Comments Posted By R
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A SHORT BUT PITHY NOTE ON ACHIEVING THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 54

Happy birthday youngster!

I stopped giving a s**t decades ago; you are right!

Great post!

Keep 'em coming!

Comment Posted By r On 25.01.2008 @ 07:47

AFTER THE STORM, A RISING TIDE

Rick, I would think a future shift in GOP platform would involve incorporating some of these elements:

1)getting greener (already underway in some parts), CO2 emissions, cheap oil is gone forever. time to deal. etc
2)getting browner (less hostile to immigration, or perceived as such. A must, to capture the future - the Hispanic vote.)
3)getting science-ier - the hostility to evolution, to stem cell research. Again Cheap oil and R&D. The Future is here.
4)getting more socially tolerant (ie homosexuals). Society seems to be lightening up. The GOP isn't.

On all 4 of these, the GOP seems to be resolutely looking backwards while society is marching past them.

To me, the strangest part of conservatism has always been their knee-jerk hostility to science. The scientific community weighed in on evolution a century ago. It is almost impossible to take conservatives seriously when they pontificate about media bias when they can't admit their own biases against seeing the natural world.

I suppose the homosexuality issue can't be discussed - conservatives today are in the death-grip of Evangelicals and one can't reason at all with their views on revealed scripture. Best to move on.

The GOP to me seems so backwards, it's sad. Reagan this or that. The politics of exclusion (immigration outrage, no gays, please) and ignorance (liberty fries, abstinence only, evolution as bridge to abortion and homosexuality). And the whining: Librul media! librul media!

The problem with Dems is their complete and utter lack of vision. They have nothing to excite voters with, nothing at all. They didn't expect the surge to work, albeit in its specific context. We will still be there for a decade or more. Worse, they are hopeless cowards, spineless.

But this last point is why the Republicans can limp along, ignoring any of the first 4 points: because the Dems have nothing at all, no program and no resolve to carry it out.

My point is I guess I see Yglesias as basically right. Douthat really doesn't give an argument why the right of center won't hold. Just that the coalition isn't necessarily bound together. Well, okay. But I don't think the other factions have the numbers to really challenge the three legs of the stool yet. Which competing philosophies have the numbers right now to challenge the big three? Federalists? Hah! Libertarians? Didn't you on this very site say that small gov't was dead?!

My own view would be that Yglesias is likely right. Romney gets the nod, and even if he loses, there is no hand wringing or revolution because Republicans can filibuster and stymie and slow it all down, and we can't really leave Iraq anyway, and a Dem Pres can't look weak on foreign policy either.

I don't believe that there will be a Dem president and a strong Dem controlled Congress. Having seen what they have done thus far, they are so pathetic, it's hard to believe they'd do anything with nerve anyway. Far, far too timid.

It'll happen in fits and starts, but there won't be some seismic event. The GOP needs the Southern Christians, so they won't alienate the social cons, and the Wall Street Cons simply have too much clout and $ (who else can afford a $100 million candidacy!?), and the hawks are too 'serious.' Cons LOVE toughness, witness Kristol's impervious career despite abject failure in the predictions dept.

Over time, the Repubs will incorporate a little energy independence, they'll have to - when oil is past $150 a barrel and shows no sign of settling; and the data keeps coming in on climate trends, and people just like better medical research and treatment . I just can't see how conservatives win these battles. Business cons will be for these things, and the hawks will be in favor of a more prosperous US. But the social cons - their ideological dead weight has to start shifting. They're the ones really draggin the GOP down, keeping them in the past.

Lastly, the hatred of Hillary is so wide and deep - the center will certainly hold, if only to stab at her. She alone can hold the Republican heavens up on her shoulders for four more years, maybe eight, if Reagan can't. Don't deny it.

Comment Posted By r On 2.01.2008 @ 21:07

DRUNK WITH RELIGIOSITY

It's a good point that religion has been used in civil rights and other social movements. But Krauthammer and Moran make a glaring omission - when it came to civil rights and civil rights, abolitionists and activists used religious rhetoric to EXPAND the circle of freedom, to be more inclusive, to grant the same liberties to a greater scope of people.

In the case of gay marriage, for example, current believer are doing just the opposite - they are using belief to constrict and exclude, to restrict the ability to marry to an arbitrarily defined group.

Furthermore, they use wordplay to hide the fact they are doing just this - the number of gays intending to marry are dwarfed by the number of heteros who are and intend to be married - if one intends to protect marriage, why not make it harder to get married, harder to get divorced, and easier to have single income families, etc- because, of course, the language of all this is meant to exclude a group that is increasingly being more accepted by the rest of society.

