If we both were born in another place and time

The title of Rick Perlstein’s recent piece says it all “There Are No More Honest Conservatives, So Stop Looking For One”:

“Who on the right does the best job of covering politics or the economy or anything else, for that matter, in a thoughtful, fair and accurate way?”

Maybe if I had a time machine and could travel back to the 1970s or 1980s, I could name names. Now, though, I can’t think of a single one.

[….]

Now, however, Buckley is dead—very, very dead. Will, meanwhile, is ensconced exactly where he belongs, with the haters, hustlers, haters, hacks and conspiratorial lunatics at Fox News—but also, unfortunately, still at The Washington Post, enjoying a handsome living by making up things about Barack Obama and Benghazi and calling climate change a hoax.

In a way, I’m not sure this is completely fair, in that there are very few honest people of any stripe in establishment punditry…but there’s no question that conservatives are much worse.

I think Bethesda 1971 is right to go back to conservatives’ embrace of supply side economics as the moment when the movement lost all intellectual credibility:

I suppose that before Reagan, there was a place for conservatives as a moderating influence on, e.g., spending.

Here’s Irving Kristol, always held up as some kind of an honest conservative superman:

This explains my own rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems. The task, as I saw it, was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority – so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government…

Math is hard, let’s go tea bagging.

Also too, why do people like Doug Mataconis (whom I would classify as a mostly honest conservative, even though I seldom agree with him) keep feigning surprise when one of their fellow travelers turns out to be a whack job:

Blackwell is a social conservative of long standing, so it isn’t at all surprising that he ended up at the Family Research Council, and this (blaming the UCSB shootings on teh they) is hardly different from anything else that one hears from people associated with that organization. Nonetheless, it is somewhat surprising that a state like Ohio would elect someone like this to statewide office.

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92 replies
  1. 1

    Ain’t no $$ in telling the truth. Lot’s of $$ in creating hysteria that smells of the truth and allows people to pretend they’re victims or heroes (or both).

  2. 2
    KG says:

    Also too, why do people like Doug Mataconis (whom I would classify as a mostly honest conservative, even though I seldom agree with him) keep feigning surprise when one of their fellow travelers turns out to be a whack job

    I’ve had some back and forth’s with Mataconis on facebook (mutual facebook friend of Emily Zanotti who runs nakeddc.com), calling him a mostly honest conservative seems fair. I think he and a lot of other conservatives, particularly those with libertarian leanings (not necessarily glibertarians), fall into the No True Scotsman trap a lot of times. They don’t see themselves as whack jobs (and often are fairly reasonable) so they can’t figure out (or believe) that people they’ve allied themselves with are nuts.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Bergdahl might start to miss the sanity of the Taliban if this keeps up.

  4. 4
    Tommy says:

    My father is a Republican. I feel sorry for him. Not that he is a Republican, but he can’t find a media outlet. He can’t/won’t watch Fox Noise. He is sane. You couldn’t pay him to listen to Rush or Beck. Let me say it again he is sane. He doesn’t think Obama is from Kenya. Black helicopters are not coming for us. Heck a background check to buy a gun isn’t evil. I got a gun permit, just in the off chance my father dies and I get all his stuff. That includes a lot of guns.

    I don’t tell my father what to think. I know he is smarter then I am. But I do hint that he might be a liberal and just not realize it. Ask him to ponder his views. That just maybe, just maybe he isn’t a Republican.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    Oops, wrong thread.

  6. 6
    Ash Can says:

    Mataconis showed himself to be pretty much in denial over his own misogyny right here on this site some time ago, so why wouldn’t he be in denial over other things too?

  7. 7
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    I guess I’d put up Larison and Dave Weigel as generally honest and sane conservatives. I wouldn’t imagine they have too much influence in Teabagger circles though.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    @Baud:

    ” Oops, wrong thread. ”

    Not to worry, that comment could go in either thread.

  9. 9
    the Conster says:

    Weirdly, Pat Buchanan made a ton of sense during the Iraq War – his postings on Anti-war.com were scathing about the neocon follies, if you overlooked his Nazi sympathizing, and anything to do with domestic policy, and his opus deism.

  10. 10
    Fred Fnord says:

    In a way, I’m not sure this is completely fair, in that there are very honest people of any stripe in establishment punditry

    You mean ‘very few’, I’m sure.

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I would nominate Josh Barro and Stephen Chapman, though I don’t follow everything they write, likewise Robert Costa who seems like a conservative-oriented reporter, which is what I think Dave Weigel thinks he is.

