Wednesday, November 24, 2004

 

Whose problem is it, really?

Don't worry, this is not a sort of violation of Godwin's Law (it only seems like one at first reading).
The Iranian problem

There's a lot of talk these days about a possible confrontation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States. Leaving aside the admittedly big question of nuclear weapons for a moment, it's pretty easy to see the reasons for concern.

The country is ever more dominated by conservatives and advocates of political religion. There was a time in the 1990s when the country seemed to be moving in a more liberal direction, but those days are long past. Conservatives and religious movements have spent the last few years consolidating their control over the major political institutions - the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judiciary, even the media. Indeed, in the most recent elections, the conservatives routed their liberal counterparts. These conservatives and their religious base express open contempt for liberals and their values. Pretty much the only remaining opposition seems to be among university students and among some liberal newspapers, but their limited power doesn't really threaten the ruling coalition. What's more, the country has recently been very active inside of Iraq, which threatens important national security interests. Leading conservative figures, including some known for very close ties to senior government leaders, have openly declared their hostility and have even spoken about the need for military action. Even relatively moderate foreign policy officials have been sounding pretty hawkish lately.

You can see why the Iranians might be worried about a country like the United States these days.

Not to mention Americans.

(Note to the irony-impaired: I am not in fact claiming that the United States is identical to the Islamic Republic of Iran; nor am I claiming that the Christianist movement in the United States is identical to the Islamist rulers of Iran. Just pointing out some amusing similarities, is all, and wondering how supporters of the Bush administration can, with a straight face, make certain kinds of criticisms of the Iranian system. This preventive strike footnote provided as a public service to save bandwidth in the comments section).
The point is, of course, that Bush and his supporters have not the slightest clue (nor inclination to go hunting for a clue) as to how their actions make the United States look to the rest of the world. In fact, to the extent that they even have the slightest notion that they have dragged down our reputation, that only seems to them like a validation of their delusion that the rest of the world is inexplicably hostile to the United States because of their degeneracy and lack of "morality." The fact that Abu Aardvark could get away with fooling the reader even briefly is a sign of just how low we have sunk.
Comments:
Big Pharoh says that since Paris started burning France has joined the Middle East list of the hated ones, America and the Joooos.

Good News...

Since I happened upon your site because I was looking for the Malvolio quote, I thought you might want to see his comments.

You'd probably not want to go to my site, though. It wouldn't do anything to cheer you, since I am one of those conservatives you mention. Of course, from my perspective the "political religion" belongs to the Left and has for a very long time. They dominate the media, which is why the media is in a slide.

But in most other ways, the right doesn't control much. The sad curriculum in our schools is just one aspect of that. Kids sacrificed yearly to an educrat pedagogy that was disproved 40 years ago by Daniel Moynihan.

I'd love to see the school system in NYC emulate the Catholic diocese's school system in the same area. It takes the losers and graduates them with a high rate going to college and jobs. And it does so with a quarter of the administrative overhead. The majority of its students are not Catholic and are drawn from the same socio-economic groups as the public system.

Then there is the fact is that fully forty percent of our working population is a public servant of some sort. The pay plus benefits of these servants has long out-stripped that of the regular folks. And guess what? Public servants largely vote Democrat.

I am a conservative via my economic religion, not any denominational beliefs. I do wish we had the control you say we have. McCain is a loose cannon who has done the commonweal much harm with his machinations wiht Feingold. And Bush spends like a drunken sailor. Well..a dry drunk, anyway. Can't tell his domestic policy from Barbara Booker's.

A lot of us advocates of "political religion" are ready to switch churches -- if we could find one worth going to. Hillary's sermons are as two-sided as Harriet Miers' were: her talking points are cut to fit her audience. Ever read her up-state NY speeches? Sounds like a good ol' girl. Harriet and Hillary share another trait: mediocre women who rode on a man's coat tails.

There conservative consolidation in the executive branch is simply Bush's election. Before that we had 8 years of a left-centrist executive. The judiciary has been moving left for so long it fell off the bench quite some time ago. Do you like eminent domain? How about our court's conforming itself to international law -- laws dreamed up by bureaucrats unencumbered by anything so confining as a Constitution? This court has been on a leftist trend since Earl Warren. Now they seem in synch with the ACLU (of which I was once a member, as I was of the NAACP until I was uninvited because of my skin color).

Probably our biggest disagreement is your contention that conservatives express open contempt for liberals and their values. Au contraire: it is conservatives who have learned to keep quiet in a liberal sea. I was actually accosted in a Barnes and Noble for picking up and looking at the cover of a David Horowitz book -- merely curious, I prefer intellectual history...but now I know what a foaming liberal looks like.

The general discourse on both sides of the aisle has degenerated but it's done so much faster and much deeper on the Left...as it used to on the Right, when it was out of power.

Complacency time is over for all of us, but we've managed to survive as a country despite very serious chasms of belief since the first Constitutional Congress and we will go on surviving.

