Spitting on the Dead

 

Jeffrey Rosen is a liberal in good standing.  He is the legal affairs editor of The New Republic.  He posted a piece on the passing of Robert Bork.  Rosen was a summer intern on Joe Biden’s staff that summer.  (May I say that some of the colloquies between the uber dense Biden and the uber brilliant Bork during the confirmation hearings  make for some amusing viewing.)  Although Rosen opposed the confirmation of Bork, he regrets the manner in which his nomination was defeated:

 

But even from the sidelines, as I celebrated Bork’s defeat, I remember feeling that the nominee was being treated unfairly. Senator Edward Kennedy set the tone with a demagogic attack. “Robert Bork’s America,” he said, “is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of Americans.”

Bork’s record was distorted beyond recognition, and his name was transformed from a noun into a verb. The Borking of Bork was the beginning of the polarization of the confirmation process that has turned our courts into partisan war zones, resulting in more ideologically divided opinions and less intellectually adventurous nominees on the left and the right. It led to the rise of right-wing and left-wing judicial interest groups, established for the sole purpose of enforcing ideological purity and discouraging nominees who have shown any hint of intellectual creativity or risk-taking. And it had obvious costs for Bork.

Go here to read the rest.  The reaction of most of the TNR readers commenting on the post is unsurprising but depressing nonetheless:

To paraphrase Bette Davis…

You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good.

Robert Bork is dead.  Good.

*********************************

basman, I regret nothing. 

No matter how “friendly and convivial” Bork was in private, his public views were beyond the pale, and his influence has been disastrous for the country.

I refuse to mouth false pieties on the death of a man I despise.

*****************************************

The death of anyone is certainly a time for quietude and reflection. Bork was a totemic figure for conservative law scholars and the conservative legal movement. Still, why should Bork’s passing obscure the fact that blocking his elevation to the SC was best for the country, certainly for women and for those of us who wish for a sensibly moderate to liberal SC approach to jurisprudence. The Democrats and particularly Senator Kennedy fought a much needed battle and yes, it was messy – and it did change the confirmation process – but this was a small price to pay for the alternative: Robert Bork on the SC for the past 25 years. America is a better place without A Robert Bork SC era and though it is certainly respectful to pay tribute to a man who was undeniably accomplished in his field, why should we pretend that nixing his SC nomination was, in retrospect, wrong? It was absolutely the correct thing to do with his nomination. I am eternally grateful to Ted Kennedy and the 58 senators who voted against his elevation to The Court and his death does not alter that assessment in the slightest.

To be fair there were better comments and some took the commenters gleeful over the death of Bork to task, but the consensus was that it was a good thing that Bork’s confirmation was defeated and that such a good end justified the disreputable means use to accomplish it.  Most conservatives think that liberals are wrong and wish to convert them.  Most liberals think that conservatives are evil and wish to defeat them by any means necessary.

 

66 Responses to Spitting on the Dead

  • “The mercy you give shall be the mercy you receive.” On coffee break and away from resources, however I do recall these words and for me they seem appropriate.
    God bless Mr. Bork and may perpetual light shine upon him…

  • philip: “The mercy you give shall be the mercy you receive.” On coffee break and away from resources, however I do recall these words and for me they seem appropriate.
    God bless Mr. Bork and may perpetual light shine upon him…”

    I agree. Let not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth escape the Supreme Court. America would have had the truth with Robert Bork.

  • It says something about Prof Bork that he spoke up publicly for Lani Guinier (Pres Clinton’s nominee for Dept AG) when she was “borked” on the basis of her law review articles.
    A lesser man, like myself, would have sat back and enjoyed a bit of Schadenfreude.

  • Hatred: It’s a liberal thing!

  • Bork, working from Above!?
    Christianity Today breaking story of possible Wheaten College win over HHS mandate.
    If so, heavenly court interceding? Let’s pray that the news is correct, and our freedom of conscience is protected.

  • Jeffrey Rosen is a liberal in good standing. He is the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. He posted a piece on the passing of Robert Bork.

    …Didn’t have to get any further along than that to know I didn’t want to read any more.

    Some scum are never happy unless they can viciously attack the safest possible target.

  • Actually Foxfier the piece itself is fine since it points out, accurately, that Bork was defeated by the vilest sorts of lies and character assassination. It is the kneejerk, “Hurrah Bork is dead” reaction of the commenters to the piece that I found of interest.

  • It is the kneejerk, “Hurrah Bork is dead” reaction of the commenters to the piece that I found of interest.

