Saturday, 3/26/16

I separated some legal wonkery into a separate blog so this one could have the theme of “miscellany.” It ended up being pretty shamelessly political because some of the miscellany was self-indulgent and mediocre.

  1. Conservatism to believe in
  2. 160 years: “Plurality is not enough”
  3. Our Reagan-haunted GOP
  4. Neckties and Nooses
  5. Abominations


The CrunchyCon Manifesto:

  1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.
  2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.
  3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
  4. Culture is more important than politics and economics.
  5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.
  6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.
  7. Beauty is more important than efficiency.
  8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
  9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.
  10. “Politics and economics won’t save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.


The Babylon Bee has quickly emerged as my favorite internet satire site, surpassing even The Onion. And it’s always dangerous to pick away factually at satire, humor, comic strips and such.

But here goes.

With No Teams Left In The Sweet 16, John Kasich Still ‘Confident’ He Can Win Office Pool.

… “I was really surprised when he started talking trash about how he was going to win the pool, where he would put the trophy, and how sweet the winning t-shirt would look under his blazer.”

“I mean the guy doesn’t have any teams left!” he continued. “It’s mathematically impossible for him to win. And yet, all he could talk about was the half-court shot from Northern Iowa and how he totally nailed that pick. I was like, you do know they choked in the next game, right?”

Admittedly, amusing. But juxtapose it to Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal:

Don’t Coddle Donald Trump
A nominee needs a majority. Abraham Lincoln played by that rule—so can the New York businessman.

The rule that the Republican nominee must win a majority of the national convention has been in force for 160 years, since the party’s first convention in 1856 selected John C. Fremont as its standard-bearer. Five Republicans who went on to become president trailed in the convention when voting began.

Rove then gives persuasive, specific examples.

I could easily imagine Kasich winning this office pool as the least objectionable alternative after Trump enters with a mere plurality. There’s no such thing as “mathematical impossibility” of winning the GOP nomination if the GOP, like the Democrats once did, could compromise on someone who didn’t even run.

Thank you, Karl Rove, for letting me sleep at night again.

On the other hand, is there anything the GOP can’s screw up?


For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats. But that’s clearly no longer true.

We’ve gone from Rising Tide America to Coming Apart America. Technological change, globalization and social and family breakdown mean that the benefits of growth, to the extend there is growth, are not widely shared.

Republicans sort of recognize this reality, but they are still imprisoned in the Reaganite model. They ask Reaganite questions, propose Reaganite policies and have Reaganite instincts.

(David Brooks, one of The Donald’s less favorite opinion writers)


Leave it to someone like Mr David Brooks to ‘save’ the conservative movement by substituting Emile Durkheim for Adam Smith on our movement neckties. But real conservatives never went for Adam, and won’t go for Emile, either. I’d have thought an Edmund Burke cravat sufficient to symbolize conservatism, but perhaps we need a different tie for each day of the week: Sunday, Pope Pius IX; Monday, John Henry Cardinal Newman (Roman collars optional with these two); Tuesday, J.R.R. Tolkien; Wednesday, Lord Beaconsfield; Thursday, Jefferson Davis; Friday, Evelyn Waugh; and Saturday, William McKinley. Now, there would be a genuine Conservative Collection!

(Colonel Bogey, hyperlink added)

Conservatism is dying because there isn’t anything to conserve.

Conservatism died because those Adam Smith neckties were nooses. It was suicide. There’s plenty left to conserve, you just have to shed the libertarian lie that Rod thinks will save him.

And those GOP justices? Their decisions empower Wall Street’s rapaciousness as they pay lip service to religious freedom. The votes that destroy communities and families are not about “personal, private virtue,” but about economic policy.



These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

(Proverbs 6:16-19)

* * * * *

“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.