A Voice in the Wilderness In Defense of "Mere Conservatism"

24Oct/12Off

Obama’s Deficit-Reduction Plan: ‘Read My Binder!’

By: R.J. Moeller

----------------------

You may not find CNN listed among the channels that comprise the “Favorites” list on my TV’s cable box, but I have to hand it to them – or should I say, to Erin Burnett – for absolutely nailing to the wall the President Obama’s lack-luster and convoluted “binders full of tired progressive ideas” booklet that he released this week.

Here’s the clip in question:

First of all – and this really ought to grab your attention – why in the world would the President of the United States need to send out 3.5 million informational booklets to communicate his socio-economic vision for the next four years?  The man has every conceivable means of communication at his disposal.  He has thousands of people all around the country, posing as credible journalists, who serve as his administration’s proxies and advocates.  He has academia, Hollywood, and well-financed unions who have ostensibly been fighting to advance his agenda and fight for his plan to “get America back on track.”

And now, with the election less than two weeks away, Barack Obama and his team feel it necessary to explain to people who largely voted for him four years ago what he’s all about when it comes to the economy and jobs and taxes?  Really?  Apparently all of those “Let me be clear…” pre-ambles in his public speeches and interviews haven’t been working so well.

But even putting that awesome point aside, the most important thing I want to bring to your attention here is the whole “tax the rich” strategy this president – and progressives since Woodrow Wilson – wants to masquerade as the silver bullet in his deficit-reduction scheme.

As Ms. Burnett points out, to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 to levels the president recommends would only bring in roughly $800 billion in revenue over the next ten years.  In his coloring booklet, the president claims that he will be able to reduce the deficit by no less than $4 trillion over that same period of time.  Important to keep in mind: most estimates put our total deficit somewhere in the $14-16 trillion ballpark.

The rich serve as the easy scapegoat.  They always do.  They’ve got nicer cars.  They’ve got security guards at the entrance to their compounds. They’ve got fancy tax lawyers and accountants who treat our tax code like a Benihana chef treats that pound of soon-to-be beef teriyaki on his steaming grill – chopping and dicing, mincing and slicing his way to victory for his customer/client.

But let us assume that the Left’s version of reality is correct: that when the rich are taxed at arbitrarily “progressive” rates, fairness shall reign like the Pevensie kids at Cair Paravel, and the deficits will recede like the water levels in a bath-tub Al Gore just stepped out of.

According to “math,” where will the rest of the promised deficit reduction come from?  How can President Obama guarantee $4 trillion in reductions when he can barely get to $1 trillion (and we need at least $14 trillion)?

These are the types of questions very few reporters in our national press ask.  Kudos to CNN and Erin Burnett for asking them!


Tagged as: , , , No Comments
1May/12Off

Dan Savage: Pansy or Prophetic Pansy?

By: R.J. Moeller

----------------------

When Perez Hilton is the voice of reason - be worried, America.

In the flamboyant wake of the profanity-laced tirade delivered by sex columnist and gay rights advocate Dan Savage to a group of high school students at a conference on journalism - the perfect place for a sex advice columnist, no? - the gay celebrity blogger Hilton offered this Rodney King-like appeal to all the haters out there:

Savage later called the walk-out "pansy-a**ed" which, from someone who helms an anti-bullying campaign, is obviously a very negative thing to say ….

Can't we just be good and kind to each other? Isn't faith in love and honesty and kindness all any of us really need?

The "walk-out" (who was chewed-out) that Perez is referring to was a young girl who apparently, upon hearing her Christian faith maligned by some angry "journalist," decided she would probably be able to still make a go at a career in journalism without enduring more verbal abuse from a man who convinced President Barack Obama to cut an "anti verbal abuse" commercial for his "It Gets Better" campaign.  That young girl was the first of many 15 and 16 year old students who at their very young ages were practicing the very same non-violent, non-abusive protest Dan Savage claims to love so much (and claims is absent among young people today).

No one fought Savage.  No one stuffed him in a locker.  No swirlies were administered.  But not even peaceful, non-violent advocacy floats in the ocean of rage swelling inside a man like Dan Savage should said peaceful, non-violent advocacy happen to contradict his rigorously dogmatic worldview.

Here's the clip in question:

Before I respond to some of Mr. Savage's impassioned claims, let me give you one other sampling of the kind of rhetoric old Danny Boy (an Irish "Catholic" from Chicago) employs in his public appearances:

(Warning! Not meant for children...or really for any humans of any age, for that matter)

Classy, no? Sure am glad that we searched high-and-low to find the most qualified adult in the country to head-up an anti-bullying campaign! Or was this one of those jobs that straight Americans simply will not do, President Obama?

