To sell their ideas, conservatives must first re-train Americans to recognize their humanity

Devil votes Republican

One of the striking paradoxes in Marin is that the same people who reliably vote for Democrat candidates actually have quite conservative values.  In my Marin world, people are educated, ambitious, hard-working, married, and family-oriented, and they happily live in almost entirely white communities.  As to that last, it’s not that they would object if a black family moved it.  It would simply have to be a black family that was “one of us,” meaning educated, ambitious, etc.  Despite their essentially conservative values, these hard-working people support endless welfare; these family-oriented, helicopter parents happily consign poor children to the tender mercies of the state; and these married parents, who have the luxury of a stay-at-home mom, support any policy that advances single motherhood.  The Marin dwellers I know are the living embodiment of Charles Murray’s wonderful observation that elite Democrats don’t preach what they practice.

Tiburon and Belvedere, in Marin County, California

Tiburon and Belvedere, in Marin County, California

On the rare occasions when I’m able to speak with my friends without using political labels, they invariably agree with me about the benefits of hard work and marriage, about the social and economic virtues of two-parent families, about the problem with the hypersexualization of young children, and about the fact that the best defense against bullies is projecting a strong attitude of self-defense.  Point out, though, that these values align them with Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney, who support profiting from ones own labor, being married as a predicate to children, encouraging (although not legislating) a more wholesome popular culture, and projecting American strength abroad, and they’ll back away from you as if you’ve suddenly sprouted horns.

How Democrats are trained to view conservatives and Republicans

How Democrats are trained to view conservatives/Republicans

It’s that last phrase that explains why these Democrats, even if their values are completely at odds with their own party, would never, never vote Republican.  In their minds, it’s not that Democrats Republicans have bad ideas; it’s that they’re eeeevvviiiilll.  Not just “evil,” but eeeevvviiiilll.  To them, Republicans haven’t merely sold their souls to the Devil, which implies that it’s possible to regain those lost souls.  Instead, it’s that Republicans have no souls.  To the Marin liberal, politics are controlled by a simple syllogism:

Republicans/conservatives are evil.
I am not evil.
Therefore I can never be a Republican/conservative.

But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, right?  For years, conservatives have wryly observed that, while conservative think liberals are misguided, liberals think conservatives are evil.  So why am I dragging this old issue to the table?  Because now is the time to change this paradigm.

We know from a Harvard study that the young generation is turning against Obama because he betrayed them.  Unfortunately, though, despite their disenchantment with Obama, these youngsters aren’t turning to Republicans.  Given the fact that Democrats lied and Republicans spoke the truth, these youth voters aren’t making a U-turn and heading for the Republican party.  Instead, they’ve opted for a “plague on both your houses” approach to politics.

Their refusal even to contemplate conservativism stems from their constant indoctrination:  Republicans are eeeevvviiiilll.  In any Hollywood film that touches upon politics (and even in those that don’t), Republicans are evil.  In any MSM news story, Republicans are evil.  In songs, at award shows, on Twitter, and Facebook, the cascade of obscene, profane, and scatalogical remarks from those on the Left are uniform:  Republicans are eeeevvviiiilll.

obama-pinocchioWith Obamacare cratering and Obama being revealed as both incompetent and dishonest, Republicans are trying to figure out how to position themselves as the obvious political alternative.  Sadly, the state of American political debate and thinking is not such that conservatives can gain voters by explaining that conservative ideas are better.  We take the world as we’re given, though, and that world demands that we suit our argument to our audience.  Before they listen to us, they need to like us — or at least they need to stop fearing us.  The answer is to run a personality campaign.

When I speak of a “personality campaign,” I refer to gauzy photographs of Republican politicians with their spouses and children.  Although that seems to play well to the base, it does nothing to convert the people who think we’re eeeevvviiiilll.  Democrats have been trained to view those photographs — when they come from conservatives — as the equivalent of photographs showing Nazi camp guards having tea parties in their homes.

What the RNC and other conservative groups should be producing, instead, are gazillions of one-minute-long commercials and YouTube videos, as well as easy-to-share posters for Facebook and Twitter, all of which focus on ordinary whites, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics engaging in good acts of the type that thoughtless, but disenchanted, Democrats can understand.  Each video or poster should end with the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”

For example, you might have a video showing an Asian woman working at a homeless shelter, and have it end with her saying “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”  Or you have a poster of a black volunteer hard at work for Habitat for Humanity, over the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”  Another video might show someone getting out of a Prius and into a wheelchair, again with the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.

Conservatives are ordinary people -- and that's a good thing

Conservatives are ordinary people — and that’s a good thing

The possibilities are endless, because Republicans are good people, and they actually do many things that make Democrats happy.  Posters and videos of beach clean-ups, animal shelter work, homeless shelter work, Big Brother/Big Sister work, tutoring kids at inner city schools, and raising money for African orphanages, would humanize a group of people who have been demonized simply because they believe in the worth of the individual and in maximum individual freedom.  When it comes to speaking out to Americans, we need to stop focusing on the politicians, whom the media finds it easy to ridicule and denigrate, and start looking into the Republican community, which is brimful of wonderful, caring, people, for whom being wonderful and ordinary is just a part of their lives.

We cannot convert people to our ideas unless we can convince them that their “conservatives are evil” syllogism is utterly false. The new syllogism should go like this:

Republicans/conservatives are good people.
I share most of their values.
Since the Democrat party has lied and broken its promises, and its ideas have failed, I should vote Republican.

[For those of you who find the ideas in here vaguely familiar, my dear friend Don Quixote made precisely this point many years ago. He was, as is often the case, a clear-sighted visionary.]

Obama goes to war. His motto: “We have met the enemy and it is you, the Republicans.”

The Wall Street Journal has penned what may be the most savage editorial opinion I’ve ever seen in those pages.  The sentiments aren’t new, but the blood-drawing is:

President Obama likes to invoke his predecessors in the Oval Office, as all Presidents do, but in one sense he is unlike the others: Presidents traditionally try to reach a rough domestic consensus if they are faced with going to war abroad. Mr. Obama wants to smooth everything over abroad so he can get back to his favorite pursuit of declaring war at home.

At least that’s how it’s gone the last week, as Mr. Obama all but wrapped up that ghastly business in Syria and turned his attention to the real enemy—Republicans. Backed by the good offices of Vladimir Putin and the assurances of Bashar Assad, United Nations inspectors will now remove Syria’s chemical weapons from the battlefield. Congress doesn’t even have to vote on it, and the American people can forget the recent unpleasantness. Peace in our time.

Which means it’s now safe for Mr. Obama to begin the war he really wants to fight. The President spoke Monday afternoon at the White House in remarks pegged to the fifth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the financial panic of 2008. But the financial crisis was merely an excuse for Mr. Obama’s real purpose, which was to demand unconditional surrender from his domestic opposition.

Mr. Obama assailed Republicans for an “ideological agenda” that he called “the height of irresponsibility.” Among other crimes against humanity, he said the GOP refuses to abandon the budget restraint of the sequester spending cuts or to greet the Affordable Care Act with flowers and sweets.

“Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points? I hope not,” Mr. Obama said, transparently suggesting that they do want to hurt people. At least he didn’t accuse them of using chemical weapons, but when it comes to stopping atrocities like opposition to his domestic agenda, let him be clear: He doesn’t do pinpricks.

Read the rest here.

And while you’re at it, check out Keith Koffler’s “Conservatives, Your President Hates You”:

Obama was sold to us as a new kind of politician who was above politics and could build bridges and blah blah blah blah blah.

Excuse me, I’m not done.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

But he’s just another liberal POLITICIAN who harbors the standard, stereotypical, unintellectual view of conservatives as dumb morons motivated by ill will toward their fellow man, and certainly, fellow woman.

And so, even as the wounded and dead were being accounted for following a mass shooting Monday morning a couple of miles away, Obama couldn’t live the with prospect of having to delay sinking his teeth into his conservative opponents. He’d spent weeks being nice as he courted their support for his Syria bombing campaign. I mean, enough was enough.

Read the rest here.

Criticism, constructive and otherwise — or talk radio can serve us better

During the past week, whenever I found myself alone in the car during good drive-time talk radio (i.e., Rush), I did something unusual:  I didn’t listen.  Instead, I turned to mindless pop music.  I was thinking about this peculiar behavior on my part, because I truly love Rush.  I think he’s a radio genius, someone who understands perfectly the lines between entertainment, news, and analysis.  He’s also one of the sharpest political thinkers out there.  No wonder the Left hates him.

But still….  I didn’t want to listen.

Analyzing my bizarre retreat from Rush, I realized that my problem is that the things that used to energize me during Obama’s first term — conservatives reporting on the faults and foibles of the administration, even as the MSM ignored them — no longer stir me up.  I’ve had four years to learn that Obama is not the “hope” promised, unless your hope was for a jobless stock market recovery, endless welfare rolls, increased racial tension, a simmering Middle East that constantly threatens to explode, negative pressure on core Constitutional rights, and all the other practical and ideological changes Obama’s presidency has brought to America.  The problem is that, while you and I were riled by these stories, none of this data penetrated the minds of less engaged American voters, all of whom who listened to the media’s siren song and reelected Obama.

Having accomplished its job, the media is suddenly discovering that there are some problems with Obama’s first term, everything from violently antisemitic and anti-American “friends” in Egypt, to the coming economic and medical disaster that is ObamaCare, to the corruption that’s always swirled around his administration.  As I told my mother when she pointed to such stories, this isn’t just a case of too little, too late.  It’s nastier than that.  The media is doing these stories as cover:  when the second Obama term brings badness to America (although Obama may still escape unscathed), the media has provided itself with some plausible deniability.  It can point to these articles and say “We told you so” — the big con being that they only told the American people so after they’d ensured that Obama locked up a second term in office.

