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The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves

Here is our usual weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘News Selected By Our Correspondents’ thread below or via the link found in the sidebar.

Thanks!

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, February 24th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

26 Responses to “The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves”

  1. tranquil.night

    Volumes really could be written about this Republican primary. Pretty much every political sore-spot in the Republican Party and the Conservative movement over the past four decades plus has been irritated. Outsiders versus insiders. Executives against Statesmen/women. Moderates versus Conservatives. Grassroots versus Establishment. And now the radical Libertarians and the moderate Republican Establishment against Conservatives and specifically Social/Traditional Conservatives.

    The fact that the coaltion has held together and remains polling competitive against the regime I think continues to speak really postively to any of the candidate’s chances come November, and the regime is going to run out of wedge issues eventually, or at least until some it starts to backfire on them as what started to simmer with the ‘free’ contraception mandate.

    Levin tackled the Paul/Romney alliance brilliantly and head on a couple of nights ago: http://savingtherepublic.com/b.....tarianism/

    and he cited this article by veteran activist William J. Upton writing in the American Thinker in 2010 during his monologue: http://savingtherepublic.com/b.....tarianism/

    Mark validates a lot of my personal experiences with the more virulent sect of the Paulbots, which is that they’re thinly veiled anarchists who’re motivated more by individual liberty as defined as a rejection of traditional values and the military than interested in Constitutional Federalism. I.E. Liberaltarians.

    However, he and the AT article go further too, into some of the fore-fathers (and mother Ayn Rand) of the radical individualist worldview, specifically economist Murray Rothbard who was very influential to Ron Paul.

    Mark says “Conservatism and radical Libertarianism (not the more traditional or at least tolerant/permissive Libertarianism expressed by many in the mainstream of the coaltion today) have been at daggerpoints for much of the time.”

    Mark extrapolates that while everyone is confused by why the ‘Constitutionalist’ Paul would find a natural ally in Mitt Romney, it is not unrealistic at all. Traditional Conservative ideology: the values, institutions, and Christian principles of human virtue – “One Country United Under God” – are not native to either the radical individualists or the moderate establishment. That really was clarified for me with that Rush caller this week who threatened there would be a Republican exodus because of Santorum’s social positions. Rush had always told the story about the Country Club Cocktail Party Republican prodding him about how his wife is embarassed by the Christian Right. When that caricature called his show, it clarified so much.

    Conservatives like to fancy themselves rugged individualists, not radical individualists. They are not lone wolves. A nation not bound by a common purpose, not aware of what a precious rare blessing this nation’s presence is, not caring to the countless madmen out there who would seek nothing else than to destroy it, and unsupportive of the men and women willing to volunteer to make the ultimate sacrifice – that will not be an exceptional nation, nor one which survives as “first world” for very long.

    “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    • tranquil.night

      Interesting buzz has been around Rand Paul’s statement about being honored to be considered a VP choice. Even Mark’s impulse is that he’d be a good choice, but mine is uneasy, especially in light of some of the real philosophical divides he talked about this week. Yes, Rand’s political perspective is much more grounded in reality and he doesn’t seem to desire to burn bridges with Conservatives, but his sympathies I think are much towards his father’s worldview. It’s a choice that seems a bit quirky and potentially problematic from many angles, especially if he’d be serving under a Romney administration.

      My preference remains: Paul Ryan, Allen West. The drumbeat is overwhelmingly for Rubio, but I hope he holds to his choice to remain in the Senate. He’s the brightest light in those halls in years.

    • tranquil.night

      “Traditional Conservative ideology: the values, institutions, and Christian principles of human virtue – “One Country United Under God” – are not native to either the radical individualists or the moderate establishment.”

      I forgot that Glenn Reynolds/Insty – who I consider to be one of those sane, mainstream Libertarians – has often recognized this snobbish bigotry of the elites, and yes, it is especially a hallmark of the Leftist Ruling Class. It even has a name: Oikophobia, fear of the familiar/traditional, written about in the WSJ by James Taranto in August, 2010.

