Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The disassembling of the Weekly Standard

Is the Weekly Standard really a good representation of free markets or conservative thinking?  Most of the writers over there couldn't define and defend a free market if they wandered into one.  Neither could they do so on theoretical or moral grounds.  They are big government conservatives, whatever in the hell that means.  In my book that is a left of center Democrat.

Jay Cost writes that Castle is a middle of the road Republican and perfect for the Northeast.  Let's counter that 'strategic' rhetoric so favored by armchair academics and so resoundingly rejected if practical excellence in the real world is the goal.

First, O'Donnell hasn't lost yet, so why all the fuss?  The colorful tapestry of the play ending in November has not been written nor acted out.  In fact, if the Weekly Standard would stop shooting conservatives in the foot, their roles on the stage would undoubtedly immediately brighten and enervate.  Has anyone over at the Weekly Standard ever climbed a mountain to get a project done?  Do they have any sense at all of the mountain facing the nation?  If they had and they do, they might consider that with the country facing bankruptcy, digging in to the 'thin soil of Delaware' and doing everything they could (and that could be plenty) to get O'Donnell elected might be a good start.

Anyone losing their career to an unfriendly bureaucracy, or with enough empathy to imagine how that might shake one's confidence to their very core, might cut O'Donnell some slack.  O'Donnell wouldn't be the first person in the world to exaggerate her position in the face of a loss that would besmirch her career.  Seen in that light, it was a childish and stupid article that attacked O'Donnell and questioned her sanity.  Besides, elected officials have done much worse than exaggerate their course load.  Like vote for cap and trade and the significant hollowing out of America it would cause.  Now that's something that can hardly be forgiven.

The Standard's scathing article of O'Donnell (to which I will not link) borders on slander with its implications.  We believe the Weekly Standard doth protest too much.  They like Castle because he's one of them.  On most topics, Kristol's sophistry is either hypocritical or defends big government.  He should join the Democrats.  It's where their rag belongs.  The Weekly Standard's conservative brand image is by now misleading.  Kristol still doesn't get it; he's on Fox every night to represent the middle of the political spectrum as the big government guy and foil to the Progressive left and Conservative right.

The Progressives and the Weekly Standard share numerous traits, not least of which is their preference for big government, differing only where they wish the intrusion to take place.  They believe one can pick and choose over-reaching power without the bureaucracy tiger biting them in their armchair shaped asses, just as they believe they can pick and choose RHINOS and still remain principled and win the day.  That kind of thinking will get you a quarter and a bag of donuts on a good day, but it won't bring you back from the brink of bankruptcy.  In fact, it is that kind of half baked, nuanced, over-thinking that gets the country into the mess it is in now.

Second and more importantly, it is long past time conservatism and free markets got multiple voices and roles on the political stage.  If not now, when?  O'Donnell may not be politically Beltway savvy.  Who cares?  Neither is Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck.  But they've both done more for conservatism and free markets and a return to sanity than the Republican machine and its stalwart publications have done in twenty years.  It's no coincidence that the Weekly Standard denigrates and down plays those voices as well.

We whole heartedly disagree with the Standard's 'nuanced strategic' position.  Free market and small government voices must make inroads before they can be heard and appreciated.  That will not happen with Castles around, or the Weekly Standard defending them. 

The argument that free market proponents must take what they can get from the Northeast is a flawed one.  It is more important that a conservative voice be heard than a RHINO be elected.  This country will not be healed in 4 or 8 or 12 years.  It is likely to get worse before the people truly, honestly understand how dire the situation really is and develop the will to make the hard decisions necessary to right the huge federal ship that is sailing in the wrong direction.  Polling on the issues reveals there is still no real firm will to begin shrinking the federal government.  Republicans themselves are still defending Medicare and the size of the military.  Even they do not understand we can no longer afford (we never could) the politicization of either.

So ultimately it is O'Donnell and people like her that must be heard.  If there is going to be a party that stands on principle, and nurtures individuals to reach for the stars and their own actualization, then there is no room for RHINOS, Roves or Bushes.  And we fully expect other free market websites to fill the gap that 'conservative' publications like the Weekly Standard vacated long ago.

Is O'Donnell perfect?  Who is?  We have a generation or more of people who do not understand markets and publications that do nothing but decry them, including on the Right.  It will take long and loud cries and soliloquies, some of them strident and ill made, for the country to begin to understand how to crawl out of this mess.  And it will take time and multiple elections.  It is long past time we get at it.

O'Donnell put herself on the line, personal warts and all, to do that.  The Weekly Standard, having no stomach for her politics, attacked her personally and got in the way of her message.  Boorish? Yes.  Expected by some establishment paper on the right?  Yes.  But at least she didn't vote for cap and trade.  That would have been unforgivable.

Let's face it; the Standard has been a big government Democrat rag for decades.  If anyone thinks they will find the solutions to the problems of a government out of control in their pages, they are strongly advised to think again.  The Standard's writers need to take some graduate courses before they can constructively contribute to the issues which face the nation.

Finally, the RHINO strategy is wrong because it always means losing.  Progressives want a large, re-distributive government firmly in charge of the economy.  RHINO candidates only slow them  down.  They do not offer an alternative.  What is the use of a party that merely slows down the crawl to socialism?  By implication a RHINO is either too muddle headed to clearly see the Progressive vision and vote for it wholeheartedly, or too ill advised to understand the alternative.

UPDATE:  Levin is also pissed at the Weekly Standard.

UPDATE II: Don Domenech at Red State agrees with me on O'Donnell.  His point is that a 51 seat Republican Senate makes Castle the most important guy in the room.  Exactly.   Who wants that?

The fact of the matter is that when the chips are down, it is especially important to stand up for principle.  Nothing worth saving was ever accomplished by making compromises.  America is in real trouble here.  The sooner people get focused on that the better.

UPDATE III: Limbaugh went after Rove today...  Fox also questioned Rove who is back tracking his slam of O'Donnell.  Sarah Palin thinks Rove is afraid of an O'Donnell victory.  Hannity also mentioned that right wing publications are slamming the wrong people.

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