share. But we need to band together — and that requires some give and take. On both sides.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  15. Kevin M,

    I believe I remember you talking about pension reform. Do you believe in taking away the pension I have earned? Or do you merely advocate telling new government employees that they are going to have a different plan and be treated differently from me and people in my situation? I have the same reliance interest in my pension that you have in Social Security.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  16. But to me that’s a lot like the kindhearted woman believing that she can reform the lazy and shiftless drunk if only she can get him to marry her. It may be noble and sweet, but it is incredibly naive.

    That analogy is amusing and sums up so much of the prevailing ethos in 21st century America, An ethos in which many people want to be loved far more than whether they make any sense or not. A case of do-gooderism run amok.

    I don’t give a crap about gay marriage even though I think it is a fad brought about by AIDS as panicked gays try to alter the gay lifestyle of promiscuity.

    I’d say that the issue of promiscuity is of limited interest to most feel-good liberals who have been in the forefront of promoting SSM. They’ve been hyping SSM mainly in order to socially and politically (and, in turn, legally) mainstream homosexuals and non-traditional behavior.

    Mark (8cacab)

  17. Patterico,

    I think that some form of Social Security will and should continue. It should transition from what it is, to an individual scheme. This has been discussed time and again, and it is really the only way out. Chile’s methods might be a good start, and very shortly (as the huge Millennial generation begins picking up the burden and reduces the system’s stress) would be an excellent place to start. Had it not been that the Millennials were the size of the Boomer generation, SS would collapse no matter what, but now it probably won’t. People stopped having babies circa the VietNam war and didn’t start again until circa Reagan. I have no idea how immigration will play into this: My best guess is it won’t.

    After watching my cohort’s behavior though, I can see the wisdom of the State requiring an earnings set-aside and in limiting the scope of the self-directed investments. A fool and his money are soon parted, and then the fool goes on welfare (and if you think that the US will ever get to the point where the state lets people starve for being foolish, you are more hopeful than I).

    Medicare will transition, too, and will basically join whatever-the-heck Obamacare morphs into. McCain’s 2008 plan was to make one insurance pool and have everyone get their own policies on a must-issue basis. Companies or the government could subsidize the payments but the plans would be chosen by the individual and still be theirs if they quit (tho not the subsidy). All employee plans would end. Yes, this is statist, too, but letting insurance companies insure only the well isn’t a good one either. Maybe there’s a better way with less state involvement. But whatever, Medicare has to roll into it.

    As far as FDR, the plan he set up had many flaws and most of them persist. I understand WHY they set it up — old folks were starving in the Depression — but they could have taxed more and paid it forward, for one thing. Instead they taxed less and jacked up the bennies when they had extra funds, which dug the hole we are in.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  18. Note: McCain’s plan involved PRIVATE polities with the existing companies, not state-run plans. THe state involvement was to break the connection between the plans and the employment, and allow companies to subsidize their employee’s chose plans.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  19. Remember that Ryan proposed a plan that did NOT affect anyone under 55. The Democrats, of course, demonized it.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  20. Patterico,

    Pension reform: I have issues with some of the current rules here in California, particularly the future-earnings ratchet. IMHO, a person earns their pension incrementally as they work. Pension money earned for past work is inviolate. But the paying entity should be allowed to change the rules for FUTURE work. Current judicial thinking is that they can not — a state employee is entitled to the highest projected pension that ever was on the best day of his employment, and that’s just not right. Or equitable.

    I would also seek to reduce pension payments based on spiking, and return them to the salary-based rules. Jumping up one’s final year earnings by accumulated sick pay (use it or lose it in the private sector) and vacation pay (capped in the private sector) and retiring with substantially more than what was made while working is abuse. That it’s done with a wink and a nod doesn’t make it right, it simply adds collusion to the fraud.

    Failing that, I’d argue for a windfall pension tax for excessive pensions and/or retroactive corrective clauses in future contracts mandated by law.

    Retroactively increasing pension “earnings” as the state of California did in 2000 should be PROHIBITED, just as they should be unable to retroactively cut. Not sure what to do about the 2000 bump, but some kind of rollback at least at the high end might be right.

    How does this relate to Social Security? Well the rules have been changed on me more than once, and I expect they will change again before I’m done. So I don’t feel hypocritical there. You might have an argument wrt Medicare Part D, but I doubt Medicare will look anything like what it currently is when I go to collect.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  21. Remember that Ryan proposed a plan that did NOT affect anyone OVER 55. The Democrats, of course, demonized it.

    FIFY.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  22. My biggest issue with social security is that like all other government programs it has grown and morphed from what it started as and was sold as –minimum protection in their old age for workers and spouses who paid into it. Check out the huge dollar amounts of social security disability benefits (often questionable) for those much younger than retirement age and even for those,
    including disabled children, who’ve never paid into the system at all. These may be services that are necessary and must be part of a program to help the less fortunate among us, but they should never have been coupled with old age benefits. As Kevin M. hinted at above, calling SS an
    “entitlement” within earshot of someone who’s paid Into it AND mEDIXARE

    elissa (752602)

  23. BTW, Patterico, I took some pains not to make your employment an issue, for any number of reasons, not least that you don’t like it. But also, it is not clear to me what your long-term plans are, nor what your pension rules are, nor a number of other points. I doubt you are unionized, but I could be wrong. And it really doesn’t matter so long as you accept these subjects are tied.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  24. Elissa–

    The SSDI program is worse now — if you are over 50 and claim disability for any plausible reason, they don’t check — they just give it to you. It is supposed to be unavailable to most non-citizens (cut-off date of entry), but I’m willing to bet it isn’t under the current regime.

    SSDI, though is NOT Social Security, it is a welfare program paid out of SS money.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  25. …earshot of someone who’s been forced to pay into it and the Medicare system for 40 years or more does not go over well. (Sorry for the premature “submit” @21.)

    elissa (752602)

  26. BTW, until the Dole Commission in 1986(?), Social Security payouts went to both husband and wife, based on their separate earnings, there were many more payouts (e.g. minor children of deceased workers) and tax rates were far lower. Dole doubled SS taxes (and tripled them for the self-employed by making them pay half the “employer’s” share) while cutting the extra payouts. Now, even if a husband and wife earn, only one can collect. There have been divorces-of-convenience.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  27. So, as I said, I’ve seen the rules change.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  28. The problem as I see it, is that Gerson is emblematic of the conventional wisdom residing in the Acela Corridor, and within the Beltway, of both parties (just tempered a bit from what you’d find with a “D” after its name).
    The country has bifurcated itself into Angelo Codevilla’s Ruling Class, and Country Class; and if the Country Class is to have any hope of restoring the Republic, it has to fight tooth and nail to – at a minimum – relegate the current members of the Ruling Class into irrelevance.
    Failing that, we will become just another Social Democracy (at best).

    askeptic (efcf22)

  29. I have paid into Social Security, by the way, enough quarters to collect something in theory. But that will be pretty much wiped out by rules that prevent a “windfall.” I don’t care too much.

    I accept the topics are tied, and that detrimental reliance presents an issue.

    If you are proposing privatization then we are close enough. As I assumed we were.

    Patterico (6b7e88)

  30. Patterico… I think you don’t have enough categories. There are people out there worse to far worse than the “political enemies” – Democrats. This is critical to keep in mind when discussing tactics.

    That means that sometimes it may be necessary to ally with those you dubbed political enemies, as distasteful as it is. In practical politics, your categorization still has a bit of “perfection being the enemy of good” – certainly less so than the of a lot of fed up conservatives, who have reached the puritan stage, but still, practically, you fall a bit into that camp.

    I also fear that constitutional government as you define it is no longer possible without a true revolution, and a true revolution would be so awful that we are no where near the state where it would be justified.

    Finally, I think that the more libertarian (or more constitutional) government absolutely cannot be achieved by politics. It can only be achieved by cultural transformation – the conservative equivalent of the Progressive Project which has so poisoned our current culture. We can rant and rail about politics, but if the people don’t go along with us, it just doesn’t matter. We need more Breitbart thinking and less political fussing.

    John Moore (ac5430)

  31. Argh… no edit function. Sorry for the redundancy.

    John Moore (ac5430)

  32. So, for those who can’t “work with” others on the right who believe change must come incrementally and at the ballot box, or who simply don’t believe or trust that it will ever come incrementally or at the ballot box due to greed and inertia –what is the proposal? What is the alternate plan? Is the plan “Let it burn” as some are so fond of saying? And if so, what does “let it burn” actually even mean? Personally, I thought Paul Ryan’s plan was a great starting point and you saw what happened to him. How will proposals which are viewed and “painted” as even more draconian fare? How will candidates and lawmakers who push them fare? Is this not the essence of what Gerson was getting at? How is he wrong?

    elissa (752602)

  33. 31. “the proposal”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-12/jpmorgan-blows-feds-we-can-control-crash-reverse-repo-plan

    Place your feet outside the plumb line beneath your shoulders, gently squat, grab one’s ankles, incline the neck past your heels at its limit and kiss your sweet azz ‘Goodbye’.

    “Let it burn” does not imply failing to lift a finger to prevent harm to one’s cherished souls, just a readiness to accept God’s Will.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  34. The pace of collapse quickens. Israel attacks Hamas/ISIS in Gaza, ISIS threatens destruction of Mecca,..

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  35. #10, Kevin: Anyone who is planning on living on SS is incredibly naive. This is excusable for those under 40, but for the rest of us, we have surely had some role in supporting our parents in their sunset years, and thus we should know that SS is at best a ticket to the poor house. Right now a maximum payout is in the range of $2000/month. If you have other income, for example a pension, this income is taxed normally (according to IRS schedules) to a point, but beyond that point, it exposes 85% of your SS to taxes. For an upper middle income person, the tax rate on this additional income is effectively 50%, but the reality is hidden since the tax is nominally levied against your SS payout. The point is that if you rely on SS then you are planning on living on $30K to $40 a year, and beyond that, you’ll be sharing 50/50 with Uncle Sam until all the SS is taxed. The big crunch comes when you find that you need 24×7 assistance, and this costs over $10K per month, or it did five years ago. Now the tens of thousands of dollars that you paid in taxes on your SS over decades translate into months and years of care.

    One of the great myths is that you will be able to live in your home in your twilight years. Many assume that this is true because of the false promise of SS, and they (make no) plan(s) accordingly. The home is perhaps your greatest accumulation of wealth, and if you manage this wealth wisely, you ought to do better than those who hold out to the bitter end only to find that they really can’t manage the home themselves. But the Federal Reserve has been “managing” interest rates, and many retirees have found it necessary to dip into their principal to meet expsenses. Interest rates are simply the figment of Uncle Ben’s or Aunt Ellen’s imagination, and they like to imagine a Keynesian utopia along the lines of Marx and HteWon. This means that current retirees will become more and more dependent upon their SS pittance as their assets are depleted, despite being responsible.

    Good luck to you, Kevin. I’m sure the Medicare system will continue to be more than generous as the number of clients expands far past those who still bother to work and pay taxes. After all, they can always mandate “fair” wages for Doctors and Nurses, and thus hold down costs. And Aunt Ellen will just buy another $tillion of federal debt to keep the accounts straight. In Seattle, my guess is that you’ll probably find better care in your local espresso than in the government-controlled clinics, assuming you know your barista.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  36. Sorry guy.

    Republicans are incapable of stamping evil people out. It’s not even a goal.

    someguy (84ecc5)

  37. #32, Gary: Yes, you’ve identified the “conservative” alternative. I’d give it a try myself, but I can’t get my forehead far enough to the rear to give my eyes a view of anything but the rug. And now my head aches.

    All in all, a good starting point for steady as she goes policy making by the minority party.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  38. I guess I fall somewhere between “fix even if it’s not within the intended scope” and “gradually abolish”; I’m not sure where in that range I am long term.
    And I’d probably pass for a Tea Partier.

    But anyhow: the Constition is a compromise of the ideal systems of government of several delagates from the states. It was not divinely ordained and infallible, it was not the absolute perfect system of government, it protected wrongs in some cases (consider Article 4, Section 2, versus Deuteronomy 23:15-16), and it ignored (and ignores) a number of duties in the eyes of God.
    But in most of its provisions it has been better than the alternatives that have been presented.
    And the proper solution is not to take it loosely, but to fix it; the law read wrong will do more wrong. When it is well and truly wrong, then it should be broken and defied, not turned about till it seems good enough; for then the best law could be twisted till the best man falls afoul of it.
    All of this is demonstrated by our courts.
    (I’m arguing that “that’s unconsitutional” should not be a final argument, but only a short-term argument backed by “here’s a principle that breaks”. I mean to endorse the “higher law” stance.)

    Ibidem (3e710c)

  39. When I say “the political enemy,” I want it to be clear: I do not mean mortal enemy in the sense that Al Qaeda is the “enemy.”

    In the case of the Left, it’s highly likely their feelings toward who they consider their political enemies are not as tempered as yours. They are most assuredly not people to turn your back to.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (51809b)

  40. So, for those who can’t “work with” others on the right who believe change must come incrementally and at the ballot box, or who simply don’t believe or trust that it will ever come incrementally or at the ballot box due to greed and inertia –what is the proposal? What is the alternate plan? Is the plan “Let it burn” as some are so fond of saying? And if so, what does “let it burn” actually even mean? Personally, I thought Paul Ryan’s plan was a great starting point and you saw what happened to him. How will proposals which are viewed and “painted” as even more draconian fare? How will candidates and lawmakers who push them fare? Is this not the essence of what Gerson was getting at? How is he wrong?

    First: your quotation of “work with” — a phrase I used in the post — could be read to imply that you’re saying I am one of the people “who can’t ‘work with’ others on the right who believe change must come incrementally and at the ballot box.” I’m going to assume that you’re not referring to me, since I made it clear in the post that such a person is exactly the sort that I want to make an attempt to join forces with.

    Is this not the essence of what Gerson was getting at? How is he wrong?

    I made the argument in the post, but I’ll repeat it here, to reinforce the point: he is wrong when he says this:

    The tea party temperament is often accompanied by an easily reducible political theory. “The word ‘education,’ ” McDaniel has argued, “is not in the Constitution. Because the word is not in the Constitution, it’s none of their [the federal government’s] business.” Neither are the phrases “health care,” “retirement assistance,” “disaster relief,” “food safety” or “cancer research.” And there goes much of the modern state.

    These habits of mind — desperation, utopianism, purifying zeal and ideological simplicity — have had their uses throughout history. But they can’t be called conservative.

    Again: the part of the “modern state” that makes it federal business to worry about “retirement assistance” or “health care” is something Gerson is fine with in principle. It’s not that he has the goal of getting the federal government out of these areas, but worries about doing so too abruptly, in a way that disrupts citizens’ reliance on longstanding promises, etc.

    He is just peachy with the idea of the feds being involved in such things. And he ridicules people who disagree. He mocks people who take a straightforward view that, under the Constitution, this is not the business of the federal government.

    Such sentiments as Gerson’s need to be squished like a cockroach.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  41. They are most assuredly not people to turn your back to.

    And that shouldn’t be interpreted as just a quip or an insult. Most of the gunmen on shooting rampages during the past several years, including the guy who tried to kill the Congresswomen from Arizona, have political histories that are aligned with liberalism, or where they themselves have snuggled up to the left.

    Moreover, it’s morbidly fascinating to see that a recent poll indicates a high percentage of people of the Islamic faith give thumbs up to Barack Obama, even though such people are tied to a reactionary theology founded by a bloodthirsty leader. A belief system that is presumably unappealing to a liberal like Obama. Or is it?

    It seems that the further away that humans stray from an ethical, sensible, non-sappy philosophy — and liberalism is drenched with just the opposite of those qualities — the more prone they are to doing or sympathizing with disreputable politicians and self-destructive outcomes.

    Mark (8cacab)

  42. Again: if you’re for dismantling these things, but you have a different plan than I do about how to go about it, we can work together. But if you support the federal government being involved in such areas, you’re a statist, no matter what you call yourself. Thad Cochran’s runoff campaign was a statist campaign. I’m not helping someone like that. And I won’t assume any guilt over it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  43. Let’s not ignore the reasons for some of the interference by government in our affairs.

    Social Security arose because of changes in society, the family and the workplace.

    Old people were/are at risk of privations of one sort or another due to the lack of a family
    support structure that would/could take them in and succor them.
    Those changes came about for a number of reasons, mainly the changes in the foundation of our economy due to manufacturing and the reduction of people needed to operate a farm.
    Should there be no support for the old and infirm? If not who will supply it and at what cost?
    Or should the old and sick just be left outside the village to be eaten by the scavengers?

    Next is education. People forget how chaotic the education system was in this country not 50 years ago. There were few standards and all were optional. An education in one locale was not equal to a similar appearing education in another. The states were not meeting their obligations. Thus was born the idea that a central coordinator would have value.

    Likewise disease control, health research, health care.

    The Federal government took over due to the States having done such a poor job and due to inequities from state to state.

    Granted the FedGov has as a result become an intrusive octopus poking and prying into every part of our lives and that needs to be addressed somehow but let’s not forget that those programs and concerns don’t have a basis in being needed for one reason or another.

    Let’s suppose that the Holy Grail of Fiscons is put into practice and all benefits and welfare programs are cut 25% is there anyone who doesn’t know that this will cause untold hardship and even death for those affected?

    Something has to be put in place. Many of those programs cannot just be turned off like a light switch without many people being adversely physically affected.

    Yes we can’t continue as we are but is it fair to put the burden of the financial situation on the poor when those who have and are profiting from the economy the most are allowed to continue to live in comfort unheard of at any time in our history except by potentates while others die?

    Go ahead, make the cuts but don’t think that’s not what’s going on when you do.

    The cuts must be across the board but that will never happen because our country and it’s lawmakers have become corrupt and the Justice system inept and corrupt also.

    It’s not like it’s never happened before just that it’s happened to the US.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  44. If you are proposing [SS] privatization then we are close enough. As I assumed we were.

    Gradually over maybe 20 years, with some increasing percentage of the tax allocated to a private fund and diminishing SS payouts depending on degree of final SS contribution. For the youngest workers this would be almost entirely their account. Which should be inheritable.

    My father died at age 66 and collected almost nothing after paying in since Day 1. An inheritable account would have worked better.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  45. So, most of my generation has the reasonable expectation (and now necessity) that Social Security and Medicare will continue in some form and we will NOT allow that to change.

    You talk all about how this is a matter of principle, but it really looks to older folks like you want to welch on the deal.

    What deal? There never was a deal. From the first day you paid the FICA tax you were on notice that you had no binding contract with the USA, that paying this tax created no obligation on the USA whatsoever, and that Congress had the full power to modify or abolish social security any time it liked. The Supreme Court ruled this in 1960, so you had no reason to believe otherwise.

    I agree that it would be politically impossible to immediately and completely abolish SS and Medicare, and those approaching retirement need to be accommodated. But the reason I agree with that, is that without such an accommodation no reform at all is possible. I do not agree that it would be undesirable to completely cut it off, and that we wouldn’t do it even if we could. If you think that, then there is no room for you in the tent.

