Free Markets, Free People

Bryan Pick’s Suggestions for the GOP

Perhaps it comes as a surprise to some of our readers, but we are not a Republican or Conservative blog. We are a libertarian, or more precisely a Neo-libertarian blog. As it happens, this puts us far closer to the conservative end of the spectrum than the liberal end in most things, so I can see, what with our constant nagging about President Obama’s policy foolishness over the last four years, why many readers would think of us as conservatives. But we aren’t really.

Maybe that’s why Bryan’s suggestions seemed so off-putting to the conservatives who regular read us here. Oh, and the fact that Bryan, while he’s had posting privileges here for, well, a long time, doesn’t post all that much anymore. I wish he posted more, but apparently, he has a life. But he’s still got his name on the masthead.  See? It’s over there on the sidebar, on the left.

It’s gonna stay there.

The thing is, if you’re a conservative—especially a social conservative, you just need to accept that pretty much all of us support gay marriage, are at least squishy on abortion law, etc., etc., so you’re not going to find this a congenial place, for the most part, on social issues.

So much for old business.

Now onto the the posts Bryan contributed over the last few days. As It happens, I have some thoughts on his ideas myself.

Immigration is a sticky issue. I think that Milton Friedman was right in that you cannot have both unrestricted immigration and a welfare state. If you try to have both, you will inevitably bankrupt the system completely. Which, now that I think about it, is at least a self-solving problem.

But that solution itself would cause…difficulty, so it’s best to avoid it.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have a very expansive welfare state and what of we did have would be off-limits to immigrants. That isn’t the situation we have, however, which makes unrestricted immigration difficult to deal with.

It’s even more troubling when you realize that we have a set of challenges that make any immigration difficult to deal with at the present time.

There has been a distinct cultural shift in the way we deal with immigrants, in terms of our willingness to assimilate them into the American culture. For instance, when I was a child, immigrant children were expected to learn English, and conform to mainstream American culture. Essentially, immigrants were told—often in no uncertain terms—that we didn’t care how they did things in Kaplokistan, they were in America and they would do things our way. The message, from every level of society, was that if their original country was such a great place, they’d still be there. The result was that the children of immigrants were quite keen to assimilate, and mostly did so.

But we don’t do that any more. We’re now ever so sensitive to their cultural concerns, that we don’t try to assimilate them at all. We fear offending their delicate cultural sensitivities. As a result, the assimilation takes place at a much slower rate.

For example, here in southern California, we provide official voting ballots in somewhere around 100 different languages. Let me just state something that should be obvious: If you cannot vote in the English language, you shouldn’t be voting. Or, dare I say it, even be a citizen. If you can’t even be troubled to learn the dominant language of our popular culture, how in the world can you grasp the essentials of our political culture and principles?

This is compounded by the fact that today’s immigrants come from a vastly different political culture than those of a century ago. Today’s immigrants come from countries with an explicitly socialist political culture, which is decidedly not the case of immigrants who came to the US prior to the 1920s. Prior to that time, most immigrants came from monarchies with an intensely class-based structure, no middle class to speak of, and no possibility for social mobility. They come from countries where their social status was determined by the class they were born in, and they came here to escape both grinding poverty, and a class structure that made escaping that poverty extraordinarily difficult.

Today’s immigrants, thanks to the USSR’s pervasive influence in the 3rd world in the 50s-70s, have grown up with a socialist political world-view. They will naturally be prone to gravitate to the Democratic Party. Certainly, some portion will come here to escape socialism, but most probably don’t think too deeply about politics, and simply accept the socialist view of activist government they’ve been taught all their lives. When they get here, they find a political party that also accepts that political world-view, so naturally they gravitate towards it. Prior to the 1920’s, they would not have.

So I don’t think you can point to unrestricted immigration in the 19th century and draw too many parallels to how such a policy might work today. Both the original political culture of the immigrant, and the American political culture they find on arrival here, are completely different than they were a century ago.

And, of course, I also think about how California has fared with the massive immigration, a great portion of it illegal, of the last 30 years.  The Central Valley has deteriorated almost to 3rd World status, with a permanent underclass of Mexican laborers who have essentially become modern-day helots, rampant property crime, deteriorating public services, and terrible poverty.

What lessons do we learn from all that?

I honestly don’t know how to approach entitlement reform. Maybe Bryan’s suggestion has merit, but I simply don’t know. We’ve told every person in the country that they have a defined-benefits pension, and, though people my age and younger don’t really believe Social Security will be there for us, We’ve spent all our working lives paying into it. We certainly feel we’re owed something for it.  We had a Deal. You can’t just break the Deal.

And here is the real, non-obvious reason why you can’t break that Deal: We don’t have a stable currency. As a result, we simply cannot safely save for retirement.

Let me explain.

When the US was on the gold standard, you could simply stuff money into your mattress. In fact, a lot of people did. And the reason they could was that their money retained its purchasing power. Every dollar bill was a receipt for your real money. Every banknote said, "The US Treasury will pay the bearer X dollars." If you took a dollar bill into the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, slapped it on the counter, and said give me my money, a servitor would take your dollar, nip back to the vault, and return with a little bag containing 1/35oz of gold, or 1/16oz of silver. Today, your dollar bill is a receipt for nothing. It’s worth whatever the US government says it’s worth at any given time.

And, especially since 1973, it’s been worth less and less every year. Since 1970, the price of housing has risen 1050%. A savings account at a bank doesn’t pay an interest rate that keeps up with inflation. So, with a fiat currency that is constantly debased, that leaves very few savings options.

Essentially, to make a return greater than inflation, the county has been forced into the stock market for investment.  But what happens if the market crashes? You lose a large portion of your saved investment. If you have several years to make it up, well, good. But what if it happens when you’re close to retirement? Well, you say, of course, you have to find safer investments like tax-free munies or something. And you should allocate your portfolio wisely, etc., etc.

But most people don’t want to do that. And they don’t want to learn all sorts of investment arcana. They want to save, do so safely, and not have inflation eat away all of their savings. Social Security does that, from their point of view, and it doesn’t make them live in fear that some unforeseen market event will eat up their hard-won savings.

That’s why so many people are opposed to Social Security privatization. They’re afraid of market investment, and are especially so seeing the roller-coaster rise the market’s been on since 2000.

But they have no safe option for saving that keeps pace with inflation.

Not having a stable currency forces people into riskier and harder-to-understand investments, and people don’t want to mortgage their future to investments that are risky and hard to understand.

Social Security was easy to understand, and it at least gave the illusion of security, no matter what the reality was.

A reliable, stable currency would make entitlement reform a lot easier, because it would vastly reduce the fear of inflation eating away at their retirement.

Social issues are the hot button with a significant portion of the GOP. I’m not entirely sure that if the GOP abandons social issues they’d be able to attract enough people from the Democrats to make up a viable political party, by which I mean one that has a shot at winning nationally. I don’t think that the Democrats have enough of a fiscally conservative, socially liberal electoral base to attract to the new, socially agnostic GOP.