The fact is that four years of conservative media pointing out what Obama and the Dem Progressives are doing made no difference to the ultimate outcome in 2012.  To be sure, there was a ton of criticism from the Right, but it wasn’t constructive, because those who needed it (Obama and the Dem Progs) weren’t listening and wouldn’t have changed anyway.  It was criticism in a vacuum.  It made the minority party feel better, but ultimately had no effect.

I want marching orders, not whining mourners.  I want to hear ideas about how to change the body politic, not another story about what weasels Obama and his buddies are.  I already know that stuff — and the media, for reasons of its own, is finally doing a little heavy lifting and is starting to report on a few foibles in the Obama administration.  The fact is that Obama will not run again.  He’s already old news.  What conservatives need know is to disengage from the war with Obama and begin, instead to plot a strategy for 2014 and beyond, one that ignores this little man and, instead, focuses on shaping ideological issues in ways that excite the man on the street.  Talk radio, with its vast reach, should be a source of inspiration, rather than relentless, mis-focused anger.

The problem isn’t the candidates; it’s the voters

I’m still reading scattered posts castigating Mitt Romney for being a bad candidate or running a bad campaign.  I understand the need to analyze failures to identify remediable errors, but we’re making a huge mistake focusing on the end of the campaign, rather than the beginning.  One could say the beginning of the campaign is the Republican primary that resulted in a nice, bland, classic Republican technocrat.  It’s the voters’ fault Romney went head-to-head with Obama.  But that conclusion still doesn’t reach far enough into the past to explain Romney’s failure.

Romney failed because the American public has been trained to vote against Republicans.  This isn’t as random or obvious a thought as it seems (although I’ll concede that it is pretty obvious).  It has special meaning for me, because I’m getting together with some conservative gals who have ties to recent Republican candidates.  One of them is married to a man who, some time ago, tried to displace Lynn Woolsey in the House of Representatives.  Woolsey will be retiring this January, but she’s probably quite satisfied that she can look back at decades of far-Left Progressive politicking in Washington.  Two of the others with whom I’m lunching are gals I last saw at a lunch for Elizabeth Emken, who lost to Dianne Feinstein.

Wendell Willkie, another Republican candidate who looked as if he ought to have won.

Both Republican candidates were fabulous by any normal standard:  intelligent, attractive, principled, and honorable.  In the 1940s, they would have been central casting picks for the good guy’s perfect political candidate.  Both of them ran against incumbents who didn’t even bother to campaign.  I’m not guilty of hyperbole when I saw that.  Neither Woolsey nor Feinstein did anything beyond putting up a few signs.  Both women knew that the Republican candidates weren’t worth fighting.

Woolsey’s and Feinstein’s certainty — which proved to be correct — clearly wasn’t because the Republicans were lousy candidates.  Woolsey and Feinstein could afford to do nothing because they knew that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell that California and Marin voters would vote for a Republican.  The Democrat political takeover is so complete that even God himself, if he ran as a Republican, would lose.

The late, great Andrew Breitbart understood that the problem isn’t politics, it’s culture.  Politics is just the final step in a culture’s trajectory.  Roger Simon exhorts conservatives to focus on the culture and force a change as quickly as possible:

As the late — and increasingly lamented — Andrew Breitbart pointed out repeatedly, “Politics is downstream from culture.”

Just how downstream we saw in this year’s election. Virtually every accusation made by the left toward Republicans and conservatives (sexism, racism, greed, etc.) was prepared and nurtured in the realm of culture. That was the earth in which the lies grew and prospered. And those lies, more than any facts or policies, were responsible for a liberal victory in a year — with unemployment at 8 percent and a deficit at 16 trillion — that should have been a Republican rout.

Put simply, give up on the culture and you lose forever. (It’s hard enough with the media and the educational system rigged the way they are.)

So my point is quite simple. Quit bitching and start doing.

Roger’s right.  Run for the local school board or town council (neither of which require you to state party affiliation).  Get onto the community college board.  Stop going to popular movies that have anti-American themes.  You can live without seeing the latest action flick, but the movie producers cannot live without your money.

On Facebook and at parties, politely argue with vapid Progressive conclusions.  I did so the other day on Facebook, and got an arch liberal to agree that the UN is a despotic organization that should be done away with.  I don’t think he’d ever thought about that before.  And I did it all by politely questioning conclusions that the Progressives in the debate couldn’t support and by advancing facts that they couldn’t deny.

We keep thinking that, because our ideas are sound, they don’t need explanation or promotion.  In the meanwhile, the Progressive Left has long understood that, because it’s ideas do not work well in the real world, but only in the Petri dish of the Leftist mind, they can become ascendant only through relentless promotion.  What we never realized was that most people don’t think, they just “know” — or think they “know.”  But really, they’re just like a shopper buying one brand of peanut butter over the other because the brand she selects has a better jingle that has formed part of a permanent soundtrack in her mind.

We need to start jingling folks — every one of us, in every way we can.  We can’t all be Andrew Breitbart, but we can be soldiers in his cultural army.

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Getting outside of the bubble: taking liberal arguments seriously

Paul Scott challenged us to look at what Eric Garland, a Progressive blogger, has to say and to take it seriously as a way to win the White House.  Paul is right — we cannot make a convincing argument unless we know what our opponent in the argument believes.  Insulting Paul doesn’t make us stronger.  Rather than spin around in our own fish bowl, we have to look at what others are saying, correct their misconceptions, and either challenge or concede to their arguments head-on.

In that spirit, I’m taking a serious look at Eric Garland’s post.  I’m not giving anything away here when I say that, having weighed it carefully, I’ve found it wanting.

Eric might also want to look seriously at conservatives, since he seems to be have accepted several canards propounded by the media and other liberal sources.  In that regard, I would remind him that the Wheel of Political Fortune has tended to rotate in roughly eight year cycles:  Reagan’s conservativism got 12 years (counting Bush); Clinton’s Progressivism got 8 years; Bush’s compassionate conservativism got 8 years; and Obama is now getting his 8 years.

Whether Obama will also get his own addendum years, as Reagan did with Bush Sr., remains open to question.  Americans are a generous and forbearing people, but unless Obama significantly improves the economy, or significantly re-educates Americans so that they lower their economic and employment expectations, Obama’s next four years may be the Democrats’ last four for a while.

Let’s start with Eric’s contention that he is the kind of voter that Republicans seek:

  • My family lineage goes back to the MAYFLOWER, BOAT ONE!!! (Garland family of New England-> John Adams -> Howard Alden -> Plymouth colony ->KINGS OF MUTHAF***IN’ ENGLAND)
  • I am a heterosexual, married to the super Caucasian mother of my two beautiful children who are, inexplicably, EVEN WHITER THAN I AM.
  • I am college educated (Master’s degree!) and affluent.
  • I am a job creator and small businessman.
  • We pay a lot of taxes! Every year!
  • I grew up in a rural area and despise laziness!
  • Having started my own business, I have complained at length about the insanity of federal, state and local bureaucracy – and its deleterious impact on the innovative small businessman.
  • I currently live in the suburbs in a historically Red state.

I’m not sure Eric is the perfect specimen he thinks he is.  Or rather, he’s the perfect specimen only if you accept his rather ugly view of conservatives.

Family lineage:  As a first generation Jewish American conservative, I was unaware that the Republican party had admissions criteria based upon 1950s WASP country club rules.  To the contrary, the Republican party, unlike the Democratic party, does not classify people by race, religion, or country of national origin.  Instead, it seeks values voters.  As I use it, and as the the conservatives I know use it, the term “values voters” should be understood to encompass constitutional values such as individual liberty; market-based capitalism; small, affordable government; freedom of speech; freedom of worship; etc.  In other words, the oldies, but goodies.  These are values intrinsic too all Americans regardless of the divisive victim identities that the Democrats and Progressives have sought to impose on the American body politic since the 1960s.  We understand that people like Eric can’t help their boring lineage.  They are still welcome amongst conservatives.

Sexual orientation and race:  By boasting repeatedly about his, and his family’s, whiteness and heterosexuality, Eric sounds a little too much like a candidate for the KKK (which was, as his high education level surely informs him, a Democrat connected party).  Eric’s obsession with his race and sexuality highlights the Democrat/Progressive habit of parsing Americans into sexual and racial boxes.  Honestly, we conservatives really don’t care about those archaic, eugenicist classifications.  What we do care about are shared values, tied to the Constitution.  I know bunches of gays, whites, Jews, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics (and whatever other little boxes Progressives like to check) who believe in limited government.

What all conservatives have figured out is that, once government gets big enough (and ours certainly has gotten that big), it can start picking winners and losers.  That’s good for the winners.  Unfortunately, as Jews, Gypsies, Gays, Communists, and the mentally disabled discovered in Nazi Germany; as Kulaks discovered in Soviet Russia; and intellectuals and glasses-wearers discovered in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, if a Big Government identifies you as a loser, you’re pretty much dead.  The smaller the government, the less risk for minority groups.  Ideally, as the Founders perfectly understood, one wants a government that’s big enough to protect all of its citizens, but not one so big that it does what Eric does:  parses them into “in” groups and “out” groups, and then punish the “out” groups.

College educated and affluent:  It’s great that Eric and his family are college educated and affluent.  I’m sure his mother is very proud.  It may come as a surprise to Eric that many conservatives are educated too. And almost as many conservatives have spent many years trying to unlearn the Left wing pap that made up that education.

The real world doesn’t put the same premium on the Ivory Tower that the Ivory Tower puts upon itself.  Womyn’s Studies contribute little to intellectual attainment or economic betterment.  And if you’ve got an MBA predicated on Keynesian economics — well, you’re about to see that economic view take a hit in the real world, just as it did when Roosevelt put it into effect (with the Depression massively worsened under his aegis), or when Europe put it into effect with its now-collapsing soft-socialism, and as America will see play out as the Harvard-educated Obama continues to pick winners and losers in today’s economy.

