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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beldar on Brooks on conservatism

My subject in today's post is David Brooks' column in yesterday's New York Times on the future of conservativism. And here on my blog, I am going to give that column every bit of the thoughtful discussion, and exactly as many hyperlinks, as it deserves, given the current credibility of its author on this subject and the source of its publication.

Thank you for your careful attention.

Posted by Beldar at 11:24 PM in Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Beldar on Brooks on conservatism and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) Aubrey made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 2:44:13 AM | Permalink


(2) Mark L made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 6:52:03 AM | Permalink

You mean Brooks is conservative?

Just damn! Who knew?

(3) Brownie made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 8:03:43 AM | Permalink

Excellent and thoughtful--a little wordy--but sometimes these things require a certain amount of explanation and dissection. :)

(4) Michael J. Myers made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 10:38:15 AM | Permalink

Just about right.

(5) Hiro made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 1:42:04 PM | Permalink


(6) TomWyld made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 7:18:13 PM | Permalink

Nicely put.

(7) ketchikan made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 12:34:40 AM | Permalink

Who are some of the other "conservatives" that deserve the same kind of response?

(8) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 1:06:20 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Very good. You've shot the fish in the dam barrel. Now: what is the future of conservatism? All those who are whooping and bawling about The Future of Conservatism need to be inhaling chloroform, not LSD. The next presidential election is in November 2012, not January 2009. Much is going to happen that we don't know today. Consider just two things:

1. Sarah Is Going To Save Us. You've sung that tune, and it is mighty catchy. Palin proved her star quality during this campaign, and I heartily acknowledge that I grossly underestimated her endowment of this quality. But the chorus of "efficient and popular governor" is about to be tested. SP's "efficiency" and "popularity" have been boosted by sky high oil prices. Since she took office in January 2007, oil prices---and Alaska's cut of same---have been high and generally rising. That's no longer true. How long this fall will continue is a key question to her efficiency and popularity. You've written that Alaska can get along with oil prices at $60 a barrel. I wonder about that. Light sweet crude closed below $57 a barrel today. The collapsing economic situation will continue to press down on prices. Alaskans aren't going to be getting the same size oil dividend checks. Think that'll do something to SP's popularity? Me too. What's the other big source of Alaska state revenue? Dough from the feds. The One is dam sure going to shut off that spigot. That will press SP quite hard. (These same conditions also apply to Bobby Jindal, with somewhat less force, by the way.) But it's also an opportunity for SP. I say she should throw away the scalpel and bring on the chainsaw to Alaska state spending. Her popularity will fall. It has to; it can't be sustained at the level. But a governor who can steer a state through tough times is always going to be a contender. I reject the notion that SP should go on TV or write a book to "define" her image back from the caricature the liars in the press, e.g. Andrew Sullivan or even Kathleen Parker have spewed forth. Executive competence attached to reform is always in style. I think it will be even more so when The One's laziness leads him into one disaster after another in the manner of the Bumpkin, 1977-81.

2. Foreign affairs. I must be the only one in the world who thinks foreign affairs are going to put this economic storm into the background. Nevertheless, I stick to this belief. Given the Bumpkin/Billyboy retreads The One has surrounded himself with, disasters are bound to happen. That, more than any GOP opposition, is going to stop The One's domestic agenda. Let Iran fire off the nukes at Israel, and the hollowness of The One will be crystallized for all to see. Jake Weisberg of SLATE can holler racism all he wants. Hard times and foreign storms will discredit him beyond the gang of zanies who inhale his vaporings with rapture. You've written, along with everyone else, that The One is highly intelligent, waving magna cum laude Harvard Law as your proof. I was silenced, but not convinced. One week after the election, my doubts are stronger than ever. Perhaps we are discussing different things. IQ needs to be supported (and sometimes opposed) by wisdom and character. The One has shown neither of these things. Quick proof: he's elected US Senator in November 2004. By March 2005 Michelle gets a "promotion" from one non-job to another, tripling her salary. A year after that, Michelle's employer gets a million dollar earmark. That series of events showed neither character, nor wisdom, nor even IQ. Michelle's greed and sense of entitlement is going to damage The One, but he seems unaware of it. Putin is already smiling. He thinks he has an excellent chance to roll The One. He's right.

The one thing #2 might interfere with #1 is in raising oil prices, thus removing a goad from SP. We will see.

Brooks didn't discuss this. His fate will not be pleasant: the TIMES will continue on its downward path. Brooks's "conservatism" will still irritate the TIMES's core readers in Manhattan, and eventually he'll be canned, with a generous buyout, to be sure, so the TIMES can get on with its plan of ceasing to its pretentions as The Newspaper of Record and becoming The LiberaLiberaLiberal cheerleader to the world. Brooks will be out in the cold, not trusted by either side. The thick wad of money will keep the world from his door, but never again will he enjoy the heights of his palmy days.