Either way, I'd bet the free-range farm that the Dan Savage I know will have junior high bullies hammering their victims into plowshares before you can say, "I wish all Republicans were F-ing dead!"

As a quick aside, the obvious absurdity of the entire "anti-bullying" agenda is that no one is "pro-bullying."

Well...except that one guy named - let's just call him D.S. - who recently found a group of malleable, self-conscious high schoolers and unleashed all the pent-up aggression he has harbored toward his religious, conservative parents on them.  That's one guy who seems to love bullying.  The rest of us are still normal people who would love to have open and honest debate about our values (and our votes on things like state-wide propositions meant to decide the legal definition of marriage being upheld).

But I digress.

"People often point out that they can't help it, they can't help the anti-gay bullying because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in timothy, it says right there in Romans...that being gay is wrong."

Hmmm. You know, I think Mr. Savage is on to something here.  I don't know what your public school experience was like, but if I had a nickel for every time one of my utterly non-religious teenage classmates cited Mosaic Law directly after calling another classmate "fag" or "queer", I'd be able to afford a copy of this other, presumably limited-release, version of the Bible that Dan Savage has read in which it tells God's people to "go forth and humiliate all the nations of homos you will encounter."

If I paused here and used the stuff (common sense) I don't have any longer because the media, Hollywood, and my public school teachers taught me this other totally hip stuff (nonsense), I might be inclined to think that the whole "anti-bullying" campaign is really just cultural cover for a more insidious indoctrination (which in turn is masking the massive payback middle-aged gay men want against their own tormentors back in junior high and high school).

Naahhh, that can't be it.  Someone with a heart of gold (and the purified tongue of Isaiah) like Dan Savage is definitely just looking out for the kids!

"We can learn to ignore the bull-sh%$ in the Bible about gay people. The same way...the same way we have learned to ignore the bull-sh%$ about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation...we ignore bull-sh%$ in the Bible about all sorts of things."

You would need a team of writers, working round-the-clock for a year, to fully explain all the dan-savage_thumbways in which what Dan Savage said here is poppycock.  So let me just point out a few things our generation's Ghandi didn't quite put in their proper context.  (Note: "context" is a word we religious, free market conservatives use as code when we want to be racist or homophobic and talk about intolerant things such as facts.)

First off, there are plenty of people who still adhere to OT law regarding things like shellfish consumption.  You can direct further questions about why they do, what they do, to the Jews who do. But Savage was raised Catholic and saves his most vile public hatred for Christians.  That is who he is really talking to here.

So what's a practicing evangelical or Catholic to do when faced with such seemingly insurmountable verbal assaults?  How can we ever hope to climb out from the mountain of Leftist, secular logic we're apparently buried under?

I suppose reading the Bible - the entire Bible - would be my first suggestion.

Christians don't adhere to the strict OT laws because they were handed down for a specific group of people, living at a specific time, and living on a specific piece of land.  The new covenant in Christ frees all Believers from being "slaves to the law."  This, like many of the best and most interesting things in life, has a counter-balance: Christ's reminder that he didn't come to remove the law, but to fulfill it.  God still has something to say about morality and human interactions on this earth.  But now we worship our Creator and Savior in spirit and in truth, not through top-down cultural and societal guidelines or the sacrifices of animals for a sin atonement.

I'm not ignoring Scripture's command to avoid shrimp, but I will continue to ignore biblically illiterate "journalists" who use such infantile arguments only because they know enough to know that millions of self-described Christian sadly do not know what I just explained.  (That one's on us, fellow Believers!)

"The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document.  Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads during the Civil War, and justified it."

Other people who "waved Bibles over their heads" (leading up to) and during the Civil War: Christians in the North - you know, that more than half of the country that didn't allow slavery - who pioneered the abolitionist movement and even did nefarious things like start their own political party when the Whigs wouldn't take a strong enough stand against slavery.

Christianity has a standard to point people to, to hold itself to.  We can call each other to account, even when some are using the name of Christ to do wicked and terrible things.

Secular-progressive ideology has Vanity Fair columns, New York Times editorials, the agenda of teachers unions, lawyers who believe South Africa has a better Bill of Rights, and Al Gore power-point presentations to guide them through the murky waters of human existence.

In Dan Savage's world, how do we know when something is wrong?  Or evil?  How do we know bullying is wrong? What can we use for a moral standard?  Whatever Barack Obama reads from his teleprompter?  Whatever Congress - the collection of people who currently have a lower approval rating than Hugo Chavez among American voters - enacts into law?

Should we rest our hops on whichever Public Service Announcement on YouTube gets the most amount of views?  Or whichever hate speech campaign advertisement gets the most amount of popular actors or NBA players to read off a cue card in it?

