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Time to take note: enemy are drawing targets on their foreheads

There is an outpouring of ‘good will’ towards Obama coming from the statist establishment on the so called ‘right’, whatever that means, in the USA, such as this fellow. These are exactly the sort of apparatchiks I have talking about before who are at the very heart of the Republican party’s problems. They may well be personable but now is the time for radicalisation and resistance, not conciliation and surrender.

Noting how specific Republicans react to the beatification, sorry I mean inauguration of Obama will be a useful guide to who ‘gets it’ and who does not… who is part of the problem rather than the solution. Of course the easy entries on the ‘kick the fools out’ list needs to start with the party worthies who actually thought it was even good politics, let alone good for the country, to run such a profoundly statist candidate like McCain against the most left wing Democrat since FDR. Even the most clueless of marketing men (and that is an industry more awash with cluelessness than most) understand the importance of product differentiation.

Feel free to use the comment section to stay who on the Big Government wing of the Republican Party most urgently needs to be given the boot so that the Republicans have any value at all as a worthwhile alternative. Of course I am well aware that the answer may be ‘kick out all of them’ but that is not a very useful observation. The current crisis is a golden opportunity to actually do some creative destruction that could yield interesting results in the years to come. If that possibility is not of interest to you, then you have nothing to add to this particular discussion.

30 comments to Time to take note: enemy are drawing targets on their foreheads

  • MlR

    The three men who did the most to wound us:

    John McCain, George Bush, and Michael Gerson.

  • MlR

    I will say, however, that there are truly few national-level Republican politicians actually worth a damn.

  • Vercingetorix

    And yet, should we first kick out the intellectuals and “thought-leaders” first from the good graces of the party before we kick out the apparatchiks from the party?

    What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

    There is no shortage of talented conservative or libertarian writers (movie script or TV or books or columns), or potential academe, or politicians or anything of that sort; there is however a surfeit of questionable left liberal (in the American terminology) talent in those fields because of where the money goes in entertainment and in politics.

    The problem is neither the marketing or the product from the libertarian or conservative side, it is the production side of getting even a bare parity into circulation with the competition.

    Taking the movie-business as a convenient whipping boy, Hollywood is flooded with tens or hundreds of thousands of scripts a year (say 20,000); of those, 95% are terrible. If even 10% of those good scripts focus decently on freedom, say a “In Pursuit of Happyness” etc, that leaves 100 scripts for the studios to make into movies in a given year. If only an abysmal 1% of good scripts are made into finished movies, that leaves at least one decent movie a year. Scale up and down as you need.

    Our problems in America for both libertarians and conservatives are like this: There is no shortage of our product either in quality or in quantity, but the shortage in the businesses which produce the end result. What the Big Three were to cars, Hollywood are to movies, producing bigger and bigger products but of lesser and lesser quality from a guilded labor force for high momentary profits. GM and its SUVs, movie studios and its weak comic book adaptations for an international audience.

    Drivel is subsidized, drivel is produced, the business hollows on a long enough time frame and then collapses.

    With politics, we still have the inertia of the party driving us to bankruptcy, and no superstar politicians, genius wordsmiths or A-list movie stars can overcome the mass-stupidity of the herd.

    Short of a catastrophic reorganization, any blacklist, however excellent, will matter.

    The real question is: How should the Republican party be reorganized to reward top talent – or again, how should the Libertarian party (which seems like a political vanity) be organized to compete against the other two and win?

  • Vercingetorix

    Short of a catastrophic reorganization, any blacklist, however excellent, will matter.

    Should have been: no blacklist will matter. Preview is my friend, I just never call.

  • MlR

    Garbage in, garbage out. The media, academia, and schools. Deal with those and the parties will follow. Stopping millions of additional Democratic voters from entering the country every few years would also help.

    But that’s a long slog/march, and it seems ‘we’ lack the consitution which it requires.

    The judiciary’s another option, i.e., do exactly what the Leftists did and use an elite to return the constitution to its principles with little outward publicity. However, I’m hesitant of that one because spoiled countries usually cannot be contained by even good laws. At worst, they’ll simply disregard them.