    I think the bigger problem is, as Perlstein suggests, liberals and and radical centrists (who probably think of themselves as liberals because they don’t hate gay people) who insist on pretending that Paul Ryan is a green-eye shade budget hawk.

    I suppose that before Reagan, there was a place for conservatives as a moderating influence on, e.g., spending.

    I can’t remember who pointed out that opposition to Kennedy’s tax cuts came from “fiscal conservatives”. Ryan and his ilk have successfully stolen that term to hide their anti-tax, anti-New Deal fanaticism, helped along by the wealthy “centrists” like Bloomberg, Tom Brokaw and swing-a-dead-rat-on-Sunday-morning, who hate paying taxes and pretend they’re really concerned about something called “The Deficit”

  12. 12
    Hobbes says:

    If Buckley is an exemplar of an civil, honest conservative then the standards are too low.

  13. 13
    Tommy says:

    @Baud: I joked here my family business is the military. I am the first person in like five generations that has not served. My dad was at my house. Sitting across from me when the news broke Bergdahl got home. He heard he was AWOL. Didn’t matter. He stood up and clapped.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    I love Rick Perlstein.

    I have a theory about Ken Blackwell. I think he’s bitter because Republicans only ran him for governor in a wave year for Democrats when the Republican had no chance of winning, especially an African American Republican. After that his political career was pretty much over. They gave him a fake shot at it, an impossible race in a year they knew they were going to lose anyway. He never had a chance. He got 37%.

    He works for the Family Research Council now. He’s for Ken Blackwell, now. He doesn’t care if national Republicans are pretending to moderate their position on gay people nor should he, really.

    When they run certain candidates is sometimes a better indicator than who they run. They gave him the worst slot possible, one they had already thrown away.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @the Conster: Pat Buchanan can read, do some arithmetic, and can at least formulate the premise of an argument, and work at least party way through a logical argument. But he has some crazy assumptions and ‘unknown knowns’ (or at least knowns that are unknown to anyone else) in his head that almost always derail things into absurdity or madness or nastiness, usually somewhere between the halfway mark and the end.

    In logic talk, a Buchanan argument is often valid, but also almost never sound. That is my IMHO.

  16. 16
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Strictly speaking, I think Weigel would identify as a libertarian of some stripe.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Hobbes: He was capable of playing one on TV.

  18. 18
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Tommy:

    Hey Tommy.Sorry to go off-topic, but I wondered how you lost your 100 pounds and how long it took you.

  19. 19
    Botsplainer says:

    I’m going to speak just for myself here, but politically, economically and socially, I’ve generally fit somewhere on a fairly conservative axis when it comes to implementing policy. In my case, it’s always been about good government, cost-benefit analyses and getting maximum bang for using government to leverage results that better people’s lives. I’ve long seen a positive role for government in this, and even when I wallowed in some shitty portions of the fever swamp, I liked good government, disaster relief, infrastructure, pollution control, affirmative action, equal pay, choice and didn’t give a shit if gay people wanted to make their lives as miserable as +50% of straight married people.

    A shorter way to put it, I may be conservative, but I’m not a conservative.

    This is why I’m such an enthusiastic Obot. The guy is conservatively progressive in a way that reflects my own caution about big moves and seeking consensus.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): Yeah, I can’t remember if I ever saw him say so but I gather the bloggy CW is that he’s a “pro-life” Paulite, Ron not Rand, AFAIK. I didn’t feel that strongly about him one way or the other till a couple weeks ago when he (with no irony I could discern) compared Trey Gowdie to Atticus Finch in a long and pretty incoherent piece undergirded by the notion that we need to get to the bottom of Benghazi!

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    Perlstein, not Perstein in the first line of the post.

  22. 22
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    That amazes me. I thought better of Dave Weigel than to come out with any such nonsense. Well, I guess we all have disappointments.

  23. 23
    Botsplainer says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    I’ve lost +45. Hormone replacement, some serious initial dieting and 2-3 hours of exercise a day, including weights. I quit looking at the scale – the yoyo was making me nuts as I began to add muscle mass (lifting quite a bit of weight – I’d been in really great shape before finishing kid’s leftovers).

    Back down to XL shirts and 40 trou, and suspect some 38 trou would fit.

    Thee pants were a big deal – they look like pants and not a pair of mumus.

