Monday, 11/10/14

  1. Tipsy fesses up
  2. Blogger in Chief
  3. Cui bono?
  4. Tony Perkins, shakedown artist
  5. God done Franky dirty agin’
  6. War on Women themes sucked real bad

1

I can claim to be a MacIntyrian, which fits my congenital cheerful pessimism well, but on and between the lines of this blog are unshakable Murrayite echoes. I hope to incrementally contribute to change, which I tacitly think not impossible, and not just to lament or issue Jeremiads against decline.

2

It was not in the least a charisma election, a sweeping expression of support for a character or personality or movement. It was a message election. Sweeps like this come down to policy and governance. America on Tuesday told one party no, you’re not doing it right, we don’t like what we’re seeing, and your preoccupations (birth control, “War on Women”) are not our priorities.

The president said he was not on the ballot but his policies were. Those policies were resoundingly repudiated.

***

But that is only one of the amazing things that happened this week. The second is how the president responded.

A sweep this size tends to resolve some things. The landscape shifts, political figures accommodate themselves to it.

Common sense says a chastened president would acknowledge the obvious—some things aren’t working, he has made some mistakes—and, in Mr. Obama’s case, hit the reset button with Congress. Reach out, be humble. Humility has power. It shows people that you have some give—you get the message, you are capable of self-correcting.

That is not what he’s doing. The president is instead doubling down on hostility, antagonism and distance.

(Peggy Noonan)

Politics, famously, is the art of compromise. Has nobody told the President that the natural habitat of hostility, antagonism and distance is a blog, not the Oval Office?

3

At the risk of becoming a conspiracy fantasist, it’s generally useful to ask “who benefits” from a set of social facts.

The national Democratic Party has fully embraced and even defined itself in terms of cultural liberalism. Generational and demographic change are likely to push the Democrats further in this direction, because younger and minority voters are strongly liberal on cultural issues.

Those voters have helped the Democrats win the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. But without a broader base of support that lets Democrats win more votes in the South, it will be very hard for them to win back the House, and it may even be hard for them to win back the Senate.

(Boston Globe; likely pay wall)

Related to its cultural liberal bona fides, The Evil Party’s zeal to make marriage meaningless, and thus optional, is shrewd. There’s no more reliable Evil Party voter than Julia, the cradle-to-grave, out-of-wedlock-mom, client of national welfare programs. Young liberals, especially young women, turn less liberal when they marry and start making babies. So keep ’em single, and a baby or two is just another way to make sure they remain clients of the state.

But we cheerful pessimists are outbreeding them. The future belongs to the fertile.

4

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has long been hated and vilified by gay activists. If you knew nothing more than that, you might think “sounds like my kind of guy.”

But there is more than that. He’s hated and vilified not because he’s effective, but because he says things that gay activists plausibly believe are demagogic lies.

Now, he has fallen out of favor with some on the right, who see him as a loose cannon and, again plausibly, a liar prevaricator, grandstander and extortionist – a Republican Jesse Jackson, in so many words.

On the one hand, Bill Cassidy, Republican Senate candidate in Louisiana, has a 100% rating from Family Research Council versus Democrat Mary Landrieu’s 15%. But Perkins says he won’t support Cassidy against Landrieu unless he backtracks “on some of the bad votes that he’s taken in Congress.”

Huh!? 100% record with “bad votes”?!

From Ryan Booth (who was until this year a leader in the Louisiana GOP):

In 2009, Cassidy was one of nine Republican congressmen who voted for hate-crimes legislation that made it a federal crime to assault someone for their sexual orientation.

That’s it. That one vote is what Tony Perkins will forever hate Cassidy for. That’s the whole story.

Really? Man. To be clear, I don’t agree with the concept of hate crimes (all crime is a hate crime, in my view), and I would in principle vote against all hate crimes legislation. But if this is the only reason you have to hate on Bill Cassidy, something is seriously wrong with you.

(Rod Dreher, who also cites Scott McKay at The Hayride)

5

Speaking of humbugs, Frank Schaeffer is still angry, still selling his anger. Here’s the latest iteration of his ongoing “life/God/my father done me dirty so I’m writing an inflammatory book” book.

The very best thing I can imagine him being up to is trying to show the hard core Left that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson aren’t paradigmatic Christians (true enough) and that they should consider the faith.

6

Wendy Davis, the pro-abortion fanatic who ran for Texas Governor with a War On Women theme lost, big, including among women voters. She says immigration and Ebola brought out Republicans in droves. So the War on Women is real, but stirred no souls, while bogus issues brought voters out. Wendy, move to a Left Coast; the people of Texas are unworthy of your brilliance.

In Colorado, Mark Uterus (Udall, but the press willingly adopted Uterus so absurd were his claims) also lost with a War on Women theme. I wonder what his excuse will be?

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.