    Today we at least have the slightly better paradoxical situation where a good portion of the country does not have any intention of following the law as it was once understood, but at least prefers to pretend that it does, which sometimes limits them. Eliminate that option and they might throw out all of the ‘deadwood’ entirely. It also requires a break with populism.

  • Vercingetorix

    Today we at least have the slightly better paradoxical situation where a good portion of the country does not have any intention of following the law as it was once understood, but at least prefers to pretend that it does, which sometimes limits them.

    Reminds me of a Theodore Dalrymple essay where he contrasted the promiscuous corruption of Italy and the abstinent tyranny of Britain, of course to Britain’s disfavor: corruption is not the greatest of all evils; sometimes faithfully abiding the yoke of ordinances is more destructive.

    The problem is that the laws when they multiply into asininity through government intrusion into a free citizenry’s sovereign rights thus corrode the very rule of law.

    What we are left with are vast machines of patronage in politics, the arts and even the sciences. At the risk of coming off as a tweed-jacket revolutionary, those very systems must be destroyed before the natural functions of civil society can reemerge.

  • Mike James

    It is time, and past time, for one or both major parties to die out and go away, such as the Whigs did a couple of centuries ago. It doesn’t seem to me that it’s healthy for the cause of self-government to have political organizations with a longer lifespan than a man–makes it too easy to concentrate power in the hands of institutions which command loyalty to something other than one’s country.

    Any of my fellow Yanks out there interested in forming the New Whig party? Our first principle would be to dissolve the party after twenty years time. Our second principle would be that everybody has to wear a powdered wig at all gatherings of party members. I know that has nothing to do with the word “Whig”, I just think it would be cool. Our party symbol could be the Mayfly.

  • Glenn Reynolds describes himself as a Whig as it happens.

  • Laird

    Sorry, Mike, not interested. We have plenty of “third parties” in this country, and none of them gain any traction. The Big Two have an ironclad duopoly, and I don’t see anything breaking it. They’ve been in (alternating) power so long that all the laws are written to preserve it, and no one else can get into that club. Our only real hope to affect change is to infiltrate one or both and work from the inside. (I say that as a card-carrying, office-holding member of the Libertarian Party, so I recognize the apostasy. But it’s still the truth.)

    But I do like the powdered wigs.

  • Laird

    If we can return to Perry’s original question, my nomination for excision from the Republican Party’s power centers would be every current member of the party’s “leadership” in Washington. The last time we saw any true interest in small government conservatism (or any hint of political courage) among the R-brand members of the self-perpetuating Beltway political class was when Newt Gingrich nailed his 95 Theses to Wittenburg Cathedral (sorry, wrong reference; I meant his “Contract With America”). How do we go about getting Newt back? (Would the proper term be “Newt-ered”?)

  • Alice

    It seems like Perry’s question leads straight into that long debated historical question — does the man make the times. or do the times make the man?

    People have argued that even if the man makes the times, it won’t last unless the times are ready. Think Alexander the Great and global empires. Nearer to our own times, Ronald Reagan — the best man in several generations — presided over a vast increase in government spending & intrusiveness. Even a strong swimmer cannot make much headway against the tide.

    Purging the Republican party would be a meaningless waste of effort. Much better to concentrate on exposing the young to their history & heritage.

    Big government will collapse, just as every empire has fallen. The crisis point may be sooner than we expect, and will certainly be surprise to most. When the failure of statism becomes self-evident even to the most benighted NYT-reader, we want to make sure that there will be a seed-corn of people who know that there is another way.

  • When the failure of statism becomes self-evident even to the most benighted NYT-reader, we want to make sure that there will be a seed-corn of people who know that there is another way.

    It will only be ‘self-evident’ if enough people like us are screaming loud and long to that effect.

  • Sunfish

    What is good, is to crush Mitt Romney’s career, to see him and his campaign staff driven before me, and to hear the lamentations of his women.

    The gun-banning health-care-taking-over fascist stroke jagball should be handcuffed to the nitwit-southern-populist Democrat socialist on fire for Jeez-us-AH from Arkansas who wanted a government takeover of restaurant menus[1], and both should be dropped into the ocean and fed to sharks.

    [1] He SAYS he’s a conservative Republican, but you know how those politician bastards lie.

