August 30, 2008

Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington

Scott McConnell at @TAC provides a helpful analogy:

"John McCain’s never seemed to me to merit his “maverick” moniker, but the Palin pick is clear evidence of an independent spirit. He met the women only in February, barely knows her, yet was clearly sufficiently smitten to disregard all professional party insider advice and the heavy neocon lobbying to choose Joe Lieberman, Bill Kristol’s pick to ensure Americans will be fighting Mideast wars in perpetuity. Watching McCain camp followers react to the choice is a bit like seeing the middle aged heirs of a very rich man feign pleasure when they learn Daddy has decided, very late in life, to marry a woman he just recently met, who happens to be forty years his junior."

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

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, if a POTUS McCain dies of natural causes early in his term, Palin couldn't possibly be worse than Carter or Obama or Bush; could she?

Eddy said...

Kristol predicted the Palin pick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNr_LZpMHqA

Anonymous said...

The Maverick and the MILF. Box office gold.

Anonymous said...

Palin's foreign policy views (such as they are at the moment):

http://blogs.dw-world.de/acrossthepond/tim/1.7037.html

The Thinnest Of Wisps Of Sarah Palin's Foreign Policy Views Emerge

SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- There’s more out there about Sarah Palin and her foreign policy experience/views Saturday than Friday. Let’s review it, vague though it may be:

--On Iraq, she made some remarks about not knowing “what the plan is to ever end the war,” but it’s hard to read too much into that. Thinkprogress.org, though, does have some thoughts on the subject. What’s more, Andrew Sullivan turned up an interview where she expressly said she wasn’t doing much thinking about the war, and said “I want to know that we have an exit plan in place.”

--It’s true she hasn’t visited Iraq, a subject over which McCain and surrogates were rather critical of Barack Obama. But she has visited nearby Kuwait. Other than that, her travel of the world is very limited – a stop in Ireland and Germany. She didn’t have a passport until 2007, according to the New York Times.

--There’s some speculation about whether, as a Pat Buchanan backer, Palin was somehow endorsing Buchanan’s critical point of view toward Israel. So far, though, even the amount of Palin’s backing of Buchanan is in question. And as governor of Alaska, she had signed a basic resolution affirming Alaska’s support of Israel.

--She has in the past indicated that she does not think global warming is a manmade phenomenon.

At this rate of revelation, it seems fair to guess that we’re not going to get much else on Palin’s foreign policy experience or statements. Her paper trail is very short. Whether that matters or not is inevitably going to vary from voter to voter.

P.S. Laura Rozen, an excellent reporter, is publishing her own work on the intelligence records of the two presidential nominees yesterday as well. She took a different approach than I did, zeroing in on one of the more fascinating elements of McCain’s views on spying, and next week will tackle Obama’s record. The first of the two stories is here.

Tim Starks 30.08.2008, 21:26

rightsaidfred said...

How about Cheney? Could McCain have picked Cheney?

Bwahahahaha

Anonymous said...

That commentary seems pretty off-base to me. First, Bill Kristol likes Palin, and thinks she was a great pick. Second, I get no sense that anyone in the base is feigning enthusiasm for Palin; the enthusiasm seems real.

As for endless wars in the Middle East, the one we are involved in there now, Iraq, is already winding down. Regardless of who is elected in November, We'll probably have most of our troops out of there by 2011. The details are being negotiated with the government of Iraq now.

On the other hand, the war we are involved in in Central Asia -- the one in Afghanistan -- seems to be the real endless war. Both parties' candidates are committed to continuing it, and neither parties' candidate has a plan for ending it. Since that war doesn't have much plausible connection with Israel, I assume TAC isn't too interested in it.

- Fred

Blode said...

I want to talk more about her inexperience!

Naw, just kidding. I want to talk about the slant given her candidacy by the neuroto-left:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/13001

Here are a bunch of leftist campaign donors that David Mark and Fred Barbash (not sure if they are part of the Communist Party, or the Socialist Labor Party, or what) have decided are "scholars" -unfavorably comparing a new, successful governor to a man who has been sitting around in the Senate for four years without penning a single significan piece of legislation. (Probably too busy listening to Liberation Theologist priests scream his excommunicatable head off about how horrible is that a different white woman ... is white.)

Also, funny that the article didn't mention Sargent Shriver, who before he was tapped by McGovern served in __ elected offices.

But best of all is the suggestion that Alaska is a small and static place.

Let's face it, folks, Obama has way too many (superficial) similarities to Jesus Christ for a certain group of people to think rationally about this election. That group of people is, of course, the most dangerous group in the world - secularized Protestants for whom progress (too many syllables for today's crowd ... we'll call it "Change") is a religion. And that group of people basically includes the whole mainstream media.

Sideways said...

The Maverick and the MILF. Box office gold.

I've read a lot of people commenting on the pick in the past two days, and have been waiting for the MILF tag to show up. This was the first I've seen.

It will be interesting to see how quickly information about her does/can come out

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

As an urban, inner-city, blue collar, Hip Hop loving African American, I LOVE THIS PICK, and quite frankly am appalled by the Left, Black & White, for the way they're treating Palin. They very same people who crow on and on about "a woman's right to choose" suddenly go beserk that Palin chose LIFE. The same people who slip punches about Obama's utter lack of experience now suddenly want to play the Experience Card. The same people who try to say that McCain is a Maverick but a "Sidekick" and have no problem w/Biden, a man who only months ago said himself that Obama "wasn't ready" now turns around and tries to work the Old Jedi Mindtrick again.

Palin has all the experience she needs, and I am confident that she'll do a fine job. I like her and support her.

Salaam
Mu

bjdouble said...

