http://m.spectator.org/169477/show/724c505f775956432bdb1dcb4c9a9509/? “They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves conservatives. They can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are: the American Taliban.” That might sound like a drunken rant at your local College Democrat club. But then the scene shifts to the newsroom where Will’s producers are backslapping and hear-hearing each other, as though the French had finally sailed into Yorktown. This is perhaps the most striking feature of The Newsroom. Seeping out of every pore of its characters, embedded in every word of its dialogue, is the demand that we prostrate ourselves before its crayon-scrawled, left-wing nonsense and hail its moral courage. The Newsroom is the brain child of Aaron Sorkin, the once- wunderkind writer behind The West Wing. He clearly intends for conservatives like me to be either outraged or intellectually swayed by his Speaking Truth to Power. Instead it’s hard not to feel bored…even sorry for Sorkin. Will’s entire rant feels yellowed and musty. The “American Taliban”? Really? In addition to being tedious, that was also the title of a book by Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas. At this point, the savants of liberalism are even borrowing banalities from each other.”
Tag Archives: teaparty
Why I will now vote for Romney in the 2012 election (after opposing him, previously) Obamacare must be repealed,a third party will take time to build
I have previously passionately argued against voting for Mitt Romney ,even if Obama won as a result (though I also doubted that Romney could win). I had considered voting for Gary Johnson, or for skipping the Presidential ballot and just voting for Republicans in the House and Senate.
I have changed my position and will now vote for Romney in 2012 .
My reasons are as follows:
1. The court betrayed us by upholding Obamacare. The only remaining option for repealing this obscenity is to get Romney into office and a Republican Senate into power .
”But Romney won’t repeal it?”
We were able to prevent any Republican defections on Obamacare in 2009 by means of applying massive political pressure,if we do so again,then there is a slim, but reasonable,chance that we will succeed in pressuring the GOP into repealing Obamacare.
This is not some open ended thing where it does not matter if it is repealed in 2012 or in 2016. Once the ”benefits” kick-in, in 2014 then it will become exponentially more difficult to repeal it.
But to do so will mean that we cannot accept the “lesser of two evils” as a standard,where we will vote for any Republican,even if he supports keeping parts of Obamacare.
Imagine what the result would have been in 2009, had we called the Republicans and told them “You must not pass Obamacare,do you hear! But we’ll vote for you anyway”.
We would have lost all leverage .
This is not “practical”,it does not “buy us time”. It accelerates the decline,since the Democrats will set the standard, and the Republicans will know that we will vote for them irregardless of what they do.
You think I’m mistaken?
You think that the Republicans are ”good fellows, who just need a philosophy?”
But they have a philosophy: it’s a combination of mee-toism/second handedness (”what will the pundits say”), pragmatism (” we have to violate free market principles to save the free market”), & altruism (”people are hurting”)
And as to the claim that Republicans won’t take the voters for granted, let us look at one of the “well meaning but confused folks” who just need to be given a shot of courage;Mike Murphy on Sarah Palin :
“Most pundits thought I was wrong. Look at the crowds she can draw, I was told.
She “excites the base.”Phooey. Every presidential election
year brings forth some new nugget of conventional
wisdom from the media elite that totally misses the real
picture. Last year, the big wrong idea was this notion
that base voters have somehow become the new swing
voters. We are now told the party base – those voters who will vote for a bag of cement if it has an R or D attached to it – must be carefully appealed to, romanced and appeased.Under that funhouse reasoning, Palin was an inspired pick.Unfortunately for McCain, the actual swing voters, the independents who do determine the winner of the election, didn’t buy into this fantasy at all.”
Or as Mccain snickered: “where will they go”.
No,if we are to actually slow down this monstrosity then we must draw certain red lines:
1. Repeal Obamacare,completely
2. Oppose Cap and Trade.
3. Defend the U.S.
4. Oppose censorship.
If a candidate does not actually do any of these things, then we must be prepared to vote him out of office.
We must also work to have a fallback plan should Republicans betray us. We must look into the Libertarian Party as a possible alternative,or perhaps create a new party to replace the GOP (a “teaparty party” perhaps?) .
“But third parties can’t succeed!”
However neither a third party nor the Libertarian Party can win in 2012.
It will take time to build up a alternative.
I therefore would offer this advice (HT to Stephen Bailey)
Unless you live in a solidly red or blue state, vote for Romney.
If you live in a solidly red or blue state vote for Romney,Johnson,skip the presidential part of the ballot etc ,use your own judgement.
The U.S. has a electoral college system,it DOES NOT matter who gets the most votes. The election is determined by who wins enough electoral votes. If you live in one of the deepest red states, your state will go for Romney whether you vote for Romney,Johnson,Obama, John Galt,or stand on your head or don’t vote in the Presidential election at all. The same holds true for solidly blue states. (But make sure that your state IS actually solidly red or blue,check Realclearpolitics )
If you live in anything less than a solidly red or blue state ,vote
for Romney. And even if you live in a solidly red state ,you should attack Obama online ,and speak with any of your friends in swing states,and present the reasons I’ve given here for why they should vote for Romney . Do not lie,just explain your reasoning .
I plan to address this at greater length in future posts.
RRD:At this point the alert(or conscious) reader may ask:How can a ignoramus deal a death blow to a philosophy of which they are ignorant of?
Before continuing I wish to state that I am not any kind of “official” spokesperson for Objectivism,that what follows is My presentation of certain aspects of Objectivism as I understand the philosophy.
