Thursday, November 9, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

It is two days after an election which saw the Republicans lose their "permanent majority" rather decisively. Why did this happen? I have argued that the party earned its defeat by attempting to implement a religious agenda domestically while the public was "preoccupied" with the threat of Islamofascist terrorism.

At the same time, I never became comfortable enough with the idea, advocated by most prominent Objectivists, of voting for the Democrats to actually do so. Either they were wrong on this point or I have more thinking to do on the subject. Be that as it may, two days is short enough that it is still worth looking at some of the pre-election debate and long enough that some of the fallout from Election Day is becoming apparent.


I missed this Allen Forkum blog on the election until this morning.
Will Bush adopt even a few of these measure? Perhaps, but the prospects are worse than dim. Certainly the leftist-influenced Democrats will not. I'm hoping that it's still possible to influence Republicans and other Americans to begin fighting to win. However, voting for Democrats in order to hasten a change for better political alternatives could be the better strategy. I'm not yet convinced we've reached that point.
This is pretty close to where I was in my explicit thinking Tuesday. My gut feel was indifference to the results. My first stab at making sense of this conflict is that we were fast approaching the point at which the Republicans needed to be dislodged if we weren't there already. This is something I will be sorting out perhaps for some time.


A huge misgiving I have about the left is the increasing willingness it has shown in the past decade to forcibly restrict freedom of speech. For example, Michelle Malkin reports that David Horowitz was attacked just yesterday at Ball State, on his way to a speaking engagement.


Another misgiving I had about voting for Democrats was that their victory would cause the Republicans to "get the wrong message" and end up becoming more like the Democrats rather than understanding that it was their failure to live up to their own promises that got them into trouble. You doubtless already have heard that Bush has already gotten rid of Donald Rumsfeld in favor of Robert Gates, who believes we can negotiate with Iran. On top of that, Bush seems to have already conceded that there should be a minimum wage hike.

At first glance, it might seem that my fears are being realized. In fact, though, we are just seeing a man who has no fundamental objections to these things moving faster to his actual positions -- or at least being pushed to where he would go anyway. After all, we were already negotiating with Iran before the elections. Bush's accelerated buckling at the knees will hasten substantive debate or consequences. In that respect, this is a good thing. (I abstained in Bush vs Gore because I saw environmentalism as the major issue in that election. I couldn't vote for Gore, but I didn't see Bush stopping the environmentalists, either.)

And that's (mostly) all I'm going to discuss fallout-wise. I know. The Dhimmocrats are gleefully drawing up lists of Bush Administration officials to impeach or try for war crimes, and coming up with all sorts of idiotic legislation. but we knew they'd do that all along. (Well, okay, I didn't think they'd be screaming Gore/Kucinich in '08 so soon, but then I don't spend "enough" time at DailyKos!)

What will be interesting to see is how far gone the Republican Party really is. How many more of them need spine transplants, are essentially Dhimmocrats already, or are hell-bent on theocracy? The only substantive political debate going on in America is on the right. Do the better parts of the right really have a home? If so, will they evict their deadbeat roommates? This is what we'll learn.


Myrhaf delivers the quote of the day after he observes Arlen Specter winning reelection only to all but switch parties: "With politicians like Specter, the question is not, 'Is America on a highway to hell?' The question is, 'How have we survived this long?'"


Myrhaf also comments on Rush "Water Boy" Limbaugh's new-found sense of "liberation":
Rush Limbaugh tells us:
I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried.
You know what, Rush? It would have been better for America (and for your self-esteem) if you had not carried the Republicans' water when they did not deserve it. But instead of doing what was best for America, you did what was best for Republican Party power. There is a difference.
My initial reaction to hearing about this was about the same.

As a scientist, I have a saying that bubbles up to mind when I hear someone defending a view I think is rubbish: "Real scientists don't have pet theories." In the realm of politics, it would go something like this: "Real patriots don't 'carry water'."


Trey Givens reacts to the predictably mealy-mouthed assessments of our election results we're getting from abroad.
First of all, when anyone tells me what a virtue humility is, I have a nearly irrestistable urge to punch them in the face. My immediate thought is, "How dare you talk to me about humility?" Not because I'm so humble, I'm not, but because I don't see any reason to be more humble than I am.

Second of all, Americans have no business voting for the benefit of everyone else in the world. Whatever decisions are made in elections need to be on the grounds that it is what is best for America, so the world's opinion of our leaders be damned.

Finally, I think the fact that they're following our elections closely proves the point that America is awesome and we didn't get to where we are by being concerned about other people's feelings. [bold added]
If Allen Forkum is where I was before the election, Trey Givens is, at least in this respect, where I am now.


Apropos of nothing....

I just got a phone call -- despite being on the national "do not call" list -- with a recorded message informing me that "This call is impor--".


Important to whom?

God, I hate telephones sometimes.


Paul Hsieh writes a very good piece on why it is so crucial to root out attempts to transform America into a theocracy.
Although this may seem improbable now, those ideas may seem much more plausible to a country that has been softened up by a barrage of conservative Christian academics and intellectuals who have been teaching that America is a Christian country, that American virtue depends on its religiosity, that the very survival of America depends on the inclusion of religious values in the government, that the "wall of separation" between church and state imposed by the secular Left has been a major source of our problems, and that the attacks we have suffered are the price we are paying for ignoring these "truths". This misintegrated worldview could gain significant traction amongst a large segment of Americans who aren't otherwise armed with a opposing strong rational explicit philosophy.
Read it all. There are some especially alarming examples of bleeding edge -- This phrase seems particularly appropriate here! -- conservative thought on the matter of separating church and state at the beginning of the piece.


A Bush vs Jesus gag campaign ad has been making the rounds lately. Andrew Dalton says correctly, "Right attack, right target, wrong message."



File this away for future investigation: Martin Lindeskog has found a "guest blogging network" that purports to give feedback on which posts attract the most readers.

I am unsure of the utility of this for my particular niche, but it is still an interesting idea.


Grant Jones lays down the law on comments. I'm with him there, although I have another category of comments I will not post: The confusing. It doesn't happen that often, but once in a while, I will get a comment that just doesn't make any sense to me. I moderate comments, so those just don't get posted.

Hey! At least he didn't say, "I could just get drunk one night and start deleting comments at random."


Bo has found more submariner types who blog and wonders the same thing I do: Whatever happened to Periscope Jack?

That guy was, I am prety sure, the only one I found before Bo or Bubblehead! And it was a very well-done blog, too.


Myron asks, "How many of 'you' are there?" There are 49 of "him" in America. I have a rare first name and a common last name. There are 623 of "me" computed in that way. If I use my middle name (as I do on a daily basis, being named for my father), there are 1,564 of me.

But there is only one Gus Van Horn!

-- CAV

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