    That said, if it were up to me to fix social security, I’d do it by announcing that as of the next New Year, the retirement age would be going up 4 months a year, every year, forever. So if you’re 3 years from retirement, now you’re 4 years and 4 months away. If you’re 15 years away, now you’re 22. This gives everyone reasonable time to adjust their plans, and eventually the retirement age will be 120 and SS can finally be repealed altogether.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  46. I’d also like to point out that most everybody advocating for reductions or elimination of welfare or other government programs are:

    a) employed or financially secure
    b) are not employed in an area that will be cut back or eliminated
    c) haven’t really thought about what those reductions and cutbacks will mean to those receiving them or don’t care or believe that most will be able to cope somehow. (with no concern about how that coping comes about or those that can’t).
    d) have mistaken ideas and perceptions of the amount/degree of largesse doled out due to urban myths promoted by anecdotal evidence (rumors) or the trumpeting by some of cases of extreme fraud. (most fraud being aided and abetted by employees of the Government.)
    e) have never had to partake of these programs due to unforeseen (or even foreseen) circumstances affecting their ability to earn an income.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  47. bobathome–

    I have no illusions that Medicare will continue as it is. If you look at the Ryan plan for example, with subsidized private insurance, and then you look at Obamacare, you see how it meshes. Since I also think Obamacare must have big changes, I suspect that whatever happens there will be the pattern for Medicare. The idea of medical insurance for the elderly is probably set in concrete — again, they all vote and we remain a democracy — but the single-payer component of it seems broken. This will await a general overhaul of medical insurance in general on the heels of Obamacare’s failure.

    No one should rely exclusively on SS, and I for one have not — but the money taken from me over the years (close on half a million in current dollars for both programs) is money I could not invest. Since there were no real programs until the 90′s (IRAs were maybe $2000/year in the 80′s), all those neat charts you see for what can be done over 40 years are fantasies for older workers. Yes, the house and yes the 401k, repeatedly hammered as it is (and will be again soon if I’m not careful). But still, the $3×00 the wife and I would get monthly in 2014 dollars is something I am not willing to forgo. And for about half my cohort, that’s all they’re going to have, through bad luck or bad planning. And again, they all vote and if you pin your hopes of balancing the budget by welching on that obligation, you’re going to lose a lot of elections.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  48. Thad Cochran’s runoff campaign was a statist campaign.

    No, it was a crooked campaign. It didn’t really turn on policy.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  49. And another way to shore up Social Security would be to means test any applicant.

    If you already have ample retirement income, why do you need the few thousand dollars that SS doles out?

    If at any time that income disappears, you can reapply and receive assistance.

    Instead we have very comfortable retirees taking out of the system with no net gain socially as they are already maintaining their contribution to the economy and not being a hindrance. Which is all Social Security really is about anyway.

    Same goes for the Health benefit programs. The current debacle with the ACA occurred because of the GREED OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES. No two ways about it.

    If we wanted a good insurance system to exist all we’d have to do would be to put medical insurance out in the free market without mandated coverages (perhaps minimal coverage as in Car ins.) and the ability to deduct it from ones taxes or for an employer to deduct their payments to be deducted.

    But then that would take power away from the 535 petty tyrants we periodically elect to lord it over us.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  50. What deal? There never was a deal. From the first day you paid the FICA tax you were on notice that you had no binding contract with the USA, that paying this tax created no obligation on the USA whatsoever, and that Congress had the full power to modify or abolish social security any time it liked. The Supreme Court ruled this in 1960, so you had no reason to believe otherwise.

    blah blah blah ginger. Nice pedantic points, but nobody cares. You are yelling into the wind.

    But let;s explore that. I could just as easily say this: THe moment you went to work, and saw that they took taxes out, you were put on notice they could take a lot more if they wanted. The old folks all vote, they could double their payout it just as easily. There is no guarantee they won’t tax you out of your socks to pay for it either.

    But the deal is they won’t, and that you pay in for your working life and you get out pretty much what the guy before you got.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  51. Should there be no support for the old and infirm? If not who will supply it and at what cost?
    Or should the old and sick just be left outside the village to be eaten by the scavengers?

    That is none of the government’s business, and certainly none of the federal government’s business. As Madison said, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Government simply has no moral right to take money from one person and give it to another, no matter how rich the first person is, or how urgent the second person’s need. If you or I were to do that, at gunpoint, we’d be called muggers and arrested. How does that change just because the person behind the gun is called a “government”?

    So what should happen to the needy? Charity, that’s what. If their family can’t look after them, someone else will. People are generous. But what if that fails, you ask? What if everyone turns out to be stingy, and willing to see the person starve? And I will answer you, if everyone is that stingy then the person will starve. It’s unfortunate, but if everyone’s that stingy then they’re not going to vote for welfare, are they? But in any case, it doesn’t justify armed robbery. Necessity is a defense, not a justification.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  52. If you already have ample retirement income, why do you need the few thousand dollars that SS doles out?

    They do that now, to some extent, with both the tax on SS income and the sliding scale Medicare premium. That latter premium ought to go higher still for people with real incomes.

    But lets explore that, too. Person A has set aside $1000 every month for 20 years in a 401k. and with conservative investment has, say, $800K saved up. Person B made the same money, but spent his $1000 a month on dope and hookers. Both have the same retirement income from social security. Your plan is to punish person A for his forethought and/or reward person B for his foolishness.

    Some will oppose that.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  53. Next is education. People forget how chaotic the education system was in this country not 50 years ago. There were few standards and all were optional. An education in one locale was not equal to a similar appearing education in another. The states were not meeting their obligations. Thus was born the idea that a central coordinator would have value.

    And that idea is completely unconstitutional. If you really think it’s needed, propose a constituitonal amendment. But any conservative will oppose that amendment tooth and nail, because there is no legitimate role for government in education, let alone the federal government. Even state and local government needs to get out of education. States have no obligations in this area, and should not be doing anything.

    Likewise disease control, health research, health care.

    Likewise, indeed. None of these have any consitutional basis for federal involvement, and none have any moral basis for any sort of government involvement. It is simply not the legitimate role of government to solve any of these problems. Government is the use of force, and there’s no moral justification for using force to solve these problems.

    The Federal government took over due to the States having done such a poor job and due to inequities from state to state.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  54. I’d also like to point out that most everybody advocating for reductions or elimination of welfare or other government programs are:

    blah blah blah

    You have no basis for that assertion.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  55. But let;s explore that. I could just as easily say this: THe moment you went to work, and saw that they took taxes out, you were put on notice they could take a lot more if they wanted. The old folks all vote, they could double their payout it just as easily. There is no guarantee they won’t tax you out of your socks to pay for it either.

    Not at all comparable. You’re saying the moment I was mugged, I knew that I could be mugged again. But mugging is wrong. It was wrong the first time, and it will be just as wrong the second and twenty-seventh time. Yes, of course I can have my entire life’s savings stolen from me. I can also be murdered or raped. Life has no guarantees. But nobody has the right to do those things. Anyone who does them is a criminal. You claim that you had a deal, and it would be wrong to break it, but that’s not true. You never had a deal, and you were on notice from the beginning that there was no deal. If you pretended to yourself that there was one, that’s your problem. It doesn’t create a moral obligation on anyone else to keep that non-deal.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  56. Milhouse, my reading of the 16th amendment indicates they can tax you out of your socks and not even say “thank you.” Is it right, moral or acceptable? No. But they CAN. (When I was born, the top income tax bracket was 90%.) They can even do it RETROACTIVELY. They can double the tax on 2007′s income should they gather the votes.

    What I am saying is that, yes, you are right that there is no guarantee that social security will be paid in the future except this: there will never be the votes to stop it. And it would be no more moral, right or acceptable that any of those other horrors I mentioned.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  57. 8.I don’t give a crap about gay marriage even though I think …

    Mike K (b5c01a) — 7/12/2014 @ 5:14 pm

    I realize lots of people don’t give a crap about SSM, and I think that’s partly a reaction against things people like Mark have to say about it. Which lend credence to Justice Kennedy’s sneer that only bigotry can explain opposition to SSM. And that makes my job harder, because my opposition to SSM has nothing to do with homosexuality. I’ve never even made a moral argument against SSM. Simply a practical one about breaking the link between children and marriage. As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you had until it’s gone. And once you break it, you can never put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    There is a pattern associated with the degree of acceptance SSM has in any society. It is closely associated with the acceptance of single motherhood. The less marriage is seen as a necessity to raise a child, SSM becomes more thinkable. In the mid-90s when DOMA was passed the non-marital birth rate was 32-33% (there would have been no need to pass DOMA if marriage wasn’t already believed to be in trouble). I can’t reproduce the source on the internet, but as you can see it closely conforms to the data displayed in figure 1.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db18.pdf

    By 2012 the non-marital birth rate had risen to 40.7%.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/unmarried-childbearing.htm

    SSM is at first a symptom of a general decline in support for marriage. It simply becomes more widely accepted because more and more people don’t see the point of marriage. Until it becomes law; then it becomes an additional cause. Whatever the point of it is, it can’t have anything to do with children. The law says marriage is about a relationship between two people and has nothing to do with children. The change in he law accelerates the cultural shift that was already underway; now only a homophobic bigot would say marriage is about children.

    Here’s where you should give a crap. Single motherhood is closely linked to poverty (big duh).

    http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram/articles/2013/05/06/census-bureau-links-poverty-with-out-of-wedlock-births

    (I have no idea why the Census Bureau’s stats are so wildly different from the ones I got from the CDC.)

    Simply put, you’ll never make even incremental progress toward reining in leviathan by creating more wards of the state. And that has been the inevitable result of legalizing SSM in the countries that have done so. Already high rates of non-marital births (the necessary condition before you can legalize SSM in the first place) increase even more as now legalized SSM reinforces the idea that parenting and marriage are two entirely different things.

    What you get is “The life of Julia.” Consumers of government who demand more and more government. Good luck selling limited, constitutional government to the increasing numbers of Julias and their kids.

    Steve57 (cd4182)

  58. 5. Gerson’s problem is that he thinks it’s a winning argument to say that conservatives can deliver the modern welfare state in a cheaper and more efficient manner, while at the same time making it even more personalized and compassionate than it currently exists under progressives.

    JVW (feb406) — 7/12/2014 @ 4:57 pm

    To us, maybe, it’s not a winning argument. But we can be replaced. Why do you think liberal Republicans are such big fans of comprehensive immigration reform, a long winded way of saying amnesty? And of open borders? They may not like the way things appear to the public when they look at what’s currently going on at the border. But don’t kid yourself, it isn’t just Democrats who look at all those government services-loving types streaming across the border. The establishment Republicans who want nothing more than to crush the Tea Party see RINO heaven.

    Steve57 (cd4182)

  59. Very thoughtful piece, Patterico. My own thought on the GOP, is that is it ‘too late.’ All the talk about ‘get rid of the RINOs’ and ‘rebranding’ indicates the damage done. The “brand” is not the problem, and like Hillary Clinton, the “brand” is accurate for good reason.

    Trying to shame those within the party who DO NOT CARE about social issues (or at least don’t want the govt to decide) had a cost. I don’t want forgiveness or a second chance, I was rejected and scorned, and have taken measures accordingly for my own life. And the Tea Party started off great, but has now been taken over by the social conservatives (that means “religious” but they will never admit it) and now has an official stance on abortion and gay marriage. The ‘establishment’ Republicans are not the problem. The ‘Constitutionalist’ and ‘Tea Party’ Republicans failing to make their case with logic and persuasion is the problem, and sitting around the tennis club using terms like “Obammy” and “Moochelle” doesn’t make me want to join in with them.

    TimesDisliker (47adb9)

  60. you are very naive, the left has been at war with all traditional institutions, across Western Europe,
    (this is in part why some populist parties have taken up Volodya’s banner) as far west as Australia

    narciso (24b824)

  61. The ‘Constitutionalist’ and ‘Tea Party’ Republicans failing to make their case with logic and persuasion is the problem

    Interesting how a person who has liberal sentiments framing some of his viewpoints, as appears to be the case with you, nonetheless uses the word “logic” in defining what is required to influence your opinion. Since I don’t recall too many other posts from you through the months and therefore don’t know exactly where you stand on various issues or controversies, I can’t be sure of whether logic really does or doesn’t square with your take on things.

    However, if lousy, ultra-liberal Obama really bothered you as much as he does to me, or as much as he should to any person who truly admires logic, then you wouldn’t be quite so skittish about his being nicknamed “Obammy.” For comparison, I recall a staunch liberal who’ve I’ve sparred with in the past giving a condescending nickname to Romney during the 2012 election and it didn’t put me off all that much.

    Mark (8cacab)

  62. Here’s where you should give a crap. Single motherhood is closely linked to poverty (big duh).

    That’s why people who happily and proudly describe themselves as economic conservatives but social liberals — or people who proclaim, yes, we should balance our checkbooks and not spend money on things unless it’s absolutely necessary, but c’est la vie about social issues — strike me as those who don’t see or understand the bigger picture.

    They remind me of a person who believes that in order to keep a car in working order, one only has to worry about the tires being kept properly inflated and whether the windshield is properly cleaned or not. What’s going on under the hood? C’est la vie, baby!

    Mark (8cacab)

  63. “Remember that Ryan proposed a plan that did NOT affect anyone OVER 55. The Democrats, of course, demonized it.

    FIFY.”

    Thanks

    “People forget how chaotic the education system was in this country not 50 years ago.”

    Fifty years ago ? That was 1964 and I remember it well. It is our great loss that it has deteriorated since then. I much prefer the public school system of the 1930s. When I was a boy, I found my cousin’s 1938 World History textbook from high school. I read it cover to cover a couple of times. It began with the Punic Wars and the Doric invasion of Greece. Do you think Harvard seniors know about those things now ?

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  64. Reforming SocSec:
    There is a practical reform plan. It has been done successfully.
    The foundation for it was put in place by Milton Friedman, and it was ‘fleshed out’ by the Chicago-Boys…..
    In Chile!
    It works.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  65. 63-
    I think I may have put this up before (sometime in the last 6 years or so), but it’s well worth a second look when discussing the state of education today.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  66. All government pensions are not guaranteed per se – I’m including social security in that as well. Also since the rise of government unions – which many feel are illegal – that puts the very idea of state and local govt pensions at risk of revisionist governments.

    Its a shame that Clinton’s monetary policies for artificial growth pushed health care, insurance and pensions into great distress which they are still struggling to recover.

    Its strange as my wife and I move towards retirement – I have started a business to backup ourher pensions and the total lack of interest on our savings – something when we were planning years ago we didn’t think that we would have more at risk of drawing on savings.

    DO we get social security – sure – are we going to get it? – Is her pension going to be bought out?

    All questions for the last 30 years of our life

    EPWJ (d1c025)

  67. Milhouse, my reading of the 16th amendment indicates they can tax you out of your socks and not even say “thank you.” Is it right, moral or acceptable? No. But they CAN. (When I was born, the top income tax bracket was 90%.) They can even do it RETROACTIVELY. They can double the tax on 2007′s income should they gather the votes.

    Yes, just as any armed robber can.

    What I am saying is that, yes, you are right that there is no guarantee that social security will be paid in the future except this: there will never be the votes to stop it. And it would be no more moral, right or acceptable that any of those other horrors I mentioned.

    Wrong. It would be perfectly moral, because the fact that you were robbed in the past does not entitle you to rob others now, or to insist that the robber keep on robbing more people in order to repay what he took from you.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  68. BTW, the 16th amendment has nothing to do with taxing most income. There was never a problem with taxing wages, business profits, etc. The only problem was with taxing income derived from property, i..e. rent, interest, probably dividends, since the tax reduces the value of the property itself. A building that produces so much rent is worth so much; if the rent is taxed, you end up taking less home, so investors won’t be willing to pay as much for the property, and the Supreme Court said that was taxing the property itself, which the federal government can’t do. I think if that case came before today’s Court it would be rejected 9-0.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  69. I think it’s pretty immature to declare which people in your party you’ll work with and which you’ll not. This sort of division will only the help the real adversary, i.e., Democrats.

    Bird Dog (688c08)

  70. 48. . . .
    Same goes for the Health benefit programs. The current debacle with the ACA occurred because of the GREED OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES. No two ways about it.

    If we wanted a good insurance system to exist all we’d have to do would be to put medical insurance out in the free market without mandated coverages (perhaps minimal coverage as in Car ins.) and the ability to deduct it from ones taxes or for an employer to deduct their payments to be deducted.
    jakee308 (f1b953)

    Except the heart of the problem is that a plurality of people simply do not want health care insurance they just want health care subsidies.
    That is compounded by them not wanting health care but a heath panacea whether such actually exists or can be distributed.
    And of course hacks in search of political power are all too eager to promise both, despite knowing none of it exists or can function.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  71. Bird Dog,

    Tell it to McConnell who said he’d crush the tea party, to former Congressman Allan West who was gerrymandered out by his own party, to Cochran who stole an election by going against the principles of his party platform and encouraging illegal votes from those who voted in the Democratic primary.

    They declared war on us. We’d be a fool not to respond.

    njrob (0f2ee7)

  72. > However, if lousy, ultra-liberal Obama really bothered you as much as he does to me, or as much as he should to any person who truly admires logic, then you wouldn’t be quite so skittish about his being nicknamed “Obammy.” For comparison, I recall a staunch liberal who’ve I’ve sparred with in the past giving a condescending nickname to Romney during the 2012 election and it didn’t put me off all that much.

    That seems unfair to me, as there are some of us that are annoyed at the use of condescending nicknames per se. I didn’t like it when liberals referred to President Bush as “shrub”, and never did so myself; I also don’t like it when conservatives refer to President Obama by various condescending nicknames.

    aphrael (98d2d0)

  73. Well said, aphreal.

    felipe (960c75)

  74. I guess “President McStompyfoot” is a No-No.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  75. So when he violates the Constitution, you object to him being called a dictator? When he says any objection towards his policies is due to his race and not his politics, you object to him being called a racist?

    Do I have that right Aphrael?

    NJRob (6bc7c7)

  76. Who knew that Jesse Jackson was a Racist?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  77. Politicians have almost always been given unflattering nicknames by their political adversaries. Goes with the territory. Check any pre-1990 history books for some of them from earlier eras. Some modern monikers for presidents are mildly humorous (like Bubba, like Shrub, and like The Won) while getting a point across in the form of a word caricature. It was the ChimpyMcHitlerburton stuff that crossed the line–not Shrub. Likewise, calling this president Obammy just might give some others the inking there is a racist component to it. Why give the left gifts like this when we don’t need to?

    elissa (752602)

  78. I didn’t like it when liberals referred to President Bush as “shrub”, and never did so myself

    I guess negative nicknames don’t bother me as much as contortionist-routine rationalizations about why a politician is good or bad. Or where the specter of cognitive dissonance is quite a sight to behold.

    I was browsing through the readers’ postings to Maureen Dowd’s op-ed piece in yesterday’s New York Times in which even she snipes at Chelsea and Hillary (and Bill) Clinton. The way the liberals discounted the points raised by Dowd was a form of idiocy and immaturity a thousand times worse than “Shrub” or “Obammy.”

    Mark (8cacab)

  79. Kevin M (b357ee) — 7/12/2014 @ 7:24 pm

    Now, even if a husband and wife earn, only one can collect.

    ?? I think what it is, is that a spouse can collect either a spousal benefit, or their own benefit.

    There have been divorces-of-convenience.

    The rules can get a bit complicated. Someone can start Social Security and then suspend payments, but the spouse can collect, and later switch to their own benefit.

