Monday, March 9, 2009

Meghan and 'progressive Republicans'

Meghan McCain announces she's a "progressive Republican," prompting Jimmie at Sundries Shack to say that a "cute caboose" is the only difference between David Frum and Crazy Cousin John's daughter.

As I told Jimmie, I've never actually seen Meghan's caboose, so he's probably giving her too much credit. And Donald Douglas writes:
I'm waiting to hear back from Robert Stacy McCain about all of this. McCain's been making the case that Barack Obama's economic policies will fail, and Republicans will be positioned sooner rather than later for a return to power, in Congress and perhaps the executive. But a lasting Republican electoral model needs to be more than about protecting the interests of "economic man." The roots of conservatism are found in traditions and institutions that limit governmental power and unlock the potential of the individual.
I disagree with the entire premise of "progressive Republicanism," since it is nothing but a shadow cast by liberalism. I believe it was M. Stanton Evans who said that if the Democrats proposed to burn down the Capitol tomorrow, liberal Republicans would agree to compromise by burning down half of it next Thursday.

Having quit the Democrats about 15 years ago, I'm not going to let some halfwit milquetoast moderate like Meghan McCain lead me back into endorsing 60% of the idiot agenda that I opposed even when I was still a loyal Democrat. Compromising with evil may sometimes be necessary, but it is not a virtue, as the "progressive Republicans" would have you believe.

I may come back to update with more thoughts later. But there is a reason I didn't jump on this earlier. Meghan just trashed Ann Coulter and if I know Ann like I think I know Ann, after she publishes her column Wednesday. there will be nothing but a radioactive crater where Meghan McCain's credibility as a Republican used to be.

UPDATE: OK, so let me address Dr. Douglas's comment about conservatism and the electoral necessity of the Republican Party mounting more than an appeal to homo economicus. This is true, but what is that "something else" we all agree on? And given that Obamanomics is driving the nation to ruin -- It Won't Work -- why is that "something else" so important that we must agree on it now?

The argument for economic liberty has the tremendous merit of being true. We know that, ceteris parabus, a free economy is a more prosperous economy in the same way that we know the force of gravity to be 32 feet per second squared. This is a fact, and all effort to convince us otherwise is therefore a lie, and anyone who prefers lies to facts is a fool.

So when David Brooks conjured up his "National Greatness" nonsense, trying to convince Republicans congressional leaders that their idea of limiting government for the sake of economic freedom was a bad thing -- "Oh, those horrid anti-government populists!" -- the conclusion that any honest and informed person should have reached was: David Brooks is either a liar or a fool.

From the day I first laid eyes on "National Greatness," I knew it was wrong, and I developed an instant distrust of David Brooks. He is an elegant writer; no one can deny that. His "Bobos in Paradise" was a delight to read. But the man's political judgment is fundamentally unsound, and by presenting himself as a conservative -- or "moderate conservative," or whatever he's calling himself this week -- he has done more harm to the cause of liberty than any other intellectual now living, including Ward Churchill. He is certainly fully deserving of his most recent award.

A constitutionally limited government is either right or wrong. If limited government is right, then unconstitutional interventions in the economy are wrong. Brooks's arguments for "Hamiltonian conservatism" (cue eye rolls) are arguments in favor of a constitution that the Founders did not draft, and which the states would not have approved. When Hamilton attempted, via his influence in the administration of John Adams, to impose his more expansive view of federal power, it sparked a backlash that led to the creation of the Democratic Party, an accursed wrong turn in American history that is with us to this day.

The term "neoconservative" has been wrenched out of context and turned into a meaningless epithet, but the allegation that neocons are "Straussian" involves the accusation that they are dishonest in argument, preferring Platonic "noble lies" to the blunt truth. Whatever label you slap on Brooks, he is a first-class peddler of "noble lies," who labors tirelessly to create a myth of American political history that exactly suits his purpose. And he has exactly one purpose: The advancement and promotion of David Brooks.

Brooks's obsession with "respectability" -- a trait he shares with all "moderate Republicans" who express horror at Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin or any other genuinely popular conservative -- is the hallmark of selfishness.