The secret that hasn’t yet infiltrated the Ivory Tower is that governments are slow, inefficient, and corrupt.  They analyze data inefficiently, apply their analyses unfairly, and then pervert the market (using taxpayer money) to prop up their so-called “winner’s” failures.  Today’s education, which is directed at creating a Leftist man, rather than a broadly educated man, is nothing to boast about.

A job creator and small businessman.  Again, that’s great.  Conservatives believe that job creators and small business people should support conservative values, because lower taxes, fewer regulations, and less government control (not no government control, but less) enhance small businesses and create more jobs.  We find bewildering the number of small business owners who willingly vote for politicians who impose ever greater burdens upon them, stifling their building to thrive and grow.

Pays lots of taxes:  Eric sounds almost enthusiastic about those taxes.  One wonders if he’s ever asked himself if the government makes better decisions about spending that money than he does?  I’m sure Eric doesn’t quarrel — and neither do I — with government spending it on core government functions that all civilized nations support, such as national security, roads, public health, etc.  I wonder, though, if he’s thought seriously about the economics and morals of taking stimulus dollars and deciding which businesses, interests, and individuals should get special treatment using American tax dollars.  Likewise, I wonder if he’s ever considered the wisdom of tethering people more and more tightly to welfare by taking dollars out of the market and then having the government channel those same dollars to people rendered unemployed by the deleterious effect high taxes have on jobs.

Rural and not-lazy.  Again, good for Eric.  Republicans like rural, not-lazy people.  Republicans also like suburban or urban not-lazy people.  Basically, Republicans like people who are willing to put some energy into living their own lives, rather than sitting back complacently, waiting for a hand-out.

Complained about bureaucracy:  It’s rather peculiar that Eric hates bureaucracy, but still supports Obama and his Democrats.  This headline explains my bewilderment:  “Obama Administration Proposes 6,125 Regulations And Notifications In Last 90 Days.”  Why would someone who dislikes the burdens of a large bureaucracy vote for the candidate whose promise is to increase government interference in and control of every aspect of our lives?

Red Stater:  I bet Eric likes living in a Red State.  His taxes aren’t as high as they could be (try living in Blue California), and he’s not dealing with the failed economies that plague the Blue States (have I mentioned California?).  In other words, Eric is living well thanks to Red State, conservative values voters, who have supported lower taxes and more individual freedom.  It’s ironic and sad that his current goal is to reduce the entire United States to a wacky economic combination of Detroit (bankrupt), California (bankrupt), Illinois (bankrupt and corrupt), and other blue stated wonders, filled with “smart” people and big debt.  It’s not just the states that are bankrupt.  Bankrupt states produce bankrupt individuals.

(Thinking about this makes me kind of sad that I didn’t pursue my original law school goal of becoming a bankruptcy attorney.  It seemed like such a great idea during the recession that existed when I was started law school.  As the Reagan economy improved, through, I rethought things, and went for general business litigation.  Now would be a good time to be a bankruptcy attorney.  Take a firm like Wadhwani & Shanfeld, for example, which clearly started as a two attorney enterprise, and now has five offices scattered throughout meatless-Monday Southern California.  That’s the great thing about America — there’s always a silver lining for someone.  Also, I like that firm because it’s quite clear that the founders are from different cultural/racial backgrounds, but they came together to create a successful all-American enterprise.  Woo-hoo!)

But back to my main point….

Per Eric’s definition, the modern Republican party would desperately like to look like the old Democrat KKK, which utterly fails to explain why it celebrates extraordinary people and politicians such as Mia Love, Marco Rubio, Allen West, Herman Cain, Bobby Jindal, and other Americans who are concerned more with values than with little boxes on government survey forms.

Eric reveals his blinkered view of conservativism when he claims he is a prize of the type conservatives seek.  It’s nice that he pays taxes, creates jobs, is educated, works hard, and lives in a Red State, but he’s flattering himself a little too much.  It isn’t what he is taxes and education that matter, when it comes to elections, it’s what he believes — and honestly, his beliefs aren’t so hot.  What Eric believes leads down a single road:  higher taxes; fewer jobs; continued Leftist educational indoctrination; higher welfare and food stamp rolls; a population made up of disparate groups all vying to be crowned “biggest victim”; and Red States joining their Blue compatriots in bankruptcy and corruption.

Perhaps if Eric could see beyond his Jon Stewart, New York Times, MSNBC definition of conservatives, he might realize that the conservative ideology offers him and others a great deal more than he ever imagined, without interfering too greatly with what I assume are his core values.  Let’s take his critiques of conservatives one at a time:

Science - One of the reasons my family is affluent is that my wife and I have a collective fifteen years of university education between us. I have a Masters degree in Science and Technology Policy, and my wife is a physician who holds degrees in medicine as well as cell and molecular biology. We are really quite unimpressed with Congressional representatives such as Todd Akin and Paul Broun who actually serve on the House science committee and who believe, respectively, that rape does not cause pregnancy and that evolution and astrophysics are lies straight from Satan’s butt cheeks. These are, sadly, only two of innumerable assaults that the Republican Party has made against hard science – with nothing to say of logic in general. Please understand the unbearable tension this might create between us and your candidates.

As far as I can tell, in the last election, it is a sad truth that the Republican party managed to field a few idiots, such as Todd Akin, Tom Smith, and Roger Rivard, who are genuinely ignorant, in a very mean-spirited way, about rape.  Otherwise, though, Republicans are like other Americans, in that they understand that horrors of rape and the morally difficult consequences that result from rape.

Thus, conservatives recognize that rape is a terrible thing, one that becomes a permanent, damaging part of a woman’s psyche.  What some pro-Life conservatives say, though, is that this purely an evil act may nevertheless have resulted in something good:  an innocent life.  To them, it would compound the evil of rape if it was followed by the murder of an innocent.  They are not unsympathetic to the rape victim, they just believe that, in the balance, two wrongs don’t make a right.

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with them, because the topic deserves a post on its own.  I’m simply saying that candidates such as Paul Ryan, Richard Mourdock, Joe Walsh, and John Koster have set out a moral position that has nothing to do with science.  In the same way, there’s nothing science-related about Barack Obama’s repeated willingness to oppose a bill that would have required physicians to care for late-term babies that, rather than being aborted as planned, end up living.

The question of an innocent life within a full-realizedwomen is one of morals, not science, and it’s a profound cognitive error to conflate the two.   Also, I can’t resist adding that, when it comes to idiots, the Democrats have managed to field quite a few of their own cranks, crackpots, gaffe-meisters, and other mean-spirited, ignorant people.  The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that, while the Republican idiots didn’t get elected to office, the Democrat idiots did.

Climate - Within just the past 18 months the following events have come to our attention: a record-breaking drought that sent temperatures over 100 degrees for weeks, killing half the corn in the Midwest and half the TREES on our suburban property – AND – a hurricane that drowned not New Orleans or Tampa or North Carolina but my native state of VERMONT. As an encore, a second hurricane drowned lower Manhattan, New Jersey and Long Island. The shouted views of decrepit mental fossil Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma that this is a fraud perpetrated on the American people by evil, conspiring climate scientists is belied by such events and is looking irresponsible to even the most skeptical.

I’m always amazed at the way supposedly educated people confuse correlation and causation.  The one does not imply the other.  That is, just because we’re seeing impressive climate events at the same time that most Americans drive cars doesn’t mean the two are related.

Most conservatives willingly acknowledge climate change.  Indeed, they’ll go further than just focusing on the changes that took place since Al Gore, in the early 1970s, was convinced that the earth would soon freeze over.  They’ll concede that the earth’s climate has been changing non-step since the earth first came into being.

Where conservatives differ with the self-identified scientifically brilliant climate change crowd is in believing (a) that human activity can change climate and (b) that warming is a bad thing.  (The picture below is of Greenland, which was once Green and sustained significant Viking colonies.)

With regard to human activity, conservatives admit that humans can affect the environment, most notably with pollution.  Most conservatives believe that they are the earth’s stewards and that this stewardship requires acting responsibly so that we do not make filthy the world around us, or carelessly destroy nature’s bounty.  We do not believe, though, that the climate change crowd has adduced sufficient evidence to show that today’s bad weather is human-kind’s fault.  News about Climategate, or the profound errors regarding Himalayan glaciers, indicates that we are right to be suspicious.  (Regarding glaciers, for example, we know that they’ve advanced and retreated relentlessly for most of the earth’s lifespan.)

And with regard to the apocalyptic view of warming, those of us reasonably conversant with history know that a global warming trend is good for humans.  It increases the growing season, releases more water (which is essential to all human existence), and makes available more land on which to grow food.  For example, the periods both before and after the mini-Ice Age were good ones for human development.

A few more things to throw into the mix:  We know that it’s only since Victorian times that people have been keeping accurate weather records, which means that we’re basing a lot of conclusions on only 150 years of data.  We know that the computer models on which much climate hysteria is based have frequently proven wrong.  And we know that many of the problems we’ve seen from hurricanes have happened, not because hurricane are worse (and after all, our records are only 150-200 years old), but because we have very dense coastal populations.  It’s like the difference between a fatal car crash involving one passenger and a crash involving seven:  it’s the same crash, but the mortality rate in the second instance is seven times greater.

Healthcare - My wife and I are quite familiar with America’s healthcare system due to our professions, and having lived abroad extensively, also very aware of comparable systems. Your party’s insistence on declaring the private U.S. healthcare system “the best in the world” fails nearly every factual measure available to any curious mind. We watch our country piss away 60% more expenditures than the next most expensive system (Switzerland) for health outcomes that rival former Soviet bloc nations. On a personal scale, my wife watches poor WORKING people show up in emergency rooms with fourth-stage cancer because they were unable to afford primary care visits. I have watched countless small businesses unable to attract talented workers because of the outrageous and climbing cost of private insurance. And I watch European and Asian businesses outpace American companies because they can attract that talent without asking people to risk bankruptcy and death. That you think this state of affairs is somehow preferable to “Obamacare,” which you compared ludicrously to Trotskyite Russian communism, is a sign of deficient minds unfit to guide health policy in America.