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  80. “I believe I remember you talking about pension reform. Do you believe in taking away the pension I have earned?”

    Why not have others earn theirs?

    dan (a49902)

  81. re:#61 Didn’t think it needed explaining, but apparently it does. The term “Obammy” doesn’t offend me; but the Republican who chortles while saying this (or saying “RINO” and then explaining it in 2014) in public, who thinks it is clever, funny, and an ironically subversive attempt to demean the president, does offend me. What does the term mean? Exactly? We all know, and this is the kind of Republican who doesn’t know much beyond the Rush talking points of the day, and thinks they are being influential by voicing their opinion publicly. It doesn’t make me, or anyone who hears it, think less of Obama. And as #71 aphrael and #72 felipe noted, that tactic is weak and has the opposite effect.

    Look, it is a well-used technique of junior high bullies to ‘exclude’ in order to gain status and power in a group. At this point, I do not want to be part of a group that feels the government must stay out of ‘school lunches’ but must be involved in abortion and gay marriage. Gays aren’t the ones who made some marriages a joke, and there are far too many Republicans who have. There are hardly any gays getting married anyway, less than 100,000 so far, nobody cares and it doesn’t make my marriage any less meaningful. I can’t get excited about fighting against the Death Tax. So while the essay above is thoughtful, it is not a concern of mine whether you will “work with me.” I don’t want to “work with you” if you squander my time, money and vote on issues that don’t matter to me. (Borders, Language, Budget, Crime, that’s it.) I’m ‘excluded’, I get it. But I don’t care now, and the GOP has shown me nothing. The GOP “brand” is accurate, and will stick until the party changes. And those having the conversation about “who they will work with” are not acknowledging that it isn’t just up to them, especially after alienating gays, minorities, non-Christians, or anybody that respects those groups. We don’t have to go anywhere else, but we don’t have to support a hijacked religious agenda of the GOP when there is nothing in it for us.

    Seriously, here is your chance to “work with me”…what are you offering me on my issues (Borders, Language, Budget, Crime)?

    TimesDisliker (47adb9)

  82. It would be perfectly moral, because the fact that you were robbed in the past does not entitle you to rob others now, or to insist that the robber keep on robbing more people in order to repay what he took from you.

    Well, obviously we have an ideological divide here. You seem to go with the “taxation is theft” thing, so there is very little we can discuss on the subject.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  83. I think what it is, is that a spouse can collect either a spousal benefit, or their own benefit.

    No. After one dies, the other has the choice of the personal benefit from their own account or the survivor benefits from the spouse. But while they are both alive and married, they have to pick one account or the other to draw their benefits from.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  84. I also don’t like it when conservatives refer to President Obama by various condescending nicknames.

    Agreed, with this proviso: Generic insults, such as President SfB or President FUBAR are OK. THey could apply to any of a dozen presidents. President Sambo* not so much.

    ——–
    * an extreme example

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  85. It doesn’t make me, or anyone who hears it, think less of Obama.

    Of course, it doesn’t or won’t. As your post #80 indicates, you have no shortage of liberal biases, so it’s apparent where your benefit of the doubt is going to go, more times than not. But perhaps not so far left that you — when the going gets tough — will hold out until the bitter end, as everyone else around you is voting with their feet and the moving van, or pulling their kids out of public schools and sending them to private academies (hello, Malia and Sasha!).

    What irritates me the most about people who share your sentiments, much less who are flat-out liberals, is when they make a mess of things, look around and grimace at that mess, and then pick up and leave the mess for others to take care of, assuming it will ever be cleaned up now or in the future.

    Mark (8cacab)

  86. and when I get old
    and out ’til quarter to 3
    would you lock teh door?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  87. will you still need me
    will you spoon feed me or
    hello Death Panel!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  88. Well, obviously we have an ideological divide here. You seem to go with the “taxation is theft” thing, so there is very little we can discuss on the subject.

    Transfer payments are theft. Taking from one person for another person’s benefit is theft. What else could it possibly be? If you really disagree with that, then indeed we have nothing to discuss, and I wonder why you are here in the first place. How can there be room in the tent, however big it is, for someone who thinks there can be a moral justification for such a thing?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  89. #84, I “irritate” you? Good, then you are hearing even if you (intentionally) aren’t understanding. Don’t play ‘martyr’, you haven’t given up a thing. And your failure to answer the question is all the answer I need (or expected).:-)

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  90. men who spurred us on
    sit in judgment of all wrong
    now they boss nothing

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  91. come to sticky end
    don’t think it will ever mend
    GOP spider

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  92. @Patterico:

    You seem to believe that the way you end Social Security is to announce that fact, then try to convince people it’s a good idea.

    That is both naive and stupid. Democrats don’t operate that way, because they realize that way would never work.

    The way you end Social Security is to first take over the federal government – with the idea that eventually, you will use the resultant power gained to achieve unstated 100-year long-term goals, only one of them being the elimination of Social Security. And you never say word one about that goal.

    That’s how Democrats operate. They have a set of goals they never discuss, and they take the long view about achieving them, knowing full-well they’ll never achieve them in one fell swoop. Ever. They understand incrementalism and how powerful it is and that this method works where others fail.

    It’s easy to figure out, based on their actions, the long-term unstated goals that Democrats have.

    It is impossible to figure out, based on their actions, what the long-term unstated goals that Republicans have for the sole reason that there aren’t any. Republicans have only one goal, based on their actions: achieve temporary power where and when they can and benefit financially from it.

    Republicans don’t want to end the federal government as we know it. They just want to profit off it. They have no longer-term strategy goals and therefore, no short-term tactical objectives.

    Democrats control the entirety of the federal government, and wield that power ruthlessly (see: IRS scandal, Benghazi cover-up, VA mistreatment of whistleblowers, etc.) Democrats understand that to achieve goals, you must first control the power and then wield it to crush your enemies.

    You simply do not understand this. You cannot elucidate a list of 100-year goals (achievable or not) that flow from your desire for power. And because you have no goal, you cannot develop a strategy and cannot implement tactics.

    You’re kind of ignorant of power, as a concept, and how to effectively achieve and wield it.

    someguy (84ecc5)

  93. And your failure to answer the question is all the answer I need (or expected).:-)

    So what question did I fail to answer? Moreover, your left-leaning biases make you the one who’s more likely to play the martyr or the scapegoat. After all, you imply that opposition to same-sex marriage is somehow unseemly coming from Republicans/conservatives or anyone who’s straight but divorced. That’s sort of like blaming the school teacher for not dumbing down standards (further) by handing out more As instead of Ds or Fs, since, after all, most of the kids in her class aren’t exactly Einsteins.

    Mark (8cacab)

  94. now they boss nothing

    As the US becomes more and more like the city of Detroit writ large, with a nice touch of Greece and a dash of Mexico.

    Mark (8cacab)

  95. I’ve dubbed him Alinsky’s sorcerer’s apprentice, or Zaphod, after the self absorbed galactic president in the hitchhiker series, there are other names that come to mind, but this strives to be a family blog

    narciso (24b824)

  96. jakee308,

    Could you provide some data to support your assertion that the federal takeover of our lives has been beneficial?

    You made a lot of assertions about how terribly the states were doing, and how much better we are now due to federal involvement. What I did not see was the data to back all that up.

    Patterico (7d6a02)

  97. You simply do not understand this. You cannot elucidate a list of 100-year goals (achievable or not) that flow from your desire for power.

    Please read the post. Constitutional, limited government is my goal. Maybe you don’t like my goal; I don’t know. But please don’t pretend that it’s not a goal.

    Your prescription appears to be to hide what you’re going to do from the people. That’s wonderful, but once you consolidate your power and then abolish Social Security, without having first persuaded the people that this is a good idea, what prevents them from tossing you out and hiring a new crew that puts it back in place. I have to say: I am a little skeptical of your “hide your goal from the people” theory. It works for Democrats, not for the reason you think (they are hiding all their goals), but because people like handouts. Democrats don’t really have to hide the idea that they are willing to give people goodies. Low-information voters love that message.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  98. Very thoughtful piece, Patterico. My own thought on the GOP, is that is it ‘too late.’ All the talk about ‘get rid of the RINOs’ and ‘rebranding’ indicates the damage done. The “brand” is not the problem, and like Hillary Clinton, the “brand” is accurate for good reason.

    Trying to shame those within the party who DO NOT CARE about social issues (or at least don’t want the govt to decide) had a cost. I don’t want forgiveness or a second chance, I was rejected and scorned, and have taken measures accordingly for my own life. And the Tea Party started off great, but has now been taken over by the social conservatives (that means “religious” but they will never admit it) and now has an official stance on abortion and gay marriage. The ‘establishment’ Republicans are not the problem. The ‘Constitutionalist’ and ‘Tea Party’ Republicans failing to make their case with logic and persuasion is the problem, and sitting around the tennis club using terms like “Obammy” and “Moochelle” doesn’t make me want to join in with them.

    I don’t particularly care for those names.

    I think I make my case with logic and persuasion.

    I don’t follow the comment about being rejected and scorned. Maybe you could elaborate.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  99. I think it’s pretty immature to declare which people in your party you’ll work with and which you’ll not. This sort of division will only the help the real adversary, i.e., Democrats.

    You can call it immature if you like. I see it differently: statists like Gerson actually are the “real adversary.” They’re not different enough from Democrats to matter.

    Now, when I say I can’t “work with” Democrats, or statist Republicans, I’m not saying I will reject their votes if they want to vote for the same policy I want. And I’m not saying it’s impossible to compromise, even with “the enemy.” All I’m saying is this: I have a different mindset about their ideology. Rampant statism is, in my mind, something to stomp out.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  100. Sorry for jumping in when I haven’t read the responses, but I have a pretty simple test to determine which moderates I’m willing to back and which I’m going to abandon:

    I happily work with the people who are team players when it’s “my side” that won the primary, is trying to pass a law, or otherwise needs the help of the whole party.

    If these moderates are really supporting the idea of being a team, they can support it when it doesn’t support their pet project or candidate. If that’s not the case, then their calls for us to play nicely are nothing more than a fig leaf for “STFU, whackos.”

    bridget (37b281)

  101. Let’s remember those famous words of Ronald Reagan,
    “We need to shrink our tent !”

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  102. Milhouse and Kevin M have been having an interesting conversation about the philosophy of what government should be allowed to do. As often happens, I find myself in agreement with Milhouse’s principles, and in disagreement with the way he goes about expressing them. He takes it as a given that his principles are right, that they are the only conceivable principles any rational person could follow, and then denounces anyone who might possibly disagree.

    I’d prefer to try to persuade.

    Kevin M, I don’t think Milhouse believes any taxation is theft. I think he is saying what I believe — but I don’t want to speak for him, so I will stick to my beliefs. I tend to agree with the Bastiat principle, that taxation should be limited to that necessary to support the government having a minimal role in our lives, limited primarily to defense of the citizenry from enemies within (criminals) and without (aggressive other states). Taxation to take wealth from one person and give it to a different person, under the Bastiat principle, is legalized plunder. I agree with that position, but if you or anyone else here holds a different position — and I suspect many do — I am happy to debate it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  103. One forgets the reason for the 11th commandment, because the liberals in california, were doing much whae rove and latourette are doing nationally to the tea party,

    narciso (24b824)

  104. Let’s remember those famous words of Ronald Reagan,
    “We need to shrink our tent !”

    Well, of course. The whole point is this: we want to expand the tent as large as possible, as long as people agree with our basic goals.

    The problem here, I think, is that Republicans don’t appear to agree on basic goals. What is central, and what can be the subject of compromise?

    To me, what is central is working towards the ideal of a smaller government, that is in line with the government our Founders had in mind.

    How we get there is a different question. Come on in the tent and let’s talk about it.

    But people who don’t even share that vision — the Gersons who are invested in maintaining the “modern state” — don’t belong in my tent.

    That’s about as clear a distinction as I can draw. Why would I want to do anything that would help a supporter of the modern state, defined as federal involvement in such things as health care, retirement assistance, etc.?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  105. Which is all a long way of saying: if you believe in a giant federal government, you might be a nice person. You can read my blog. We can talk sports or whatever. But don’t expect me to help you achieve your goals. I am going to keep trying to convince you that you are wrong.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  106. == Rampant statism is, in my mind, something to stomp out.==

    A noble goal to be sure. But as I stated last night @31 and as John Moore did before me @29–and even after re-reading your several comments and responses to various other commenters, it is still not clear to me what your preferred plan is, or how you want to attempt and achieve the stamping out. I’m not trying to be argumentative or appear dense, but I suspect I’m not the only one here who is having trouble reading your mind about this, Patterico.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  107. Patterico (7d6a02) — 7/13/2014 @ 12:24 pm

    I don’t believe I stated that we were better off necessarily, just that the states (aka the people) had failed to address the problems or their solutions were ineffective.

    Personally, I would agree that it would be great and we would be financially healthier if we could revert to the regulatory situation we were in prior to the ’60′s.

    But that’s not possible due to the interwoven and labyrinthine regulations since imposed.

    Yet that’s the panacea that’s hinted at when ever anyone claims they have the answer to the problem.

    Trouble is, it’s like building a house of cards; once it’s up it’s very difficult to change or remove one of the lower levels without the entire edifice collapsing or a large number of people being put at physical risk.

    I also don’t state that doing that would be such a bad thing but I do know that NO ONE speaks about the downside of some of their proposals. That’s elided over and the assumption is that we will just have to tighten our belts a bit. But that’s a lie and it needs to be pointed out that there will be grave consequences for any major contraction of Government spending.

    Those consequences will of course probably eventually occur anyway.

    I just don’t like some smarmy twit from Wisconsin coming on and acting like even a 5% reduction isn’t going to be very very painful for a lot of people.

    And it will be people who those in power don’t have to look at or pay attention to or have any sympathy for.

    Every person who has publicly proposed answers to our financial problems have little or no fear or compassion concerning the consequences of those proposals.

    I just want all the fiscons to admit that to straighten out the country’s economy will mean some people are going to die or be severely affected.

    And who gets to choose who those people are? The very people who have PROFITED by the economic distortions that THOSE THEY PAID AND SUPPORTED but into law.

    Seems a bit lopsided to me and fundamentally unfair. Plus I believe it will lead to some physical confrontations as people become desperate. And where’s the expense of THAT figured into the effect on the country.

    Save the banks but destroy the country?

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  108. Next is education. People forget how chaotic the education system was in this country not 50 years ago. There were few standards and all were optional. An education in one locale was not equal to a similar appearing education in another. The states were not meeting their obligations. Thus was born the idea that a central coordinator would have value.

    This could not possibly be more contrary to my philosophy. Or to the facts. Are we to believe that education in this country is now a Shangri-La due to the involvement of the federal government? Spending on education has skyrocketed, and we have nothing to show for it except an army of bureaucrats. The New York City public schools employ 6000 administrators. The Catholic school system, which employs 1/6 the number of children, employs, not 1000 administrators (1/6 of 6000), but rather 26. What value is added by the extra 974 administrators employed by the NYC public schools?

    What has Jimmy Carter’s Department of Education done that is a net positive, jakee308?

    [TO CLARIFY: I mean 974 administrators extra, measured by the ratio of administrators to students.]

    Patterico (9c670f)

  109. In order to win the White House, we need to convince people who don’t always agree with our policies to vote for us.
    That’s what Reagan did—he got Democrats to vote for him.
    If all of those people had already been conservatives, or even just Republicans, they wouldn’t have been referred to as Reagan Democrats.

    A pure “conservative” voting block hasn’t been able to deliver the GOP nomination since Reagan, yet some of our friends believe that is still a big enough constituency to win the White House, when Democrats and independents and low information voters will be added to the mix.

    We can adhere to our conservative principles, and win the vote of non-conservatives, if we have a happy warrior nominee who can communicate well, a la Reagan.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  110. I believe that, like many in the alleged TEA Party, I Federal program must have some immediate nexus to a clause in the Constitution, as amended.
    No penumbras, no emanations, no Rovian force-fields or mind-melds, no intentions – good or otherwise.
    In Federalist Paper 83, Madison wrote:

    If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion in to their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county, and parish and pay them out of the public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  111. Every person who has publicly proposed answers to our financial problems have little or no fear or compassion concerning the consequences of those proposals.

    This is another argument that you have made: that free market economics is something advocated by rich people who won’t be affected by doing away with welfare programs. Let’s talk about that.

    First of all, let me address your formulation: that the people advocating free market solutions have no fear or compassion concerning the consequences of those proposals.

    Those are two different things, fear or compassion. The “fear” aspect implies that free market solutions would not be proposed by the poor, because free market solutions would hurt the poor. The “compassion” aspect implies, further, that free marketeers don’t even care whether the poor are hurt.

    I would like to start the discussion by asking you to accept, for the sake of argument, that there are those of us who do have compassion for the poor. It’s just that we actually think our policies are better for the poor. And, our policies would be harder on the bankers.

    If I could convince you that the free market is actually better for everyone, except maybe rich people who live off government-granted corporate welfare, would you consider free market policies?

    Serious question. I want to know whether it’s worth my trying.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  112. What value is added by the extra 5974 administrators employed by the NYC public schools?

    FTFY!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  113. In order to win the White House, we need to convince people who don’t always agree with our policies to vote for us.
    That’s what Reagan did—he got Democrats to vote for him.
    If all of those people had already been conservatives, or even just Republicans, they wouldn’t have been referred to as Reagan Democrats.

    A pure “conservative” voting block hasn’t been able to deliver the GOP nomination since Reagan, yet some of our friends believe that is still a big enough constituency to win the White House, when Democrats and independents and low information voters will be added to the mix.

    We can adhere to our conservative principles, and win the vote of non-conservatives, if we have a happy warrior nominee who can communicate well, a la Reagan.

    OK. Let me ask you this: is there anything — anything at all — that a person could espouse that would make you say that person does not belong “in the tent”?

    Second of all: what does it mean to YOU for someone to be “in the tent”? Merely that we would be happy to accept their vote? Or that we should compromise our goals to accommodate their point of view?

    That’s two questions and I would love a direct answer to both.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  114. 82.

    I think what it is, is that a spouse can collect either a spousal benefit, or their own benefit.

    No. After one dies, the other has the choice of the personal benefit from their own account or the survivor benefits from the spouse. But while they are both alive and married, they have to pick one account or the other to draw their benefits from.

    Kevin M (b357ee) — 7/13/2014 @ 11:05 am

    I don’t think so:

    http://www.ssa.gov/oact/quickcalc/spouse.html

    If a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own earnings, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the retirement benefit. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit.

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  115. askeptic:

    What I meant — and I did it in shorthand, so it’s my fault that it’s hard to follow — is that, if Catholic schools had the same administrator-to-student ratio, they would have had 974 more administrators than they actually have.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  116. Madison begged and warned America not to ever let the toothpaste out of the tube and he was right. But the toothpaste is out of the tube. We are now discussing how to get it forced back into the tube and the cap locked on–and how to convince enough Americans that while painful that’s the right and only thing to do. There is a paucity of ideas in that area being put forth.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  117. The thing that gets me about the Cochran/McDaniel race in particular is that McDaniel would have won the general. Establishment types really have no argument that we needed Cochran to win because McDaniel was doomed in the general, and we just all have to Be Adults and accept a more moderate candidate For the Greater Good.