The reality is, though, that when it comes to politics, the culture is determinative on the outcomes of social issues.

It doesn’t get much play, but, as it happens, according to polls—which as we know from the last election are pretty accurate—a slight majority of the electorate is actually pro-life. You wouldn’t know it from watching the news, but somehow, over the last decade, pro-choice has become the minority opinion in the country. Presumably, if that trend continues—and there’s no guarantee it will—Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Maybe. I mean, just because people are generally pro-life, it doesn’t mean that women don’t want to have abortion as an option. Just in case. Maybe it doesn’t get overturned at all, but abortion becomes culturally objectionable and we’ll get a lot less of it.

If Roe is overturned, then, abortion will become a state issue. Or, perhaps we’ll keep Roe, and just tighten down on abortions: limit them to the 1st trimester, and give exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, implement stricter parental controls, and that sort of thing. If it is overturned, states like California and New York will make it unambiguously legal. Some states will restrict it. Some will ban it completely.

Maybe that’s the answer for social issues. Leave them to the states, and people will gravitate to the states where the social milieu is more congenial to them. But that will be difficult to do now that we’ve cast all social issues in terms of rights.

I think that was a mistake, but here we are.

The gay marriage people say they have a right to marry. OK. Then why don’t polygamists have a right to do so as well? Once you’ve cast an argument in terms of rights, you’ve started wielding a hammer, not a scalpel, to solve your social problems. If gays have a right to marry, then why doesn’t another group of consenting adults have that right? How do you draw that line in terms of rights?

We forced the Mormon religion to de-legitimize polygamy in order for Utah to become a state. If adults have the right to order their relationships as they choose, then how was that legitimate? How is it legitimate, in terms of rights, to forbid close relatives to marry?

Rights are a pretty blunt instrument.

But how does letting gays get married somehow damage marriage as an institution? I guess I don’t understand that. I get that marriage is important, and I get why it’s important. But, it’s not so important, I guess, that we want to make divorce difficult. Which is, after all, why more than half of marriages end in it. Oh, and by the way, aren’t something like half of the kids born today, born out of wedlock?

Something’s going on with marriage today, and it’s mainly not good, but it doesn’t seem to have much to do with gay people.

Here’s a couple of realities to think about, though:

  • We’re about 30 or 40 years behind Europe in turning into a post-Christian culture. You wanna know the culture your grandkids will grow up in? Look at the Netherlands or Britain.
  • With Obama’s re-election, there’s an excellent chance that 1 or two conservative justices will be replaced by Obama. That means Roe v. Wade will probably be around for another 20 years, and who knows what the culture will think about it then?

Ultimately, the place to fight social issues doesn’t seem to be in politics, though. If you want to win on social issues, you have to to win the culture. If you can’t get a cultural consensus, you will never get a political one.

That seems to me to imply that conservatives should be battling not in Washington, DC, but in Hollywood, and in the Media, and in their local schools and colleges. The Left has made a largely successful march through the country’s cultural institutions, taken them over, and are shaping it to their liking. Conservatives have spent the last 4 decades unsuccessfully trying to take over the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Left has turned education into a 16-year commie indoctrination course, topped off by Continuing Education in socialism from TV, news media, and movies.

Maybe conservatives should be thinking about how to win the culture. If they do that, the politics will ineluctably follow. The reverse, however, is simply not true.

Dale Franks
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100 Responses to Bryan Pick’s Suggestions for the GOP

  • I always reminded people that removing Obama was the most urgent task, not the most important. The most important is fixing our schools. Failing at the first will just make the second harder, but not impossible. Today, and for at least the last generation, students have been taught an amazing amalgam of nonsense and irresponsibility. Most of us have seen street interviews with people who are literally beyond belief in their ignorance. There are exceptions, but a bumper sticker I saw is largely accurate: “I watch Fox News for laughs, and the Comedy Channel for News.” Those who are conservative need to take a hard look at what is taught in schools, and force a more balanced curriculum. Unfortunately the majority of those who would do so are pushing Creationism. I startle my academic friends by telling them I would easily pay the price of “Teaching the Controversy” in exchange for some good Western Civilization and Citizenship courses. Under our noses the Left has produced a generation of Euro-socialists.

    • School vouchers.

      • Most people aren’t familiar with the constitutions of their states.  Most state constitutions are far longer and detailed than the US Constitution.
        A while back I went through my state’s constitution regarding education.  It pretty much spelled it out that schools are the sole responsibility of the state and no state funds could go to a school not under state control, but alas, my state recently passed a voucher program for “underachieving” schools.

        • Actually, I misspoke. School vouchers is a shorthand, but the preferred method is some sot of tax credit you get for making a donation to a scholarship fund. That fund can be of your choosing, and thus is vouchers via the tax system.
          I think that gets around your constitutional problem.

  • Let me start from first principles.
    1. Nobody I know would oppose civil unions.  I’ve provided gay clients the equivalent of marital rights for everything but income tax, (and that is a whole ‘nuther abomination that I can’t fix).
    2. THE…THE…single most important factor in determining if someone will live in poverty is the decision to have children outside a marriage.
    3. I assert that THE biggest threat to our society is a culture where young men are raised by single mothers, are never really exposed to the world of men, and never really become manly, COUPLED with a cultural contempt of men taught to young women.
    4 Nature…or God…unarguably designed the male and female human to be VASTLY different…which is actually terrific as a survive ‘n thrive adaptation.
    5. The “traditional” family could also be called the “natural” or “survival” or “evolved family”.
    6. As the best means of raising children with civic, moral, and ethical values, a two parent family with both a mother and father has a pretty strong history…again, kinda like it was intended to work well.
    7. Marriage seems a predicate to strong families…certainly in Western cultures…and strong families seem essential to healthy nations and cultures.
    8. Ergo, strengthening the idea and ideal of a good marriage in the “evolved family” sense seems like what we should be doing.

    • Do it privately.

      • And cede the field to the Collective, who are NEVER content to leave a matter to persuasion?
        Is the popular culture “private”?
        Who is trying to change the norm (including history, biology, and culture), and are they limiting their drive to “private”?

        • So, in order to defeat the Left using the state, you must also use the state.
          Sounds like George Bush on the free market system.

          • Bush did get elected.  Maybe that is the best the electorate will stand for these days.

        • Eh…no…
          Is the popular culture “private”?, I asked.
          Who is trying to change the norm (including history, biology, and culture), and are they limiting their drive to “private”?, I asked?
          Answer the questions.  If we have to make norms elaborated in law because they are being attack in law, who picked that fight, and how do you counter it “privately”?