Eric’s analysis about the US healthcare system works only because he is relying on the WHO metric –that is, he’s looking at access, not quality.  I’m not going to beat this horse here, because I don’t have to.  Scott Atlas’ masterful The Worst Study Ever explains the difference between socialized and American medicine, as well as the flaws in the WHO study.  More than that, he does so concisely and in terms even the well-educated can understand.

There’s no doubt that the pre-ObamaCare American system was inefficient and needed improvement.  Turning it into England’s National Health Service, however, which serves the young and healthy sort of well, but is bad news for others, is not the way to reform American medical care.

War - Nations do have to go to war sometimes, but that Iraq thing was pretty bad, to put it mildly. Somebody should have been, I dunno – FIRED for bad performance. Aren’t you the party of good corporate managers or something? This topic could get 10,000 words on its own. Let’s just leave it at: You guys suck at running wars.

Eric might want to explain what happened in Libya, which was Obama’s war:  Why did we go in, how much did we spend, and what did we get for the money, aside from some murdered Americans, including the first U.S. Ambassador killed since 1979?  Eric might also want to look into the skyrocketing deaths on Obama’s watch in Afghanistan — deaths that are wasted, because we already know that they will be followed, not by victory, but by retreat.  Lastly, Eric might want to contemplate that, since 1900, most of the wars in which America got involved started on a Democrat’s watch:  WWI (Wilson), WWII (Roosevelt), the Korean War (Truman), the Vietnam War (Kennedy and Johnson), and the war in Libya (Obama).  Perhaps having a stronger hand at the helm might have avoided those wars in the first place.

Deficits and debt - Whenever the GOP is out of power, it immediately appeals to the imagination of voters who remember the Lyndon Baines Johnson (!) administration and claim that the Republican alternative is the party of “cutting spending” and “reducing the deficit.” The only problem with your claim is that Republican governments throughout my entire 38 year life (Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43) have failed to cut spending and deficit and debt EVEN ONCE. I hope you understand that your credibility suffers every time you promise one thing for three decades and do the EXACT OPPOSITE. Egads – if you actually were the party of fiscal responsibility – you might win our votes despite your 13th century view of science!

I’ve got to agree with Eric — the Republicans have been stinky at fiscal responsibility.  Really stinky.  The only ones who have been worse are the Democrats.  James Taranto nailed it in his column explaining that, right up until the Tea Party got serious about the deficit, the only thing that the Republicans did was to temper Democrat spending:

Deficit hawkishness was the main strain of postwar Republican conservatism until the Goldwater movement of 1964. When lefties long for the “mainstream” Republicans of yore, this is a large part of what they have in mind. A conservatism that cares only about balancing the books not only fails to challenge the encroachment of the welfare state but actively aids it by taking political pressure off the left.

Here’s how politics would work in a world in which deficit hawks dominated the Republican Party: The Democrats would propose a new entitlement. Some Republicans would oppose it, but once it was clear it was going to pass, they would drop their opposition and push for tax increases instead.

It’s a win-win for the Democratic left. They not only fulfill their ideological goal of ever-expanding government, but they get the political credit for doling out benefits and they shift the blame to Republicans (or at least share it with them) for the concomitant tax increases. Conservatives are reduced, to paraphrase Newt Gingrich, to acting as tax collectors for the welfare state. With Republican cooperation, Democrats can be the party of generous benefits and low taxes. Lyndon B. Johnson dramatically expanded the former while reducing the latter.

The current strain of conservativism, birthed by the Tea Party, is small government conservativism.  The Big Tent has room for social conservatives, but the real press here is what got Reagan into office on his second run for the presidency:  shrinking the federal government.  As Taranto explains in the article quoted above, talking about shrinking government is easier than actually shrinking government, but the focus is still on restraining growth, not just on figuring out a way to pay for it.

Eric’s attitude — which is that Republicans are wastrels, so I’ll vote for the party that’s even more irresponsible with taxpayer money — is a classic example of cutting of ones nose to spite ones face.  Eric should be demanding more small government conservativism, not retaliating against Republican profligacy by opening his checkbook even wider for infinitely worse Democrat profligacy.

The bottom line in the rational world, and one that Eric, as an educated man and businessman, should know well is simple:  over the long term, you cannot spend what you don’t have.  When your spending outruns your earning by too great an amount, you have very limited choices:  continue to spend yourself into bankruptcy, which is the Obama choice; cut your spending, which is the Tea Party choice; and earn more money, which is what Obama contends is his choice, one made by using the government’s taxation powers.  Where Obama errs is that it is impossible to close the gap by taxing the rich.  Instead, by killing the goose that lays the golden egg, Obama’s approach will merely accelerate the bankruptcy.

Gay marriage - As the child of Baby Boomers who got divorced (as was the fashion!) in the 80s and 90s, and for whom 50% of my friends had their homes broken by divorce in the critical years before age 18, I sure am unsympathetic to your caterwauling bullshit that “gays will destroy the sanctity of marriage.” Perhaps if everyone in your generation didn’t take the period of 1978 – 1995 to start surreptitiously banging their neighbors and coworkers, only to abandon their kids because “they just weren’t happy,” I would take your defense of marriage more seriously. The institution of Middle Class suburban marriage was broken by the generation of aging white Baby Boomers who populate what is left of the Republican Party, so your defense is wrongheaded and disingenuous. And moreover, as someone who got called “faggot” about 127 times a day from the years 1985 through 1991 – guess what – I grew up to be pretty good friends with actual homosexuals, whose sexual orientation is usually the least significant thing about them. The Republican perseveration on homosexuals as any sort of threat consigns them to history’s trough of intellectual pig dung.

Eric errs (again!) in assuming that, because conservatives haven’t embraced gay marriage, they hate gays.  Not so.  As with abortion, this is a complicated issue that sees a clash of differing liberties.  As I’ve written often, “marriage” has two distinct components:  religious and civil.  When church and state were one, that wasn’t a problem; when they parted ways, with the Constitution guaranteeing that the government would stay out of the religion business, the potential for conflicts arose.  As we’ve seen with the ObamaCare contraception/insurance mandate, when the government issue edicts that conflict with doctrine, the Constitution is directly implicated.  So too with “gay marriage.”  It’s extremely easy to posit a situation in which a church refuses to marry a gay couple, which then sues the church, claiming that it violated their civil rights.

My suggestion, and I think it’s a good one, is for the government to get out of the marriage business and into the civil union business.  It is then free to define civil unions however it wishes:  male/female, female/female, male/male, goat/cow, etc.  The state’s concern would be “What’s good for the state?”  Considerations would be population replacement or control, economics, stability, etc.  This would leave marriage as a purely religious union.

Frankly, if there wasn’t such a mad rush towards gay marriage, people would be able to step back for a moment and contemplate what their goals are and what the potential pitfalls are.  I don’t have a problem with ensuring that committed gay couples obtain the same civil benefits (and burdens) as other committed couples.  I do have a problem with a pell-mell rush into changing an ancient institution in such a way that it creates a certain clash with faiths, in such as way as to lead to a serious Constitutional crisis.  Am I anti-gay?  No.  I am pro-civil rights, pro-religion, and pro-Constitution.  But in all the rush, nobody is listening to people like me.

Meanness- Your party is really mean, mocking and demonizing everyone who does not follow you into the pits of hell. You constantly imply – as Mitt Romney did in his “47% speech” – that anybody who disagrees with you does so not by logic or moral conviction, but because they are shiftless, lazy parasites who want “free stuff” from “traditional Americans.” Wow, you guys managed to follow up a stunning electoral defeat with insulting the very people you wish to attract for a majority in the political system! Brilliant! You are losing elections because being angry and defensive and just-plain-mean is more important than being smart and winning elections – and thus you deserve everything happening to you.

First all all, mean is not an argument; it’s simply an ad hominem insult, and deserves little consideration.  In the spirit of finger pointing, here are few examples of mean from the other side of the aisle.  I’m too lazy to find links, but anyone wishing to do so can easily find examples:  Conservatives are lambasted as Nazis, racists, homophobes and misogynists.  It’s mean to call them those names.  Israel, the only true liberal democracy in the autocratic, totalitarian, antisemitic, anti-Christian, homophobic Middle East, is routinely castigated as a Nazi, apartheid state that deserves to be destroyed.  That’s mean too.  During the Bush presidency, Democrats characterized Bush as a Nazi, as Hitler, as a chimpanzee, as a murder, and as an idiot.  That’s not very nice.  Barack Obama spent his entire 2012 political campaign ginning up class resentment against rich people or, as I like to call them, employers.  That’s not nice.  Obama’s Occupy movement raped women, attacked people, defecated all over the place, brought barrels of human waste into buildings, rioted, destroyed public property, and harassed people in their own homes.  That’s mean too.

I hope that I have established to Eric’s, and everyone else’s, satisfaction, that calling people names is (a) a game that both sides can play and (b) completely pointless in terms of moving the ball from one side of the debate to the other.

Oh, and by the way, it’s really nasty to call your opponents in the argument “A-holes.”

If you want to know exactly where you failed in 2012, and will continue to fail, here it is. Look you assholes, I’m as traditional an American as it gets, and I do not “want free stuff.”  I am a taxpayer, and ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. I got my first job – dragging bags of cow manure, horse feed and fertilizer around a farm store – when I was 12. I started my first company when I was 28. I have followed the vast majority of the rules set out for middle class white males (for good and for ill.) And if it weren’t bad enough that your policy positions are a complete clusterfuck for the reasons I lay out in great detail, you manage to follow up the whole exercise with insulting me, my wife, and my friends of every stripe who didn’t vote for your political party – all of whom are hard-working, taxpaying, job creating, law abiding, great AMERICANS of EVERY COLOR AND CREED.