    Which makes me think that the establishment types just really don’t like those guys who run around talking about the Constitution.

    So, establishment types, let’s put aside the argument about voting for Cochran in the general. Let’s accept for the sake of argument that we should. I want to discuss something different:

    Did you actually prefer Cochran to McDaniel? And if so, why?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  118. there hasn’t been a real conservative, nominated since Reagan, George Sr, W, McCain, Romney, were varying degrees of moderate, there hasn’t been a real appeal to the working and struggling middle class since then either,

    narciso (24b824)

  119. Madison begged and warned America not to ever let the toothpaste out of the tube and he was right. But the toothpaste is out of the tube. We are now discussing how to get it forced back into the tube and the cap locked on–and how to convince enough Americans that while painful that’s the right and only thing to do. There is a paucity of ideas in that area being put forth.

    Tell me your ideas. What do you think our goals should be? How should we achieve them?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  120. 23. Kevin M (b357ee) — 7/12/2014 @ 7:04 pm

    if you are over 50 and claim disability for any plausible reason, they don’t check — they just give it to you.

    So that’s why this worked for so long:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/nyregion/21lirr.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  121. 114- Right, too many conversations going on here.
    The over-proliferation of administrators (drones) within public education should be a scandal, and in almost all cases, is a complete waste of money. Closer to home you can use the numbers of administrators in the two Dept’s of Education for L.A. and Orange Counties, and the numbers in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles which covers both counties. The difference in the ratio’s is staggering.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen those numbers in several years so I don’t know them off-hand.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  122. there hasn’t been a real conservative, nominated since Reagan, George Sr, W, McCain, Romney, were varying degrees of moderate, there hasn’t been a real appeal to the working and struggling middle class since then either,

    The problem is, Reagan was a disaster in many ways. Spending exploded. Deficits exploded. Government spending increased as a share of national income, and the Department of Education’s budget doubled. He talked a great game, don’t get me wrong. But his actions in the areas that matter to me — decreasing the size of the federal government — did not match his rhetoric.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  123. 116. Patterico (9c670f) — 7/13/2014 @ 1:56 pm

    So, establishment types, let’s put aside the argument about voting for Cochran in the general. Let’s accept for the sake of argument that we should. I want to discuss something different:

    Did you actually prefer Cochran to McDaniel? And if so, why?

    Of course they did.

    Because they didn’t agree with his legislative goals.

    Some of which probably didn’t make any sense.

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  124. 118-
    Repeal both the 16th & 17th Amendments:
    The first to force the Federal Government to finance itself in a less intrusive manner (and allowing the dissolution of the IRS);
    the second to return to our Federal roots, and have the Several States involved in the Legislative process.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  125. 121-
    He never had a conservative Congress – neither House nor Senate.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  126. Patterico: like Thad Cochran) appeal to voters by touting their ability to bring home government benefits.

    Thad Cochran was more old-fashioned than that. He did not appeal to people on the grounds they would get more government benefits – well except maybe for farmers. But even that’s not exactly government benefits.

    What he was touting is what is included in what is called crony capitalism. Things “for Mississippi”

    A mall, for instance. He’d gotten federal funding for that. A few things were of particular interest to blacks. Like a “Civil Rights Museum.”

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  127. 121-
    He never had a conservative Congress – neither House nor Senate.

    Yes, but he had a veto.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  128. askeptic (efcf22) — 7/13/2014 @ 2:04 pm

    the Federal Government to finance itself in a less intrusive manner (and allowing the dissolution of the IRS);

    A consumption tax, at least the way it is often proposed, is not actually less intrusive. (or maybe it is, since all entities that would have to pay it, or their owners, probably now file income taxes, and need to calculate business profits)

    I think the corporate income tax is far less intrusive than the personal income tax, yet you have these think tankk people who prefer the personal icnome tac to the corporate income tax. They sometimes even argue that hiding the tax is bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  129. ==Did you actually prefer Cochran to McDaniel? And if so, why?==

    Speaking for myself only —I don’t like either one of them. I do not trust either one of them. And it’s Mississippi which has its unique characteristics and issues that candidates must account for, so I knew it really was not my call to make from afar. My main interest in even participating in the slicing, dicing and dissecting of that race on various threads is that as an American I really would prefer that someone from MS with an R behind their name is in the senate Republican caucus. I was and continue to be appalled that anyone would suggest voting for the (statist) Democrat “on principle”.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  130. Patterico,

    We should never be “kicking” anyone out of the tent.
    Besides, that’s all just an abstract exercise.
    People vote for whom they choose. And they can label themselves politically as they choose.

    Elections are about math.
    If a left wing kook such as Ralph Nader wants to vote for the GOP nominee in 2016, that would be excellent because it adds “one” to our side of the ledger, and subtracts “one” from their side of the ledger.

    The notion that a bunch of conservatives would dare protest, “No, Mr. Nader, you shouldn’t vote for the GOP nominee in 2016 !” is patently absurd.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  131. “SSM is at first a symptom of a general decline in support for marriage.”

    Yes, but that battle has been lost until the economy collapses and the world gets a lot more harsh.

    “A consumption tax, at least the way it is often proposed, is not actually less intrusive. ”

    Yes, that is why Texas is less concerned about illegal aliens than California should be. The Texas government is supported by sales tax, not income tax. The problem is that consumption tax is much much easier to raise and the LIV types don’t even know it went up.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  132. elissa,

    It’s almost like a Twilight Zone episode;
    the conservatives who were against voting for the establishment candidate are now advocating for voting for the establishment candidate…of the Democrat party.

    (camera pans to Rod Serling, standing in suit and tie, with cigarette dangling.)

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  133. 80. TimesDisliker (47adb9) — 7/13/2014 @ 10:57 am

    Gays aren’t the ones who made some marriages a joke,

    I read that some (very young) people get married in California just in order to establish state residency for purposes of qualifying for in-state tuition at California public colleges, because it is otherwise very difficult to establish residency, as the move has to be done for purposes other than getting lower tuition. (that’s also why it is hard in most states to find out the rules by asking in advance)

    California’s rules are stricter than most others, and the company that helps pre-students establish residency doesn’t try to do that for California.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/us/06bcmarriage.html

    The Bay Citizen
    Get Married, Save Thousands on Tuition …

    .. The financial stakes are so high that some out-of-state students are employing an unusual technique to meet the University of California’s strict residency requirements: they’re getting married.

    These marriages do not technically break any laws, but students are understandably hesitant to speak publicly about them. The Bay Citizen was able to find nine such couples.

    U.C. students from out of state must meet three requirements to establish residency — physical presence, intent to stay and financial independence — a complicated process that takes at least two years. The independence test is the hardest to pass.

    When students marry, they can automatically claim themselves as independent, provided their parents do not claim them as dependents on their taxes. After that, gaining in-state tuition is a breeze.

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  134. Speaking for myself only —I don’t like either one of them. I do not trust either one of them. And it’s Mississippi which has its unique characteristics and issues that candidates must account for, so I knew it really was not my call to make from afar.

    It affects all of us, actually. Do you criticize Senators who donated to Cochran’s campaign because they were not Mississippians?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  135. 131. Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 7/13/2014 @ 2:24 pm

    It’s almost like a Twilight Zone episode;
    the conservatives who were against voting for the establishment candidate are now advocating for voting for the establishment candidate…of the Democrat party.

    (camera pans to Rod Serling, standing in suit and tie, with cigarette dangling.)

    Coming attraction ???

    Conservatives advocating voting for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016

    On the grounds that on some issues, she’s actually closer to their position than the Republican nominee, and that she’s much more conservative (and honest!) than Obama.

    That’s the kind of people for whom the book “Blood Feud” was written

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  136. should this country be run like a well-run business or should it be run like a benevolent Romper Room? I choose the well-run business model.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  137. Elephant Stone:

    These were my questions. I am going to try to rephrase your answers as direct answers.

    1) Is there anything — anything at all — that a person could espouse that would make you say that person does not belong “in the tent”?

    Your answer, I think: no. My second question:

    2) Second of all: what does it mean to YOU for someone to be “in the tent”? Merely that we would be happy to accept their vote? Or that we should compromise our goals to accommodate their point of view?

    I don’t see the answer to this one.

    You talk about votes on their side of the ledger and “ours.” Who are “they” and who is “we”? I assume your answer is “Republicans” are “we” and “Democrats” are “they.”

    Let’s say, hypothetically, that Republicans and Democrats literally shared the same views on all issues, but merely called themselves different names. I assume, in that extreme example, which admittedly does not reflect today’s reality, that you would not support voting for Republicans. So, for you, it’s not merely the name “Republican” that justifies your vote, but some policy or principle or combination thereof.

    So what about the policies and principles of the current Republican party is the irreducible minimum that they must represent to be worthy of your vote, if not just the name?

    This is a rephrase of question #2.

    I have given you my answer. What’s yours?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  138. Is it literally that one is marginally better than the other? Let’s say, for example, that Republicans and Democrats shared all the same views at some point in the future, and that these views included confiscatory taxation for all people making over $50,000, and redistribution of the income to lower income people; and nationalization of all credit and means of production. However, the Democrats advocated 99% taxation of income over $50,000, and Republicans advocated merely 98%. Would you support Republicans because they were “better” on the issues? Is there any point at which you would say: “my party is not supporting my irreducible minimum in terms of policies and principles, so screw them, I’d rather spend my time forming a third party”? Or would you always settle for the better of two choices, no matter how slight the difference?

    This is another rephrasing of the same question.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  139. elissa,

    It’s almost like a Twilight Zone episode;
    the conservatives who were against voting for the establishment candidate are now advocating for voting for the establishment candidate…of the Democrat party.

    (camera pans to Rod Serling, standing in suit and tie, with cigarette dangling.)

    Elephant Stone,

    I understand that you would love to shift the topic to whether people will support Cochran now, but we have debated that ad nauseum, and I asked a question of the establishment types. And since you are pretty much the epitome of the establishment types around here, I’d like an answer: did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  140. 136. Patterico to Elephant Stone:

    1) Is there anything — anything at all — that a person could espouse that would make you say that person does not belong “in the tent”?

    Probably, when dscussing a candidate in a race for Congress, intending to vote for a Democrat as Speaker or Majority Leader.

    In discussing voting, supporting another candidate (with some exception, like if someone endorsed the Ku Klux Klan.)

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  141. Sammy,

    Unless you are an establishment Republican, I would appreciate your allowing the establishment folks to answer the questions, rather than cluttering the thread with your guesses as to their answers.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  142. The questions on the table are:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    elissa answered the latter. I would be interested in her answer to the first, and ES’s answer to both questions, and answers to both from any of the other folks around here who sympathize with the GOP establishment in general.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  143. Patterico I do not know how much more clear I can be or why you keep pushing it–. I think many people, including you, are way over-thinking the Mississippi run-off race and exaggerating the importance of the Mississippi run-off race in the larger scheme of things. So sue me. I don’t think either McDaniel or Cochran are worthy of all the emotion and ink spilled on them. They both ran skeevy campaigns. They are both highly flawed candidates (as is the Dem) if you look closely. Haley Barbour orchestrated and ran the show. Aim your ire at him! People from outside MS who thought they had something to gain or to prove contributed to the campaigns of both/either Cochran or McDaniel.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  144. #135 Col, I fully agree. But 40% of taxpayers paid 106% of taxes last year (just Google it, doubters). And those 60% have votes that count just the same, and they are voting for Romper Room.

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  145. Ideally, government should help foster and maintain an environment where opportunity, responsibility for one’s self and accountability are strongly encouraged, productivity of all able-bodied citizens required, with minimum intrusion into the lives of the governed.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  146. Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    As I volunteer a lot of my time working for candidates, and I live in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, I’ll vote for almost any Republican on my ballot, but my standards for supporting one with my time and money are much more particular.

    That said, I will not vote for people who aren’t team players. On a national level, it matters when the Establishment supports candidates that I like when they are running, and those who don’t give such support shouldn’t expect mine.

    I also want to see a candidate who understands limited government, the (limited) role of whatever office he is seeking, and has some passing respect for the basic tenets of conservatism, i.e. small government, local control, and how “not funding with taxpayer dollars” is fundamentally different from “denying access” or “starving the poor” or whatever. Perhaps that really roles back into “be a team player,” in that I can stomach moderate conservatives, but can’t stomach anti-conservatives in Republican clothing.

    bridget (37b281)

  147. Henry Barbour was one of those who wrote that self serving autopsy of the last campaign, and he seemed to be the strategist, behind enlisting the Democratic machine in this last campaign, which makes them endebted to said machine,

    narciso (24b824)

  148. should this country be run like a well-run business or should it be run like a benevolent Romper Room? I choose the well-run business model.
    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 7/13/2014 @ 2:34 pm

    My fear is that if it is not run like a business, it will be run like a dictatorship. History seems to indicate that countries that cannot govern themselves end up governed by madmen.

    bridget (37b281)

  149. Ideally, government should help foster and maintain an environment where opportunity, responsibility for one’s self and accountability are strongly encouraged, productivity of all able-bodied citizens required, with minimum intrusion into the lives of the governed.

    I agree, except the “required” part. I don’t think the government should “require” a thing — but it should not help those who contribute nothing, and maybe that’s what you meant.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  150. 126-
    All Presidents have it, many don’t utilize it to the extent they should.

    127-
    A consumption tax is less intrusive in that you can choose not to buy something.
    The Right is generally against the Corporate Income Tax as it is, in most cases, a double taxation.
    Income, if it is to be taxed, should only be taxed once. If businesses are paying an income tax, the proceeds of those businesses should be tax free; or, pay dividends/profits from above the line and then tax those dividends/profits at their point of receipt.

    141-
    I think that Cochran was talked into running again by the establishment that is scared to death of having another Cruz or Lee in the Senate.
    McDaniel is the better candidate, and would make the better Senator.

    PS: Perry did himself no favors today on FoxNewsSunday.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  151. Patterico I do not know how much more clear I can be or why you keep pushing it–. I think many people, including you, are way over-thinking the Mississippi run-off race and exaggerating the importance of the Mississippi run-off race in the larger scheme of things. So sue me. I don’t think either McDaniel or Cochran are worthy of all the emotion and ink spilled on them. They both ran skeevy campaigns. They are both highly flawed candidates (as is the Dem) if you look closely. Haley Barbour orchestrated and ran the show. Aim your ire at him! People from outside MS who thought they had something to gain or to prove contributed to the campaigns of both/either Cochran or McDaniel.

    Um, I said you had answered the question. Why are you acting like I called you out for not answering the question about Cochran/McDaniel when I explicitly said you did?

    What I am interested in, that you have not answered yet, is the answer to the “irreducible minimum” question that I posed two or three times to the crowd, using different phraseology.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  152. #97 Patterico, my point is not whether anyone ‘cares for’ the name Obammy; it is what the name indicates about the user, and the expectations they have for those listening. The name has a racial tone, and someone who chortlingly throws it out in conversation not only indicates they have a racial perspective but that they expect the listener to accept and agree. Creepy, and not what I want my political party to represent (there are plenty of reasons to dislike Obama’s action, why stoop to a racial shorthand unless that is a real objection?)

    You may feel you have used logic and persuasion. But as a professional thinker and arguer, how do you judge your results? Using logic, have you persuaded? Are those unpersuaded not logical? One of my frustrations with the GOP is that the party seems to think they are in a contest to be won by arguing or fighting or logic in order to persuade. The Democrats and Obama are not under the illusion that you can persuade someone to give up their free sh*t. Not happening.

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  153. elissa, I guess I did ask if you criticized Senators for financially supporting Cochran, if that’s what you mean by my “pushing it.” I take it from your answer that you have no criticism for them.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  154. Patterico,

    I’m not sure I understand your misunderstanding about my point of view.
    A political tent is just an abstraction.
    Elections are about math.
    Therefore, “kicking” people out of our tent does not help achieve the goal of winning the election.
    The team with the most votes wins. If a Democrat such as Joe Liebermann voted for John McCain in 2008, that vote “counts” just as much in the final tally as the vote by someone deemed to be a lifelong authentic conservative.
    If Ralph Nader decides to vote for the GOP nominee in 2016, why try to discourage him from doing so ?!

    Advocating for kicking Reagan Democrats out of the tent for not being “pure” enough does not seem to be a healthy strategy.
    Barry Goldwater had only the “pure” voting for him in 1964, but let’s not forget…he lost the election. Likewise, it was a very good thing that many Democrats voted for Reagan in both 1980 and 1984.

    Not every election will provide us conservatives with a Reagan or Coolidge on the menu. Therefore, we vote for the better choice, or if you will, the lesser of two evils.
    That’s just how life works.
    We opt for a less than perfect choice every day. Whether it is in choosing a job, a car, a house, a spouse, a restaurant to eat at, a movie to watch, or a pair of shoes.
    Nobody says, “Gee, the perfect house isn’t on the market right now, so instead of settling for buying that nice-enough house over on Elm Street, I’m going to protest by living in a cardboard box underneath the freeway overpass.”
    If someone’s car breaks down in the desert, and they’re hot and thirsty and cranky about their misfortune, they usually will opt for whatever drink is available in the vending machine at the auto shop. They don’t sit there and say, “Oh, they don’t have my favorite flavor of Gatorade, so I’ll just go on a thirst-strike, and remain thirsty !”
    Rather, they usually opt for whatever the best available choice is in the vending machine.

    I absolutely loathe The Left for the pain and insanity they have foisted upon this country.
    Thad Cochran is certainly no Ted Cruz or Mike Lee, but he’s still a better choice than a Travis Childers.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  155. You may feel you have used logic and persuasion. But as a professional thinker and arguer, how do you judge your results? Using logic, have you persuaded? Are those unpersuaded not logical? One of my frustrations with the GOP is that the party seems to think they are in a contest to be won by arguing or fighting or logic in order to persuade. The Democrats and Obama are not under the illusion that you can persuade someone to give up their free sh*t. Not happening.

    I’m fighting an impossible battle, because people love their free shit. I think we just have to wait for the inevitable collapse and sort it out then.

    But your argument appears to be, on one hand, anger that folks like me are not using logic and persuasion, and then, when I reply that I have, you seem to argue that I have used it, and was wrong to do so. Maybe I am misreading your comments, but it seems like you’re all over the map.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  156. I’m not sure I understand your misunderstanding about my point of view.
    A political tent is just an abstraction.
    Elections are about math.
    Therefore, “kicking” people out of our tent does not help achieve the goal of winning the election.
    The team with the most votes wins. If a Democrat such as Joe Liebermann voted for John McCain in 2008, that vote “counts” just as much in the final tally as the vote by someone deemed to be a lifelong authentic conservative.
    If Ralph Nader decides to vote for the GOP nominee in 2016, why try to discourage him from doing so ?!

    Advocating for kicking Reagan Democrats out of the tent for not being “pure” enough does not seem to be a healthy strategy.
    Barry Goldwater had only the “pure” voting for him in 1964, but let’s not forget…he lost the election. Likewise, it was a very good thing that many Democrats voted for Reagan in both 1980 and 1984.