    • ezra

      - “Liberaltarians”
      – “Country Club Cocktail Party Republican”

      In the end, it’s just politics-as-usual, but I agree with you that this primary is one for the books. Comments such as those above feed the circular-firing-squad meme: http://www.rollingstone.com/po.....t-20120223 . (BTW, this link from the comments resonated with me as a Frum/Bartlett/RINO/social-liberal/fiscal-conservative and serves as something of a complement or counterpoint to the Taranto piece: http://uuquincy.org/talks/20061112.shtml .)

      On the “Republican exodus”, for historical perspective, I have “Rule and Ruin” on my reading list. Review: http://www.tnr.com/book/review.....abaservice .

      On the Paulbots, I too am uncomfortable with their more “radical” notions. However, I do find that they are far less deluded about their candidate’s actual policies than the Santorum/Gingrich/Palin/Cain supporters. The Santorums and Gingriches (and Romneys, too, because they so desperately desire power) go after the “base” by using the tired gimmicks of the southern strategy and get away with murder when it comes to actual responsible policies. Take their total lack of fiscal credibility, for example: http://usbudgetwatch.org/sites.....umbers.pdf .

    • tranquil.night

      Ezra, as usual, I disagree with about 98% of what you’ve asserted, and it is impossible for me to have a productive discussion with you. Your ideological perspective is shaped on such a different understanding of what is truthful, or even relevant, than me, evidenced in pretty much every link you posted.

      The Taibbi piece is the usual worthless junior high school editorializing that every dolt with a twitter engages in now.

      The author of the quincy piece does not appear to understand a thing about Conservatism.

      “Rule and Ruin” is laughable revisionist and cherry-picking of history which reflects the collective unhingednes of modern ‘moderates’ as a result of their declining political relevance.

      And US Budget Watch is about as “non-partisan” as the CBO. Which is to say, you only believe it’s “non-partisan” if you’re a Liberal or RINO because everybody else realizes that the assumption of the input are what largely influence the output. The type of scoring they use doesn’t account enough for the economic boom which supply-side tax and federal spending cuts produces – thus increased revenues. It largely gets scored by projecting the decrease in tax revenues from the cuts with statically with today’s economic figures. Or if it does attempt to assume some of the dynamic projections of revenue actually increasing based on job growth and an expanding tax based, then those projections are only assumed to be moderate at best.

      Ezra you write as if you are an expert on Conservatism when usually the first opinion you offer (asserting it as fact in the typically elitist manner I described above) demonstrates what a glittering jewel of ignorance to it you are. You cannot corral Conservatives into groups with a single psyochological or biological profile because it is not a philosophy one acquires naturally through their genetic predisposition, no matter how hard “scientists” look to prove that. Nor can you seperate the social and the economic principles from the philosophy because they derive from the same fundamental premise. You describe yourself as “fiscally Conservative” but I’m highly suspicious of what your ideal proposal would be to fix the debt crisis. I doubt it would accurately be described “fiscally Conservative,” but that’s the problem: to you moderates, anything that’s not radical Marxist redistributionism is fiscal conservatism. These labels actually have academic meaning to us; they’re not just the banner under which the cool kids hang.

    • ezra

      “The type of scoring they use doesn’t account enough for the economic boom which supply-side tax and federal spending cuts produces – thus increased revenues.”

      This is nuts. Scary nuts. Show me a dynamic scoring model with any significant effect that has actually proven accurate. And it doesn’t matter. Dynamic scoring will make Paul even that much more credible than the others. Please give the man (and his supporters) a shred of credit for not putting all of our eggs in the “supply side economics” basket.

      BTW, I will not be able to bring myself to vote for Paul. I’m looking for signs that Santorum gets it … that is, he quits responding to pew & bedroom issues, does the math on his policies (i.e., hires & listens to a credible economic adviser), and defends his “liberal” record. But don’t worry, TN, by the time I vote, the thing will be a wrap and my lousy opinion will not taint your coalition’s triumph.

    • tranquil.night

      “Show me a dynamic scoring model with any significant effect that has actually proven accurate.”

      They’re called the Reagan years, which lasted well into the Clinton Era.

