Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Thoughts on Peter’s Post Below

It comes down to this: There are people who regularly lie to themselves about bad news in order to make themselves feel better and call themselves "optimists." These people are not very useful and ought to be taken as lightly as they think.

On the flip side, there are people who are constitutionally dyspeptic and can’t help but always see the only the negative. These people occasionally get it right--a broken clock is right twice a day, right? So they serve as a check to genuine optimism and can be helpful on occasion. But generally speaking, they are not to be trusted.

A third type are the people who are just poison--the kind like the pollster Hewitt interviewed. These folks delight in drumming up bad news in order to advance their own interests. For them, the perfect will ever be the enemy of the good. The sky will always be falling and, of course, only they have the answers and (therefore deserve the funding and the fame) to save us. They are always too clever by half. And you should be able to smell them from a mile away. These people should not only be disregarded; they should be exposed as frauds. And I think Hewitt did a huge service by exposing that man as he did yesterday. (One frequent guest of Hewitt wrote in to tell him that this was the first time he’d heard of someone having his pants pulled down on radio! But he also admonished Hewitt for not learning anything from fishing--in other words, Hewitt winched the pollster in too quick! Hewitt shot back that the guy wasn’t a keeper.)

Finally, there are people who take bad news as a challenge. They see danger as opportunity. These people have a bounce in their step and a gleam in their eye. They are not easily moved by the winds of politics. Politics is a rough game and its not meant for the feint of heart. There’s no crying in baseball (although I’m very unhappy about my Mets losing!) or politics. These people know that if you have to go down, you don’t go down with dishonor! You must keep fighting and, at a minimum, deserve victory.

Which one of these types will you be today?

Discussions - 11 Comments

I’m not sure I understand the post. Are you saying we’re delusional or drinking the Kool Aid if we think REPUBLICANS can pull this off? I think the odds are stacked against us (for many reasons of our own making) but that it’s necessary to fight. I also won’t apologize for trolling the blogs to find a nugget of good news for Republicans every now and again...nothinng wrong with listening to a little Hugh or a Rush to get re-energized.

Also, the MSM does a fantastic job on their own producing a steady stream of bad news...I want the party to remain positive, even in light of such setbacks.

Outstanding post. Mega-dittoes.

What the hell? You like the Mets, the paragon of the northeast snobbery. I’ll take the Cardinals all the way--go midwest oppitimists who overcome challenges!

My love for the Mets is purely parochial: my dad used to play in their farm league when I was born. I spent more time in the stadiums than in the nursery. So you can forgive me that, can’t you Clint? Also, I’ve always liked the fact that they’re the underdogs to the Yankees.

And Winston--huh?! You said what I said. You misunderstood me. I don’t think Hugh or Rush are in the first category of stupid optimism--they’re in the last category of genuine optimism. That’s why I praised Hewitt’s de-pantsing of that pollster. I am glad, however, to hear that’s also where you want to be. See ya’ there. Keep fighting and read carefully.

As someone who is constitutionally dyspeptic I think all optimists are essentially in the first category. On the other hand the sun will shine sometimes and it can’t always rain so sometimes these people are right. The important part isn’t necessarily being optimistic or being its opposite but being in such a way as to deserve victory. It is all a matter of Fortuna vs. Virtu. Optimism is often times based upon an over-reliance on short odds...but I suppose that if the odds are short they may in fact be lengthened by proactive measures steming from the silver linning view point.

The sky is always falling, the end is always near...but in everything there is opportunity to those who strive to deserve it. I suppose that all else being equal pessimism shortens your odds and optimism lengthens them. As a poker observation and perhaps in consequence saying something about human nature...I have found that a good player with a lucky table image is better than a great player with an unlucky table immage. Unrealistic optimism (as all optimism must be?) can thus be a boon as much as a crutch. The question is...would you rather be lucky or good? But if in some things one must be somewhat lucky to be good...and if one must be optimistic to be lucky...then one must at times have completly unrealistic expectations in order to be good. Optimism as reliance upon Fortune is thus both a virtue and a vice...but reliance upon Fortune, to some degree may be a pre-requisite for any and all virtue... because if the sky is really failling won’t the roof leak as well...and if the roof leaks then what is the sense in going indoors? That is the dyspetic must maintain some sort of hope (optimism) in some sort of alternative and in this regard cease to be negative. In short you have to believe that the actions you take have some meaning...or some consequence...and the optimistic person has the easier job of assigning meaning to both present realities and alternative modes of action.

John: Yes, yes, yes. But take an antacid! As someone I know is fond of saying . . . things are hopeless but not yet bad! Maybe the difference between the dyspeptic and the genuine optimist is a sense of humor.

Uh, maybe we can focus on the thread’s topic again?

These folks delight in drumming up bad news in order to advance their own interests.

I would take that a step further. Many, perhaps most, perhaps virtually all, these folks delight in FABRICATING bad news in order to advance their own interests, discourage opposing views and influence opinion. Two obvious examples are the fabricated "news" out of Lebanon, so wonderfully disproven by Little Green Footballs and many other blogs, and the "exit polls" in ’04, fabricated to discourage supporters of GWB into staying home. The phony pollsters failed in ’04.

Recently, pollsters have fabricated polls again, again for the same reason as in ’04, to try and get Republicans to become discouraged and stay home. They will fail again.

Well, on the other hand I heard Rush refer to current events as attempts at "voter suppression." Well, maybe the megaphone effect, but these polls are real...even the Republican pollsters report bad news.

It’s time to "cowboy up." We of the "broken-glass" variety will show up to the polls. What the GOP and its supporters should really be doing is reporting the good news (e.g., the economy), pointing out the Democrat’s decades’ long betrayal of national security, and noting that scandals get you fired if you are a Republican but reelected/celebrated if you are Democrat. All that cash in the war’s the time.

Which one of these types will you be today?
Julie, I can’t be #3, but I can be any of the others at any point during a day, depending. The election as a whole, I have no sense of defeat. Anything can happen, polls have been wrong in recent elections, I am not all that worried and unhappy about the election in general terms. I am very upset about the Ohio governor’s race because I like the candidate, Ken Blackwell, very much and would find it depressing to have him lose - which of course, he may not do. Yet, I would be less anxious if he were 2-5% behind in the polls rather than 10-20% which which looks too big to be true and yet too big not to mean loss. Let me put it this way; if it were Bob Taft running again, I would dread the Democratic administration, but not regret the loss so much.

My daughter’s school sent home a pro-life "ballot suggestion list" and maybe when such things disseminate from churches this week, Republicans will be motivated to go to the polls.

I am also worried about our issues, #2 being a real beaut. I understand there is something similar on the Colorado ballot. This begins as a Constitutional minimum wage law, with that wage permanently indexed for inflation, but two and a half pages of the issue are enforcement provisions. Part of this is that employers must keep personal and pay records of every employee for three years and must provide the records to employees or anyone purporting to be their designees (unions?) This is not just that employee’s payroll records, but everyone in the company’s records. What ho, privacy? Only employers are responsible for the costs of any inquiry. There’s more, but this line This section shall be liberally construed in favor of its purposes. is my favorite. The petition was distributed by a group called ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a coalition of unions and leftist Christians. This issue leaves businesses wide open for union disruption and abuse and will almost certainly pass because of the minimum wage provisions. Fighting? Of course, but without the bounce in the step you ask for. Sorry. In Ohio this does not feel like a mere political wind, but more like a typhoon.

ok forgiven on this point, lol

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