    Not every election will provide us conservatives with a Reagan or Coolidge on the menu. Therefore, we vote for the better choice, or if you will, the lesser of two evils.
    That’s just how life works.
    We opt for a less than perfect choice every day. Whether it is in choosing a job, a car, a house, a spouse, a restaurant to eat at, a movie to watch, or a pair of shoes.
    Nobody says, “Gee, the perfect house isn’t on the market right now, so instead of settling for buying that nice-enough house over on Elm Street, I’m going to protest by living in a cardboard box underneath the freeway overpass.”
    If someone’s car breaks down in the desert, and they’re hot and thirsty and cranky about their misfortune, they usually will opt for whatever drink is available in the vending machine at the auto shop. They don’t sit there and say, “Oh, they don’t have my favorite flavor of Gatorade, so I’ll just go on a thirst-strike, and remain thirsty !”
    Rather, they usually opt for whatever the best available choice is in the vending machine.

    I absolutely loathe The Left for the pain and insanity they have foisted upon this country.
    Thad Cochran is certainly no Ted Cruz or Mike Lee, but he’s still a better choice than a Travis Childers.

    Thank you for re-answering at greater length the first question I posed. At any point, would you care to answer the second question I posed? I have tried asking it several different ways, because I am genuinely interested in the response. I am actually becoming interested in whether you will answer it at all.

    Do I need to rephrase it a fourth time?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  157. The questions on the table are:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  158. Also:

    The questions on the table are:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  159. The team with the most votes wins. If a Democrat such as Joe Liebermann voted for John McCain in 2008, that vote “counts” just as much in the final tally as the vote by someone deemed to be a lifelong authentic conservative.
    If Ralph Nader decides to vote for the GOP nominee in 2016, why try to discourage him from doing so ?!

    In a world with 100% or nearly 100% voter turnout and no third party candidates, I would see your point. But it makes no sense to cater to Joe Lieberman or Ralph Nader if getting their two votes would cause ten thousand conservatives to stay home.

    Conservatism is also hurt when big-government people win and drag our name through the mud. I know a lot of people who stayed home in 2012 because they saw their choices as being between Obama, with ObamaCare, and Romney, who would keep ObamaCare, and preferred that the Democrats to take the blame for the inevitable disaster. Elections do not occur in a vacuum, and many people prefer to lose one election in order to preserve the conservative movement as a meaningful alternative to big-government liberalism.

    It’s 2014 and progressives still hang Reagan’s spending around our necks.

    bridget (37b281)

  160. #97 contd., as for ‘scorned’ and ‘rejected’ I won’t rehash my history here on your delightful blog. I have contributed money to Patterico’s Pontifications in the past, actually supporting my satisfactions. But when I state my opinion that I do not see a place for government in social issues, being called a ‘RINO’ or to ‘just go vote Democrat’ is a sign of the intolerance and ‘excluding’ behavior I see that has overcome the GOP; there is an attempt to shame or shun those within the party who do not ‘walk the planks’, but as I have mentioned several times here, THERE IS A GOOD REASON THE GOP WILL NOT PUT THE ABORTION OR SSM PLANK TO A VOTE. While the PP echo chamber may think the GOP represents this social conservative thinking, it does not. If it did, then why not vote? Why not get everybody’s (delegates, RNC Committee, and individual voters) opinion out in the open and on record? We all know why, and trying to shame/shun a substantial portion of the party is not something that can be undone easily, if at all.

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  161. TimesDisliker #151,

    Kudos to you, pal, for hitting the jackpot with the way you asked, “how do you judge your results ?”
    That’s absolutely the hammer hitting the nail.

    Dennis Prager asks this question all the time, when comparing the left to the right.
    He often says that conservatives ask, “what are the results or outcome of x ?” whereas lefties ask themselves, “how do I feel about X ?”

    Unfortunately, in this particular scenario, some of our conservative friends are more fidelious to how they feel about Thad Cochran as opposed to what the results of having another Obama-supporting Democrat (Travis Childers) in the Senate would be.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  162. in a land of unlimited cake
    lessons held dear they’ll forsake
    they’ll elect them some half-wits
    won’t even give two sh*ts
    most freedoms we have they will take

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  163. Oh, when I ask:

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    I am not asking:

    Do you prefer Cochran to Travis Childers?

    But rather:

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Which is one of two questions I am asking. Which are, to review:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  164. Conservatism is also hurt when big-government people win and drag our name through the mud.

    bridget:

    Absolutely. The pro-establishment folks around here absolutely will not address the damage caused to conservatism by the arguments made by the pro-Cochran forces in MS. They act as if it’s irrelevant that Cochran’s supporters were painting the Tea Party as racists — as if selling that viewpoint has no effect on Republicans’ chances nationally.

    And you’ll notice how very reluctant Elephant Stone is to directly address very simple questions that go to the core of whether he holds any policies so dear that he would forego support for a Republican as a result.

    Offered the choice between two shit sandwiches, it seems, Elephant Stone sniffs each to see which smells slightly less shitty, and then wolfs that sucker right down.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  165. #154 – Patterico, no you read me correctly, I am all over the map.

    That was a joke. Taking your post at face value, I am sure you believe you have used logic and persuasion and that your positions are correct. I also feel I have used logic and persuasion and my positions are correct. We may both be correct on ‘logic and persuasion’ but our positions on gay marriage cannot both be correct. I do not feel it is the place of government to be involved, while you do. I respect your right to your opinion, and opinion itself. Calling me a ‘RINO’ or dismissing my concern about this issue (which is also largely based on the value it adds to the GOP’s ability to win/lose elections) isn’t something that I accept. As you have said here, “elections have consequence”. And the decisions for the party in contesting elections also have consequences.

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  166. #97 contd., as for ‘scorned’ and ‘rejected’ I won’t rehash my history here on your delightful blog. I have contributed money to Patterico’s Pontifications in the past, actually supporting my satisfactions. But when I state my opinion that I do not see a place for government in social issues, being called a ‘RINO’ or to ‘just go vote Democrat’ is a sign of the intolerance and ‘excluding’ behavior I see that has overcome the GOP; there is an attempt to shame or shun those within the party who do not ‘walk the planks’, but as I have mentioned several times here, THERE IS A GOOD REASON THE GOP WILL NOT PUT THE ABORTION OR SSM PLANK TO A VOTE. While the PP echo chamber may think the GOP represents this social conservative thinking, it does not. If it did, then why not vote? Why not get everybody’s (delegates, RNC Committee, and individual voters) opinion out in the open and on record? We all know why, and trying to shame/shun a substantial portion of the party is not something that can be undone easily, if at all.

    I appreciate the past support, TimesDisliker. I think I have made a case here for government being less involved in social issues. Abortion, I see differently, because it is about protecting life, and the state has a role there, in my view. As you know, I have no problem with gay marriage and would like to see the state get out of it. People have different views about all this here. I don’t see the “echo chamber” you are talking about, and I don’t see why you feel rejected or scorned.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  167. We may both be correct on ‘logic and persuasion’ but our positions on gay marriage cannot both be correct. I do not feel it is the place of government to be involved, while you do.

    Maybe it’s time you explained to me what my position on gay marriage is. Apparently it’s different from the opinion I thought I actually held.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  168. Calling me a ‘RINO’ or dismissing my concern about this issue (which is also largely based on the value it adds to the GOP’s ability to win/lose elections) isn’t something that I accept.

    Can you just include a link to where I have done that, please?

    Are you perhaps mixing me up with a completely different person? I’m starting to get that impression.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  169. Bridget #158,

    I will apologize in advance for using this somewhat uncouth acronym, but WTF are you doing totally mischaracterizing what I wrote ?
    In no Goddamn way did I ever say, suggest, infer, or express that we should cater to Joe Lieberman or Ralph Nader to get their vote—that is so whack.
    All I said is that either of them decides to vote for our nominee, we shouldn’t discourage them just because they’re not authentic conservatives. A vote is a vote. And they all count.
    Joe Lieberman actually did campaign for John McCain in 2008 because he believed that the Islamic threat would best be handled by McCain rather than Obama.
    And tons of left wing Democrats actually did vote for Reagan in both 1980 and 1984 because they were attracted to his straight-forward message, and they believed they were not better off ‘today’ than they were four years ago.

    Please, Bridget, in the future, do not ascribe to me campaign strategies for which I do not articulate.
    Thank you.

    elissa once said a few months ago that part of the problem at the blog is that some people are not careful readers of what others actually write.
    I agree.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  170. Hey, Elephant Stone:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Also, I just thought of a third question: are you a drunk or a pervert? (Hey, just treating you with the same respect you showed to one of my favorite commenters of all time.)

    Patterico (9c670f)

  171. In no Goddamn way did I ever say, suggest, infer, or express that we should cater to Joe Lieberman or Ralph Nader to get their vote—that is so whack.

    Maybe, but I have asked you a question about nine times now designed to probe whether you would cater to them, and you are very pointedly not answering. That question is:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Also,

    Did you prefer Cochran to McDaniel?

    Also,

    Be polite to bridget.

    Also,

    This is my blog. Show me the courtesy of addressing the questions I ask you.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  172. My preference would be to not pigeonhole people such as “from any of the other folks around here who sympathize with the GOP establishment in general.” or “Sammy, I would appreciate your allowing the establishment folks to answer the questions”. In fact I relate to the right as a whole, (and by “right” I mean the greater anti-liberal/anti-progressive force field). And I “sympathize” with any and all parts of the right which are able to educate and connect with voters at any time on things that are important to them (which might in fact be somewhat different messages in different states or regions or years). This is why I continue to rail against people using terms that are meant to be either divisive or purposefully exclusionary such as RINO or Establishment or Tea Party or True Conservative or SocCon or NeoCon, etc. I have been accused of being a political tactician more than an ideologue. I think both by education and experience that’s probably an accurate description. But I want to win elections in order for us good guys to have the heft and power to further the cause of increasingly smaller, less invasive government and better national security–not just win elections for raw power and lording over people like our leftist friends do.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  173. #166,167, Patterico it is not you but other regular posters who have done this. My bad, please replace ‘abortion’ with the ‘gay marriage’ post above as I see/hear most “real conservatives!” have strident and consistent opinions against both. You were kind enough to reply directly to me about an issue I have with not only the ‘excluding’ behavior on PP, but elsewhere. In fact, I would venture to say that this thread is more interaction than you-and-I have had than all the previous put together. To be clear, you have not called me a RINO or any other dismissive name, and I apologize for giving that impression.

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  174. Mad bro’ love…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  175. Patterico @163: I absolutely agree with you, particularly with “They act as if it’s irrelevant that Cochran’s supporters were painting the Tea Party as racists — as if selling that viewpoint has no effect on Republicans’ chances nationally.”

    So what you’re saying is that with friends like Cochran, we don’t need enemies on the Left to call us racist homophobic haters? Sounds about right.

    bridget (37b281)

  176. My back is tired, my legs both ache
    In this life there is no cake, this life I’m livin’
    I stand alone today

    TimesDisliker (d236d1)

  177. But I want to win elections in order for us good guys to have the heft and power to further the cause of increasingly smaller, less invasive government and better national security–not just win elections for raw power and lording over people like our leftist friends do.

    OK. Those are good goals. I don’t use the term “establishment” as a pejorative, but as shorthand for those folks who seem to align more with what I perceive to be the caution and incrementalism and pragmatism of the national GOP.

    I think you would agree with me, elissa, that at a minimum, to deserve our vote, a candidate needs to support those fundamental principles you articulated: increasingly smaller, less invasive government and better national security. Right? That’s all I’m saying here. It has to be something more than simply the name “Republican.”

    Patterico (9c670f)

  178. I – for one – denounce all fire-bombin’, baby-rapin’, priest humpers and the few liberal Democrats who fall outside that characterization.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  179. Joe Lieberman actually did campaign for John McCain in 2008 because he believed that the Islamic threat would best be handled by McCain rather than Obama.

    Given that we have a two-term President Obama, not a former President McCain, it would appear that getting Joe Lieberman’s support came at the expense of winning the election.

    I would suggest that you re-read my own comment and consider what I said about election turnout, and consider as well that about a third of eligible voters stay home (or blank their ballots). I know people who have voted for my cat, rather than vote for a Republican-who-bashes-conservatives who is actually on the ballot (and, you know, human).

    bridget (37b281)

  180. #166,167, Patterico it is not you but other regular posters who have done this. My bad, please replace ‘abortion’ with the ‘gay marriage’ post above as I see/hear most “real conservatives!” have strident and consistent opinions against both. You were kind enough to reply directly to me about an issue I have with not only the ‘excluding’ behavior on PP, but elsewhere. In fact, I would venture to say that this thread is more interaction than you-and-I have had than all the previous put together. To be clear, you have not called me a RINO or any other dismissive name, and I apologize for giving that impression.

    TimesDisliker,

    I have always enjoyed your input on the blog and am happy to see you here. I don’t consider myself to be an ideologue on abortion. I get more angry about it the later in the pregnancy we are talking, and I worry that the extremist position of some in the pro-choice movement would give women an untrammeled right to murder their child at any moment up to — and, for some, even after! — birth.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  181. spread the gospel of limited government and do it with good cheer and a sense of humor… even when the current situation is no laughing matter.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  182. So what you’re saying is that with friends like Cochran, we don’t need enemies on the Left to call us racist homophobic haters? Sounds about right.

    Exactly, and the day that Elephant Stone acknowledges the depth of the damage to Republicans caused by campaigns like Cochran’s is the day of the coming apocalypse.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  183. spread the gospel of limited government and do it with good cheer and a sense of humor… even when the current situation is no laughing matter.

    Vote for Thad Cochran. He will bring federal dollars to our schools. Chris McDaniel from the racist Tea Party will not. This cheerful message brought to you by your local GOP establishment.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  184. Patterico,

    You think I’m hiding from your questions ? (Roll of the eyes.)
    Please, Counselor.
    If I lived in MS, I would have supported Chris McDaniel over Thad Cochran. I’ve stated that in past threads.
    But now that we’re moving on to the general election, the available menu changes.

    Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are not appearing on that menu. Neither will Chris McDaniel. It will be a choice between Thad Cochran and Travis Childers.
    I would support Cochran over Childers.

    I live in the world we actually live in—not the one I fantasize about.
    Everyday, we must choose between choices which are varying gradations of preference. Nobody among us has the perfect spouse, perfect house, perfect car, perfect wardrobe, or perfect much of anything. Why people then expect the perfect political candidate is beyond my pay grade.
    Just like when you held your nose and pulled the lever and voted for both John McCain and Mitt Romney, Counselor.

    So, yes, “we” all do it.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  185. Bridget,

    What on earth are you talking about ?
    You actually believe that Joe Lieberman cost McCain the election ?
    What are you talking about ?
    Seriously.

    Joe Lieberman has always been a foreign policy hawk.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  186. or don’t.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  187. You think I’m hiding from your questions ? (Roll of the eyes.)
    Please, Counselor.
    If I lived in MS, I would have supported Chris McDaniel over Thad Cochran. I’ve stated that in past threads.
    But now that we’re moving on to the general election, the available menu changes.

    Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are not appearing on that menu. Neither will Chris McDaniel. It will be a choice between Thad Cochran and Travis Childers.
    I would support Cochran over Childers.

    I live in the world we actually live in—not the one I fantasize about.
    Everyday, we must choose between choices which are varying gradations of preference. Nobody among us has the perfect spouse, perfect house, perfect car, perfect wardrobe, or perfect much of anything. Why people then expect the perfect political candidate is beyond my pay grade.
    Just like when you held your nose and pulled the lever and voted for both John McCain and Mitt Romney, Counselor.

    So, yes, “we” all do it.

    OK. So is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    I know you don’t think you’re dodging that question, but I have now asked it in those exact words seven times. Literally. I just counted. Can you please answer it?

    I am not asking to explain to me that you’re not dodging my questions. I am not asking you to give me your 72nd lecture about how nothing is perfect.

    I am asking you to answer THAT question. You really, really seem not to want to answer it. Show that I’m wrong. Answer it.

    Once again, is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Is it literally that it’s better than the alternative, no matter how petty or trivial the improvement is?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  188. If your answer is no, just say no. But please answer my question.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  189. Elephant Stone,

    Ironically enough, you scolded me about not reading people’s comments carefully, but have apparently failed to do the same with my own comments.

    Why are you unwilling to discuss the issue of election turnout? We do not live in a world wherein 100% of the people go to the polls and vote for either a Democrat or a Republican; rather, we live in a world wherein a good percentage of people will stay home, blank their ballots, vote for a third party, or even vote for a cat. In that world, it would appear that there is some necessity to ensure that the base gets to the polls and, once there, votes for the person you want to win.

    bridget (37b281)

  190. Elephant Stone,

    Ironically enough, you scolded me about not reading people’s comments carefully, but have apparently failed to do the same with my own comments.

    Why are you unwilling to discuss the issue of election turnout? We do not live in a world wherein 100% of the people go to the polls and vote for either a Democrat or a Republican; rather, we live in a world wherein a good percentage of people will stay home, blank their ballots, vote for a third party, or even vote for a cat. In that world, it would appear that there is some necessity to ensure that the base gets to the polls and, once there, votes for the person you want to win.

    I believe his answer is: if you don’t turn out and vote for the Republican, that’s your fault. Apparently, there is no tactic so reprehensible, no position so weak, that Elephant Stone will blame the candidate who uses that tactic or espouses that position for failing to get out the vote. The fault lies always with the voter who refuses the choice between two shit sandwiches.

    I’m at the point where I have to answer these questions for him, because I have asked him the question seven times, and he won’t answer it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  191. Continuing with my comment at 188: there is also some need to have a meaningful, material difference between the candidates, such that we are actually voting on a different set of policy preferences.

    Query whether many “moderate” Republicans are actually offering a clear choice to voters, and absent that clear choice, whether the base will come out and whether or not the independents will vote for them.

    bridget (37b281)

  192. In that world, it would appear that there is some necessity to ensure that the base gets to the polls and, once there, votes for the person you want to win.

    That would imply that compromises have to be made both ways. That concessions be made TO the constitutionalists, and not merely BY them.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  193. At 137 I asked:

    Is it literally that one is marginally better than the other? Let’s say, for example, that Republicans and Democrats shared all the same views at some point in the future, and that these views included confiscatory taxation for all people making over $50,000, and redistribution of the income to lower income people; and nationalization of all credit and means of production. However, the Democrats advocated 99% taxation of income over $50,000, and Republicans advocated merely 98%. Would you support Republicans because they were “better” on the issues? Is there any point at which you would say: “my party is not supporting my irreducible minimum in terms of policies and principles, so screw them, I’d rather spend my time forming a third party”? Or would you always settle for the better of two choices, no matter how slight the difference?

    This is another rephrasing of the same question.

    I truly believe Elephant Stone would be out there berating people in that example for not voting for the 98% taxation guy. After all, 98% is less than 99%. It’s math!

    Tell me I’m wrong, ES. I dare you!

    The rest of us, I suspect, would say: to hell with this. It’s not a real difference. We’re outta here — off to write in our own candidate, or start our own party, or join an existing third party, or something. Anything but support for the barely better but still horrific choice.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  194. I believe his answer is: if you don’t turn out and vote for the Republican, that’s your fault.

    If you want a short list of the problems with that, it goes as follows:
    *A lot of people who are Republicans or conservative-leaning don’t often come to the polls. We can berate low-propensity voters all we want, but it’s hard as heck to get some of them to the polls. While it’s nice to blame conservative, high-propensity voters for writing in my cat, the reality is that many elections are won and lost on turnout of infrequent voters.

