December 13, 2011

21st-century staunch conservatism, defined.

1. Label yourself a “Realpolitik Wilsonian.” Wilson being a Progressive’s progressive, and “Realpolitik” being the political label for “pragmatist.”
2. When given the opportunity to choose the greatest 20th-century President, go with the author of the New Deal — the man whose manipulations of the SCOTUS gave us an unstoppable Commerce Clause, the man whose economic policies extended the Great Depression, and the man whose Administration propelled the growth and expansion of federalized authority beyond recognizable Constitutional limits.
3. Praise Andy Stern, long-time head of the Service Employees International Union (who recently made headlines for touting “China’s Superior Economic Model” in the WSJ.
4. Repeatedly cite your tenure as House Speaker while framing yourself as a political outsider.
5. Dede Scozzafava! Ethanol subsidies! Governmment plans to fix the scourge of human exhalation!
6. Bachmann, Palin, Santorum? Kooks! With crazy crazy eyes or hillbilly breeding or bad Google problems. That’s not the kind of conservatism that sells, or that the modern conservative movement can back. Yuck!
7. ??
8. Profit!

(thanks to Pablo)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:06am
72 comments | Trackback

Comments (72)

  1. Lowry:

    The New Newt says he’s 68 years old and therefore has mellowed and matured. He was 65 years and a few months old when he opposed TARP and then supported it. He was still just 67 years old when he criticized President Obama for not instituting a no-fly zone over Libya and then criticized him for doing it. He was on the cusp of 68 when he denounced Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform as “right-wing social engineering,” before contorting himself to explain it away.

    We should all envy Newt Gingrich’s vitality that he has been capable of such youthful indiscretions in his mid to late 60s.

  2. Completely OT: More (hard to predict his future based on past players) and more (yes, it does appear he plays much better in the 4th quarter) on Tebow.

  3. this does not sound like a super big fan of Andy Stern I don’t think

  4. Considering conservatism and the left.

  5. Seventy percent of National Review readers polled think Mr. Gingrich should not give his Freddie money back.

  6. I’m thinking Hayward misdefines the argument:

    Start at the beginning. In the broadest terms, what is liberalism, and what is conservatism? My own shorthand definition is that liberalism is the view that individuals should be free to pursue their own self-chosen purposes, so long as their choices do not harm others.

    Yes, that is liberalism. But we’re not up against liberals. The left is not liberal, we are liberals. We’re up against progressives.

  7. Hayward, Pablo, notes in the very article that he has addressed progressivism in an older series. So, I take him to be distinguishing between liberalism and progressivism as separate items, and not speaking to progressivism here.

  8. The follow on question might be, then, does failing to address himself to progressivism as such mean that he can’t address the meaning of conservatism as such? I don’t think so.

  9. Yes, that is liberalism. But we’re not up against liberals. The left is not liberal, we are liberals. We’re up against progressives.

    And should stop assuming their dysfunctions owe to insufficient information. Rather, they manifest in a structural corruption stemming from simple human wrong.

    This is the base condition every election in forever has been predicated on, against, or in light of. If only we grasped that as a nation.

  10. “The Basis of Left and Right” is not conservatives and liberals, is my point.

  11. I still don’t grasp the distinction I guess Pablo, at least in regards to Hayward’s intentions.

  12. Mitt Romney in Worcester 2002 “My views are progressive”

  13. Hayward seems to be falling for the linguistic sleight of hand that finds us calling Progressives, or The Left if you prefer, liberal. His definition of liberalism is serviceable enough, but it doesn’t apply to the side of the ideological divide to which he applies it.

  14. No, I don’t think he does.

  15. To my eye he does seem to be drawing a parallel construction between left vs right and liberal vs conservative. It’s in the title (“The Basis of Left and Right”). He begins a paragraph this way (“The divisions between left and right are fundamental and unbridgeable.”). Then, he follows this with the question he’s interested in (“Start at the beginning. In the broadest terms, what is liberalism, and what is conservatism?”

    That parallel construction is a standard technique and if he’s looking to ask a different question — as in, “Let’s take a look at liberalism vs. conservatism within the right itself.” — then I don’t see why he doesn’t mention he’s changing the argument in that manner.

