Monday, November 9, 2009

Hawkins vs. Friedersdorf

Conor Friedersdorf challenged John Hawkins to a debate. Hawkins:
The long and short of it is that conservatives should adhere to our principles, but make some changes to our agenda and our tactics and help lead this country into the future.
Read the rest of that. And now Friedersdorf:
My wish list includes a base that doesn’t mete out support according to how stringently a politician is criticized by the left; talk radio hosts who oppose misbegotten GOP initiatives with as much energy as they oppose Democratic measures; tolerance of dissent and engaging dissenters on the merits of their arguments, rather than heretic-hunting or accusations of disloyalty/bad-faith; a right-leaning media that engages in robust debates about the appropriate direction for the country, rather than thoughtless cheerleading or opposition bashing; and general intolerance of lies, misleading statements, and intellectual dishonesty, even when perpetrated by political or ideological allies.
And you can read the rest of that, too. This is just the first of three rounds. Friedersdorf begins his history in 2000 and seemingly blames The Right for everything any Republican politician has done in the intervening nine years.

Without getting too much into specifics, I think it can be argued that the GOP began veering off-course after the 1995-96 budget showdown. By FY 1998, the GOP was voting for budgets that were big-spending, pork-laden travesties of their own stated principles.

Clinton not only won the PR wars over the budget, but he also won the PR war over Lewinsky, with Clinton-friendly media convincing millions that the entire cause of the scandal was that Republicans were puritanical anti-sex Nazis. The born-again Bush sort of leaned into that curve, so that the public image of the GOP circa 2001 was shaped by uptight wienies of the David Kuo/Michael Gerson variety.

Were I granted any one wish, I'd wish that the GOP could get back to the kind of fun-loving, devil-may-care attitude it displayed circa 1989, when RNC chairman Lee Atwater duck-walked his guitar with a rockin' band at the inaugural celebration.

More "Animal House," less Dean Wormer.


  1. Yeah.

    While the Right goes Rogue... the Squishies go Rouge.

  2. Yeah. A few changes in tactics.

    How anti-abortion conservatives sold out fiscal conservatives.

    I have been hearing in my conversations around the 'net that Social Conservatives are the only reliable economic conservatives every time I voice a complaint about socon's real ambitions. I guess I was right. Socons are NOT reliable economic conservatives. But if you need a vote against abortion well they are 100% reliable.

  3. The bottom line is that true conservatives now expect some kind of actual results. Not just Democratic left inititives done in slow motion. Either we walk back from the 50 percent employed or fed by the government brink or we cross that line and are forever committed to slow decay followed by sudden collapse.

    It may well be that societies in general just age and accumulate bureaucracy like clogged arteries, but there's no reason not to rage against the fading light even if you end up hated by your enemies and patronized by your friends.Attack now or forever lose your freedom.

    Remember this, the Tea Partiers are the only authentic anti-fascists now operating on the political landscape.

  4. Michael, Michael, Michael.

    They are not afraid of you because you are a scary black man. You are not a scary black man. That is a stupid stereotype anyway. And it is obvious you are a nice guy. No one is afraid of you.

    That is part of the problem.

    Conservatives would feel better if the left feared you. Not for being a scary black man, but for being a committed Republican and conservative who was moving the party forward and putting the liberal adgenda in jeopardy. Rahm Emanuel is a little yap dog of a man, harmless physically, but people fear him because he is a scary political infighter.

  5. Duck-walking amateur guitar players; that's the ticket.

  6. If you want to assign blame in the wake of the Lewinsky fiasco then point to the ones who deserve nearly all of it - the GOP dillweeds in the Senate. As confused as the story has become, it wasn't just about sex. It was about obstruction of justice and abuse of office and perjury and suborning same. The House GOP stuck their collective necks out bringing impeachment and instead of doing their sworn Constitutional duty and carefully explaining the issues involved during the course of holding a serious trial, GOP Senators simply p**sed out by scheduling an hour or two of showboating followed by a quick vote so no one had to miss their tee times. The public never learned what the impeachment was about and punished those in the House that put their careers on the line having expected that fellow party members in the upper chamber could at least be counted on to do their jobs. This is arguably what doomed the conservative project in Congress. Why stick your neck out taking a serious stand on some controversial issue when the bum-kissing blowhards in the Senate will stab you in the back at the first breath of demagoguery from the opposite side of the aisle?

    (As an aside, this is why the health care takeover is a done deal. We’d be better off counting on rainbow-riding unicorns and magical pixie dust than Republican Senators doing the right thing.)

  7. So does M. Simon, the link whore, want to give us any evidence of SoCons being fiscal liberals based on, say, House voting records?

  8. How soon before Conor starts working as a speechwriter for Obama?

  9. Anon,

    1. I put my name to what I do.
    2. I see no point in putting everything I think about a subject in a comment. It obstructs the flow.
    3. Socons in the House were given the choice between leaving the abortion provision in and killing the bill or taking the abortion bit out and passing the bill.

    For the sake of a NRLC 100% they helped the bill to pass.

    So tell me what are the priorities of our Socon Congress critters? Fisc con or socon?

  10. BTW Anon. You could have read the link to get the details.

  11. Anon.,

    Surely you know more about how the House of Representatives works than you are letting on.

    I will explain it again in different terms:

    1. You leave a poison pill in the bill to prevent the other side from voting yea on it.

    2. Federal funding of abortion was the poison pill.

    3. Socons in Congress (R & D) voted to take the poison pill (abortion funding) out of the bill.

    So of course their finger prints will not be on the final recorded vote. Glory be, praise the lord. They get to keep their NRLC 100% rating. It is explained at my above link with evidence.

    Let me give it to you straight: the Rs could have taken a tactical hit to get a chance at a strategic victory.

    Look - I don't really blame the politicians. The electorate gets what it votes for. Good and hard. If abortion is their primary interest they are well served. Until reconciliation.

  12. Didn't he say he voted for Obama, has he had any criticism of the bailouts, or the assaults
    on our key industries, our military, our intelligence services

  13. More Deltas, way fewer Omegas.

    And more Babs, Mandy and Katy. And Shelly Dubinsky. And even Clorette (yes, Sarah Holcomb looked fresh-faced enough to pull off 13 pretending to be 18, but she was actually 18 pretending to be 13 pretending to be 18).

    Oh, yeah, and my advice to one of the posters is to start drinking heavily. I'll let you figure out who.

    And Michael Steele doesn't scare me because he's black. Michael Steele scares me because when he says stuff like that he makes me think he's part Biden.