    *Voting is one thing, but a viable campaign needs people to knock on doors, blog about candidates, distribute literature, hold meet-and-greets, do social media, call up strangers, distribute yard signs, put up yard signs, slap bumper stickers on their cars, and donate money so that those things happen. While you can berate people for not getting their butts to the polls, it’s a bit harder to berate them for not giving time and money to candidates – but without that time and money, candidates lose.

    *As per above, the issue of having our good name dragged through the mud, which hurts in contemporaneous national elections, as well as future elections.

    Which is to say, even if “we” – high propensity, engaged, active voters – turn out and vote for the least smelly s–t sandwich, the s–t sandwich is going to lose.

    bridget (37b281)

  195. This is an extreme example, of course, but if I can get people to acknowledge that they would not vote for 98% Taxation Guy, then we have eliminated the principle that you Always Always Always vote for the slightly lesser of two evils.

    Then we can discuss how far we want to take that principle.

    Elephant Stone? He would vote for 98% Taxation Guy. Wouldn’t you, Elephant Stone.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  196. What really amuses me about the discussion here is that so many still believe that
    those in power will allow any attempts to reverse course.

    This border crisis? Orchestrated and/or welcomed by Obama.

    It’s his Reichstag fire. He will now assume even more powers under the aegis of outbreaks
    of lawlessness and protest against the very acts that he perpetrated.

    Think this Congress (or any for that matter) can/will do anything to stop him?

    While we’re discussing who we’ll be willing to discuss the turn around in the economy while the enemies of the US are already in their final stages of assault.

    By 2016 none of us will recognize this country. There will be little or no representation

    BY LAW.

    All it will take is a few more applications of pressure and things will blow up and Holder and Obama
    will create an all but in name only Dictat of those in power now. (both elected and bureaucrat)

    Whether an election takes place will be moot.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  197. Cochran or Childers?
    Sometimes it’s like fishing:
    A bad day fishing is better than the best day at work.
    Cochran – in this case – is fishing.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  198. ==Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?=

    Is this really the question you want an answer to? I don’t think you mean a litmus test, exactly. So I guess you mean articulating goals, something that candidates would say on the stump they stand for or are promising to do for you to get your vote?
    Well my answer is that it’s really difficult to have a fixed minimum requirement when candidates and their campaign teams lie are usually not entirely forthright before the election. Or if they say they will definitely do something and it sounds great (a border wall for instance)– then how often when reality sets in have they broken your heart and not been able to do it? Or, if they swear they are on your side and would never ever do some particular thing or vote for some particular thing (eg. dreamer amnesty) then, how often have they broken your heart by pushing it? Or, if they swear they are as clean as a whistle and want to clean up Washington–and then they are caught with their hand in the cookie jar or on a young boy? The performance of the caucus as a whole is where things happen, or are stopped, or big statements are made. (Every R senator voting against Obamacare for instance, or the confirmation of an awful EPA chief is denied.)

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  199. Patterico… if you were to stay in your current position for the remainder of your working days and then chse to retire, is your pension (yearly $$ amount) more aligned with what the private sector normally offers, with what the State of California gives to the pension-eligible, or with what is normal in law enforcement?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  200. What goes on in Mississippi is not normally considered a key indicator of what transpires elsewhere in the country. It is unique.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  201. You are wrong Haiku. MS is now the center of the known universe.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  202. Is this really the question you want an answer to? I don’t think you mean a litmus test, exactly. So I guess you mean articulating goals, something that candidates would say on the stump they stand for or are promising to do for you to get your vote?

    Clearly not. I am not looking for empty words. But words do have meaning; if you SAY you are for bringing in the federal bucks, it’s hard to believe you will take action to reduce the amount of federal bucks brought in.

    Well my answer is that it’s really difficult to have a fixed minimum requirement when candidates and their campaign teams lie are usually not entirely forthright before the election. Or if they say they will definitely do something and it sounds great (a border wall for instance)– then how often when reality sets in have they broken your heart and not been able to do it? Or, if they swear they are on your side and would never ever do some particular thing or vote for some particular thing (eg. dreamer amnesty) then, how often have they broken your heart by pushing it? Or, if they swear they are as clean as a whistle and want to clean up Washington–and then they are caught with their hand in the cookie jar or on a young boy? The performance of the caucus as a whole is where things happen, or are stopped, or big statements are made. (Every R senator voting against Obamacare for instance, or the confirmation of an awful EPA chief is denied.)

    With Cochran it goes beyond that. A big part of his campaign was an appeal based on “look how much federal money I brought in!” I can’t support people like that because my goal is to reduce the size of the federal government, ergo I cannot support someone whose very pitch depends upon its size remaining large.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  203. Then God help us…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  204. What goes on in Mississippi is not normally considered a key indicator of what transpires elsewhere in the country. It is unique.

    It is unusual in that someone with “extreme” positions like McDaniel can safely get elected. Which is why those of us who support those positions get so upset at GOP establishment types in national politics who try to stop it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  205. “@Patterico:

    “That’s wonderful, but once you consolidate your power and then abolish Social Security, without having first persuaded the people that this is a good idea, what prevents them from tossing you out and hiring a new crew that puts it back in place.”

    Wow. You’re even dumber than I thought. You don’t “abolish” any government program. You “reform” it. You offer something different, slightly, than what existed before with headlines you manipulate, but which eviscerates the underlying structure, so that more reform is needed a short distance down the road. Slowly, incrementally, you achieve your goal.

    You really are a neophyte at this game, aren’t you?

    You cannot win, because you’re both ignorant, and obstinate.

    Enjoy your serfdom.

    someguy (84ecc5)

  206. jakee308,

    I asked a question earlier that you might have missed. I would encourage you to find that comment and read it in its entirety, but here it is in a nutshell: if I can convince you that the free market would actually help the poor, would you support it?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  207. Patterico (9c670f) — 7/13/2014 @ 3:45 pm

    Vote for Thad Cochran. He will bring federal dollars to our schools. Chris McDaniel from the racist Tea Party will not.

    He – or the local GOP establishment – was saying that too.

    There was increased black turnout mostly only in a few places, like the state capital. The campaign didn’t reach large portions of the state.

    Cochran also got a higher percentage of presumably white voters than in the first primary in the capital, but less than in the first primary elsewhere in Mississippi.

    Sammy Finkelman (069ee3)

  208. Can I get a shit sandwich made in a sous vide?

    mg (31009b)

  209. Patterico,

    You win !
    You finally convinced me that voting for the establishment Democrat over the establishment Republican is proof of one’s conservative bona fides.
    (facepalm.)
    I’ll eagerly look back into your archives to relish your passionate advocacy for Barbara Boxer over Carly Fiorina, and Jerry ‘Moonbeam’ Brown over Meg Whitman, in the 2012 elections.
    (LOL.)

    To answer your questions about if my views might be shaped by being a drunk or pervert (I might even be both !!), I actually do love me some alcohol, but I love my career more—so I drink in…—and here’s the word that may cause your head to hit the ceiling…moderation.
    As far as being a pervert goes, I’ll just defer that question to my girlfriend.
    (Psssst. But my favorite high-priced escort may give you a different answer.)

    Elephant Stone (ff054a)

  210. someguy,

    You are the guy who says our top goal needs to be impeaching Obama, lecturing me about incrementalism?

    Feel free to take your insults and bizarrely inconsistent arguments elsewhere. It appears this is not the blog for you.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  211. You win !
    You finally convinced me that voting for the establishment Democrat over the establishment Republican is proof of one’s conservative bona fides.
    (facepalm.)
    I’ll eagerly look back into your archives to relish your passionate advocacy for Barbara Boxer over Carly Fiorina, and Jerry ‘Moonbeam’ Brown over Meg Whitman, in the 2012 elections.
    (LOL.)

    To answer your questions about if my views might be shaped by being a drunk or pervert (I might even be both !!), I actually do love me some alcohol, but I love my career more—so I drink in…—and here’s the word that may cause your head to hit the ceiling…moderation.
    As far as being a pervert goes, I’ll just defer that question to my girlfriend.
    (Psssst. But my favorite high-priced escort may give you a different answer.)

    For the eighth time:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Hey, as long as you aren’t avoiding my question.

    By now, I don’t expect you to answer it. I just enjoy watching you avoid answering it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  212. 123. Repeal both the 16th & 17th Amendments:
    The first to force the Federal Government to finance itself in a less intrusive manner (and allowing the dissolution of the IRS);
    the second to return to our Federal roots, and have the Several States involved in the Legislative process.
    askeptic (efcf22)

    Neither will fix the problem.

    Power creep is what has caused the IRS to get so intrusive, not the income tax.
    And even that does nothing to impact federal overspending.

    The State legislatures are just as much tools of the big parties. Having them select Senators instead of popular vote will do little to nothing to change that.
    Worse, it will exacerbate problems in “purple” States and those with deliberately split or non-partisan legislatures, leading to vacant and contested seats as it did in the past.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  213. What does it mean when someone pointedly and repeatedly refuses to answer a question?

    It means that they don’t want to, because it would reveal something negative about them.

    Here, I believe the answer is that Elephant Stone lacks any principles of any sort. He will always choose the slighty less putrid shit sandwich. He would vote for a politician who wants to impose 98% taxation over one who wants to impose 99%, rather than seeking a third way. In short, he would choose the Republican over the Democrat in any contest, no matter what their policies were — because he has no actual principles that matter to him.

    I am out to fight that attitude. I have enjoyed revealing it for what it is here. I have also enjoyed learning how others who sometimes agree with Elephant Stone are willing to say what they stand for. elissa stands for “increasingly smaller, less invasive government and better national security.” Haiku says that he wants his candidates to “help foster and maintain an environment where opportunity, responsibility for one’s self and accountability are strongly encouraged,” where citizens are productive, and where we see “minimum intrusion into the lives of the governed.”

    By contrast, Elephant Stone wants an R after their names. Period, end of story. They can trash the Tea Party and call them racist. They can insinuate their political opponents are drunks and perverts. They can appeal for votes by bragging about how much federal money they have brought in. All this violates no fundamental principle for ES, because he holds no principle dear, other than voting for the R.

    Such attitudes must be defeated.

    Also, Elephant Stone has acted like a jackass, repeatedly refusing to answer a very simple question posed by the blog host. Not incidentally.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  214. It’s not all that easy to have a test. My favorite kind of legislator is the one who stands up and says “we don’t need this law” but what if the law is “The Illinois Child Born Alive Act”? Most everybody has some pet peeves and sacred cows and mostly, I think, they coalesce into some kind of coherent governmental philosophy. I’ll give up guns for the right to life in a minute, for example, and if you think about it it’s not much of a tradeoff because a society which finds abortion abhorrent is not going to be one where you need a gun all that much. Something like that.

    nk (dbc370)

  215. Mr. Stone is a pragmatic person I think

    me i can’t vote for Rs anymore at least until Boehner goes away

    i’m done

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  216. Independents seem to be single issue voters, maybe next time they will think before reacting.
    They can be persuaded now, because the economy is in permanent recovery.

    mg (31009b)

  217. happy, you don’t even vote, so who cares who you say you vote for?

    Patterico (7d6a02)

  218. That probably came out more snippy than I meant. But really: if you don’t vote at all then why do you talk about who you don’t vote for? I find it confusing.

    Patterico (7d6a02)

  219. Patterico,

    You’re cracking me up with your entertaining over-the-top hypotheticals, and your pretending that I haven’t already responded to your inquiries a thousand times.
    I’ve already explained that an election is often about imperfect choices.
    Counselor, whether or not you, Patrick Frey, votes in an election, the results of that election are still going to affect society. (Staying home does not exempt you from any legislation or governance by the winner of that election.)
    You can stay home and protest that there was no “pure conservative” on the ballot, but the winner still gets to govern/legislate over you.
    I’ve told you numerous times already in this thread, and in other threads, that I will always vote for the lesser of two evils.
    I even did that at last New Year’s Eve.
    …and both parties kinda sucked !

    So, even if you want to come up with these hypotheticals of “100% tax guy VS 98% tax guy !!!!1!” on the ballot, there’s still a lesser of two evils.
    And if there ever is a 98% tax guy nominated by the Republican party, we’ll know that the Tea Party would be completely dead in the water at that point, right ?
    (There’s always a drastic double-edge to such a drastic hypothetical.)

    I’ll tell you what, Counselor.
    If there’s ever a “98% tax guy” nominated, I will already be hiding my money in living in Switzerland before that election even takes place.

    As for this “98% tax guy,” please give him the message that he should keep his cotton pickin’ hands outta my pocket.

    (Please don’t ask me any hypothetical questions about “99.99999 tax guy.” Oh, shoot, I may have just planted a seed in Patterico’s head. :))

    Elephant Stone (ff054a)

  220. Patterico,

    You risk turning this thread into a second-tier episode of Matlock by playing to the jury with all of these declarations that my political persuasions are somehow a mystery !!!!!1!!!, or that I haven’t sufficiently explained whom I prefer to vote for.
    Maybe you don’t find out about things in the newspaper like President Tiger Beat, but you should attempt to read things in your own blog—such as the fact that I’ve revealed my political persuasions in the comments threads on almost a daily basis since early 2012.

    I’ve explained in various threads at various times to various people that I consider myself a very conservative Reaganite.
    I’m for small, small, small, limited, limited, limited government. I like that document called ‘The Constitution, I’m a foreign policy hawk who thinks John Bolton and Frank Gaffney are both the bomb. I loathe the Left, and I believe Barack Obama is the worst President; future, past, and present.
    I also like romantic walks on the beach, holding hands at sunset, and highly-paid escorts who don’t smoke cigarettes or have heroin tracks on their arms.
    Let’s hug it out, bro.

    We have a Left Wing to halt !

    Elephant Stone (ff054a)

  221. Kevin M, I don’t think Milhouse believes any taxation is theft. I think he is saying what I believe — but I don’t want to speak for him, so I will stick to my beliefs.

    I believe it is always wrong to tax one person for the benefit of another. The only way a tax can be legitimate is when a person is being charged for a benefit that he inevitably receives from the government, that he can’t be prevented from receiving, and the amount charged is less than the value of the benefit he receives.

    The only legitimate function of government is to provide those services that require the use of force, i.e. protection from those who would initate force or fraud against people, and which can’t be provided on a voluntary basis because it’s impossible to exclude a free rider from benefiting. The most obvious example is national defense; protecting the whole country from invasion benefits everybody in the country, except those few who would not be harmed. But if we left it to the free market many people would say “I don’t need defense, and I don’t want to pay for it”, or “defense is only worth $25 a year to me”; if this were true, then it would be wrong to charge them for it, but in most cases it won’t be true, they’ll just be saying it because they know they’re going to be defended anyway. So we have to force people to subscribe to this service, and the cost should be shared among the beneficiaries in as close a proportion as we can manage to the benefit they get. Generally the richer a person is the more benefit he gets from protection, because in a war he may lose all he has, so it’s fair to charge for most of the cost of defense in rough proportion to wealth, or to income as a proxy for wealth. But everyone’s life is equally at risk, and a rich person doesn’t benefit from not being killed more than a poor one does, so part of the cost of national defense should be paid for by a poll tax.

    Milhouse (8b4fa5)

  222. Patterico,

    You risk turning this thread into a second-tier episode of Matlock by playing to the jury with all of these declarations that my political persuasions are somehow a mystery !!!!!1!!!, or that I haven’t sufficiently explained whom I prefer to vote for.
    Maybe you don’t find out about things in the newspaper like President Tiger Beat, but you should attempt to read things in your own blog—such as the fact that I’ve revealed my political persuasions in the comments threads on almost a daily basis since early 2012.

    I’ve explained in various threads at various times to various people that I consider myself a very conservative Reaganite.
    I’m for small, small, small, limited, limited, limited government. I like that document called ‘The Constitution, I’m a foreign policy hawk who thinks John Bolton and Frank Gaffney are both the bomb. I loathe the Left, and I believe Barack Obama is the worst President; future, past, and present.
    I also like romantic walks on the beach, holding hands at sunset, and highly-paid escorts who don’t smoke cigarettes or have heroin tracks on their arms.
    Let’s hug it out, bro.

    We have a Left Wing to halt !

    That’s wonderful that you support all those things. Do you require them from any of your candidates?

    Put another way:

    For the tenth AND FINAL time:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    The next comment you make at this blog that appears publicly will answer that question.

    It will not lecture me on settling for less than perfect candidates. It will not falsely claim the question has already been answered. It will not call me “counselor” or insult me in any other way. Here is the form the comment will take:

    It will quote this question:

    Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote?

    Then it will provide a single word answer. It could be yes, or no, or sometimes, or maybe.

    That single word answer can be followed by an elaboration. As long as it does not fall afoul of the above rules.

    It could be that this comment will never appear. That’s just fine with me. In that case, the last comment you published will be the last one from you to appear on this blog.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  223. (continued)

    The same applies to police services, to keep the streets safe. That can’t be provided only to those who pay; either the streets are safe or they aren’t, so we have to force people to pay their fair share, which is partly a flat amount per person (since everyone’s life is worth the same) but mostly in proportion to how much each person would lose if he were mugged, for which wealth is a rough proxy. The better off you are, the more cash you’re likely to have in your wallet, the more expensive jewellery you’re likely to be wearing, etc.

    But taxing a person for something she can prove she gets no benefit from is illegitimate. And certainly it’s illegitimate to simply take money from one person and give it to another.

    Milhouse (8b4fa5)

  224. Elephant Stone will be in moderation until such time as I review his comments and ensure that the next one follows the rules I have laid out. Do not play with the blog host. I control the horizontal, I control the vertical, and when I ask a question, politely, it is only common courtesy to provide a direct answer.

    It is also common courtesy not to address the blog host as “counselor” in a derogatory tone, or to accuse the blog host of “pretending” that his question has not been answered, when it has not been.

    I require common courtesy on this blog, something Elephant Stone has failed to show repeatedly in the past. His next comment to appear, if one does, will display that common courtesy that has been so sorely lacking in his comments lately.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  225. >It appears this is not the blog for you.

    On the contrary. It is exactly the blog for me. I can use you.

    You are an object lesson in how to continually lose.

    someguy (84ecc5)

  226. Let’s take incremental steps, like impeaching Obama, says someguy.

    Now this guy knows how to WIN!

    Patterico (9c670f)

  227. I assure you, someguy, there is no contradiction at all between your advice to take incremental steps and your advice that we impeach Obama and coronate King Joe. That sounds like a consistent message to me, and certainly not one that’s all over the map.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  228. Just wondering . . .

    What if, with the minimum standards one happens to have, the alternatives are worse than the “RINO”?

    What if, the 98% tax rate guy, as sucktastic as he is, is better in every other single category than both the 100% tax rate guy AND the 5% tax rate guy?

    Is there a maximum tax rate a particular candidate can advocate for before being utterly rejected?

    Is not voting superior to voting for the least stinky turd in the pile?

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  229. I would like to start the discussion by asking you to accept, for the sake of argument, that there are those of us who do have compassion for the poor. It’s just that we actually think our policies are better for the poor. And, our policies would be harder on the bankers.

    Also, some advocates of free markets are poor, and some might even be objectively worse off, at least in the short and medium term, without government subsidies. A person’s principles should not be determined by his pocket. A strong person who could make a good living as an armed robber, or a person with the gift of blarney who could make a good living as a con man, can still believe this would be wrong.

