Thursday, December 17, 2009

Julian Sanchez is neither
a.) conservative nor b.) correct

Therefore, he misses on either definition of "right":
Conservatism is a political philosophy; the farce currently performing under that marquee is an inferiority complex in political philosophy drag.
Well, thanks for your assertion, Julian. Thanks also to Theodor Adorno, Richard Hofstadter and every other practicioner of the Psychoanalytic School of political theory that inevitably views popular opposition to liberalism in such terms.

From the psychoanalytic perspective, there can be no rational objection to, inter alia, EFCA, the Waxman-Markey bill, or the health-care legislation passed by the House and now pending in the Senate. Nor for that matter could any reasonable person object to the sharp turn toward Keynesianism -- massive deficit spending for bailouts and "stimulus" -- that began in the final year of the Bush administration.

Turning Sarah Palin (or Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) into a symbol, and then analyzing reactions to that symbol from a perspective of cultural criticism, is a sort of avoidance strategy.

In the real world of politics, Obama and his supporters are desperately attempting to pass a health-care bill -- any health-care bill -- just so they can claim to have accomplished something useful since his inauguration. Every new poll shows a new low in Obama's popularity, and Democrats are beginning to fret about a massive electoral backlash next November.

Shorter Sancher:
"Hey, let's change the subject and talk about what a bunch of yahoos those Republicans are!"
If you do not like Palin, it is not surprising that you also do not like her supporters. Nor is it surprising that if you are a clever writer, as Julian is, you will be able to compose an essay justifying your dislikes. But this merely proves you're a clever writer, doesn't it? If Julian Sanchez does not like Budweiser beer, his argument against Budweiser will be persuasive, but we ought not confuse his skill in argument with the merits of the beer. To wit:
The secret shame of the conservative base is that they've internalized the enemy's secular cosmopolitan value set and status hierarchy -- hence this obsession with the idea that somewhere, someone who went to Harvard might be snickering at them.
An eloquent sentence. Yet it strains the imagination to conjure up an engagement between (a) "the conservative base" and (b) their "secular cosmopolitan" antagonists, in which Julian Sanchez would declare at the end that the conservatives had deservedly routed their foe. He despises all provincialisms -- except his own, and certainly the provincialism of Alaska's former governor is not of the Sanchezian sort.

Sanchez is entitled to his class prejudices, but we are not required to share them, no matter how much he ridicules us --- really, Julian, our "secret shame"? -- with criticism that treats political disagreement as a form of neurosis.


  1. Classic asymmetric warfare!

    The attack was brought with anti-Conservative characterizations, but the counterattack was unleashed with compelling exposition.

    The distinct beauty of an RSM response is that the logic of the argument is delivered through a verbal smackdown.

    As Mr. Gleason used to say, "How sweet it is."

  2. "Secret Shame"?

    First most provincial city on the planet: Washington DC. Second: H'wood. Third: New York. I've been to all three.

    Good writing, thanks.

  3. Julian Sanchez thinks we care what he and his kind think? He must have us confused with David Brooks and the other RINOs in that herd.

  4. It is a rather myopic view of the political landscape. If Mr. Sanchez is looking for "a sense of resentment and hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one’s frustration" he need look no further than the rank and file left, with their palpable hatred of GW for all sorts of imagined sins, from the plundering of Iraq to expand his personal oil profits to the hair brained notion that he was in on the fix of the 9/11 attacks.

    "If the goal is just to antagonize liberals, making her the Republican standard-bearer seems tactically bizarre, since ideally you want someone who isn’t so repugnant to independents as to be unelectable. If the animating force is ressentiment, the leader has to be a loser to really deserve the role."

    Palin should not have been made the Republican standard barer because she is a loser. Right.

    So, if she is such a loser, why such interest from the likes of you?

    The fact is, Mr. Sanchez, she rose to prominence on the national level when John 'don't mind me' McCain chose her as his running mate, perhaps the only sound decision he made during the campaign. She accepted, and conservatives were energized and given voice by her. The popularity she has among conservatives is a reflection of her willingness to espouse and defend conservative principles, a refreshing change from the rest of the herd like Republican party types.

    Excellent post, Stace.

  5. Do they actually think that we really care what they think of us now??? That is a load of crap. After all of what has been exposed, the ugly vile language towards Gov Palin, we and that's alot of we could care less what they think or say or do to us. They have awakened the sleeping giant and he is not happy. Now that the Tea Party polls are higher than both parties they are not going to know what is coming their way. I think the silent wave out there will be a history breaking tsunami. Oh these holier than thou's that think they know best better check the ground they walk on because I don't think it will be there for much longer. So they can spew their dribble all they want, it just digs a bigger hole to bury them in.

  6. 1) Spot-on Stacy [You really should propose to a publisher that you write a book (for much money, of course) about The Leftist Mind; I think it would sell in these times. People are trying to understand how these bozos think.].

    2) What Howard Towt said.

    3) He must have us confused with David Brooks and the other RINOs in that herd.

    Wombat understands.

    4) Remember Belvedere's Rule #1: If you want to know what the those on the Left are doing in a particular situation, just look and see what they're accusing the Right of doing. You've heard of 'The Big Lie', this is 'The Big Deception'.

    In this case, we might say it is a variant of Rule #1: 'The Big Delusion'.