As always a detailed,serious study of the primary source material is needed to understand any philosophy,and I would refer the reader to Ayn Rand’s corpus of writings,which flesh out and apply her views,and answer criticisms raised against Objectivism.
Victoria Bekiempis,a ignoramus(or liar)–who claims to be a ex-Objectivist–published a column in The Guardian in which she cited a article entitled “Psychological Egoism and Ethical Egoism” written by another ignoramus (or liar),
named Sandra LaFave.
Bekiempis’ article is here:
Confessions of a recovering Objectivist | Victoria Bekiempis | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Bekiempis asserts that her own categorical assertion about unnamed ”experts”(below)
when taken together
with LaFave’s article(excerpted later),serve to illustrate “foundational problems” in Objectivism.To this she adds that it would be “generous” for Bekiempis and LaFave to “concede” that they do not deal a “death-blow” to Objectivism.
I will first critique Bekiempis,then LaFave.
”Another key concern is that psychological egoism might not be final stage of an individual’s ethical development. We start off selfish, say some theorists, but we must move beyond convention and toward post -conventional social contract and conscience for true moral growth. ”
Do they have names?
Are their names unmentionable?
If they are mentionable,what are they?
What evidence or arguments do they have to back up their claims?
What counter-arguments are there from Rand or others?
Isn’t it begging the question to say: “but we must move beyond convention and toward post -conventional social contract and conscience for true moral growth”
Doesn’t that presuppose that ”selfishness” (aka ”convention”) is bad & that this ”post-conventional social contract and conscience ” is good?
If so it is not a argument,it is a assertion.
What–specifically–does it mean to “move beyond convention and toward post-conventional social contract and conscience”anyway & what are the arguments for doing this?
What are the counter-arguments?
Why is this so-called “true moral growth” supposedly moral?
Does Bekiempis expect us to research & assemble her argument for her?
Ayn Rand herself produced over two thousand pages of writing explaining her philosophy in great detail.
Those interested can find her full list of works at the Ayn Rand Bookstore,along with lectures & books by other Objectivists.
Ayn Rand Bookstore
Now let us turn to the arguments of LaFave which were cited by Bekiempis’.
Psychological Egoism and Ethical Egoism
”In fact, people who think psychological egoism is true (such as Thomas Hobbes and Ayn Rand) often use it as a premise in an argument to deny the validity of traditional ethics altogether”
…”The ethical egoist thinks we should pursue self-interest because we can’t help but do so. But if we must pursue self -interest, as the premise states, then what’s the point of saying we should ? If psychological egoism is true, we can’t act any other way. In other words,ethical egoism only makes sense if psychological egoism is false, i.e., if we have a genuine choice. ”….
RRD:There can be no doubt but that these are the people and wisdom shall die with them(paraphase of Job 12:2)
“But what’s wrong with their argument?”
What’s wrong with it is that Ayn Rand was not a adherent of the idea “that we should pursue self-interest because we can’t help but do so”,nor did she believe that ”all acts were selfish”.
Those of us who have actually read her works(or even just her novel Atlas Shrugged) are aware that she was not a advocate of these views,because of the very subtle hints she would drop from time to time in her writings.
Subtle hints like:
“Instinct” — Ayn Rand Lexicon
Galt’s Speech,For the New Intellectual , 121
..”An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An “instinct” is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living. And even man’s desire to live is not automatic . . . Your fear of death is not a love for life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it. Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.”….
RRD:And hints like:
The Ayn Rand Institute: The Objectivist Ethics, by Ayn Rand
(Ayn Rand quoting Galt’s speech her novel Atlas Shrugged part 3 chapter 7 ”This is John Galt Speaking” )
…“Through centuries of scourges and disasters, brought about by your code of morality[RRD:Altruism fn1] you have cried that your code had been broken,that the scourges were punishment for breaking it, that men were too weak and too selfish to spill all the blood it required.You damned man, you damned existence, you damned this earth, but never dared to question your code. . . . You went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good ?—by what standard ?”..
“Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. . . . Your moral code has reached its climax,the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality . . . but to discover it.”
…”[Rand] I quote from Galt’s speech: “Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice—and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man—by choice; he has to hold his life as a value—by choice; he has to learn to sustain it—by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues—by choice. A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.”….
Next Ayn Rand spoke directly in
The Objectivist Ethics.
“Man has no automatic code of survival. He has no automatic course of action, no automatic set of values. His senses do not tell him automatically what is good for him or evil, what will benefit his life or endanger it, what goals he should pursue and what means will achieve them, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires. His own consciousness has to discover the answers to all these questions—but his consciousness will not function automatically . Man, the highest living species on this earth—the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge—man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man’s particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional .”…
….”But man’s responsibility goes still further: a process of thought is not automatic nor “instinctive” nor involuntary—nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results. He has to discover how to tell what is true or false and how to correct his own errors; he has to discover how to validate his concepts, his conclusions, his knowledge; he has to discover the rules of thought, the laws of logic ,to direct his thinking. Nature gives him no automatic guarantee of the efficacy of his mental effort.”
…”He cannot achieve his survival by arbitrary means nor by random motions nor by blind urges nor by chance nor by whim. That which his survival requires is set by his nature and is not open to his choice. What is open to his choice is only whether he will discover it or not, whether he will choose the right goals and values or not. He is free to make the wrong choice, but not free to succeed with it.” …
Original Sin — Ayn Rand Lexicon
Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual , 136
…”The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin.
