Political observations

I tried to share these from Kindle Friday night, only to awaken Saturday to a string of e-mails saying sharing had failed. So here goes, from the current American Conservative.


“But here’s the real problem,” concludes Bryan. “Bernie is either too old to realize he’s too old to be president (I doubt that) or he’s just doing this to ‘send a message.’ Ranting and raving on a grand scale by an old man (who most of us in Vermont really like) would be akin to me also at age 74 making a pass at Scarlett Johansson at a cocktail party. I might have plenty to say but the whole thing would be sad to witness—especially for those who care about me the most.”

(Bill Kauffman) My colleagues and I agreed over lunch that it’s good when a geezer knows he is no longer God’s gift to the fair sex.


Williams is “proud Bernie the Vermonter is roaring,” but he believes that “no single program, party, platform, or politician can keep the U.S. empire from its lumbering debt-driven collapse.

(Bill Kauffman again) I also so believe.


“On the down side, Bernie is impervious to facts. He’ll say anything to advance the movement, and he’s not technically lying. You have to know the truth before you can lie, and for Bernie the Truth is what is required to be true by Marx’s scientific theory of history.”

(Bill Kauffman, quoting one of the Vermonters who’s not a fan.)


So how to think about the moral revolution we are living through a half-century after Moynihan published his famous analysis? It seems to me that culture still leads and is upstream from what is happening in the politics of either party. Morals and manners—more than legislation—primarily shape the direction of great nations.

(Timothy Goeglein)


Johnson’s Great Society programs began a devastating tendency: “Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.”

(Timothy Goeglein) Johnson began it, but it has continued as bipartisan policy.


Ultimately, the Republican Party’s efforts in Congress to deny Americans the choice of travel by rail come down to two different visions of America. The first is a vision of the America we once had and conservatives still want, an overwhelmingly middle-class country with lots of nice things available at prices the middle class can afford. The other is an America where the 1 percent lounge in Neronian splendor while the middle class sinks into poverty, where everything they can afford is unpleasant. With its efforts to destroy Amtrak, the Republican Congress casts a vote for the latter. 

(William S. Lind and a co-author) Republican treatment of Amtrak is shameful and incoherent. This article, which I can’t link, is worth the price of the issue.

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“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.