      “But don’t worry, TN, by the time I vote, the thing will be a wrap and my lousy opinion will not taint your coalition’s triumph.”

      I’m not worried, however I’m practically in tears over how you put “my lousy opinion” in conjunction with two opinions about future events which you are again arrogantly asserting as facts.

    • ezra

      “They’re called the Reagan years, which lasted well into the Clinton Era.”

      So you’re saying that the Reagan record shows that significant enough supply-side effects exist in order to claim that, e.g., Newt Gingrich is a fiscal conservative? Or Santorum? Or even Ryan (who I admire a lot)?

      Who is doing that math?

      I wish we could have Reagan back, but Paul had (& still has) a legitimate case to make when it comes to the fuzzy math of Reagan’s Republican party: http://factreal.files.wordpres.....n19872.jpg .

      I also wonder why so many former Reagan folks like David Stockman, Bruce Bartlett and Paul Craig Roberts seem to be supportive of (or outright supporting) Paul. I doubt it’s the legal doobies.

      Bartlett on dynamic scoring: http://economix.blogs.nytimes......the-g-o-p/

      As an aside, why is your ultimate put-down the idea that I am “asserting facts”? I’m just throwing my opinions and findings out there FWIW. What is so awful about that and how is it different from any other post here?

    • tranquil.night

      “So you’re saying that the Reagan record shows that significant enough supply-side effects exist in order to claim that, e.g., Newt Gingrich is a fiscal conservative? Or Santorum? Or even Ryan (who I admire a lot)?”

      I’m claiming their economic recovery plans are exponentially more fiscally Consevative than Barack Obama’s, and therefore are going to be wildly more successful.

      Ideally, I’d mix the across the board rate reductions from Romney’s Plan with the Manufacturing rates and family/charity centered focus of Santorum’s plan, with the most expedient aspects of the Ryan Plan – block grants, etc. – a few of the more realistic bold cuts from Paul’s plan, with Newt’s energy plan and his Flat Tax proposal as the mid-long term goal. Merge it all into one platform and I think we have a politically realistic agenda that can meet the financial and economic challenges of the next couple years.

      Fiscal Conservatism means Constitutionally limited governmnet to me. Nobody in the list you mentioned is a Constitutional Fiscal Conservative. But pure Constitutional Conservatism is not achievable right now, neither politically, nor economically, as the amount of reform that would require would cause severe displacement in the public sector if implemented in one fell swoop. That is why we the proposals of each candidate reflect different intensities of aggressive but otherwise incremental approach when compared to the ideal, to reducing government.

      “I’m just throwing my opinions and findings out there FWIW. What is so awful about that and how is it different from any other post here?”

      As I said: Your ideological and therefore political perspectives and conclusions are frequently shaped on and by what I believe to be fallacies. Most of the conventional wisdom on politics you embrace I either reject or desire to see changed. My frustration derives from the fact I’m in such disagreement with your analyses that I’m compelled to spend hours going through every line item in your posts and researching every bogus editorial or study from these hacks and nobodies that influence you so I can rebuke it. In the end I am drawn out in trying to defend my political philosophy from every rampant misunderstanding or lie about it. And since we’re throwing out opinions, I’m about 75/25 sure that you do this on purpose, not in the interest of genuinely constructive dialogue or bridging divides.

    • GetBackJack

      Ezra – I come to Tranquil’s defense. You stepped on toes by not just offering an “opinion” but in doing so cast both aspersions and a mocking tone which is unknown in these parts among our faithful.

      You’re welcome to offer an opinion but here we are not D.U. not MSNBC. And TN’s facts are correct.A man of good bones will apologize for both tone and delivery.Anonymity does not provide cover for rude behavior. It only heightens it.

    • ezra

      “I’m claiming their economic recovery plans are exponentially more fiscally Consevative than Barack Obama’s, and therefore are going to be wildly more successful.”

      Based on what?