…”A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. ”…
…”Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a “tendency” to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.”…
And Ayn Rand on Tabula Rasa.
Tabula Rasa — Ayn Rand Lexicon
“The Comprachicos,” Return of the Primitive: The Anti -Industrial Revolution, 54
…”At birth, a child’s mind is tabula rasa; he has the potential of awareness—the mechanism of a human consciousness—but no content. Speaking metaphorically, he has a camera with an extremely sensitive, unexposed film (his conscious mind), and an extremely complex computer waiting to be programmed (his subconscious). Both are blank”…
…. To focus his eyes (which is not an innate, but an acquired skill), to perceive the things around him by integrating his sensations into percepts (which is not an innate, but an acquired skill), to coordinate his muscles for the task of crawling, then standing upright, then walking—and, ultimately, to grasp the process of concept -formation and learn to speak—these are some of an infant’s tasks and achievements whose magnitude is not equaled by most men in the rest of their lives.”…
Atlas Shrugged – Wikiquote
“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns –or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other – and your time is running out.”
Francisco d’Anconia to Hank Rearden
“When you felt proud of the rail of the John Galt Line,” said Francisco, the measured rhythm of his voice giving a ruthless clarity to his words, “what sort of men did you think of ? Did you want to see that Line used by your equals—by giants of productive energy, such as Ellis Wyatt, whom it would help to reach higher and still higher achievements of their own ?” “Yes,” said Rearden eagerly. “Did you want to see it used by men who could not equal the power of your mind, but who would equal your moral integrity—men such as Eddie Willers—who could never invent your Metal, but who would do their best, work as hard as you did, live by their own effort, and—riding on your rail—give a moment’s silent thanks to the man who gave them more than they could give him?” “Yes,” said Rearden gently. “Did you want to see it used by whining rotters who never rouse themselves to any effort, who do not possess the ability of a filing clerk, but demand the income of a company president, who drift from failure to failure and expect you to pay their bills, who hold their wishing as an equivalent of your work and their need as a higher claim to reward than your effort, who demand that you serve them, who demand that it be the aim of your life to serve them, who demand that your strength be the voiceless, rightless, unpaid, unrewarded slave of their impotence, who proclaim that you are born to serfdom by reason of your genius, while they are born to rule by the grace of incompetence, that yours is only to give, but theirs only to take, that yours is to produce, but theirs to consume, that you are not to be paid, neither in matter nor in spirit, neither by wealth nor by recognition nor by respect nor by gratitude—so that they would ride on your rail and sneer at you and curse you, since they owe you nothing, not even the effort of taking off their hats which you paid for? Would this be what you wanted ? Would you feel proud of it?” “I’d blast that rail first,” said Rearden, his lips white. “Then why don’t you do it, Mr. Rearden ? Of the three kinds of men I described—which men are being destroyed and which are using your Line today ?” They heard the distant metal heartbeats of the mills through the long thread of silence. “What I described last,” said Francisco, “is any man who proclaims his right to a single penny of another man’s effort.”
“I swear by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
“There is only one kind of men who have never been on strike in the whole of human history. Every other kind and class has stopped, when they so wished, and have presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable – except the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out on the human race. Well, their turn has come. Let the world discover who they are, what they do and what happens when they refuse to function. This is the strike of the men of the mind, Miss Taggart. This is the mind on strike.”
“We’ve heard so much about strikes, and about the dependence of the uncommon man upon the common. We’ve heard it shouted that the industrialist is a parasite, that his workers support him, create his wealth, make his luxury possible – and what would happen to him if they walked out ? Very well. I intend to show the world who depends on whom, who supports whom, who is the source of wealth, who makes whose livelihood possible and what happens to who when whom walks out.”
“The businessman who wishes to gain a market by throttling a superior competitor, the worker who wants a share of his employer’s wealth, the artist who envies a rival’s higher talent -they’re all wishing facts out of existence, and destruction is the only means of their wish. If they pursue it, they will not achieve a market, a fortune, or an immortal fame – they will merely destroy production, employment and art. A wish for the irrational is not to be achieved, whether the sacrificial victims are willing or not. But men will not cease to desire the impossible and will not lose their longing to destroy – so long as self -destruction and self -sacrifice are preached to them as the practical means of achieving the happiness of the recipients.”
Chapter Seven: This is John Galt Speaking
“For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors – between those who preached that the good is self -sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self -sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.”
And for those who still didn’t get it Ayn Rand published a essay in 1962 explicitly rejecting the claim that “all actions are selfish”.It was called “Isn’t Everyone Selfish” it was written on her behalf by Nathaniel Branden.
(Ayn Rand broke off relations with the Brandens and does not regard anything that they wrote after the break,or anything that they wrote which she did not oversee,to be part of her philosophy ) (fn2)
So far as I can tell the text of the article is not online,but it is hardly obscure.
It was included in the Virtue Of Selfishness Which is one of her more popular non-fiction books.(fn3)
But at this point you may say:”Aha!But Nietzche believed in ”blood” and instincts and Rand was a Nietzchean!”
It is true that Rand was heavily influenced by Nietzche when young(during what would later be called her Nietzchean phase),but her view of Nietzsche became progressively more negative as she became increasingly more “Neo-Aristotelian” in her outlook. (“Neo-Aristotelian” is how the academic community would term it,it was not her term)
In her Introduction to The Fountainhead she wrote:
Nietzsche, Friedrich — Ayn Rand Lexicon
“Introduction to The Fountainhead,” The Objectivist , March 1968, 6
”Philosophically, Nietzsche is a mystic and an irrationalist. His metaphysics consists of a somewhat “Byronic” and mystically “malevolent” universe; his epistemology subordinates reason to “will,” or feeling or instinct or blood or innate virtues of character. But, as a poet, he projects at times (not consistently) a magnificent feeling for man’s greatness, expressed in emotional, not intellectual, terms.
