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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lines that cannot have come from a conservative's pen

Quoth Kathleen Parker (italics hers, boldface mine):

As a recovering obsessive-compulsive, the past 100 days have been a torture of quantification. How’s he doing SO far? Is he the change we’ve been waiting for? Is Barack Obama really a centrist, as so many (including I) had hoped? Or is he one of them dadgum fascist-Marxist-commie-Moozlems?!

Obama is who he said he is—a pragmatist. It just so happens that pragmatism under present circumstances demands/justifies/warrants what are rather socialist solutions. The president is in the unique position of being able to say with face straight and heart true: I’m not a lefty ideologue. It’s just that Republican leadership has left us in the sort of economic free fall that only Big Government can rescue.

Sister Parker, you're hopelessly lost. Put the pen down. If you ever want to be taken seriously again by anyone who genuinely is conservative — or who even understands conservatism as an abstract proposition — then you need to go back to first principles. (Hint: They may be found in many places, but they are emphatically not found in Das Kapital.) And then you need to study history, including recent history.

But right now, you're so far gone that you're incapable of embarrassing us, or further embarrassing yourself. You're just a disgrace, with all the grace and credibility of a loud fart in church.

But no. This isn't an isolated toot that just slipped out, this is a full-fledged attack that would have made John Belushi blush:

... But my truest sense of Obama is that he thinks hard about each issue and that his mind is open. He is still finding out how to be president, listening instead of talking; watching and measuring, as children from disrupted childhoods learn to do.

The task for conservatives is not so much to oppose the president, but to help him see. Show him a better idea and he will consider it....

Ms. Parker, your harmless savant, your open-minded savior, has just proposed and passed a budget that Columnist Kathleen Parker quadruples an already unconscionable federal deficit just for this year. And with his co-conspirators of the Democratic Party, he has committed us to a spending spree that, in constant dollars, exceeds what this country spent on World Wars 1 and 2, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, and the Iraq War combined. This is what you call "listening instead of talking"?

If this is what he does when he's still "finding out how to be president," then God save the universe from what he'll do when he "grows up"!

Please, Ms. Parker, please stop. You're becoming like the drunk girl at the frat party with such a crush on the frat president that she's unaware there's still vomit in her hair.

Is there no genuine conservative in Ms. Parker's life who can mount a compassionate intervention?

Posted by Beldar at 01:32 AM in Current Affairs, Mainstream Media, Obama, Politics (2009) | Permalink


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(1) donr made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 4:32:54 AM | Permalink

"Lines that cannot have come from a conservative's pen."

There will be fewer, but better conservatives....


"You're becoming like the drunk girl at the frat party with such a crush on the frat president that she's unaware there's still vomit in her hair."

That's, um, quite an imagination. Not to mention slightly confused. The reason the girl at the frat party wouldn't realize she had vomit in her hair is because she is drunk, not because she has a crush on somebody. Sober, she'd probably be supremely self-conscious of her appearance. So really, I think you could leave the frat president out of this particular scenario.

(2) Beldar made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 4:55:23 AM | Permalink

Donr (#1): You're mischaracterizing what I wrote once again, substituting what you'd like me to be saying for, well, what you said in your first comment on my previous post. The "fewer but better" motif is yours, friend (albeit borrowed from Garbo) -- not based on anything I said or implied.

Rather, my point, both with respect to Specter and Parker, is that neither is in fact a principled "conservative." It's not a question of "fewer" because that suggests that they once were principled conservatives but that they've changed.

You must put words in my mouth to build your argument upon because no conservative could ever plausibly argue that, as Ms. Parker insists, "pragmatism under present circumstances demands/justifies/warrants what are rather socialist solutions."

As for Ms. Parker: There's infatuation, and there's drunken infatuation. When someone is so infatuated that she loses touch with objective reality -- when, for example, she can no longer perceive that there's vomit in her hair, or that the president has just mortgaged our grandchildren's futures for a multi-trillion dollar spending orgy, and she therefore pursues her amorous advances unabated -- then it's reasonable to argue that one has passed beyond mere infatuation and into the drunken infatuation category. I stand by the analogy: It's revolting, but then, so is Ms. Parker's latest op-ed.

(3) Boyd made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 6:11:33 AM | Permalink

I can already hear the rebuttal coming:

"Y'see, Beldar, your post is just more evidence that the Republicans' supposed 'big tent' is a lie. You ideologues don't have room for principled realists like Specter and Parker."

