Thursday, February 12, 2009

This is your Congress on Hope

Rep. Maxine Waters is on the House Financial Services Committee -- and clearly doesn't know the first thing about the banking industry.

Moe Lane asks, "How’s that Libertarians for Obama thing working out for people?" He has in mind Megan McArdle, who (a) voted for Obama, and (b) has belatedly realized that her vote has empowered the likes of "Kerosene Maxine":
[S]he clearly doesn't have the first shred of an inkling of a clue of how said financial system works. Her questions had the air of someone who couldn't quite wrap her mind around the complexities of the E-Z Reader consumer activist pamphlets from which she had presumably cribbed them. . . . This is the crack talent that's supposed to reform the banking system into something more robust?
Waters got the nickname "Kerosene Maxine" (so dubbed by Larry Elder) for her inflammatory rhetoric during the Rodney King/L.A. riots episode 17 years ago, when McArdle was still a teenager.

This goes to show one reason I've been amused by the entire "Obamatarian" phenomenon. Most of the libertarian types who supported Obama are impossibly young. McArdle is 36 and probably ought to know better. If you're under 30, you weren't even in high school the last time Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress. And Bush totally sucked, dude. So you think, "Hey, let's let the other guys have their turn." Only later do you realize who the Democrats actually are, and it ain't pretty.

I've gotten some grief for my "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr" T-shirts (only $9.99!), but it wasn't because I wanted Obama to win. It was a protest against the tone-deaf stupidity of a Republican Party that thinks it can nominate a 73-year-old short, grumpy, bald RINO for president and expect anything except complete embarrassment. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, she is (a) attractive and (b) an actual Republican.

I'd been a yellow-dog Democrat my whole life and proudly plastered a Clinton-Gore bumper sticker on my car in 1992. But from Day One, Bill Clinton and the Democrats set out to make fools of us "Sam Nunn Democrats," and the 1994 "assault weapons" ban was the straw that broke the backs of a lot of us yellow dogs. I wouldn't vote Democrat again if you put a gun to my head, but after the experience of being screwed over by the Democrats, I'm not going to be a doormat for the GOP.

The Jellyfish Caucus -- spineless worms like Arlen Specters and Susan Collinses -- are not the kind of Republicans an ex-Democrat can support. If we were OK with Big Government liberalism, we'd still be voting Democrat. This is the heart of my grievance against David Brooks and his "national greatness" idiocy. The constituency for "national greatness" could meet in phone booth, whereas the potential constituency for libertarian populism is enormous.

Ronald Reagan was an ex-Democrat, too, which was why he understood the importance of offering a real alternative to Big Government liberalism. The future ex-Democrats are not going to vote for a watered-down Liberalism Lite, and some of the effete elitist intellectuals in the GOP orbit are going to have to get over their craving for a Republican Party that's "respectable" by the standards of Manhattan, Georgetown and Brentwood.

If the GOP is ever going to recapture power, it will first have to capture the rowdy, hell-raising "Spirit of '94," channeling the populist rage of Ordinary Americans whose interests aren't being served by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters. And if David Brooks doesn't like it, to hell with David Brooks.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. (He must have noticed the inclusion of Chris Dodd on that list. Insty hates Chris Dodd.)

UPDATE II: Now, Megan McArdle finds herself having to fight the Arnold-Kling-Is-a-Racist meme stirred up by Adam Serwer. We have arrived in The Progressive Future, where there are exactly two kinds of people: socialists and racists. Dissent = hate. Get used to it.

UPDATE III: Headlined at AOSHQ.


  1. So I don't get Robert, why did you encourage people to abandon her, by that time the campaign what there was of it, was all Sarah's, well i don't have to tell you just consider you were witness to Shippensberg, i just saw the footage, you saw the crowds

  2. I call them gelatinous, wool-covered, bleating masses Upon the Hill... Jello has more texture and substance than do our elected representatives in Incumbistan. To me the Democrats had abandoned standing up for the Nation as I grew up, and Reagan, no matter how nice a guy, was *not* carrying through on his agenda. HW was an apparatchik, and 100 hours was not going to do the job and millions died due to promises he made and did not carry out. Then Clinton was assuredly a change... and so many looked to gut the armed forces that I can still remember Sen. McCain giving them cover. He lost my vote in the early 1990's and would not vote to keep the President in check on his multiple overseas adventures. Truly did I throw my vote away on a third party candidate in 2000, and at least W could keep a war going and stand up for it.