    Rediscovering my neck was nice, too. Wearing a lot of bow ties and banded collars for casual wear. Suspenders look decent, and my gut doesn’t fold my belt over.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I have a theory about Ken Blackwell. I think he’s bitter because Republicans only ran him for governor in a wave year for Democrats when the Republican had no chance of winning, especially an African American Republican. After that his political career was pretty much over. They gave him a fake shot at it, an impossible race in a year they knew they were going to lose anyway. He never had a chance. He got 37%.

    He’s a sellout, Kay. Plain and simple.

    He never thought he could win. He is just about being paid.

    Any Black person who participates in what could be considered voter suppression, in any way, is nothing but a slave catcher.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @the Conster: Pat Buchanan’s problem with the neocons is that they are Zionists. You know what that means.

  26. 26
    catclub says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I liked good government, disaster relief, infrastructure,

    But the key is, … and am willing to admit they need to be paid for by taxes.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    @Hobbes:

    ” If Buckley is an exemplar of an civil, honest conservative then the standards are too low. ”

    Buckley was pretty upfront about his nasty beliefs compared to the current gang of reactionaries. Watch some old clips. Blacks were inferior and a nuisance to whites, and the whites could and should control them to keep things pleasant. Blacks should understand the whites’ concerns and not cause trouble. Communism was such a threat that a few nuke wars against it (far away from the U.S. of course) was no big deal. Any argument against the wisdom of the U.S. waging a nuclear war, or MAD doctrine was the equivalent of moral treason against the U.S. Only the ‘right sort of people’ should vote. The marginal utility of money income for rich person was probably just as great or greater than for a poor and worthless hobo, so progressive taxation was immoral and would lead to genocide.

    Buckley showed off a huge vocabulary, and had this weird high falutin’ sounding accent, and he was almost always civil, so maybe that is why he could drop these turds, with little argument, and be accepted.

    He also rarely chose strong debating partners for the topic of the day. I saw on old clip where the economist John Galbraith tearing Buckley a new a-hole for bamboozling a recent congressman gust on the economics of exhaustible resource taxation. Galbraith knew the economics backwards and forwards, and Buckley was full of BS and actually butt ignorant about the topic, and like Mornin’ Joe today, eventually responded by getting pissy and accusing Galbraith of some kind of obscure unfair uncivil tactics. So, yeah, ‘honest’ is a relative term in the field of Honest Conservative Studies.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: You’re a lot like me.

    Contemporary “conservatives” are not conservative. The Dark Lord, for example, rejects energy conservation as one of the tools in the box for American energy independence.

    These people are Mammon and Moloch worshiping scum. Neofeudalists, haters of the Enlightenment and egalitarianism, greedy Ferengi, racists.

  29. 29
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Bow ties for casual wear? Good God man, you are George Wills’ stylistic hero!

    Joking aside, 45 pounds is damn impressive. How long did it take you – and what was your exercise routine?

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    He never thought he could win.

    I think everyone who runs thinks they can win.

    It was a horrible year for them, and it wasn’t even really the national trend (which didn’t help) it was that they were wildly corrupt. State Republicans. They took workers comp money. It was more complicated than that, but that was what people said “they took workers comp money?”

    It was just: “they’ll do anything” People were horrified.

  31. 31
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Galbraith new the economics backwards and forwards, and Buckly was full of BS, and like Mornin’ Joe today, eventually responded by getting pissy and accusing Galbraith of some kind of obscure unfair uncivil tactics.

    A similar debate took place between Buckley and Chomsky. It ends with Buckley accusing Chomsky of being an “intellectual bully” for resorting to facts.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jl: Galbraith knew the economics backwards and forwards, and Buckley was full of BS and actually butt ignorant about the topic, and like Mornin’ Joe today,
    I figure GWill left ABC because it was too hard to be on set with Krugman and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, who can actually argue instead of just babbling Broderist platitudes like Sam and Cokie (edited)

  33. 33
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    “Stand back, Bill, I’ve got a brain and I am not afraid to use it!”

  34. 34
    burnspbesq says:

    Larison. Jack Goldsmith. Judge Posner. Randy Barnett is a dangerous crackpot, but he’s intellectually honest about what he’s doing.

    That’s pretty much it.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    Nonetheless, it is somewhat surprising that a state like Ohio would elect someone like this to statewide office.

    This is bullshit, too. National Republicans carefully and deliberately placed a constitutional amendment banning SSM on the ballot during the end of the Ken Blackwell Years, so they could drag President Bush over the finish line.

    I have no idea why he thinks it is “surprising” they would elect Ken Blackwell during that period. They were banking on that being their issue, and it was.

  36. 36
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Kay

    : It was just: “they’ll do anything” People were horrified.