      If ‘they” includes Santorum, Gingrich & Romney and “fiscally conservative” includes achieving a lower debt-to-GDP ratio ten years down the line, then I need to see the math before I accept your claim. Haven’t’ you ever looked at a business plan? For me, it is currently your claim vs. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, whose analyses show that Obama’s 2013 budget proposal results in a lower deficit than S, G & R’s. By lending credence to the CRFB analyses, I absolutely am not endorsing Obama’s budget, nor am I suggesting that my “ideological and therefore political perspectives” favor Obama. I am just performing due diligence on the Republican candidates, whose currently proposed economic policies (excluding Paul’s) just do not hold water in the way that a true fiscal conservative’s would.

      If the CRFB is just a group of shills, which I am willing to accept in spite of the many names I respect on their board, there should be ample credible info countering their claims.

      So again: Based on what?

    • ezra

      “TN’s facts are correct.”

      TN’s post is lashing out at the Libertarians on one side and the moderates on the other. This is politics and all in good fun and facts are certainly not required. I am suggesting that we all can learn from each other. But I am curious as to which of TN’s facts you feel are correct.

      “A man of good bones will apologize for both tone and delivery.”

      Please quote my mocking tone and the aspersions I cast.

      From TN: “Ezra you write as if you are an expert on Conservatism when usually the first opinion you offer (asserting it as fact in the typically elitist manner I described above) demonstrates what a glittering jewel of ignorance to it you are.”

      I do apologize for any offense I have given.

    • tranquil.night

      “If the CRFB is just a group of shills, which I am willing to accept in spite of the many names I respect on their board, there should be ample credible info countering their claims.”

      There is ample credible info and it shouldn’t be hard to find should you ever decide to open your mind and challenge yourself with literature from sources outside your comfort zone.

      “TN’s post is lashing out at the Libertarians on one side and the moderates on the other.”

      Lashing out? No, I was attempting to comment on what I felt were some of the philosophical contrasts between all these parties involved, in conjungction with current political events. I went to lengths to try and parse through what I think are some of the divisions within Libertarianism and commented negatively specifically with regard to the more radical elements (Liberaltarians/anarchists). You even agreed the bulk of my point.

      I also wrote “Moderate Establishment” which is the Republican political, lobbying, and donor complex, who are the cocktail party, whose contempt for fly-over country, the Tea Party and its agenda, is well documented. That’s who I was bashing, not all who fashion themselves moderates for whatever reason. There are a lot of varying political views that go into moderatism – not even all moderates are homogenous – but I find them especially difficult to nail down ideologically. A lot of them I believe are mostly the result of ignorance/political inactivism (not long ago I fell for “we all need to work together” me-mes), and then there are those social Liberal / “fiscal Conservative” Republicans. I’m not trying to argue that all of their political views are automatically wrong by default because its a moderate view either. Sometimes, at their rare best, I think moderates and Libertarians can serve as an important counter-weight to Conservatives when it strays either too far from it’s limited government focus, or from what’s politically achievable in current circumstances.

      In many cases, I’ve found that moderates have a more passionate distaste for Conservatives than they do Liberals, and this hasn’t changed all that much even in the era of Obama. What I was trying to offer in my first post is the idea, offered also in broader discussions, that for whatever reason moderates, like many Libertarians, are more politically agitated by a Conservative speaking on behalf of their belief in traditional social values than they are by a Marxist authoritarian dictating his Liberal social values on society.

      “From TN: Ezra you write as if you are an expert on Conservatism when usually the first opinion you offer (asserting it as fact in the typically elitist manner I described above) demonstrates what a glittering jewel of ignorance to it you are.”

      From Ezra (prior): “However, I do find that they are far less deluded about their candidate’s actual policies than the Santorum/Gingrich/Palin/Cain supporters. The Santorums and Gingriches (and Romneys, too, because they so desperately desire power) go after the ‘base’ by using the tired gimmicks of the southern strategy and get away with murder when it comes to actual responsible policies.”

    • tranquil.night

      Thank you for the support Jack, and yes while I believe ezra the provocateur (we have a running history now), I too have contributed to the escalatory tone, regretfully, as he seems a reasonably intellectual person who I find more terribly misinformed and at times insufferably arrogant in the presentation of his views. Very much a reflection of the manner in which I’ve seen the Republican elite treat the base.

