Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Comeback Liberalism

John Hawkins has an interview up with David Frum, author of
Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again. Frankly, after reading the interview, I couldn't tell many of Frum's supposedly conservative responses from that of a liberal Democrat--don't worry about cutting taxes, give even more government handouts to low income groups, etc.

It seems that eventually politics gravitates towards the liberal side of the aisle. I think it's because in our society there are so many rewards for thinking like a Democrat--mainly because of the media--and coming up with liberal solutions to problems, and so few rewards for being in the conservative camp. Even Bill Gates, after making all of his billions, has drifted from being a capitalist to sounding like a socialist on many of the issues. Of course, it's always easier to use the system you're mocking to make your own cash and then to want to deny that method to other citizens once you're set. And then you can preach from on high about what a noble philanthropist you are!


Blogger N/A said...

I think the problem is both simpler and deeper than that.

Human beings are fundamentally lazy. Looking at the kinds of products available for sale, I don't think this can be meaningfully disputed even with examples to the contrary. If humans weren't lazy, laundry technology would have stopped at the mangler.

Well, which philosophy does a better job of catering to the lazy?

Which philosophy favors protecting people from their own choices?

Which philosophy favors taking money from people who earn it and giving it to people who don't?

Which philosophy defines morality down to the barest minimum standard of conduct?

Which side doesn't want to protect America because it might be hard?

There's really no compelling reason to remain a conservative these days. Most of the world has accepted the basic tenets of socialism to some extent, including (apparently) a majority in the GOP if the primary elections so far are any indication.

Liberalism is easy. Nothing difficult is expected of you, the government gives you money, and dangerous objects are either banned outright or severely regulated. You don't have to think about anything, because the government does it for you.

That's why liberalism is attractive. People value convenience over freedom-- a few billion Chinese can't be wrong, right? As long as we can have our iPods and government subsidies we don't care.

Frankly, given what looks like is coming in November, I'm tempted to switch party affiliations and go on the dole. At least I'll be able to spend more time with my wife and kid.

9:00 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I wish the conservatives would hurry up and hand over my $600.

9:02 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Danny said...

I agree with Greg- beinga liberal or a leftist s taking the easy way out. Hence its popularity amongst a large part of our population.
As far as Bill Gates- he has started like a socialist, because he has to protect his empire (which is a monopoly,BTW), from all manner of open source and other competing sofware.

Sorosis a socialist and America-hater too, because he wants the wealth of the world for himself. He cant bear tolerating a capitalist system, where some person might achieve the American Dream,and one day mihgt be richer and more successful than Soros hisself.

9:25 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


You know, it is tempting --going on the dole--or heck, just not working much so my tax bill is not so high. There is no incentive to put in too many hours and/or do anything productive, since there is a penalty for doing so. It's sad but true. Mediocrity is the wave of the future.

9:56 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Eric said...

I think a lot of the problem is in the old adage "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

When you're engaged in politics, solutions drift towards "What can the Government do?" and the answer "Nothing" doesn't tend to come up.

10:24 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

The socialist programs are tantamount to buying votes also. Elect us and we'll give you "free" health care, etc. The government can't give you anything without taking something away first. Some people don't seem to realize that getting Republicans elected is not necessarily as promoting conservatism.

As for Gates and those guys (including John Edwards), they are promoting a system with a ruling class which will benefit them. It's about power, control and self-aggrandizement.

The Bill Gates Foundation built the library about 2 miles from my house. His private charity did more for the little town of Aberdeen, OH's library system in one year than any government agency ever did. It seems he would understand the benefits of private over government.

10:55 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger cma said...

What conservatives?
Bush certainly isn't, and Congress (pre or post Democrat takeover) certainly isn't (not with their wild deficit spending and vote buying giveaway schemes).
Nor do I see any conservatives having a shot to win the 2008 Presidential race.

11:31 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Bush says he is a conservative. Is he not one?

11:44 AM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger cma said...

No, it doesn't. McCain, Romney, Giuliani, and Huckabee all claim to be conservatives, but their records say otherwise.
It's true that all (even Bush) have supported some conservative issues, but none have predominantly done so.
Hillary may also call herself a moderate (at least once the primaries are over), but her saying it won’t make it so.

12:07 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

The thing about Frums theory is that GW Bush was an example of it, The GOP controlled Congress whent along with his spending agenda ala "compassionate comservative" and it lost the Repubs their majority. Frum has it backwards. republicans win when they show a true alternative to the socialism of the Democrat Party.

