Posted by Peter Lawler
David Brooks talks up Yuval’s Burkean McCain, the one who doesn’t denigrate government but wants to make it less decrepit and less driven by entrenched interests. His first challenge to Obama should be: Why did you vote for that shameful Farm Bill?
Part of what makes me nervous about McCain (and not just from an electoral perspective) is this peculiar tension within him between what Yuval has identifed as his honor politics and his technocratic leanings....I think much of the great failure of his techocratic adventures has been a consequence of their origins in the honor impulse---a more prudent man would've seen the error of campaign finance long before McCain has (if he really has). In other words, his technocratism has no grounding in an ideologically coherent political view and that makes for some unfortunate policy.
He has a political tin ear. And he has a penchant for actually paying attention to NYT editorials.
Obama did not vote for the appalling Farm Bill, he merely supported it, which seems like a difference without a distinction.
Speaking of principles, I thought someone would have spoken to the horrible Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Do we think such "progressive" thinking will remain over there in the UK and not effect us here? David Warren speaks to the issue as shameful and points to the repugnance of previous generations over such medical experimentation. How did Britain get to this indecent point? This makes our pregnant bearded woman who calls herself a man seem like a blip on the moral landscape. I know, someone will tell me this is normal stuff for the "progressive" among us, and someone else will tell me that in a nation that abandons God, anything goes. Yes.
I will mention here, that if you look to the record of both candidates on stem-cell research, (which is the best indicator of direction on this I can find right now) the choice is clear. I think this is a pretty basic political view.
I wish McCain were more ideologically coherent, but where he is coherent, as frustrating as he can be at other times, he makes himself, clearly, the only choice we have.
Can McCain be both ideologically coherent and a Burkean? Maybe this question gets at what ails conservatism.
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