    Exactly my point.

    Even if you CAN find someone who does a fair shake, it’ll be covered with cowards.

    Sort of like far from all liberals would spit on cops or soldiers…but there’s more than enough who take great glee, then paint themselves as victims if anything comes of it.

    Depressing.

  • You will not see this type of vile behavior from the right when Tribe passes. Thankfully, most of my liberal friends are more like Rosen. But not all.

  • Most conservatives think that liberals are wrong and wish to convert them. Most liberals think that conservatives are evil and wish to defeat them by any means necessary.

    Don, I was struck by the beauty of this observation. But on reflection, I don’t think it’s true. At least, it’s not true any more. There’s a nasty strain of what at best you could call populism on the right. I’m not saying we’ve got a mote, or even an equal speck, but we’ve got something in our eye. Am I imagining it?

  • No, Pinky, you’re not, and it just goes to illustrate how hate, like contagion, does eventually spread. One can be vilified only so long on as grand a scale as national propaganda spew before it is nigh impossible to retain civility in the face of such attacks. But that, too, is part of the Progressive plan. Our greatest strengths counted humility and patience, and that’s where they’ve attacked for generations. Now, some of us fight like they do; they’re better at it, so they win.

    St. Michael, defend us in battle.

  • “I’m not saying we’ve got a mote, or even an equal speck, but we’ve got something in our eye. Am I imagining it?”

    No, Pinky I would not deny that some conservatives use hateful language against liberals, just as some liberals can express themselves without sounding as if they they wished they could put a bounty on the heads of all conservatives. I think my observation is correct as to most conservatives and most liberals. I would agree with WK that hate does spread and that our liberal opponents are raising up through their vitriol conservatives who will return hatred with hate. We saw what this type of animosity can lead to in 1820-1865.

  • “Most conservatives think that liberals are wrong and wish to convert them. Most liberals think that conservatives are evil and wish to defeat them by any means necessary.”

    Oh come on, Donald. You’re better than this. This is stupid red meat, baseless self-congratulations for being the Decent People and the opportunity to demonize the “other” for something both sides are guilty of. I’m sure I could browse the comments of this blog and come up with innumerable examples of “conservatives thinking that liberals are evil and wishing to defeat them by any means necessary.”

    Regarding speaking ill of the other side’s dead, it’s obvious that both sides do it (ironic that Ted Kennedy figures into this story; need I remind anyone what Andrew Breitbart said about Kennedy following his passing?). I don’t know who does it “more” and frankly I don’t care. It’s wrong and I’ll denounce it whenever and wherever it turns up.

  • I don’t know if I’m just going through a bargaining phase in my post-election grief, but I could have sworn that this used to be easier. We did better and did it with more decorum. Are the Republicans doing worse *because* we’ve lost our decorum? Or are the cards so stacked against us that even at our best we’re getting clobbered? Petulant despair is just about the least Adventy mood possible. I need to get out of Maryland for a while. Getting cut off by bad drivers with Obama bumper stickers is becoming too symbolic for me.

  • Oh come on JL, you’re better than this “both sides are equally guilty” nonsense. As Donald conceded, there are certainly conservatives guilty of using ridiculous rhetoric, but to say that the sides are equally guilty is to turn a blind eye to rancor evident on the left, especially to younger generations of leftists. This is especially evident when it comes to discussion of social issues and many young hipsters can’t even fathom that people can hold contrasting viewpoints.

  • it’s not so much about equal badness, as it is that the types of sentiments you can find in liberal comment sections are echoed much more from “respected” liberals than on the opposite side. even with liberals who give conservatives a fair shake by their standards there’s this desire to pathologize their opponents.

    part of it is the nature of the issues (social issues were mentioned above.) liberalism’s core is that any innate characteristics we have must, by definition, have no consequence. therefore because most homosexual attraction is innate, you can’t object to same-sex marriage. because being a man/woman isn’t a choice so women have to be “equalized” through free abortion access, otherwise you’re ruining their life. etc.

    i think the only way to combat these ideas isn’t through pointing out how liberals are “intolerant” (which is situation-dependent anyway) but questioning this central premise of their thinking. maybe this sounds reactionary, and obviously all human beings have certain basic rights, but liberals have expanded these rights into a more-and-more extensive egalitarianism where plenty of people intuitively object to their conclusions. there needs to be better, more effective communication of why this is in the face of continual liberal claims that intuition is just bigotry and their pose as superduperrational people.

