February 2, 2008

The American Conservative on McCain

From the February 11th issue of The American Conservative:

February 11, 2008 Issue

Paul for President

The Great Betrayal
The Arizona senator says our jobs are not coming back, the illegals are not going home, and we are going to have more wars.
by Patrick J. Buchanan

The Madness of John McCain
George W. Bush’s plan to remake the Middle East looked delusional—until his would-be successor began talking about his plan to reform the Middle East.
by Justin Raimondo

Presidential Pardon
Count on McCain to resurrect his amnesty advocacy as soon as the voters can be ignored.
by W. James Antle III

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

16 comments:

Mitt Romney's manicured hair said...

I've read where a new McCain TV ad states that "as a POW [yes...that, once again], John McCain was inspired by Ronald Reagan."

Hmmmm...how likely was that? More likely is that the ad is dependent upon the stupidity of the viewers in forgetting the timelines involved, and thinking that POW McCain was inspired by PRESIDENT Reagan.

I'm not sure anyone will accept that a young, smartass Vietnam War pilot is going to be inspired by a B movie actor and governer of California.

At least, Arnold was an action movie star.

Rosamund said...

I've come to believe the following:
A. Ron Paul is a creation of G.W.B. and his move to the Left vis a vis multiculturalism and prioriting the needs of the underclass. For many of Ron Paul's supporters, even Romney is too much of a compromise.

B. Reagan landslides should be the norm for Republicans. 51-49 wins and the popping up of third party candidate, Ross Perot, and the huge following of Ron Paul are the results of too much moderation in the G.O.P.

My Grandmother was a huge fan of Ron Paul; I believe she even subscribed to his newsletter. Anyways, she passed in '98 and the last time she voted G.O.P. was for Reagan in '84. After that, she started lamenting that she couldn't tell the difference.

steve wood said...

Getting a little hysterical at AC, are we?

There are multiple dangers in this type of groupthink.

For one thing, as the anti-McCainiacs rant among themselves, they lose sight of how their words sound to others. There's no quicker way to discredit yourself as someone whose ideas merit consideration than to appear to be a deranged crank (cf. Ann Coulter).

Secondly, by talking only to each other about "great betrayals" and "madness," they quickly lose the ability to understand the POV of those who disagree, or even those who agree but less vehemently. Elections are like wars: victory depends heavily on your ability to understand the enemy. If you think they're all traitors, morons or sheep, you've lost the most important battle of the war.

On both the the left and the right, there are some folks who would rather be voices crying in the wilderness than have a place at a table where some dishes served are not completely to their liking. There are also people who are more comfortable in opposition, where they can rant angrily and hoot derisively rather than actually having to make things happen - the latter requiring compromises that offend their purist values.

It's good to have these people around because someone has to speak up for ideas outside the mainstream and someone has to stand up for unsullied principle. However, by definition, the voices of the wilderness will have minimal effect on the political process. If they can accept that idea, they might enjoy life more.

Ron Guhname said...

steve wood: Don't underrate voices in the wilderness. Tancredo is one of these, and now every Republican candidate sounds just like him.

William said...

On both the the left and the right, there are some folks who would rather be voices crying in the wilderness than have a place at a table where some dishes served are not completely to their liking.

Being a "voice in the wilderness" didn't hurt so much for Jesus, who founded the world's largest religion, of for Ronald Reagan or Newt Gingrich.

The problem is that when you seek to "have a place at the table" the tabloids the next day are filled with pictures of you dining with the enemy, which isn't much good to inspire opposition.

It's like the Rockefeller Republicans: they were leading this country to socialism, just like the Democrats, they just wanna get us there 20 years later.

Anonymous said...

Rosamund Ron Paul is a fringe candidate who has never attracted much of a following. If he was an important political figure, he'd have legislative accomplishments (he has none). He'd be at least as courted as say, Jerry Falwell was, Ralph Reed, various other Evangelical preachers/organizations, etc.

Paul is less of an influential figure than say, Ted Kennedy. You don't see McCain, Huckabee, or Romney making appeals to his followers. Paul is the equivalent of Kucinich -- a cult figure who draws in a small but devoted following but has no appeal outside it. Amplified by the internet. Both are the Donnie Darko of politics.