  16. The left stole the term liberal to use as a mask when they gained control of the Democrats after the 1968 convention. It served them well until Limbaugh started using it in the 90s not as a description of what we term “classical liberal” but as a pejorative whose definition is identical to what we call socialist and/or progressive.

    The left is to blame for the theft. Limbaugh turned it into a descriptive of the left. That was when they started using progressive again since it had been so long people had forgotten what it was exactly and it sounded so “modern” and forward looking as opposed to conservative which is what real liberals were left with as a name.

  17. Now, based on a comment of his, I’m guessing that he’s going to say the left are misguided liberals and this is what resolves his framing in his mind.

    Not sure how to link these but first is a comment to him and then a comment from him.

    Steven Hayward, you seem to be saying that liberals and conservatives each believe in freedom as a defining trait, but its commonly held that the believe in freedom is the one trait that perhaps separates the two sides the most.

    Left and right have different conceptions of what freedom means; stay tuned–more to come on this very point in future installments.

  18. I’m behind you guys (can’t keep up with, I mean) so far as grasping the problem goes, I guess.

    I mean, what if it happens that the critical distinction between left and right, conceived most broadly, doesn’t lay in the distinction between progressivism and conservatism, but in an earlier non-progressive identification of the “liberalism” as invoked as the moniker of the left? Or, alternatively, if Hayward looks around and sees that though the current crop of progressives happens to hold the levers of power in the Democrat party and the US government in general, nevertheless they also happen to be outnumbered by (silent, cowed possibly) Democrats who wouldn’t themselves identify as progressives, but would prefer to be called liberals?

  19. To my eye he does seem to be drawing a parallel construction between left vs right and liberal vs conservative. It’s in the title (“The Basis of Left and Right”). He begins a paragraph this way (“The divisions between left and right are fundamental and unbridgeable.”). Then, he follows this with the question he’s interested in (“Start at the beginning. In the broadest terms, what is liberalism, and what is conservatism?”

    Yes. Exactly that.

  20. I can imagine that’s his thrust and he’ll move to that but then I do find this opening piece a confusing way (to me at least, which is about all I can say about anything I read, I suppose) to start that task.

  21. I mean, what if it happens that the critical distinction between left and right, conceived most broadly, doesn’t lay in the distinction between progressivism and conservatism, but in an earlier non-progressive identification of the “liberalism” as invoked as the moniker of the left?

    Then we’d have two sides with room to compromise. But I don’t see where we have that now.

  22. I hadn’t read any of the commentary on Hayward’s piece until just now, but see that he has belatedly attached links to his earlier series on Progressivism at the bottom-most comment (sideways a little, since it actually links to his newest post which has the Progg series linked in it). He should have just simplified the thing by linking them at the mention in the original, but whatever.

  23. @#18 delayed as site went down for me for a while.

    I guess it depends on what you define as “a Democrat”.

    One of the effects of Pelosi’s strategy from 2006 to 2010 was to first get a bunch of “blue dogs” (the old liberal wing?) elected to the House to get control and then muscle them into voting for things like Obamacare which cost them their seats. It served as an ideological cleansing of the Party which if it gets control back will be full throttle far left.

    Obama dropping the white working class as a needed electoral group goes to this too.

  24. “Then we’d have two sides with room to compromise.”

    I don’t understand what he’s aiming at regarding compromise, anyhow, (not from your point of view Pablo, which, on the question of compromise with progressives I fully agree . . . I don’t see the grounds). At least to the extent that on the one hand Hayward explicitly says there’s ” . . . divisions between left and right are fundamental and unbridgeable,” but then on the other hand says “Rather than evade or gloss over fundamental differences, highlighting them is the vital pre-condition to finding any middle ground for possible compromise,” I don’t get him. Still, I’m willing to wait to see where he goes with it.

    As to the question of the fallout of the current Democrat party, and the differences between the progressives and the non-progressives or liberals among them (who are only just beginning to criticize Obama, as they find their feet of necessity, it beginning to dawn on them that Obama and Obama’s path are doomed to failure, and will take them down with it if they don’t begin to speak up), I think from what I’ve read by Hayward before that he simply believes the progressives are in complete intellectual collapse, and as such, have no future, though they still cling to power. That we’re living through that collapse and have yet to see fully just how it will play out. So maybe he’s speculating as to future Democrat positions, expecting them to fall back to earlier stances they think more defensible?