  • “Oh come on, Donald. You’re better than this. This is stupid red meat, baseless self-congratulations for being the Decent People and the opportunity to demonize the “other” for something both sides are guilty of.”

    No JL, it is analysis of what I see. I range widely in my reading and the amount of bile and vitriol I see on the port side of politics in our country far outweighs that on the Right. Politics has never been one of the gentler arts in this country, but the eliminationist language I often observe now on Leftist sites, often with a strong admixture of anti-Christian in general, and anti-Catholic in particular, sentiments, reminds me of the type of language engaged in by much of the Left in early 1930’s Spain rather than in the American political tradition. I fear very bad times coming for the country, unless, in Lincoln’s ringing phrase, the better angels of our nature assert themselves.

  • “I need to get out of Maryland for a while.”

    A good idea Pinky. Nationally, Republicans have not been stronger since the mid 1920’s.

  • It was the Catholic political scientist, Carl Schmitt, who pointed out that just as ethics is about good and evil and aesthetics is about beauty and ugliness, so politics is about friendship and enmity. The political comes into being when groups are placed in a relation of enmity, where each comes to perceive the other as an irreconcilable adversary to be fought and, if possible, defeated. “Every religious, moral, economic, ethical, or other antithesis transforms itself into a political one, if it is sufficiently strong to group human beings effectively as friends and enemies”

    That is why Schmitt rejected the notion of neutral rules that can mediate between conflicting positions. To Schmitt, there is no such neutrality, since any rule – even an ostensibly fair one – merely represents the victory of one political faction over another and order is just the stabilised result of past conflicts.

  • Orwell wrote in “Refelctions on Gandhi”, “. . . poltics, which of their nature are inseparable from coercion and fraud.”

    Truth. This is not about saving little school children from assault rifles. This
    and 800 other ruinous, liberal boondoggles constitutes the umpty-umphthed incident of amoral, vampirous elitists suppressing the rest of us.

  • Oh come on, Donald. You’re better than this. This is stupid red meat, baseless self-congratulations for being the Decent People and the opportunity to demonize the “other” for something both sides are guilty of. I’m sure I could browse the comments of this blog and come up with innumerable examples of “conservatives thinking that liberals are evil and wishing to defeat them by any means necessary.”

    1. JL, I think if we did a content analysis of his speeches, we would find that George W. Bush was the least rhetorically confrontational man to occupy the White House in the last 40-odd years.

    2. His initial campaign and his portfolio of domestic policies had the following salient elements: greater socialization of costs in the realm of medical care (specifically prescription drugs for geezers), an amendment in the conditions placed on federal aid to local schools (enacted with the cooperation of Edward Kennedy), and a (time-limited) reduction in the ultimate marginal income tax rate (from 39.5% to 33%). (There was a great deal of bitching and moaning about the minutiae of environmental regulation and off-shore drilling leases, but only a fool takes environmental lobbies seriously). For 3/4 of his tenure, his party had a thin plurality in the federal legislature; a corps of recalcitrant Republicans you could count on your fingers could block anything he wanted in the House of Representatives and any majority you have in the Senate is largely fictional. For the remainder of his tenure, the political opposition controlled both bodies. His challenge to business as usual in Washington was minimal because of structural factors but also due to his own inclinations. Gerald Ford vetoed 65 pieces of legislation in the 29 months he was in office; IIRC, George W. Bush vetoed 2 pieces in the 24 months he faced a Democratic Congress.

    3. As for foreign affairs, he faced a black swan event that had no precedent and not one thing he did prior to April of 2004 did not have a great deal of buy in by the political opposition. He was abnormally steadfast in inclement circumstances and his very peculiar judgments were eventually vindicated with the success of the surge in Iraq.

    4. More particularly with regard to social questions, he did two things: he appointed appellate judges one might reasonably wager would be deferential to democratic choice and he refused to subscribe to the most au courant crud promoted by the nexus of forces around the Democratic Party (crap no one gave any thought to prior to about 1987).

    If you want to characterize George W. Bush, the most descriptive appellation would be “Rockefeller Republican ca. 1962″ (before that tribe began pushing contraception and abortion). The man is supposedly abnormally competitive and by some accounts has a temper, but he was invariably polite in public. Other than a history of heavy drinking in his young adult years, the man carries no personal scandals; other than fantasias from Michael Moore and Molly Ivins and Kevin Phillips, no professional ones adhere to him either.