  • The irritation with Bryan’s post was that it was foolish approach which would only splinter the opposition to benefit of the Left even more.  The number one issue right now is fiscal responsibility.  Why put the party in turmoil internally on these distracting issues.  And no matter which way you decide you send people to the Democrats.  A lot of Christians pretty much align with Democrats except on those social issues.  Their numbers are huge.  Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  And when the republicans come off as “me too” which is the spirit in which Bryan was advocating these positions, victory goes to the Left anyway.
    If you believe those issues are pushing people away.  Then don’t take a side.  Extract them from the platform and say its up to the local politicians and public to shoot it out in their regions.
    As for your comment on the consequence of an Obama appointment to the SC means Roe v. Wade is around 20 years, I think you massively underestimate the impact of such a pick.  The constitution instead of being a mild embarrassment to how government is run will be turned into a cudgel to take things to a whole new level.  And because of the way SC decisions are treated by subsequent SC’s, those rulings will be irreversible.

    • That being said if you want to know where the marriage issue derives from?   Its from a wrong thinking about who the Marriage is for.
      Marriage through history is officiated by Priests, Judges, Witch Doctors, Shaman, Ship’s Captains, etc.  These are all high ranking officials of Societies.  This is because Marriage is Society’s recognition of a union.  It says to everyone else, treat this pair differently.  Give them breaks at times and stay away romantically from either member (and historically there was punishment if that wasn’t observed).  Yet, none of this exists for people ‘going steady’.  Society takes notice because Marriage is a special protection to help promote the next generation.
      There’s nothing you can do in a Marriage that people can’t do outside a Marriage.  There use to be annal sex laws but those are pretty much gone.  Otherwise, there’s really nothing stopping anyone from doing anything.
      Societal recognition only means anything if Society gets to choose.  It doesn’t matter if their choices are right or wrong.  If you force society’s recognition, you destroy the significance of society’s recognition.  If you had a witness on the stand and it was shown that one of their statements was coerced out of them against true thoughts, would you believe anything else they said?

    • Given what Roberts did with Obamacare, I really don’t see how it gets much worse. The most consequential case in decades – and the most consequential one he’ll ever handle – and he sh*t the bed. The Constitution is already gutted.

  • Gay Marriage is an issue that will lose the SoCons, though Pick admirably tries to thread the needle in his reasoning. And I’m fine with that in theory – in the long run it would be best for the GOP – but short term disaster. I’ll say it again – we need a candidate and a party that basically says they’ll focus like a laser on $$$ situation and the rest doesn’t matter.
    But the idea on immigration is a huge HELL NO. Hispanics are not a natural GOP constituency staying away only because of that pesky GOP illegal immigration stance keeping them with the dems.  Hey, you wanna turn TX into a swing state? Go for it! And this policy would be just as bad for the nation at large.
    Though short-term I wonder if we really need to do anything radical at all. We may have scored an own-goal with this retar*ed ORCA epic fail. Lets see what happens if we have even a competent GOTV next time.

    • Increase legal immigration world-wide then.
      Problem is the GOP loses the Asian vote 25-75 too.
      I don’t think Asians are here for the food stamps, so that’s a problem.

      • Socialism is only quickly equated with welfare here in the US.  In the rest of the world, socialism means a guaranteed job no matter how unnecessary the job is and how inadequate the job performance is, government supplied medical care, and government supplied pension.
        Asia is rife with socialism.  So when you think socialism and the rest of the world, think workfare and not welfare.  In fact resentment against complete deadbeats gets quite intense as these socialist and communist systems start to falter.
        And then there’s a the strong central government planning that is part of a socialist system.  This is not adverse to political systems in Asia up until the last century for a handful of places.

  • 1st generation Immigrants may assimilate less, but the children assimilate quickly. My wife teaches at a Chinese language school and interacts with the children of Asian immigrants. The kids are very assimilated, sometimes to their parent’s chagrin.
    We have a lot of Russians in our area. Their parents sometime wait to send them to school until 1st grade because they want them to speak Russian. But I think that has to do with globalization. You want your children to be able to do business in a foreign language. Its not like you come to America by boat.   But since globalization occurs in other countries, i.e. people in China eat hamburgers and sing rap songs, it may not be preventable or even desirable.
    I think the issue with Mexico is that its so close and the quantity of Mexicans is so large to create critical masses. They still will assimilate over time, but its slower.
    Oh, and I just read about Chinese people emigrating because they worry that in China they are not free, or their property could be seized, or that only the connected and corrupt get ahead, or they want to raise their children as Christians. Then they arrive here and vote Democrat 72-25…I don’t get that.

    • I grew up in a city I was once told was over 50% post WWII era immigrants and their children.  In the schools I went to, that was concentrated so that over half my classmates immigrated as little children or the children of those who immigrated here.  They were my friends and I was in their homes.
      I guarantee you here is there is a rank order in assimilation it doesn’t happen at the same speed for everything.  Among the first ones are language and attire.  The very last is politics.  The whole process slows to a crawl if the immigration is large enough to create enclaves.
      I grew up in Canada where they were decades ahead of the US in being afraid to assimilate people.  When I was in highschool, about 10% of the class were hardcore communists if you counted the socialists, you’d be about 30-40%.  Not coffee shop communists or rebel communist trying to piss off their parents.  But root for the Soviet Union to win the cold war communists and Socialist who got their politics from their parents, because during the era when their parents immigrated, Communism and Extreme Socialism was still popular in their countries of origin.
      Canada today has a sizable Hard Socialist/Communist contingent.  In fact, Occupy was organized out of Canada.  Did that just happen by accident?  Nope.  One cause was the ties back to Britain and her Communists movements.  But what gave these people an army was immigration in the 50’s and 60’s.  During that period of time, the US wouldn’t allow entry to hardcore communists and their ilk.  So they came to Canada.  Retained their politics and concentrated.
      Every communist/hard socialst the US denied immigration was like 10 immigrating to Canada because of the relative size difference.  US immigration policy was a huge factor in turning Canada Socialist.  Its why the big Eastern Provinces are the Most Socialist.  They were the destination of most post WWII immigration.

      • People coming from China are not communists. More likely to be soft anti-communists. Some may be corrupt officials fleeing but they want their kids to become doctors. Not really communists.
        If you are a communist in China, there is a much better avenue for success than emigrating. Its called the communist party of China.
        Its not post-WW II where the world is in ruins.
        Last time I was in China, a bank employee talked to me for 10 minutes, in public, about how communists sucked and she wanted to come to the USA or have us help remove them, ala Qadaffi.
        But, it seems like so many are against immigration because we will get Lefties, then maybe the GOP should work to ban immigration.

        • My discussion wasn’t to label all immigrant communist.  But to describe this window of immigration to Canada with included communists and socialists particularly from Europe and how they didn’t assimilate politically.  I focused on the communists because I always thought it was ironic that Canada was economically better than where they came from because for time it was less communist and benefited from being in the shadow of the US which was definitely less communist.
          So despite the fact there were here because these countries hadn’t wrecked their economies with socialism, they remained raging communists and socialists.
          And to be honest, communism is a brand name.  Instead of talking communism with such a person ask them what they feel about guaranteed medical care and pension.

