Wednesday, January 30, 2008

McCain Derangement Syndrome

I've got it, at least today. Some on the right are perplexed by it, notably Roger Simon, so here's a response from one of his commenters, which sums it up for me:
Why so many on the Right detest McCain ought not be that tough a mystery to crack - they're returning the bile he's spewed in our direction for years.

McCain argues against tax cuts using "class warfare" rhetoric.

McCain gives Democrats cover for accusing the Bush Administration of "torture" with his very public posturing about waterboarding (this after we all know waterboarding broke KSM, by the way).

McCain tries to ram his immigration bill through over conservative objections & associates himself with that lil' puke Graham, who calls us bigots.

McCain snatches defeat from the jaws of victory with his "Gang of 14" deal. (It broke the logjam for a select few - Bush nominees are still being stalled - and took an issue where we had the high ground off the table.)

McCain provides cover for Democrats on "McCain / Feingold" - if he doesn't know Democrats will use it as a political weapon against Republicans when they get the chance, if he can't recognize how it enhances the influence of a media hostile to our interests, he's a fool.

McCain's harshest rhetoric, etc. is directed at "other" Republicans - find me criticism of Kennedy, Feingold, Edwards, Clinton, Gore, etc. that matches the temper & tone of what he's said about Romney on Iraq.

McCain's no party builder. He has no respect for anyone on "our side" who doesn't agree with him (it's almost as if he gives Democrats a pass because they're in the "other army"). He grandstands constantly.

McCain v. Hillary or Obama is a tough vote for me. I don't know how it comes out - - - - as the day draws nearer, I suppose I'll think a lot about just how much damage I think the Democrat could do. Maybe it'll be enough to convince me to fill in the "McCain / _______" bubble on the ballot.

But make no mistake - if that happens, it won't be a vote "for" McCain.

But as the Anchoress says, much could happen in the interim, so we can afford to chill a bit and wait.

THEN we can go ape.

Friday, January 11, 2008

From AoSHQ

I just posted something brilliant over at Ace's pad in response to a magnificent post of his, wherein he makes the best case against Ron Paul that I've heard—it's precisely what I've been thinking all along.

Hard-core libertarians like the Ronulans remind me of what Jonah Goldberg was telling Dennis Prager yesterday. He observed that the core difference between leftists (Liberal Fascists) and conservatives is that the latter recognize that we are all made from the "crooked timber" of humanity and can never achieve a perfect society because of our collective and several imperfections, most of which we can't get rid of, and if there's to be any kind of Utopia to be had, it will be in the next life.

Leftists, OTOH, want Utopia Now, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, and they believe that if you just tweak the system enough, that if you just set up the right kind of government and economic infrastructure, we'll all be Happy and United forever.

It would appear that the difference between Leftists and Libertarians is that Leftists believe that the state can be perfected thus to perfect the society it governs, and Libertarians believe that individuals will form their own Utopia if government would just get out of the way.

They're both wrong, of course, because they both seem to believe that most of humanity can be trusted to do the right thing most of the time, either in governing others or in being left to their own devices.

Enter the Classical Liberal, who recognizes humanity's weaknesses and tries to construct a society that will maximize our productive impulses and minimize our tendency toward self-destruction. The whole Constitution was based on a deep mistrust of people in power, so the federal government it circumscribed had limited power over the smaller state governments, and power was distributed three ways to prevent any one person or faction from having too much of it.

I'll paraphrase something I read recently, by someone whose name doesn't come to mind right away: We seem to have abandoned the dream of pursuing happiness and now want it delivered.

Goldberg's book is in the mail, BTW. I can't wait. I've been hoping for someone to put this all together for a long time.