Or how about this: If we're all here by accident, if a book like the Bible and a Creator like the God described in its pages are nothing more than the ramblings of Michelle Bachmann's close-mined ideological ancestors, then where do we turn for a source of moral standards?

Natural selection?  Christians are always mocked for disagreeing that "Nothing x No One = Everything" when it comes to the universe's existence, but let's take the Darwinist at his word and assume natural selection and survival of the fittest.  How does the promotion of homosexual activity square itself with creatures who are in desperate need to procreate and advance the species if it hopes to avoid extinction?  How does one explain patently obvious facts like that evolution saw fit to make sure that male and female body parts "match up"?

These are fair questions to ask, in my opinion.  If I'm a sucker, bigot, and moron for believing what I believe about God, Scripture, and the proper relations between the sexes, Dan Savage has a few things I'd like cleared up about his "moral (but don't ask me where I got it) high-ground" position on the subjects he raised in his diatribe.

"The Bible got slavery wrong."

To paraphrase the great G.K. Chesterton: The problem was never, will never, be Scripture - we are the problem.  I am the problem.  Sin is the problem.  Divorce wasn't "God getting it wrong" as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 19. Such things are finite "solutions" (or realities) to a deeper, eternal problem inherent in all of us.

God is sinless, His Word is flawless, and we are fallen.  It is precisely because people like Dan Savage (and myself before coming to faith in Christ) refuse to acknowledge and confess such immutable, undeniable facts that they are so desperate to defend their way of life and attack ours.

And it's not all about homosexuality with us conservative Christians.  Honest, it's not!  Sin is sin is sin.  Sure, the "gay issue" gets a lot of play in the press, but so much of that (if you'll care to notice) is coming from the angry pro-gay side who seems to have a chip on their collective shoulder because - in my opinion - they resent someone, anyone, out there not signing-off on their lifestyle.  They are hoppin' mad that we aren't applauding them for their advocacy efforts to indoctrinate future generations with what we consider to be radical views on human sexuality and relationships.

step_by_step-showIncidentally, you know that on-going (and painfully tiresome) "joke" that smug liberal commentators on everything from Saturday Night Live to CNN regurgitate that presumes any religious American openly against gay marriage must harbor and suppress wild homosexual urges?  Yeah, so if never shutting up in your condemnations of something you disagree with means you really like that other thing, does this mean people like Dan Savage and Rachel Maddow secretly long to meet a member of the opposite sex on a vacation to Jamaica, whereupon they impulsively wed that member of the opposite sex and end up like Frank Lambert and Carol Foster in the acclaimed 90's television series Step by Step?

(Cue the snickering laughter that will never come from the SNL crowd after Seth Myers never tells a joke like that on "Weekend Update.")

Alright, so I could go on for hours critiquing what Dan Savage spewed on stage at this "journalism" convention, but here feels like a good place to call it quits (for now).  Let me say that I don't hate this man.  I don't care who he decides to smooch behind the doors of his eco-friendly abode. But he and his loud-mouthed ilk have brought the discussion to our doorsteps and involved things like tax dollars, public policy, and the education of our young people.  He's the one who compared evangelicals' stance on gay marriage to Sharia Law.  He's the one who misrepresented and maligned the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

You can't spit in my soup and tell me I have to eat it too.  Especially not when your openly stated goal is to teach my kids to spit in my soup as well.

If Dan is serious about engaging in a meaningful and productive dialogue on these theological and historical issues he raised, I would encourage him to set up a series of public conversations with thoughtful men on "my side" like Pastor John Piper or Pastor Mark Driscoll. If he genuinely wants a spirited debate, go talk to adults who have studied the text and religion in question for a lifetime.

But calling little kids who had the guts to quietly stand up (and walk out) for their beliefs "pansies" - a term inferring that they were acting in an effeminate manner - is beyond cowardly.

However, and I close with this, I fear that Mr. Savage's views, and the unwavering way in which he presented them in this video clip above, are representative of a moral and cultural tide that has already swept over American society and even infiltrated the Church.  If Christians can't defend what we claim to believe, if we lack the conviction and courage to do and proclaim what is right regardless of what is popular, then Dan Savage will be seen decades from now as a prophet.

Jeremiah. Isaiah. Nehemiah.  Boys, on behalf of my generation, I apologize in advance.


17Oct/10Off

A View From The Left: Maureen Dowd

New York Times columnist Marueen Dowd went to Nevada for the Harry Reid-Sharron Angle debate last week, and registered this report from The Silver State:Dowd_New-articleInline

We are in the era of Republican Mean Girls, grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.

These women — Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, Michele, Queen Bee Sarah and sweet wannabe Christine — have co-opted and ratcheted up the disgust with the status quo that originally buoyed Barack Obama. Whether they’re mistreating the help or belittling the president’s manhood, making snide comments about a rival’s hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men’s fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate.