Selfishness — Ayn Rand Lexicon
“Introduction,” The Virtue of Selfishness, ix
..”The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action and that man must act for his own rational self -interest. But his right to do so is derived from his nature as man and from the function of moral values in human life—and, therefore, is applicable only in the context of a rational, objectively demonstrated and validated code of moral principles which define and determine his actual self -interest. It is not a license “to do as he pleases” and it is not applicable to the altruists’ image of a “selfish” brute nor to any man motivated by irrational emotions, feelings, urges, wishes or whims.
This is said as a warning against the kind of “Nietzschean egoists” who, in fact, are a product of the altruist morality and represent the other side of the altruist coin: the men who believe that any action, regardless of its nature, is good if it is intended for one’s own benefit. Just as the satisfaction of the irrational desires of others is not a criterion of moral value, neither is the satisfaction of one’s own irrational desires. Morality is not a contest of whims . . . .
RRD:Note that she is referring to ethics.In a Objectivist society people would be legally free to act in a way that Objectivists regard as irrational, so long as they did not violate individual rights. (fn4)
Since Ayn Rand is not a advocate of the ”we’re all selfish” view
everything that follows from the false premise that she is,is a straw man & invalid.
LaFave also makes other straw man arguments, which I will address in a later post.
Altruism — Ayn Rand Lexicon
Selfishness — Ayn Rand Lexicon
”I want, therefore, formally to state that the only authentic sources of information on Objectivism are: my own works (books, articles, lectures), the articles appearing in and the pamphlets reprinted by this magazine (The Objectivist , as well as The Objectivist Newsletter), books by other authors which will be endorsed in this magazine as specifically Objectivist literature, and such individual lectures or lecture courses as may be so endorsed. (This list includes also the book Who Is Ayn Rand ? by Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden, as well as the articles by these two authors which have appeared in this magazine in the past, but does not include their future works.)
– “A Statement of Policy, Part 1” The Objectivist (Jun 1968/7:6, but written and sent out later)
The Ayn Rand Institute: The Virtue of Selfishness
Freedom — Ayn Rand Lexicon
Individual Rights — Ayn Rand Lexicon
Ayn Rand Nation a book by Gary Weiss
Reviewed by Sara Rolph
HBL – The Harry Binswanger List
”And he has some rather primitive emotional reactions.
Riffing on Jews and capitalism, Weiss tells us “The only capitalists I ever saw were overworked storekeepers, snarling gypsy-cab drivers, and smack dealers on 135th Street. She [Rand] saw a free, unregulated market as the defining institution of a free society. To me, a free, unregulated market was Benny the Goniff selling fruit from a stall in front of a butcher shop on Kingsbridge Road, screaming “Whoaaaa! We got melons here!” in a high-pitched Yiddish accent, sneaking rotten fruit into the bag and counting out ten when a dozen were ordered.”
Yes, that really is a direct quote from the book (page 14). It gets worse. Weiss continues: “Benny’s spirit drifted downtown to Wall Street. In place of Benny the Goniff as my archetypical capitalist was a new cast of characters. … Instead of red-faced Benny in his stained undershirt there was the esteemed electronic-trading advocate Bernie Madoff in his monogrammed underwear. Both blended together in my perceptions, small-time and big wheel.”
RRD:I have not read the book,but if this passage is at all a accurate representation of Weiss’ views then he is a loathsome anti-semitic wretch.(Again if accurate):
…” Yes, that really is a direct quote from the book (page 14). It gets worse. Weiss continues: “Benny’s spirit drifted downtown to Wall Street. In place of Benny the Goniff as my archetypical capitalist was a new cast of characters. … Instead of red-faced Benny in his stained undershirt there was the esteemed electronic-trading advocate Bernie Madoff in his monogrammed underwear. Both blended together in my perceptions, small-time and big wheel.”…
You see what happens when you let the moneychangers into the ?Perhaps ”Benny’s spirit” corrupted the poor Christians of Wall Street.
Perhaps Benny is Satan?
One wonders if “Benny the Goniff”–if he exists–has a big nose?
Does ”Benny the Goniff” count his Ducats obsessively?
Does ”Benny the Goniff” really “act his color”,as racists say of African-Americans.
Once again we are presented with the anti-semitic ”madonna-whore” trope of the ”good selfless Jew”(Portia mayhap?) vs the ”bad selfish Jew” (Shylock).
In this fantasy Jews are either helpless,martyred downtrodden victims who were ”born to suffer” (ala ”The Suffering Servant”) ,or else they act out the, ”baser aspect of the Jewish Character” as ”Capitalists” like Madoff,(actually Rand believed that Madoff would be a criminal in a capitalist society).
In fairness Weiss may not see the implications of his statements,but then–if the review is accurate–he sees so little anyway.
After losses, Santorum sets Penn as do-or-die | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner
….”Wisconsinites have spoken!” Rep. Paul Ryan said as he introduced primary winner Mitt Romney at a victory party in Milwaukee Tuesday night. “Republicans are unifying!”….
