Friday, June 22, 2007

Serious debate on the Right. Simplistic formulas on the Left

From Jeff Jacoby

What do liberal Democrats think about the war in Iraq? That's easy: It was a blunder that has become a debacle, and it should be brought to an end as soon as possible. What do conservative Republicans think about the war? That's not so easy.

The right has been fighting over the war since well before it began. The American Conservative -- a biweekly magazine launched in 2002 by Pat Buchanan, a former aide to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and twice a Republican presidential candidate himself -- has vehemently opposed the Iraq campaign, regarding it as the worst kind of nation-building, a squandering of blood and treasure for no vital American interest. By contrast, The Weekly Standard -- a conservative journal edited by William Kristol, an influential Republican strategist -- was among the earliest advocates of invading Iraq, and continues to vigorously defend what it calls "The Right War for the Right Reasons."

Tune in to a Republican presidential debate, and you'll hear views on Iraq that range from John McCain ("if we fail and we have to withdraw, they will follow us home") to Sam Brownback ("we've got to put forward a political plan to create a three-state solution") to Ron Paul ("it was a mistake to go, so it's a mistake to stay"). The Democratic candidates, on the other hand, debate only the purity of one another's antiwar stance: Whose denunciation of the war came first? Whose goes the furthest? They squabble over style, but when it comes to substance, as Hillary Clinton said during a recent debate, "the differences among us are minor."

Iraq is not an anomaly. On one important issue after another, the right churns with serious disputes over policy and principle, while the left marches mostly in lockstep. Liberals sometimes disagree over tactics and details, but anyone taking a heterodox position on a major issue can find himself out in the cold. Just ask Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat dumped by his party for the sin of supporting the war.

In the liberal imagination, conservatives are blind dogmatists, spouters of a party line fed to them by (take your pick) big business, their church, or President Bush. (A classic expression of this idea was the Washington Post's description of evangelical Christians in a Page 1 story some years back as "poor, uneducated, and easy to command.") Yet almost anywhere you look on the right these days, what stands out is the lack of ideological conformity.

Take immigration. National Review, an old and distinguished address on the map of American conservatism, has long championed a restrictionist immigration policy and a tough-minded crackdown on illegal immigrants; it furiously opposed the recent Senate immigration bill. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, an equally venerable conservative voice, favors more immigration, not less, and regards the crusade against illegal immigration as contrary to America's best interests. On May 31, in an editorial on their popular website, the editors of National Review threw down the gauntlet: "We hereby challenge the Journal's editors to debate the immigration bill in a neutral venue with a moderator of their choosing -- two or three of us versus any two or three of them. . . . We urge them to come out of the shadows, and hope defending the bill in this forum is not another one of those jobs that no American will do."

It isn't only within the conservative media that immigration policy is hotly debated. The GOP presidential field runs the gamut from McCain, co-author of the immigration bill, to hard-liner Tom Tancredo, who calls the bill "the worst piece of legislation to come down the pike in a long time." In the think-tank world, a leading advocate of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is Tamar Jacoby (no relation), an expert at the conservative Manhattan Institute. One of the most implacable voices *against* any such "amnesty" is Heather Mac Donald -- also of the Manhattan Institute.

Another example: abortion. The GOP platform has been pro-life for decades, yet the unabashedly pro-choice Rudy Giuliani leads most of the Republican preference polls. Try to imagine a pro-life Democrat as a front-running candidate for the White House. Or health insurance: The Massachusetts healthcare law that takes effect next month is highly praised by the Heritage Foundation and fiercely critiqued by the Cato Institute, two of Washington's most influential right-of-center think tanks. From school vouchers to stem cell research to racial preferences to torture, the American right bubbles with debate and disagreement, while the left, for all its talk about "diversity," rarely seems to show any.



If the attackers had been white it would have been a KKK event!: "A Texas man was beaten to death by enraged onlookers after the car in which he was riding struck a four-year-old girl, said police in Austin. Investigators believe David Rivas Morales, 40, was beaten by two or three men on Tuesday night after the girl was struck in the car park of an apartment building, said an Austin police commander. The girl was treated at an Austin hospital and released. The men initially attacked the driver of the car but turned on Mr Morales after he got out of the vehicle to try to stop the assault, said Commander Harold Piatt of the Austin police homicide unit. The driver was able to leave the area in his car and was cooperating with homicide detectives. While Mr Morales is Hispanic and his attackers were black, police said they don't believe the attack was racially motivated. "This wasn't a hate crime," [OH NO! Blacks don't commit hate crimes!] Cdr Piatt said. "This wasn't a racist crime. There is absolutely no reason to think race had anything to do with this."

BBC supports those it calls "freedom fighters": "Politicians reacted in disbelief to the revelation that for over two hours yesterday, the BBC News website carried a request for people in Iraq to report on troop movements. The request was removed from the website after it sparked furious protests that the corporation was endangering the lives of British servicemen and women. According to accounts last night, a story on a major operation by US and Iraqi troops against al-Qa'eda somewhere north of Baghdad contained an extraordinary request for information about the movement of troops. Last night the BBC confirmed the wording of the request was: "Are you in Iraq? Have you seen any troop movements? If you have any information you would like to share with the BBC, you can do so using the form below. A spokesman was unable to offer a detailed explanation of why anyone at the BBC should be seeking such information"

This will REALLY help lower gasoline prices: ""A proposal to hit oil companies with $29 billion in new taxes advanced in the Senate on Tuesday, targeting the money to energy conservation, wind turbines, electric hybrid cars and clean coal technology. The massive tax package, double what Democrats had discussed as recently as last week, is 'designed to promote clean and sustainable energy,' said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee that approved the measure by a 15-5 vote. It is expected later this week to be added to energy legislation being considered by the full Senate." [Has anybody ever told these morons that it is Joe Average who pay these taxes in the end?]

Mass democracy fails in Gaza: "The civil war between the Fatah and Hamas parties in Gaza and the victory by Hamas militants is yet another example of the dismal failure of mass democracy. The main purpose of democracy is to prevent civil war. Large communities require leadership, and the two ways of selecting the leaders are with force or with choice. Democracy provides a means for the people to peacefully choose their leaders. But for that to work, the people must agree to accept the outcome. For democracy to work well, the population must sympathize more with the concept of democracy than with their favored parties, ideologies, and policies."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


1 comment:

Ms Ikuisesti said...

illegal immigrants yeah

a bit sad really, it's australias own supermarket