Kristol likes her because it means that there is no anti-neocon heir apparent if McCain is defeated. Guiliani/Lieberman 2012.

Anonymous said...

Alan Colmes claims that Palin was pregnant with her first child before she got pregnant.

One wonders if he is working for the Republicans? Wasn't a certain other candidate's father already married when he got some white girl pregnant?

albertosaurus said...

Back in 1964 everyone was worried about assasination. Goldwater was said to have only chosen the unattractive William Miller as a kind of assasination insurance. This theory also was invoked to explain Johnson's choice of the super liberal Hubert Humphrey.

I don't know. But Obama's people worry about assasination and McCain's people worry about his health.

There have been twelve assasination attemps on the last twelve Presidents.

Anonymous said...

A dazed Alaskan Dem says:

Don't misunderestimate her

(Sorry for the poetic license).

testing99 said...

Duh yes we will have endless wars. That's what is called ... history and is the normal condition of man.

Nuclear proliferation = at least one dead American city in the next 10-15 years. Easily. Anyone with any experience in South Central or the barrio will understand.

Afghanistan is shaping up to be a defeat, since Pakistan is the only way in, we can't supply through there -- it's falling into the Taliban / AQ control and those guys even attack the Chinese (Pakistan's traditional ally and hedge against India).

Taliban/AQ basically driving us out of Afghanistan, will be a huge energizer for Osama, and will encourage the various factions in Pakistan to "go with the winner" which is the Taliban/AQ.

Nawaz Sharif is viscerally anti-American and Islamist, Bhutto's widower is having lots of mental problems: depression, suicidal thoughts, fugues etc.

The End of the Cold War guaranteed lots of piddling little nations, tribes with flags, would go nuclear and attack us for internal rivalry reasons. It's about neither us nor Israel, as usual it's all about them. Power grows out of the barrel of a gun (or a nuke).

Pakistan has more than 100 of the latter.

Palin? Given her values I expect her to favor a bit of pre-emptive demonstrations on a useful example. Find a Georgia ala Putin, in other words. Doubly so after an Afghanistan defeat.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Governors aren't expected to spend much time on foreign policy. That would be a VP disadvantage, except that the people in Washington who do spend time on it seem to be pretty terrible at it as well. As in all other things political, talented amateurs and professionals make different types of mistake. Which is worse?

Tino said...

“I get no sense that anyone in the base is feigning enthusiasm for Palin”

I don’t think Sailor meant the Republican base is feigning enthusiasm, I think he meant the core people around McCain that were hoping for Lieberman are disappointed. I have no idea if that’s generally true (plenty of them aren't really neocons, just moderate republicans), but you are talking about two different groups.

Tried to google Palins illegal immigration position, but she doesn’t seem to have made many remarks. Conservatives that are going to interview her now better make sure to put her on the record on this issue, to make it harder to backtrack later.

Anonymous said...

Rick Brookhiser doesn't even bother hiding his contempt for conversatives in his comment about the selection of Palin:

"2. Conservatives. Palin will also be assigned to pacify conservatives. On the evidence of the numerous emails reprinted here, that will be easily done. Reader after reader said that the base was now energized. You would have thought the base was energized by being in a war. If not, perhaps we need a new base.
We have shown the same color-by-numbers mindset that liberals did when they rallied to Obama. Liberals love Obama because he is a Numinous Negro. Conservatives love Palin because she has a Downs baby and an M-16. For both sides, that is all on earth ye know and all ye need to know. You might call it mystical and childish."

And Krauthammer objects as well.

Perhaps conservatives need new elites.

Anonymous said...

This seems as good a thread as any for this question, so: Could someone please explain the whole neocon disdain around here? To my thinking, neocons prefer proxy war punting with a few thousand dead to paleocon couple hundred million dead every 40 years.

I swear to god I'm not being sarcastic here. What's so wrong with making all kinds of belligerent gestures towards all sorts of belligerent folks if all of it ends up letting off some steam rather than making the kettle explode?

You might say, I'd anticipate, that this type of random belligerence generates greater odds of that big 100, 200, 300 million dead war. I'd say that the natural state of man implies that this should be happening all the time and it's only these little wars that keep us distracted.

I mean, c'mon, we're all inherently peaceful and the the neocons are dragging us into a big ass war? Personally, I don't think so, I think we're all blood-thirsty as hell and little regional skirmishes and proxy wars are about as close as we're ever going to come to peace.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: The Maverick and the MILF. Box office gold.

Sideways: I've read a lot of people commenting on the pick in the past two days, and have been waiting for the MILF tag to show up.

Guys, I hate to be a grammar nazi, but, technically speaking, the correct term is VPILF.

Or, as they say over at [the aforementioned] vpilf.com, "Just a heartbeat away from being a PILF!".

Anonymous said...

Testing99,

The problem in Afghanistan is that the original mission -- linking up with local proxies to depose the Taliban -- made sense, but the mission since has been stupid. You can't expect to create a stable multiethnic democracy in Afghanistan and fight a war against the Taliban at the same time. We shouldn't be doing either. The Taliban are the Pashtun. We should be arming the other ethnic groups in Afghanistan, the Uzbecks, Tajiks, etc., and let them fight a perpetual proxy war against the Pashtuns.

- Fred

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: Watching McCain camp followers react to the choice is a bit like seeing the middle aged heirs of a very rich man feign pleasure when they learn Daddy has decided, very late in life, to marry a woman he just recently met, who happens to be forty years his junior.

The McCain camp being who? Lindsey McGrahamnesty, Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, and La Raza? Plus a certain Sabbath-observing Pharisee?

Screw the "the McCain camp".

