If a Communist Falls in the White House and There’s No Microphone To Hear It, Does He Make a Sound?

6 09 2009

A cautionary note on Van Jones

It seems that Van Jones is resigning. Well, good. In typical Obama fashion it was a quiet deed done in the dead of night with no one around to hear the wheels of the bus go thumpty thump over a man who’s motto seems to be “better-red-than-dead.” Allow me to sound a cautionary note to those that are currently parading around the halls in triumph — Van Jones was low-hanging fruit. Hiring him was the kind of galactically stupid move only someone who’s never actually run anything other than a political campaign would make. It dovetails nicely with the colossal level of incompetence the Administration’s shown over the last nine months.

The thing is, this won’t last. Obama’s greatest weakness is that he no longer has a higher office to campaign for so he’s finally being forced to actually try to deliver. He’s not stupid, though. It’s a mark of just how powerful Obama’s position is — especially when it comes to the legacy media — is that what’s seen as a triumph for the Right is occurring in the dead of night with nary a peep from the New York Times and outright flackery from CBS.

Obamagician

Put simply, the Obama Administration will never be weaker than it is right now. If over the next year or so up until the mid-term elections the opposition can’t get it’s act together, articulate a coherent alternative that turns the Republicans into a party worth voting for and translate Obama’s mistakes into electoral victories, than low-level triumphs like this are all we have to look forward to for the rest of our soujourn in the political wilderness. Enjoy the moment, folks. I don’t want to take it away from you, but Obama’s still President for the next three years. This fight’s far from over.

If you’re looking for a great round-up of Van Jones goodness, you might want to hit up Stacy McCain’s site.

Edd Dricoll’s got lots of good stuff too.

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When All You Have is a Hammer…

1 09 2009

Had an interesting e-mail conversation with Dan over at Gay Patriot. During it, I was thinking about the conundrum he’s in — being gay and a conservative isn’t easy because of the identity politics mindset of the left. I never quite understood why being gay (or black or a woman) means you must also be for higher taxes, socialized medicine and government intrusion in your life, but this apparently makes perfect sense to today’s liberals and woe betide those who stray from the “approved” series of positions.

In the end, that’s why I have a bigger problem with liberals than I do with conservatives. Even when I agree with the cause (and when it comes to social issues, I’m pretty damned liberal), I loathe the tactics and the mindset, It’s not that the right doesn’t have lunatics and hatemongers, it clearly does, but it always seems to me like the left’s hate and desire to control others is closer to the mainstream of the progressive movement’s thought than those of the right.

I think that’s part and parcel of the “progressive” cause. When you view government action as an inherently good thing, the question becomes how best to direct that action to ensure the most just and fair outcome. They really believe in using the power of government to order society properly and assume that their opponents do as well. Thus for them the struggle is not between advocates of social control and libertarianism but between two competing visions of an ordered society — one a beneficent nanny state that cares for its citizens, the other a George Orwell “1984” one that oppresses them.

I think that’s why they get apoplectic when confronted with those that try to block their programs. To the people who believe that “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” and “The personal is political,” anyone not down with the idea of using government power to “help” must clearly hate those the program is designed for. It never even occurs to them that conservatives and libertarians might actually mean what they say — that government programs designed to help usually do more harm than good and that the less government, the better. Lets not forget — both “Brave New World” and “1984” were visions of socialism.

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Get Out of My Wallet, My Bedroom and My Videogames!

30 08 2009

You know, once upon a time, I thought that there was a real significant difference between the major political parties in this country. As I’ve gotten older however, I’ve learned that what unites them is far greater than what seperates them and what unites them is best summed up in the immortal words of River Tam in Serenity — they’re meddlers. The details of what they want to meddle in vary. Republicans seem to hate that people have sex, Democrats seem to hate that people have money and both of them do their level best to stop it from happening. Case in point: the FCC is considering imposing a single content rating system.

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The irony here is that the leader of this particular movement is a Democrat, though anyone paying attention really shouldn’t be surprised. For all their reputations as moral scolds and bluenoses, it’s been Democrats,not Republicans, who have led the crusades against gaming. Whether this is because the Democrats think they can pick up a few cheap “family values” points against a politically weak constituency or because Republicans are generally clueless when it comes to technology and the culture I’m not sure. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s probably a bit of both.

The worst part about this is that this is exactly what the ESRB rating system and the ESA were founded to prevent — and man oh man, don’t we miss Doug Lowenstein! By all accounts, the ESRB system is fair, relatively well managed and pretty easily understood — though they could do a better job on outreach. For the chuckleheads at the FCC however, I guess that simply wasn’t good enough. I guess a bureaucrat’s hands get itchy unless they’re regulating everything in sight so now comes yet another ham-fisted government attempt to put safety rails around existence. That’s why I’ve reach the “pox on both your houses” stage with both major parties. When it comes to voting, I look for an “I” for “Incumbent” and then vote for their opponent.

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The Liberal Lyin’ of the Senate

27 08 2009

The idea that death ennobles everyone has always mystified me. I mean people actually said good things about Richard Nixon when he died, which shows you how strong this tradition is. We’ll see this again now that the “liberal lion of the Senate” has passed on to whatever fate awaits him. As a strong agnostic, I don’t really know what that is, but if there is a life after death, I’d imagine that Edward “Ted” Kennedy has some serious explaining to do. As for me, This is not a tradition I subscribe to and even if I did, I think the statute of limitations ran out on that the instant Democrats and progressives used Kennedy’s still-warm body to try to ram through their misbegotten health-care “reform.” Death is death — what matters is the sum total of your life and I’m not a fan of Ted Kennedy’s.

Please note that this has nothing whatsoever to do with Kennedy’s political positions. While I disagreed with most of them (the man’s greatest legacy in the Senate is a poisoned judiciary approval process that continues to haunt us today.) He was perfectly entitled to hold them and certainly deserves credit for all he did to champion his beliefs. I’ll even give him credit where credit is due. His trip to South Africa in the 1980’s was a brave and good thing to do. His work with Reagan in the Soviet Union led to the release of a lot of Jewish refusniks including Anatoly Scharansky. COBRA? In a sane world that decoupled health care from employment this legislation would be completely unecessary but since we don’t live in that world, COBRA is an unfortunately necessary safety net, so mad props to you Mr. K!

This has more to do with what is by all accounts a life filled with moral and behavioral corruption of the worst sort. I understand that people can become alcoholics, but Kennedy used his power and influence to completely shield himself from the effects of actions that would have landed a lesser mortal in prison — or possibly on death row. A serial womanizer, Kennedy’s actions often went way beyond anything his brothers were accused of including partying with much younger family members in ways that may have led to a rape at the Kennedy compound. Then there’s the incident on the bridge — yeah, that one. What more can one say about that other than there’s a reason why there’s no statute of limitation on murder? Like I said, I don’t know if there’s an afterlife, but if there is, I’d imagine that Mr. Kennedy’s in the middle of a long conversation with Mary Jo Kopechne right about now.

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