In my experience, people revert to obscenities and crude insults only when they’re boors or when they have no ideas — or both.  Eric has a few good points (Republicans need to spend less), but mostly, he wallows in myths, canards, and insults.  In that last paragraph quoted, when he drops the pretense of facts and objectivity (all of which are easy to counter), he reveals his true self:  he is not a serious or a decent person.  He is, instead, a bully.

Having escaped my bubble and carefully examined Eric’s arguments, I understand both where he’s coming from and where he is going — and I can’t say I like either his point of origin (an ideological location I once shared) or his ultimate destination.  Eric argues from ignorance and heads to obsolescence.  Let us hope that, in the coming years, his world view does not prevail.

Bill Whittle’s appeal to those who intend to stand on principle and vote for a third party or not vote at all

Bill Whittle explains very clearly why it’s a mistake in this election for those who dislike Obama to a protest vote for a third party, or not vote at all, in order to protest the fact that Republicans are so far from perfect.  It’s a principled stand, certainly, but it is also one that denies the dangerous reality associated with a second Obama term:

If you are thinking of sitting out this election, or casting a protest vote for Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, please watch this video and think very seriously about whether this particular election is the one on which to take a stand.  And if you know someone who is thinking of sitting this one out, or throwing away a vote, please suggest that they watch this video.

Progressives rewrite history to suit their needs

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the fact that “the most brilliant president ever” doesn’t know the difference between an endorser and an endorsee.  As you may recall, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator showed up at Obama’s campaign event, leading Obama to say “‘My homeboy from Illinois,’ Obama said, ‘and an outstanding Republican endorsee.’”

I had a good laugh at the genius’s expense, but there was something else in the underlying news story that’s been niggling at me about that news story.  What bugged me finally popped into focus this morning, when I made my daily visit to Ace of Spades and saw the cartoon I reprint below.

It all starts with that original news story.  We learned there that the impersonator, Lance Mack, has been making a fine living attending Republican events.  Apparently, though, he doesn’t pay much attention at those events, because he’s a staunch Democrat.  Mack has no problem pretending to be Lincoln, though:

“Today’s Republicans either don’t know or won’t acknowledge if they do that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln of 1860 was the progressive party and the Democratic Party was the conservative party,” Mack says. “Mr. Obama, of course, greatly admires President Lincoln. He’s quoted him in many speeches. He also used Lincoln’s Bible upon which to place his hand for his inaugural oath.”

Wow!  This is 1984-style revisionism with a vengeance.  As best as I can tell, Mack’s theory is that anything good that happened historically was “progressive,” and anything bad was “conservative,” so today’s Progressives ( who were, as little as ten years ago, still called Democrats) can claim the mantle of any political outcome that the approved history books like.

You can play this game forever, you know:  During the Revolutionary War, the Americans were the progressive party and the British were the conservative party, so today’s Progressives, everyone ranging from Obama to Pelosi to Axelrod, wears that revolutionary mantle.  And during the Jim Crow era, the anti-Jim Crow Republicans were the progressives and the pro-Jim Crow Democrats were the conservatives, which means that all of today’s Progressives and Democrats can wear the Civil Rights mantle.

I won’t belabor this point because, at Ace, I found the perfect cartoon from The People’s Cube.  I do believe that this cartoon proves, once again, that one good picture is worth a thousand (or maybe ten thousand) of my words:


I’d give a People’s Cube link for the above cartoon, but I can’t find one, and that’s despite scrolling through the archives with some vigor.  What I can tell you though, after having scrolled through those archives, is that you should visit the People’s Cube.  I’ve been aware of the site for a long time, but had never actually checked it out.  It’s really phenomenal.

I’m actually not surprised by the satiric brilliance on display there. The proprietor and creative genius is Oleg Atbashian, who grew up in the Soviet Union. The one thing that the Soviet overlords couldn’t take away from the people was satire. Those who refused to bow down to the cognitive dissonance created by a totalitarian state understood that, sometimes, their only refuge — and weapon — was humor.

Andrew Breitbart inspires another conservative to leave the political closet

I am very, very proud of an old friend of mine.  Like me, he’s a conservative in Marin.  Unlike me, he’s burst out of the political closet.  Tim Amyx will now be blogging on a weekly basis at the Mill Valley Patch, a local Marin online publication that comes out of one of Marin’s most liberal cities.  (That’s not as redundant as it sounds.  Novato and Belvedere, for example, are vaguely purplish compared to Marin’s pretty uniform blue.  Mill Valley . . . well, not so much.)

Tim’s premier post hones in on Mill Valley’s over-the-top allegiance to the Democrat party.  Jokingly calling himself the other 1% (although he concedes that he’s probably part of the 10 or 20%), Tim discusses life for a conservative in Liberal-ville:

I’m 53 years old now, and for about the past 10 years I have found myself in the huge minority in our community. Normally it’s not an issue being a conservative in a bastion of liberals. But it takes its toll, and one can remain silent and take body blows only so long. (“Bush is an idiot,  Republican’s are the party of no, the tea party is racist, conservatives only care about their pocket books, yadda, yadda…”)

This past week, Andrew Breitbart, my hero and a hero to the modern day right, passed away. It was a tragic loss for America and in particular to the young rebirth of conservatism. He was the right guy at the right time, who took on the media and institutions that have been so very successful in demonizing conservatives. Breitbart was an inspiration to many on the right who needed a voice to speak up and stand up to the bullies on the left.

With his inspiration, I bring to you the 1 percent (or really the 10-20 percent or more if more came out of the closet of conservatives in Mill Valley and throughout Marin) conservative point of view. I plan to chime in weekly with a perspective you will not likely read elsewhere in Marin, save for a token letter to the editor. These will be thoughts you won’t likely hear at the Community Center, Depot Plaza or Peet’s. I’ll focus on local, state, and national issues.

Read the rest here.  It’s all good.

Please make Tim a regular part of your weekly reading.  I know that he’s a great person, and you can see that he’s an equally great writer and thinker.  He’s also a brave man, who has outed himself in a very intolerant part of the world.  He should be supported, because the more he writes, the more people will learn — and in Marin, perhaps they’ll learn that conservatives aren’t evil stupid people but are, instead, the kind, accomplished, intelligent community members you’ve grown to like and respect over the years.

Breaking the Obama party hold on America’s political system

I’ve been corresponding with a group of conservatives who are very strongly divided between Romney and Gingrich.  I’m pleased to say that, while the debate is substantively heated, it also never veers away from common decency and civility.  My latest contribution to the email string, right after mention of a brokered convention, was as follows:

“Allen West!  Allen West!  Allen West!  A proven leader.”

(I can dream, can’t I?)

For all the doom and gloom predictions right now, with various factions in the conservative movement unable to envision themselves voting for the other guy come next November, I continue to believe that, as is usually the case once the fecal matter stops spraying off the fan, that conservatives will coalesce around the Republican candidate.  I’ve said from the beginning, sitting here in California where primaries are really over by the time they get to my state, that my candidate is the guy named ABO (Anybody But Obama).  It’ll be a tough call if the ABO candidate is Ron Paul, who is as awful in foreign policy as Obama, but I still think it’s important to break the Obama political infrastructure before it becomes an inextricable part of the American body politic.

We’ve got friends in high places

We all met Navy One when he was just one of us — a guy who wrote delightful, interesting comments on my blog.  When Navy One decided to try his hand at blogging, he took that same charm and . . . well, the rest is history, as The Mellow Jihadi, launched just this spring, is now one of John Hawkins’ top 40 conservative blogs.  (And keep in mind that Navy One, who is active duty, keeps his blog assiduously apolitical and non-partisan.  The conservativism comes about because he espouses ordinary values, decency and common sense, not because he actually writes about things political.)

Join me in offering Navy One a big huzzah!!!

(P.S.  Others of you are equally good writers.  I’m so glad you come here and comment but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that you might also want to try flapping your wings by setting up your own sites.  Cream does rise to the top.)

Liberals: not evil, not stupid…just 100% wrong!

For conservatives and libertarians, the movie icons might be High Noon or True Grit.  For Liberals, the defining anthem is John Lennon’s “Imagine“.

Why is there such a fundamental gulf between ourselves and Liberals, to the point where we find ourselves simply talking past each other? Can this gulf ever be bridged?

I came across this delightful essay at “1389 Counter-Jihad” that builds upon the thoughts of one of my favorite political and social commentators, Evan Sayet, to help define this gulf. It doesn’t necessarily say anything new, but it packages it so well.

http://1389blog.com/2010/11/17/why-modern-liberals-are-100-wrong-about-everything/

The central tenet of this posting is that, after years and years of indoctrination, Liberals see the world so fundamentally different than the rest of us that they can no longer recognize human fallibility and evil. If the core premise is correct, then I say there is no way to overcome this gulf and, perhaps, it would be best if we lived apart from one another. Why? Because I fear that the endgame of this Liberal world view can only be an epic global disaster. This Liberal view not only cannot survive (Darwin), but is the enabler of its/our own destruction.

Here’s a sterling outtake: “So the mindless foot soldier, which is what I call the non-elite, will support the elite’s blueprint for utopia, will side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success, out of a sense of justice”

I know that we at Bookworm Room have explored this issue over and over. Does this help explain the divide? Can this gulf be overcome?

Salary envy

I attended a family gathering not long ago, liberally populated with Liberal in-laws,  in which the mood was decidedly sour. Discussions revolved around the poor job market, employment uncertainty and health insurance.