  • On gay marriage:
    First, I think the battle over gay marriage exists because lots of people think of marriage as a primarily religious institution that has civic overtones and lots of others think of it as a primarily civic institution with religious origins.
    In my far-flung experiences as a Sunday morning musician, I have seen the Church referred to as the bride of Christ by many different denominations, and it is natural for people in that belief system to consider any forced redefinition of the word “marriage” as an unconstitutional attack on their religion.
    Meanwhile, the civic-minded fundamentally see gays as being denied a basic civic privilege available to the straight, out of some unconstitutional deference to some musty religious overtones.  Two meanings in one word drives the lion’s share of the conflict, as both sides continue to talk past one another from their emotionally defended core positions that they are unwilling to abandon.
    Both sides want to have the best of both worlds, of course.  The religious want to uphold the sanctity of marriage while retaining access to the civil ease of divorce, and the redefiners want to open up marriage to any two adults without considering the open-ended implications of that kind of move.  To the latter argument, I say, let later generations deal with that eventuality as the culture evolves; as you said, culture wins.  To the former, I’d suggest disassociating “marriage” from “civil union” actually gives them the best chance of retaining the ancient traditions and whatever value (religious, moral, evolutionary survival, etc) that still accrues to them.
    But to both, I’d say that a grand compromise that splits the meanings into different words—let the religious keep “marriage” (possession is 9/10ths of the law), but add a term for civic “?????” (to be fought over later) for all governmental applications—would beat hell out of a hot culture war.  Which we might be committed to anyway, I guess.

    • Why do you think “civil unions” is not adequate to the fraction of gay people who insist on “gay marriage”?
      By a simple tweak in the income tax code, ALLLLLLL civil benefits of marriage could be provided them.  Is that what they militate for?  Clearly not.

      • I think the activist fringe of that group is trying to use a wedge to greatly weaken (destroy) Christianity under cover of tolerance, and I think the majority of the rank and file hasn’t caught on.  Largely, because no one is taught how to distinguish their thoughts from their emotions, anymore.

      • Or, I could answer your question.
        The reason “civil unions” aren’t sufficient for the activists is that they have emotionally identified so strongly with getting their way on this issue that they see Christianity (or anyone else in the way) as enemies to be destroyed, and as a consequence that aim (axiom) is the emotional driver of all of their rational efforts.
        But you knew that already.  😎

      • Well, I can understand why gays may be slightly disillusioned about Christianity after being told God hates THEM specifically, by name.
        And yeah, I think some of them are fighting for “marriage” just to stick their finger in the eye of the ‘fundamentalist breeders’.

        • You know, one of the interesting little developments that was revealed in this last election is Cuban Americans, as a whole, moved to the left. They’ve been a reliable GOP demographic as one can imagine for years. No more. Times and generations change. As the Cuban American’s I know said, ‘it’s generational”. The latest generation doesn’t much care about Cuba or Castro.

          DADT and it’s repeal revealed the same thing. The military absorbed it without missing a beat. Generational. It just isn’t important to them. Gay marriage? Same thing. It’s going to happen. At a minimum, instead of trying to fight it at a federal level, Republicans should be pushing it to the states. They should be championing federalism. They should be trying to enhance state’s rights and pushing such decisions to the people of those states. In reality I think it’s none of anyone’s business, but at least this would be an improvement because there would be a choice. If you’re someone who can’t live with the change, you have the option of moving to a state that agrees with you. Same with abortion.

          • ” If you’re someone who can’t live with the change, you have the option of moving to a state that agrees with you. Same with abortion.”
            Bingo, reasonable, and accomplishes a goal of returning more sovereignty to the people, and the states.   Gee, that sounds like something we might even put in a document or something…..nah, it will probably never fly.

          • Which neatly ignores the fact that the Collective ALWAYS seeks to Federalize and FORCE the replacement of cultural norms.
            What else was Roe?  What else was/is “gay marriage” as a Constitutional right…?  Hmmm…?

  • Of course ALL social issues just like almost everything else, should be left up to the individual, or at best regulated by the states and localities. The Feds have no business in it at all.
    But that is what happens when you have a majority of people who are would be tyrants in their on desires, and are in love with government power.
    I used to be a very patriotic American, but now I am starting to loath our people. The majority of them are willfully ignorant, extremely selfish, susceptible to groupthink, and a pack of dishonest thieves.  I am not talking about the politicians, I am talking about those who elect them. And not just the Democrat party (although they are the worse).
    I don’t think we have much of a future, maybe at best a slow decline like the UK.
    If I had just a little more wealth I would start looking for somewhere else to retire to.

    • Please!  Slavery was a “social issue”, as was woman’s suffrage and civil rights!  Damn, guys!

    • “but now I am starting to loath our people”
      “our” people? You think maybe people are different somewhere else? I wish you good luck in your quest for a polity worthy of you. Send us a postcard.
      And some folks wonder why Libertarianism can’t get any traction, since it is so self-evidentlysuperior.

      • Right, because, you know, the Tea Party is all about validating Republicans.

        • kyle’s post said FLUCK all about the GOP, McQ.  He was talking about the general electorate, as I understood.
          You seem to be shooting a lot from the hip lately.  You might try calming down, and see if aimed fire works better.

          • Speaking of shooting from the hip, I don’t believe I replied to “Kyle’s post”.

          • Oh, I DOOOO beg your pardon, since I left out “and tim’s response” in my burst typing.  The point is exactly the same.  Nobody here was talking about the GOP.
            Where they?

          • You DO remember whose blog this is, don’t you? I don’t recall needing your permission to talk about whatever I care to talk about.

            That’s half the GOP’s freakin’ problem, they don’t want to talk about it. They continue to ignore their problems or call people who try to address them and/or offer alternatives and suggestions “morons”.

          • Noooooo.  I never forget you own this space, McQ.
            AND I guess you have a license to change subjects and post defensive non-sequitars any time you want.
            Just don’t expect to get NOTHING in reply.  That is, unless you want to start banning people.
            BTW, I DO call morons morons after they self-indentify.  How ’bout you?

          • I’ve banned one person in the 9 years of this blog’s existence. He issued a physical threat against someone else. I don’t ban people

            And, btw, your technique of trying to define something someone has said in your terms (usually a way to avoid actually engaging in a discussion) with the idea that it somehow justifies your behavior is and has been transparent from the get-go. You call people “morons” because you haven’t got anything else to say.

          • You call people “morons” because you haven’t got anything else to say.

            No, McQ.  I use it as a short-hand and admittedly dismissive means of responding to nonsense.
            I reserve it to a select few people here, including Tad, Erp, Poque, and Citizen Whatever, who you SEEM to hold in the same low esteem.  I don’t think I applied it to Pick, who I don’t put in that category.  If I did, I was precipitate and apologize to all.
            As to the rest, I’ll leave it to anyone who reads what you said to judge.  Happily.