RRD:The polls do tend to indicate that Wisconsin Republicans are unifying,but contrary to the delusions of Ryan there are a few races that remain before we have a nominee,much less “unify” behind such a nominee.For a example of the kind of wild enthusiasm Romney invokes among Conservatives I thought I would repost the following by Judson Phillips:
A letter to the Republican Establishment – Tea Party Nation
….” You proved you could get Mitt Romney nominated without conservatives. Of course you guys are the one’s who drove the Republican Party to the brink of political extinction in 2006 and 2008. Why should you pay attention to the Tea Party, the group that single handedly saved the Republican Party in 2010?
At this point, you need to buy a clue.
You cannot win the White House without us.
In surveys we have done, 25% of conservatives surveyed said they would not vote for Mitt Romney in the General Election. Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to set records, not only for the amount of money they raise, both legally and illegally, they are also going to set records for the number of dead people voting as well as people voting early and often. After all, it is the Chicago way.
If 25% of the Republican base is checking out, you are not going to win the White House.
So how do you get the conservatives you made a point of ignoring in the primary back into the fold?
First, someone better tell Romney to choose a conservative VP. Chris Christie isn’t a conservative.Neither is Tim Pawlenty. If you want a conservative, think Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio or Rand Paul.
If you give us another “moderate” or a liberal as the Vice President nominee, we will not be there. ”…..
RRD:I sympathize with Mr.Phillips,but think that he is naive if he expects Romney to care.I am also not sure what surveys he is referring to,my own ad hoc count,based on comments I’ve seen on Facebook and other sites,would be closer to 10-15% who will not vote for Romney in the general election,myself included.
Of those most will not vote for any presidential candidate and about a third are already setting up Gary Johnson 2012 signs on their lawns and placing Gary Johnson bumper stickers on their cars.I know of at least two bloggers(other than myself)who will not support Romney,and a number who will do so,but who will do so bitterly.
But back to why I believe Romney does not care:he lives in a alternate reality.
In Romneyland the way to get independent voters is to make “the conservative case for the Individual Mandate”,a position that puts him to the left of the Independent Voters he is courting.
In Romneyland Romneycare is a asset,not a liability(fn1)
In Romneyland everything that we have heard thus far,about Obamacare,Global Warming etc is simply something to be forgotten about,erased & ignored,once the general election starts.You see it’s like ”an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again ”.(fn2)
In Romneyland elections are not about beliefs and principles,they are about “electability”.(fn3)
It’s true that some believe that Romney will have no choice but to pick a Conservative,but that view is based on two assumptions,neither of which may be true:
1.That a conservative will accept the “honor”.
2.That Romney doesn’t take the base for granted.I believe that Romney’s view is much closer to that of the Republican strategist who once advised him;Mike Murphy.
This is Murphy’s view of both the Republican base & the Democratic base:
To go forward, GOP must snap out of its Sarah Palin spell Mike Murphy – NY Daily News
…..”Look at the crowds she can draw, I was told. She “excites the base.”
Phooey. Every presidential election year brings forth some new nugget of conventional wisdom from the media elite that totally misses the real picture. Last year, the big wrong idea was this notion that base voters have somehow become the new swing voters. We are now told the party base – those voters who will vote for a bag of cement if it has an R or D attached to it – must be carefully appealed to, romanced and appeased.
Under that funhouse reasoning, Palin was an inspired pick.”….
And if Mr.Murphy is correct,(and this is the mindset of many of those advising Romney),if the base will vote for “a bag of cement if it has an R….attached to it” then why shouldn’t Romney follow the advice Murphy offered John Mccain:pick someone like Tom Ridge to show how “independent” you are.
Indeed,Jonah “try a little Pinochet(fn4)” Goldberg,(perhaps competing for the “most unprincipled and short-sighted conservative columnist award”) ,recently offered this gem of a column,in which he explains that Romney’s hypocrisy is irrelevant,since Obama is also a hypocrite,and that Romneycare will actually help Romney with some nano-segment of the population who mindlessly accept whatever the Today Show tells them about everything except for Obamacare and Romney:
Obamacare Will Be Romney’s Savior – Jonah Goldberg – Townhall Conservative Columnist
….” Indeed, throughout the debate season,Santorum and others constantly insisted that Romney can’t attack Obamacare.
The funny thing is: Even as they were saying he can’t attack Obamacare, Romney was — you guessed it — attacking Obamacare. Romney has been attacking Obamacare since its inception. “I’ll stop it in its tracks on day one!” he promises constantly on the stump.
… Yes, Romney might be inconsistent to attack Obamacare, at least on the mandate, but there’s no basis in reality to say he “can’t” attack it nonetheless.
Obama opposed the mandate vociferously when running against Hillary Rodham Clinton, but that didn’t stop him from fighting to make it the law of the land.”…..
RRD:Santorum made his best statement when he said:
…..“The debate right now is fundamental and there’s one candidate in this race who can actually make the contrast that is necessary to take the Republican position, conservative position,” Santorum said outside the Supreme Court on Monday. “There is one candidate who is disqualified to make the case.”….(fn5)
And no I am not endorsing him(fn6)
But Goldberg is equivocating when he says that Romney’s critics are wrong to say that he can’t attack Obamacare,what they clearly mean is that Romney cannot make a fundamental,political-moral argument against it without being hypocritical or rejecting his previous position.
And as to the claim that Romney’s
hypocrisy is irrelevant since Obama is also a hypocrite;so the GOP should seek to emulate a hypocritical Democrat,with the main distinction that Obama will have a overwhelming advantage in having the press point out Romney’s hypocrisy while ignoring Obama’s?