2:30 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

Nah, it's not the media that's the problem but rather the media is what it is because of the problem. Madison warned about the danger of factions from the very beginning. Essentially, it works like this. Me and my special interest group has millions of dollars to lobby for everyone to pay out an extra quarter in taxes on our behalf. To us it's worth over $100 million to do that. For you to fight it, it's only worth a quarter, so almost always you will just let it go. And then, you can start your own special interest group: Married Women with Advanced Degrees in Psychology Who Champion Men's Rights, Have a Blog, Have Black Hair and Whose First Names are Helen (MWADPWCMRHBHBHWFNH for short), and construe everything to be a MWADPWCMRHBHBHWFNH issue that needs more funding or other "protections" from the government.

3:04 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Chinese and the Indians are right now competing to make a commercially viable automobile that will sell for $2,500.

The prototypes were on display in Detroit earlier this month.

That is a very significant insight into the future of the American middle class.

The U.S. is already a Third World economy, and without Wal-Mart there would already be a recognition of that.

Until an American "middle-class" family can live on $5.00 a day, we will not be "competitive."

Free market.

For who?

3:08 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


MWADPWCMRHBHBHWFNH--I like the sound of that. Yeah, those of us in that special interest group (there are maybe 3 of us, you know) have a lot of expenses.

3:21 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger wild chicken said...

That's why geeks like me fuss over someone's conservative credentials so much. When things get tough and the issues ambiguous, you need those principles to turn to. Plenty of seemingly establishment conservative & business types never developed core political principles to begin with, so it's not surprising that they drift to a juvenile liberalism and faux rebellion later on.

3:25 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger N/A said...



You win the prize.

Politicians in general, and Democrats in particular are doing exactly what you say: Buying votes.

But they're not just buying short-term gains for single candidates.

By creating entitlements, the creators create a constituency that can be frightened into fealty. Take social security (please!). When GW Bush proposed what I would call a conservative reform on Social Security, what was the Democrat response? They started telling old people that those mean old Republicans wanted to take away their checks. Never mind that it wasn't true. But they ginned up enough fear that the reform got killed.

Entitlements are like crack. Once you're on them, you never want to be off. And you will do just about anything-- even support a scoundrel-- to keep the supply coming.

3:43 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once in a while I'm tempted. I see those commercials for some book about how to get free money from the government, and I think - what if I did some research to find out how much federal largesse I'm "entitled" to? Wonder if I could just kick this whole "productive citizen" thing and live comfortably on government grants and subsidies? True, I'm the wrong sex and the wrong color to qualify for the well-publicized handouts. But you never know - there might be some program hidden deep within the Department of the Interior specifically designed to help people with my peculiar set of disadvantages.

4:56 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Let the prideful urge take hold and you too will want to micro-manage; it's the nature of the beast.

And those who have analyzed issues for a living (e.g. Frum, an opinion columnist), and/or had success in a field, think they know more about life in general than they really do and are quite prideful about that.

All in all, a wonderful argument for as much federalism as possible, because nothing trumps a false hypothesis the way a good example can.

5:52 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger SBW said...

Politics gravitate to the liberal because people—Republican and Democrat--gravitate to the liberal, when money is concerned.

Where is the support for a flat tax? A true flat tax.

Will you vote to give up your mortgage deduction?
Will you vote to give up your dependent deductions?
Will you vote to give up any deductions due to business expenses? Losses?
Will you vote to give up education deductions?
Will you vote to give up any charitable deductions?
Will you vote to give up any deductions based on your occupation(i.e. teacher, military, medical, etc.)?
Will you vote to give up any and all deductions, period.

Pay 20% of what your gross shows, no exceptions. A very simple calculation.

And a much smaller, and not nearly as intrusive, IRS. Most Republicans want that, but from my view sure as hell don’t want to pay the price.

How many conservative commentators on this board want that? I don't care about your so-called tax bracket, I care about your raw gross and how much was paid after rebate(Social Security and Medicare are another issue).

I am sure there are arguments for any of the tax breaks above. But then again, that is the very definition of a special interest group, looking for an exemption from the government. Most Republicans fit that bill.

1:05 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger cma said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:15 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger N/A said...


Seeing as how I don't itemize, I'd gladly vote for a flat tax rate. I don't even know if the proposed 20% would save me or cost me money. Let's assume it costs me money for the sake of argument.

In my opinion, it would be worth it for the peace of mind of not having to worry about being audited and penalized for the rest of my life for failing to carry a one.

Every year that I filed my own taxes, I left the post office feeling like I wanted to throw up. I'd gladly give up the standard deduction if I could once again do my own taxes without suffering an anxiety attack.