    Milhouse (8b4fa5)

  230. Also, Elephant Stone has acted like a jackass, repeatedly refusing to answer a very simple question posed by the blog host. Not incidentally.

    Ono the contrary, Patterico, Elephant Stone has answered the question and very much wants you to know it – it’s just that his answer was lost in a hard drive failure, where it was stored.

    bridget (37b281)

  231. Patterico,

    Again, I’ve already answered the question, numerous times, in numerous threads when this issue has been raised.
    I believe the GOP primary is the time for duking it out among candidates. I personally subscribe to the William F. Buckley rule of voting for whom I believe is the most conservative candidate who can win the general election. Is that subjective ?—yes !
    But once the nominee is determined, I believe everyone who is right-of-center should get behind the nominee on Election Day.
    If that requires holding one’s nose to vote for the lesser of two evils, then so be it.
    After all, a “winner” of the general election will be officially declared, and whether you love the winner, hate the winner, feel 50/50 about the winner, or don’t even know the winner’s name, that winner will be legally authorized to govern or legislate decisions that will affect all of our lives.

    P.S. Don’t judges often refer to lawyers as “Counselor” ?
    I.E., “Counselor, please approach the bench.”
    I don’t understand why you perceive it as an insult. I was just using it as a proper title, like, “Senator,” or “Mayor,” or “Officer.” That’s why I capitalized it.

    Okay, now let’s hug it out, Patterico.
    We’ve got a Left Wing to defeat !

    [You are serially incapable of answering the simplest question.]

    Elephant Stone (ff054a)

  232. gee willikers I voted and voted right up til Romney and then i didn’t get my absentee ballot in time and so that was that cause i had to get on the road and see America

    and you know what that’s ok cause i despise Romney and I think he’s an obamacare-inventing weirdo with weirdo boys from brazil children and a weirdo stepford hoochie and that these weirdos are not mainstream they’re just weird and they make me uncomfortable and I think when Romney is the answer you’re asking the wrong question

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  233. Were my instructions in #233 unclear?

    Apparently so. ES has run afoul of them once already.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  234. Repeal both the 16th & 17th Amendments:
    The first to force the Federal Government to finance itself in a less intrusive manner (and allowing the dissolution of the IRS);
    the second to return to our Federal roots, and have the Several States involved in the Legislative process.

    Repealing the 16th would not at all affect the income tax on wages or business profits. Working and trading are activities, and Congress always had the power to tax them. What Congress can’t do (without great difficulty) is tax property merely for existing. The reason for the 16th amendment is that the Supreme Court bought the argument that taxing rent makes the property worth less, so it’s really a tax on the property’s value. The 16th says that doesn’t matter, Congress can tax it anyway.

    Before the 17th amendment, state elections were mostly about the Senate. Senators still got elected by winning the people’s vote, but along the way the winner also got a state legislature filled with his supporters. People were elected to the state legislature, not on the strength of their ability to legislate propery, but on the basis of whom they would support for senator. That wasn’t good, and I don’t know why anyone would want to return to that system.

    Milhouse (8b4fa5)

  235. Just wondering . . .

    What if, with the minimum standards one happens to have, the alternatives are worse than the “RINO”?

    What if, the 98% tax rate guy, as sucktastic as he is, is better in every other single category than both the 100% tax rate guy AND the 5% tax rate guy?

    Is there a maximum tax rate a particular candidate can advocate for before being utterly rejected?

    Is not voting superior to voting for the least stinky turd in the pile?

    I think the answer to a lot of these questions is: “it depends.” The 5% tax rate guy could be a murderer and a known thief, I suppose, and you might not believe anything he says. And I do agree that hypotheticals can get silly, but I advanced one for the purpose of establishing that the “lesser of two evils” concept should have limits — like virtually every principle known to mankind.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  236. The purpose of repealing XVI and XVII are to repeal the “I want X, but I want someone especially to pay for it” mentality. That might not be accomplished by a direct repeal so much as a different Amendment, but it is one of the few things that can limit the expansion of the federal government.

    bridget (37b281)

  237. ==OK. Those are good goals. I don’t use the term “establishment” as a pejorative, but as shorthand for those folks who seem to align more with what I perceive to be the caution and incrementalism and pragmatism of the national GOP.==

    OK, Patterico, I’ll take that at face value. But fair is fair. You’ve been a-grillin’ and a-drillin’ all day here :) So I hope you’ll think it’s fine to ask this back to you:
    Since you are obviously not convinced that an approach of “caution and incrementalism and pragmatism” will achieve the needed results or timely results, (and you may well be right) will you please give us some examples of less cautious, more bold, or more emotional (i.e. less pragmatic) approaches to voters that you think would work as conservative policy narrative, even if you think your ideas or language would NOT be acceptable to most of the timid “establishment types”? And please consider that your plan would need to be able to work with voters in places like Texas and California, both.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  238. for the record I personally like Mr. Elephant and I think he’s admirably consistent in his thinkings

    and I think he wants what’s best for America

    personally though my reflectings on these political conundrums always lead me down the path of

    let’s call it conservative praxis

    pikachus like myself, and your Mister Elephant and even our host, and various and sundry others on this blog like the Mr. red and the dave and et cetera, we all have something in common

    we live and work here in California, which is a fascist state that is actively hostile to free enterprise

    well not me cause I’m not working this summer for sure

    but I still live here

    and what living and working or living or working here does is, you’re inescapably doing two big macro things with your one God-given life

    Numero uno you are supporting a fascist state what is antagonistic to human liberty

    Numero dos you are amplifying the maldistribution and malinvestment of capital what is so sapping of American prosperity

    These are troubling ideas, and they resist a pikachus formidable powers of rationalization.

    Which is not to say I’m for sure moving anytime soon.

    But it would be the right thing to do.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  239. “pikachus” should have an apostrophe like this pikachu’s

    at that part where I talk about the rationalizations

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  240. I think the answer to a lot of these questions is: “it depends.” The 5% tax rate guy could be a murderer and a known thief, I suppose, and you might not believe anything he says. And I do agree that hypotheticals can get silly, but I advanced one for the purpose of establishing that the “lesser of two evils” concept should have limits — like virtually every principle known to mankind.
    Patterico (9c670f)

    Okay, just wanted to check that.
    I agree, but as I’ve explained to many people, living in NYC, I wind up going to vote for say Mayor, and the choices are:
    Democrat, Sell Out (Republican), Commie, Other Commie, Not-So-Commie, Commie-but-not-like-those-Commies, Commie-but-pretending-not-to-be-Commie, Commie-and-more-Commie-than-those-other-Commies, Isolationist Druggies (Libertarians), and Sacrificial Lambs/Idiots (Conservatives)
    “Lesser of Two Evils” is the standard procedure for some of us, with actual beliefs being relevant only in discussion.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  241. OK, Patterico, I’ll take that at face value. But fair is fair. You’ve been a-grillin’ and a-drillin’ all day here :) So I hope you’ll think it’s fine to ask this back to you:
    Since you are obviously not convinced that an approach of “caution and incrementalism and pragmatism” will achieve the needed results or timely results, (and you may well be right) will you please give us some examples of less cautious, more bold, or more emotional (i.e. less pragmatic) approaches to voters that you think would work as conservative policy narrative, even if you think your ideas or language would NOT be acceptable to most of the timid “establishment types”? And please consider that your plan would need to be able to work with voters in places like Texas and California, both.

    I got nothing. As I have said, I think we experience the crash first.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  242. happyfeet, have you looked into the Larouche movement?

    mg (31009b)

  243. I don’t think that we can win elections by being the people who will shut down the gravy train, but we can accomplish similar ends by going after the huge, expensive, and lucrative bureaucracy in DC, and then slowly send a lot of the gravy-rides back to states. Campaign by showing how the Capitol has flourished while the twelve districts, whoops, fifty states, have suffered.

    bridget (37b281)

  244. no I don’t know anything about larouches and for the most part I don’t like “movements”

    I’m not a movement kinda pikachu really

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  245. i will tell you how to make a tasty summer beverage though

    you have to have ingredients as follows:

    lemon juice (concentrate is fine)

    ground or juiced ginger

    some splenda

    oh and some sweet iced tea vodka

    basically you just make your ginger lemonade to taste, then add you some sweet tea vodka

    I shake it with ice then pour it over fresh ice and garnish with mint or basil

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  246. We won’t crash. We’ll end up like Russia is now, a plutocratic oligarchy. If we’re lucky, we’ll have somebody like Putin who keeps the billionaires under his thumb. If we’re unlucky we’ll have somebody like Yeltsin who lets them rob the country blind.

    nk (dbc370)

  247. Right now we’ve got President Goldman Sachs – what does that tell you?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  248. Sam & Milhouse….
    The point to repealing those two amendments is that they are what is left of the WW-1 era Progressive agenda – 16/17/18 and the Federal Reserve – and that nothing good has happened since….
    well, that might be a bit harsh….but when it comes to a republican form of government and governance, it’s been all downhill since then.
    So, they need to go so that we can get back to our roots, or at least try to.
    Can anyone say that the direct election of senators has given us a more deliberative body?
    Yeah, me neither.
    Plus a consumption (excise) tax would capture all that ill-gotten wealth everyone’s always screaming that the RICH have and enjoy…unless, of course, they don’t spend it and just sit on it in their Scrooge McDuck vault on the top of the hill….but that’s not what the rich do, is it?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  249. The 17th Amendment reflects a change in thinking. The States were no longer thought as entities separate from the People including their own people, entitled to their own voice in the federal government, the Senate, while the voice of the People was the House. See the Tenth Amendment, “The Powers … to the States respectively, and to the People”. Thingsa change. Power to the people.

    nk (dbc370)

  250. Not always for the better. Time to have a do-over.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  251. Goodnight, all.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  252. Democrat, Sell Out (Republican), Commie, Other Commie, Not-So-Commie, Commie-but-not-like-those-Commies, Commie-but-pretending-not-to-be-Commie…

    Your comment about what someone like you has to put up with in ultra-blue places makes me think of this humorous but rather dead-on quote:

    “There are two places only where socialism will work; in heaven where it is not needed, and in hell where they already have it.” — Winston Churchill

    Mark (8cacab)

  253. The wolves are devouring themselves! You and me don’t make we! We look for big tent coalitions you look for heretics!

    vota (3a439d)

  254. Mr. vota a lot of your comments would be really neat to have cross-stitched on a throw pillow

    have you ever heard of etsy?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  255. His next comment to appear, if one does, will display that common courtesy that has been so sorely lacking in his comments lately.

    I guess I’m schizoid because I totally relate to and sympathize with what you’re saying, but I also agree with Elephant Stone. He did seem to answer the questions you placed before him. However, in whipping through all his and your posts, he may not have stated specifically or emphatically as you wanted that he’d never filter through a leftist or liberal who was registered as a Republican and whose name was on the ballot.

    I think of the example of Dede Scozzafava running as the Republican in New York a few years ago. In instances like that I’d truly not bother voting for her, much less the Democrat—assuming he or she wasn’t one of those rare, rare, rare cases of a Democrat who isn’t a garden-variety liberal.

    Mark (8cacab)

  256. Oh my. I hope Mr. Elephant does not have to stay sitting in the corner very long. He is smart and interesting and his imagined letters to America signed by Barack are very funny. ES brings a young, irreverent, unique Hollywood California Conservative sensibility to the site and he has friends here. Maybe Patterico will forgive him for getting on his nerves and will set him free soon. That would be good for everybody I think. Especially if we have to put up with Vota.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  257. I disagree with every word you have to say ;but will defend to the death your right to say it! Voltaire(just before he was forced to drink poison like Socrates.)

    vota (3a439d)

  258. People will parrot any kind of dumb s**t if you put a famous person’s name after it. — Winston Churchill

    nk (dbc370)

  259. 250. I agree with my elder, the tipping point is well past and cannot be regained.

    Just as D-Day heralded the fall of the Third Reich, our Democratic Republic has failed.

    The very fact that the Republicans have made Treason exempt from punishment renders them pointless.

    An equilibrium between constituencies, all receiving in part what they demand, is no longer possible. Europe will lead the way in asset confiscation to keep its employees restrained but a reign of chaos is unavoidable here and abroad.

    We are at the end of other people’s money.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  260. Sadly, I concur with Gary.

    Gazzer (192e59)

  261. People will parrot any kind of dumb s**t

    nk, I understand that Franklin D Roosevelt was a truly fine, compassionate, generous leader. Oh, and “compassion for compassion’s sake” is such a nonsensical phrase and certainly doesn’t apply to truly fine, compassionate, generous leaders like FDR.

    Mark (8cacab)

  262. 248.Sam & Milhouse….
    The point to repealing those two amendments is that they are what is left of the WW-1 era Progressive agenda – 16/17/18 and the Federal Reserve – and that nothing good has happened since….
    well, that might be a bit harsh….but when it comes to a republican form of government and governance, it’s been all downhill since then.
    So, they need to go so that we can get back to our roots, or at least try to.
    Can anyone say that the direct election of senators has given us a more deliberative body?
    Yeah, me neither.
    Plus a consumption (excise) tax would capture all that ill-gotten wealth everyone’s always screaming that the RICH have and enjoy…unless, of course, they don’t spend it and just sit on it in their Scrooge McDuck vault on the top of the hill….but that’s not what the rich do, is it?
    askeptic (efcf22)

    Can you say that the direct election of Senators has given us a particularly less deliberative body?
    Perhaps you want to review some of the machine drones and independently corrupt scions in the history of the Senate before answering that though.

    Meanwhile, you admit the consumption tax won’t work yet you advocate relying on it to get back to our “roots”.

    Being conservative of particular principles is good, but that doesn’t require rejecting any and all possible changes.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  263. We are at the end of other people’s money.

    There has been a series of reports about people employed in the banking industry committing suicide over the past several months, past few years. Although that industry has gotten a lot of blame for the ongoing sinkhole we’ve been witnessing (and not without reason), the fact it nonetheless has exploited its own niche of the economy with some sleigh-of-hand routines over the past many years and, at least compared with other sectors of the economy, is so far still managing to keep its head above water, yet has certain people in its midst who are seeking the final solution to their own existence is a sign (potential, possible, probable, guaranteed?) of something very dark up ahead.

    Mark (8cacab)

  264. Go play with your inflatable doll, Mark.

    nk (dbc370)

  265. I do have to say that the urbanites who find nasty name calling reprehensible prolly will not have the time or opportunity to develop thicker skins.

    Review your “Lord of the Flies” and “King Rat”. This story is the same but without the happy ending.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  266. 263. The central problem is that the world is accustomed over the recent past to being plumped up by $500 Billion USD per annum. The Fed is turning off its spigot(its resort in lieu of a robust GDP), the sum now nearer $350 Billion, because the world, especially its Shadow Banking systems are short UST and collateral generally.

    This means, for us, asset deflation, necessity inflation and recession, like we’ve been experiencing but in another big drop as we suffered in 2008. The world economies have a need for a new reserve currency and we are a bust just as Britain was in 1930.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  267. turning off its spigot

    that’s a euphemism

    they’re taking the training wheels off the barack obama food stamp economy

    but will the the fed dyke do it fast enough to where booboo is gonna have to grow up and act like a for reals president?

    i seriously doubt it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  268. US Power consumption:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/power%20consumption.jpg

    Here it is, the middle of July, and its already turning down.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  269. did we ever talk about that when we had the gdp discussion?

    how utility production is a gdp input?

    i’ve always thought that was kind of odd

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  270. This border crisis? Orchestrated and/or welcomed by Obama. It’s his Reichstag fire. He will now assume even more powers under the aegis of outbreaks of lawlessness and protest against the very acts that he perpetrated.

    Um, you seem to think Hitler burned the Reichstag. ‘Tain’t so. Nor did any of his supporters. It was an opponent, possibly affiliated in some way with the Communists, who gave him this excuse to sieze greater power. So your analogy doesn’t quite work.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  271. 269. “input”

    More of a ‘proxy’, when one cannot trust the BEA take a look at the data they may be minimizing.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  272. By 2016 none of us will recognize this country. There will be little or no representation

    BY LAW.

    Bull. There is nothing 0bama can possibly do that will achieve that. No matter what he does, at noon on 20-Jan-2017 he will no longer be president. (First Dude, maybe, but not president.)

    Milhouse (b95258)

  273. 272. 2 1/2 years. Personally, I feel like the Law could be somewhat streamlined by then.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  274. Go play with your inflatable doll, Mark.

    nk, you’re insulted I think that FDR was a wonderful, compassionate, generous human being?!

    Okay, well, I’m fairly certain the black guy who was pulled over by UCLA cops and got up in arms about it is a reasonable, sensible, probably even right-leaning person.

    Mark (8cacab)

  275. Mark – A lot of juice box logic from you today.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  276. Kevin M, I don’t think Milhouse believes any taxation is theft.

    Two things:

    1) Milhouse asserts, correctly, that there is no LEGAL barrier to Congress cancelling Social Security tomorrow morning. He then goes not to assert this means there is no compact, and that doing that would be perfectly moral. I disagree, there is a social contract involved when several generations of politicians from both parties have asserted that there is, and that this system will continue, AND a large and regressive tax is imposed for most of a century to support it. I refer to that as “the deal.”

    2) But OK, if there are no rules of conduct besides what is absolutely the bare legal threshold, I point out that Congress can tax nearly anything, and can do so retroactively. He calls this immoral and compares it to a mugging, as though some other principle applied other than the one he found all-encompassing in 1).

    I suggest that Milhouse needs to consider his one argument refutes the other.

    Kevin M (131754)

  277. The problem is, Reagan was a disaster in many ways. Spending exploded. Deficits exploded. Government spending increased as a share of national income, and the Department of Education’s budget doubled. He talked a great game, don’t get me wrong. But his actions in the areas that matter to me — decreasing the size of the federal government — did not match his rhetoric.

    Reagan also had an opposition House all 8 years, and an opposition Senate his last 2 years. He had certain priorities, notably rebuilding a military that had been nearly destroyed by VietNam and Carter. He intended to drive the Soviets into bankruptcy by making them try to match it. At the end, they were spending over 50% of the GDP and falling behind, and it killed them.

    He also wanted to restructure taxation (bring the top bracket down from 70(!)%. You should have heard them scream when it came down to 50% as a first step. He also wanted to open the world to free trade.

    To do this, he had to give Tip O’Neil quite a bit, primarily on domestic programs. Reagan did more with more opposition than the current inhabitant has done with less. Why? He didn’t tell Tip “We Won!” and to sit in the back and shut up. Instead he let the money flow, AFTER killing inflation, and the long boom started.

    Yes, the deficits pushed $200 billion and the national debt topped $2 trillion when he left office. Yes, some government grew. But he also won the Cold War, opened up the world to trade, ended a wild inflationary spiral, and started a boom that lasted 20 years.

    It was the kind of give and take that the current occupant should learn from, but won’t.

    Kevin M (131754)

  278. Ronald Reagan was the one what gave social cons their severe entitlement issues

    he treated them like they were respectable members of a coalition and it went to their heads something awful

    oops

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  279. I believe it is always wrong to tax one person for the benefit of another. The only way a tax can be legitimate is when a person is being charged for a benefit that he inevitably receives from the government, that he can’t be prevented from receiving, and the amount charged is less than the value of the benefit he receives.