    How have they not dragged Kasich out to be tarred and feathered at this point? He’s just as corrupt as those back in 2006, if not more, especially with the energy bullshit (Ohio is the only state so far to re-neg on energy standards) he’s been pulling lately What’s his secret? Or is it just due to Obama’s Unforgivable Blackness?

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @jl:

    Any argument against the wisdom of the U.S. waging a nuclear war, or MAD doctrine was the equivalent of moral treason

    Of course, MAD is still the doctrine, we just don’t talk about it. It was 1981-82 when the Day After was made and Carl Sagan talked about nuclear winter. Much talk. No change to policy. People became talked out and he issue faded.

    And now we know that the launch codes were all set to 0000 for simplicity sake.

  38. 38
    Botsplainer says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    LOL – the bow ties are business dress. Banded collars for casual.

    I started this for real on 1/2/14. The date was kind of coincidental with my start of HCG. My anniversary was 12/30, and we had reservations for a big New Years Eve. The HCG requires a heavy duty fat and carb load for the first few days of the injections as your metabolism resets, and it seemed as good a time as any.

    I may hit Christie loss numbers by years’ end.

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I think everyone who runs thinks they can win.

    Now, if you want bitter, I’d accept Michael Steele being bitter.

    I’ll keep on challenging you..Blackwell never thought he could win.

    STEELE, on the other hand, TOTALLY thought he could.

    And, why not?

    Steele got 30% of the Black vote.

    Steele knows that it was WHITE REPUBLICANS that didn’t elect him.

    Because, what WHITE Republican candidate, that gets 30% of the Black vote, in a state where, one out of every four votes, is from a Black person – LOSES THE RACE?

    uh huh.

    And, then, Steele was over when the GOP won in 2010, and they fire him, but keep Reince?

    Uh huh.

  40. 40
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I may hit Christie loss numbers by years’ end.

    You mean 70% of the state of New Jersey won’t vote for you again?

    What’s your exercise routine?

  41. 41
    Botsplainer says:

    The exercise routine consists of 20-30 cardio for warmup, a hard hitting run on weights (min 2 sets of reps on moderate to heavy weight for arms, chest, torso, legs), 35 min to an hour of cardio following, then 10-20 laps, depending on how I feel. This is 3-4 days a week, and two of those are double sessions. On my off days, I’ll walk the dog a mile at least twice, and hit some cardio.

    I just changed my Y membership to include a facility with more dedicated exercisers, racquetball courts and heavy bags. I love the exertion on a heavy bag and ordered gloves; also ordered racquetball stuff because it looks fun.

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I was hoping he would get nailed on something but so far, no dice.

    I feel strongly about governors races, so I will help Mr. FitzGerald in any small way I can, but we also need Kasich to be under investigation. It’s hard to beat an incumbent and the economy is picking up. Also, we work with labor here a lot and I would feel a duty to help them if Kasich were even 30 points ahead and it was a lost cause. They always, always help us, even when they’re not crazy about the Dem or the issue.

  43. 43
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    That sounds excellent. I am moving with Madame Morzer to Korea in roughly two months time and planning to set up a little gym of my own in our Seoul apartment.

  44. 44
    Botsplainer says:

    My weight routine is probably weird for some but works for me. Rowing, flies, bench all get 170-190 lbs, 20-30 reps per set. Leg press, I do no more than 270, 35-50 reps per set. Leg lifts, 190, 20-25 reps per set. Calves max out, as does the leg squeezey thingy, and there’s some torso twist and press stuff that I fiddle with but don’t remember.

  45. 45
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I am big fan of walking some miles at a good clip every day, plus keeping total calories down. I guess the key for me is to establish a routine and just stick with it.

  46. 46
    Botsplainer says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    The routine matters, I think. Keeps you out of bad eating habits, and makes you think before getting sedentary.

  47. 47
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Over the years I’ve become a big believer in replacing bad habits with better ones, rather than simply trying to destroy them and leave a void behind.

  48. 48
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Kay: The Gov’s race here in Illinois is going to be almost anti-climatic. Bruce Rauner (Illinois’ version of Mitt Romney) is going to be very happy up until the votes from Cook County come in. Then I get to hear a few months of ‘Chicago should be it’s own state’, which is downstate Illinoisan for ‘We should have never given those niggers the right to vote’.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    I just have to post this periodically so they don’t forget:

    In Ohio, for instance, political analysts credit the ballot measure with increasing turnout in Republican bastions in the south and west, while also pushing swing voters in the Appalachian region of the southeast toward Mr. Bush. The president’s extra-strong showing in those areas compensated for an extraordinarily large Democratic turnout in Cleveland and in Columbus, propelling him to a 136,000-vote victory.
    “I’d be naïve if I didn’t say it helped,” said Robert T. Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. “And it helped most in what we refer to as the Bible Belt area of southeastern and southwestern Ohio, where we had the largest percentage increase in support for the president.”

