Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Yes, Still MORE Shameless Self-Promotion

Here’s a new article by ME on our crisis in self-evidence. It includes a modest contribution to our inquiry into NOMINALISM.

Discussions - 31 Comments

I have a longish -- 2500 word -- review of Sullivan's The Conservative Soul. I think I'm the only reviewer to argue that he wasn't a good enough Oakeshottian.

On the news front: Today's biggest stories-

Obama's rhetorical mish-mash is too conservative to keep some liberals happy.

Both leading democrats in VA say no to VP rumors...intersting.

Pardon me for saying that Obama's rhetorical mishmash--although too conservative for liberals and (conwervatives whine) obviously dishonest--seems to me pretty darn effective. The commercial showing in Georgia is, in fact, a masterpiece of reassurance.

Peter: I'll pardon you - this time - for saying something favorable about Obama's rhetoric.....but let's watch it in the future!

Gary, Thanks, as usual I was thinking of YOU...

Peter, effective at winning elections, of that there is little doubt. What I hope, and the liberals fear, is that by adopting certain rhetoric of the right, Obama will be viewed as giving credence to the conservative idea behind it.

Of course this is nothing new. One party to win, must reframe the debate on the other party's strongest issue. In doing so, they usually gain power at the expense of fighting for their original reason to gain power (assuming there was one in the first place.)

Mr. Lawler, I take it that after looking at it further, you wisely decided not to promote this young man's blog?? (A thread was posted about it, and how it was "informed" as well as relentless, but it's gone now - I was just lucky enough to see it when it was up, I guess) I wonder if it was his constant references to Obama as "B. Hussein," his laughably lame comparison of Obama's campaign ads to those of Hitler, or the most juvenile sort of homophobia (he "couldn't resist" posting the pic of Obama eating a hot dog!), or something else that I might've missed in the 3 minutes it took me to see that the site was revolting and contributing to further diminution of modern American political discourse.

I only HOPE that those might be some of the reasons you re-thought promoting that high-schooler's website. But I am curious why it came and went...

Perhaps it has something to do with the "Crisis in Self-Evidence" that Mr. Lawler's article supposedly talks about. Since the kid agreed with Mr. Lawler, it must have been "self-evident" that his website touched on all the correct neocon talking points. I guess that is what happens when one shamelessly promotes - one does not think clearly or deeply enough. Perhaps Mr. Lawler should stick to promoting himself rather than blindly linking to what he thought was an ideologically conformist site. Overall, people on both the left and the right should condemn the nonsense of such an infantile site. I am new to all this, but why, after Mr. Lawler links to such a site, would I be remotely interested in his scholarly article?

I posted it on his request and wo looking at it enough. I thought it would be silly but it turned to be worse.My apologies, especially to him. I gotta to say it was the product of the dumbest generation

Kind of a mixed message. You seemed to praise the blog in your now-deleted blog-post, again, calling it "informed" and at least one other positive adjective (can't recall it now). You also called it "relentless" against Obama, which here at NLT would likely be considered praise, I'd think. The blog was presented as an example of how not every kid IS dumb and, therefore, falling for Obama's message/marketing. But now that you don't feel the blog is worth promoting, and it's also a "product of the dumbest generation" (yes?) you are apologizing to HIM? For what, premature praise based on the notion that the enemy of your enemy is necessarily your friend? Strikes me as odd, to say the least, to apologize to the kid - after all, he has the sub-par blog - and not to your fellow NLT bloggers and readers...

Craig, Listen, I usually don't apologize more than once. I apologized to the kid because I exposed his "subpar blog" to ridicule and all that. And I'm happy to apologize to YOU and anyone else who was offended. I posted before reading, figuring how bad could it be and his note was earnest and all that. I do not endorse the content of the blog. More than, I think I've made it clear enough that I'm impressed with Obama the person. There are lots of reasons I wish I hadn't done it, including that you will probably dredge it when I decide to run for president myself.

I wasn't offended by the kid's blog, I was actually somewhat amused, as the difference between it and so many right-wing blogs is quite minimal, in both content and style. Perhaps I was too hard on the kid for describing it as sub-par. The company of this blog excluded of course, I suppose his is about par within the right-wing blogosphere.