    This dignified and deal-making status quo politician was subject to the most intense and sustained campaign of vilification any federal office holder has suffered in the last 35 years. It makes no bloody sense.

  • Did I mention Sarah Palin? She has some interesting and unusual personal features, but looked at schematically, she was a Republican politician of the standard-type; her general viewpoints on the range of questions politicians ordinarily confront were the modal ones within the Republican Party. She arrived at her position by way of a career in municipal politics, which is quite nuts-and-bolts. She has never been one to do much reading in theoretical political economy. Again, the worst scandal that has befallen her are the public indignities of her oldest daugther, the vast bulk of which occurred after she left public office; there are no non-spurious professional scandals adhering to her.

    A number of years ago, Larry Sabato offered that the way the newspapers interact with federal politicians could be periodized as follows: the era of the ‘lapdog press’ (1941-66), the era of the ‘watchdog press’ (1966-73), and the era of the ‘junkyard dog press’ (1973 to the present). There have been sixteen individuals who have run unsuccessful candidates for the vice presidency and lived into the era of the ‘junkyard dog press’. A grand total of three have been subsequently raked over the coals by the media: Geraldine Ferraro, John Edwards, and Sarah Palin. I have some sympathy for the Ferarro and Zaccaro families, but when four of your six first degree relatives have faced felony indictments over the years, you get some unwanted attention. As for John Edwards, the man is a stupefying sociopath (and his misbehavior was exposed by the tabloid press; the mainstream media wanted to ignore the story).

    Just what did Sarah Palin do that a character like Joe McGinnis thought it advisable to rent a house with a view of her backyard and trash whatever reputation he may have had by publishing anonymously sourced (if not wholly fabricated) crap about her marriage, her child-rearing practices, &c.?

    It makes no bloody sense.

  • Regarding speaking ill of the other side’s dead, it’s obvious that both sides do it (ironic that Ted Kennedy figures into this story; need I remind anyone what Andrew Breitbart said about Kennedy following his passing?).

    Edward Moore Kennedy had the following in his personal history:

    1. Alcoholism
    2. Serial adultery
    3. Vehicular manslaughter (for which he was not prosecuted due to political connections).

    His whole political career was attributable to the family machine (with an assist by dim-witted Massachusetts voters). His first opponent had this to say: “if your name were Edward Moore, your candidacy would be a joke”. ‘

    Can we mention his appalling rebellion against the Church on non-negotiable questions? His re-marriage in defiance of canon law? (For which he received only mild public rebukes).

    Someone had to tell the truth amid the nauseating encomiums, even if their mode of expression was poor.

  • The most salient element of the Kennedy legacy is the ruin who goes under the name “Joan Bennett Kennedy”, about whom Mary Jo Kopechne cannot be reached for comment.

  • Art,

    Let us not forget what they did to Sarah Palin and her family.

    And, what they are doing to the GOP member (heh: an iota of intellect is requisite to recognize irony) of the Senatorial Black Caucus.

    No, wait! We could do this exercise all week . . .

  • It doesn’t help Republicans at all to have an appointed black Senator. They have to prove themselves and vote for him. As for Palin, her affect was terrible, and she did as much damage to the Republican brand as Nixon. The world is tough enough to nagivate; you can’t have people who fall into obvious traps.

  • Art,
    What Palin did was advertise her pro-life beliefs while demonstrating love and care for her Down Syndrome child. This rankled the evil left beyond measure. Truly, that was all there was to it.

  • Why did they hate Robert Bork?

    Maybe it is because Justice Bork was against absolute power. He promoted the intent of the Constitution. He bristled at scholarly incompetence. Robert Bork opposed the usurpation of power from democratically elected bodies to authoritarian gangs of unelected, immoral elitists: bureaucracies and courts. He was a voice crying out (in scholarly fashion) that liberals are evil imbeciles.

    Next topic: Why does the Devil hate Holy Water?

    Pink: Sarah Palin did what?

    Stay right there in Maryland: perfect fit.

  • Exactly, Mike.
    Because of that threat to their self image, they lied about her.
    And thus, Pinky believes that she did damage, not those who lied.

  • Fox – You’re unfairly characterizing my position before you’ve even heard it. If we can’t have better etiquette among ourselves, we’re in trouble. Even the pagans love their own.

    What Palin did was show up unprepared on the national stage. The Republican Party struggles with a national image of being stupid. Palin didn’t know the facts and figures, couldn’t construct effective rhetorical arguments, and took umbrage at criticism.