The best thing that could happen to the Left is the birth of some new ideas. The War on Poverty was not only lost, it created a monster we now have to tame. But they have to be genuinely new approaches to our existing problems, not Ted Kennedy diatribes or Barbara Boxer's insistence that the Supreme Court speaks for God.
If that were to happen, things would shift and the country would have a real majority on one side or the other. Right now, it's quite evenly split.

I think the country is so divided that only a "throw the bums out" routine is going to work next time around.

BTW, my college age conservative son keeps his views to himself. If anyone asks, he just says he's not political and gets left alone. As a naive freshman, someone asked him and then the room started screaming. He had spittle on his shirt. That happened twice and he learned: don't talk to people whose core self is wrapped up in their political beliefs...they feel too threatened. The other thing he noticed was the paucity of facts to back up the ad hominem attacks. But he didn't go there. You don't argue with someone who is too scared to listen.

Anyhow, I love the name of your blog. And I sure did take up a lot of bandwidth, but that's the great thing about Blogger: the trash can.

I genuinely wish your "side" luck in coming up with a plan for 2008. I, for one, am hoping there will be one because there are some good Dems out there who could take it away.
 
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Comments: "
Big Pharoh says that since Paris started burning France has joined the Middle East list of the hated ones, America and the Joooos.

Good News...

Since I happened upon your site because I was looking for the Malvolio quote, I thought you might want to see his comments.

You'd probably not want to go to my site, though. It wouldn't do anything to cheer you, since I am one of those conservatives you mention. Of course, from my perspective the "political religion" belongs to the Left and has for a very long time. They dominate the media, which is why the media is in a slide.

But in most other ways, the right doesn't control much. The sad curriculum in our schools is just one aspect of that. Kids sacrificed yearly to an educrat pedagogy that was disproved 40 years ago by Daniel Moynihan.

I'd love to see the school system in NYC emulate the Catholic diocese's school system in the same area. It takes the losers and graduates them with a high rate going to college and jobs. And it does so with a quarter of the administrative overhead. The majority of its students are not Catholic and are drawn from the same socio-economic groups as the public system.

Then there is the fact is that fully forty percent of our working population is a public servant of some sort. The pay plus benefits of these servants has long out-stripped that of the regular folks. And guess what? Public servants largely vote Democrat.

I am a conservative via my economic religion, not any denominational beliefs. I do wish we had the control you say we have. McCain is a loose cannon who has done the commonweal much harm with his machinations wiht Feingold. And Bush spends like a drunken sailor. Well..a dry drunk, anyway. Can't tell his domestic policy from Barbara Booker's.

A lot of us advocates of "political religion" are ready to switch churches -- if we could find one worth going to. Hillary's sermons are as two-sided as Harriet Miers' were: her talking points are cut to fit her audience. Ever read her up-state NY speeches? Sounds like a good ol' girl. Harriet and Hillary share another trait: mediocre women who rode on a man's coat tails.

There conservative consolidation in the executive branch is simply Bush's election. Before that we had 8 years of a left-centrist executive. The judiciary has been moving left for so long it fell off the bench quite some time ago. Do you like eminent domain? How about our court's conforming itself to international law -- laws dreamed up by bureaucrats unencumbered by anything so confining as a Constitution? This court has been on a leftist trend since Earl Warren. Now they seem in synch with the ACLU (of which I was once a member, as I was of the NAACP until I was uninvited because of my skin color).

Probably our biggest disagreement is your contention that conservatives express open contempt for liberals and their values. Au contraire: it is conservatives who have learned to keep quiet in a liberal sea. I was actually accosted in a Barnes and Noble for picking up and looking at the cover of a David Horowitz book -- merely curious, I prefer intellectual history...but now I know what a foaming liberal looks like.

The general discourse on both sides of the aisle has degenerated but it's done so much faster and much deeper on the Left...as it used to on the Right, when it was out of power.

Complacency time is over for all of us, but we've managed to survive as a country despite very serious chasms of belief since the first Constitutional Congress and we will go on surviving.

The best thing that could happen to the Left is the birth of some new ideas. The War on Poverty was not only lost, it created a monster we now have to tame. But they have to be genuinely new approaches to our existing problems, not Ted Kennedy diatribes or Barbara Boxer's insistence that the Supreme Court speaks for God.
If that were to happen, things would shift and the country would have a real majority on one side or the other. Right now, it's quite evenly split.

I think the country is so divided that only a "throw the bums out" routine is going to work next time around.

BTW, my college age conservative son keeps his views to himself. If anyone asks, he just says he's not political and gets left alone. As a naive freshman, someone asked him and then the room started screaming. He had spittle on his shirt. That happened twice and he learned: don't talk to people whose core self is wrapped up in their political beliefs...they feel too threatened. The other thing he noticed was the paucity of facts to back up the ad hominem attacks. But he didn't go there. You don't argue with someone who is too scared to listen.

Anyhow, I love the name of your blog. And I sure did take up a lot of bandwidth, but that's the great thing about Blogger: the trash can.

I genuinely wish your "side" luck in coming up with a plan for 2008. I, for one, am hoping there will be one because there are some good Dems out there who could take it away.
 
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