The GOP BASE is saying, "Go Daddy, go Daddy, go Daddy, GO!"

Lucius Vorenus said...

"Mu'Min M. Bey" - are you really who you claim to be?

Namely a black guy, who works on an assembly line in Filthydelphia, who [in his spare time] hangs out at an [ostensibly] "White Supremacist" website on the internet, and who lusts after a married, evangelical, gun-toting white chick running for the Vice Presidency of the United States?

Dude, you're too good to be true.

Mark said...

This theory also was invoked to explain Johnson's choice of the super liberal Hubert Humphrey.

Given the radical left-wing penchant for assassination (Czolgosz, Oswald, Sirhan) that's just further proof of just how stupid was Lyndon Baines Johnson, the president who did the most real damage to this country of any in the last 60 years.

Alan Colmes claims that Palin was pregnant with her first child before she got pregnant.

So? Join the club. I know half-a-dozen very happy, very successful (and even very religious) couples who got married right out of high school because they had to.

As for endless wars in the Middle East, the one we are involved in there now, Iraq, is already winding down.

Already - after just 5.5 years!

Also, funny that the article didn't mention Sargent Shriver, who before he was tapped by McGovern served in __ elected offices.

But dude - he was chairman of the Peace Corps. That's foreign policy experience!!!

I've read a lot of people commenting on the pick in the past two days, and have been waiting for the MILF tag to show up. This was the first I've seen.

Obviously then you missed the link to vpilf.com.

Afghanistan is shaping up to be a defeat, since Pakistan is the only way in, we can't supply through there

We can supply through Iran (wink wink). But really I don't think it matters if we lose in Afghanistan and Iraq. The next time a 9/11 happens we'll avoid taking the long route and simply bomb the hell out of the place, and claim a few oilfields for our own.

If the last 7 years mean anything, it means an end to the belief in nation building - a dumb, mislearned lesson from WW2, expensive, and not an effective deterrent, anyways. Conquest - driving people off their land and taking it - is a deterrent.

Could someone please explain the whole neocon disdain around here? To my thinking, neocons prefer proxy war punting with a few thousand dead to paleocon couple hundred million dead every 40 years.

Steve already summed it up well years ago - "Invade the World, Invite the World, in Hock to the World." That's the Neocon philosophy in a nutshell.

My personal feeling is that the reason certain Republican elites are up in arms over Palin's selection is simply that she is not SWPL-ish enough to be president. Republicans are supposed to talk about family values, supposed to talk about the nobility of military service, supposed to talk about the joys and satisfaction of the traditional lifestyle - they're not supposed to actually, ya know, do any of that shit. Hell, I bet until they moved into the governor's mansion the Palin's actually mowed their own lawn (assuming they have one up there).

Scott said...

Palin has an accent, and I can't quite peg it. She sure sounds like a Scandinavian Midwesterner (I'm from MN and in some of the remote areas they sound just like her).

Anonymous said...

Some Dems discuss New Orleans and the existence of god.

Anonymous said...

Daily KOS accuses teenage female of being pregnant just because her mother is the Republican VP running mate.

That is one high class site!

Anonymous said...

DailyKOS at their best ...

Anonymous said...

By the way, MILF is an acronym for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, an organization in the Philippines seeking to establish an Islamic state on the island of Mindanao.

Mark said...

Daily KOS accuses teenage female of being pregnant just because her mother is the Republican VP running mate.

I'm sure there's even more to it. The baby's retarded, so it must be John McCain's. She used the dirt on him to force him to make her his veep.

I will admit that the (rather scrumptious) oldest daughter does look to be carrying a little extra fat. The other allegation was that coincidentally she happened to be out of school with mono for several months around the time of the baby's birth. So I'd give this story maybe about a 1% chance of going somewhere.

Anonymous said...

This is just getting stupid. Since Lieberman wasn't picked (and who honestly thought he would be), the paleos have to compensate for their disappointment by claiming that the neocons can't possibly like Palin, even when they say they do. You guys are addicted to your unhappiness, and addicted to denigrating the group you (falsely) think is causing it.

Fred nailed it early in the thread:

That commentary seems pretty off-base to me. First, Bill Kristol likes Palin, and thinks she was a great pick. Second, I get no sense that anyone in the base is feigning enthusiasm for Palin; the enthusiasm seems real.

Anonymous said...

Palin has an accent, and I can't quite peg it. She sure sounds like a Scandinavian Midwesterner (I'm from MN and in some of the remote areas they sound just like her).

I noticed this too. Meryl Streep does this accent playing a Minnesotan in "A Prairie Home Companion".

Jeff Burton said...

This has to be one of the most wrong-headed post I've ever read on this blog. Do you or the person you quoted ever talk to real Republicans?

Anonymous said...

Palin has the "generic hick accent," with some pronounced Minnesota influence (her parents were from MN).

Most people living in urban areas never encounter this accent, but it is the most common accent in rural America. Contrary to popular belief, most people in small towns in West Virginia don't sound like NASCAR drivers; they sound like Sarah Palin. The "generic hick accent" is found everywhere from WVa to AR to KY to CA to AK. It is pretty fascinating phenomenon.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Jeff Burton: Do you or the person you quoted ever talk to real Republicans?

Again, not to be a school marm or anything, but he was talking about "McCain camp followers", not about "real Republicans".

daveg said...

To my thinking, neocons prefer proxy war punting with a few thousand dead to paleocon couple hundred million dead every 40 years.

What are you talking about??? The Old right opposed American involvement WWI and WWII (that later of which was caused by the former).

icr said...

