Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mid August overflow

A few things I've run across that are too long to fit on Twitter, which has all but killed my blogging:

James Taranto: “Times have changed. In the 1930s, government was small. Expanding it massively in order to solve problems might or might not have been a good idea, but there's no denying it was innovative. Today government is sclerotic. Those who believe more government is the solution to America's problems are at best unthinking reactionaries. The Tea Partiers, having clearly identified this problem, are today's true progressives (to employ the term in its literal rather than ideological sense).”

I have long made variations on this same theme, especially with regard to Social Security.


More Taranto: “Obama's failure is the failure of the liberal elite, and that is why their ressentiment has reached such intensity. Their ideas, such as they are, are being put to a real-world test and found severely wanting. As a result, their authority is collapsing. And if there is one thing they know deep in their bones, it is that they are entitled to that authority. They lash out, desperately and pathetically, because they have nothing to offer but fear and anger.”

Watching leftists try to explain away the failure of their policy ideas has served as a bit of dark comedy, but it hardly takes away the sting of having to live under said policies.


Jack Kelly: “Boiled to its essence, Progressivism is the belief that government knows best. More specifically, that government in the hands of such wise and public spirited people as Progressives imagine themselves to be knows better how to run businesses than do the men and women who own them; knows better what's good for ordinary people than the people do themselves….

The failure of their policies to improve the lives of most Americans didn't trouble Progressives much, because their focus changed. What was good for teacher unions became more important than what was good for students. What was good for public employee unions became more important than whether bureaucracies were serving the public well. To Progressive politicians, the votes of minorities became more important than their economic well being.”

I think this is exactly right: trying to argue specific policy ideas with them based on the results they produce is fruitless, because they do not care what the outcome of policies are. What is important to them is feeling like you are doing something good, and more importantly being able to convince interest groups that you mean them well. Feelings vs results is the “Mars and Venus” aspect of so much political discussion in this country, why neither side even understands the other.


Richard Miniter: "Obama is not the new FDR, but the new Gorbachev: a man forced to preside over the demise of a political system he desperately wants to save,"
Indeed, the line has been going around about how ironic it would be if Obama is the guy who finally discredits socialism (don’t hold your breath, that people still believe in it today shows that it is more religion than reasoned worldview).


Jay Nordlinger: “Question: If a state votes for lions of early-’70s liberalism, Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer, over such forward thinkers as Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina — not to mention those challengers’ entrepreneurial credentials — doesn’t the state kind of deserve what it gets?”

Indeed it does, Jay.


The dishonesty of Chris Matthews knows no bounds. He correctly quoted a 1987 Reagan speech:

"Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default. ... This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations."

Without quoting the rest of the passage, making clear the meaning:

"For those who say more taxes will solve our deficit problem, they are wrong. Every time Congress increases taxes, the deficit does not decrease, spending increases. It's time for a clear and consistent policy to reduce the federal budget deficit. ... You don't need more taxes to balance the budget. Congress needs the discipline to stop spending more, and that can be done with the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. ... But I ... will not permit Congress to dismantle our national defense, to jeopardize arms reduction or to increase your taxes. I am determined that will not happen."

Until next time...

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