So in this case, the rest of us can feel the believer being left behind morally; their bigotry is moving them against the tide of society's tolerance and inclusivity, and it is glaring and embarrasing.

This is why Kraut's citing of King's use of religious rhetoric does not achieve the heavy lifting you want it to with respect to validating the use of religious language in public debate. It still is valid, but when it moves against the moral zeitgeist, when it has to argue against the cumulative findings of genetics, or unbiased reason, then religion starts to look bad, and should be called onto the floor to account for itself.

Religion is far easier to accept as a standard when it is in the direction of tolerance and good will, and not towards exclusion and condemnation, especially when it is based upon fiat, upon mere assertion based upon a group's acceptance of the authority of some collection of texts that cannot be shown as a rational authority on their own merits...

It's not as simple as Kraut would have us believe...

richard

Comment Posted By r On 14.12.2007 @ 16:33

STABBED IN THE WHAT?

"This rather opaque observation describes the left’s increasing stridency when alluding to their guiltlessness in undermining the morale of the American people for carrying on the War in Iraq."

Ok, let's take it easy now. I understand that each side takes their own axioms as a given and judges the other side on their own, not the other side's, tactics. That'll never change.

But GIVE ME A BREAK.

I accept NO GUILT criticizing the war, none. I didn't want it, and I watched as my fellow "Americans" tried to squelch discussion and dissent as best they could by throwing around words like treason from day one.

We may differ over the war's necessity, justness, etc. But I don't accept your invoking of Camus as some sort of explanation. Get real.

If some thought this country was heading in the wrong direction in the way we went to war, then it is our moral duty to speak up. You don't seem to understand that simple point. And, in fact, the critics were right. This is probably the point that pro-war types cannot comprehend, they struggle so very hard with it.

You seem to think of morale as an unqualified good. What if it's misplaced? Misdirected? Then undermining of it is a very, very good thing. Maybe the GWOT is too diffuse and unwinnable, as defined, just as your criticisms of the 'left' are too diffuse to defend or concur with.

I won't bother trying to divine what 'most' lefties or righties think, nobody really knows and neither do you.

But if you think that Bush Derangement Syndrome is some cute and accurate name for irrational Bush hating, well, I'd say you haven't been paying attention to the contempt this Admin. has shown its republic for the past 6 years. But if you want the "Left" to be ashamed of undermining morale, not a chance in hell.

20% of the US still think that Saddam had DIRECT involvement in the planning of 9/11. This is the kind of morale that needs to be punctured. Americans who think that 'victory' is possible - but won't support another hundred thousand troops for another 10 years - who seem to think that 6 months can stitch together a working coaltion in Iraq - well, let's just agree to disagree. But I say it's unrealistic, and this kind of morale needs to be dismantled. Patriotism, one thing. America-haters who cry out for conformity in time of war - don't know what America is, and are tentative Americans in the first place.

Your post is pretty long, too long for me to really comment on. This one was disappointing, but the one on race was pretty insightful. But that's another commment...

R

Comment Posted By r On 29.06.2007 @ 18:05

CNN SEES NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND TERRORISTS

"We also understood that this kind of footage is upsetting and disturbing for many viewers. But after getting beyond the emotional debate, we concluded the tape meets our criteria for newsworthiness."

Then show us the 9-11 WTC video, assholes. That's newsworthy, and it makes it crystal clear WHY WE MUST FIGHT THIS WAR...in Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever terrorists are harbored. But it doesn't fit the "it's America's fault" and "don't make us want to fight back" world view.

Comment Posted By R On 20.10.2006 @ 16:46

IN THE END, IT'S ABOUT EMPATHY

If the issue is simple, Rick's analysis makes sense. If it's not, his analysis is incomplete.

There's more going on here than just an insult to a religion.

In fact, Islam is not really a religion; it's a political movement. Communists during the cold war hoped to replace all religions with their own all-encompassing belief system. This belief system covered a lot of ground, from the nature of the universe to the way each individual should relate to the state and other individuals.

An understanding of the pernicious nature of this kind of total religious intrusion into every sphere of life is one of the bedrock principles of Western Civilization.

We've had plenty of martyrs to this cause but we don't use that word because of its archaic and religious overtones.

When, almost five hundred years ago, Copernicus proposed a view of the solar system that contradicted Church teachings, it caused persecution and burnings at the stake. At around the same time, Englishmen were being persecuted and occasionally burned at the stake because they refused to incriminate themselves under oath.

It took a long time, but Western Civilization is beyond that kind of thing now. The Islamic world is not.

Deliberately insulting Moslems for the sake of insulting them is ridiculous and crude. Deliberately insulting them to prove the point that they are not tolerant is another thing entirely.

Comment Posted By R On 11.02.2006 @ 18:44


 


 


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