Wednesday, December 05, 2007
An outrageous example of big government interventionism at its worst.
Capitalism is great without the risk.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The Joe Biden of the Republican Party. Even gave a shout-out to Joe by name. It's hard to see what he adds.
A flawless performance. His defense of attacking the Line Item Veto -- tying it into strict constructionism -- turns a negative into a plus. He had the better of the exchange with Romney. 2nd best of hte evening.
If McCain and Giuliani are best suited for fighting a general election campaign, Huckabee is best placed for emphasizing conservative principles. Issues that are currently non-starters but nonetheless part of the conservative agenda, such as the fair tax, are excellently described by Mike. No chance without Romney imploding, but a perfect VP for a conservative nominee.
A one issue candidate: anti-China.
Dazzlingly perfect. The vigorous defense of conservative principles, from law taxes to free trade, was a welcome break with the ever creeping populism. If only his "Maverikism" didn't keep doing things like joining the Left's war on science. Best of the evening.
The John Kerry of the Republican Party. Yesterday I wondered if his consult-the-lawyers comment was liberal-nonsense or vacuous-nonsense. It's definitely vacuous. Just as Kerry surely as a liberal core, Romney surely has a conservative one. Somewhere. Worst of the evening.
A one issue candidate: restoration of the Constitutional regime of 1929. Unlike Hunter and Tancredo, Paul's stance isn't so much wrong as quixotic. It's not going to happen.
A one issue candidate: anti-immigration.
If the nick against McCain is that he's too old, it's hard to see how Thompson has a chance. Disengaged and noncharismatic, Fred's a long way from the man who made his splash on YouTube. Second worst of the evening.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Ronald Brownstein has good things to say about Rudolph William Louis Giuliani. Giuliani seems to have a more developed intellectual framework than
any serious candidate since John McCain, er, any other serious candidate.
If McCain-Lieberman isn't happening, it's hard to argue against Giuliani-Thompson.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
No comment on the Libby Clemency/potential-pardon other than this: Corrupt Republicans tend to be corrupt out of principle. Corrupt Democrats tend to be corrupt out of greed.
(Which is more dangerous for our Republic?)
Most Republicans who get into trouble did their deeds, like Libby, out of dedication to the Party, the Administration, or some other higher ideal. Most Democrats who get into trouble, like Representative William Jefferson, are looking to cash in.
If Republican officials tend to be men of principles, and Democratic office-holders are men of cash, then who are the men of law?
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I may not have determined if the Bush-McCain-Kennedy immigration compromise was slightly good overall, or slightly bad overall, but the Republican netroots have proven one thing:
No matter how hard your party works to integrate latinos into a political coalition, talk radio hosts and bloggers can blow it in a month.
"No to Amnesty" may be incoherent when it comes from a party that would not freeze corporate taxbreaks until every corporate criminal is brought to justice it, but why should it? Talk radio says so!
But no matter how inane the worst conservative influence make the Republicans, Nancy Pelosi is out to prove that, no matter how brain-dead the Republican netroots are, her Democratic Party is even worse. The latest scheme?
Saturday, June 09, 2007
The celebration of much of the Republican blogosphere about the defeat of the immigration bill is saddening. The party that did so much to pass NAFTA is degenerating, at least in its public face, into conservativism-as-a-reflex. It's easy to say that the Republican netroots are intellectually empty, and it's hard to disagree.
There are real reasons to oppose the immigration bill, but these rarely come up. Instead, mindless mantras of "Enforcement First!" come from bloggers who somehow don't apply the same policy to other areas of the law. (Should all gun sales stop until all illegal guns are off the street? Should all stock trading stop until all corporate crooks are behind bars?)
Oh well. Remember when I said this:
At this point, I do not care if decapitated boyscouts are found in the offices of the Republican Congressional Leadership. The GOP must win back the House and the Senate in '08.
It's still true.