Seated next to Brewer at the bridge dedication was Harry Reid, the slight, mild-mannered, 70-year-old Senate majority leader who has wandered into the surprise fight of his career — a race where the fur is flying.

“Man up, Harry Reid,” Sharron Angle taunted him at their Las Vegas debate here Thursday night. That’s not an idle insult, coming from a woman who campaigns at times with a .44 Magnum revolver in her 1989 GMC pickup.

With casino red suit and lipstick, Angle played the Red Queen of the Mad Hatter tea party, denouncing career politicians and ordering “Off with your head!” and “Down with government benefits!” Even sober and smiling beneath her girlish bangs, the 61-year-old Angle had the slightly threatening air of the inebriated lady in a country club bar, tossing off outrageous statements and daring anyone to call her on them.

Keep in mind: Dowd isn't some no-name blogger.  She is one of the most popular and well-known liberal political commentators in the country.  While it is no surprise that she holds the female GOP candidates gracing the field in 2010 in utter contempt, I wonder...what do all the hand-wringing "moderates" and "independents" who decry anything even semi-outlandish that Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck might say have to say about such mean-spirited rhetoric?

We only ever hear people complain about the "rancor" in our political discourse when it is a conservative involved.

She concludes her piece as follows:

Angle has been pressing the case, underwritten by Karl Rove’s operation and other conservative groups that have made the majority leader their No. 1 target, that Reid must be punished for being in a socialist triumvirate with Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. In the debate, she went for the jugular, asking him how he became “one of the richest men in the Senate” after coming from Searchlight “with very little.”

Reid, who cloaks his ambition and brass knuckles under a mousy facade, looked as if she had slapped him. He called her “my friend,” but clearly did not think of her as his “pet,” as he unfortunately dubbed Chris Coons, the Delaware opponent of the bewitching Christine O’Donnell.

He said that was “really kind of a low blow,” adding that he had been a successful lawyer before becoming a pol, and “did a very good job in investing.”

After the debate was over, Angle scurried away and so did I — in a different direction. I was feeling jittery again. If she saw me, she might take away my health insurance and spray-paint my locker.

I love the solidarity a feminist like Ms. Dowd shows with her Republican "sista's".  In the same way Sarah Palin was left out to dry by the bra-burning crowd, Dowd, with commentary like this, exposes that feminism was always more about liberalism than egalitarian sisterhood of the traveling capri pants.

When Hillary Clinton is shrill and combative, she is praised for being able to "hang with the boys" in a "man's world."  When prominent Republican women are gutsy and aggressive, they are derided by the mainstream media for being shrill and crazy.

I don't disagree with liberals that someone like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware is not the world's best choice for Senator, or that Sharron Angle might have come off as pushy in her debate with Senator Reid, but what tone-deaf pundits like Maureen Dowd seem to be intent on missing is that Americans are sick to death of anyone peddling more spending and higher taxes and increased regulation on business.  People want jobs.  They want to keep more of their hard-earned money.  They want the opposite of Harry Reid.

One last point.  I will begin to take Maureen Dowd seriously when she has something to say about this guy:

Dowd can't bring herself to critique her own side and therefore loses credibility (and an ability to appreciate reality).


24Aug/10Off

A View From The Left: E.J. Dionne

imagesFrom time to time I post the column of a prominent liberal commentator so as to give you, my readers, a view from the Left of the political spectrum.  This is, un-apologetically, a conservative website, but I am a firm believer in the idea that when once the average American has heard the best arguments each side has to offer, the conservative case will rise to the top every time.

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post and his latest effort is scathing critique of the current conservative movement in the United States.  Dionne beings by pointing out that the Democrats' mantra that the GOP is the "party of no" may not work as well as it has in the past.  Even a committed progressive liberal like old E.J. can read the "stop spending us into oblivion" writing on the wall.  However, the logic Dionne employs to explain why this is so is, shall we say, lacking.

With more than a third of conservative Republicans declaring that our Christian president is a Muslim, just saying no to him is a more than adequate motivation to spend a few minutes with a ballot.

And "no" is certainly more powerful than the mixed messages Democrats are putting forward. In their sweeping victories of 2006 and 2008, Democrats picked up dozens of seats in very conservative districts. Many of these incumbents don't want to be associated in the least with the remarkable record their party has built in this Congress for fear of tying themselves to Obama or the party's congressional leadership, or both. But this means that Democrats are defending their achievements half-heartedly, while Republicans are assailing them without mercy and, often enough, without much concern for accuracy.

No evidence cited for the claim that "more than a third" of Republicans believe President Obama is a Muslim, but why get bogged down in the messy details when their is a great opportunity to bash conservatives, right?