    Reagan knew his stuff cold. He’d studied it for years. He was always called stupid, but the charge never really stuck, because he could switch between folksy and analytical mid-sentence. Palin presented the image of someone who neither knew the facts nor was particularly interested in learning them. That kind of populism makes it impossible to argue effectively on complex issues.

  • Actually Pinky I believe that Clark Clifford who served in every Democrat administration back to Truman spoke for most Democrats when he referred to Reagan after his election in 1980 as an “amiable dunce”. Reagan since his presidency has been viewed differently than he was at the time. The hatred that Reagan faced, and the sheer contempt by the Left and the mainstream press, cannot be underestimated. Ironically it was Saturday Night Live that got closest to the truth about Reagan:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7ms89_saturday-night-live-president-reaga_fun

  • Don – The charge was always made, but it never stuck with the voters.

    The whole charge of stupidity fascinates me. The Republicans do their best when the narrative is R=brains, D=heart. They’re never going to win the heart part of the equation, other than coming off as “amiable”. But they always get hit with the charge of being dumb. They need to work their keisters off against it. You can see the dichotomy in the press’s story line about Bush and Cheney: one was dumb, the other was evil. Bush brilliantly didn’t try to fight it. Palin (like Quayle) came off as huffy about it. The result: in people’s minds, Gore was brighter than Quayle, and Biden was brighter than Palin.

  • “The charge was always made, but it never stuck with the voters.”

    Reagan got elected President for many reasons, but I wouldn’t underestimate his appeal to the hearts of the voters. The constant misunderestimation of him by his political foes served him well throughout his political career. The premise of most liberals is that anyone who isn’t a liberal is, by definition, an idiot. I think this entered into the political equation with Adlai Stevenson, who could do fake intellectual well. (As William F. Buckley noted Stevenson was always threatening to read a book.) The intellectual pretensions of modern liberalism I date from this quip by Stevenson: That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority! Supposed response to a woman who called out to him: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!”

  • Fox – You’re unfairly characterizing my position before you’ve even heard it.

    You’re the one who claimed her “affect” on the “brand” was worse than Nixon. You stated your position.
    She is an attractive woman with pro-life views and a nice batch of kids who did not kill her disabled son, or even have the “decency” to hide him away so he didn’t make the left uncomfortable. So they attacked, they lied, and many people, such as yourself, accepted those lies and then blamed her for that acceptance.
    No amount of preparation will help you when the ones making the rules will edit your videos, selectively quote you and push false accusations as fact, especially not when those supposedly on your side either abandon you or help them.

  • Her affect – mannerisms, expressions – were terrible for a VP candidate. Not because she was a pro-life woman, but because she didn’t formulate clear sentences or articulate party positions in an intellectual way. She was the press’s dream yokel, and they were never going to let that go, but she handled it really poorly. That debate, for example, wasn’t edited.

  • Totally disagree with Pinky. Other than the Couric interview, which even she admits she screwed up, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way she spoke or the way she presents herself on the issues. She has a folksy mannerism that might be off-putting to some and which may make her seem unintelligent, but she has about as firm a grasp on the issues as any of the more polished politicos of our day.

  • Pinky-
    You have heard of our current VP, right?

  • Paul, I agree.
    And yes, Biden makes Palin look like Daniel Patrick Moynihan; but the MSM will never play fair on this and most voters are subject to their influence. I do agree that Palin was “not ready,” though really no more so than Obama, and just to be clear — Biden will never be ready. But while her deficiencies were not wholly imagined, they cannot explain the viciousness of her critics. For that, see my 11:00 a.m. post.

  • And in anticipation of Pinky’s protest of my comparison between Biden and Palin, please remember — glibness is not the chief qualification for the Presidency.

  • It doesn’t help Republicans at all to have an appointed black Senator. They have to prove themselves and vote for him. As for Palin, her affect was terrible, and she did as much damage to the Republican brand as Nixon. The world is tough enough to nagivate; you can’t have people who fall into obvious traps.

    Memo to Pinky (and Howard Fineman, while we are at it):

    1. Gov. Palin has not been found by a grand jury to have been an unindicted co-conspirator to a nexus of felonies.

    2. Gov. Palin did not spend two years of her professional life brazenly lying to the public about said conspiracy.

    3. Gov. Palin did not, through subordinates, hire a collection of tyros (e.g. Krogh), rogues (Hunt, Ulaszewicz, Barker, et al), bizarre rogues (Liddy), and the highly reluctant (McCord, Caulfield, Ulaszewicz) to burgle the offices of political opponents, local psychiatrists, or the Brookings Institution, much less slip LSD to Jack Anderson. Even Joe McGinnins and Todd Purdam got a way without a bloody good hiding from Todd and Track Palin (which is too bad).