But best of all is the suggestion that Alaska is a small and static place.
Hey, Anchorage is now getting a Mexican consulate!
http://jaltembasol.com/Archives/2008/August/August%2018/Anchorage.htm

Something that Howard Deane's hippie microstate (and a place even smaller in population than Alaska) can't boast!

RKU said...

Since it's now looking (i.e. lots of photographic evidence "looking") like Palin "faked" her own recent pregnancy to cover up that of her young daughter's, I wonder whether McCain will dump her?

And if so, will her replacement be Lieberscum? Or maybe Mrs. Lieberscum?

Anonymous said...

Change you can believe in.

dearieme said...

She's young enough to be his mother-in-law.

Anonymous said...

Palin brings an interesting touch of "Fargo" to the proceedings. You know - a pregnant, crime-busting, gun-toting female in the snowy wastelands - kind of thing.

Mark said...

Rick Brookhiser doesn't even bother hiding his contempt for conversatives in his comment about the selection of Palin: "Conservatives love Palin because she has a Downs baby and an M-16. For both sides, that is all on earth ye know and all ye need to know. You might call it mystical and childish."

Brookhiser isn't really much of a regular at The Corner, and I'm not really even sure what his official position at National Review is. But Andy McCarthy, a lawyer who prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, is a semi-regular and fairly brilliant. He basically tells Brookhiser to shove it:

...there is nothing elegant about Rick's assertion that "Conservatives love Palin because she has a Downs baby and an M-16." It's offensive. It's also flat wrong. Rick's assessment is offered as an analogy to liberal love for Obama as "Numinous Negro." The comparison doesn't come close to the mark. The so-called "numinous Negro" is a story's hero figure for no better reason than complexion. His or her assumed wisdom is the treacly projection of collective, indelible liberal guilt over the dark slavery and segregation chapters in American history; beyond color, we know nothing about the character. The contrast to Sarah Palin couldn't be more stark. Even if the only things we knew about her really were that she'd rejected the option of aborting her baby and owned guns, those would be concrete indicia of a conservative American life actually lived...

Good stuff.

KlaosOldanburg said...

Palin's voice sounds exactly like Julia Sweeny (the woman who played the androgynous Pat character on SNL) to me.

kurt said...

Mark Steyn has the best comments to say about Sarah Palin:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODNhOTk2YTU0NWY4ZjY5ODNhZTgyOWZkNjY5YjFlMmY=

I generally agree with him.

Bill said...

Everybody's so gaga over Palin that Obama's getting a break from the disastrous VP choice of Biden, who has dedicated a good portion of his career to smashing men.

If anyone could push men - particularly white, working-class men - to vote against Obama, it's Biden. At least VAWA will become a serious issue in this campaign. Hopefully it will finally get the scrutiny it deserves.

testing99 said...

Palin's pick prompted 7 million in donation, including 4.5 million that day. The base LOVES her, on issues such as the NRA/Guns, abortion, political reform, pork-earmarks, etc.

A great pick.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

This seems as good a thread as any for this question, so: Could someone please explain the whole neocon disdain around here? To my thinking, neocons prefer proxy war punting with a few thousand dead to paleocon couple hundred million dead every 40 years."

Who says paleocons want big wars either? The era of big wars between European powers is very likely over, for the simple reason that they have proved to be suicidal to western civilization.

Russia and China are another matter, and no, I do not trust them, and think we should be militarily prepared to fight them (which is the best way of insuring that we won't have to). But that doesn't mean we should unnecessarily antagonize them either - like by having military bases in bordering nations. I don't imagine we'd like it if Russia had an airbase in Mexico, anymore than they like it that we have one in Uzbekistan.

Testing99 likes to point out that anyone from Pakistan can board a plane and commit some act of terrorism. (He used to talk about terrorists in motor-boats, until he was almost universally laughed-down, and he no longer mentions them). What is true however, is that anyone can board a plane - from Pakistan, Nigeria, Cambodia, Somalia - damn near anywhere, come here, become a permanent resident and then demand that we accomodate them. To say nothing of millions of Mexicans who want to turn a part of our country into a part of their country.

Demographic wars between the North and South, frankly, between white and not-white, are the wars of the future. So-called Paleos are trying to defend western civilization from what really threatens it. Like not-to-bright generals, neocons are stuck fighing the last war - and they want to go on fighting it indefinitely.

And by the way, I'm not a paleo-conservative. I prefer the term "reactionary".

Sweating Through fog said...

I have to laugh at the commenters who say McCain picked Palin in an attempt to win over disgruntled Hillary supporters. It turns out that disgruntled Hilary supporters, are, almost by definition, feminists. McCain, quite properly isn't making any attempt to appeal to leftists like that.

The demographic he is trying to capture is relatively conservative women who are married to men they don't hate. This is far larger, and far more realistic demographic for McCain to go after.

The law firm of Obama and Joe "would you like some sugar with your restraining order, Ma'am?" Biden have nothing to offer women like that.

Anonymous said...

Palin isn't McCain's pick but is the Schmidt/Rove pick, which is being sold to some degree as resulting from McCain's maverick spirit. With appeal among evangelicals, the white blue collar motorsports vote, and "glass ceiling" females, this is a good broad spectrum pick that may swing 1% of the vote in states like Ohio and Colorado and potentially decide the election. The Obvious risk is that Palin's inexperience cheapens the ticket; however, it seems unlikely that emotion-driven independent women will not be swayed by the selection, particularly after the all out media push to sell Palin.