  25. That’s all well and good, and perhaps useful, but it isn’t a discussion of where we are now which is what the piece appears to be intended to be. Which is odd, because scanning his Progressives series, he certainly seems to get it.

  26. it’s like if the obamawhores want banana cream pie and Team R wants some kinda unfrosted duncan hines midwestern snack cake thing we can compromise and have rum raisin gelato!

  27. Didn’t have the patience to read the PowerLine thing, but when it comes to defining political spectra, you can’t do much better than DenBeste’s Left and Right.

  28. No, it’s like the Obamawhores demanding a 10″ banana cream pie and Team R giving them a 9″ banana cream pie because they know that next year they’ll be in control and can ask for a 10″ chocolate pie.

    Never mind that we’re the ones expected to stay up all night baking pies for a bunch of assholes, regardless of which asshole currently has the power to tell us what flavor to make.

  29. OT: Have to share this article: 50 funniest Tweets of 2011. I like #50 best, though.

  30. that was a LOT of reality for a tuesday afternoon Mr. squid

  31. First, I’m not a fan of the current Gingrich. I’d vote reluctantly for him in the general if he got the nomination. I’d vote with more enthusiasm if he put it out that he was bringing some tea-party conservatives into his administration at cabinet level. That said.

    I’m of a certain age where up until my mid-forties the Democrats had controlled Congress my entire life. There were a couple of blips where the Senate went slightly [R] but that wasn’t a position of power like running the House. Never did I or anyone I knew expect that to change. All battles were more like rearguard actions to keep final defeat at bay awhile longer.

    I can’t express the absolute joy and shock of the ’94 election. For breaking that stranglehold and showing that a [D] Congress wasn’t forever I’ll always be grateful to both Newt and Army. That the ’94 bunch accomplished less than was hoped for is a sadness but doesn’t belittle that without that breakthrough it would still be conventional wisdom that the House belonged to the [D] as a matter of right.

    Newt is what he is. I believe that the process that is now in place to pick nominees selects for persons of the somewhat narcissistic type. They being the only ones that can plow through it all without a collapse that makes them drop out. Push on regardless is the mindset needed to win a nomination it seems to me. If you don’t believe in your own greatness how will others come to believe it?

  32. I am not a big Ron Paul fan (although I love his fiscal conservativism) but these ads against Newt are pretty powerful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWKTOCP45zY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRdqGKA782A

  33. Pingback: Can't Get Enough Kate Upton - The POH Diaries

  34. A “realpolitik Wilsonian” is a fucking fascist. Newt should know this.

  35. I’m sure Newt would say well no I’m not a fascist and then go on to explain how it is that a “realpolitik Wilsonian” is indeed NOT a fascist given certain values of Newt.

  36. I am sure he would also. With a very stern look and authoritarian tone.

    Once you can fake sincerity…

  37. hah he loves fake sincerity so much he married it

  38. i’m not sure if carlista is a change from mrs. o.

  39. Calista’s jewelry is her own and is quite beautiful. Unlike the borrowed crap that Mrs. O wears.

  40. I missed this reference from Pablo earlier:

    He was on the cusp of 68 when he denounced Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform as “right-wing social engineering,” before contorting himself to explain it away.

    That really is another worthy mention on Jeff’s list.

    You could argue that Ryan’s reform plan institutionalizes progressive policy to an unacceptable point by giving some tacit acceptance. I know I sometimes wonder that. Steyn’s better-manager-of-the-welfare-state sort of thing.

    (sdferr once asked a provocative question involving whether or not Rubio’s parents fled Cuba for Medicare/Social Security. Not a bad hypothetical. I sorta doubt they did.)

    But, no, even that was a questionable offense to Gingrich. A criticism he managed to form from the left apparently.

    I worry that we pay too much attention to these debates as compared to past statements/overall record. In fact, if Gingrich can rise so easily, I’m sure of it.

  41. “You could argue that Ryan’s reform plan institutionalizes progressive policy to an unacceptable point by giving some tacit acceptance.”

    That’s what Paul Rahe was on about on means-testing today I take it, though I didn’t read his piece.