          • “You call people “morons” because you haven’t got anything else to say.”
            No he’s right.  You’ve got nothing and do not attempt to engage on the merits of topic of discussion, you fight strawmen vigorously and have nothing of worth to say, you’ve been useless at best on everything I’ve seen you post for a week or more.  Get over your shock at Obama winning–realize there are daficiencies in the GOP platform as well as it’s candidates–and recover your equilibrium, or go home until you can be otherwise useful.

        • “That’s half the GOP’s freakin’ problem, they don’t want to talk about it.”
          I think we need to distinguish between Reps/conservatives in general and the professional Reps. The ‘leadership’ doesn’t want to talk about it because they are, after all, the leadership. We is supposed to follow them. Most of the rest of us, in my non-poll-substantiated opinion, are willing to talk about pretty much anything. We just disagree.

        • “Right, because, you know, the Tea Party is all about validating Republicans.”
          Nope, and there are a few Reps. who will vouch for that (e.g. Dick Lugar). From what I have read the Tea Party has conservative/Rep. principles, and actually expects Rep. politicians to practice what they preach. As opposed to Libertarians, whose ideas don’t seem to be all that popular.

          • Err, two things wrong with that:

            One, the Tea Party is about half libertarian and half conservative.

            Two, the main policies that libertarians agree on that distinguish them from conservatives keep getting more popular:

          • Uh…metrics in support of those baseless (until supported) assertions.
            As a Conservative, I hold some common ground with SOME liberatarian policy.  So do lots of other Conservatives.  But the TEA Party is an amorphous bunch that really defies pigeon-holing.
            Legalize smoking dope?  ‘K.  Cocaine…???  Different.
            Gay marriage…how many states have said no?  Not so much with civil unions.
            Open borders?  Show me your numbers, bud.

          • “gay marriage (majority support, now winning referenda)”
            Mr. Pick, don’t forget the real goal with Gay marriage has nothing to do with justness, but is only a vehicle to permit Progressives to legally beat people who disagree with it a stick.  The Libertarian position I think is to do away with marriage law as anything other than a contract anyone can enter into.
            The Progressives want to sue Christian bookstores that won’t gift register gay couples into the ground.  It’s nothing better or prettier than that.

          • Mr. Perkins:

            A bunch of relatively sophisticated libertarians would prefer to do the strict version of “get the government out of the marriage business,” but there’s a broad consensus of libertarian-leaners for supporting gay marriage, or civil unions with the same rights.

            There are no doubt professional activists who see an opportunity for lawsuits to beat up opponents, but that’s not the motivation for most supporters of gay marriage — which includes almost a third of people who attend religious services weekly.  You can’t get 100+ million people behind “sue churches for not officiating ceremonies they don’t believe in” (which, by the way, has any church ever actually been forced to do?), but you can get half the country behind “let gay couples have the same basic civil privileges as straights.”  So if conservatives proposed legislation that allowed civil unions between gays and put up a ten-foot-tall wall of legal fire saying “no suing Christian bookstores,” I bet support would expand rather than contract, and those professional activists would be like the proverbial dog chasing the car, catching up to it, and not knowing what to do with it. (Edit: Actually, to extend the metaphor, this would be like the car turning around and coming back at the dog.)

          • “Tom, go back and count the names you’ve called me in the last two days.”
            Are you under the delusion I owe you an apology?  You well deserve every scrap of grief you get lately here.  You’ve been insane and rude.
            You haven’t replied to others people’s points, you’ve beaten your own strawmen, you’ve jumped to conclusions to the point Evel Knevel would’ve wanted you strapped to his back for the Grand Canyon jump instead of rockets.
            I’m smiling and laughing at you as I insult you.

          • Mr. Pick, activists started the situation by seeking gay marriage be imposed by judicial fiat, and then using the imposition to sue social conservatives was a goal aforethought.  You propose to further their plan.  I don’t think that’s a good idea.

        • Tom, go back and count the names you’ve called me in the last two days.  Count the names I’ve called you (zero).  You still are morally and intellectually bankrupt, and it really galls you, dunnit?

    • “If I had just a little more wealth I would start looking for somewhere else to retire to.”
      If I had a little more wealth I would help you.

  • On immigration, I see lots of conservatives stress the importance of assimilation, but very little in the way of proactive, creative, constructive problem-solving.  Not all solutions have to signal to the immigrants that we’re suspicious of Kaplokistanis; instead conservatives could be actively seeking them out and trying to ease their transition into full Americanism.  Hence my suggestion of education savings accounts and vouchers for private English language instruction.  That would be embarrassing for the Left to oppose, it would help in the Right’s strategic goal of growing the private education market, and it would boost assimilation.  It would also be an action that signaled confidence in one’s own civilization, rather than fear of being overrun; that makes a difference.

    It wouldn’t take that much thought to develop a whole aggressive platform that identified Big Government barriers to immigrant success and assimilation, loudly targeted those barriers, and proposed market-based and conservative solutions that would set the Left back on their heels.  It would take a little more initiative to do as the Left does and have our foundations funding community outreach to Hispanics and other groups.  I conclude that conservatives in most places haven’t tried because they see only threats, while the Left sees both danger and opportunity.

    As for the political externalities of immigrants coming from socialist countries, the ones who arrive here don’t have priorities all that different from the average voter: first-generation immigrants favor less military spending (as do a lot of Tea Partiers), more foreign aid (not a big deal), and more spending on generic big-city problems like mass transit.  Their descendants (second generation and up) line up with natives on military spending and foreign aid, but continue to favor spending on big-city problems.  Other than that, they’re statistically indistinguishable from the median of other voters, even on welfare and entitlements.  So they’re already pretty well politically adjusted, especially by the second generation.

    And the poorest of them don’t tend to exercise much political influence, but their presence tends to make more established groups less favorable to welfare spending.
    On social issues, I want to be clear that I wasn’t advising the GOP or conservatives to be socially agnostic.  First, as you mentioned, life issues and opposition to gay marriage are on very different trajectories.  I commend social conservatives for fighting for religious freedom, and I think they’d be well-served in that fight if they got proactive about gay marriage (or civil unions); one of the most interesting things I read yesterday was this piece at The American Conservative that came to a similar conclusion but was more about limiting the damage than trying to seize an opportunity.

    And I guess I just don’t really fear that conservatives taking the initiative on gay marriage (or civil unions) is likely to make more slippery the slope to polygamy or incest.  I’d be fascinated just to see Democrats try to make a national issue out of equality for polyamory and incest, especially given that the exception for incest is one of their talking points on abortion.

    Regarding the state of marriage, the divorce rate has been dropping for decades – since the beginning of the ’80s if my memory serves me.  The marriage rate has also been dropping, and I repeat myself: to the extent that conservatives see this is as a problem, you’d think they’d want more people who marry younger and longer, and Hispanics (especially foreign-born) fit that bill.  And I’d suggest that they look hard at every Big Government obstacle to household and family formation and work on knocking it down; libertarians will join in on any free-market measure.