    4. Gov. Palin cannot be fairly said to have induced the loss of 42 seats in the House of Representatives to the political opposition.

    Gov. Palin is a high energy sanguine personality. Heretofore, that has not been a handicap with the general public. You do not like her manner of speaking? Somehow I think a public square which can accommodate Jimmy Carter, George Bush the Elder, Joseph Biden, and Ron Paul (not to mention our oleaginous former President) can accommodate Sarah Palin.

    While we are on the subject of ‘voice’, I should tell you that you would be more persuasive if you were not doing a bad imitation of a psychiatric intake nurse.

  • It doesn’t help Republicans at all to have an appointed black Senator. They have to prove themselves and vote for him.

    Can you please name one occasion since 1966 where a black Republican failed to win election to Congress because of a deficit of support from the Republican base? Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Florida have all elected black Republicans to Congress in recent years; the comparative size of the Republican vote in each of these states has been what? The most prominent black federal officeholders in the last twenty-odd years have been Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, and Condoleeza Rice. The effect on the share of the black electorate casting Republican ballots has been what?

  • Art, What Palin did was advertise her pro-life beliefs while demonstrating love and care for her Down Syndrome child. This rankled the evil left beyond measure. Truly, that was all there was to it.

    Ya think that is what bothered the succession of Republicans who have been chronic (if not obsessive) fault-finders re Gov. Palin (Charles Fried, Kathleen Parker, David Frum, and Joe Hargrave who used to post here, not to mention Pinky)? Try parsing their remarks and see if any of them would withstand two minutes of critical thought. I think there is something more elemental at work here.

  • And in anticipation of Pinky’s protest of my comparison between Biden and Palin, please remember — glibness is not the chief qualification for the Presidency.

    Yes, one might note that Gov. Palin had budgets to produce and line administrators to hire and fire. Biden just needed to hire staff to spin his gaffes and answer the mail.

  • Art, yes, quite a few Republcians have been critical of Palin. Some of that criticism is legitmate: she was not as articulate on some matters as many of us would have wished. Some, I suspect, is sourced in a desire, probably subconsious, to align with the “brights.” And some, perhaps, rests in a simple prejudice, possibly also unconscious, against someone without an elite background. But these critics were not the ones demonstrating unbridled hatred. That came from the Left, and I stand by my explanation.

  • I have been posting on this site for what’s got to be a couple of years now. I am as pro-life and orthodox as anyone here. A person can criticize a politician and remain in the fold, can’t he?

  • Thanks, Mike. I wish I’d seen that post, particularly the second sentence, before submitting my own.

  • person can criticize a politician and remain in the fold, can’t he?

    Sure, but your criticisms are not beyond criticism.

  • I come to bury Palin not to praise Palin.

    She was running for a post wherein she would have two duties: inquiire daily as to the president’s health and attend state funerals.

    She ran the State of Alaska, which unlike IL, NY, DE, and the Federal government is solvent, i.e., not fiscally and morally bankrupt.

    How can she be more stupider than Obama and Biden? Look at the state (as in condition) of Alaska and compare that to the wreck which is the USA after eight years of Bush acting the pro-war liberal and four more ruinous years of Obama, Biden, Geithner, Bernanke, etc.

    Maybe she couldn’t save McCain (a freaking genius, ya think?).

    Because of smart-aleck intellectuals: pretty soon there will be nothing left of the USA.

    Ergo you are all wrong about Gov. Palin’s lack of “glibness” regarding the got’cha questions from the lying, vile scum.

  • “A person can criticize a politician and remain in the fold, can’t he?”

    Of course Pinky, but all posts and comments are subject to critiques from others, certainly that is the case with almost all of my posts!

  • “It doesn’t help Republicans at all to have an appointed black Senator. They have to prove themselves and vote for him.”

    Art, again, what I’m stating is the truth, whether you throw tomatoes or not. It’s going to take the Republicans years more to wear down the distrust that blacks have. The political benefit of this appointment will do next to nothing. The political benefit of Republicans actually voting for him will do a lot more. That’s all I’m saying.

