Archive for February 2008

I’m So Damn Prescient

The Fat Guy got him one of these.

I warned him not to come bitching to me when they are out of business in 10 months.

It’s been eight.

(Ok, he was right about the iPhone being a smash hit.)

Beldar and political consequence

Beldar asks some hard questions about the opposition to McCain.  As one of the ones in opposition to McCain, I am going to try to answer it as completely as I can, both for him and for Rachel and Bill Whittle and the others questioning the opposition.   My objections to McCain transcend any individual issues, and I do not reach this decision lightly.

I started my political life as a Big L Libertarian.  I really didn’t have a coherent philosophy in my early 20s, but I shared an office with a partisan Republican.  I was well steeped in talk radio because of this, but wasn’t whole hog on it.  I was certainly not a social conservative, but I was absolutely a fiscal conservative.  I assured my officemate that there wasn’t a party for what I was, and he informed me that I was wrong.  He showed me that I was a libertarian, and I think that we were both right — I am a libertarian, but the party for me was the Republican Party, not the Libertarian Party.

While I was working with the Libertarian Party, I tried to figure out what needed to be done.  My guiding light was Heinlein’s Take Back Your Government.  Unfortunately for the LP, it listed exactly why the LP was a terrible party.  Being an effective party requires winning offices, and the LP is unwilling to do what is required to win offices.  I later ended up breaking with them for a deeper reason, which I will explore later in the post.

The Republican Party, though, did win offices, for the reasons that the LP did not.  They were a big tent.  There was room to be a libertarian in the GOP.  The libertarian wing of the GOP is quite significant, and I don’t expect to see any significant dissent to that statement in the blogosphere.  The best the LP could muster was “being a symbol”, and all too often that symbol was libertine, not libertarian.  So I became a Republican, and because Heinlein was my guide, I became 100% Republican.  Here is the best section of the book:

Be partisan!

Be party regular. Vote the ticket in the fall of the party whose primary you voted in earlier in the year. Do all you can to enforce party discipline, not only among political workers, but, after election, on the part of your party office holders. Make ’em stick to the party’s platform.

Like all generalizations, this rule is subject to some exceptions, but the exceptions are very few, and you should spend several sleepless nights before deciding that a special circumstance merits an exception.

I can give you the thumb rule I use. I won’t vote for a man whom I know to be an outright crook, or treasonable to our form of government, or, in my opinion, having some other moral defect so gross to make him a public menace in public office. But I will vote for a dunderhead against a smart man of the party I am opposing. After all, all I am asking of the poor devil is that he represent me; the dunderhead, if subject to party discipline, can do so; the smart man from the other party is already pledged to vote contrary to my wishes in the respects in which the two parties differ.

The belief that it is somehow more “idealistic” to ignore party lines arises from a failure to understand the nature of the democratic process. Democratic government is the art of reconciling the desire of every man to do just as he damn well pleases with the necessity of setting up rules and agreeing on programs for the general welfare of all and the protection of each individual.

hen there are 140,000,000 individuals concerned the procedure has to be more formalized and more complicated than it is when a single family decides what movie to attend.

This is exactly why I can vote for George W. Bush, or Romney, or Huckabee, or even Hunter or Guliani, but not McCain or Paul.  I vehemently disagree with both Bush and Guliani on several key issues, and am distrustful of Romney and Huckabee’s records, but I can trust them to be Republicans when the chips are down.  I cannot trust McCain.

McCain is, first, a crook.  I have not forgotten his embroilment in the Keating 5, and I believe that he acted out of concern only for the money given to him, not any deeply held conviction or adherence to the wishes of his constituency.   I could get past it if not for the next two points, the last one being the biggest.

Second, I think he is treasonous to our form of government.   He has shown a deep-seated animosity to free discourse.  He seeks to regulate the most essential speech in a free society, political speech, and the power to regulate is the power to destroy.  I think that McCain adheres to a belief in power over rule of law, is distrustful of democracy, and I think that those beliefs are inherently fascist, in the classic Italian sense.  Even this, if I thought he was under party control, I could deal with.  80% fascist is better than 100% fascism from the Democrat party.

Most importantly, though, I don’t believe McCain to be a party man.  In fact, he relishes in his unwillingness to be a party man.  A lot has been made of McCain’s listing of 80 on the ACU ratings.  We have to look at that in context, though.  I looked up the 2006 ratings. (They are conveniently provided in spreadsheet form, for easy filtering and sorting.)  For a Republican, an 80 is a terrible rating.  In 2006, he was rated at 65.  Sixty five.  That put him as the 49th most conservative in the senate.  That’s a conservative?  That’s a party representative?  49 out of 55, people.  Bottom of the pack.  He doesn’t do much better in the lifetime ratings.  He comes in at 41 out of 55, with his “high” 82.3.  McCain is by no means a party representative.  He is the exactly the maverick he claims to be, and partisans should not vote for mavericks.  In fact, mavericks should never be given any significant power or push from the party in the first place.  That is where this is coming from.  The partisans are realizing what giving power to this maverick has wrought us.

McCain is crooked, fascist, and will not represent me or my party if elected.  I see no reason to be vote for him and be saddled with his “legacy.”

Dear Rachel: How far?

Rachel Lucas and others (notably Bill Whittle) are arguing for McCain.   I understand the argument.  I don’t agree with it, but I understand it, because I have been operating under it for the past nine years with GWB.  Here’s a question that I am not sure they have answered for themselves:

How bad does the Republican nominee have to be for you to not vote for him?

I believe that McCain is an authoritarian of the Italian Fascist model.  Really.  Would you vote for Mussolini to defeat Hillary Clinton?  Really?  Because that is where I am.  Where does your line fall?  At what point does the “R” behind a politician’s name stop mattering?

I do not see a difference between Hillary and McCain.  McCain is strong on the war?  So is Hillary.  Hillary won’t appoint conservative judges?  Neither will McCain — he orgainzed the Republican resistance to Bush’s nominees.   Hillary and McCain are cut from the same cloth — it is a choice between Mussolini and Stalin.  I won’t make it.  I’ll sit out and buy ammunition.

Whisky tango foxtrot

So I’m sitting in the Los Palampos in the SanAntonio airport having dinner. My seat overlooks the bar, which has three televisions. One is showing ESPN. One is showing CNN. And the last one is showing bawling hairlipped babies.

Seriously.

I got nothing against the hairlipped community. My own mother was born with a cleft palate that the Air Force promply repaired as an infant. I understand that these bawling hairlipped babies are third world bawling hairlipped babies who don’t have access to that sort of surgery without wonderful charities like the one running the infomercial. I applaud the effort.

But does the bar have to run it while I eat?

Inconcievable