In conversations, a lot of resentment was directed at corporations, CEOs and their “disgusting and greedy” profits, salaries, benefits and bonuses. I understand (but don’t excuse) much of this as pure envy, a failing that I see expressed far more in Liberal/Left circles than conservative circles. I should also point out that some of this is the bitterness expressed by people that were pretty casual about their own work ethics and careers and now, in middle age, confront an uncertain future, not to mention retirement prospects. We all make critical decisions at key junctures in life with which we have to live.

I have also known and worked with enough CEOs and senior execs with large corporations to know that they work under highly stressful conditions and in between short, sleepless nights. The ones that I have known were extremely hard workers 24/7 and I, personally, value my quality of life far too much to envy them their salaries and perks (we don’t need to explore how seriously pathetic many of their personal and family lives are). Anyway, I consider envy a particularly ugly member of the deadly sins.

One irony is that my Liberal/Left relatives (some of whom purport to be very well educated) apparently cannot draw the connection between corporate profitability, personal incentives and a healthy jobs market. I can understand this to be the case with college students (sophomoric minds full of mush), but working adults have no excuse.

However, what floors me, is that these same Liberal/Lefty in-laws seem to have no trouble accepting the extraordinary high incomes of a) sports figures and b) entertainment figures (newscasters, movie actors, television personalities, etc.).

Sports figures that play games to entertain, singers that…sing songs…, actresses that pretend to be people they aren’t (when they do work) and newscasters that read copy from teleprompters are idolized.

Corporate executives that manufacture services and products that improve our lives (drugs, fuel, cars, food, shelter, insurance, bank loans, etc.) are vilified.

Why is this the case? Any ideas? Please help to understand.

Democrat, Corruptocrat!

Democrats are the friends of big business, Conservatives are the friends of small business. Democrat government inevitably ratchets its way to corruptocracy.

If you don’t agree with this, can we at least agree that Democrats favor highly regulated economies and societies and conservatives don’t?

Let me explain with two examples.

1) The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story about how the EPA has decided that milk, because it contains 4% butterfat, should be regulated under the same environmental control standards as petroleum. Consequently, dairy farmers will have to file Federally approve emergency plans on how to deal with “oil spills” and such. Large dairies (some dairies in California milk 10,000 or more cows at a time) will probably be able to comply. Small dairies (goat and sheep milk farms, Vermont dairy producers etc. ) are just out of luck. I happen to know something about the dairy industry – it’s a highly politicized, highly subsidized industry that operates on very thin margins. I’m sure that they will come to an accommodation with the EPA and Federal Government…at a very steep price, politically and $-wise!

2) As it becomes increasingly clear the degree to which Obama Care really is a pig-in-a-poke, there is frantic activity to opt out of it. The numbers of entities that have received waivers from ObamaCare (other than Congress) magically rose from about 200 to 700+ immediately after the SOTU speech. Those entities are large companies and unions on the inside track. The way you get a waiver is to have a lobbyist obtain it on your behalf. Money exchanges hands. Large companies can afford this, small companies…out of luck! If ObamaCare is so great, why the rush by Congress, favored businesses and union to obtain waivers?

Increased regulation is inversely proportional to lobbying activity. The less regulation there is, the less the need to influence government. The more regulation, the more the need to petition the royal aristocracy at a heavy price. The need to petition our government for redress under regulations fostered by our government is a corrupting influence. If you lack influence and can’t make payment, you are out of the equation. Here in Chicagoland, we know all about this. Here is what happens:

Society sediments into three classes: a) an aristocratic Democrat nomenklatura that controls the regulatory and judiciary structures of society; b) a wealthy, economic class that can afford to exchange favors for regulatory exemptions and waivers…at a price; c) a lumpen proletariat, outside of the power structures, imprisoned into forced into regulatory straight-jackets (taxable prey…if you will) that they will never be able to escape unless willing to surrender at the price of their souls. It is this last class that pays the bills for the others. This isn’t new…despite its “progressive” tag, it’s a regression to 19th Century economic “shakedown” realities.

My entire career, I have been a champion of entrepreneurs and small companies. They are vital to our society and economy, as innovators, risk-takers and employers. I would hate to see this glorious period end as we slouch toward third-world corruptocracy.

I know that Democrats mouth have historically mouthed platitudes about looking after the “little guy”. I would like to think that only the truly moronic and armchair philosophers walled into their temples of abstract theory can fail to see how Orwellian and corrupting these platitudes are.

Have we as a nation arrived at a point where we can stop this from happening or is it inevitable? A Jewish relative once remarked that no Jew sleeps without two shoes under his bed stuffed with a roll of cash, in case of a quick getaway. I am starting to understand his point.

Liberal thinking in a cup of tea

We are a family of tea drinkers.  As dedicated tea drinkers, we like good tea, which usually means loose leaf tea.  Loose leaf tea, in turn, means special tea makers.  Our favorite is the Adagio Ingenuitea Teapot, which makes one perfect cup of tea at a time.  The only downside of the Ingenuitea maker is that, as you carry it from workspace to sink, a drop or two of tea will escape floorwards.  Since I take my tea black, this is not a problem.  Mr. Bookworm, however, likes a small — a very small — amount of sugar in his tea.  When his roving tea drops dry, the floor is marked by a slight tackiness, which is very obvious underfoot.

What does all this have to do with liberal thinking?  A lot, actually.

You see, Mr. Bookworm holds, as a matter of “scientific” theory, that the amount of sugar he uses in his tea is too small to leave any sticky spots should the tea drip on the floor.  The fact that I can show him the sticky spots on the kitchen floor is entirely irrelevant to him.  Since the sticky fact on the ground doesn’t mesh with the pure theory in his head, the sticky spot cannot exist.  At various times he asserts that I’m imagining it, that it comes from another source, or that I’m trying to gaslight him (that last is his little joke, by the way).

Mr. Bookworm’s thinking, of course, precisely reflects the Ivy League thinking that prevails in Washington.  Obama, and those who surround him, haven’t held real jobs, they haven’t started businesses, they haven’t deal with payrolls.  Likewise, they’ve never lived in a village that has 10,000 rockets aimed at it.  They’ve never spent time in the company of “boot on the ground” Islamists.  Instead, they consort only with the erudite, British-accented academic fifth column that drips constant antisemitic, anti-Israel poison in their ears.  They’ve never spent significant amounts of time in a socialist/communist country (or, worse, that country’s health care system).  Their sole contact with socialism comes from academic elites who are dedicated to the theory of Marxism, facts be damned.

And that’s always it, isn’t it?  Theory will invariably trump facts for the liberal.  Theory is a nice neat package, an NPR story with a beginning, middle, and predetermined end.  It has no icky facts, no unknown variables, no human equation, and no room for the possibility that the liberal’s theory might be wrong.  So just as I’m condemned to tip toe across a tacky kitchen floor, we Americans, in the age of Obamic Progressivism, are condemned to a flailing economy, weak national security, and creeping socialism, all because the Ivy Tower academics in government refuse to acknowledge that their exquisitely crafted theories might not function in the real world.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Liberal fear; conservative resurgence

Vanderleun, who blogs at the wonderful American Digest, put me on to a liberal Massachusetts blog that tells its readers to suck it up and vote for Coakley:

Let’s get this out of the way.  You might not want to vote for Martha Coakley.  You might think she deserves what’s she’s getting after an absentee, self-satisfied campaign (why should I bail her out?).  You likely want to send a message to everyone from the attorney general all the way to every Democratic official in Washington, DC.  Odds are you didn’t vote for her in the primary.  And, you might be wondering if it’ll make a difference who wins this Tuesday.

You got every reason to be pissed, but it needs to be clear: not voting for Coakley is the same as voting for Brown.  And voting for Brown is a very, very bad thing.

Does this argument sound familiar to you?  It should.  This is precisely the same argument conservatives making in 2008 when they thought about voting for McCain.  They really didn’t like him, but they were going to hold their collective noses and vote for McCain, because voting for Obama would be “a very, very bad thing.”  Sadly, for many the McCain stench was too great, and Obama won (a pattern that may repeat itself in Massachusetts, with Coakley and Brown as the stinky players).

As you know, I’ve been trying to convince myself for a while that, in a peculiar way, Obama is a good thing.  Until Obama, people could convince themselves that liberals should be viewed by what they said, not by what they did, primarily because semi-functioning Republicans were there to put the brakes on the worst liberal excess.  With Obama and the Democrats having power fettered only by voter dismay, not by effective Republican opposition, the country is having to face — for the first time — the reality and not the rhetoric.  I think they’re finding the chasm between the two unnerving.  And I think Massachusetts is the first place in which we’re seeing voters figure out, finally, that this is not John F. Kennedy’s Democratic party any more.

The new Republican playbook

In the wake of the 2008 election, Republicans and conservatives were paralyzed.  They’d been trounced, not so much by sweeper percentages (that is, the elections were all just over the slightly 50% mark), but by huge numbers of elections in which Democrats edged out Republicans by those few percentage marks.  If there are 100 races, and you lose 90 of them, it’s really irrelevant whether you lost by 5% or by 30%.  You still lost big across the board.  What to do?  What to do?

Fortunately, adversity has a way of clearing out the deadwood and clarifying the issues.  We know that Barack Obama is anti-American in ideology and that he hates America as a practical matter.  We know that he has surrounded himself with a cadre of advisers and czars who share his views, and that the top echelons in Congress do too.  It’s all spread out before us.