    And we know this. Scott’s going to be considered a token until he wins. Then, he’s going to be considered a token until there are two black Republicans in the Senate. And if even one black Democrat wins in the Senate, the Republicans are going to be back to being tokens. And when Scott’s a four-term senator, head of a committee, and 30% of the Republicans in the Senate are black, there’s going to be a slight hint that not every Republican is a racist.

  • I really wish I hadn’t commented on this post. It only served to set-off another round of self-assurances that “we’re better.”

    Points about hatred for Bush and Palin are well-taken. There was definitely a disgusting level of vitrol and bile directed at them. I’ll only point out the the level of despisement for our current president has addled people’s brains so much, that they’re able to simultaneously entertain the notions that he is both a communist and a fascist, both a militant atheist and a secret Muslim.

    Fact of the matter is, I’m not sure where non-empirical, anecdotal evidence gets us. And even if one grants your point that the Left resorts to hate far more than the Right, and that their leaders are more complicit in it then are their conservative counterparts, so what? Why dwell obsessively on this point if not merely to pat yourselves on the back?

  • Art, again, what I’m stating is the truth, whether you throw tomatoes or not. It’s going to take the Republicans years more to wear down the distrust that blacks have. The political benefit of this appointment will do next to nothing. The political benefit of Republicans actually voting for him will do a lot more. That’s all I’m saying.

    No, Pinky, you were saying Republican voters have something to ‘prove’. They do not and it does not matter what they do. (BTW, he was already representing a predominantly white constituency). At some point a generation or two or three down the road, the effects of cognitive dissonance may take hold among black voters and the relationship between that electorate and the Democratic Party apparat will breakdown (and I will wager this process will be quite rapid if and when it occurs). Right now, the political behavior of blacks is quite insensitive to external circumstances and is likely to remain so for some time. (This was not the case sixty years ago and it did not arise from anything Republican politicians did or did not do).

    I really wish I hadn’t commented on this post. It only served to set-off another round of self-assurances that “we’re better.”

    Buddy, when you look in the mirror, just who do you see?

  • “Why dwell obsessively on this point if not merely to pat yourselves on the back?”

    I point it out JL because I believe it is ominous for the nation and because it is something completely ignored, (surprise!), by the mainstream media. As for Obama you will find hundreds of posts critiquing him on this site on substantive grounds. The vast majority of conservatives are horrified by Obama’s policies and could care less about his private religious beliefs.

  • they’re able to simultaneously entertain the notions that he is both a communist and a fascist,

    He is neither, but you offer this statement as though the terms are diametrically opposed rather than representing the same side of the totalitarian coin.

  • fascism
    Definition
    fas·cism[ fá shìzz?m ]
    NOUN
    1.
    dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism

    communism
    Definition
    com·mu·nism[ kómmy? nìzz?m ]
    NOUN
    1.
    classless political system: the political theory or system in which all property and wealth is owned in a classless society by all the members of that society

    Recognize that the “nationalism” involved was in Europe and based on a shared background– thus it’s more along the lines of that annoying habit of breaking folks down by race and assumed culture– and then recognize that America doesn’t have “class” in the same way as the European systems, success fills that gap….

    Then, perhaps, it will make more sense.

    I don’t think Obama believes in much of anything enough to be considered an idiological -ist.

  • @Paul and Fox: Forgive me, I was thinking strictly along 1930’s Europe lines.

    @ Donald “As for Obama you will find hundreds of posts critiquing him on this site on substantive grounds. The vast majority of conservatives are horrified by Obama’s policies and could care less about his private religious beliefs.”

    Well, for that I commend you. But I disagree with the second sentence. Again, it’s just your anecdotal evidence versus my anecdotal evidence, but I think a significant number of Obama’s opponents are convinced he’s a Muslim and/or an atheist, and is therefore unfit to be president. It’s why they’re so eager to drop the “Hussein” bomb, like this is somehow relevant.

  • JL, I do not think there is a Republican equivalent to Paul Krugman, Bradford deLong, Brian Leiter, or Saul Cornell. If you can locate one, please let me know. (Did I mention Michael Moore?).

    As for combox denizens, they are interesting to the extent that they reveal in brighter colors tendencies in the political thought common to the fora in which they participate. That is not the case with people fixated on Barack Obama’s primary schooling or his birth certificate. You would be hard put to find a prominent Republican who signs their name to their opinions who concerned themselves with that. People who fancy the President a moslem or born abroad are either disengaged from public life (and that is most adults) or are the sorts who used to find John Birch literature persuasive. Neither have influence.