    They deny this now.

    I myself think they have to apologize, ideally door to door, to the individuals they harmed with their horrible hate campaign.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @the Conster:

    Weirdly, Pat Buchanan made a ton of sense during the Iraq War – his postings on Anti-war.com were scathing about the neocon follies, if you overlooked his Nazi sympathizing, and anything to do with domestic policy, and his opus deism.

    The same thing is true of a lot of crazy pundits: they’re only mostly crazy, not all crazy. The ones who are mostly crazy, you can find some topic on which they take a reasonable position, though they often arrive at that position through crazy reasoning. There aren’t that many pundits who are actually crazy about absolutely everything.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I’m glad to hear that.

    Don’t liberals hate Quinn? Keep in mind I read almost exclusively enraged public education advocate blogs, so I might be in a bubble.

    I feel like I’m a member of the Chicago teachers union at this point, I read their Twitter feeds, although I’m not a teacher and spent a lot of time avoiding them in my youth :)

  52. 52
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Don’t liberals hate Quinn?

    Hate is an understatement. The pension deal was like being raped with broken glass with sand as a lubricant. But it’ll be a very, very cold day in Hell before a GOPer become Governor. Blago was easily re-elected in ’06 and everyone in the state knew he was dirty. Quinn was considered a Dead Gov Walking in 2010. If a GOPer couldn’t win 4 years ago, they never will. Rauner is going to try to use the pension deal to try to peel off the Union vote, but the Unions know for a fact that Rauner would take every penny of that fund and give it to his private equity buddies. There’s also that minimum wage flap from a while back. That’s a chicken Rauner can’t un-fuck. Not to mention that everyone knows him as Illinois’ version of Mitt Romney. The best line about Rauner comes from my old man, paraphrasing a line from The Blues Brothers:

    Elwood: Illinois Romneys.
    Jake: I hate Illinois Romneys.

  53. 53
    Mana Butterfly says:

    Conservatism’s complete lack of credibility goes back long before Nixon. Just going from the start of the 20th century to today, American conservatism’s follies have included:

    * Eugenics (the big reason why I don’t like modern leftists calling themselves progressives)
    * Imperialism (the other big reason)
    * Support for social darwinism
    * Fighting against the 1st and later 2nd wave of feminism
    * Tacit support for a terrorist organization running several state houses
    * The murderous aftermath of the Philippine War
    * Prohibition and the first wave of the war on drugs.
    * Mellonomics, followed by the Smoot-Hawley Act
    * Denialism of and later obstruction of efforts to ameliorate the Dust Bowl
    * Taylorism
    * Anti-FDA
    * Pro child-labor
    * McCarthyism
    * Overseas CIA malfeasance
    * Roosevelt Recession (to be fair, that’s more the fault of centrism)
    * Wanting to tear down Social Security and later Medicare
    * Dulles’ idiotic brinksmanship
    * And of course the crowning horror, fighting tooth and nail against American Civil Rights

    Face it, liberals: conservatism — both the variants of conservatism targeted towards the rich and targeted towards the non-rich — was never honest and never sane. The cruelty and insanity and fecklessness of those who call themselves conservatives goes back way, way before Nixon and Buckley and Goldwater et al. This kind of fake nostalgia does no one any good.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I agree with you about Steele. He had their best year ever and they were like “sorry, we have to let you go, we’re hiring this odd, angry, unlikeable.. person from Wisconsin”

    Maybe he’s relieved. He seems to have a sense of humor and some base-level decency so he really doesn’t belong.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Good. Quinn was the one bright spot in an otherwise terrible period. I was just horrified, not about the House, but about them taking all those Great Lakes states. Ohio I get, it swings, but Wisconsin, really? I knew they were all going to imitate Mitch Daniels, too, and they did, like dominos. To me it looked like a swath, like a bloc. I knew it would be horrible.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I live in Illinois and I have been worried that the republican might win. So you don’t think he stands a chance? (she asked hopefully from Champaign, IL)

    Edit:
    @Kay: I hate Quinn, and I’m someone who got screwed with the IL “screw the little guys on their pensions” deal. But I still won’t vote for a Republican.