I was only seeking to understand the whys and hows of the post's appearance and disappearance; I wasn't seeking an apology at all, just baffled by who you apologized to and why...

If Craig is so appalled by the quality of "right wing" blogs, perhaps he could spend less time on them boring us with his self-righteousness and his evident desire to score a cheap point. Peter Lawler is the furthest thing from a right-wing hack as the quickest perusal of his writings ought to make clear.

Thanks, Dan. As a hack, I'm my own man.

For excellent evidence that Peter is neither a hack nor a right wing nut one should check out the article he linked.......or the book I reviewed (linked in the previous post---skip the review and just buy the book).

I never called Mr. Lawler a hack. Why defend him against an accusation that hasn't even been lodged? And why put the phrase right-wing in quotes, Mr. Mahoney? I don't think anyone could seriously suggest that this isn't a right-wing blog (begin with the title); shouldn't it be embraced by its fans as such, rather than laughably pretending that its middle-of-the-road?

And your ad hominem jab at me as "self-righteous" (I suspect that one is used against every single person who dares to disagree with you) and your suggestion that I get lost has served to bore me.

I intend to check out more of Mr. Lawler's writings, beyond this blog, but I will have to check my library's copies of Society, as I don't typically pay $32 for a single article.

Craig-this is getting tiresome. So someone said something extreme on a blog and wished he hadn't...oh my. He took it down, move

Craig: This blog leans right, but far less than it used to. Given that Mr. Lawler's greatest political praise has been poured on Obama and Clinton, I don't think he can be accurately charterized as "right wing," unless of course you are sitting behind the left field fence.

Well then, Clint, perhaps the blog should adjust to this new reality and be called "Occasional Left Turns". Although if one considers Obama's own recent shifts rightward, I'm not sure Mr. Lawler's support for Obama - to the extent that it even exists - would qualify as a left turn.


I'm the kid who runs the "subpar" blog everyone here is talking about.

I'm actually open to suggestions. And after reading some of your harshly put criticisms, I've redacted two things: the hotdog-Obama post and the comparison of Hitler's campaign to Obama. In addition, I will cease to refer to Obama s B. Hussein.

Though I thought I was being comedic, I obviously wasn't. I will focus now on political commentary and less on political comedy. After reading more of Mr. Lawler's articles, I think that the real way to be different (E Pluribus Unum) is to earnestly comment on my feelings, and not pander to the extreme right wing minority.

Most of all I apologize to Mr. Lawler-- who should take no blame since he did not read all of my posts carefully. To make it clear, I'm not apologizing to these complaints so I can be re-promoted. I'm taking these complaints to make my blog better so that, if Mr. Lawler ever finds it suitable in the future, my blog can be promoted without all this uproar.



Eli, Classy post, not at all subpar. Clint, Remember that I also did my share of praising Huck. Obama's rightward shifts are brilliant at reassuring America and not at all authentic.

Craig-"no left turns" was the campaign slogan of John Ashbrook, so I doubt the name is open to change even if the politics are.

Eli. Don't sweat it. You seem sensible in your comment, and I'm sure there are things 100 times nuttier than your blog (i never viewed it)out there online.

Peter, (assumed writer of post 21). As I recall you and Mr. Knippenberg were generally Anti-Huckabee in the primary. Primarily you sang the praises of Romney, although since you're a philosopher you did critique and praise everyone. On balance you favored Romney in both blogging and at the voting booth. Is that a fair statement?

You have also stated something to the effect that Bill Clinton was a good President for a lot of reasons (which you never specifically mentioned). You spoke strongly of how impressive Obama is on this very thread. I'm not calling you a liberal, although I have suspicions; my previous previous was defending you from being a "right wing hack." If you're a right-winger, you'd be one of the worst ones I ever saw. Your political views seem quite moderate.

Clint, I said many things against NRO's fanatical opposition to Huck and had many posts pointing to his virtues.
Early on I said he was the most impressive and eloquent R candidate. I said that, in fact, to a very doubtful Bill Kristol at the 2007 pol scinece convention. Bill eventually came around to Huck perhaps too much. It's true I never endorsed him or Romney. Not that my endorsement would mean much. I also said that Huck and McCain were the authentic candidates, and one of them would get the nomination. I am, in fact, a terrible right-winger and dissent from many views common on NLT. But being a terrible right winger is different from not being one at all.