Notice also the tone-deaf nature of Dionne's praise for "the remarkable record their party (the Democrats) has built."  I understand that someone on the far-Left would look at the unprecedented levels of spending, debt/deficit accumulation, and political chicanery to ram through 2,000 page bills that the majority of Americans do not want that have typified this Congress since the beginning of 2009 and be pleased, but is he joking when he condemns moderate Democrats for running as far and as fast as they can from a president with a hovering-around-40% approval record and a congress with a 16% one?

Here is the thrust of Dionne's piece:

The principled case that must be made is that the brand of conservatism seeking power this year is irresponsible, incoherent and untrue to the best of its own traditions. That's clear enough at the most basic level of policy: Conservatives can say that they are deeply worried about deficits, or they can insist that tax cuts matter most. But when they say they can reduce taxes and trim deficits at the same time, they are either deluded or deceptive, and they are playing voters for fools.

But there is something far more troubling at work: the rise of an angry, irrational extremism -- the sort that says Obama is a Muslim socialist who wasn't born in the U.S. -- that was not part of Ronald Reagan's buoyant conservative creed. Do Republican politicians believe in the elaborate conspiracy theories being spun by Glenn Beck and parts of the Tea Party movement? If not, why won't they say so?

He concludes with:

What the current right has on offer is far worse than anything Bush put forward, which means that this election isn't even about whether we'll go back into the ditch. It's about whether a movement that's gone over a cliff will be rewarded for doing so. A victory for this style of conservatism will be a defeat for the kind of conservatism the country needs. And that's a worthy matter to put to the voters.

The brand of conservatism seeking power is "dangerous" and "incoherent"?  Which part?  The "Let's get back to the adhering to the Constitution" part, or maybe the "Let's stop spending irresponsibly" part, or could it be the "Let's protect our borders" aspect of the modern conservative movement that frets E.J. so much?  I know that most conservatives (and many Democrat-voting Americans) want to see marriage remain the same institution it has always been (one man-one woman), so it might be that "radical" view that keeps progressive liberals like Dionne up at night.

I agree with him though when he says we need to put this entire matter to the voters.  I'm sure he'll have a wonderful excuse why it is the Democrats take a wood-shed beating come November, something about how the Right has "tapped into the anger" of Americans and how the surge in support for conservatives and Republicans will be short-lived.  But for now, we can agree that November is very important to the fate of the nation and to the very different, divergent worldviews liberals and conservatives have.


7Jun/10Off

Nonsense On Stilts

Tavis Smiley is a liberal television talk show host on, shockingly, PBS.  Let the surprise of a Left-leaning commentator being the host of a show on publicly-funded television sink in.  Take deep breaths.

Better?

In what the late British philosopher Jeremy Bentham would have described as "nonsense on stilts," Mr. Smiley tries to convince a Somalian former Muslim woman named Ayaan Hirsi Ali that, "...more Christians (than Muslims) blow up people everyday."  Hear it for yourself:

I don't even know where to begin. Well, that's not true: Tavis Smiley is probably a good man, loving husband, and doting father...but he is an utter fool if he really believes what he said in this clip.  If his only point is that people who call themselves "Christian" commit crimes every day of the week, then he is right.  But Ms. Ali is talking about attempted (and successful) mass-murder, perpetrated by men who believe that their religion compels them to end the lives of "infidels."

The reason I know that Smiley is not simply pointing out that people from all faiths and cultures commit crimes is, well, because I listened to his own words.  He sees moral equivalency between American Christians and the irreconcilable wing of Islam.  This is because he is a liberal, and the bizarre and instiable desire for "multiculturalism" trumps the truth on the political Left in this country.  It's sad, and I wish it were not so, but I also wish LOST had another season or two.

The priceless moment of the exchange came when he tried to link the Columbine massacre to Christian terrorism.  Now for someone to be totally unaware that the Columbine killers were not religious, and in fact executed one of their victims specifically for refusing to renounce her faith in Christ in front of them, is hard to believe.  Especially when that person is a supposed cultural commentator on publicly-funded television (PBS...your tax-dollars at work!).

This is why I stress the importance of History on this blog so often.  Here is a classic example of someone using a past event to try to make his ill-advised point, but since neither he nor his guest (Ms. Ali only recently moved to the United States and would understandably be unfamiliar with the specifics of the Columbine incident) knew the facts of the event in question, he was able to get away with an egregious intellectual error (that fundamentally contradicts his point).

So why would Tavis Smiley, himself a self-described Christian, be so gun-ho about defending the indefensible actions of radical jihadist Muslims?  Because he is really more interested in attacking his political opponents here in America.  He is really talking about "right-wing" Christians.  The kind that form weird militias and cults.  The kind that chant "God hates fags" at the funerals of American soldiers.  The kind that "cling to their guns and religion" instead of embracing the socially-engineered arms of the State.