The other option on the VP is to try to pick off a specific state (as with Romney in MI), but favorite son appeal has less value than it used to. Biden reflects neither approach but being a good liberal would have been the choice of Michelle and a few insiders who probably influenced Obama but lack the thoughtful cutting edge of the McCain camp (appointing Donna Brazil as campaign manager probably made the difference for Gore, who otherwise would have been President). Keep in mind that, while the republicans feign challenging in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, this election is really all about rewinning the red states, as in 2004. One reason the electoral map in 04 was surprisingly similar to 00 was that that was the rep. strategy, pouring resources into Ohio, for example. So, if the white vote ends Obama's chances in FL and MO, which would probably have fallen for Clinton and ended all debate, McCain has to win VA, CO, OH, and NV. That's not too tall an order, which causes me to think that Obama's chances are less than 50/50. The Palin pick lets Rove relieve himself somewhat from guilt over the tactical decision to accomodate Senatorial pork-barreling, which he figured would buy more power in friends than it lost in votes.

Anonymous said...

Also, overtures from the Obama campaign for McCain to stop running negative ads don't simply reflect the effect of those ads on voters, or the pr benefit of highlighting the negativity. Obama exists in the "cone of light" psychological module, in which the approval of others is channeled through the approved and emerges as power through force of personality (rather than rockstar narcissism; it may be necessary to be emotionally mature to become a "cone of light"). The disapproving negative ads have psychological effect on Obama. He also appears a little exhausted, which dims the cone, and a lack of sleep and too many time zone changes may be bringing on a slight depression.

Staash said...

Even if the baby -is- Sarah's daughter's, how on earth would the Democrats be able to exploit this very sensitive, personal issue? If they want to go down that road, this one has "Checkers speech" written all over it.

rob1 said...

lucius vorenus: "Guys, I hate to be a grammar nazi, but, technically speaking, the correct term is VPILF."

Surely you're jumping the gun a bit there; for the time being, the correct term should be VPCILF.

Anonymous said...

The neocons like La Belle Palin because she appeals to more mainstream republicans. That helps their man McAmnesty get elected, whats not to like? She isnt going to get close to the levers of power like Cheney seems to. They can safely relax and talk her up all they want. The neocons only problem is if McAmnesty falls off his perch in office.

rightsaidfred said...

From the DailyKos link we get this gem of statistical hacksterism:

>>>>The final point of interest is that Trig Palin has been diagnosed with Down's syndrome (aka trisomy 21). This is an interesting point, as chances of having offspring with Down's Syndrome increases from under 1% to 3% after a mother reaches the age of 40. However, 80% of the cases of Down's Syndrome are in mother's under the age of 35, through sheer quantities of births in this age group.

Just about every mistake in quoting statistics is on display here.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

martin, I thought your attempt to answer anon's question good, but I think it has holes in it. Of course no one wants enormous wars. Anon's point was that the paleo method brings them about anyway. I think the evidence is mixed on that, but there is at least some reason to claim that the American isolationists and whatever British paleos were called contributed to the large scale World Wars coming and finding us whether we wanted it or not; and much larger than they would have been.

I tend to be a mix, myself. The problem with neocon reasoning is that it works well in retrospect, but not so well going forward. We can look back and see a hundred places in any of a hundred wars and legitimately say "If we had stopped them there, we wouldn't have had to fight them under worse circumstances there." That is not so useful as one might hope, however. There are also past situations where we could legitimately speculate that party A responding to a small threat from party B escalated into an unnecessary war.

The paleos get it wrong because Western Civilization will have to fight proxy wars somewhere or we will fight them everywhere, and there will be no perfect spot to make a stand. Every choice presented to us - Vietnam, Korea, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq - will have serious downsides as well. Yet we cannot avoid them all. This is because paleos are isolationists who became conservative, who still think that because most problems will go away if we leave them alone, therefore all problems will go away if we leave them alone.

The neocons go wrong in underestimating the messiness of the places they choose. They tend to dwell too much on how things could improve if everything goes right. But never does everything go right. Whenever they guess wrong, it costs Western Civilization more than they expected. This is because neocons are liberals who became conservative, and still have the starry-eyed urge to fix stuff.

daveg said...

I think the evidence is mixed on that, but there is at least some reason to claim that the American isolationists and whatever British paleos were called contributed to the large scale World Wars coming and finding us whether we wanted it or not; and much larger than they would have been.

Again, this is erroneous history. Wilson got us into WWI against the palocons and screwed up the peace. Even the demi-god Churchill said so. The bad peace led to the even worse WWII and all that it implies, including ovens for the like of Frum, Kristol and testing99.

Now, I don't want that again, but some people don't seem to learn...

Martin said...

"Assistant Village Idiot said...

Anon's point was that the paleo method brings them about anyway. I think the evidence is mixed on that, but there is at least some reason to claim that the American isolationists and whatever British paleos were called contributed to the large scale World Wars coming and finding us whether we wanted it or not; and much larger than they would have been."

Thanks for your kind words. Please allow me to elaborate. I believe one area where the neos go wrong is in believing that World War II is the model for every present and future conflict. I think this is foolhearty. World War II is in all likelihood a singular event, the likes of which we will never again see in the next several hundred years. We could have a nuclear war, as we and any number of potential adversaries have the weapons. But the sort of long, drawn-out conflict between nations seen in the first half of the twentieth century just doesn't seem very likely to me anymore.

But for the neocons, it is always 1939, and the jack-boot of (fill-in-the-blank)-fascism is balanced on our throats.

It is true that isolationists may have prevented us from entering WWII for a year or so. So? Would it have mattered much? It's not like the free nations of Europe were really going to invade Germany and depose Hitler at any time prior to 1939. Even if Churchill had been P.M. in 39' they would not have done it.

And the biggest obstruction to Britain's rearmament in the 1930's were not conservatives, but socialists, under the thrall of the Soviet Union. may find that it the biggest obstruction.