I found this chain revealing and instructive, especially the triangular relationship between and among Peter, CS, and Eli. Peter initially showed his generous and (sometimes) slapdash sides; CS launched into his (frequently snarling and snarky) watchdog mode; Peter graciously acknowledged his sin of omission, not once but twice, and young master Eli "did himself proud" with his remarkably mature acknowledgement of youthful indiscretion and a desire to improve his blog and his own thinking. The two of them came off far and away the best, at least for those among us who appreciate traits of character along with a person's opinions. Gentlemen, I was genuinely impressed. Thanks.

Paul, Thanks to you.

paul seaton has declared the winners of this episode, and I am not among them. The "traits of character" belong to the blogger whose idea of political comedy involves perpetuating sleazy rumors in order to make a hot-dog-as-you-know-what joke and comparing Obama to Hitler and a Middle East dictator. The "traits of character" also belong to the blogger who linked to and praised the blog without examining it first then, apparently turning on the previously promoted high-school blogger and lumping him in with the "dumbest generation".

I never called Mr. Lawler a hack. I noted that he "wisely" pulled his post where he linked to the blog. I was curious, however, if his reasons for pulling it were for the reasons that I would have pulled it, or for something else entirely. I then expressed my confusion as to the purpose and object of his apology.

I think I can live without having the "traits of character" prized by paul seaton, whatever those actually are...

I'd like to respond your your comments about 2 of my posts.

"political comedy involves perpetuating sleazy rumors in order to make a hot-dog-as-you-know-what joke"

If you read that post before I removed it, directly underneath the video of Larry Sinclair was an explanation as to why he is untrustworthy. Thus, the post was not "perpetuating sleazy rumors." The post was actually just building on the Power Line post here.

"comparing Obama to Hitler and a Middle East dictator"

Never did I compare Obama to Hitler and/or a Middle East dictator. I think you're muddling a post where I compared the Obama campaign's use of the "O" to the way Hitler (as well as other dictators) subliminally promoted himself. In fact, in your previous post on this page you wrote, "his laughably lame comparison of Obama's campaign ads to those of Hitler"

I would never (and never did) compare Hitler's actions to those of Barack Obama.

The reason I removed those two things is because people like you misinterpret them for something completely and terribly worse and cause people like Mr. Lawler to disassociate themself from anything thought provoking. So if you want a reason why Mr. Lawler pulled my blog from the site, there you have it.

I'd be happy to discuss this more. My email is attached to this post.

What about your site's equation of the NEA with the NKVD, and the insinuation that the wildfires in California were God's judgment against gay marraige? Nothing like spreading garbage under the auspices of political humor, then saying your opponents lack a sense of humor. That is a page right out of the Limbaugh school of advanced conservative demagoguery.

"What about your site's equation of the NEA with the NKVD, and the insinuation that the wildfires in California were God's judgment against gay marraige?"

I suggest you-- and everyone else who reads this-- reread
the post of mine that you are misparaphrasing.
I equate Code Pink with the NKVD-- not the NEA. The first sentence of that post is, "I was reading the blog of Code Pink (henceforth known as "NKVD," the communist police) and came across a peculiar and disturbing post."

How can you mistake that?

And as for the wildfires being a retribution from God: I was merely pointing out an obviously non unique coincidence as a joke-- a practice I am now abstaining from (see my first post here). The fact that the coincidence is non unique proves that it's a joke. (What I mean by non unique is that fires in CA. have been happening for years. Thus, the current fires can't be attributed to the gay marriage ruling).

I hope you get over these petty issues that could have been solved by just reading more carefully.

Again-- if you have any (more) issues, please email me them or post them here.

Eli, You're putting up a good fight. But all in all, never did a thread deserve to end as much as this one does.

Yes. Never did a thread deserve to end as this one. And as for Tony Snow's colon cancer being a retribution from God for his lies on behalf of the Bush administration: I was merely pointing out an obviously non unique coincidence as a joke-- a practice I am now abstaining from. The fact that the coincidence is non unique proves that it's a joke. What I mean by non unique is that colon cancer deaths have been happening for years. Thus, Snow's death can't be attributed to his lies on behalf of the Bush administration. These issues could have been solved by just reading more carefully.

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