What has hurt the GOP is: failure to counter the endless media barrage (the President MUST act like a Reagan and constantly rebut the idiot press, not be lazy and hole up like GWB). Failure to take advantage of the Democrats capture by the elite and position themselves on illegal immigration, taxes, and home ownership as well as auto ownership on the side of the average man/woman and particularly families. Failure to consistently side on "values" i.e. traditional morality and culture that empowers Joe Average instead of elite deconstruction of same to empower transnational "post American" elites.

It's that simple. Leadership matters. After Reagan (who had btw many flaws) no one "got" any of these. What is striking is there no real counterpart to Ted Kennedy on the Republican side, a veteran Senate holder who exemplifies the ideology and positions of the Republicans.

Anonymous said...


The Arizona senator says our jobs are not coming back, the illegals are not going home, and we are going to have more wars.


Here's a better version which is punchier and more parallel:

The Arizona senator says our jobs are not coming back, the illegals are not going home, and the wars are never going to end.

(the last bit references McCain's 100 years in Iraq comment).

Anonymous said...

than have a place at a table where some dishes served are not completely to their liking.

Steve Wood:

Someone who is concerned over the demographic fate of the United States is not quite the same as a petulant child. McCain wants Oaxaca in Oklahoma. I do not.

Your position -- bereft as it is of reference to *actual issues* -- boils down to a politically juvenile form of goo-goo centrism. This is the ideological pose in which one aspires to
an intellectual disdain for partisanship, in reality achieving nothing more than prostration in front of the most powerful institutions of the day.

Specifically, these are the institutions which determine which opinions are "divisive" and which are acceptable.

What you don't understand is that the needle shifts leftward everytime you "go with the flow" for a place at the table. Eight years of going with Bush's flow has done nothing to advance rightist goals domestically. And eight years of another pseudocon like McCain will utterly sever the right's link to small government, national interest conservatism.

Rosamund said...

I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, but am for Romney. My point was that "fringe" candidates pop up for the Right when we've gone to far to the Left. Second, they are dogmatic and feel good about their votes (polling done on Ross Perot and Ralph Nader voters showed these voters were the happiest with their votes even with consequences known).

People want to ignore, or not even think about Ron Paul and what he represents to the people who love him. We're still calling Ross Perot crazy and laughing at his supporters and don't care to understand why they voted for Reagan, but eight years later, Perot best represented them. Independents didn't spring out of nowhere, switch to the G.O.P., and support Ron Paul. Paul's followers are Republicans. Most of Perot's were as well. I also notice that in every contest, Paul's voters are 2:1 men over women. That, combined with my experience interacting with his supporters, leads me to believe that the bulk of his support comes from more marginalized middle-class men, the ones who are emasculated by the policies, mostly predicated on liberalism and multiculturalism, that make it harder for them to support their families or make their way in this world. I think Derbyshire had something to say about this.

The G.O.P. is the party of Affordable Family Formation as Steve found out, and when they fail at that or try to be something different, these people don't put up with it.

William said...

On both the the left and the right, there are some folks who would rather be voices crying in the wilderness than have a place at a table where some dishes served are not completely to their liking.

Six of the best years for conservatives ever were the years 1993-1999. Those years saw the GOP in the wilderness, led by a voice in the wilderness, Newt Gingrich, who emphatically did not simply want "a place at the table."

He wanted the whole damn table. For 2 years, 1993-1994, he refused to compromise with the Democrats on anything - health care, tax increases, anything. Instead he made a principled argument for why the leftists were wrong and why conservatives were right.

The result, 4 years of Gingrich-style conservatism, which, imperfect as it was, was 4 of the best years for conservatism ever. Once the GOP lost Gingrich, they lost their way.

So no, I do not want "a place at the table." I want the whole damn table, and to pick what gets served, too.

Anonymous said...

These issues destroyed the Whig Party before. The anti immigrant camp went to the Know Nothings, who elected many Congressmen and then disappeared. The anti slavery camp (which itself had racial undertones) became the new Republican Party. A gawky hillbilly with a high pitched voice named Abe Lincoln was elected as the establishment fell apart.

Abe Lincoln was seen as a political incompetent, the Ron Paul of his day, but he held it together and managed to see the Union preserved and slavery abolished. He did it by reading the Declaration of Independence and contrast to politicans of his time, who somehow construed this text as "All men are created equal, except for immigrants and negroes."

Abe Lincoln decided that what made America great was its principles, which must be upheld. He decided that to preserve America in name and appearance only, without those sacred principles, would be in effect to dissolve America.

