Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

If Ponnuru wasn’t enough for you...

Read these pieces, which I don’t for a moment endorse, since I have to run to class and talk politics with my kids. For one response, go here.

I’ll probably have a few things to say later on. But in the meantime, have at it in the comments section.

Discussions - 15 Comments

Let’s quit while we’re behind


By Christopher Buckley


Bring on Pelosi


By Bruce Bartlett


And we thought Clinton had no self-control


By Joe Scarborough


Give divided government a chance


By William A. Niskanen


Restrain this White House


By Bruce Fein


Idéologie has taken over


By Jeffrey Hart


The show must not go on


By Richard A. Viguerie


What a pathetic bunch of losers (I’m especially disappointed in Jeffery Hart)). They remind me of a neighbor kid I once knew, who threw a fit when daddy failed to deliver the birthday present he had asked for. Somebody needs to turn these whiners over their knee and give ’em all a good, hard whack on the ass!

Forgive me, folks, my conservative Republican blood is boiling. Go Bush, let’s kick some ass in ’06!

If the Republicans would stop acting like Democrats and start acting like the party that supports fiscal soundness and the respect of both our liberty and safety, articles like these would not be published.

I didn’t realize that correctly recognizing a wolf in sheep’s clothing is now considered whining.

You’ve probably forgot, like many tow-the-line republicans already have, what a truly principled GOP looks like.

Christopher Buckley "couldn’t" vote for Bush in 2004 and preferred to vote for Bush Senior as a write-in. Reminds me of Senator Chafee. Chris is a good writer, but cannot be taken seriously as a conservative. Not if he didn’t see what was at stake in 2004, like the Supreme Court, which would now have a 6-3 liberal majority if Kerry had won, which was what the younger Mr. Buckley was willing to see happen.

Scarborough is an idiot and a sorehead, as is evident from any given 30 minutes of his awful TV show.

Hart is a flake, as is evident from some of his recent commentary on Bush -- he’s become a real Bush-hater and the dreaded religious right. His analysis of conservatism in his recent book on National Review (the latter chapters thereof) is thoroughly unimpressive.

Viguerie is a serious political activist and his views are due more respect. But they’re still wrong, here.

The bottom line is that we cannot afford to give up power to the Democrats at this crucial juncture in history. We don’t know how much damage they might do with it, and we don’t even know how the Republicans would react.

I don’t see how Pinkerton’s rather brief op-ed, which barely addresses the argument that the GOP would be better off losing this year, qualifies as a "response" to the mistaken messages by Christopher Buckley, et al.
Equal time would be desirable. But even one adequate response to them is better than none. It would be nice if a better link could be found.

Joseph Knippenberg wrote: For one response, go here.

Btw, that link doesn’t work. Can you fix it -- so I can read something of actual value in response to these whiney Buchanan pitch-fork brigades? ;)

I fixed the link.

I’m sorry you don’t like Buchanan, Mr. Publius. But you should listen to what he has to say...the GOP is off its rails, and there really is no light at then end of the tunnel without some correction.

But if the GOP is off its rails, dain, then there’s not much chance that it will ever reach the end of the tunnel, is there?

I like what Jefferey Hart has to say but I think he doesn’t understand that all politics is ideologie. That is to say that Hume and Burke may be right about the dangers of "abstract theory" and "metaphysical dogma"...but what if man is an ontological being? Or as the pope would say the ideas we have about God structure our very approach to reality. Now I would say that the american people are not a philosophic lot...but it does not follow that they don’t structure the lives they live according to some "abstract theory" or "metaphysical dogma"...as Dain pointed out a universal aspect of man is hierchial structure...this hierchial structure eminates from philosophic conceptions...you can call these ideologie or religious grounding or more broadly ontological structures.

Hart says that "ideological government deserves rejection" but he has not properly shown that government can be something other than ideological. I think Hart is right in his identification: "Here Bush was using the same word, “life,” to describe not only a minute clump of cells known as a blastocyst but also an actual human being. In this flagrant disconnect between words and actuality were the early indications of a profoundly ideological mindset."

One man’s ideology is another man’s principle. Politics is nothing if it is not a war between competing ideologies or ontological structures...because as Aristotle says man is also a political animal...and as Dain says hierchial structure is a universal facet of man.

So my challenge to the Burkeians...demonstrate that a non-ideological politics is possible. Or perhaps that is simply impossible...since it in effect amounts to a hierarchy without an organizing principle.

Which is the prime reason there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Those who think the conservatives should or would turn the Republi cans out are myopic when it comes to the Democrats. If the Ds do take control of congress I do not think it will be because of Republicans defecting or not showing. It will be because the Ds do a better job of convincing the third in the center that they are a valid alternative.
I for one will not vote for a D for congress because their win will mean two years which will make the Watergate season seem like a church picnic. NP and HR have already promised government crushing indictments, including an impeachment of the president. And this is the only promise I think they will ever keep. Opposition is one thing and if it were merely holding up W’s policies that is permissable, to actively seek the destruction of his government is not. I did not wish that upon the previous administration and do not think it should happen to this for far lesser offenses.

John, I’m not sure what your point is. I think Burkeans have "rules of thumb" rather than formal ideology. Nonetheless, Burkeans clearly esteem accumulated wisdom gained painfully by trial-and-error. One bit of such wisdom is that government should reflect its civil society rather than trying to "reform" that civil society abruptly by force (the fatal mistake of the French Revolution). Burke thought change was good, even inevitable, but that it was a gradual process whereby shifts in beliefs and structures of self-interest led to sustainable progress (sustainable meaning "possible given human nature").

When I say that the GOP is "off its rails," I simply mean that it hasn’t listened to its "civil society" (i.e., its base) very well recently. Off-base Supreme Court nominations, increased spending, dithering while the country is overrun..etc., there are many instances where the clear will of the average Republican has been ignored. This issues don’t have that much to do with ideology...they have to do with a value system (not quite the same thing).

Do you think Michael Steele and Ken Blackwell and Rick Santorum are pleased with this article --which essentially tells Republicans to stay home from the polls --when all their races depend upon turnout?

Didn’t Ponnuru write Party of Death? And yet he wants to sit back and let Henry Waxman take control of the Judiciary Committee?

And it’s okay to saddle the President with an impeachment proceeding in the middle of a war? I have to say --and I stipulate all the Conservative complaints are valid-- this is the most immoral proposal I’ve ever heard. It shows complete lack of moral seriousness w/ respect to the war on terror or the defense of life.

Plus, with respect, I come from a Movement Conservative family, and there has never been a year when Conservatives of some stripe didn’t make this argument --that it would be better to lose. It’s not new, it’s not interesting, it’s not serious, it’s not moral. It reflects burn-out and is best treated with a nice warm bath and a nap.

Mega-dittoes, RC2. I heartily endorse every word of your post. The failure of nerve, and seriousness, among many conservative commentators is an outrage.

Well, I do intend to vote for Republicans, but I would like to know how we will discipline these guys. They are representing our interests indifferently, and some days NOT AT ALL.

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