  • Sunfish,
    Be sure to remember to tell us when you don’t like someone…

    What on earth was Huckabee’s er… beef with menus?

    See that’s why I’d never get anywhere in politics. I just can’t conceive of all the crackpot meddling. And frankly, even if I could conceive of them I couldn’t be bothered…

    PS. It would be more fun to manacle the two jokers together by the ankle and see which one gnawed the other’s foot off first.

  • Sunfish

    Perry asked a fair question on the front page. I did not want to be unclear on my answer.

    The restaurant menu matter came from Huckabee losing a lot of weight. In the same manner as people who quit smoking or drinking often do, he wanted to spread the ‘good news’ of not eating to people who didn’t have a problem or didn’t care. You know how recent converts are.

    Whatever we do with them. I just want shark-infested waters involved somewhere.

  • Paul Marks

    People have a general world view (what Perry calls a Metacontext) – and this effects what projects they support.

    So, yes, if you send a book draft to a publishing house dominated by people with a leftist world view they are not likely to support it if it is antileftism. Ditto film companies and so on.

    “Coulter’s law” also comes into play here.

    Yes Ann Coulter is a nasty person in many ways (she says so herself), but she is often correct – and this is an example of that.

    “Example of what Paul?”

    Coulter’s law states as follows:

    “If an organization is not explicitely anti leftist it will become leftist”.

    Sadly leftism is the default position (because of their control of most of the education establishments and the media – and their skill at taking over organizations, they are just at this sort of thing).

    As for Comrade Barack Obama (the first man to be educated as a Marxist to become President of the United States – and the nexus point between various radical groups in the United States). For conservatives (or so called conservatives) to try and make friends with him is amusing.

    One of my best beloved targets, the “Economist”, does lot – all their articles are written with the intention of reaching out to the Obama people (sneering at Republicans and so on) – no doubt they think they relating to those in power (the establishment) which is the free market thing to do in the context we face.

    Sadly it is quite mad – as Comrade Barack is not some blank slate they can manipulate.

    And, of course, some of the polices suggested (as one is dealing with idiots – Economist writers) have problems with them.

    For example, they suggest abolishing the tax deductablity of employer provided health cover – not to provide individuals with such tax deductablity, but to “pay for the medical care for the uninsured”.

    In reality, of course, the “saving” from getting rid of this “subsidy” would be less than zero – as employers would no longer provide health cover (which, even with the tax deductablity, is a harsh burden) and “the uninsured” would become the vast majority of the population. Government would then “have” to provide for their medical care.

    Actually I suspect that Comrade Barack would rather like to follow the Economist suggestion – because he (being what he is) can see the consequences of the policy better than the Economist fools can.

  • Paul Marks

    John McCain is busy with the latest “anti earmark” stuff – not understanding the whole “stimulus package” is a vast corrupt set of earmarks (whether the projects are chosen by the Executive rather than the Congress should not matter to a person of understanding).

    “How can one tell who is on the big government wing of the Republican party?”

    Easy – who was in favour of the Wall Street bailout.

    Or who votes for the “stimulus package” – because it has a “tax cut” in it (a “tax cut” for those who do not pay taxes – plus a one off payment for some people who do pay taxes, as long as they…….).

    Most likely the same Republicans who voted for the Wall Street bailout will vote for the “stimulus package”.

  • Gabriel

    “If an organization is not explicitely anti leftist it will become leftist”.

    I think that before Ann came along this was already Robert Conquest’s second law of politics.

  • Alice

    “It [the failure of statism] will only be ‘self-evident’ if enough people like us are screaming loud and long to that effect.”

    No — the failure of statism will become self-evident to even the dimmest bulb when Big Government can no longer pay its bills, when Big Government-controlled law & order breaks down, when the intricate supply chains that supply power, water, & groceries to the population break down under the strain of foolish Big Government policies.

    All that and more is going to happen. That’s what history tells us. The EU and the US must inevitably follow the USSR & the Third Reich & the Roman Empire into the pages of history. The success of Big Government leftists makes this inevitable — only the timing remains to be revealed.

    It is what happens after the failure of Big Government that remains up for grabs. Because life most certainly will go on. The most productive thing we can all do is to educate the young (preferably outside the corrupted educational system — ever wonder why there is a declining proportion of male students at college level?).