    How does this belief bind Congress? I have beliefs, too, which you denounce as foolish since Congress is not bound to follow them.

    Things like: when 3 generations of politicians promise a particular regime to EVERYONE and tax them heavily to support it, they should be VERY chary when they consider reneging as there is the small problem of their loud and repeated blood oaths.

    Why are they bound to follow yours and why are yours less foolish? So far your answer is “Because!”

    Kevin M (131754)

  280. he treated them like they were respectable members of a coalition and it went to their heads something awful

    Have you seen NOW lately? Or the NAACP? Or the gay mafia? Or the greens? It would seem that the Christians have no corner on the azzhole market.

    Kevin M (131754)

  281. yes

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  282. The people who identify as Tea Partiers first and GOP second really should form their own party. After all their views are the only “right views” and everyone else should kowtow to that. They have no poor candidates or toxic members and have the moral authority to call “establishment” GOP members any number of names. But criticize them and let the butt hurt start in force. Because… well True Conservative.
    Why don’t they form their own party? I think it is because they don’t want to be the next Nader type faction – making a difference in some state results from time to time but little more than that. It would also pull the curtain away from claims about just how many of them there are.

    Cochran won and McDaniels lost — in a well functioning political party there is an expectation that the victor be given support. Why should a person in another state really give two cents which of the two wins if that means the party at large has the majority and ability to influence legislation?
    The TP has been successful in getting House seats but still don’t hold a majority of the House GOP by a long shot. Important voices yes but so are the other 160 or so GOP members. They are not however getting elected to senate seats in any kind of majority number and are not likely to.

    At the end of the whole argument it seems the TP faithful “just want a little respect”. Sort of like Al Gore and the Global Warming crowd.
    Here let me give you a hug to make you feel better….But if you want respect for principles go stand up that third party you keep mentioning.

    vor2 (58243b)

  283. Cochran is a senile white bigot

    black people what voted for him should feel dirty Mr. vor2

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  284. ” they don’t want to be the next Nader type faction”

    That works well on the left, like Bill Ayres. He finally got one of his guys to be president.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  285. vor2: our fear isn’t that we would compromise 3% of the population if we got a third party; it is that our 20-25% of the population would turn every election into the 1992 Presidential election and hand the thing off to whack job progressives.

    And I have a feeling that if we did that, the people sneering at us to start a third party would be furious at us for the results.

    I remember seeing some poll wherein the Tea Party was the plurality winner of most popular political movement. I’ve also seen lots of polls that indicate that pro-life is winning (especially when specific questions are asked about what restrictions people want to see, rather than generic “some” or “fewer”). This country is a lot more conservative than you give it credit for.

    bridget (37b281)

  286. happyfeet, have you looked into the Larouche movement?

    Why on earth would he want to do that?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  287. The 17th Amendment reflects a change in thinking. The States were no longer thought as entities separate from the People including their own people, entitled to their own voice in the federal government

    But that was always a fallacy, because each state’s legislature is elected by…its people. And when the most important thing (from the point of view of the national parties) a state legislature will do is elect a senator, the campaign ends up being about that alone, and the legislators themselves get about as much scrutiny as we give electoral college candidates today, i.e. none. So the state ends up getting its laws made by a bunch of people whose only qualification was a pledge to vote the right way for senator.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  288. I disagree with every word you have to say ;but will defend to the death your right to say it! Voltaire

    No, Beatrice Hall.

    (just before he was forced to drink poison like Socrates.)

    Um, what?!!!!

    Milhouse (b95258)

  289. respect, how about not gratuitous insult;

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/07/here-we-go-again-ga-mailer-urges-democrats-to-vote-for-rino-bashes-conservative-candidate/

    I wonder if this is one of Henry ‘Chip’ Barbour’s men,

    In other news, the attorney general who rendered a six year old to cuba, who unleished mobs to force out law enforcement officials who follow the law, who’s firm is rife with attorneys for Gitmo detainees, took a shot at the Huntress

    narciso (24b824)

  290. The very fact that the Republicans have made Treason exempt from punishment renders them pointless.

    When did they do that? Remember, treason is defined in the constitution, and it’s a very tough definition to fit. The last person I can think of who committed an overt act of treason in front of two witnesses and was not brought to justice (on any charge) was Jane Fonda. More recent cases (e.g. John Walker Lindh) have not been charged with treason but with other crimes, or were summarily dispatched in the field.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  291. Well, that’s how they thought in 1913 but not the way they thought in 1789. In 1789 they thought the whole was different from the sum of its parts. And it is. When a soldier is shooting at some Taliban in Afghanistan he’s not taking into account Republicans, Democrats, the VFW or Code Pink. He’s thinking USA. A decent Senator will work for his entire state, not only his constituency. That it did not work out in practice because we asked too much of politicians does not make it a fallacy, just that we need to make “the victim was a politician” an affirmative defense to a charge of aggravated battery. ;)

    nk (dbc370)

  292. 282. “The people who identify as Tea Partiers first and GOP second really should form their own party.”

    IOW, ‘Git yer own plantation’.

    I know you people test well by all the degrees following your names but frankly you are of no earthly use.

    Like juggler’s that cannot keep two balls in the air.

    Saving your physical existence and accoutrement is not a priority of ours.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  293. well Cameron, the blanc mange leader of the Tories, I think he’s being repped by Axelrod, feels much the same way about the UKIP, there’s a reason, Hannen is in the European parliament,

    narciso (24b824)

  294. 290. Go play in the street bisel mentsh.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  295. Re: separating allies from useless idiots.

    What you urbanites don’t see to get is that we aren’t chalking you up to collateral damage.

    You are self-propelled cannon fodder.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  296. there is a social contract involved when several generations of politicians from both parties have asserted that there is, and that this system will continue, AND a large and regressive tax is imposed for most of a century to support it. I refer to that as “the deal.”

    Garbage. First of all, politicians’ assertions do not constitute a contract of any kind. If there were an actual contract, Congress could never abrogate it; but any notion that a binding contract existed was exploded in 1960. You never paid a penny of FICA while under the impression that you were legally buying something. Second, even if the politicians’ assertions could be said in some vague sense to bind them and the voters who elected them, the younger generations had no part of this alleged “deal”. They never agreed to it, they never received a penny from the older generation’s taxes, why on earth should they feel at all bound to pay up? As soon as they form a majority, why wouldn’t they just repudiate this so-called “debt”? They have the legal right to do so, why not also the moral right? Yes, members of our generation have paid a high tax, but our elected representatives spent it all on (other members of) our generation, not on the young. It’s not like they will be handed a treasury with all the money that was taken from us. From their point of view, they can tell us, “You taxed yourselves for yourselves, you spent all that money on yourselves, and now you want us to spend our money on you as well?! Scr*w that.”

    Suppose a bank robber dies, leaving a stash of money to his children. The children obviously have a moral and legal obligation to use this money to repay any victims they can trace. They can’t just keep it for themselves. But if he left no money, they have no obligation to reach into their own pockets to compensate his victims.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  297. Netanyahu says the difference between Israelis and Palis: “We use missiles to defend our people, they use people to defend their missiles.”

    Palis are calling for Israel to be nuked. Silly rodents.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  298. Things like: when 3 generations of politicians promise a particular regime to EVERYONE and tax them heavily to support it, they should be VERY chary when they consider reneging

    The politicians who made those promises are gone, or will be. Go take it up with them.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  299. Found your theme song gary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwzYhVL5Sc

    The preacher man says it’s the end of time
    And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry
    The interest is up and the Stock Markets down
    And you only get mugged if you go down town

    I live back in the woods, you see
    A woman and the kids, and the dogs, and me
    I got a shotgun rifle and a 4-wheel drive
    And a country boy can survive
    Country folks can survive

    nk (dbc370)

  300. How does this belief bind Congress? I have beliefs, too, which you denounce as foolish since Congress is not bound to follow them.

    And that is precisely the point of this discussion. If you believe that a Congress elected by the young ought to rob someone to pay you, just because the Congress your contemporaries elected robbed you and promised that the young’uns would eventually repay you, especially when you knew at the time that this promise had no force of law, then there is no room for you in any tent that pretends to the name “conservative”.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  301. A nation is a perpetual entity. Its obligations are not erased by the passage of its members from time to time, no more than a corporation’s are by a change in the board of director.

    nk (dbc370)

  302. . A decent Senator will work for his entire state, not only his constituency.

    But what difference does it make whether he was elected directly (like a representative) or indirectly (like the president)?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  303. 290. Go play in the street bisel mentsh.

    Your attempt at Yiddish is as pathetic as everything else you write.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  304. A nation is a perpetual entity. Its obligations are not erased by the passage of its members from time to time, no more than a corporation’s are by a change in the board of director.

    True, for its actual obligations. Not for politicians’ pronouncements, which everyone knows at the time to have no legal force. These pronouncements may bind them personally, if they have any self-respect, but they don’t bind the next set of politicians.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  305. The Founders did not trust the people as much as they claimed to and wanted to put in a safety valve (the legislature) to keep some idiot abolitionist from starting a Civil War?

    nk (dbc370)

  306. The Founders did not trust the people as much as they claimed to and wanted to put in a safety valve (the legislature) to keep some idiot abolitionist from starting a Civil War?

    Huh? How was that meant to work? How could indirect election make it any less likely that a radical abolitionist would be elected to the senate? Once again, you seem to be forgetting that the state legislature, like the electoral college, is elected by the people. The very same people who vote in direct elections.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  307. Beats me, Milhouse. We’ll need to ask Jefferson and Hamilton why they thought that.

    nk (dbc370)

  308. I did say that it was a change in thinking, didn’t I? I was not proposing repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment. You know, the law is not based on logic. It’s based on experience. According to Oliver Wendell Holmes, anyway.

    nk (dbc370)

  309. 306.The Founders did not trust the people as much as they claimed to and wanted to put in a safety valve (the legislature) to keep some idiot abolitionist from starting a Civil War?

    Huh? How was that meant to work? How could indirect election make it any less likely that a radical abolitionist would be elected to the senate? Once again, you seem to be forgetting that the state legislature, like the electoral college, is elected by the people. The very same people who vote in direct elections.
    Milhouse (b95258)

    In theory . . .
    It was supposed to work by “refinement” of opinion.

    The whackos in the street vote for rabble-rousers.
    The rabble-rousers in the caucuses vote fire eaters.
    The fire eaters scream at each other until they are forced to compromise on notable people.
    The notable people whine at each other until they are forced to compromise on mature and notable people.
    The mature and notable people discuss things until they are forced to a compromise that restrains each other.

    How well that succeeded can be measured by how long it took between ratifying the Constitution and the passage of the 12th Amendment. (16 years – 4 Presidential elections.)

    But the theory is “refinement” via successive levels of representatives.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  310. 303. I try harder than you to relate, enthnocentrist that ye be.

    Quelle surprise! The Tory gentry believe their arrangements will outlive them, they are so indispensable.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  311. Beats me, Milhouse. We’ll need to ask Jefferson and Hamilton why they thought that.

    Well, they thought the electoral college would work too, but it never did, not even in their own day. They thought people would vote for electors they trusted, and not concern themselves at all with who would emerge as president, leaving that to the electors’ own judgment. But by 1800 people were voting for candidates they didn’t know, solely on the basis of whom they’d pledged to support for president if elected. And they’d be astonished to see a modern election, where we’re presented with a ballot that says simply “33 electors for A and B”, “33 electors for C and D”, “33 electors for E and F”, etc., without any indication of these would-be electors’ names, and > 99% of voters have no idea of these people’s names, or even that they’re actually voting for them and not directly for the presidential candidates of their choice. But I think they’d be sad to hear that state legislative elections were once also like that, and happy to hear that they’re no longer so.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  312. In theory . . .
    It was supposed to work by “refinement” of opinion.

    The whackos in the street vote for rabble-rousers.
    The rabble-rousers in the caucuses vote fire eaters.
    The fire eaters scream at each other until they are forced to compromise on notable people.
    The notable people whine at each other until they are forced to compromise on mature and notable people.
    The mature and notable people discuss things until they are forced to a compromise that restrains each other.

    That may be how the electoral college was once chosen, but there were never multiple levels for the state legislature. People always elected their state legislature directly, which made it much more likely that this would quickly devolve into a proxy election for senator. In any case, it wasn’t a “change of thinking” that made this not work that way, it never did.

    How well that succeeded can be measured by how long it took between ratifying the Constitution and the passage of the 12th Amendment. (16 years – 4 Presidential elections.)

    Quicker than that. The old system nearly broke in 1796, the first post-Washington election, and did break in 1800, the second. The 1788 and 1792 elections don’t really count, because there was no deliberation on anyone’s part, and only one possible result.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  313. 303. I try harder than you to relate, enthnocentrist that ye be.

    Quelle surprise! The Tory gentry believe their arrangements will outlive them, they are so indispensable.

    Huh? I have no idea what any of that meant. How was a bad attempt at insulting me in Yiddish relate at all to the definition of treason, or ethnocentrism, Tories, or the life of arrangements?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  314. NJRob, at 76:

    “Dictator” strikes me as being over the top but is not per se a condescending nickname.

    “Obammy”, “Barry”, and the like, on the other hand, *do*.

    “Dictator” is a statement of political analysis. The condescending nicknames are *personal*.

    And that makes a huge difference. I can disagree with the first without being offended; the second, on the other hand, offends me – whether it’s directed at my allies or my opponents.

    aphrael (9989bb)

  315. Garbage

    Whatever.

    Kevin M (131754)

  316. Milhouse bangs about the padded room of modal logic.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  317. His mind is extremely sharp and on occasion produces great material, useful only in the hands of others who recognize that sayin’ it’s so don’t make it so.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  318. “…Can you say that the direct election of Senators has given us a particularly less deliberative body?
    …Meanwhile, you admit the consumption tax won’t work yet you advocate relying on it to get back to our “roots”…”………..Sam (e8f1ad) — 7/13/2014 @ 9:29 pm

    Fact is Sam (if your reading comprehension was up to the level of a 5th Grader), I did say that I thought that the 17th-A has resulted in a less deliberative body, and I do believe a tax on consumption (as long as it is not a VA Tax) would be more fair than the current system, and would mute many of the attacks from the ’99%’ on THE RICH.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  319. 318-…more….
    I am neither a member of the “99%” or THE RICH, as they are currently defined.

    I must say, as an aside, that scrolling through long tracts of posts is much easier when there are extensive postings by SF, Milhouse, plus now Sam, and of course the here-today/gone-tomorrow trolls such as vota/perry/etc.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  320. I am woefully behind on reading the comments on this thread. With that said:

    217.Independents seem to be single issue voters, maybe next time they will think before reacting.
    They can be persuaded now, because the economy is in permanent recovery.
    mg (31009b) — 7/13/2014 @ 5:18 pm

    I have the impression that every voter is a single issue voter when you seize upon the one issue on which they will not compromise.

    Believe it or not, there are gatherings of Independents where we discuss the lack of reliable info in the media. This is our main gripe. Whom can we believe? We already know whom we no longer believe. We were not originally Independents. We come from parties that have betrayed us, failed us, sold us out – you name it. The Independent vote is nothing like, say, the pro choice or pro life voting block because they share a common “no compromise” issue. The common denominator among us is disillusionment

    felipe (960c75)

  321. Excellent point, felipe.

    Mitch (b0b5ac)

  322. Those that believe in nothing, will believe in anything.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  323. Huh? I have no idea what any of that meant. How was a bad attempt at insulting me in Yiddish relate at all to the definition of treason, or ethnocentrism, Tories, or the life of arrangements?
    Milhouse (b95258) — 7/14/2014 @ 11:16 am

    Don’t sweat it, Milhouse. Gary does not wish to be understood by “just anyone”. So some of his comments are crafted in such a way as to preclude comprehension by certain others. You could say that Gary’s comments are like parables. I sometimes find this quality endearing, and its use has merit when applies wisely.

    Hmmm, what is this brown stuff on my nose?

    felipe (960c75)

  324. Gahhhh!

    when applied wisely.

    felipe (960c75)

  325. 312. That may be how the electoral college was once chosen, but there were never multiple levels for the state legislature. People always elected their state legislature directly, which made it much more likely that this would quickly devolve into a proxy election for senator. In any case, it wasn’t a “change of thinking” that made this not work that way, it never did.

    I meant that the “refinement” occurred between the people choosing their State legislature and the State legislatures choosing the Senators. (And then theoretically the Senators approving executive appointees and judges.)
    Of course as you note, it means they wound up with idiots in the State legislatures.

    Quicker than that. The old system nearly broke in 1796, the first post-Washington election, and did break in 1800, the second. The 1788 and 1792 elections don’t really count, because there was no deliberation on anyone’s part, and only one possible result.
    Milhouse (b95258)

    Right, it broke then, it just took them 8 more years to realize it was so broken it needed a full amendment to change rather than just expecting each other to act “properly”.

    As a note, I consider the 12th Amendment to stand as direct proof of how imperfect the Constitution was at ratification, no matter how good the rest of it was.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  326. 318.Fact is Sam (if your reading comprehension was up to the level of a 5th Grader), I did say that I thought that the 17th-A has resulted in a less deliberative body,

    Which is why, if your reading comprehension was up to the level of a 1st grader, I suggested:
    “Perhaps you want to review some of the machine drones and independently corrupt scions in the history of the Senate before answering that though.”
    Clearly rather than make such a minimal effort you felt it easier to wallow in your error.

    and I do believe a tax on consumption (as long as it is not a VA Tax) would be more fair than the current system, and would mute many of the attacks from the ’99%’ on THE RICH.
    askeptic (efcf22)

    And you would be as wrong about that as you are about the deliberative prowess of the Senate pre-17th Amendment.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  327. Brevity is th

    Colonel Haiku (8a1837)

  328. [标签:标题] 梅西仰天轻叹天负我也! 全球谁能读懂他的心 (周博) 贝克汉姆一席休闲装扮,而他的三个儿子都身穿阿根廷球衣,或者是主场阿根廷&#2

    ???? (e2664c)

  329. 323. Thanks bud, your reward is awaiting you in Heaven.

    16:1The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3″And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  330. I released Elephant Stone from moderation and I approved his latest comment, which, like all the others, failed to answer my simple question. However, I am done talking to him. I have no respect whatsoever for someone who can’t answer a single question. And I have an itchy ban finger when it comes to him. If he chooses to come back — and I don’t much care if he doesn’t — he had best be polite to the people who make the mistake of engaging him, thinking that he is actually going to interact and answer their questions.

    Warning: Elephant Stone: do NOT come back on here and falsely claim you answered the question or you’re back into moderation. Just be grateful that I am reconsidering and stop talking to me.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  331. I continue to think it was unforgivably rude to continually dodge a very simple question posed by the blog host.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  332. commenters are just so rare and special anymore though

    i blame the twitter

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  333. “Is there some minimum requirement you have for a candidate or party, other than the Republican name alone, that you require as a prerequisite to that candidate or party deserving your vote??”

    A desire/demonstration to lower taxes and spending – to stop regulatory agencies abuse of power

    EPWJ (7dbeab)

  334. Where’s DRJ been? Hope nothing is badly amiss.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  335. 334. To be willing, like Archie, to take a bullet with me on the hill I’m willing to die on.

    On any number of issues, not this GOP.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)


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