In short, the (largely incorrect) caricature liberals have of the typical religious conservative in "Red-State" America.  Never mind the fact that all leading conservative voices in the country denounce the actions of any even loosely-related-to-the-conservative-movement crazies, such as the loons at the Westboro Baptist Church.

But it doesn't matter that Christian conservatives denounce things like the abortion doctor killing last summer.  Bill Clinton blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on Rush Limbaugh's anti-Clinton rhetoric in the mid-1990's.  Liberals in the media insist on naming Timothy McVeigh as a "Christian" terrorist.  The Left consistently over-looks foreign enemies and true evil to try and crush their political enemies here at home.

You can make your own further assessments of this interview, but just know that the "thinking" employed by Tavis Smiley is not rare on the Left.  It is all-too-common and must be refuted.  The truth matters, my friends.


4May/10Off

A View of the Right, From the Left

200px-EJ_DionneE.J. Dionne is a Washington Post columnist, a loyal liberal, and ardent critic of conservatives everywhere.  I consider it very important to "know thy enemy" and to read what the other side has to say about the same exact issues I read and hear about.

This time out, in a piece entitled "Tory Lessons For Republicans", Mr. Dionne goes after the "radical" nature of the current Republican Party.

WASHINGTON -- "There's something else you need to know about me," declared the earnest young politician, "which is I believe the test of a good and strong society is how we look after the most vulnerable, the most frail and the poorest."

This lovely bleeding-heart liberal sentiment was part of the closing statement offered by David Cameron, the leader of Britain's Conservative Party at last week's final debate before this Thursday's election. And after a rocky campaign start, Cameron now leads in the polls and may well become the next prime minister.

Contrast Cameron's deliberate effort to reach out to voters who, as he has put it, have "idealism and progressive ideals hardwired into their DNA" with what's happening in the Republican Party.

Let me take one thing at a time:

First, David Cameron's comments are not "bleeding heart liberal"; they are the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of civilized, Western people.  I know very few people who advocate against taking care of those in need.  The ENTIRE debate centers around the ideology involved.  The question is not "Should we help the poor?", but "Who should help the poor?" and "Who is better suited to help the poor?"

Conservatives believe that the individual, and by extension, the local communities, groups, and organizations he or she is affiliated with, ought to be the main and primary source of care for the "least among us."  Liberals, like E.J. Dionne, believe that not only is the government better suited to help the poor...it is more moral to have the government help the poor.

The disagreement here is worldview, not petty politics.

In today's GOP, someone like Cameron would be condemned as a big-government sellout and buried under a mountain of tea bags. For even as the news in Britain focused on Cameron's comeback courtesy of his effort to detoxify the Conservative Party brand, the political news here was Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to abandon the Republicans and run for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

Again, no one would condemn Cameron (were he an American conservative Republican running for office) for the quote Mr. Dionne attributed to him.  Just as no one forced Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party.  Unless you consider "more people liking your opponent than you" a "force out."

We have these things called "elections" every two, four, and six years, and leading up to those "elections" we have these other things called "primaries" where each Party can decide who their candidates will be in the general elections.  Charlie Crist ran as a Republican, was unpopular with Republican primary voters in Florida, and decided to bolt the party to keep his shot at gaining power as a U.S. Senator in tact.

To blame Republicans for not liking someone who, we now know, is comfortable switching sides of the aisle as soon as it becomes politically expedient, would be like blaming Democrats for being upset with Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and his staunch support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of John McCain's 2008 presidential bid.  Both are understandable.  Democrats jettisoned Lieberman because, on the whole, they are anti-war.  Republicans jettisoned Crist, in part, because he was a supporter of the Stimulus spending bill and other various forms of fiscal irresponsibility.

There's also this: The angry, incendiary and sometimes racist tone that is being projected at party rallies -- and by legislation such as Arizona's Don't-Risk-Looking-Hispanic "immigration" law -- is starting to give Democrats real hope that they might avoid electoral catastrophe this fall.

The majority of people who go to Tea Parties are, in fact, white.  Almost 100% of black people voted for Barack Obama.  Does this mean black people are racist towards white politicians and those of us who hold conservative values and promote conservative policies?  Of course not.  What are the chances that E.J. Dionne has attended a Tea Party?  I'm not saying his opinions are legitimate; I'm saying they are wrong and close-minded.

Oh, and you can hope all you want for the results of the elections in November to be anything but disastrous for Democrats...but it will be just that: hope.

Republicans, from my conversations, are starting to worry that a purely negative approach to this fall's elections will be insufficient to put the party over the top. That helps explain why House Republican Leader John Boehner took to National Public Radio (and not Glenn Beck's show) to promise that the GOP would be about more than a large number of exclamation points after the word "no."