I'll vote Republican even if my party stays the party of the know-nothings, because the Democratic Party is even worse. Stupid is better than defeatist any day.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The last Republican Congress -- officially known as the One Hundred Ninth United States Congress -- was a disasterous embarrassment that fully deserved its divine obliteration.
As if criminalizing horse-steak was not bad enough, the so-called conservatives decided to bend time itself to the government's will. Except for a few misled libertarians, few were happy with this arbitrary and capricious, not to mention pointless, exercise of legislative power. And pointless. Did I say pointless?:
Results from energy companies are coming in, and the word is that moving Daylight Saving Time forward three weeks had no measurable impact on power consumption. The attempt by the US Congress to make it look like they were doing something about the energy crisis has been exposed as the waste it is."
I regret that Pelosi became speaker. And not at all sorry that Hastert lost the job.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
At a time when a Center Right-Center Left coalition government may be in the works, where President Bush and Speaker Pelosi concentrate on victory in Iraq, immigration reform, minimum wage reform, tax relief, and other important issues, elements of the blogosphereic right continue to come unhinged.
The latest rabid right suggestion? A draft. Yup, it's not just for the party of slavery anymore.
Mark Krikorian, writing at The Corner:
But I still think there would be enormous social benefits to universal (male) military service. I've long thought the way to reconcile this would be to have one-year mandatory service in the National Guard (or the reserves or the militia, which some states still have) — this would be separate from the active-duty military and could in fact serve as a recruiting vehicle for regular service. Essentially, this would amount to one year (say, July to July after graduation from high school) of basic training and emergency assistance (floods and the like), after which you either try to get in to the regular military or go on with your life.
Mario Loyla posted a technical rejection of the idea, against which Mark held on to his call for state-imposition of a militarized populace, As far as I can tell, no one on the blog has criticized him for his view's authoritarianism.
Update: More on the rabid right from Mark of ZenPundit.
Update 2: The Corner's Andrew Stuttaford steps up:
Well, Mark, it may be 'libertarian cowflap' to you, but the argument that the state has no right to kidnap its young people has considerable moral force. In fact, it's unanswerable. As for a draft being a device to inculcate patriotism, that rather depends on the type of patriotism you are trying to teach. If it's an American patriotism, it won't wash. The fundamental Anglo-American notion of liberty as it has evolved since at least the late 17th Century includes the idea that the state should not have the right to compel its citizens' labor in this way. Thus the British naval press gangs of the 18th Century are still remembered with disgust and thus the fact that male conscription was only introduced in the UK two years into the First World War. It's no coincidence that the one time in recent British history where we saw a peacetime draft ('national service' was the preferred euphemism) was between 1945 and 1960, an era when collectivist ideas prevailed, ideas, incidentally, that were reinforced and spread by the conscription process. Yes, a draft might produce a docile citizenry fit to delight a Rodham, a Blair, or a big government conservative, but other than in a profound national emergency (and compelling youngsters to dig ditches or whatever does not seem to fall into that category) it ought to have no part in a America still run according to the ideals of its founders. Is encouraging patriotism and a pride in this country a good thing? Absolutely. But is a draft the way to do it? No.
It's worth adding that, beyond the moral and political objections, there are, of course, the practical ones. Militarily, conscription would misallocate resources away from the creation of the specialist, technically advanced and highly trained armed services that are needed today, while the creation of non-military 'national service' would simply mean that government would delegate some of the functions it now performs incompetently, inadequately or, usually, both, to a force of underpaid, discontented and untrained conscripts who would make even more of a mess of it. That is not the way to go.
Thank God that the rabid right hasn't taken over all of the blogosphere.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Good: Bush's State Department (hat-tip to the Democratic Underground) wisely removes a hurdle from even closer Viet-American ties. Washington and Hanoir are natural allies that should speed their inter-governmental, inter-military, and inter-market cooperation.
Bad: However, the Congress (hat-tip to The Corner) foolishly prevented Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam. To some Congressmen, know-knothing anti-foreignerism is more important that free trade, free markets, and free minds.
Tom has his own thoughts on Viet Nam Sai Gon.