    I would refer you to the recent publications of the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. He found that there is a real asymmetry in the degree to which committed leftists and the rest of the population understand each other’s opinions. (His explanation for that was that leftists have a narrower range of fundamental values and are balancing fewer considerations when they compose their viewpoints).

  • “JL, I do not think there is a Republican equivalent to Paul Krugman, Bradford deLong, Brian Leiter, or Saul Cornell. ”

    And if there was, the State Media would quickly work to attack their distortions.

    “(His explanation for that was that leftists have a narrower range of fundamental values and are balancing fewer considerations when they compose their viewpoints).”

    This because, for many on the Left, politics is their ultimate good. Thus little room to vary from their orthodoxy.

  • “She ran the State of Alaska, which unlike IL, NY, DE, and the Federal government is solvent, i.e., not fiscally and morally bankrupt.”

    The main reasons Alaska is not fiscally bankrupt are 1) lots and lots of oil revenues and 2) sparse population. Fewer people means fewer demands for the types of services that strain state budgets (e.g., Medicaid, pensions). Other states in the most fiscally sound category — North Dakota, Wyoming, etc. — also tend to have either or both of these factors working in their favor.

    This is not meant as either a criticism or praise of Sarah Palin — of whom I have said before, is much more competent and intelligent that the media makes her out to be, but I’d rather see her in a Cabinet position or in Congress than as President. It is to point out that Alaska has certain unique circumstances that make fiscal bankruptcy of the type seen in CA and IL very unlikely no matter who is in office.

  • The main reasons Alaska is not fiscally bankrupt are 1) lots and lots of oil revenues and 2) sparse population. Fewer people means fewer demands for the types of services that strain state budgets (e.g., Medicaid, pensions). Other states in the most fiscally sound category — North Dakota, Wyoming, etc. — also tend to have either or both of these factors working in their favor.

    Rubbish. Extractive industries mean considerable flux in employment and income, not persistent prosperity. Fewer people do not mean fewer demands per capita. There are such things as economies of scale and dispersed populations can make for onerous problems in service delivery whatever the level of demand is. Do you think the Postal Service is making money on their eastern Oregon routes? The circumstance in which dispersion would mean fewer demands would be in cases where public services substitute for private provision due to congestion (sewers replacing septic systems and piped water replacing wells). These sorts of services are generally not provided by state governments, but by municipalities.

  • Elaine, I know a physician whose medical training was financed with a scholarship which had as a condition the requirement he spend his first five years in practice on an Indian reservation. There’s a reason physicians are not there voluntarily: it is uneconomic (and not because the locals do not ‘demand’ medical services).

  • Here are the desperate reasons we need not only to honor the man, Robert Bork, but take up his work.

    From “Legal Insurrection” via “Instapundit”:

    “The 2012 word of the year ought to be “emboldened,” in reference to the radical left, the anti-freedom elements of our society: the union operatives, naive but militant Occupy, radical anti-Americanists, and leftist community organizers.

    […]

    “Let’s make the word of 2013: Insurrection. (Legal, of course.)

    “Insurrection against the local media

    “Insurrection against the teachers union and their stranglehold over the next generation

    “Insurrection against keeping quiet at the dinner table or at your church

    “Insurrection against the elements that no longer keep quiet about their desire to destroy America, and more important, the limits America was founded to restrict against its government.

    “If we don’t insurrect (legally) in 2013, emboldenment will be outshone by persecution, of which we who support freedom and America have already had a taste.”

    JL:

    What does “JL” mean, “Just a Liberal”, or “Just a Leftist?”

  • ” What does “JL” mean, “Just a Liberal”, or “Just a Leftist?” ”

    Only in your strange, insular world full of simplistic dichotomies, where one either agrees with everything you say or is a liberal and where one is either an American or drone fodder.

  • strange, insular world full of simplistic dichotomies

    You owe me a new irony meter…..

  • “Only in your strange, insular world full of simplistic dichotomies, where one either agrees with everything you say or is a liberal and where one is either an American or drone fodder.”

    T. Shaw is a 62 year old accountant in New York City. He witnessed the 9-11 attacks. He has a son who is an Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan. Whatever his rhetorical flourishes that cause him to be on permanent moderation at The American Catholic, I do not think that he can fairly be accused of living in a strange, insular world.

  • Thanks, Mac!

    I’ve been around so long as to realize we each live in our “strange, insular world.”

    It’s that “just liberals” possess complete deficits of self-awareness, and think their “group-think worldview” is preferable to any other.

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