In any event, Hitler is quite safely dead, and despite that the return of the Nazis seems to be the ardent wish of every comic-book film director, we don't have to fight him anymore. Let's talk about the future.

Voelkerwanderung is the term that the germans give to the period at the end of the Roman Empire. It means "migration of peoples". In the anglo-saxon world, we call it "the barbarian invasions". We are right now in an unprecedented period of migration, where indeed, whole peoples seem to be migrating. This seems to me a greater threat to our civilization than that due to a bunch of pissed-off arab grad-students.

And as for fighting proxy wars, I'm generally against it. If a war is important enough for us to fight, than we should fight it ourselves. What proxy wars chiefly seem to do is to convince other peoples that we are cowards, unwilling to fight for our own cause. And when we do fight, we shouldn't fight them as we have.

Take Afghanistan for example: We should have gone in and killed every single Taliban and Al Quaida hood - hunted them down like dogs, every man jack of them. And then we should have left, with the promise that we could be back in half an hour (via ICBM) and next time no more Mr. Nice Guy.

War is primarily punitive. It is not social work. I don't believe in building other people's countries, but I'm all for breaking them if they attack us. We will not be loved - so be it - we're not loved now. But by God, we would be respected.

Anonymous said...

Martin Take Afghanistan for example: We should have gone in and killed every single Taliban and Al Quaida hood - hunted them down like dogs, every man jack of them. And then we should have left, with the promise that we could be back in half an hour (via ICBM) and next time no more Mr. Nice Guy.

Yep.

I believe most British incursions into Afghanistan were along these lines, punishment raids. Nowadays these are portrayed as failed invasions.

rkook said...

Mark Steyn has the best comments to say about Sarah Palin...

But Steyn's a neocon - he can't possibly be sincere!

Go Lieberman!

Zimri said...

assistant village idiot's post was pretty good. But the palaeo / neo conversation, while admittedly of higher standard on this thread than similar discussions I've seen elsewhere, may be getting off topic.

I'd like to know how Scott McConnell knows about all this "neocon lobbying" for VPOTUS Lieberman. Did McConnell hear it at shul? A rabbi slipped it under McConnell's yarmulke perhaps?

Because I don't see it, beyond a couple of muted we'd-be-okay-with-Lieb editorials by Kristol. McCain has always been The Weekly Standard's dream candidate for POTUS itself, but Lieberman is chiefly interesting to neocons because he is (or was) a Democrat.

And Novak wrote that his sources told him that McCain was mostly thinking of Lieberman by himself. I am certain that McCain and Kristol talked, but I doubt that Kristol made a big issue of Lieberman. I repeat, Kristol wants McCain to win. He doesn't much care whether Liebs gets the proverbial Warm Bucket.

At any rate The Weekly Standard is hardly the Bible (Torah?) for pro-Israel hawks. Most of these hawks are Republicans who prefer Republicans over Lieberman as a Republican candidate.

McConnell is not one of TAC's more cogent thinkers.

Art Deco said...

There have been twelve assasination attemps on the last twelve Presidents.

Since 1932, the following:

1. 1933: against F.D. Roosevelt. (Perpetrator a nut. Mayor of Chicago killed).

2. 1950: against Truman.
(Perpetrator a Puerto Rican nationalist. Guard killed).

3. 1963: against Kennedy.
(Perpetrator addled by delusions of grandeur and (perhaps) a grudge against the erstwhile Secretary of the Navy. President killed, former Secretary (and Governor of Texas) injured).

4. 1975: against Ford.
(Perpetrator a nut. No bullet fired or injuries)

5. 1975: against Ford.
(Perpetrator a politically-motivated leftoid. Spent bullet hit a cab driver. No injuries).

6. 1981: against Reagan.
(Perpetrator a nut. President injured. Two guards injured. White House aide crippled).

That would be six attempts against five of the last twelve Presidents.

Anonymous said...

I'm the original anon who asked people about neocon disdain and the relative outcomes of each approach (now tagged Jer).

Hey, thanks guys for your responses. It's given me something to chew on.

If I could refine the point and add a couple things around the periphery:

A) to refine the point, I'm simply talking about "invade the world" or as I'd refer to it "distract the world from actually figuring out real strategic goals". I hold no brief for "invite the world" or "in hock to the world". The latter two seem really, really stupid to me. Much less permeable borders and King Dollar say this conservative. So, I'm mainly just asking if anyone else thinks the neocon idea might be poorly worded in argument and poorly reasoned in tactics, but pretty rational and very wise in usage?

b) to add to the point a bit, I'm mainly saying that if humanity sold its movie rights, that movie would be titled "There Will Be Blood".

It's like the pagans were right; try to appease the war gods with a small amount of blood in the hopes that they don't claim every last one of us.

c) to also add to the point, I think that older interpretations of isolationism or some forms of "paleo"-con can't be directly taken from history and applied to modern theory. We once considered the oceans an almost invincible fortress with our navy serving as a completely redundant safeguard. This can't be true anymore, it simply can't be. So, the same way that earlier conservatives considered the western hemisphere a place to wield our big stick, is the world getting smaller and our stick getting longer?

Thanks again for the input and I'd love to have you guys give me some more feedback.

Thanks.