    • ezra

      “There is ample credible info and it shouldn’t be hard to find should you ever decide to open your mind and challenge yourself with literature from sources outside your comfort zone.”

      I am apparently outside my comfort zone right here, but I still find no evidence. The CRFB is cited everywhere and I don’t see it questioned often. Foxnews.com calls it a “blue chip outfit”. Glenn Beck cites it. When you can find them, critiques of the CFRB tend to run like this:

      “Groups like the CRFB and the Concord Coalition, founded by former Congress members in the 1980s and ’90s, have long presented themselves as nonpartisan, penny-pinching critics of wasteful government spending, when really they are anti-government, pro-corporate ideologues whose boards are filled with K Street lobbyists and financial executives. The goal of much of the austerity class is to see government funds redirected to the private sector. (Their ideology, which accepts the accumulation of private debt but opposes government debt, explains why the austerity class ignored the massive housing and credit bubble, which more than any single factor contributed to an explosion of debt worldwide.)”
      http://www.thenation.com/artic.....?page=full

      I would only suggest that you not always shoot the messenger. Paul’s case that Gingrich and Santorum are “fake” seems legit, at least when it comes to proposing policies which will address the deficit. Hopefully, the critique stings Santorum, but only if his supporters quit gobbling up the free lunch on their way to the culture wars. Again, I do not support Paul. In bits and pieces, I love what he brings to the party, but as a complete package he is just way too out there for me.

    • tranquil.night

      “The CRFB is cited everywhere and I don’t see it questioned often.”

      Actually the CRFB is hardly cited anywhere outside of Washington circles. But you say they are the bureau of truth, so it must be so.

      What I’m challenging ezra actually is your assertion that the CFRB projections about what economic circumstances are going to be 10 years in the future are supposed to be treated as the gospel, when the researches explain in their methodology the extent to which what they’re doing is making educated assumptions to what they think is the most intellectual extent to which such predictions can be made, assumptions based largely on baselines as they exist now which are presumed to remain static for the sake of the excersize.

      There’s a reason why dynamic economic analysis is not wholly predictable: because that’s what dynamism means. What is it about the idea of letting individuals keep more of what they earn and getting the government out of their way, cutting government spending, so that they can produce more do you not logically think is going to lower the federal deficit and produce an aggregate of economic growth in the country – and therefore higher revenues? It’s atounding that I have to even vigorously defend this idea from a “fiscal conservative.”

      “Paul’s case that Gingrich and Santorum are ‘fake’ seems legit.”

      Fun juxtaposition from an earlier quote: “BTW, I will not be able to bring myself to vote for Paul. I’m looking for signs that Santorum gets it.”

      Like most of yours, the establishment’s, and Dr. Paul’s political assertions, calling Gingrich and Santorum “fake” is not only incendiary and disingenuous, but a vapid and juvenile political snipe that one can’t even lower themselves to defend against without validating it in a sense and therefore feeding. It continues to be funny and sad how it’s possible to regard the perceived mainstream Conservatives with such wretchedness and you never hear the drumbeat about how such rhetoric is going to chase voters away.

      These plans that are being weighted don’t represent a final product of what could be achieved during each of these candidates administrations. They also may not even be a 100% complete reflection of the candidates’ governing worldviews, but instead a couple of the core components which they are focussing on for the sake of political strategery or this year’s campaign. They are starting points on the path, and part of the decision process for many primary voters has been to weigh their impressions of how committed each candidate is to the path, reflected in their policies, their advocacy, their personal character, and many other issues. And if I had to wager, what voters have been resenting the most during this primary process are those who attempt to tell them what matters and what is political reality, when those very sophists preach assumptions as facts which are impossible for any mortal to calculate, and are completely unwilling to acknowledge their own bias and potential for error.

      The pretzels to which you twist yourself intellectually because you loathe people expressing their support for traditional mores are truly breathtaking.

    • tranquil.night

      Also, your eminence, since all of these fakes’ plans don’t pass muster, I still humbly am awaiting the deficit proposal which you deem worthy of being called ‘responsible.’