He convinced the nation he was right by researching what the Declaration's signers had said on the record about the hot button issue of slavery, and concluded they omitted mention out of expediency. What a strange way to practice politics: by relying on facts and principles instead of the animosities of fearful crowds.

steve wood said...

The result, 4 years of Gingrich-style conservatism, which, imperfect as it was, was 4 of the best years for conservatism ever. Once the GOP lost Gingrich, they lost their way.

So no, I do not want "a place at the table." I want the whole damn table, and to pick what gets served, too.


Four years is a pretty short meal; no single group gets the whole table or complete menu choice for long.

Anyway, enough of that overworked metaphor. The most successful "voice in the wilderness" in recent times was, as William said, Ronald Reagan, but Reagan knew how to build coalitions. What coalitions are any of the current Republican candidates building? At least McCain, with all his faults, is able to appeal to moderates and independents - a quality that is essential to winning the election.

Reagan also established the so-called 11th commandant about not speaking ill of any other Republican. That gets to my point, which is not "goo-goo centrism" or opposition to partisan politics but a suggestion that temperate language and polite dissent - which can still be firm - combined with an effort to understand why your opponents believe the way they do, will be more successful than name-calling and a withdrawal into purism.

Your position -- bereft as it is of reference to *actual issues*

The "actual issue" was a response to the overwrought articles about McCain in the AC, which was the "actual topic" of Steve's item.

I like Romney better than McCain, too, but I like McCain a hell of a lot better than Clinton or Obama, and it would be nice not to do the Democrats' work for them.

What you don't understand is that the needle shifts leftward everytime you "go with the flow" for a place at the table.

Unless you institute a revolution, then you do have to compromise on some issues in order to get your agenda heard, considered and implemented. If the result is the needle shifting leftward, then imagine how much further leftward it would have shifted if you had decided to stay away entirely.

mq said...

Failure to take advantage of the Democrats capture by the elite and position themselves on illegal immigration, taxes, and home ownership as well as auto ownership on the side of the average man/woman and particularly families.

Do you seriously believe the Republicans have not also been "captured by the elite"? There's a reason why the Reps do not position themselves on the side of the average family, and it's not that they aren't aware of the issues. It's that the Reps are for distributing those resources to the wealthy, not the average America. Immigration is a business issue, you know.

Ben Franklin said...

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE WEAKLY STANDARD, A BIG MCCAIN BOOSTER NEOCON RAG. NOTE THE CONCLUSION, THAT BEING “RECKLESS” IS A MCCAIN TRAIT. WELL, RECKLESS ISN’T EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED IN A PRESIDENT. THE FOLLOWING IS ALL FROM THE WEAKLY STANDARD, BY ONE MIKE GOLDFARB:

When it came time for questions, all anyone wanted to know was what is he doing in Boston? One reporter said Romney was "perturbed" that McCain was campaigning in Massachusetts today. McCain responded that he couldn't account for Romney's reaction, but that Romney was welcome to campaign in Arizona. When pressed on his bold prediction last week that he would seal the nomination on Tuesday, McCain backtracked-"I am not predicting that. I am not predicting that. I am guardedly confident that we can do well, but I am predicting nothing....we'll be campaigning all the way until the polls close tomorrow night, I don't think that's predicting victory." Well, yes, he is, but why in Massachusetts, which isn't a particularly tight race, instead of California, where some last minute stops might make a big difference?

One theory: McCain really doesn't like Romney, and as it became clear last week that McCain would almost certainly secure the nomination on Tuesday, this was to be a parting slap in the face. Except today, while McCain is still a heavy favorite, the result in California looks far from certain and there's a real possibility this race will continue past tomorrow's contest. It's hard to see how this was a smart move, but it was pure McCain--inspiring, audacious, and a bit reckless.

Posted by Michael Goldfarb on February 4, 2008 01:58 PM | Permalink

SKT said...

When it comes to present Republican party, the word "liberal" has no meaning other than "something not desireable". All the major front runners are rabidly accusing eachother of being liberals. It's not just McCain (who has a solidly conservative voting record), but also the bible thumper Huckabee being smeared as "liberals".

If immigration is your only benchmark, then Ronald Reagan is the ultra liberal progressive, because he's the only one that ever gave amnesty to the Mexicans.

Shakinginmyshoes said...

Ron Paul has signed NumbersUSA Pledge to stop illegal immigration.

http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2008/02/04/ron-paul-signs-numbersusa-pledge/