Patterico's Pontifications

11/3/2008

Pro-Conservative, Anti-Tribalism

Filed under: Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Justin Levine @ 1:50 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Austin Bramwell has some great food for thought.

His essay manages to capture many thoughts that have been crystallizing in my head in recent months, but for which I haven’t been able to adequately express in words.

- Justin Levine

11/7/2006

I Couldn’t Vote Republican This Time…Literally.

Filed under: General,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Justin Levine @ 10:37 pm

[posted by Justin Levine -- not Patterico]

I wanted to vote Republican. Honestly, I did. But in the end, I just couldn’t do it.

I admit that I didn’t follow the specific campaign for Congress in my district, but I figured that anyone has to be better than Maxine Waters. So my plan was to vote for whoever the Republican candidate was in this instance.

Imagine my surprise when I got the ballot at the polling booth, only to discover that the Republican party didn’t even bother to run a candidate against her. Not even a symbolic candidate. Nobody! Pathetic…

If I had known that, I would have run myself. (I wouldn’t have actually campaigned mind you, but I would have called up the Republicans and offered my name on the ballot just so that they could save face.)

In the end, I blindly marked the ballot for the Libertarian candidate. Pretty much sums things up…

Meanwhile, I suspect that the Libertarian party here will have one its biggest showings ever in terms of the percentage of the vote for a Congressional race.

[posted by Justin Levine]

4/8/2005

Mel Martinez: Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers — Or Lying?

Filed under: General,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 9:33 am

In the post below, we discuss whether Sandy Berger was dishonest, or just dumber than a bag of hammers.

Keep in mind that the same question applies to Mel Martinez. Right now, the claim is that he is just unforgivably stupid. That may well be. Or, he could be lying.

12/6/2004

Kevin Murphy Reviews Hewitt’s Book

Filed under: Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 10:18 pm

Kevin Murphy claims that I “badgered” him into posting a review of Hugh Hewitt’s book. Well, if I did, then I’m glad I did. It’s an excellent review.
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12/4/2004

Discussing Principled Pragmatism: The Great Hugh Hewitt Book Giveaway

Filed under: Books,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 1:45 pm

I just shipped out four free copies of Hugh Hewitt’s latest book to my friends Rod Stanton, Chadster, See Dubya, and John Behan (aka Commonwealth Conservative).

In addition to the four people just listed, I already sent a copy to Gene, and I will be delivering a copy personally to Justin Levine. That’s six free copies. (If there’s anyone to whom I specifically promised the book not included in the above list, leave a comment or e-mail me.)

In addition, several readers said that they would buy the book as a result of my review, including Iconic Midwesterner, David M., MaDr, and Kevin Murphy. (Kevin Murphy tells me his copy has already arrived. I’ll link to his review when it’s available.)

Finally, some readers have indicated that they already have it, including James Hess and BurbankErnie.

I wanted to get a critical mass for a good discussion, and I figured about ten people would be a good number. We have more than that already. Accordingly, I am going to close the offer — although I’ll still buy it for Spoons and the Clam if they will agree to take part in the discussion.

Obviously, this will be an extended discussion. It will take time for the books to arrive, for people to read them, and for them to submit comments. I have created a category called Principled Pragmatism which collects these posts in one place. If at any time you have something to add to the discussion, post it on your own blog, comment on a post in the Principled Pragmatism category (preferably the review of the book), and/or e-mail me. We’ll keep the discussion going for a while.

I should note that it has already begun. Clark Smith posted an excellent post summarizing Hugh’s pragmatic position. (I think Clark read my review as being more hostile to pragmatism than I meant it to be — but he is not the only one to read it this way by a longshot, so the fault is clearly mine in the expression, rather than his in the interpretation). The Yell responds to Clark here with a spirited “defense of ideology over partisanship.”

Excellent. This is exactly the sort of discussion I want to see. As long as we all link to each other, we’ll all be able to participate. I’d like each and every person named in this post, and every person interested in this issue, to hop onto Clark’s and The Yell’s posts and comment — and leave comments here. This is an important discussion. As Clark says: “Itís a discussion we’d be fools not to have.”

12/2/2004

Clarification on the Discussion of Hugh Hewitt’s Book

Filed under: Books,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 6:04 pm

PrestoPundit recently linked to my discussion of Hugh Hewitt’s book. His post, titled PATTERICO VS. HUGH HEWITT, made me realize that the intent of my post must not have been clear.