….”Moreover, the broader bipartisan assumption that Romney will be hurt by Romneycare in the general election is deeply flawed.
First of all, Obamacare is unpopular (a fact a lot of political coverage conveniently overlooks). That’s why Democrats don’t talk about it on the stump, and neither did Obama for a very long time — until the Supreme Court forced him to re-acquire political ownership. If the court upholds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama is not going to want to remind voters of his responsibility for an unpopular piece of legislation. If the court throws it out, Obama is not going to want to remind voters that his signature accomplishment — which distracted him from a bad economy and cost the Democrats the House — was so flawed that the court had to reject it. Either way, Obama will not be racing to talk about health care. But Romney will.”
RRD:To paraphrase Goldberg ”the funny thing is: Even as Goldberg is saying Obama won’t trumpet Obamacare, Obama
is–you guessed it trumpeting Obamacare”.Indeed,if Goldberg emerged from his pragmatist cave long enough to look at the world he would see that Obama has beamed with pride when speaking of something,which he does,in fact,regard as his “signature accomplishment”,and yes he has been doing so since before the case came up before the Court.The most notable recent case was in a 60 Minutes interview in which he boasted that he had achieved more in his first two years than any President had with the ”possible exceptions” of LBJ,FDR and Lincoln.
Obama is neither a pragmatist nor a fool.He will not make the election a referendum on Obamacare,but he will confidently defend it.Indeed,I would not rule out the possibility that if the law is thrown out,Obama would declare his intention to pass it again!Goldberg like many who have helped give “the stupid party” its name,does not seem to grasp that while he and others are focused on “beating Obama” Obama is quite serious when he says that he would rather be a “successful” one term president,than a “unsuccessful” two-term president.While the Republicans are dutifully playing their role of inspecting a centimeter of the bark of a particular tree,the left is laying multi-decade plans for cutting down the forest.
….”It’s often said that Obama will respond to Romney’s attacks by saying the mandate was based on Romneycare. Romney will respond, “Well, you did it wrong” and promise to repeal and replace the law. ”
RRD:Did what wrong?Force people to buy health insurance the wrong way?What is the right way to destroy liberty?On a state by state level?Did Obama institute Socialized Medicine the wrong way?What is the right way?
Will Romney explain to Obama the correct,conservative way to institute socialized medicine?
“Besides, Romney will have plenty of other lines of attack: the raid on Medicare, the rationing board, the tax hikes, the religious liberty issues, the creation of a vast new entitlement when the existing ones are crushing us with debt, etc.”
RRD:So Romney will argue that Medicare should not be cut when the existing entitlement programs are crushing us with debt?He will defend ”religious liberty” & defend the state government’s right to force people to buy health insurance & the state government’s right to force Catholic Hospitals to provide the Morning After Pill?
You didn’t know about that last?
FLASHBACK: Romney Does Flip-Flop and Forces Catholic Hospitals to Distribute Morning-After-Pill | LifeSiteNews.com
….”Meanwhile, the independents and moderates who dislike Obamacare, but who are not libertarians, will most likely see Romneycare as evidence that Romney is not one of the right-wing crazies the “Today” show keeps warning them about.”….
RRD:Mr.Goldberg who are these “independents and moderates who dislike Obamacare,but who are not libertarians”?I have heard of this exotic species,indeed Romney’s staff speaks of them to Politico(fn8),but I have yet to encounter them.Why do they dislike Obamacare,and is their dislike sufficient to vote for a man whom the Today Show will tell them day in and day out,is a heartless,ruthless,sociopath,who destroyed jobs for profit at Bain Capital,and who wants to kill them and drag them into a unneccessary war with Iran,while the children of the poor die from lack of health care?
I would submit to Mr.Goldberg that one cannot simultaneously be the kind of person who forms their opinions based on what the Today Show tells them,& yet oppose Obamacare & vote for Romney.
“This will kill that”
What’s more,given the reality(which does not seem to have sunk in with ideological con men like Goldberg and Fehrnstrom),that a politicians statements live on forever,and that the only issue is whether they will get wide coverage,they are just as likely to beleive that Romney is a deceitful hypocrite.
I will conclude by noting that many decades ago,Ayn Rand correctly identified many of the problems in the Conservative Movement in a article entitled “Conservatism:A Obituary”:
“Conservatives” — Ayn Rand Lexicon
…..”If the “conservatives” do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values, no leadership to offer anyone.
Yet capitalism is what the “conservatives” dare not advocate or defend. They are paralyzed by the profound conflict between capitalism and the moral code which dominates our culture: the morality of altruism . . . Capitalism and altruism are incompatible”….
…..”What is the moral stature of those who are afraid to proclaim that they are the champions of freedom? What is the integrity of those who outdo their enemies in smearing, misrepresenting, spitting at, and apologizing for their own ideal? What is the rationality of those who expect to trick people into freedom, cheat them into justice, fool them into progress, con them into preserving their rights, and, while indoctrinating them with statism, put one over on them and let them wake up in a perfect capitalist society some morning?
These are the “conservatives”—or most of their intellectual spokesmen”…..
Mitt Romney or not, GOP is coming for ‘Obamacare’ – Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com
…..“The debate right now is fundamental and there’s one candidate in this race who can actually make the contrast that is necessary to take the Republican position, conservative position,” Santorum said outside the Supreme Court on Monday. “There is one candidate who is disqualified to make the case.”
