Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Search of the Principled Conservative

Ramesh "Reasonable I Swear" Ponnuru:
Ben Shapiro flatly predicts that Mitt Romney, if nominated, will lose the general election because conservatives will be too unexcited about him to vote against Obama. Shapiro sees the primary as a battle between the establishment and tea partiers. He concludes, “If the establishment GOP succeeds in nominating Mitt Romney, it will be able to add another black mark to its long record of failure.”
One of the cool things about being a conservative is that you can be a complete fucking fool and get taken seriously by the house organs. Shapiro goes on to write shit like this:
But the establishment GOP sees the Tea Party as a threat, for two reasons. First, they think that the Tea Party is more interested in principle than victory. They look at Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell and they see a descent back to the losing days of Barry Goldwater. In this, they may be right. Many of those in the Tea Party would rather run principled candidates who lose than elect Democrat-lites who proceed to corrupt both the government and conservatism itself from within. In this view, at least there will be clear lines of blame when liberals drive the ship of state into the jagged rocks of reality.

Second, the establishment GOP is not aligned with the philosophy of the Tea Party. They like the philosophy of a Democrat-lite: more efficient, effective government, but not necessarily a smaller one. This is the philosophy of Mitt Romney, who rips Rick Perry for stating that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (which it is), who established a health care mandate in the state of Massachusetts, who supports Obama's continued nationalization of education, whose tax cutting talk is weak tea at best.
Does David Frum read that bullshit too? How much work is it to respond only to arguments you think might be rendered as sane in a column like that?

Back to Ponnuru:
But wait a minute. If Romney wins the nomination, he’ll win it the same way McCain and Dole and the Bushes won it: by getting more primary votes than anyone else. Of their own free will anti-Romney conservatives have elected, so far, not to unite behind any alternative candidate. The party establishment has influence only to the extent primary voters let it, and it is those voters who deserve whatever praise or blame attaches to the choice of nominee.
Yes, Ponnuru has to point out that if Romney wins the nomination people will have voted for him.

Strangely, Ponnuru leaves out the main assertion: Mitt will lose because disgruntled conservatives won't turn out.

Which disgruntlement factor is more powerful? I don't believe the internal mythology lets you pass up a chance to slay the dragon.

19 comments:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

They look at Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell and they see a descent back to the losing days of Barry Goldwater.

They didn't lose because they were principled, they lost because they were barking lunatics.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

They like the philosophy of a Democrat-lite: more efficient, effective government, but not necessarily a smaller one.

Heaven forbid we have an efficient, effective government.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...at least there will be clear lines of blame when liberals drive the ship of state into the jagged rocks of reality.

I think we should snag the zeppelin of state on a mountain crag.
~

mikey said...

Meh.

Why can't the ship of state, loaded down as it is with the deadweight cargo of corruption, waste, fraud and diversity, begin to leak around the hatchcovers of immigration in the storm-tossed seas of muslim terrorism and finally sink beneath the waves of history?

'Cause that would be cool...

mikey said...

Oh, hey Substance!

Did you see Frum's '13 Things'?

It was damn good. I copied it into Tomboy - at some point it'll serve me well...

Substance McGravitas said...

Didn't see it and I dunno what you mean. Got a pointer?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I tried googling, and ran across this.

It's not that, but it's...something (the comments, I mean).
~

mikey said...

This post:

http://www.frumforum.com/what-romney-gets-right

He lists thirteen ways in which: "On the most urgent economic issue of the day – recovery from the Great Recession – the Republican consensus is seriously wrong."

It's a nice encapsulation of the key economic horseshit. I kept it because I always forget a couple of them...

Substance McGravitas said...

It really is interesting that what I ordinarily think of as the "business" party is cool with crashing the economy.

mikey said...

And even more interesting that the businesses keep supporting them for it...

Substance McGravitas said...

Yeah, that's pretty weird. Although I guess if you think you're insulated enough, maybe you don't give a shit about anyone at all.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

It's more like the "looting the economy" party.

And since the people who own and run the big businesses are the beneficiaries, they're down with the program.
~

vacuumslayer said...

I was listening to an interview with this guy who basically said that what we're living with now is an economy mainly driven by a global set of super-rich.

And, yes, they are insulated, and no, they don't care about the middle class.

vacuumslayer said...

This is the book he wrote if I'm remembering correctly

Substance McGravitas said...

When bubbles pop and times grow hard, the animal spirits within all of us turn bearish, sometimes ungenerous, and deeply averse to risk.

Mine wants to hump table legs. WHAT DO I DO?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Southern Beale had an interesting post about the Crazy Uncle party. In it she mentions a study done in Switzerland analyzing stockbrokers versus psychopaths. Here's the money quote:

Now comes a new study from Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen showing that the most successful of the global financial elite probably pose more of a menace to society than known psychopaths.

As the website Newser reported, the researchers “pitted a group of stockbrokers against a group of actual psychopaths in various computer simulations and intelligence tests and found that the money men were significantly more reckless, competitive and manipulative.” Even more striking, the researchers note that achieving overall success was less important to the stock speculators than the sadistic drive “to damage their opponents.”

vacuumslayer said...


Mine wants to hump table legs. WHAT DO I DO?


I'd say dream bigger, for one.

vacuumslayer said...

Even more striking, the researchers note that achieving overall success was less important to the stock speculators than the sadistic drive “to damage their opponents.”


Am I the teeniest tiniest bit surprised?

Midwinter Books said...

I love:In this view, at least there will be clear lines of blame when liberals drive the ship of state into the jagged rocks of reality.
and it is my new motto.
1) Clear lines of blame, IN THE SEA???
2)Would blunted rocks be less damaging? frankly, if it's ship-on-them time, rocks is rocks,IMO.
3) Rocks of reality, WTF? Is it the ship of state's job to avoid reality? Well they have been doing a mighty fine job for the last 10 years, doncha think?
Ben's not getting any smarter what with the sharing of essential fluids