I've heard this song before. "Second verse, same as the first." Gah!

(4) Beldar made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 7:26:25 AM | Permalink

Boyd, the funny thing is that by next spring, the Dems will be engaged in fierce fratricidal battles over whether to honor the promises that Obama/Biden have made to Specter (that they'd grease his way, preserve his seniority, etc.) as the Hard Left insists on running hard against Specter for being insufficiently "progressive" and -- hah! get ready for it! -- "unreliable." Indeed, Specter's first vote as a Democrat was against Obama's budget, a vote that (as I predicted yesterday) was neither (a) decisive nor (b) different from what he'd have cast as a nominal Republican.

When it comes to making fun of opponents for the eager attempted cannibalization of their own, the Dems occupy not the proverbial glass house, but a glass castle. And Obama -- naif that he is -- seems to believe that he can actually fool all of them all of the time, which means that he's ultimately going to disappoint, and likely end up alienating, large numbers of both the Hard Left and the Center Left.

Color me untroubled about dissent within the GOP. Some who've left or will leave, we'll be well rid of; and some who've wobbled will nevertheless show more character than Snarlin' Arlen the Craven. By 2010 the cracks in the Obama Edifice will be clear enough; by 2012 we'll be very competitive at every level, most likely with fresh faces genuinely committed to classical GOP ideals. If our opponents are still governing like small children afflicted with rabies, then I actually like our odds.

(5) Michael J. Myers made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 10:47:36 AM | Permalink

Where is the fellow who is "still finding out how to be president, listening rather than talking"?

Obama is on television one way or another every day--durn near every waking hour.

I figure Ms. Parker must be smoking or drinking something to blot out the incessant drone of All Obama All The Time. Whatever it is she's drinking or smoking, I'd like some of it, because my remote control thumb is getting calloused from hitting the mute button whenever The Enlightened One appears on the tube. Maybe a case of "Old Credulity" @ 101 proof might help me through a difficult 4 years.

(6) leon dixon made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 3:03:20 PM | Permalink

Her commentary on "Stem Cell Knee Jerks" was quite good for a journalist. It was helped by being placed next to a Varvel cartoon (Indianapolis Star, a great talent). The matter you refer to is, of course, very weak. I've heard that from here on out this year the nation is on borrowed money for ALL of its spending. You would think a thinker would be concerned.

(7) Legal Aid made the following comment | Apr 30, 2009 10:42:16 PM | Permalink

One hundred days are so little time to judge Obama of his accomplishments or mistakes as president. But at least we know where he is heading to by his first 100 days as president. There are fatal mistakes, I must admit. I hope his remaining years of being president would be used to make Americans feel better, secure and confident.

(8) Brad Schwartze made the following comment | May 1, 2009 8:40:13 AM | Permalink

Beldar, get ready for more of this sort of bridge-napalming from folks like Ms. Parker, especially when the confirmation process for Souter's replacement gets underway.

I'm thinking that the Right is going to try a totally different route on opposing Obama's first SCOTUS nominee than in previous times. And if his SCOTUS nominee has enough of a paper trail (i.e. Cass Sunstein), the Right is going to use methods of opposition that are going to turn off a LOT of folks used to building an intellectual case for conservative jurisprudence.

(9) Leon Dixon made the following comment | May 1, 2009 9:23:40 AM | Permalink

Her most recent column on Notre Dame is worth reading. Maybe the standard for journalists should be batting averages? The strong point about blogs is that the talent level in general far exceeds that of journalists.

(10) JS made the following comment | May 1, 2009 6:23:30 PM | Permalink

THAT was an excellent summary of Parker...

(11) Thomas Jackson made the following comment | May 2, 2009 5:50:05 AM | Permalink

If Presidente's 666 first 100 days were turned into a movie it would be "100 Days Later." I now understand how Hitler gained power.

(12) JS made the following comment | May 2, 2009 10:05:18 AM | Permalink

The "funny" thing is that when some of us warned of a Hitlerian presidency, we were laughed at, called (what else) racist, and told that nothing like that could ever happen...

(13) Vader made the following comment | May 2, 2009 10:51:00 AM | Permalink

There is a certain whiff of "if you can't beat them, join them" in Parker's advice, isn't there?

She seems to think conservatives are whipped, and will just have to make the best deal for themselves they can.

I find her lack of faith disturbing.

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