Where I Stand

A few of you have asked me (politely, for the most part) if I’m turning liberal. So I think I need to issue a clarification.

I’m still pro-life, anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-giant entitlements, pretty much a hawk and supportive of military force and executive power, for school vouchers, for tort reform, for free trade, and I am still supportive of other conservative causes. I think the difference between me and most conservatives is that I think governing is hard work, and I don’t see sinister plans to take away liberty or bankrupt us in every piece of legislation. That difference has become a huge sticking point now that a growing number of conservatives have decided to join things like the John Birch Society, mumble about “revolution” and shooting tyrants, give approval to things like anti-abortion terrorism, and display some very ugly attitudes about race and say they’re just being anti-PC.

So here’s the deal: I support GOP candidates that aren’t lunatics and trying their best to learn how to govern well. I do not support everyone who supports them, and am very skeptical of the Tea Party crowd for the most part. The Tea Party crowd plays a game with the GOP, threatening candidates with “they’ll never vote Republican again” and then admitting in numerous places that they’ve only voted for crackpot candidates if they’ve been voting previously. In other words, when they’re not threatening people in government with violence, they’re also pretending to be a part of a party while not doing anything for the party all the while. Their threat isn’t going to hold any water with me, because I want those people out of the GOP – not just for their craziness, but their duplicity.

So yeah, I’ll back GOP candidates that are sensible. But while backing them, I will help expose and attack their more extreme backers when I can. I can’t chronicle all the excesses of Left and Right, and I know the account this blog will end up giving will be incomplete and problematic. It’s a blog – some people are going to take more heat than others, and it won’t always be deserved. But we really don’t live in times where I can afford to be silent. It’s my country too, and I know if I stay silent, I’m only asking to be marginalized.

6 Comments

  1. Johsons post regarding that came off as an intellectually lazy and disengenuous hatchet job reminiscent of the Boston Globe or Keith Olberman.
    Or maybe ‘Butthurt’ to borrow a phrase from some of the newer arrivals over there. Just when Charles was starting to embrace Obama’s policies, a Republican from the bluest state in the union riding sweeps into what was Ted Kennedy’s office by reminding those oh-so-blue voters that he was the pivotal vote that would stop healthcare ‘reform’ in it’s tracks as well as a few other Obama pet projects. If I didn’t know any better, he feels betrayed by the voters in Massachusetts and is now going to lash out at them. He didn’t seem anywhere as concerned about some of the mafia-run union locals (like LiUNA) endorsing and fundraising for Coakley.

    http://www.projo.com/news/content/KICKBACK_SENTENCES_11-13-09_NAGE9CK_v11.37cdf92.html

    http://bitterqueen.typepad.com/friends_of_ours/laborers_international_union_of_north_america_/

    http://www.marthacoakley.com/about/Endorsements

    (scroll down to the ‘L’s- and that’s just for LIUNA. The SEIU, Teamsters, IBEW and others known for thuggery and labor racketeering seem to dig her as well)

    Hardly unique in New England politics, yet disconcerning by virtue of the fact that it’s hardly unique.
    .-= Fenway_Nation´s last blog ..Sports Chowdah Recap- Jan 18-20; Sens Filibuster B’s, Pistons Motor Past C’s, Red Sox Close Deal W/Papelbon =-.

  2. @ Fenway Nation – thank you for the links. I can’t speak on behalf of Charles Johnson, but I know he was right to point out the flags, and that post was in response to something very specific: people were telling him that Scott Brown had nothing to do with the Tea Parties and some of the extremists there. I thought Charles’ response to captdiggs was more than fair: while I support Scott Brown, definitely the more extreme elements attaching themselves to the campaigns generally have to be brought to light and attacked.

    I agree there is a lot of left-wing extremism that needs to be documented (I personally think the Rev. Wright affair tells us a lot about Obama’s opportunism and radicalism, but that’s self-evident in the policies at this point), that documenting right-wing extremism all the time is tiring. But I’m actually going to stick to documenting right-wing extremism for the most part myself, for this reason: if I can’t see what extremes my own ideology may be prone to, I have no credibility as a commentator. I may not do this perfectly, granted. It may also be the case that this ultimately does nothing to discredit left-wing extremism in this country. But I know there’s a difference between responsibility and partisanship at times, and that the former comes first.

  3. To be fair, I don’t think that the extreme segments of any political movement are going to be toned down by ANYbody calling them out, at this point. It has been pointed out enough times that the GOP party is leaderless right now: is this the problem?

    Whoever it will be can’t have the tin ear for politics that Obama has. Obama’s failure, in my opinion, is his utter disregard for public opinion. The fact of the matter is there was a time when Obama might have been able to bend public opinion, shape it, whatever you want to say. That time is over.

    What we need is somebody who will stand up, say, “here’s what I think,” and then ask, “what do you think?”

    The more I think about the Slouka article that I sent you, the more I think it may be a bit problematic at points: trouble-making doesn’t lead to conversation, which is just what citizens should engage themselves in. In fact, it is just the attitude that “anybody who has never held an opinion that pushes the limits is, democratically speaking [?!?], useless.” It means that a merchant thinking about the relationship between merit and property is not democratic.

    Obama has not had a conversation yet with the American people. Next Wednesday, I think, is his chance to hopefully change that.

  4. @ thag – I like the Slouka article. He sounds like your usual English professor with a Leftist – maybe even a Marxist – bent. And it’s fine: he brings an edge to the education debate we need.

    I’ll also say this: do we really have a good number of unique, interesting voices? Might it be the case we could use an actual troublemaker?

    I’ll get back to you on the GOP leadership thing, that’s a good question; I do think there’s a more refined way of talking about “Obama’s problem,” but I’m not sure how to put it myself.

    *oh yeah – I get the the “merchant/merit/property” thing: but here’s the kicker – James Madison and company very much were troublemakers, and their opinions created what some of us refer to as nothing less than the “New World.” A merchant who knew how to reward those around him for increasing his property – how to evaluate merit in terms of property – is probably useful in all regimes.

    Also, I get what you’re saying about a politician that attempts to conduct a national conversation. Any thoughts on why that probably wouldn’t work?

  5. I guess I’m just wondering how many of our guys are troublemakers? Forget Code Pink or something like that. For the most part, I like the article too. What I quoted is the only part that strikes me as odd.

    Maybe my problem is that I equate troublemaking with violence.

    And yeah, I have a few simple ideas on why a national conversation would probably not work, the first being that most people think they have more political wisdom than the politician! I’m not saying that they need to be bowed to, but geez! I have no idea what to do about conspiracy theory, but it is possible to get out of that black hole. The conservative movement of the 1950s was in a very similar place (albeit with [less] racism, etc). But you know what, I think a movement is more prone to that when there is no tangible goal. The liberals right now can work on getting health care done. Bad conservatives postulate very badly on WHY liberals want to get healthcare done. Do you see that difference?

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