….”Romney and his aides view things differently: Since the outset of his 2012 run, they have privately predicted that “Romneycare” would be an asset in the general election that could help cast Romney as a kinder, gentler kind of Republican that swing voters can embrace.
More recently, Romney has sought to reassure conservatives by vowing to scrap the federal law “root and branch,” though he has also pointed to the Massachusetts law as an example of his compassion as a governor.”
…”Host: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?
Fehrnstrom: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”….
Mitt Romney: The Consummate Etch A Sketch | RedState
Not a parody:Romney Surrogate: Electability Should Trump ‘Beliefs & Principles’ #aynrand #2012 – fightingstatism
Try a little Pinochet – Sun Sentinel
see Mitt Romney or not, GOP is coming for ‘Obamacare’ – Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com
Why Santorum Must Be Defeated – fightingstatism
Obama: I’ll put my record up against any president
”PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we’re not done yet. I’ve got five more years of stuff to do. But not only saving this country from a great depression. Not only saving the auto industry. But putting in place a system in which we’re gonna start lowering health care costs and you’re never gonna go bankrupt because you get sick or somebody in your family gets sick. Making sure that we have reformed the financial system, so we never again have taxpayer-funded bailouts, and the system is more stable and secure. Making sure that we’ve got millions of kids out here who are able to go to college because we’ve expanded student loans and made college more affordable. Ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Decimating al Qaeda, including Bin Laden being taken off the field. Restoring America’s respect around the world.
The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do. And we’re gonna keep on at it.”…..
Mitt Romney or not, GOP is coming for ‘Obamacare’ – Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com
RRD:Can you imagine what would happen with a Liberal establishment RINO like
Romney as defacto head of the GOP?As I noted before the establishment wants to purge the GOP of Conservatives,or co-opt them.
What can we expect if #Romney leads the GOP?A purge of conservatives from the #GOP . | Glory to man in the highest
Manzullo: Cantor should step down for interfering in primary – The Hill’s Ballot Box
…..”Manzullo has been helped by local Tea Party members, some of whom supported Kinzinger in 2010 but have been sorely disappointed by the freshman’s voting record. He received the backing of Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) over the weekend and has the support of conservative national groups including FreedomWorks, the Family Research Council and a dozen others.
“Kinzinger’s only been there a few months, but he’s an establishment vote,” said David Hale, the head of the Rockford Tea Party and a Manzullo backer. “He is not a Tea Party conservative”…..
The myth that Robert Tracinski was arrested by the Secret Service has been debunked by Robert Tracinski himself
RRD:On Sunday February 12,2012
a individual identifying himself as ”Ronbo Soldier” posted this story:
The Freedom Fighter’s Journal: ROBERT TRACINSKI – INTELLECTUAL LEADER OF THE TEA PARTY – ARRESTED BY SECRET SERVICE?
It’s a hoax.
(Or at best the ravings of a lunatic.)
I don’t know with certitude whether “Ronbo Soldier” himself made it up,or whether a hoax was played on him,or whether the person who allegedly sent him the e-mails was insane.(Though Mr.Tracinski believes ”Ronbo Soldier” made it up.)
Tracinski publicly popped up on his Facebook page here.
Fortunately,& contrary to the views of statists,the internet,the same mode of communication that makes it easy to spread rumours and myths,can also debunk them.
It does not need government ”fact checkers”.
A thinking people can act as their own fact checkers.In this case,less than a day after the fact,it was exposed by the alleged victim himself.
We may err for awhile,but we can correct our own errors without needing minders or ”gatekeepers”.
The answer to false speech is MORE speech.
RRD:One of the most oft repeated arguments for Romney(just as it was for Mccain)is the “electability” argument.
Or as I call it:the “electability myth”.
The myth is not that there is no such thing as real,actual electibility,with the flip side being that “anyone can win”.
The myth is that a candidate’s electibility can be determined nine months in advance of a election.
People who have no qualms about saying that ”the Teaparty will just have to fall in line”,nine months in advance of the election,in defiance of the Teaparty’s current ”anyone but Romney” stance,
will nevertheless treat today’s polling data showing Romney as electable,(& conversely showing Gingrich,Paul,Santorum as unelectable) as if it was the Law of Conservation of Energy.
Something that is immutable.
The moods & whims of the ”undecideds” are afforded similar awe.
One wonders why we should bother having elections at all?
Why not just take a poll on the day of the nominating convention & declare whoever leads as President?
Any Pollster worth his salt will tell you that you cannot predict the outcome of a election months in advance,(or even weeks ,if it is remotely close),but all that gets tossed out the window by the Rockefeller Republicans who claim that they would like to be ”pure”,but alas,”elections are won in the center”.
The actual motive behind many of the ”Romney is electable” mantras(fn1) is to dismiss anyone not LEFT OF CENTER as unelectable (both Mccain & Romney were left of center on Global Warming,Romney is additionally left of center on the Individual Mandate).
Having lost the philosophical argument,Rockeffeller Republicans have adopted a new “practical” argument:”Elections are won from the center”.Except that their “centrists” keep going down in flames.(Murkowski and some others being notable exceptions).
Carly Fiorina was supposed to be ”electable”.Along with Meg Whitman.Along with Arlen Specter,(versus the unelectable,since elected Sen.Pat Toomey.)
”Obamacan” Charlie Crist(whose advisors are now advising Romney)
was a supposedly unbeatable candidate,versus the ”nice,but unelectable” Sen.Rubio.