You can do better than Brooks bashing, even as cleverly as you have here. Do so.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(9) Carpl Herman made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 11:41:40 AM | Permalink

... And, I am reminded of a time when Aldai Stevenson ran against Eisenhower; 1952. A fan of Stevenson's approached him and said "every intelligent person will vote for you." And, Stevenson responded: "Alas, if those are the only votes I get, then I'll lose."

My mom had a favorite expression: MAN PLANS AND GOD LAUGHS.

Doesn't stop us humans from trying to see into the future.

Where, today, at DRUDGE, you'd learn that there's been a shift in the senate seat counting, in Alaska. And, now, Ted Stevens is not ahead. There are 90,000 absentee ballots to count. So this could take into next week. (Again,here I'm just repeating what I saw up on Drudge.)

In two years, 2010, Sarah Palin has to decide if she wants to run for governor. Since her 4 year, first term, would be up. I'll go ahead and guess that she does!

And, I'll go ahead and guess that at least in Alaska, Sarah Palin will win by a wide margin. But just remember this. To win, all she needs to attract is "a little more than half."

Currently, the "purer" the conservative movement becomes, the less voters you can count on. In other words? You can count your "purified voters." But they'll definitely be less than half. At least on any national ticket.

By 2014, Ted Steven's seat comes up for grabs. Whether he wins the current round. Or not. The democratic candidate my stay ahead. But so far all he has, "ahead" are 841 votes.

The senate seat is good for six years. That means in 2014 AFTER COMPLETING TWO TERMS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS, Sarah Palin can test the waters, to see if she can win on a national ticket. Or if her best bet would be to stick with Alaskans, and stretch her wings into a six term senate seat.

Theories have no way to be proven. Of course, they can be tested. Possible? Impossible? That's on par with flipping a coin. Can't go wrong, there.

What was it that Ronald Reagan really had?

First he had the "chutzpah" to fight the GOP "poo-bahs." The "mandarins." Who think religion is some sort of joke. Since God doesn't presice over politics. Within the GOP tent, even with Jimmy Carter's win over Ford; there was a "push" to give the nomination to "Poppy."

You can laugh at my theory, I care not.

I just know Reagan was an outsider; carrying his popularity from California's governorship. Which he ACED. In other words? You can call Reagan a "conservative." And, he did espouse Barry Goldwater's ideals of a conservative. But he wasn't "born again." And, his family didn't even resemble a typical church going family, either. Reagan could wink well. And, people loved his attitude!

Reagan did something that Barry Goldwater could not. Reagan could instill confidence. Oh, and attract voters!

Remember the key to winning is to "attract more than half."

Poppy, and his son Dubya, absolutely trashed the GOP label. And, the one thing you no longer ever have to look for in a candidate is "compassionate conservativism. It's a meaningly 'ism' at best. Won't attract "half the votes." Can surely attract less. Which means? You've got a team of horses running off course. And, then? You make life easier for the democrats.

In today's DRUDGE headline, he says he's seen a poll where Hillary would have even done better in this election than Obama. No. It doesn't matter. Obama won. Because all you need to know is that the winnah attracted "more than half the voters." Mathematics couldn't get simpler.

DRUDGE also says he sees the potential of Hillary becoming Majority Leader. OUT flies Harry Reid. Again, Harry's a not-very-popular-Mormon. And, in DC? If you want to grab powers, you need to grab that particular leadership chair.

It's not up to Obama to decide if he'd like to deal with Hillary in Harry Reid's position.

Just as it no longer matters what Dubya thinks. He's gonna head into a whirlwind, where reputations are concerned.

Two stupid media games got played by the republicans. Maybe, defeats like the one's just suffered at the polls, causes brain damage? But the Palin stinkeroo was non-essential. And, ditto Dubya's lame attempt to attach free drug shipments from Columbia to a trade agreement; sans any discussion. (Remember? It's a big secret. My foot.)

DRUDGE also lists that both Schumer and Frank; that's the Senate and the House, have given DRUDGE his headline today. It's flashing. And, it says "current bail out contains NO oversight." Current bail out ... then ... is the stinker that Dubya, as executive, just shoved off to Congress.

Okey dokey.

Dubya just sent the ball up in the air.

And, you can't say he didn't "get headlines."

Perhaps he's unaware of how little appeal he has?

People without an understanding of their appeal have very little success at replacing Jerry Seinfeld. Or any other entertain that stands alone on the stage. And, grabs the mike.

All people will do is shut Dubya off.

That means? There's a lot of shrugging shoulders; as the GOP "pooh-bahs" hash it all out in the locker room. Good luck. My theory says you don't have a chance at picking winnahs. But for a start? You gotta learn that criticisms come from people who are not on automatic pilot with being impressed.

So sad, when the talent is there ... Between Pawlenty, Jindal, and Palin ... that any time at all was given to McCain ... Who, by the way, shrugged off all complaints. He said he had a "staff of one thousand." He treated being on his staff as if it was a joke. On Letterman. So? Well, if you're one of those one thousand, McCain just turned your resume into a big fat laugh.

Just a theory.

You're actually lucky you get some people on board, just like the wonderful Gregory Koster. He, too, is not shy. And, if I had to guess? He votes for republicans more often than I do.

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