-Jer

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I don't think so, I think we're all blood-thirsty as hell and little regional skirmishes and proxy wars are about as close as we're ever going to come to peace."

if we're all inherently "bloodthirst as hell" we'd all be clamoring to join the armed forces and get in on the action.
No. We're not all "inherently bloodthirsty" unless we get worked up over something, and even then we'd rather someone else shed their blood on "our" behalf. This administration and its supporters will go down in history as the greatest Chickenhawks that ever lived. There has probably been no war propogated by so many stay-at-homes. Even the British Royal family had members in uniform and in situations of danger.
Years ago a famous ex-Marine said war is a racket. Sorry, can't recall the name but it's a famous remark made during the 1930s.
We are victims of whatever the media and people in power choose to tell us. "they're out to get you---see, they kill you! Look at the twin towers!"
Give me a break. False flag operations are as old as history. Reichstag stuff. Northwoods stuff.
You think we're all "inherently bloodthirsty" then get your nasty butt over to Iraq and put yourself in the line of fire.

Anonymous said...

VPILF - This made my freakin' month.

I am gonnna get me one of those t-shirts.

--Senor Doug

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Open Letter to Lucious

Hi Lucious,
Just checking in w/the site and saw your message above. I thought to paste in some thoughts that speak to your questions. When I get a bit more time later, I answer some more of your other questions.

"Now, let's move on the burning question: how, and why, is Mu of all people, a Republican???

Well, when one really thinks about it, taking my Western chart into account, its a no brainer-I was born a Conservative. W/a Capricorn Asc and Venus, boh squared by Saturn, and a Taurus Moon in the 4 and accidentally dignified at that, its fairly easy to see that I tend to favor that which is more conservative and traditional as a rule. But there are a few other salient points aout my chart that explains things.

Because, when you take my racial and ethnic background into account, it is highly unusual to imagine an urban, blue collar, Hip Hop loving Brotha, being a Republican. In addition to the aforementioned specifics, I also have the ruler of my Sun, which is Jupiter, in conjunction w/Uranus, something that tends to not get as much "press" as other features in my chart, and indeed this is borne out in my life reality-how often is it that I'm referred to as "unoriginal", a "parrot", even "brainwashed"? And yet, to be a Black Conservative, to go against the pack/herd mentality of so many African Americans, is I think the epitome of Individualism. I think for myself. Believe it or not.

Most of my brethren don't think about issues, trust me, I know. They react in a visceral way to things, like Race-and don't let anyone tell you different, the Number One reason WHY something like 95% or more of all Africans Americans vote Democrat is because, rightly or wrongly, they view the Republicans as stompdown racists. And you know what? There's a lot of truth to the assertion.

What they don't want to admit, however, is that the Dems, back in the day, and today in our time, has its fair share of stompdown racists, too. Obama's presence this year has proven that in the present tense, and historically, the Dixiecrats were the ones hatin' on MLK & Co.

In fact, when one actually studies history in this regard, they'll find that up until relatively recently in American History, Black folks voted overwhelmingly Republican. This was to be expected, in gratitude to the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War to end Slavery. Some of the biggest and best known names in Black America, such as MLK, Medger Evers and Jackie Robinson, were Republicans.

It was Nixon and his "Southern Strategy", along w/Johnson's hard pushes on the Dixiecrats in terms of landmark Civil Rights legislation, that turned the tide. The Dixiecrats, still embittered by the losses during the Civil War among other things, turned to the Republicans, while at the very same time, the GOP vote in Congress was what made it possible for the aforementioned Civil Rights bills to pass and become law. This fact gets little airtime, and its a shame because people should have all the facts before they make a decision. At least that's my view.

Anyway, getting back to the vitriol levelled at Black Cons by the Black Left, for many years I've witnessed this. I used to belong to a Black Male debating society back in the 90s, an at the time Clarence Thomas was being considered for the Supreme Court. I was the youngest member of the society, and I was appalled and taken aback by the sheer hatred that was levelled at Thomas by my elders; it went beyond mere or even passionate disagreement over policy, but went into out and out character assassination. His very allegiance was called into question, chiefly because he had the nerve to marry a White woman!-that had to be proof positive that he was a sellout. Wow.

I saw the same things w/Condi Rice and Colin Powell, too. Not just disagreement over policy, but vicious personal attacks. It didn't matter that Rice actually lived in the Deep Cracker South, that she actually knew the four little girls who were blew up by the domestic terror group the KKK; it didn't matter that Powell was a two tour Vietnam vet and had ordered men into battle and watched many of them die, dit matter that he earned every star on his shoulders, one of the final soldiers who could go from the ground up to become a general. And it didn't matter that Thomas was a member of the Black Student Union at college and fought against discrimination while there, that his fellow religious school students, the White ones, proclaimed happiness on the day King was killed.

Wow.

Why do I support the GOP? Simple.

I think its a good idea that you should keep more of what you earn. That people have a basic, human right to defend themselves. That marriage, between one man and one woman, is not only a basically good idea, but has proven to work, most of the time. That we shouldn't take such a cavalier stance as to whether the unborn have a right to exist, while at the same time have the nerve to say that some have a right to choose if they become a parent and others don't.

I don't support laws like VAWA that gives someone the right to, on their sole whim and on their sole say so, have me locked up, and removed from my own home, that I built w/my own hands. Nor do I like the idea that such a law can impose on me who I can associate with. My other half is foriegn born and though I didn't use a Mail Order Bride service, if I did, I would have to register for all kinds of criminal background checks before I could even talk to anybody overseas (Please note that I have Venus ruling the 9 house!). And just consider the irony here-I went to prison to protect a woman, now I would have to register as a criminal offender under the rubric of a law that ostensibly protects women! You can't make this stuff up.

I don't like the idea of having to spend considerable amounts of my tax money to pay for sex I'm not getting, and that's exactly what happens when I'm paying for the lady accross the street from me to have her 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th kid by as many baby daddies. Nor do I like the idea of an outfit like Planned Parenthood getting my tax money to see to it that 1500 Black babies meet a cruel end everyday, contributing to the some 40 million babies aborted (killed) since Roe came down. If those who support PP would actually writeout checks out of their pocket instead of feeding off the govt's teat I could live with that. But as it stands now, what an insult to injury such an outfit is, especially considering its completely racist history.