  57. 57
    JaneE says:

    We have gotten to the point that basic dishonesty is a requirement for conservative Republicans. You have to be able to look at annual tax revenues, and say that tax cuts increase revenue, or at least pay for themselves, with a straight face. You have to look at decades of declining crime statistics and say that we need more and more guns to keep us safe. You have to be able to say that government has no place in medicine, while requiring doctors to rape their patients with foreign objects before giving them an abortion, even if that is the only way to save their lives. And of course, you have to be able to say that you really don’t know if Obama is an American citizen or not.

  58. 58
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @WaterGirl:

    So you don’t think he stands a chance?

    It’ll be close, but if Brady couldn’t beat Quinn 4 years ago, I don’t see how Illinois Romney can pull it off. After the votes from Cook County come in, the wailing from the Neo-Confederates in my corner of Eastern Illinois will be sweet, sweet music to my ears.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    My son lives in Chicago but I haven’t asked him about Quinn yet. He asked me about Senate races the other day so that’s a good sign. He checks in and out. I hope he votes but I don’t know if he’s a reliable voter.

  60. 60
    Hawes says:

    There is a reason why Conservatism was considered quackery in the 1950s. It was intellectually bankrupt.

    So they abandoned intellectualism entirely. Became obsessed with what they could away with rather than what was accurate. Maybe Ayn Rand and Phyllis Schlafly accelerated that.

    Anyway, Daniel Larison is pretty good. After that…

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hawes:

    Anyway, Daniel Larison is pretty good.

    Larison is good until you get to one of the topics where he’s crazy. He is an Orthodox Christian, and he has a very strong bias in favor of his coreligionists in Europe. He’s also a member of the League of the South, with everything that ought to tell you about his domestic political views.

  62. 62
    Fluke bucket says:

    @Botsplainer: actually you spoke for me too. That was very, very well put.

  63. 63
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I have just read Larison’s rather passionate paean to his membership of the League of the South. It is a truly remarkable document:

    The humane and decent civilisation of the South that took root in the Southland, though of course it was never without flaws (as no earthly society could be lacking in them), informed and shaped the creation of that political structure in large measure and was the guarantor of its authentic form for several decades, both through political influence and through the cultivation of a classically educated body of men who rose to defend, first by the pen and oration and then by the sword, the true political inheritance of the Republic.

    There’s something missing from that picture of Ye Olde Southland.

    Well, I knew of Larison as a generally sane thinker on foreign policy (although amusingly prone to believing that only he, the Daniel Larison, understood the topic). I had no idea that a rabid neoconfederate kook had been a longtime permanent resident in the same human being. How depressing.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Could you try again? “It’ll be close” is not what I wanted to hear!

    And 4 years ago, Quinn was not yet complicit in the great screwing on the pension issue. I will never again vote for any Republican, even as dog catcher.

  65. 65
    john fremont says:

    @jl: You should see the debate between WEB and James Baldwin on civil rights. Same thing pretty much

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @Mana Butterfly:
    Nice outline of their big issues.
    But you are correct, conservatives have never been about making things better for anyone except them. And they are almost always wrong that their methods will do that. They’ll screw themselves even if it means only screwing the others 1/100 of a percent more. Hateful, vile, selfish, stupid, these are some of the many better qualities of conservatives.

  67. 67
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @WaterGirl: 2 to 5 point win for Quinn. Rauner will clean his clock downstate, but unfortunately for Rauner, most of the population of the state resides in the Chicagoland area. Obama will campaign with Quinn in the last few weeks like he did in 2010, making sure that Cook County’s vote totals put Quinn over the top. The GOP here in Illinois is in such a shitty state of affairs that Blago could have run for Guv from prison and still would have won. There aren’t enough white voters in the state to put a GOPer in the Gov’s office.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @john fremont: Gore Vidal v. WFB is simply the hands down winner.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Don’t liberals hate Quinn? Keep in mind I read almost exclusively enraged public education advocate blogs, so I might be in a bubble.

    I don’t hate Quinn. I’m disappointed in him.

    The only thing I hold him personally responsible for is for the pathetic selection of Paul Vallas as his running mate = THAT SHYT IS WHACK!

    But, I’m also an informed voter.

    Speaking of being disappointed in Quinn without using Michael Madigan (Speaker of the Illinois House) in the same sentence

    Is like saying you’re disappointed about what the President hasn’t done since 2010 and you don’t mention the GOP.