Crist,a pathological liar & flip flopper,hated by the base,lost the nomination & RAN AS A Independent,and,in what must be the most brazen act of narcissism outside of the White House, instructed his Democratic opponent to ”be unselfish” & drop out of the race.(His opponent,Meek,displayed more self-respect & courage than some ”conservatives” who have shilled for Romney & basically told Crist,& probably also Bill Clinton if the rumors are true, to go to hell).
I do not trust polls.Particularly when they are nearly a year in advance of the elections.
This does not mean that a honest person cannot look at the polls and conclude that Romney is the candidate who is most likely to beat Obama.But they cannot treat their extrapolation as if it were a fact of nature.Nor can they say that ”Since the polls say, that IF the election were held today,Gingrich etal would lose”,therefore ”Gingrich etal CAN’T win”,because the ELECTIONS ARE NOT BEING HELD TODAY.You cannot know what people will do if given the choice,in the real world,of GOP candidate X vs Obama.
You can make guesses & projections,but THAT IS ALL YOU CAN DO.A ”hypothetical matchup” does not take into account:debates between the Republican and the Democrat,errors or gaffes by the candidates,the effect of ads that have yet to run,(both positive & negative),real & invented scandals.
Anyone who claims to know the outcome of a election,with certainty,is a liar or a fool.
One can make predictions about the outcome.
But one cannot anoint candidate X as ”the only candidate who can beat Obama”.
Teaparty members,Libertarians,Conservatives & Objectivists should take any claims of ”electability” with a grain of salt.
They should not dismiss them,but they should scrutinize them carefully to see if they have a rational justification.They should also study the history of elections to gain context on some of these claims.
1.Not all.But when you have “Progressive” Republicans,and establishment Republicans consistently predicting defeat for Toomey,Rubio,Reagan etc while ignoring the fact that Fiorina,Ford,Dole,G.H.W.Bush & Mccain went down in flames, it is legitimate to question whether they are ”just interested in winning”, or whether they want Rockefeller Republicans whether they win or lose.
PJ Media » State GOP Establishments Attack Their Base
…”Florida, Congressman Allen West, a Tea Party favorite, has seen his name floated as a potential vice presidential nominee. That clearly hasn’t impressed the state’s legislature, which has redrawn West’s district “to include substantially more Democrats within it … many more than other Republican incumbents.” The “inspiration” for this move is state Fepresentative Will Weatherford, who just so happens to be Mitt Romney’s Sunshine State spokesperson. Why am I not surprised? In response, West announced that he will run for “reelection” in a different district.
In heavily Catholic Pennsylvania, Democrat Senator Bob Casey is extremely vulnerable, both for generally hewing to the Obama agenda and for his support of ObamaCare, which among other things has led to regulations effective next year which would force all hospitals to provide contraceptive services with no conscience exceptions. Sadly, the Keystone State’s GOP, which stuck with Democrat-turned Republican-turned Democrat Arlen Specter for decades while treating conservative stalwart Pat Toomey like a leper, is on track to blow it. Under intense pressure from Governor Tom Corbett, who seems to have forgotten that he owes his job to Tea Party supporters who latched onto his promise not to raise taxes, the party has endorsed Steve Welch over three other far more acceptable contestants. Welch voted for Obama in 2008 and supported Toomey’s far-left U.S. Senate opponent Joe Sestak (4% lifetime Club For Growth rating) in 2010. From all appearances, based on after-the-fact complaints I have read and an advance warning that it would happen from Christopher Friend, the party which opposes “card check” in union organizing failed to hold a secret endorsement ballot”….
RRD:I have said this again and again;the GOP establishment wants the Teaparty dead.Co-opted.Erased.Wiped out.GONE.This is war and the Rockefeller Republicans are our mortal enemies,not our part time allies.They are not “whipped dogs”,as Robert Tracinski put it.Look at the case of Neville Chamberlain for a example:Many believe that Chamberlain was some kind of weakling.He wasn’t.He fawned over Hitler,seeking his approval.But he was absolutely vindictive to anyone in his own party who defied him(see Lynne Olson’s Troublesome Young Men fn1).
Mccain was another,more recent example:he reassured us that “we had nothing to fear” from a Obama Presidency,but when any Republican challenged him,he “did whatever it took to win”.He mocked the Teaparty as ”Hobbits”,(bizarrely since the Hobbits were heroes)for having the temerity to believe that there was a actual moral conflict in whether we spend ourselves into collapse.These people are our enemies.The country cannot be saved by a ”opposition party” that is nothing more than a watered down version of the Democrats.
It may not be savable AT ALL.
But it certainly CANNOT be saved by ”Conservatives”(like Romney) who make ”the conservative case for the individual mandate”.
Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped … – Lynne Olson – Google Books
Time to Purge the Republican Party Jan 18, 2012
…”Most Republicans protest that this isn’t the right time for a purge. They hope that opposition to Obama will unite Republicans around a Paper Republican. The problem with this logic is that it always justifies a Paper Republican candidate, because the Democrats will invariably run somebody worse. And Paper Republicans don’t help matters. The Republican Party has, for the last half-century, consolidated liberal gains and trimmed around the edges. The result has been an unstoppable juggernaut of government growth and the loss of traditional American freedoms. The Paper Republican experiment has been a dramatic failure for conservatives.
We are now at a crisis point. More Democratic rule is the highway to hell; more Paper Republican rule is the slow road to the same destination. It’s time for the Republican Party to present a true conservative alternative. Anything else is suicide by inches.”…