I don't like the Obama/Bayh sponsored Responsible Father & Healthy Families Act, which has yet to actually pass, but is in the barrell. They mention the word "child support" almost 70 times, and not a mention is made about paternal rights.

I like the idea that a central idea of the USA is that there is a God. And please note, I didn't specify which one-I'm not a Christian. But I'm very glad for so many Christians around, because the truth is that societies that has no sense of God are nowhere near as comparable to us. Take a look around. No one's leaving.

And that's another reason I'm down w/the GOP-because they have a "can do" spirit. I have only used unemployment once in my entire life, and there have been times when I could have used it again, but didn't. Everything I have I earned it on my own, often building it from the ground up. And that's because my dad and grand dad taught me that if I worked hard enough, and kept at it, and never give up, I would make it. I know they smile on me now, because they were both right. I didn't need no gov't help to do it, no Affirmative Action, no handouts, and no set asides. And I did it knowing full well that were those who didn't like me because of the skin I'm in. It only made me work harder to prove them dead wrong.

I have, on the surface, every reason to be down w/the Dems. I'm Black, an ex felon, urban and blue collar. But I'm not.

Take the time to look a bit deeper.

And be mindful of your assumptions.

Holla back

Salaam
Mu"

Assistant Village Idiot said...

martin, I agree that such an approach to Afghanistan would have been far superior, in general and in specific. However, it is never going to happen, anywhere, anytime in this country. It goes beyond discussion of policy difference to the level of "wish." Thus, I try to advocate for things that might actually happen.

PJ O'Rourke would be a great Senator from my district (Really. Even drunk he's better than most people sober). But he's not running, so I have a Sununu sign in my yard.

You may be right in that we are now in an era where nothing like WWII will occur again. We may be so interconnected now that there is never again going to much chance of defeating an enemy, only of managing conflicts. But I think we might still come near to thorough defeats, and should still consider them. That it will never be done in the way that you and I think best is unfortunate, but not determinative. I view Iraq and Afghanistan not as wasteful enterprises (though they certainly could qualify) but as half-a-loaf realistic solutions, better than the alternatives.

Anonymous said...

"You think we're all "inherently bloodthirsty" then get your nasty butt over to Iraq and put yourself in the line of fire."

Ahhh, the chickenhawk gambit, useless as an argument but a great way to flag an idiot.

If you disagree, please respond on a computer that you yourself constructed because of your deep disdain for the division of labor.

Idiot. It's almost like you'd like me to go to Iraq and die because you found one comment I wrote on a blog. How non-bloodthirsty of you.

However, if we're giving travel recommendations, I'd recommend you check out a library, find the history section and read a bit before you start lecturing me about our shared innate pacifism.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

"You think we're all "inherently bloodthirsty" then get your nasty butt over to Iraq and put yourself in the line of fire."

Ahhh, the chickenhawk gambit, useless as an argument but a great way to flag an idiot."

Dear Mr. Anonymous. It's difficult to keep all of you Anonyms straight, so I'll call you Anonymous 1, and the guy who replied to you Anonymous 2.

I agree with you that history is going to go on, despite what Francis Fukuyama wrote. It will go on, and it will, as you say, go on being bloody. Most people whom one might call paleo-conservatives, or traditionalists, or reactionaries or whatever, know this. They know this instintively. They don't believe in a brilliant enlightened future in the radiant uplands of human hopes and aspirations. They pretty much think that life is hard, the world cruel, and men wicked. I don't know where people got the idea that we are a bunch of hippy-dippy flower-child pacifists.

I believe in pursuing our national interests in an honorable and practical way. I also know that empire ruins nations - financially, and more important, morally. Gibbon understood this, when he talked about the "Orontes flowing into the Tiber". I.e., as Rome involved itself in places like Syria, it inevitably became more like Syria. Just as we are finding that as we involve ourselves more in Mexico, Iraq, and Somalia, this country becomes more like Mexico, Iraq, and Somalia, if for no other reason, than that those people come here, become citizens, and vote.

And I don't think the Chickenhawk argument is necessarily inappropriate, although it was wrong of Anonymous 2 to throw that at you. (Anon. 2 apparently subscribes to all that World Trade Center Conspiracy "loose-change" false-flag crap too, even invoking the Reichstag fire, which just shows that Paleocons can be stuck in the 1930's too).

However, a point is reached, when someone argues at great length about our sacred duty as the indispensible nation to right the wrongs of the world and fight evil where ever it may appear, that I do honestly begin to wonder, well why don't YOU fight then? There are plenty of neocon journalists and pundits who are of military age. Why don't they join this great adventure? I suppose they think they are fighting by writing columns. As one of the fan-boys at Ace-of-Spades said, he's fighting terrorism with his keyboard. Yeah, right - and I'm fighting it in this comfy chair, with a big brandy and a cigar.

As I said, I'm not leveling this charge at you, and think it was unfair of Anon. 2 to do so.

"Assistant Village Idiot said...

martin, I agree that such an approach to Afghanistan would have been far superior, in general and in specific. However, it is never going to happen, anywhere, anytime in this country."

Well, of course you are right, at least for now, as evidenced by our two picks for President this year. Whether practical in the near term or not though, I think returning sanity to how we govern our nation is important if we want to still have a nation. It's neither practical nor convenient for a junkie to kick his heroin habit, but it may be necessary to stop from becoming dead. And how practical or convenient is being dead? Practical politics, as now defined, are not very practical in the long run.

Anyway, I've enjoyed this conversation with both of you.