    • ezra

      “Actually the CRFB is hardly cited anywhere outside of Washington circles.”

      Ummmm, OK …. https://www.google.com/search?q=Committee+for+a+Responsible+Federal+Budget&tbm=nws

      Obviously, the service that an outfit like the CRFB provides is strictly FWIW. Pretty much like the weatherman. So if you want to ignore them, that is fine. I would recommend checking out their site, though, because they do offer a lot of great information and are well-regarded. Do you just throw up your hands and believe whatever the umbrella salesman tells you, or do you look for a place to start?

      “Also, your eminence, since all of these fakes’ plans don’t pass muster, I still humbly am awaiting the deficit proposal which you deem worthy of being called ‘responsible.’”

      The fiscal fakes are Santorum and Gingrich. (Romney is just a fake, period, IMO.) As far as serious proposals by politicians go, you’ve got Paul, Ryan & Obama. Against the deficit models, they actually perform fairly similarly, but the visions could not be more different. Ryan is the starting point in my opinion.

      Santorum incorporates much of the Ryan budget. Gingrich also supports most of its proposals (in spite of being against its healthcare proposals last summer). But then they add another $6-7 trillion in tax cuts and the math gets really hard. Nobody is accepting the supply-side argument at this point in time because there is just no proof that it has anything near a compensatory effect at current tax rates. To gut revenue, Santorum and Gingrich need to go much farther in cuts, as Paul does. (Ryan’s proposed tax reforms are revenue neutral, whereas Obama increases taxes.)

      Note that if Santorum can get specific on all of his pledged $5 trillion in cuts (as Paul does with his) then his scores will improve. He should do that!

    • tranquil.night

      “they do offer a lot of great information and are well-regarded”

      Sure, despite that I’d challenge some of their assumptions and disregard for other assumptions, there is a lot of fair data points there. It’s more the political arguments you’ve sought to advance with this as a primary source with which I’ve disagreed.

      “Nobody is accepting the supply-side argument at this point in time because there is just no proof that it has anything near a compensatory effect at current tax rates.”

      I agree to an extent – in as much as the bolder tax reform plans like Cain’s 9-9-9 and Perry’s Flat were too vast a transition to be implemented as an immediate centerpiece of the economic recovery model. If we can throw a trillion printed dollars at Porkulus, then ideally there shouldn’t be any reason why enough can’t be trimmed from this bloated budget to begin with policies that’re something akin to a combination of Romney’s marginal rate and corporate reductions, tax repatriation incentives, and a mold of Santorum’s manufacturing and charity incentives, while striving for Newt’s flat tax as we look to phase out the progressive tax system, revenues, economy and deficit permitting.

      “To gut revenue, Santorum and Gingrich need to go much farther in cuts, as Paul does.”

      As an aside, wasn’t it Paul who proposed 0% income tax?

      But therein lies my central problem with Paul’s proposals. Even on the spending cuts side, his ambitions don’t reflect what I consider to be an organized deleveraging of the regulatory behemoth. More like the bloody axe that the moderates always warn us is so politically hazardous if we wildly swing it around without prudently considering the consequences.

      There is also the fact that there are a lot of other Congressional proposals stacked up in the Senate right now, many of which address wasteful spending at different levels which is hard to believe either Santorum or Gingrinch would stand against. All the candidates talk vigorously about reducing the bureaucracy.

      This is a process that I think people understand is going to take years to roll back. Just because the cumulative effectiveness of tax cuts remains hotly debated and Gingrich/Santorum aren’t articulating their spending cut policies as clearly as we’d like doesn’t therefore automatically mean they are fiscal fakes.

      To get back to my original post on this thread, Ron Paul who makes that charge, is currently tag-teaming for Mitt Romney, who by your words is also a total fake. So they’re all fakes.

      Hey, so long as you’ll be voting for one of them and against Obama come the Fall, then you’re in my coalition, regardless of whether our company banners are different. So all the best, until next time.

    • tranquil.night

      Ah, and just as importantly, we’re not seeing any evidence yet that Santorum’s involvment in the current social issue controversies, which were not initiated by him, is noticeably moving the polls either way.