  7. Oh, I don't know.

    I think Sanchez has a point, when he says that there's some (or a lot of) resentment over the fact that political victories did not bring some amount of re-balancing of the biases of the most prominent cultural and educational organs. (The New York Times, the Ivy League, etc., etc.)

    Where he's wrong is on the merits of the policies, and specifically where the anger comes from.

    I'm angry that intellectual fights that we thought we won in the 1980s are now open again. I'm angry that someone who still identifies with the ideals of the Nuclear Freeze Movement is sitting in the White House. I'm angry that the "best and the brightest" are still going for social democracy, even after we've seen what a disaster it is in other countries.

    I'm very angry that the Ivy League, the New York Times, and other universities and press organs have managed not to internalize those lessons, and the majority (75%) of their denizens (my good friends and former classmates) are pushing prescriptions for our current woes which would send us back to the 1970s.

    Is Palin qualified? I don't know -- half a term as governor isn't much of a resume. Nine years as mayor isn't bad -- it's a heck of a lot better than eight years as a state senator and two years as a United States senator, anyway, as we are now seeing.

    When we have a president running around saying that the country is going to go bankrupt unless we have a government takeover of the health insurance industry -- I mean, a pet rock can do a better job than that.

    Palin has managed to change debates when she enters them, and has been able to articulate the case against the current administration in such a way that mobilizes thousands of people.

    So I'm with Sarah. The hell with it -- let's see what she's got. What have we got to lose? We've lost it all already -- let's see if she can win it back.

  8. "The popularity [Sarah Palin] has among conservatives is a reflection of her willingness to espouse and defend conservative principles"

    In order for a reflection to exist, that which is reflected must have substance, or at least existence.

    Thus, Palin's popularity with conservatives is obviously a function of something other than her "willingness to espouse and defend conservative principles," which has neither.

  9. It is my hope that Sarah is much smarter than most give her credit for. If so she will not run for office. As it stands now no one makes the left crazier, no one. I think she actually makes the left stupid (stupider?) crazy. If this were her only socially redeeming value it would secure her place among conservatives. However as an outsider she can do much more. She can be a very effective fund raiser particularly in some of the more obscure races just her interest in NY 23 focused attention and consequently money to that race. The “Tea Parties” are going to be significant in the next three years but as a “grassroots movement” having a “national star” spokesperson could help give this movement some national coherence. First impressions are lasting impressions, sometimes this is unfortunate. Sarah Palin is starting to diminish her negatives among independents. I do not believe that Sarah Palin is too dumb to be President. She has more common sense than the last three presidents combined a much important quality in my opinion. As a spokesperson for conservatives she makes a vague target, if she commits to running for office there will literally be thousands of reporters and pseudo journalists devoted 24/7/365 to destroying her. If she runs and loses, I believe she’s done. On the other hand just the potential of her getting involved in a close congressional could make the dems “stupid scared”. It’s not that hard to do (see AGW).

  10. Ah, Kn@ppster. Projecting again, I see. Either that, or you don't understand the difference between not living up to one's principles and not having principles to begin with.

  11. Wombat,

    I'm very familiar with no living up to one's principles -- if it's not a struggle to do so, one's principles probably aren't very demanding, are they? (My principles are not, by the way, "conservative," nor have I so claimed).

    The simple fact of the matter is that Palin began her political career as a self-described "progressive" and has yet in word or deed to offer so much as a single reason to believe that that label has become inaccurate. Her talent for laying down a thick rhetorical coat of faux-populist fertilizer can be fun, but it's hardly an indicator of any new-found "conservatism."

  12. "In order for a reflection to exist, that which is reflected must have substance, or at least existence."

    In essence, 'Conservatism does not exist.'

    That may be a happy thought for you, kind of like dreaming away your house loan payments, but sooner or later, reality sets in and the mortgage is due.

  13. "The simple fact of the matter is that Palin began her political career as a self-described "progressive" and has yet in word or deed to offer so much as a single reason to believe that that label has become inaccurate."

    Where have you been the past couple of years? If she is so progressive, why the Soros funded campaign to tie her up in Alaska? Why all the SNL, Letterman, Couric and Gibson efforts to undermine both her, and all she represents? Why bother? What has she said or did that makes you think she is a progressive? How is it you come to believe she does not have as core beliefs traditional conservative ideas? Why the upswell in entusiasm for McCain when he addd her to the ticket? Did people just like the way she looked in a dress suite?

    I can understand people claiming she does not articulate conservative principles like a Ronald Reagan, but she is far more conservative than the half-baked McCain that brought her onto the national scene, and far more articualte than the last Republican that held the White House. And though I greatly admired him, he wasn't really particularly conservative.

    I would ordinarily invite you to flesh out your point, but it appears to exist outside the realm of reality.

  14. Nicholas,

    As a Wasilla city councilwoman, Palin ran for mayor as a "progressive."

    Once elected mayor, her two top priorities were a) seeking federal pork for her town, for which purpose she even hired a town lobbyist, and b) dragging the town into millions of dollars in debt with an eminent-domain-enabled white elephant public skating rink.

    As a gubernatorial candidate, she was for the Bridge to Nowhere until it became inconvenient to be for it, after which she turned against it. She orchestrated half a billion in corporate welfare for an LNC pipeline company and advocated for government-subsidized gasoline for all Alaskans.

    She was so far to the statist left that associating with McCain actually dragged her to the right a little. But not much.