    It just can’t happen.

    Quinn is not a firebrand or even that imaginative. But, he could have had the best ideas this side of Jesus and it wouldn’t have mattered.

    Massa Michael Madigan blocked any and everything he wanted because he wanted Quinn to fail so that he could grease the skids for his daughter to run for Governor. Yeah, you read right.

    As is, I’ll hold my nose and vote for her for Senator in 2016, so that we can:
    1) get the her the fuck out of Illinois state politics

    and
    2)get her to get Kirk the fuck out of that slot that he never shoulda had in the first place.

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: Well, if he prefers Quinn, encourage your son to vote. If he likes the other guy, maybe not so much! :-)

  71. 71
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah:

    Massa Michael Madigan blocked any and everything he wanted because he wanted Quinn to fail so that he could grease the skids for his daughter to run for Governor. Yeah, you read right.

    I don’t see her running for governor until the state is in a better financial position. You really think Madigan (Michael) really thought his daughter would run last time or this time?

    Edit: what’s your issue with Lisa Madigan? I think she’s gone a good job.

  72. 72
    remarks dc says:

    Daniel Larison publishes in the American Conservative website. He focuses on foreign policy. Very much worth reading.

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    pathetic selection of Paul Vallas

    I forgot about that.

    I don’t know why he keeps getting promoted. Philadelphia is a disaster. It’s criminal what they’re doing to those schools, well, really those people. How can he possibly say “I ‘turned around’ Philadelphia schools” looking at what’s happened since? You would think someone would ask him a question about it.

    When I read that I thought “oh, okay, they’re throwing that race”. That’s actually what I thought. Doesn’t it seem needlessly divisive? Does Vallas have some dirt on every Democrat in the country or something? Why do they keep hiring him? It’s baffling to me. His record is dreadful.

  74. 74
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I don’t see her running for governor until the state is in a better financial position.

    The flat state tax guarantees that the state’s finances will always be fucked until it’s repealed, which will be never. Not to mention that the pension fund will never, ever balance. White American hatred of public workers (teachers specifically, who, evidently, are the source of all evil, what with their brazen desire to teach minority students and whatnot) will guarantee that.

    I could see her running against Kirk in 2016 and kicking the holy living shit out of him.

  75. 75
    mainmata says:

    @Botsplainer: I grew up during the state government of William Scranton after whose family Biden’s town was named. He was Brahmin, good government, moderate-liberal Republican. This political species existed only for a brief time (1960s-mid-1970s) before it was extinguished by the moderate-conservatives and then, finally in the 1990s by the extremists and the corporate conservatives.

    Scranton enabled me to go to college through the PA Higher Education Assistance Act.. Changed my life. Basically, one of the only Republicans I respect; the rest of them are mostly parasites dedicated to diverting tax revenues to rich people or their favorite local folks (also rich businesses).

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    @WaterGirl:
    We just see things differently. If she had run, all the problems that are there now would have been blamed on Quinn, and she would have been pushed as the solution.

  77. 77
    dmbeaster says:

    @Botsplainer: That point of view describes Democrats and many liberals like myself. Maybe 50 years ago some Republicans and conserbatives thought that way, but no more. You my friend are just a practical minded liberal.

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @mainmata: Maybe not on the east coast that much, but in midwest and west, there was school of progressive Republicans going back to around 1900. A number of famous progressives were Republican. Earl Warren was one of them. California had a lot of progressive GOPers, but they were completely wiped out, politically. It seems to be an extinct species.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @jl: Bob LaFollette. His descendents are Dems now.

  80. 80
    jonas says:

    No, there are no sane Republicans left. Conservatives? Sure — Larison, Dreher, Bainbridge, Frum, Weigel, et al. — all mostly exiled now from anything close to an “establishment” position in Republican circles for daring to hold reality-based positions on certain key issues, whether it be gay marriage or Obama’s status as a Kenyan socialist. Shit, the f-ing Catholic Pope is now officially anathema to Republicans. Buchanan may have been right about Bush’s wars, but he’s far to the right of Goebbels on any social issue you care to name, from gay rights to immigration to choice; he’s simply a reactionary, not a conservative. There is no longer any deep end deep enough off which they can fly. The last sane Republican president was Eisenhower, and he was considered a Communist loon in his time by the lunatic, John Bircher right-wing fringe, which is now the mainstream of the GOP.