An unselfish and honest man -- that is to say, a real man -- does not give a damn whether other people think his opinions are "respectable." He believes what he believes, he stays true to his beliefs, and if he changes his mind about something, he will begin by admitting that he was formerly wrong, and with that admission begin to convince those with whom he formerly agreed that they must now change their minds, too.

Brooks does not do this. He was a cheerleader for Bushism, then a cheerleader for McCainism, until he became a cheerleader for Obamaism, and he thinks that ordinary Americans are too stupid to notice that he's just drifting wherever the winds of lucrative "respectability" lead him.

And, of course, Brooks suffers the ironic fate of all who make "respectability" their lodestar: NOBODY RESPECTS HIM.

In sum, then, Brooks is both a cause of, and a metaphor for, the sorry state of the Republican Party. And the Meghan McCains of the GOP, who think that there is something to be gained by further betrayals of the bedrock principles of economic liberty and limited government, are merely proposing to take Republicans from irrelevance to extinction.

UPDATE II: Excuse me for that digression into Brooks-bashing. As I explained today to my novelist friend Tito Perdue, I've become concerned for the health of my spleen.

Moderate Republicanism has a horrible effect on my spleen, causing the production of excess bile. The bile starts building up in my spleen, next thing you know, the ducts become blocked, it backs up into my bloodstream and I get the overwhelming urge to smack around some pathetic 24-year-old Kenyon College grad just for sport. So let's actually quote little Miss Meghan:
To make matters worse, certain individuals continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Republicans.
(You mean the "negative stereotype" that Republicans are short, clueless old bald guys?)
Especially Republican women. Who do I feel is the biggest culprit? Ann Coulter.
(Note that she does not say, "Elaine Chao" or "Elizabeth Dole" or some other Republican woman less famous and popular than Coulter. You're not going to get a Daily Beast column by announcing that the biggest problem with the Republican Party is Olympia Snowe.)

I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time.
(Funny, I said three of those things about your father. He was never radical. Crazy, yes. Radical, no.)
I consider myself a progressive Republican, but here is what I don’t get about Coulter: Is she for real or not?
(She is real, and she is spectacular. She is also funny. So that's something else you don't have in common with her. Say, Meghan, how about I set you up with a guy. He's perfect for you. He didn't much care for CPAC, either. Kid's name is Evan Ramsey McLaren. Don't say I never did you any favors.)

UPDATE III: Hot girl-on-girl action, as Monique jumps into the Jello pit with Meghan:
I’m waiting to see you on an episode of Maury ten years from now where you bring back the boy who wouldn’t kiss you to tell him how over it you are. Except, you’re obviously not over it because if you were you wouldn’t be concerned with bringing the guy on Maury and telling him about it.
Let's go to the super-slow-motion video replay . . .


  1. Ms. Kerry Voter opens her inane mouth once again...

    I hope Coulter smashes the twit.

    She has been a "Republican" for one year and she tries lecutre others because we are not cool and hip like Barry????

  2. She's on Twitter now, but I thought it would just be mean to friend her.

    She's a kid.

    Boy, I was a stupid kid.

    Boy am I glad there was no internet when I was a stupid kid.

    Still, you're right not to indulge her, and it's too bad about the radioactive crater. But she can always reflect that she's still got a cute caboose, so I think she'll get over it.

  3. Stacy,

    Since you've shown a tendency to play cupid for young conservative dudes and hot young conservative babes, maybe you could do the same for Ms. McCain and Ross Douthat, as they actually have a lot in common. Both are young, both have really accomplished nothing other than graduating from college, neither of them are comfortable with us "icky" conservatives that actually believe in ... you know, conservatism, and both presume to be able to tell the rest of us much-loathed conservatives that we should listen to their sage advice. Looks like a perfect match to me.

    Sorry to tempt you with Ross-bashing during lent, but hey, I didn't choose the timing of this.

  4. Sir,

    Spleen, while possibly making you splenetic, has nothing to do with bile, which comes from the liver.

  5. Meghan McCain is doing something important--standing up for a moderate, centrist, tolerant version of the Republican Party, one that will have broad appeal to young people. I have nothing but admiration for Meghan, her father, and her entire family.