  42. Though I should add that I think I’ve heard Ryan himself delineate any such “salvation” of the major entitlement programs as a mere step on the path toward ultimately revising them out of existence as current conceived and configured, returning to a set-up closer to an extremely limited widows and orphans type fund. But the way I recall his musing on that, the attainment of any such thing would look to be a decade or more away, and that even, only with the consent, or say rather, demand, of the people. Folks would have to want it. For now, it’s almost impossible to think the majority of people could even conceive such a thing.

  43. It’s a whole other topic but Rahe and I just keep disagreeing on things.

    You can argue against means testing but far poorer younger people can’t somehow pay twice what they can’t pay anyways.

    All these programs are transfer of wealth policies. They’ve never been anything different. Unless his argument is that he wants to make those nonsensical programs crash as soon as possible, I just don’t know what to tell him.

  44. Arggh, now I have to go read it. Fie.

  45. alot of to “big to fail” going on

  46. Before finishing, I see Rahe takes up Shlaes’ argument that Social Security is insurance, which I have long taken to be a canard of the worst sort. In fact, I think the USSC said in a ruling, “no, it isn’t”.

  47. You could argue that Ryan’s reform plan institutionalizes progressive policy to an unacceptable point by giving some tacit acceptance. I know I sometimes wonder that. Steyn’s better-manager-of-the-welfare-state sort of thing.

    Indeed you could. But you’d also need to note that Ryan’s Medicare reform plan was but a piece of the only plan put in play that stands a chance of averting our impending fiscal doom. And you’d also do well to take note that at the very same time, Newt was still pimping an individual mandate.

    Does anyone see “Repeal Obamacare” here? Anyone think the Newtster is going to drive that?

  48. As a thumbnail sketch we have two issues. The first is demographic. The money that the baby boomers put into social security is gone. Spent in general funds and we even had a big stupid celebration when they hit their peak earning years and we all pretended that represented a balanced budget.

    Now, first, with that money gone, there are nowhere near enough workers to even pay for the poor and middle class during their retirements and medical costs with our insane notions of thirty year retirements and MRIs every other year.

    Second, we means test on the front end already. We call it a progressive tax code. Older people got a small taste of that. Younger people like myself will have to pay 70% in taxes in order to meet these nonsensical promises that other parties agreed to before we were born. Unless you’re really, really old, that wasn’t your top tax rate during your peak earning years.

  49. Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.

  50. I agree, Pablo. Just trying to say that Ryan’s plan is about as far as we can extend a compromise to those people given the underlying math. It’s a very good offer if they’d be reasonable in any way.

    For Gingrich to pretend it’s an overreach the other way? Galling. Just galling.

  51. the only reason i like newt is that he did what he said he would do in ’94. newt should go anti baracky care all the time. michele with 1 l hardest hit.

  52. Somehow I think Rahe doesn’t understand that any injustice conceivably attachable to means-testing, or any other serious alteration of the older three major entitlement programs has already been committed, and as such can’t be undone under any possible “reform”. It’s too damn late. One way or the other, someone, if not everyone, is going to have to bear the burden of those injustices. Which is why I’ve wondered now and again, what will the vasty people think when they finally figure out that the government that promises to “establish justice” has instead been perpetrating it on them? Pretty pissed off, I ‘xpect they’ll be.

  53. as far as mr. ryan’s plan goes: computer generated graphs don’t inspire confidence. see east anglia.

  54. It’s too damn late.

    Couldn’t agree more. But, perhaps the boomers and X-ers can agree to do the honorable thing and split the pain here to stop the cycle.

    It would be a much better thing for us to agree on that ourselves rather than take another nickel of some 18-year-olds tiny paycheck.

  55. That would be a fine thing to see. For my own part, having never been willing to dance to the king’s tune for taking the king’s money, I’m not about to start now.

  56. I’m sort of both a boomer and a Gen-Xer and I’ve never thought Unca Sam was going to be there for me in my ancient years. I distinctly remember having that argument some 25 years ago. The screwing is already baked into the cake, now it’s just a question of who eats it.

  57. I say that we eat it. Boomers and X-ers alike.

    Let the kids see something better. Less impossible and absurd, anyways.

  58. I ran into the old “hoist the black flag” Mencken quote again tonight and really, he got that right did HL. I’ve found myself, more than a few times lately, devising pretty pictures of Harry Reid, for one among others, looped to a pole. It’s almost impossible not to let honest feelings have the reigns for a spell, now and again.