    The current Republican party and its affiliate organizations ceased being a traditional political party as we understand it long ago. It’s primary a fundraising outfit designed to transfer funds from paranoid rubes to the pockets of various consultants who advise candidates on how to gin up more money from their desperate constituents who are constantly wetting themselves over imagined plots to confiscate their guns and ship them off to FEMA camps run under Sharia law. Why do you think Newsmax headlines these days are a combination of BENGHAZI!! and ads for erectile dysfunction and gold coins? Unless they’re willing to be in on the grift, people who take their ideological conservatism seriously (mostly libertarian-types nowadays) are shit out of luck.

  81. 81
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Can’t find it now, but I saw a clip of an aging Buckley on a panel with Chuck D after, I think, the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Not sure whether it was one of those pompous Buckley productions, or he was just a panel member. But, Buckley looked pretty sad. One exchange I remember (paraphrase)

    WFB: Well, surely the African-Americans should understand white fears and concerns about their influence on the white community.
    Chuck D: You’ve say that a lot. Why are we the ones who always have to understand? The white community needs to understand too.
    WFB: Ahhhhh……. umm……

    Edit: of course there WFB could not be honest. He felt that blacks had a brutish inferior culture, perhaps because blacks were inherently inferior, perhaps because of historical happenstance, but too much trouble sort out. The whites had no duty to understand anything and probably blacks are icky is all that there was to understand, but whites did have the right to hold down the blacks to preserve their precious white culture. In the 1950s, Buckley could just blast that out plainly, later on, he could not.

  82. 82
    Jay C says:

    @Mana Butterfly:

    OK: I can handily recognize 17 out of 18 of your examples of Historic Conservative Fail, but WTH is “Taylorism”??

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Mana Butterfly:

    * Eugenics (the big reason why I don’t like modern leftists calling themselves progressives)
    * Imperialism (the other big reason)
    * Support for social darwinism

    These applied to some on the left and right in their era. As far as the Progressives go, the science of the time was rather iffy and they abandoned the concept as soon as the science became clearer. IOW, they were a product of their time. A hundred years from now, I hope current liberals are mocked for seeing race as existing at all. it doesn’t mean we aren’t fighting the good fight as we current can conceive it.

  84. 84
    jl says:

    @Jay C:

    I assumed it was the Taylor who invented the scientific management movement.

    Frederick Winslow Taylor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....low_Taylor

    Taylor was half business genius, half idealistic dreamer, half crank and half snake-oil salesmen.

    He claimed his time and motion studies would produce happy productive workers joyful at their increased share of increased productivity, and better working conditions and shorter hours their increased productivity would permit. He was probably an unconscious racist (typical of the time) who didn’t bother to try to understand how the subjects in his experiments (who often didn’t speak English well, or at all) understood the point of his research. Was he trying to estimate a feasible steady-state efficient workload, or how long workers could maintain a peak of intense labor? Some of the subjects in his experiments are reported to have thought he was running contests, so they worked themselves to exhaustion, then thought they had been tricked when management wanted them to work that hard continuously, every day.

    Whatever, in practice, his research showed how giant capitalists could work people to exhaustion, or to premature death, and keep the extra money.

  85. 85
    Ben says:

    @Kay:
    Probably because no one else wanted to run as Lt. Gov…

  86. 86
    JustRuss says:

    Will, meanwhile, is ensconced exactly where he belongs, with the haters, hustlers, haters, hacks …

    You said haters twice.

    He really likes haters!

  87. 87
    C.V. Danes says:

    Conservatives have never had any intellectual honesty, because their movement has been spouting lies for thousands of years. The difference is that they have so successfully routed the liberal wing of humanity in the US that they don’t even try to make the appearance of intellectual honesty anymore.

  88. 88
    WaterGirl says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I could see her running against Kirk in 2016 and kicking the holy living shit out of him.

    Now that’s a happy thought to start my day!

  89. 89
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: Thank God they did that. That dude is very sleazy.

  90. 90
    trickydonut says:

    @Kay: Honest to God, I remember thinking he was bitter when he was on the Cincy city council with Jerry Springer. He always struck me as an ambitious, unhappy guy committed to grinding his way up the political ladder. Jerry Springer on the other hand, was the great progressive hope of SW Ohio. Oh well.

  91. 91
    Ted says:

    “Nonetheless, it is somewhat surprising that a state like Ohio would elect someone like this to statewide office.”

    No it isn’t.

  92. 92
    contract3d says:

    Once upon a time, there was a well-spoken honest conservative who would occasionally post in the comments section on dailykos.

    I remember him because my son and I would discuss his comments.

    Oh yeah – his name was “John Cole”

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