Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Right-wing Leninism'?
BUMPED: Senate debates before cloture

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: Dan at Sevens quotes Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Emagogue):
"Tumbrels have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from southern trees."
In other words, opponents of this bill are Jacobins, brownshirts and Klansmen. Some Republican Senator should make a point of order about this kind of rhetoric. It's one thing to throw around inflammatory metaphors on a blog or cable TV, but another thing entirely to bring it onto the floor of the Senate.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: If somebody's got video or a text of Whitehouse's speech, please let me know. That was one of the most villainous speeches I've ever heard by any Senator, and I hope to God that some of my friends who are Senate staffers will provide a Republican with a solid rebuttal to vile Adorno/Hofstadter psychoanalytic crap, which is no more valid today than when Buckley critiqued it in Up From Liberalism nearly 50 years ago.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: Sheldon Whitehouse is the Keith Olbermann of the Senate, and I mean that in the worst possible sense of "Keith Olbermann." The only good part of his speech? "Mr. President, I yield the floor." And not a moment too soon!

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: For crying out loud, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) reads Richard Hofstadter on the Senate floor. In other words, if you oppose this bill, you're a neurotic suffering from status anxiety. There can be no rational opposition. Is Julian Sanchez ghost-writing speeches for Democrats now?

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) just said he's got relatives in Nebraska who are "embarrassed and ashamed" by Ben Nelson's "Cash for Cloture" sellout -- click that link, because The Boss is still fighting. She weighs less than 100 pounds, but it's all fight.

PREVIOUSLY 2:09 p.m.: C.K. MacLeod writes a lengthy defense of the radical worse-is-better approach to political opposition.

This idea was central to Vladimir Lenin's revolutionary vision: The worse real-life conditions became -- the more oppressive the czarist regime, the greater Russia's military disasters in World War I -- the greater likelihood of the kind of political upheaval in which the Bolsheviks could seize power.

Given its source and original meaning, Lenin's worse-is-better strategy is obviously not something any conservative would endorse. However, as MacLeod makes clear, that isn't the way he means it. What he is arguing is that a short-term "win" by the Democrats should not be viewed by their opponents as a demoralizing defeat, but rather as a springboard for future conservative victories. His is a message of hope, not despair:
This is a moment for sober judgment, and for confidence in one's own beliefs and analysis, whichever best keeps you in the fight. It's a moment to decide whether our message to the Obamaist progressives is going to be: "You win -- we give up" or "We're coming after you, and getting rid of your laughable, embarrassing, and repugnant health care bill (presuming you ever get around to passing it) will just be the beginning."
Indeed, and you should read the whole thing. Speaking of radical rhetoric, I notice that King Herod Harry Reid plans to kill the babies by Christmas.

Humor Update: (Smitty) 3:13PM
Whereas I read MacLeod's piece and thought of Coleridge, by way of the Monty Python. This legislation could prove both an albatross and a career opportunity for Dingy Harry, as seen in the clip:

As a bonus, Graham Chapman's humorless Colonel prefigures the tender, loving care that government health care will embody.

The gross, atrocious irresponsibility of this bill in all aspects will be a boon to Americans. Harry Reid gives us ammunition. We will return it to him with, bonus kinetic energy.


  1. I regard Paul Gottfried as the real fons et origo of right-wing Leninism.

  2. NATIONAL STRIKE JAN 20, 2010 to coincide w/ STATE OF UNION SPEECH NATIONWIDE STRIKE over Obamacare...

    Call into work sick. Buy nothing. Find a union hall, congress creature office, State or Federal building and form picket lines. Come ready to party...

    NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE! Put that right back in their face!


  3. The ugly truth is that the Senate version of Health Care will almost certainly pass. That reality will have to determine the tactics of opposition. If conservatives are vigilant, and correct in our beliefs, then we can prevail. The left in my opinion makes an important tactical mistake in crafting a bill that doesn’t start “working” for three years, but starts taxing right away. They are literally delusional and seem to feel what ever they inflict on us must remain forever. In the past this has been the case, it does not have to be.

  4. Re: Michell M
    As an American with Scotch ancestors I refer to an old Scotch folk saying repeated(in contemporary American, I will give the Old Scotch version) on MNF by another American of Scotch ancestry "Dandy Don from SMU"
    "'Tis nay ths size of the dawg in the fight
    tis the size of the FIGHT in the dawg"
    A saying Billy Wallace used to encourage his bravehearts when fighting the vastly more numerous English over 700 years ago.

    Size and numbers are important. But more important is the desire to win and the stubbornness to refuse to give up!(As Stacys dad says "Cant never could do anything!")
    I do not know how stubborn Michelle is But I do know she is very smart, well informed and has a lot of fight in her! I know I've been following her over 10 years.

    Rod Stanton
    Cerritos, Cal

  5. CK MacLeod can post at Hot Air now? That place is falling on hard times.

  6. I hope you're kidding, I REALLY hope you're just pretending to take offense. Inflammatory rhetoric is okay for Sarah Palin on Facebook but it's not okay to quote one of the most influential historians of America of the 20th century?

    And so aptly?

    I'm surprised some ignorant redneck Congressman from South Carolina didn't bound onto the floor to cane Whitehouse nearly to death. So much for the feigned "Oh my" about the floor of the Senate.

    More substantively--why on earth would you take pains to deny MacLeod meant what he meant about Leninism when he said outright that's what he meant? It's not even that big a deal. Gingrich cited Mao quite proudly and openly.

    Whatever the ideological content of the victorious Marxist-Leninists of decades ago, their understanding and methods of the tactics of unyielding opposition is quite applicable to many kinds of politics and any ideology.

  7. Whitehouse doesn't know his French tumbrel from his Scotch tumbler.

    The Jacobins were the original Leftists, the Brownshirts were national Socialists and the Klansmen were all Democrats. Sheldon has a much better claim to all of them than do American conservatives.

    Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style" has kept Liberals from processing two facts: a Commie killed JFK and the Venona Files largely vindicated Joe McCarthy.

    Julian Sanchez's Secret Shame is that unlike "Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style", "Sanchez's Secret Shame" will never be a Drinking Game.

    Except for Sanchez.

  8. What an demagogic asshat but we're the fear-mogering demagogues right sheldon of course glenn greenwald and freddy what's his face will agree with this

  9. Quoted from and Linked to at:

    It's Time To ROC 'N' ROLL:
    Restore Our Constitution & Restore Our Lost Liberties