Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. I’ve gotten a couple of tough private emails complaining that I wasn’t tougher on Pinker below. The sociobiologist was obviously ignorantly rude to Leon Kass, and there’s considerable evidence that he didn’t read most of the book he was reviewing. Pinker, despite his best-sellerhood as a popularizing scientist, obviously isn’t really in Kass’s or even Darwinian Larry’s league. Well, I agree with all that and more. But perhaps I’m too used to the sociobiologists being ignorantly rude to me (remember Larry calling me a gnostic existentialist Heideggerian just like Hitler or something like that), and I’ve stated my firm opinion about the invincible limits (or obtuseness) of sociobiology many times before. Because I’m a lover, not a fighter (not to mention a uniter, not a divider), I was reaching out to highlight a point of (very qualified and even ironic) agreement with Pinker. Although I think evolution happened (although I also agree with Tom Wolfe on its declining significance in explaining human behavior), I find Pinker (and even Darwin) of very limited (although real) use in understanding human nature.

2. The significance of Hillary’s huge win in WV: It might mean that Obama will have a hard time carrying WV in November. Or it might not, as Joe points out below. McCain didn’t fare any better among the Republicans of the "almost heaven" state.

3. The significance of the special House election in Mississippi yesterday, when considered with the other recent ones in IL and LA: HUGE!

Discussions - 2 Comments

Part of what strikes me as odd about Pinker's piece is that he acknowledges elswhere (The Blank Slate, for eg)the scientific evidence for a stable conception of human nature, certain shared natural inclinations however broadly understood, and even the legitimacy of some moral and public policy inferences on the basis of this natural constitution---however, he never entertains the bare possibility that this could justify the reasonableness of some version of natural law or a rejection of the libertarian consequences of personal autonomy. Even more conspicuously, he dogmatically rejects the possibility that the human yearning for personal significance and personal transcendence, both which he acknowledges, could be understood as indications of the plausibility of a personal theology.

So is President Bush going to get an invite to the GOP convention?

Over a year ago I said on a thread here that the Republicans would be insane to invite him to the Convention. And many here took me to task for my ungracious remarks.

How are things looking now? Is Bush more popular today than a year ago? Has the American electorate developed a sudden fondness for him?

Did Ford invite Nixon to his Convention in '76? Did Reagan invite Nixon in 1980, or '84? What of GHWB?

The Republican party would be wise to banish Bush, Jeb and their father from the Convention.

And the GOP needs to publicize that they deliberately DID NOT invite him, what's more, they made known to each of them that they were not welcome at the convention. Republicans HAVE to distinguish themselves from Bush, even to such an extent as making sure he's far away from that convention.

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