    And we’re agreed on the primacy of winning in the culture.  That’s part of why I think setting up alternatives to state schooling should be pushed by the Right at every level.

    • Again, Pick, you are posting a bunch of unsupported…indeed WRONG…bullshit.
      Have you EVEN bothered to read Heather MacDonald?  Why not?  OR if you have, why are you ignoring the metrics?
      Hispanics have a very high out-of-wedlock birth rate.
      Mexican illegals VERY strongly resist assimilation.  They are not here to become Americans, and will tell you that.
      Hispanicaos FAVOR a BIG BROTHER government, in common with MOST Catholic cultures (see, Irish, Italian, Filipino, etc.)
      NOBODY in the Conservative movement wants anything BUT vouchers.  Where the FLUCK have you been?  Did you note that is successfully fought off by the Collective?

      I’d be fascinated just to see Democrats try to make a national issue out of equality for polyamory and incest, especially given that the exception for incest is one of their talking points on abortion.

      You really do not read much about the law, do you?

      • You might have noticed that I addressed Mac Donald’s arguments directly in my post on immigration.  With a paragraph and three bullet points.  Say, you don’t read for comprehension before you comment, do you?

        As for whether my above comment was “unsupported,” you don’t think the GSS or CDC data are supporting evidence, but you think a single-state ranked-issues poll like Mac Donald used is?  Did you search for that poll to see what they actually said?  I can understand her citing data selectively, but I can play that game too:

        There are other opportunities for Republicans; California Latinos are more philosophically Conservative than Democrats or Decline to State voters (DTS voters are those not affiliated with either major party). On the abortion issue, Latinos are more pro-life than the electorate as a whole and are also more likely to attend church on a regular basis.


        The best way to turn off Latino voters is to be known more for your support for stronger immigration laws, opposition to a pathway and support for the Arizona immigration law than to be known for your support of ensuring every child has a chance at a first rate education, improving the economy and increasing jobs and protecting America from terrorists.

        […I]n the end, more focus on issues that impact Latinos’ lives on a daily basis and less bombast on immigration will go a long way toward helping the GOP in its efforts to win over this growing segment of the electorate.

        I can understand why Heather Mac Donald didn’t include those parts, since she started off her post asserting the opposite.

        • Hmmm….  Bombast, hay…???  You mean like common-sense proposals to secure our borders, which I think MacDonald did NOT mean was BOMBAST.  (If you wanted to be candid, you might have included that “bombast” was more about mass deportation, as an example).

          Anyone who still questions the wisdom of the enforcement-first strategy embraced by House Republicans (and a few staunch GOP senators such as Alabama’s Jeff Sessions) need only look at Madrid, where a conference on the European illegal immigration crisis has thrown the folly of amnesty into sharp relief.
          Needless to say, the European experience with amnesty repeats the U.S. one. Following the 1986 American amnesty, illegal Mexican immigration surged several fold. By now, we have enough shared experience with misguided immigration policy not to keep making the same mistake. France’s Sarkozy proposes a Europe-wide ban on mass amnesties. This is one French idea that the U.S. would be wise to embrace.

          You were, I think, holding forth about being “selective” I believe…
          Which leads me to question why you avoid my other points.  I’ve lived with, worked with, and had work for me Mexican immigrants, and I know them sort of outside a poll.  Many of them fine people, who love their culture and have no interest in becoming Americans.  Ever drive much in Texas, Pick?
          But your buddy Sam Wilson STILL has them leaning Deemocrat at about 2:1.  Doesn’t he?

          • Considering that you don’t forthrightly answer even half of my points, and your comments have repeatedly shown you can’t faithfully reproduce my previous arguments (or even recall their content), why would I feel compelled to respond to all of your rambling assertions, anecdotes, and questions?  I imagine this conversation in public: you’d be jabbing a finger at my chest and shouting a word in every other sentence.  But this is the Internet, where it’s not intimidating and it’s sure not persuasive.  It’s just a nuisance that makes me want to spend even less time on you.

          • I imagine this conversation in public

            Yes, and you “imagine” a lot of nonsense about how it would work to simply open our borders.
            Indeed, your imagination seems your most active…and most disturbed…function.
            I was struck this morning by where I had last heard this kind of “imagine no borders” tripe.  It is popular among the Occupy “thinkers”.  (I know, you don’t suggest NO border…just that it be completely permeable during a time of 20+ million unemployed Americans).  IMAGINE!

          • If you showed any self-awareness, I’d think you were trying to publicly confirm everything I’m saying about you.

          • And if you even showed any awareness…much less self-awareness…you’d see you gave up dealing with the reality of the points I’ve raised in favor of personal attacks on me.
            It was you who said “I imagine” to get over the bar that Milton Friedman himself raised to the idea of open immigration…which the U.S. NEVER has had; namely, it can’t be permitted in a welfare state.

            Despite our currently stagnant and weak economy, millions more from around the world still want to come to the United States. According to Gallup, roughly 6.2 million Mexicans living in Mexico say they would move permanently to the United States if given the chance. An additional 7.7 million in Brazil, 7.8 million in Bangladesh and 17.1 million in India all said the same thing.

            In the pantheon of loopy ideas, yours is a Zeus!
            Even amnesty is a bust, and has NEVER worked anywhere it has been tried…and certainly not here.

          • I mean, really: you’re criticizing me for implied personal attacks?  And for not answering all of your points?

            You can’t set standards for others that you don’t follow yourself.  At least, not as a blog commenter.

          • “you can’t faithfully reproduce my previous arguments (or even recall their content)”
            Absolutely correct. You drop by here once in a blue moon, post a boatload of material divided into several articles within an hour or two, and expect us to master the content? Is there going to be a test, too? I will take notes and study for school, but not here. For someone who claims expertise in communicating, you seem to be lacking.

          • “Implied” personal attacks…!?!?!  Please, Pick.  People can read.
            I’m not about to take your bullshit apart point-by-point.  I haven’t the time.  I go for the jugular, and yours is spewing.

          • I see. So you think it’s suspicious when I don’t respond to all your points, but when you can’t be bothered to respond to all of mine, it’s because you’ve got more important things to do. Self-awareness, Rags.

            People can read.

            The ones who can will earn my attention in the future.

          • My points are few, and they have you dished.
            Here, concentrate on this ONE.  I will make it simple for you…

            But your buddy Sam Wilson STILL has them (Hispanicos) leaning Deemocrat at about 2:1.  Doesn’t he?

            We will do this is small cuts…er…steps…

          • So you can’t answer to your double standard.  Got it.  Then this will be my last comment to you.

            Can’t you predict what I’m going to say about Hispanics still leaning Dem?  The whole reason I brought up Sam Wilson’s post is to point out that it’s not wildly different policy beliefs, especially on welfare, that lead immigrants to lean Dem.  That Bush pulled 17% more Hispanics than Romney just 8 years earlier indicates that they’re obviously reachable, in case other facts about their demographics weren’t big enough clues.  So I think conservatives could and should pursue conservatism in ways that embrace rather than repel Hispanics.