"We have a project under way that people will see soon," Boehner said, "that will engage the American people in helping us develop our agenda that we would enact if we're fortunate enough to win the majority in November." Of course there was negative even in the positive, since he acknowledged that part of this approach will be repealing and replacing this year's health care bill.

Opposing pieces of legislation (i.e. health care, cap-and-trade, etc.) that the nation cannot afford and stand intellectually and ideologically opposed to everything you hold dear is "negative" only when it involves Center-Right Americans and politicians opposing liberal Democrats and their policies.  When George W. Bush was rabidly maligned for 8 years, we were told by the media (and men like E.J. Dionne) that dissent was "patriotic"; that it was the duty of the minority party to counter-balance the rule of the stronger one.  Now, we on the Right are nothing more than a bunch of negative, nay-saying "haters" that love to say "no" to every fun, exciting idea liberals in Washington D.C. have.

And about the whole NPR vs. Glenn Beck comment...Isn't it showing that Republicans are NOT close-minded and simply preaching to their base if they are actively pursuing the type of liberal audience NPR boasts?

It tells you something when politicians are forced by pressures inside their party to embrace what they must know is wrong. And as a political matter, Republicans have just given Democrats a huge boost by reminding Latinos why it's important to vote this fall.

In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor Party is trying to hang on by insisting that Cameron's changes to the Conservative Party are merely cosmetic. Democrats don't have that burden. Here, moderate Republicans are being forced to plaster themselves with right-wing makeup just to survive. Or, like Charlie Christ, they're deciding to go natural, and leave.

I would be shocked to learn of any politician in the past year or so (since The One took office) voting for, or publicly lending his/her support to, a piece of legislation that they did not fully believe in.  I'd hate to learn that the White House or Party leaders had applied explicit or even implicit pressure on Democrats who were not "totally cool" with things like cap-and-trade, the health care bill, or current senate financial regulation bill.  That would be a shame, if it were to come to light that such things took place under anyone but a mean, old Republican's watch.  (Think: Dick Cheney)

The logic (or lack thereof) employed by liberal commentators to explain away the rise in traditional, conservative, fiscally-responsible Americans becoming involved in the political process is dizzying.  Independents and moderates have turned on Barack Obama, and we're supposed to believe that the reason they have is because Republicans have "gone to the far-Right"?  It is inconceivable to someone like Mr. Dionne that Americans are sick of BOTH parties primarily because both have spent money they don't have, regulated things that should be less-regulated, and under-regulated things that should be closely-regulated.

Democrats (and spend-happy Republicans like Charlie Crist) are taking it on the chin right now because they have been unwilling to move to the Center (which requires them to go Right), not because conservatives (always depicted as white, angry males) are watching Glenn Beck or don't mind Sarah Palin's accent.  Democrats are passing massive pieces of society-altering legislation with no bi-partisan support, and dis-favorable poll numbers among the American electorate. The Left has all the power right now, and they are using it accordingly.  I don't blame them for that.

But don't then turn around and tell me that I am wrong or mean or inappropriate in my vocal opposition to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.  Don't tell me that the only thing getting people out to Tea Parties and out to voting booths for primary elections is hatred of the poor and racism.

What matters most to me is not which Party is in power, but whether or not the Party in power is doing the right, moral, and Constitutional thing.  I don't believe the liberal Democrats currently in power are passing any of those three tests.  That's my opinion, and I plan on doing everything I can to see many of them removed in November.


14Feb/10Off

A View From The Left

As one of my intellectual mentors Dennis Prager likes to say, "Clarity over unity."  In other words, we don't have to all agree...but we would do well to know what it is we disagree about, and why.  I've made it a goal to frequently post the columns of thinkers and writers on the Left here at AVITW.

1_61_a320Few political commentators better typify liberal-progressive thought and attitudes than Marueen Dowd of The New York Times.  Dowd has been a constant and persistent critic of all things George Bush and Dick Cheney since 2000, and, if her latest column is any indicator, the woman seems intent upon continuing her decade-long obsession.

She's not too happy with Dick Cheney going on different Sunday Morning Talk Shows to point out the current president's less-than-inspiring policies when it comes to terrorism, and has created a fictional, hypothetical dialogue between Obama, Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, and Cheney to vent out her frustrations.

Obama invited Bob Gates to the Saturday summit. Gates, after all, had originally been brought in as defense secretary by W. to be a common-sense counterbalance to the batty Cheney.

The president prides himself on winning over hostile audiences, but this challenge would give a peacock pause.

The three men sat before the fire in the Oval.

OBAMA: Look, Dick, you’ve called me out on various particulars. And I have no problem with that. That’s politics. You thought Khalid Shaikh Mohammed should not be tried in New York City, and that’s fine.