With the malignant disease of rampant anti-American Leftism — a world view antithetical to an increasing number of Americans — finally diagnosed in Washington, Jennifer Rubin has the prescription:

Now it has unfolded. We know what Obamaism looks like. On the domestic side, it is liberal statism: higher taxes, mammoth bureaucracies, and a vortex of government regulation that sucks up private enterprise and transforms business decisions into political ones. It comes with an ungracious and sneering contempt for opposition. On the international scene, we have the intersection of incompetence and folly, with a strong element of cynicism. The Obami have deployed aggressive and losing gambits (Honduras and the Middle East), betrayed friends (Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic), snubbed allies (the Churchill bust goes home), thrown ourselves at the feet of adversaries (Russia, Iran), jettisoned human rights and the defense of democracy (Burma, Sudan, Iran), projected angst-ridden indecision (Afghanistan-war formulation), damaged our fighting ability (defense cuts and missile-defense withdrawal), and shown deference to debased institutions (the UN). Most alarmingly, Obama and his attorney general have scarred and scared our intelligence community and placed Lefty pie-in-the-sky moralizing above the safety of Americans (trying KSM, closing Guantanamo, and halting enhanced interrogations).

And so what should conservatives be doing? Well now it’s obvious — oppose, obstruct, warn, and cajole. There aren’t many weapons at conservatives’ disposal, but there are some. And the greatest is to be found in the reservoir of common sense and decency of the America people, who, when stirred, have risen up to oppose pernicious legislation and those whom they mistakenly trusted to behave in a responsible fashion. As Kristol points out, three years is a long time, but the congressional elections are approaching and the argument has begun. And now conservatives know precisely what must be done: as best they are able, slow and stop Obamaism until reinforcements arrive and the voters can render their verdict.

To which I’ll add Bruce Kesler’s reminder, in the context of Obama’s insane nuclear strategy, that we should “Be afraid. Be very afraid. Be aware, and more determined than ever to slow and halt this self-destruction in the elections of 2010 and 2012. Start by demanding that potential Republican challengers are informed and resolute, and don’t ignore the saner Democrats. We’re all in this together.”

Watch the Democratic dominoes fall *UPDATED*

There is a lot of talk about whether, looking ahead to the 2010 elections, we’re looking at 1980, or 1994, or 1932 or some other American political year that I can’t even think of right now.  I actually think we’re looking at a different year altogether:  1989.  As you may recall, 1989 was a big year.  While Obama can’t be bothered to get his sorry self over to Berlin, that was the year the Berlin Wall fell.  That was the year the former Soviet Union imploded.  That was the end of the 70+ year long European Communist experiment.  It was a big deal.

What made 1989 a really big deal was that nobody in the establishment saw it coming.  As far as the realpolitik types were concerned (and the liberals, and the media), Communism was a rock solid, all-powerful entity.  In their world view, we were going to be in a perpetual stalemate with our Cold War enemy, because we were all equally weak and equally strong.  On college campuses we were also told that the European Communists really weren’t all that bad and, Rodney King-like, we should just all learn to get along.

Except that this controlling paradigm was anything but true.  European Communism was rotten to the core.  Its people were prisoners, but the prison walls were beginning to collapse under their own weight.  The government managed economies were completely unsustainable.  This internal rot mean that the external pressure the Ronald Reagan placed on those inefficient, dysfunctional economies, coupled with his relentless cheerleading for freedom, brought the whole festering edifice crumbling down.

What was so amazing about the crumble was the speed with which it happened.  If any of us had thought about it, we would have said that European Communism would slowly diminish over the years and the decades.  None of us envisioned the almost instantaneous collapse that occurred.  We oldsters remember that magic moment when the Berlin Wall, an overwhelming physical symbol of the Cold War, simply vanished.  Gone.

Up until about August 2009, conventional wisdom was that the liberal juggernaut was unstoppable.  Under the guidance of the God-like Obama, progressive liberalism was a rock solid, all-powerful entity.  Charles Krauthammer argues that Tuesday put the lie to that fairy tale:

In the aftermath of last year’s Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics — most prominently, rising minorities and the young — would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed “The Death of Conservatism,” while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.

This was all ridiculous from the beginning. 2008 was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. And still he won by only seven points.

Exactly a year later comes the empirical validation of that skepticism. Virginia — presumed harbinger of the new realignment, having gone Democratic in ’08 for the first time in 44 years — went red again. With a vengeance. Barack Obama had carried it by six points. The Republican gubernatorial candidate won by 17 — a 23-point swing. New Jersey went from plus 15 Democratic in 2008 to minus 4 in 2009. A 19-point swing.

Ah,” say the skeptics (and Nancy Pelosi).   “You’re just looking at two elections.  That means nothing.”  Well, that may be true.  Except that Riehl World notes that Democratic politicians in more conservative communities are abandoning the sinking liberal ship.  And they’re not slowly abandoning it but, instead, are swiftly heading for the life boats in en masse departures:

Seven Simpson County officials have switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

District Attorney Eddie Bowen, Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, Supervisor Mickey Berry, Justice Court Judge Eugene Knight, Constable Dan Easterling and D’Lo Alderman Michael Shoemaker made the announcement at the Republican Party headquarters in Jackson today.

“I’m just more of a conservative person,” Berry said.

I don’t track elections the way more savvy political observers do.  But I know a trend and can recognize a historic pattern when I see one — and I’m betting that 2009 is going to be the Democratic equivalent of 1989 for the European Communists.  Not only is the Party over, but it’s going to crater with mind-boggling speed.

That doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, of course.  Even a damaged party, and a badly damaged party at that, can inflict plenty of wounds on the American economy.  Worse, with Obama in the driver’s seat for at least another three years, we can expect our foreign policy and our national security to continue to swing wildly into danger zones.  With or without Congress and the American people at his back, a hubristic Barack Obama is going to continue his bizarre foreign policy of bowing to dictators, offending friends, and turning his back on the hard work of keeping safe both Americans at home and American troops abroad.

UPDATE:  I’m not the only one who sees lessons in 1989.  Bruce Kesler also thinks it’s an important year for us to look back upon and learn from, with the Berlin Wall as the lesson’s centerpiece.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The difference between conservatives and liberals

Zhombre forwarded this email to me.  I think it’s right on the money:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn`t buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a black man or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it’s a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he’s in labor and then sues.

If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended”.

Conservatives march on Washington

The nature of conservatism is to be . . . well, conservative.  We don’t throw paint on people.  We don’t burn figures in effigy.  We don’t bite off fingers.  We put our heads down and do our jobs.  So when two million conservatives (and independents) take the time, the energy and the money to converge on Washington, you know that a fire has been lit.  Just as the Obama administration has done the unbelievable and united the Israeli body politic, it has now done the equally unbelievable and created oxymoronic conservative activists.

I don’t have any insights to add, but I bet all of you do.  I’d love it if you would leave your thoughts about the march on Washington here.

(And suek, you’ll see that I’ve added a new “Open Thread” category for this one.)

Five people in a kitchen — by guest blogger Danny Lemieux

Five People in a Kitchen

By Danny Lemieux

Part I: We need focus!

We were just five concerned Americans meeting in a middle class Chicagoland suburb on a cold spring day. Our point for this meeting was not to gripe. It was to see if we could identify constructive solutions to the Democrat Left’s hold on our nation and all that for which it stands . . . a hold that we are convinced will destroy us.

We addressed two big challenges: (1) how do we counter the very effective (thug, smear, demagogue…fill in the blank, here) tactics of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a book conceived in the 20th Century’s fascist era, consecrated in the radical ‘70s, and aptly dedicated to “Lucifer” by its author one year before his death in 1972 (whereupon, we can only surmise that the author was promptly and personally thanked for his dedication). Among all other “how to” guides available to 20th Century fascists, this was the tome chosen as the working bible of the American radical Left.  As we’ve seen, it works.  And (2), given its effectiveness, how do we prepare ourselves for the next election?

Why the next election? Because, quite frankly, given the Alinsky-driven fraud, manipulation, fear tactics, illegal funding and demagoguery evident in the last election, we five agreed that this next election may well be our last truly free election for a very, very long time. Moreover, the next time around, ACORN will enjoy a multi-billion dollar war chest, expropriated from me, thee and other productive taxpayers by the parasitic classes in our society. The opposition will also enjoy the full force of government power to leak dirt, real or imagined, disclose divorce files and other legal documents, and intimidate and harass the opposition. Despite the title of Alinsky’s book, there really are no rules, only tactics and objectives. Think of the persons that trashed pregnant teen Bristol Palin; torched Sarah Palin’s church with kids inside; wished failed kidneys upon Rush Limbaugh; slashed campaign bus tires in Milwaukee; did opposition research on a citizen-plumber; or unsealed the Court-sealed divorce papers of Obama’s Senate opponent, Jack Ryan. Something truly wicked this way comes.

As I noted, we were only five – three men and two women: two business consultants, one nurse, a graphics designer and a furniture maker – a perfect number for intense, serious discussion. For my fellow Bookworm groupies, our dear Deana was there. If labels are necessary, I’d characterize my illustrious guests as libertarian and conservative…Tea Party types. Some of us, in our younger days, had been Liberal and Democrat before we finally grew up…including (mea culpa!) me, moi and myself. My hope is that this was only one of millions of such meetings that have been and will take place all around our country leading up to 2010.

The first step we took was to define the problem…to frame the issues.

We took stock of our situation. We all agreed that America is an exceptional country that has been a terrific force for good to its own citizens and round the world. We all agreed that this era is ending and we really don’t like this. But for now, we still aren’t quite sure how to resist and reverse the surging tide. Our collective forecast was grim: we agreed that our country is likely to go bankrupt the way of Argentina or stagnate the way of Japan. We agreed that we are likely to soon find ourselves in a war . . . a major war. Why? Because as people who study the lessons of history, we are doomed to watch others repeat them and that one very salient lesson of history is that weakness invites attack. It’s the way of the world . . . the real world, not the abstract perceptions of American Liberal middle-and-upper- class utopia. There’s already blood in the water.

Then we defined the objectives.

We have a little less than 18 months to prepare for the next election.