    Of course, screaming loud & long (in the right places) can be a useful way of educating the young who will have to live with the aftermath of the failure of Big Government.

  • Bod

    I find myself in agreement with Gabriel on this one.

    I think that the shortlist (or not so shortlist) of candidates for excommunication should be the republicans who voted for the bailout. I’d need a very compelling excuse from every damn one of them for their asses to be saved.

    That’d be round one. Round two would be to cast out the corrupt. I know, this is virtually the same as ‘get rid of the lot of them’, but I think that in the short term, the only way the GOP are going to stand a chance is if they take the democrat party’s “Most Ethical Congress Evah” howler, heat it up, and jab it in their eye, multiple times.

    I know that support for Palin around here is mixed, but at least she was prepared to undertake a bit of ‘cleansing’ with the Murkowskis. It would have been nice if she’d been more vocal in denouncing Stevens.

    That kind of behavior buys a lot of loyalty, and I think that’s valuable.

  • tdh

    Here’s one amazingly long four-letter word: Romneycare.

    BTW, “educated as a Marxist” is an oxymoron, or at least needs a less-inaccurate prefix.

  • Ok, we aren’t likely to learn who “doesn’t get it” until a few months into the new administration.

    But here are a few predictions: Giuliani, Colin Powell, Michael Bloomberg, Arlen Specter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and now is as good a time as any to throw John McCain overboard.

    Unlike some of the earlier commentators, I think it best that the RINO’s remain in the Republican party. It helps the Libertarians make the case that there is abolutely no difference between the Republicrats and the Republicrats. Or whatever it is that the two factions of the ruling party call themselves.

  • Laird

    TWS, that’s a pretty good list of prominent Republicans who are not small-government conservatives. I would add my own state’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, Mitt Ronmey, Mike Huckabee, and also the entire Senate Republican “leadership” purely on the basis of incompetence, if not outright complicity in expanding the government.

    But I disagree with you about excising the RINOs from the party. If they were gone the Republican party would again become the party of limited government, and I could support them again. Isn’t that what we’re seeking here?

  • I think the real problem is the RNC. A cleansing of them all, and a few stabs at the restart button would go a long way.

  • Sgt Hardkill

    We won’t get the sheer pleasure of booting him out, but AMF to one George Voinovich of Ohio. (I wish I could say formerly of Ohio.) May legions of his fellow RINOs do likewise.

    And I’m about as interested in conciliation and surrender to His Highness Our Deliverer Obama as George Soros was with George Bush.

    Let the creative destruction commence.

  • Paul Marks

    My apologies to Robert Conquest.

  • Laird

    “Let the creative destruction commence.”

    That’s my nominee for Quote of the Day.

  • Zevilyn

    The Economist is being nice to Obama because the banksters at Wall Street are hoping for more corporate welfare.

    Foreclosures are continuing to rise in America, there has been no benefit to the American people from the TARP.
    Banks have been busy spending US taxpayers money on:
    1. Buying other banks
    2. Giving themselves humongous bonuses

    Meanwhile, the CEOs of these banks face no accountability. Resignation of CEOs should have been a condition of receiving taxpayers money.

    Where is the help for the American taxpayer? There’s plenty of money for Wall Street it seems (and fat, wasteful bureaucracies like the Pentagon).

    Obama is branded a “socialist” as if this is the most evil thing in the world.

    But Paulson and Bernanke are clearly something a whole lot worse; fascists.

    Henry Paulson is a thieving shit. How Glenn Reynolds can be called a “conservative” when he SUPPORTED Paulson’s illegal theft of taxpayer dollars baffles me. Reynolds, with his support of torture and corporate welfare, is, to put it bluntly, a shit.

    The only true Conservative in the Republican party is Ron Paul, he is certainly the only Republican to genuinely oppose Corporate Welfare.

  • Obama is branded a “socialist” as if this is the most evil thing in the world.

    Because it is.

    But Paulson and Bernanke are clearly something a whole lot worse; fascists.

    All modern regulatory statism is essentially ‘fascist’ technically speaking when it comes to economic controls, so this is hardly a revelation.