Monday, March 10, 2014

Gliding Over All -- UPDATE

(NSFW due to violence)

As long as you live in the Beltway Bubble, and have no real stake in anything going on outside the Bubble, and believe in faeries, the Little Folk and True Conservatism you can do very well.

For example, Andrew Sullivan:
I find myself wanting Paul to go the distance in the 2016 primaries. No, that’s not because I want Clinton to win (if she’s the Democratic nominee). It’s because Paul would facilitate a younger demographic for Republicans, and that can only be good – for the GOP and the rest of us.

Perhaps the most crippling disadvantage the GOP now has is its dependence on seniors for political clout. ...
No, the most crippling disadvantage the GOP now has is its dependence on crackpot economic theories and a Hobbsean Randite ideology tarted up to look like Christianity. But please, go on. And to save time,   Let me summarize the next few paragraphs:
Something something gay marriage, pot and the surveillance state. 
And then:
... Unless the GOP manages to find a way to re-brand itself with the next generation, it is facing an existence on life-support – and each pandering message to the Fox News demo will only serve to alienate Millennials.

Rand Paul is one answer to this. If he were to run against the archetypal boomer, Hillary Clinton, around the themes of individual liberty at home and non-interventionism abroad, he could immediately put the GOP on the Millennial side of this generational struggle. Even if he were crushed by Clinton, the GOP’s image would be re-made in a way much more attractive to the under-30s.

His main problem, it seems to me, is racial.

The libertarian position on the Civil Rights Act, while bracing as an intellectual critique of expansive government, is nonetheless toxic to the next generation. Ditto the Republican base’s view on immigration.
Someone who has Mr. Sullivan on speed-dial please remind him for the 1,000th time that racism is not a GOP bug: it's a feature. That it was baked onto the Republican motherboard -- on purpose -- way back when Mr. Sullivan was still in diapers.

If he is suggesting that the GOP abandon its Southern/Christopath Strategy, well, Liberals would certainly approve. Just as we would have approved of jettisoning this ancient evil as an electoral Ring of Power back in the 2000s when Karl Rove was using it to run the table, or back in the Jesse Helms 90s, or back in the 1980s when Reagan was strapping jet engines onto Nixon's original 1960s plan to turn the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Jefferson Davis.

In other words, to get where Mr. Sullivan wants them to go, all the GOP will have to do is what Liberals have been telling them to do for two generations: drive their bigots and their anti-science goons into the sea. Which means losing -- and losing big -- in both in general elections everywhere for years to come, and in the primaries, where the NeoConfederates you just kicked to the curb will no doubt come roaring back, animated with all the money and media muscle that Koch brothers and Roger Ailes can give them.

UPDATE: And the idea that Rand Paul is the man for the job? Are you shitting me? (h/t jomike):
In other words, thirty years after Goldwater opposed a federal ban on job discrimination on constitutional grounds, he became one of the leading proponents of a federal ban on job discrimination. Even Barry Goldwater eventually rejected Barry Goldwater’s rationale for opposing the Civil Rights Act.
And yet, Rand Paul does not. Nor does Paul share Goldwater’s views on abortion. Indeed, Paul introduced legislation that would “extend the Constitutional protection of life to the unborn from the time of conception.”
The man CPAC favored to be the next President of the United States, in other words, makes the Godfather of conservatism look like Martin Luther King. Three decades after his own presidential race, Goldwater himself understood that the views he once championed were wrong. Yet Tea Party conservatives would foist these views upon the nation regardless.
Yes, driving bigots and anti-science goons out of our electoral politics is noble project, but to accomplish any of it, you must first do a very hard thing:  you must actually identify the Republican Party and American Conservatism as the pressing problem, and then you must do (as Teddy Roosevelt said) "what you can, with what you have, where you are" to burn them to the ground.

Or, if you dwell in the Bubble and the problems of little people do not affect you in any way, you can instead make like Mr. Sulliivan and float dirigibly above all human concerns, moving people and ideologies around on paper like so many variable in your own, private political fantasy league.