And we both know that any blowhard can call me weak. But you’re not just any blowhard, Dick. You were the architect of America’s defense against terrorism. And when those folks sitting in a cave in Waziristan hear you chest-thumping, saying our guard is down, they think, “Hey, this might be a good time to attack.”

You believe in the unitary executive. You believe that if the president says something is in the national security interest of the U.S., then it is. So I am the president now, and I’m telling you that you need to put a sock in it.

CHENEY: What are you going to do about it, Hussein? Mirandize me?

GATES: Dick, the president’s right. When a former vice president calls a new president weak, it emboldens terrorists.

CHENEY (contemptuously looking at Gates with his one-sided smile): If you take the king’s coin, you sing the king’s song.

OBAMA: You keep saying there were no terror attacks after 9/11, Dick. That’s like saying that blimps were safe after the Hindenburg. I wouldn’t have been caught flat-footed reading “The Pet Goat” to second graders.

CHENEY: No, you’d have been teaching a graduate seminar on “The Pet Goat.” Don’t you Muslims eat pet goats?

It continues on from there, which you can read here, but I suppose you get the gist of it.  Bush was/is dumb; Cheney is insensitive and "batty"; Obama is patient and non-ideological in his pragmatic benevolence.  (Note: If you just threw up a little bit in your mouth, don't worry...me too.)

Just like Howard Dean claiming after Scott Brown's election in MA last month that it was really a signal from the electorate to get socialized medicine passed even quicker, liberal columnists like Dowd seem incapable of accepting the fact that this is still a Center-Right nation.

This last quote from her piece sums up the mantra we will continue to hear for decades after Barack Obama fails to win re-election in 2012.

OBAMA: If I don’t get re-elected, it will be because you ruined the country beyond EVEN MY ABILITY to rescue it.



29Jan/10Off

Praul Krugman wants more spending

Here at A Voice in the Wilderness we offer you un-apologetically conservative commentary.  But we also want to begin to offer you more analysis of what the other side, what the Left, is saying about the same issues we cover here.  We want to be very clear regarding liberal thought so that you can see the stark, fundamental contrasts in thinking and worldview the two sides have.

This isn't meant to incite hatred or animosity, but simply to highlight the key differences between Right and Left, liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat.  When we don't know what we really disagree with someone about, we resort to name-calling and personal attacks.  Let's change the dynamic of the political discourse in this country by "knowing thy enemy", both in word and in deed.paul-krugman

Few voices better represent entrenched liberal dogma than Dr. Paul Krugman, chief economist of the New York TimesWriting in today's Times, Krugman lashes out at the president...but for not spending enough this past year.  Go figure.

He states:

The nature of America’s troubles is easy to state. We’re in the aftermath of a severe financial crisis, which has led to mass job destruction. The only thing that’s keeping us from sliding into a second Great Depression is deficit spending. And right now we need more of that deficit spending because millions of American lives are being blighted by high unemployment, and the government should be doing everything it can to bring unemployment down.

Right.  We've over-spent ourselves in to a financial mess, so the only way to get out of it HAS to be more spending.

This, my friends, is what is known as Keynesian Economics.

Broadly speaking, it is a theory that touts government intervention (primarily via spending) to keep an economy healthy.  The problem is, it doesn't work and further confuses and complicates private enterprise and free markets.  Keynes has been beloved by progressives, liberals, and Democrats for decades because he gives intellectual shelter to their statist, collectivist, "big government as stimulus" ideology.

Krugman is ripping Obama not for doing too much, but too little.  He's to the Left of Barack Obama.  Think about that.  When we need tax cuts and, more importantly, cuts in spending, the Left is calling for a doubling-down on money we don't have.  Any Republican who contributed to this recklessness in the past, or tries to in the future, must be held accountable as well.

Here's a short video on "Why Keynes Was Wrong".  It's very simple: If you want to understand the economic thinking of liberal Democrats in this country, watch this video:


   

RJ's Social Network

Read RJ’s Columns/Blogs

What is “Mere Conservatism”?

The basic ideas, ideals, and values that generally define and characterize the central tenets of what today might be termed "modern conservative thought."

We believe that a proper understanding of history, economics, and theology leads to certain conclusions. Many of these are the same conclusions our Founding Fathers arrived at in constructing a "more perfect union."

All ideas and opinions are welcome; not all are correct.

Mere Conservatism Links:
 Econ Part I  |  Econ Part II
Intro  |  Theology  |  History

Video of RJ

RJ Speaking at Acton 2010

Rudy the Dog barks at "change"

Books You Need to Read

Wall Street Journal

Blogroll

Columnists You Need to Read

Music/Entertainment

News/Politics

Thinktanks

Archives

Categories

Historical Blogs

April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Meta

wordpress blog stats