I would like to emphasize my points of agreement with Hugh, as well as our points of disagreement. I intended for my post to reflect the fact that Hugh’s book opened my mind to the benefits of a pragmatic approach. While I haven’t become a pragmatist to the same extent Hugh is, some of Hugh’s points sunk in. Hence the book giveaway — I wanted to discuss this concept with others who (like me) tend to be more inflexibly principled.

So I just want to clear up that my post wasn’t intended to be wholly (or even primarily) critical of Hugh. If it were, I wouldn’t be pushing his book and buying it for people.

11/28/2004

Progress of the Great Hugh Hewitt Book Giveaway

Filed under: Books,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 4:55 pm

The great Hugh Hewitt book giveaway is still open to a couple more takers. I think I have done a better job persuading people to buy it for themselves than I have in finding takers for the free offer. So far Iconic Midwesterner, David M., MaDr, and Kevin Murphy have all said they will buy it on their own.

So far, it sounds like the only takers for the free offer are Gene, Justin Levine, and Chadster. I have excused Justin from any obligation to read the book immediately, though I have asked him to read the first chapter right away (I’m assuming he’ll get hooked).

The Angry Clam has not responded to my request whether he wants a free copy. [UPDATE: The Clam claims he has no time to read this simple, straightforward 220-page book. Demands of law school and such.]

Spoons indicated that he would probably not give it a fair reading. Okay, Spoons — how about giving it an unfair reading and agreeing to debate the contents?

The book is on its way to Gene. Chadster and Justin, e-mail me your home addresses.

James Hess says he already has it, but suggests that I buy copies for libraries. Sorry, James, but my offer is intended to stimulate internet discussion. I do hope that the people who buy it for themselves, as well as those who get it free from me, will return to discuss the principles of the book. That’s what this is all about.

11/24/2004

A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book

Filed under: Books,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 6:32 pm

I finally got around to reading Hugh Hewitt’s latest book, the delightfully titled “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat (Crushing the Democrats in Every Election, and Why Your Life Depends on It).”

Hugh Hewitt has been very kind to me personally. He has mentioned my blog on the radio and on his own blog, helping me to build a steady, growing readership of people interested in media bias issues generally, and the bias of the Los Angeles Times in particular.

But Hugh has a different political philosophy from mine. And in this post I intend to be brutally honest about the differences, including where I find Hugh to be persuasive — and where I don’t.

[UPDATE: Prompted by reading more than one blog post characterizing this post as a negative review or sharp criticism, it is not intended as such. I think this is a great book that everyone should read. I wouldn't be giving copies of it away if I thought otherwise.]
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11/23/2004

A Proposal for Principled Republicans: Let Patterico Buy You a Free Hugh Hewitt Book

Filed under: Books,Politics,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 1:04 pm

Attention, Spoons. Attention, Kathryn Jean Lopez. Attention, Angry Clam and Kevin Murphy.

This post is for you — and for me, because I am like you. We are the Republicans who put principle above party, and conviction above compromise. Hugh Hewitt, in his latest book, is speaking to us. Hugh’s message: majorities matter. He says that winning majorities means sacrificing a blind allegiance to idealism, in favor of a political philosophy of principled pragmatism — with the emphasis on pragmatism.

I’m not saying that Hugh is right — but I think we should hear him out. He is a leading conservative voice and a very smart man. His ideas deserve consideration.

So I have a proposal for all of you.

If you haven’t read Hugh’s book already, I will buy it for you. Leave a comment on this post saying you accept my proposal, and e-mail me with your home address, and I will shoot you a copy right away. It’s on me — but there’s a catch. I have two conditions:

  • Read it with an open mind. Much of what Hugh has to say will cause you to react viscerally and negatively. I know — I had the same experience. Resist the urge to discount his advice out of hand. Listen to his arguments. Take them seriously.
  • Agree to discuss the book publicly, on my blog and on yours. Let’s get a discussion going. We may end up — all of us — deciding that Hugh is all wet. If that is the end result, so be it. But let’s talk about it first, and invite our readers to take part in the discussion.

In addition to the above-named bloggers, I will also make this offer available to up to five Patterico readers, in my discretion. My target audience is people like myself and like the bloggers I list above: people who believe strongly in core Republican precepts, who would rather stand on their convictions than watch the party compromise those principles. You must agree to the above conditions — keep an open mind, and agree to discuss the book publicly. If you’re interested, leave a comment and explain how you are a member of the target audience.

I plan to start the ball rolling today with a post reviewing the book and giving my initial reaction. [UPDATE: Here it is, a little late.]


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