      I don’t think everything he’s said has always been expressed in the most artful of ways, but there are times when it has, and those never get focussed on by the media obviously. Nor are these guys ever cut any slack, every word is going to be taken completely out of perspective, and bringing up the double-standard with how Democrats get treated is also a mute point.

    • ezra

      “More like the bloody axe that the moderates always warn us is so politically hazardous if we wildly swing it”

      Yes, exactly. But the bloody axe is the only way to go if you have the courage to make the math work. I’m not eating what he is selling, but again I think credit is due to him (and his supporters) for not giving it away for free. If Santorum and Gingrich can pay for their tax cuts without shedding any blood, then they should share their magic formula with us! Meanwhile, I (and I think the Paulbots of which I am not one) have a particular distaste for this type of cowardice because it is just pandering and shows a lack of leadership. (BTW, Ron Paul proposes replacing income with consumption taxes long term … a very interesting idea, actually, and the math still works.) I agree that economic proposals at this point are just pie-in-the-sky, but there is a strong tradition of presidential candidates proposing a balanced budget in rough outline that shows (a) their vision for the government and its economic role in our lives and (b) that they can at the very least do the math. This was once home court for the party, but has been ceded as neutral territory by Grover Norquist along with the party’s inability to sell a truly transformational (aka bloody) vision such as Ron Paul’s. This primary is reinforcing the already very strong messaging (e.g. http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa.....e-bartlett ) which, while perhaps easily dismissed by conservatives, is taking hold among moderates and independents and is quite likely (in my opinion and not as an assertion of fact) to cost us the White House in a year in which it was absolutely ripe for the picking. Frankly, it makes me mad as hell.

      On Ron Paul as Romney’s ally, it looks to me like Ron Paul is only worried about Ron Paul, and that he believes (he is probably right) that he is far more likely to pick off the true conservatives who are supporting S & G than the establishment types supporting Romney. Strategically, his gamble pays off IF nobody holds a majority of delegates going into the convention, but it sure looks dastardly at this point.

      On Santorum and the culture wars, he just needs to stop talking about it, whether he brings it up or not. His positions are well known in that area and he loses none of the accompanying support if he just shuts up. Nate Silver weighs in smartly, as usual: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n.....al-issues/ . Nothing to lose and much to gain by focusing on economics and showing that he really means business.

  2. tranquil.night

    Next batch of Operation Counterweight candidates. It’s good to see more focus on this coming in from the blogosphere.

    House

    AR-04: Tom Cotton
    FL-6: Ron DeSantis
    PA-18: Evan Feinberg
    IN-05: David McIntosh
    IL-16: Don Manzullo
    AZ-06: Matt Salmon
    UT-04: Carl Wimmer
    GA-09: Martha Zoller

    Senate

    Michigan: Clark Durant http://www.clarkdurant.com/
    – Clark is one of the founders of Hillsdale College’s Imprimus

    Those are from Erick @ Redstate:

    And via Stacy and Smitty @ The Other McCain in Virginia, retiring one term Sen. Jim Webb’s seat is embattled between the reputed Republican establishment candidate Fmr. Sen. George Allen and Tea Party candidate Jamie Radtke.

    Interestingly, controversy erupted early on in this race, August of last year, between Erickson, Dan Riehl, and the Radtke camp. Stacy’s article recalls the details. He supports her, however already I can tell she’s someone who if she wins the primary they’re going to turn into this year’s Angle/O’Donnell.

    Also, via OCW Commander Jacobson @ Legal Insurrection, regime court jester Biden visited “Road Island” to stump for tanking Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Challenger Barry Hinckley’s camp produced a web ad having some easy fun with Sheriff Plugs.