    I could, barely, vote for Palin - someone *experienced* at being an Executive which is more than the other three had going for them.

    I will not vote for parties that endorse or carry through big government any longer. Nor ones that seek to remake society from the seat of power. We had a revolution over that, and it is sad to see so many forget that little bit of history. Now we find the Anti-Federalist criticisms coming true... and we need only look into the mirror for those who decided not to learn history and dooming ourselves to repeat it.

  3. I hell with those who think they "know better" because they get invited to the right parties. I'm just a regular person who is sick and tired of what government is doing. I'm glad some of the GOPers seem to be finding their way again and hope they can keep standing up against spending. Though it seems to be futile.

  4. the secret of politics?

    find somebody weaker than you, and beat the crap out of them.

    I can't stand maxine, but I really hate credit card companies.

    She is beating the crap out of them right now. For this one rare moment, on this subject alone, let the woman speak.

  5. Y, I also went from Democrat to Libertarian in the late 70s, thanks largely to Obama's spiritual father, Jimmy Carter. The folks in their 20s now are where I was 30 yrs ago. They will learn the same as we did why Christopher Hitchens said "I dislike the Republicans, but I despise the Democrats." Unfortunately, it may be a much more bitter lesson this time.

  6. Proposed reelection slogan for Maxine Waters:


  7. I laugh when I hear stupid folks that were useful idiots for Obama complain about being taken. What did you expect?

  8. Yeah, makes me think of the "useful idiots" term.

    Not that McArdle lacks brain power, of course. But often think she lacks wisdom. Widsom, intelligence, very different.

    Anywho.... this is a TPM video, so I suppose that they have a defense of Waters' behavior? Honestly, I would like to see a Liberal make a defense of Maxine Waters here. I can't even think of where they would begin. Anybody have a linky?

  9. Good God how is this woman in congress? Her idiocy never ceases to amaze me.

  10. "Does anyone understand what i'm talking about?"

    That would be a resounding "no". Maxine Waters is a joke. She's up there using the hearing as an opportunity to vent her long standing grievances. I don't particulary like credit card companies and I think people like Vikram Pandit should have been fired long ago. However, Waters and the other ignoramuses in our political class are scary. They wield so much power over all of our lives and people don't seem to realize the danger. Some of these banks and these CEO's will be gone soon, but Waters and Frank will be in Washington as long as they want to stay there.

  11. I believe it was Fred Reed who said, "Political Correctness consists of knowing what we can't say, and who we can't say it about."

  12. Man, oh, Manischevitz. I just flashed on David Brooks and Maxine Waters in a phone booth.

  13. If the GOP is ever going to recapture power, it will first have to capture the rowdy, hell-raising "Spirit of '94," channeling the populist rage of Ordinary Americans whose interests aren't being served by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters.

    I think they're going to have to do a little better than that, although in the same vein. The GOP is going to have to put freedom first, ahead of the public virtue first policies that have gotten them where they are today. With the Democrats holding the social justice first territory and the Republicans primarily interested in public order, the only political ground which is of secondary interest to both parties is individual freedom. That's what a RINO is, a Republican who compromises away freedom in deals with Democrats.

    It used to be in this country that the call to freedom was the most powerfully populist noise one could make, and both parties were primarily freedom first parties. Today, freedom has no advocate. I am not hopeful the Republicans are going to figure this out.

    Frankly, I don

  14. I used to be a frequent visitor to Reason web site until they announced most of their staff was going to vote Obama.

    I don't have a problem with anyone voting for any individual, but don't tell me you're a Libertarian in one breath, and, in the next breath, you are going to vote for a party and individuals that are anti-Libertarian. It just doesn't compute.

    For bloggers like Megan, I have pretty much tuned them out since the election. I just don't have time to read content from individuals or sites that are so blatantly confused about their identity, or had a desire/need to appear "cool" despite their beliefs.

  15. Can't argue with a word of this post, sir (although because Barr crawfished on the Lautenberg amendment, I voted for Caribou Barbie in the hope that McQueeg would resign in 2010 or something).

    I don't really have a faction right now; I just hang out at or Whiskey and Gunpowder, grumbling.