          • So I think conservatives could and should pursue conservatism in ways that embrace rather than repel Hispanics.

            Oh, hey!  THAT is certainly a NOVEL and walked-back position from “kick out the jams, motherflucker…WRT just opening the borders, granting amnesty, etc”.
            Even Hispanico VOTERS want our borders controlled, according to polling I’ve seen.  They certainly do in Mexico.
            And, actually, I agree totally with your NEW position.  We can and should sell the Conservative brand successfully to everybody who can think.  Therein, of course lies the rub.  Obama won this election appealing to Snookie.

          • “People can read.

            The ones who can will earn my attention in the future.”
            To which the obvious response is; People can write cogently. The ones who can will earn my attention in the future.

        • “You might have noticed that I addressed Mac Donald’s arguments directly in my post on immigration.”
          You are starting to sound like Erp with those repeated admonitions to read your other posts. Believe it or not, some of us really do not want to pore over each and every one of your inspired writings, memorizing every point and chasing down every reference. I don’t even take notes.
          Some of us have short attention spans.

          • Rags commented many times on my immigration post from less than two days previously.  That post named Mac Donald, linked to her post, and responded to a few of her points.  It’s not like I’m asking him to recall something I wrote a year ago, or on Twitter.  It’s about showing that he’s doing some modicum of listening before spouting off.  There’s no reason to try communicating with someone who doesn’t show any sign of being able to faithfully reproduce what you just said, and he’s two steps behind that.

          • ” There’s no reason to try communicating with someone who doesn’t show any sign of being able to faithfully reproduce what you just said, and he’s two steps behind that.”
            Put me in the same bucket, then. Trying to bounce between all your posts and comments and keep up is beyond my limited intellectual capacity. Otherwise I would have made a number of additional comments, none of them favourable.

          • “timactual says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
            November 11, 2012 at 14:10
            “September’s Reason-Rupe poll (PDF) asked Americans if they’d support cuts to their own Medicare benefits “if you were guaranteed to receive benefits at least equal to the amount of money that you and your employer contribute into the system.”  It was a blowout: 68% yes, 25% no.  Three quarters of Tea Partiers said yes.”

            I read your link to the poll. I assume you are referring to question #19. If so, your statement is absolutely and obviously false.

            Upon further investigation, I found that you supplied the wrong link (correct link is;, question #27). On the other hand, the differing  responses are interesting. Prhaps the different question language and format have something to do with it. To go from 48% agreement to 68% agreement in one year probably deserves a little caution. Particularly since the similar question on SS security benefits had a similar result.

            By the way, what is a ‘Derived’ response?”
            Since you seem to think we should nit-pick, I copied one of my comments from another thread to show that I do try to master all the details.  It seems none of us have. I guess it’s as hard to write for comprehension as it is to read for it.

          • You’re right, timactual, I clearly meant to link to the September 2012 poll, but instead linked to the August 2011 poll twice.

            A derived response goes like this:

            1. Would you support X?  60% yes, 40% no.

            (If they answer “no,” ask question 1a.)

            1a. Would you support X if it had an additional attractive feature?  30% yes, 70% no.

            People who would support X with an additional attractive feature = 0.6 + (0.4 x 0.3) = 0.72 = 72%

            The derived response from August 2011 was a bit sloppy, but it found 59.1% support for cutting one’s own Medicare benefits if they were still guaranteed to get their own contributions back.   The direct response in September 2012 found 68% support for cutting one’s own Medicare benefits if they were still guaranteed to get the contributions back that they and their employers made.  I prefer direct responses over derived responses.

            See, you read for comprehension and asked a directly relevant question that allowed me to clear up a simple error I’d made.  There’s actual communication going on there.

          • But your proposition was that Conservatives should try to co-opt “fairness” from the Collective.
            You THEN posit an OBJECTIVE proposal that has nothing to do with anything as loosie-goosie as “fairness”.
            My objection was to your fatuous suggestion that we should TRY to “out-fairness” the Collective in the face of the reality they would NEVER permit that.  They OWN that kind of propagandist twaddle, and it would be the height of ease for them to portray us as trying to cynically sell people a slick lie.

          • “your proposition was that Conservatives should try to co-opt “fairness” from the Collective”
            And why shouldn’t it be done?  I personally oppose progressive and regressive taxation both because they are not fair and because they create pernicious incentives.  You’ve never once said how subjective judgement is illegitimate in electoral decision making, in fact the creation of the Constitution was big long exercise in compromise and judgement.  How very “loosey goosey” of those Founders using subjective judgement…you twit.
            “My objection was to your fatuous suggestion that we should TRY to “out-fairness” the Collective in the face of the reality they would NEVER permit that. ”
            How would they stop it?
            “They OWN that kind of propagandist twaddle, and it would be the height of ease for them to portray us as trying to cynically sell people a slick lie.”
            It can’t happen if we don’t lie, and we’ve seen what happens when a Romney tries to elide his way past specifics.
            We should try being specific ourselves.

    • Hispanics will not join the GOP enough. Sorry. No can do to legalize large amount of New Democrat voters dude

  • Overhear in my local WalMart … 

    “Four more year of no hope, no jobs, and no chance of tax abatement”

  • I’m going to skip over the abortion and SSM parts, as I think those, like immigration (to a lesser degree), are going to continue to be insoluble issues for the GOP, and go straight to the last couple of paragraphs.
    If we want to change the culture, and not-incidentally remedy the woeful state of ignorance afflicting the general population, we’re going to have to start with K-12 education.  I’m not talking about abolishing the Department of Education, because frankly that’s just not going to happen, no matter how devoutly some wish it would.  Even if it didn’t run up against a lot of powerful and very entrenched special interests, the vast majority of people aren’t going to give up free education for their kids.  That education may be overpriced and sadly deficient, but it’s something and it’s free.  What we can do is start breaking the leftist monopoly on it.  Identify and/or create good private schools and push to get vouchers on the ballots and passed.  Set up charter schools that offer real educations and recruit conservative professionals to staff them — maybe some of the thousands thrown out of work or their businesses destroyed by Dem policies.  Offer scholarships to promising graduates of these institutions.  Want to shift minority votes toward the GOP?  Target minority areas especially.
    Things aren’t going to improve overnight, but they didn’t get this way overnight, either.  They’ve been playing the long game taking over future generations for awhile now.  We’ve got some catching up to do.

  • Here’s another quandary for the GOP. Muslims are against gay marriage, against abortion (I think) and very conservative.
    But they vote Democrat.
    That’s another “image” problem rather than a issues problem.
    Hollywood does not help the right. So, what do you do if you want LESS of something? You TAX it. Make sure to repeal the Holywood tax cuts as part of any deal.
    Liberal Trust funders  and wealthy people can vote full Lib but pay no taxes if they buy only tax-free bonds. So, tax those. Remove the tax-free status. Make these people feel the pain of their electoral positions.
    Beyond this, we need some ideas to appear less racist, and less nativist.  Unless you have a plan to increase the percentage of white people somehow.