Gauging from the last election, we probably don’t need to change that many minds. Obama’s margin of victory was about 10 million votes out of 69 million cast in his name. If we exclude those that voted Democrat because they were mad at GW or scared witless about the economy’s meltdown (let no crisis go to waste!), then we probably only need to sway about two-to-three million extra votes in key strategic areas. Although the Democrat Left has been very clever to schedule their massive tax and spend programs so that most of the pain will not be felt until after the 2010 elections, I doubt that they will be successful. As usual, they bank on a static world whereas everything is very much in flux. The pain is coming much faster than anticipated. Markets are forward looking and will react accordingly to the oncoming tsunami of debt and taxation. Our nation’s credit rating is already in question. Jobs will continue to be lost and (big) international mistakes will continue to be made. So, I think that we can safely expect disgruntlement to be at minimum at a low boil by 2010.

Plus, consider market segmentation.

We (all of us) only have limited resources to expend, so we need to expend them efficiently. We could go after the broad segment of the population that voted for Obama, or we could focus on the most likely converts. Let’s consider who voted for Obama:

In one group we have the true believers – the hard core leftists, the MoveOn.org, MSNBC and Huffington Post crowd. They wallow in an alternate universe of bile, violence, hatred and perceptions and values that can never be reconciled with objective reality. They are, at their core, utopians who rage against the failings of a reality-based universe when in reality they rage against themselves and the unrequited wounds of troubled upbringings. As per the parable of the sower, this is rocky soil that can bear no fruit.

The second group is the group that simply fell in love with Obama, our Rorschach President. They love his voice, they love his demeanor and they love his looks and they hear only what they wanted to hear as they project their wants and needs upon him. This, folks, is Oprah-world. It’s a waste of time. These are the frivolous people whose waters will never run deep. These are the people that take their cues from daytime TV, Letterman, Olbermann and SNL and company. Don’t get me wrong, IQ has nothing to do with this: I know quite a few otherwise intelligent people that fall into this category, the MSM “intellectual” class being a case in point. We can’t waste our time and effort on these people…these are dead leaves blowing endless circles in the winds of hype.

The third group is the only one that matters.

These are the core value Democrats, the Reagan Democrats, the traditional value, blue-dog Democrats. They may have fundamental disagreements with Republicans (or what they think Republicans represent), the demonized “Christian Right” (oooo…let’s all look under our beds now!) and what they perceive us to be as “conservatives”, but their own values are, at heart, basically conservative. Most in this group are middle working class. Some are plumbers, others truckers (if I have learned anything from talk radio, it is that some of our most perceptive political thinkers are truckers). Many are black and Hispanic. Most work hard, enjoy normal family activities, worry about their kids and frankly don’t think too hard about politics until they have to. In sum, most lead healthy, balanced lives defined by by solid work ethics and values. They are fundamentally decent people. These, my friends, are America’s Hobbits…what one wizard referred to as an incredible repository of strength…once they are engaged. These are voters, under the constant onslaught of the MSM, who have not had the time or opportunity to hear or understand different points of view. These tend to be deeply patriotic Americans who have ample reason to distrust State power and have ample reason to be concerned about the future. They will awaken, of that I am sure.

This is our target market. And, remember…we only need to sway two or three million of them to share our perspectives on the world. We can do this.

Coming soon — How do we effectively change minds?

Hiding in plain sight

One of my ongoing themes here is the fact that I keep my conservatism very, very low key.  Most situations in my life don’t involve politics, but when politics come up, I’m quite careful.  I have no wish to be savaged.  Jim Miller, who lives in and writes about an equally liberal environment — the Seattle area — used my attitude as a starting point for asking his readings “Do you ever conceal your political views?“  With more than 100 comments, he got an earful in response, about secret views and public insults.  Most seem to feel that, at least in the workplace, discretion is the better part of valour.
One commenter got angry about this:

Except for Ragnar Danneskjold, who I give credit for at least being thoughtful about the situation, the rest of you sound like cowards.

It is no wonder Republicans lose, they hide from what they think.

At the least you could support those of us who confront Liberals, whether they are Democrats or the leadership of the King County and Washington State Republican Party.

Posted by: Brian Thomas on March 7, 2009 05:28 PM

In a way he’s right.  How can we ever win if we’re ashamed of ourselves?  But it’s easy to feel shame if you feel isolated, or denigrated or disrespected.  That’s why coming together, at conservative gatherings or public tea parties, is such a good idea.  We find our voices by finding each other.

Growing the grassroots

The gal who started the Marin conservative gatherings that I’ve had the pleasure of attending sent out a broadcast email reminding all conservatives, especially those trapped in blue communities, that it’s not enough to sit at home, read the blogs and complain.  We have to work towards a change in 2010.  If we wait to look, it may be too late to turn this ship of state.

For many of us, the work we do may begin just by having us reach out to each other.  For those of us feeling very isolated politically, there’s an almost overwhelming inertia we need to break through in order to become politically functional.  And for this living in true red communities, complacency, not fear or inertia, may be the worst enemy.

For these reasons, please read this message, forward it to your friends, AND THEN DO SOMETHING!!!

Dear conservative friends and family:

As many of you know, I live in the most liberal, nay progressive county in the universe. To combat the insanity, while maintaining my own, I started inviting conservatives over to my house to socialize, to be in a place where they could voice their views freely without rebuke or ridicule. With each party, I asked everyone to invite a conservative friend. (By the way, this endeavor was and is not associated with any political party nor does it involve the need to lay out money.)

The first party was attended by about 16 people. The following two parties grew into the mid 20’s and this last party had over 40 in attendance. Conservative guests came from San Francisco as well as Berkeley (yes, you heard me correctly!) seeking the comfort and camaraderie of fellow conservatives.

We have set up a yahoo groups account and are finishing work on a blog so we can stay in touch and abreast of articles, books, information and action points. This group is still mostly social, but the individual members are discussing ways to organize and fight. I’m not sure if this group will unite under one issue (as most organizations do) or serve as an umbrella organization for sub-groups or task forces that take on specific issues near and dear to their hearts. Either way, we will accomplish something.

Why am I writing this to you?

If you are in the Bay Area, I urge you to get involved w/ this group. This is a dynamic and diverse group of informed, educated, intelligent and accomplished individuals. If you are outside of the Bay Area, I urge you to start one of these on your own.

Why all of the urging?

Conservatives have historically been busy raising their families, working on careers, participating in religious activities and devoting the little free time they have to charitable works. We are not community organizers, agitators or activists. While we have been toiling with everyday life, expecting our elected officials to be doing the work we elected them to do, our liberal “friends” have been busy co-opting virtually every aspect of our lives—not just the obvious ones, like education and environment, but even going so far as to infiltrate and influence the policies of our churches and synagogues.

Anyone who pays attention to the news can see what is happening: our liberties, our savings, our values, our way of life are all being eroded at warp speed by the liberal juggernaut.

We can no longer sit back and hope the work is being done by others. To fight these fights on local, state and federal levels, we have to network with one another (young, old, retired, working, black, white, Christian, Jew—you get my drift), take on these issues and fight to restore our American Republic, which is fading with each passing day.

If we do not get involved, we are complicit in all the Obama Machine engenders.

Please pass this on to other conservatives around the country. It all starts with one little party and, I promise, it will grow from there.

And for those with a taste for old movies, here’s Nelson Eddy reminding us (starting at about the 2 minute mark) just how effective a small, but committed, group can be:

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Reports of our deaths may be somewhat exaggerated

The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article today touting the demise of the GOP in California:

With their registrations sinking and their political clout withering, California Republicans have come out of the November election in danger of slipping into political irrelevance across much of the state.

[snip]

Since 2004, Republican registration has dropped by more than 317,000 in the state, while Democrats have picked up 563,000 new voters. Five previously GOP counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus and San Bernardino, now have more Democrats than Republicans.

You can read the rest here, which discusses the numbers, and which also has some quotations from Republicans pointing out that the 2008 blow-out could have been worse, so things aren’t that bad.

Certainly Republicans aren’t doing well in California.  In the last two decades, California has gone from being the most reliably Republican of states to being an equally reliably Democratic state.  And as the article notes, a lot of very conservative counties have switched political allegiances.  I just wonder if Republicans are quite as dead as the Chron announces (and seems to hope is true).

The reason for my suspicion that conservativism in California is very sick but not dead yet and, perhaps, not even fatally ill, is what I see going on in Marin:  Conservatives, tired of being treated like second, third or fourth class citizens, are starting to congregate.  The party I described the other day is a perfect example of a grassroots conservative movement that’s bypassing the Republican party entirely.  Whether we’ll eventually join up with traditional Republicanism remains unclear, but we’re out there and we’re not inclined to walk away from the political fray.

I’d also like to see a study showing the growth rate for registered Independent voters in California.  What I’ve learned, both from my own experience, and from listening to other neocons, is that we new conservatives are not inclined to register as Republicans.  Instead, we tick off the Independent box.

There are, I think, three reasons for the reluctance to become registered Republicans.  First, as neocons, we don’t necessarily buy into the entire Republican package, and don’t want to give it our wholehearted imprimatur by identifying ourselves as such.  (As for me, I’d register Libertarian if it weren’t for the fruitcake factor and Ron Paul.)

Second, as lifelong Democrats, it’s hard to see an “R” after our names.  Independent is an almost sexy compromise, one that signals a break with the Democratic party without actually crossing the line into the former enemy’s camp.

And third, with the internet, which makes it easy for friends and neighbors to find out your party affiliation, even if they wasn’t what they were searching for when they plugged your name into Google, registering as an Independent helps preserve political privacy, especially if the neocon is not yet ready to face the opprobrium that comes with an ideological realignment.

I certainly hope that the Chron’s article is both exaggerated and premature.  Still, it makes important points that conservatives (not Republicans, but conservatives) should take seriously, and reminds us all that we have an awful lot to do in California over the next few years.