  59. The kids couldn’t pay it anyway. There’s too damned many of us and not enough of them.

    Of course, this wholly realistic, selfless and sensible plan is fringe lunacy. Can with pinpoint the place where math became passe?

  60. “we”

  61. Some, non-pay-per-view, news history of the first attempt to rein in the budget and medicare, back when the web was a newborn thing and blogs just aborning. Here, here, and here.

  62. Democrats argue that, in an effort to slow the growth of Federal spending, the Republicans will essentially herd millions of elderly beneficiaries into health maintenance organizations and other forms of managed care. While the traditional program will be preserved as an option, Democrats say, it will become increasingly unaffordable — and “wither on the vine” — as doctors and patients are squeezed by rigid Republican spending controls into the cheaper, but more restrictive options.

    My, how things have changed.

  63. From the third link. November 26th 1995.

    Clinton routinely exaggerates and misstates. He repeatedly villifies the Republican budget as repudiating “shared values,” as if it would end every program since the New Deal. It wouldn’t. Surely, one “shared value” ought to be the accurate use of language. Civil debate collapses if one major actor continuously and flagrantly misstates the position of the others. The purpose then is to destroy and not to debate.

    Exactly so, that is ever their purpose.

  64. Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, budget chairman: [holding up a chart showing two horizontal graph lines representing how the president’s budget plan will affect the deficit and how the congressional budget plan will affect the deficit] Let me just suggest to you that this is the path, the tail of two deficits as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. As you can see, the president has deficits as far as the eye can see. We balance the budget.

    Now, look folks. You have an obligation. You have an obligation to hold the president accountable to the same standard that you’ve always held Pete Domenici and me. We have had all of our budgets counted by the budget office and they have been counted as accurate in getting to zero. When you take the president’s plan and you send it to the budget office and they calculate it, he isn’t anywhere near a balanced budget way beyond the turn of the next century. He never gets there. He has $200 billion deficits as far as the eye can see. If Domenici and I had brought to you a proposal based on our own, cooked up, economic assumptions and brought them to this gallery, you would have laughed us out of here. You would have criticized us. You would have said we didn’t get the job done and we didn’t keep our word. Well, the president has said he wants to balance the budget. He has to lay a plan on the table that does that. And when he doesn’t you must hold him to the same standard.

    Finally, under our plan to balance the budget federal spending will increase three trillion dollars more than what we spent over the last seven years. You know what we’re fighting about? We’re fighting about the fourth trillion.

    Also sounding familiar.

  65. Jesus.

    Bonus points for thought-corroding values.

  66. Financial humor.

  67. In Eric Holder’s world, there is no registration–same day or otherwise–and certainly no requirement to present identification. So I take it that the Democrats could identify all of the people who are listed as eligible voters in a given precinct (putting aside the difficulty of doing so), and send activists to the polls, pretending to be the one-third to one-half of automatically-registered voters who will not, in fact, show up to vote. There is no registration process, no identification requirement, nothing to prevent Democratic Party activists from casting millions of fraudulent votes. Is that what the Obama administration has in mind? I think so. If not, Mr. Holder or one of his representatives should explain to us how his proposed system will work.

    The Obama administration needs all the votes it can get, given its unpopularity with the American people. The question is, will the administration get those votes by persuading legitimate, eligible voters, or will it try to make up the deficit by enabling the casting of millions of fraudulent votes by Democratic Party activists? At the moment, it looks as though the latter is the Obama administration’s chosen course.

    And:

    Holder laid down markers which will excite his base and disturb law abiding citizens. He supported restrictions on political speech which will criminalize campaign falsehoods. He vowed hyper-scrutiny of voter integrity laws such as voter ID and vowed to run states like Texas through a nasty gauntlet on redistricting. If this doesn’t send a signal to Texas and South Carolina to pull their Voter ID laws out of Justice and go to court, nothing else will. Also in attendance was Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, a staring character in my book Injustice.

  68. Link to Holders speech diatribe.

  69. Supporting the right of every fraudulent vote to be counted. Your AG in action.

  70. Just heard on the radio that Gary Busey has endorsed Newt.

  71. Yes, Pelligri, that one was particularly delightful, too.

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