    • I’m actually a little surprised that Pick hasn’t “imagined” his way into suggesting that conservatives get out in front of that whole “reparations” thingy.
      Hell, if we can HisPander our way into unfettered immigration (!?!?!) in hopes they will like us…really, really like us (see Fields, Sally), why the heck not become the party of Jesse Jackson to buy Black votes?
      Oh!  I know why!  Because we cannot.  If we did, we would be the Collective.  And anything short of total capitulation will STILL see them out in front of us, offering just a bit more and calling us the racists, nativists, etc.

      • I’m sure it escaped your tiny brain, but Pick has suggested very little that involves taking anything from other people.  Reparations would be redistribution.
        I wonder if that’s a small enough sentence he can reply to the whole thing, or if he’ll find part to ignore?

    • A bunch of Republicans actually tried outreach to the Muslim community back in the late ’90s and 2000, George W. Bush included, based on exactly the factors you mentioned.  Then 9/11 happened, and those efforts dried up.  Suffice it to say, a certain contingent on the Right threw suspicion on any Muslims making their way in politics, and it turned out that at least a couple of them (the ones I’m thinking of are Abdel Rahman al-Amoudi and Sami al-Arian, both of whom met with Bush) really were shady characters, so anybody who had ever shaken hands with anyone with a Muslim name had to cut ties and take cover.  Some good people’s careers were damaged that way: certain critics still think the Muslim Brotherhood is expanding its influence on the conservative movement through Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.  It’s pretty ugly stuff.

      Given how closely linked all of this is with Israel, a lot of Republican politicians are understandably reluctant to risk extensive outreach to that community.  It’ll probably have to start again at the grassroots level, and Muslim community leaders are going to have to be vetted thoroughly before they’re considered “safe.”

      • “and those efforts dried up.”
        I don’t think so. If I remember correctly Bush, and certainly Obama, went out of his way to assure Muslims we really liked them and rreally respected the “religion of peace”.

        • Can you say “NASA”…???
          And I personally offered to secure the safety…along with a lot of other Houstonians…of area mosques following 9/11.  We never needed to, BTW.

      • “anybody who had ever shaken hands with anyone with a Muslim name had to cut ties and take cover.”
        Oh, puhleeze. I concede to Rags a monopoly on the word ‘moron’, so I will not use it.

        • There are so many alternatives, it is hard to choose, but I am leaning towards ‘oaf’. As in;
          “A wittish oaf
          An oafish wit
          Brassbound cap
          On brass head fit”
          Shakespeare, dontcha know.

      • Okay. I went just a leeeeetle too far. I apologize for the personal insult content in my last two comments. I was overcome with a desire to be witty. Not an excuse (I should know better), just an explanation. Sorry.

        • I always accept the first apology.

          And I exaggerate, of course, with the handshake comment, but I assume you just haven’t seen the level of crazy — like attacking Fred Thompson for being cozy with jihadists.

          There’s a world of difference between a speech reassuring the rest of the world that we’re not at war with Islam, and active political coalition-building, organizing, and meeting with community leaders, soliciting campaign donations, etc.  The latter was happening before 9/11.  The witch-hunts that followed really did but a freeze on it.

  • A real…not imaginary…thing that seems to have materialized out of this cycle is that lots of money spent on TV ads has limited effect.
    Therefore (if that is found sound), available money should be well spent on Spanish language media with a conservative POV, and also directed at other “victim classes” belonging to the Collective.
    One thing we know more clearly than ever; the popular media up and down the line is simply a propaganda machine.

  • It’s as I’ve been saying for years; Rights are a cultural construct and make very little sense outside of that construct.  What we have here is a number of people trying to use the power of government to force changes on the culture.

  • Since the term ‘libertarian’ is of French origination, about the time of the Revolution—which was intended to mean liberty for all—and the only reason conservatives use it in association with their plans, desires, and dreams, is because it sounds good;  why don’t you call yourselves by the name which actually best describes your purposes:  Reactionary Conservatives?

  • The Republican party and the conservative movement simply are not constituted for ethnic pandering, and certainly will not out-pander the party of amnesty and affirmative action. Republicans’ challenge is to convince Hispanics, blacks, women, gays, etc., that the policies of the Obama administration are inimical to their interests as Americans, not as members of any collegium of grievance. That they have consistently failed to do so suggests that Republican leadership is at least as much in need of reform as our immigration code.

  • Remember I was talking about being a deliberative thinker, and waiting for more/better info…?

    For starters, if the Washington Post is to be believed, Mitt Romney received 1.3 million fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008, not 3 million.  For the record, Obama received 7.5 million fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008.

    More than 1.1 million of the Republican votes were “lost” in California. It is not that California Republicans turned against Romney.  His percentage of the vote was higher than McCain’s in 2008.  It is just they know their votes were in vain in that increasingly absurd state. The same is likely true in New York State where Romney fell more than a half-million votes short of McCain’s totals. Excluding these two states, Romney received 300,000 more votes than McCain.

    That much said, the results in several states do raise eyebrows, most notably Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Romney received nearly 100,000 fewer votes than McCain in the former and 35,000 fewer votes in the latter.  In all the other battleground states, Romney improved both on McCain’s raw numbers and his percentage of the vote. This includes Florida despite the fact that every vote south of Palm Bay down Florida’s I-95 corridor is suspect.

    Hmmm…  That makes some sense, especially as to CA and NY.

  • Hmmm….
    MORE information coming in…for deliberative thinkers, that is…

    The election news last week wasn’t all bad. Last Tuesday represented the total failure of a multi-year leftist effort to move Evangelical voters left. According to the exit-poll data, not only did Evangelicals turn out for Mitt Romney at percentages that exceeded George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s share of the Evangelical vote, they also constituted a record-high share of the overall electorate. Alas, it wasn’t enough, but this turnout prevented a defeat from becoming a rout.
    It’s hard to overstate the extent of the progressive failure here. Ever since the triumph of the “values voter” in 2004, the Left has engaged in a determined effort to liberalize Evangelicals.
    As a non-religious person, who comes to the same conclusions on rational grounds as a lot of those bad old “social issues” voters, seems like they are pretty important in the conservative coalition.

  • GOP outreach to hispanics via immigration policy will work about as well as GOP support for Israel does with American liberal Jews.

    The problem with outreach to hispanics is that they do indeed come from a culture that has a different view of big governemnt then traditional American culture.

  • Republicans did poorly among Hispanics last week. How to address that problem? The answer, they’re told by Washington savants, is to back an immigration reform that … increases the number of Hispanics! It’s a plan so crazy it just might be crazy.
    Yeppers.  The only idea I’ve heard nuttier was to just open the nation up to all comers (with a few POSSIBLE bad guy exceptions).  Heh!