8:20 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Sid said...

Dr. Helen,

If my small company sponsors the MWADPWCMRHBHBHWFNH party, what will your agenda be? Are you pro or anti-playgrounds? Will you support our Zipline On Every Playground (ZOE-P) initiative?

And, the best short name I can think of sounds like Mawfin. Mawfin sounds a little like Muffins. I hope that is not disrespectful.


9:12 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

We can't use Mawfin! No men's movement related group can be called muffin -- good lord, man!

But, yes, I would gladly give up all my special tax breaks for a flat tax. But, I do also agree that we should build in some money for ZOE-P. And, also realizing that our children are the future, the safety of such equipment is of the utmost importance. So, no zipline can be more than 2 feet long and 2 feet high. (Now there's a government solution for you.)

9:27 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Memphis said...

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, they all made fortunes through the glories of conservative capitalism. And now that they've reached the highest they can go, they want to cut down the bridge and bar the door, so that no one else can do it, too. And as they're doing this, they want people to pat them on the back and say nice things to them. Their egos are as big as their bank accounts, apparently.

As for the supposedly conservative Republicans running for offices around the nation, it's clear that the entire Republican Party has no clue what happened in 2006 and what led up to it.

9:57 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

sbw: Yes to each and every option, and any others you can think of! There's no way it won't reduce the drain on the economy that is governmental confiscation and spending.

Better still, combine all of it into one that's built into the price of what you consume - a consumption tax, yeah, which seems fair, as we pay tax only for what we actually use - let's call it a Fair Tax! - and do away with the IRS altogether.

10:18 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


Yes, I support playgrounds for our kids, perferably ones that have large dangerous pieces of equipment that children can actually play on, perhaps like a merry go-round or a tall slide. I say we just call the party MAD for short--only one D to distinguish us from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). If we do have as well with our agenda as MADD has done to get their "agenda" passed, we'll be doing well.

10:44 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

If MAD gets its way with its wish to construct merry-go-rounds and tall slides on playgrounds my organization, Protect American Children From Themselves(PACFT), is positioned to request government funding to purchase encapsulated suits for any child who ventures onto such a dangerous piece of equipment. We will also request playground monitors to issue tickets to any child that refuses to wear the safety product while using a tall slide. Statistics show body armor on small children using playgrounds has reduced bruising from .0000005% to .0000002% of instances in playground related injuries, so one can see this is a smart taxpayer investment.

11:40 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger McWyrm said...

Danny said:
As far as Bill Gates- he has started like a socialist, because he has to protect his empire (which is a monopoly,BTW), from all manner of open source and other competing sofware.

If MS is a monopoly, whence all the competition?

11:53 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Sid said...


The party theme song could be "Do you know the Mawfin man, the Mawfin man...."

Dr. Helen,

Ziplines are as much fun as should be allowed on playgrounds. And no harnesses. Just a bar to hang on and the acceleration of your bests friend shoving you off the platform.

4:48 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

I have also noticed that some conservatives tend to have socialist tendencies, it seems common in Utah. I think the problem is that it takes a lot of self control and courage to be a good conservative. It is easy to say oh the government will take care of that.

Also there is the quote about being rich enough to be a socialist.

6:09 PM, February 01, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Cham: Bush says he is a conservative. Is he not one?

Romney also claims to be a conservative and unfortunately a lot of people are buying it! I actually think Bush has done better under the Democratic controlled congress then with the Republican one.

CMA: It's true that all (even Bush) have supported some conservative issues

Did Romney support any of those while governor?

SBW: I definitely support the Flat Tax, because I think it is the most fair. What I want to know is how much revenue it would generate and if we would still need corporate taxes. If the revenue is less than today then I am all for less spending.

mcwyrm: If MS is a monopoly, whence all the competition?

Do you prefer the term oligopoly?

2:35 PM, February 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

視訊做愛視訊美女無碼A片情色影劇kyo成人動漫tt1069同志交友網ut同志交友網微風成人論壇6k聊天室日本 avdvd 介紹免費觀賞UT視訊美女交友..........................

5:46 AM, May 20, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

葉晴貼影片影片轉檔程式情色影片foxy下載色情小說女影片免費下載a片aa免費看情色文學成人小說aa 片免費看影片 aa訊豆豆出租名模情人視訊aaa影片下載城男同志影片免費影片線上直播日本美女寫真集免費av18禁影片18成人卡通成人a片同志影片5278影片卡通影片做愛影片

3:53 AM, June 08, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home