Mr. Sullivan continues in a "Ctd" post:
If [Rand Paul] wins the nomination, of course, all this would be moot, and we’d finally be able to see what might happen in a genuine libertarian were to become president. But even if Paul loses, he will surely open the debate in the primaries on this subject, and as Klein notes, be a thorn in the side of any future surveillance state enthusiasm in a Republican administration.

And indications of a genuine libertarian resurgence in the GOP are increasing...
Which would come as a helluva shock to David Brooks --
The Reemerging Republican Majority
Will Bush's popularity transform his party?
FEB 11, 2002, VOL. 7, NO. 21 • BY DAVID BROOKS

Nonetheless, the events of September 11 have shaken the political landscape and so made it possible for the Bushian lion to lie down with the McCainiac lamb (or vice versa)--at least on a policy level, if not on a personal level.

President Bush has broken the libertarian grip on the GOP. (Not only did he call for a grand foreign policy mission, he called for expanding Head Start and liberalizing welfare benefits for immigrants.) But there is still some way to go if he is to win over the independent voters from Purple America (the ones who are halfway between Red and Blue). The final McCainiac initiatives that Bush has not yet co-opted have to do with reform.

Bush has already indicated he will sign the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill if it should come to his desk. But an idea that would have a much more positive effect on the country is capital market reform. Enron has the Bush administration acting defensively, but it could spur a great conservative reform agenda that draws on both McCainiac and Bushian impulses. This would involve pushing through accounting and financial disclosure regulations that would make it possible for small stockholders and entrepreneurs to have faith that they can compete fairly in the financial markets. Such reforms, starting with the ones Arthur Levitt has proposed, would give the markets the credibility that is a prerequisite if Social Security privatization is ever to see the light of day.

If the Bush administration ever wends its way to a reform agenda, if it champions a national service initiative that has both military and faith-based components, if, most important, it prosecutes the war against the axis of evil, then President Bush and his aides will not only have done great things for America, they will have laid the groundwork for a governing Republican majority. And George Bush will have established himself, with FDR and Reagan, as one of the great transformational presidents of the age.
-- if anyone ever troubled Mr. Brooks to look back at all the absolute nonsense he has written over the years.


jomike said...

ThinkProgress's comparison of Paul to Goldwater:

is apt, though it immediately brought to mind the Driftglass Mantra "there is no Tea Party... there is no Tea Party..."

steeve said...

"each pandering message to the Fox News demo will only serve to alienate Millennials. Rand Paul is one answer to this"

Surely Sullivan has seen Rand Paul pander to Fox News a few dozen million times? Surely he can link two of his own friggin thoughts together?

These idiots can't even successfully be wrong anymore.

OBS said...

...genuine libertarian...

Since such a creature does not now exist, and has never actually existed, good luck with that Andy.

You can't even get people who claim to be libertarians to agree on what a "genuine libertarian" is -- it's all a con game. Snake oil. Smoke and mirrors. Good ol' Andy continues to fall for it.

Anonymous said...


Oh there are genuine libertarians. Except they don't really engage in politics. There are people out in places like Vermont, Alaska, hell in most states. People who live on their own, do their own stuff, fix their own shit, and have a rather live and let live attitude about things.

But there are no genuine libertarians on the media circuit or in politics because simply engaging in those activities kinda kills it off.

Oddly most actual libertarians cross so far over the fringe right they end up looking closer to genuine hippies.

I get my farmers market produce from actual libertarians in VA wine country. They're great people, and other than fighting against regulations and control of their small farms they don't bother with politics for shit.

They used to avoid it at all, till the government went after them for open air slaughtering and allowing their animals to mingle in the same fields. There are a lot of hippies and actual libertarians there. They produce some really good food, don't really vote (they only give a shit about local issues for the most part), and it's impossible to tell the difference between the two at times.

Though I'm sure Sullivan just knows them as the dirty hippies with the good food that show up in Dupont on Sunday when everyone goes to buy their groceries.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

So the GOP needs a new name...or else it'll face obliteration...

...isn't that the plot of "The Neverending Story"?

Enjoy your day.

---Kevin Holsinger

OBS said...

@Anon 9:06:

No. I know those people too. They still avail themselves of life in our society, police protection, shared services, clean water, etc.

A "genuine" libertarian would never be part of that. The supposed "genuine" libertarians don't even believe "society" exists in the first place.