    Previous watchlist:

    Senate

    *Texas: Fmr. Solicitor General Ted Cruz – http://www.tedcruz.org/

    *Ohio: State Treasurer Josh Mandel – http://joshmandel.com/

    *Indiana: State Treasurer Richard Mourdock – http://www.richardmourdock.com

    *Florida: Rep. Connie Mack http://mack.house.gov/

    Nebraska: State Treasurer Don Stenberg http://stenbergforsenate.com/

    Wisconsion: Rep. Mark Neumann http://neumann2012.com/

    Arizona: Rep. Jeff Flake http://www.jeffflake.com/

    Rhode Island: Barry Hinckley http://www.hinckleyforsenate.com/

    Michigan: Gary Glenn, http://garyglenn.us/

    Maine: Scott d’Amboise http://www.damboiseforsenate.com/

    House

    *Utah-4: Mia Love http://www.love4utah.com/

    *Massachusetts-4: Sean Bielat http://seanbielat.com/ (he gave Barney a run for the money in 2010, is widely credited as the reason Barney is retiring, and as we’ve just learned, will be facing yet another Kennedy)

    Virginia-8: Col. Patrick Murray http://patrickmurrayforcongress.com/index.php

    * denotes potential rising stars.

    • tranquil.night

      Clark Durant in Michigan does appear to be the more solid candidate to go up against Sen. Pete Hoekstra. He’s got an outstanding resume and MI looks to be turning competitive for us.

    • tranquil.night

      RINO down.

      With Snowe out, our man Scott d’Amboise can get the slingshot to the general election, and great on Neil Cavuto who I saw had Scott on for an interview today. If video of it pops up on the sphere, I will link it.

      Naturally, the moderate Eeyores out there have already chalked up Maine as turning Blue this November, and that loss is already being attributed to Mr. d’Amboise and the Tea Party apparently for even having the gaul to challenge Sen. Snowe and use our Sith Mind Tricks to force her to retire.

      Also, Richard Mourdock is coming on very very strong against Bam’s favorite Republican Senator Dick Lugar in Indiana. He has a new add out: http://richardmourdock.com/blo.....o-slinging

      Michelle Malkin has been picking up on the Congressional races too: http://michellemalkin.com/2012.....-takeover/

      She’s got Mourdock and rising star Ted Cruz in Texas, as well as Dan Liljenquist in Utah, going up against Orrin Hatch, a unique race this year. While Liljenquist is an outstanding grassroots candidate, even Levin doesn’t think Hatch has strayed so far as to deserve the boot if my memory is right. But very Conservative Utah obviously has it’s own unique political circumstances. I have no input there. May the best man win.

    • ezra

      “With Snowe out, our man Scott d’Amboise can get the slingshot to the general election”

      That’s a good one!

  3. Mithrandir

    In Court: Political Correctness vs. Political Correctness
    From the Boston Herald: http://bostonherald.com/news/r.....position=2

    Lawyer: Lesbians’ assault on gay man can’t be hate crime
    Three women identified by their lawyers as lesbians were arraigned yesterday on a hate crime charge for allegedly beating a gay man at the Forest Hills T station in an unusual case that experts say exposes the law’s flawed logic.

    Muhuahahahahaha! NO KIDDING! Read this article, and click on the video. The b-word, the n-word, the g-word, these people are so hamstrung by their own speech codes, no one knows what they are saying.
    The liberal holy trinity of victimization: race / gender / orientation, but what to do when a gay white male (single minority) is provoked by 3 black lesbian females? (triple minorities!) But they provoked him and broke his nose, minus 2 points, but he may have called them the big no-no word, you know…. the “n”-word, minus 1–5 points. Hmm, such is the unintended consequences of political insanity. All those racial, gender, sexual enhancers added to a crime don’t actually equate to equal justice under the law now does it?

    Civil-rights attorney Chester Darling agreed. “No one should go to court. It’s knuckle justice,” he said. “It’s a fair exchange.”

    HUZZAH! We found our “Get out of jail-free” card. Just claim you are gay every time you get into an altercation with someone. Who’s to know? Married people can be gay, look at former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. Now gays don’t get any affirmative action points in court if the attacker also claims to be gay. Or, by the “one drop rule” you can claim to be african-american, and get out of jail that way too.

    I just walk on the other side of the street when I see trouble –I guess I am exactly like Obama’s “typical white person” grandmother who got nervous when she approached black people on the street. If you even brush your backpack accidentally up against someone, it is a potential excuse for murder. It’s better to be “typical” than typically dead.


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