Saturday, February 23, 2008

Comment on "Does Hillary still have a miracle play left?" on The Belmont Club

LifeoftheMind said...
Hillary is in the position of being right on the facts regarding the super delegates. She is so tainted as a product of the movement that produced Obama and passed her by that her hypocrisy is breath taking. She is unworthy of benefiting from her narrow technical argument.

The Democrats failed to control the theatrical extremists at Chicago in 1968. After that they surrendered to activists and the "base." The SCOTUS has spoken that political parties can set their own rules for selecting candidates and presumably therefor recognizing their members. It is now up to the adults in both parties to take that message and run with it.

Hopefully we will end up with something closer to a parliamentary party system. In such a system unstable supporters of ideologues like Kucinich or Paul are made to feel unwelcome and the nominee is someone who has been inspected and tested over a couple of decades. Interestingly the party of the left is still more vulnerable to fringe elements in that system but the principle behind a representative and republican system of governance at the party level should apply.

As always this strengthens my argument for the Electoral College. If Mark Steyn can be self proclaimed a Demography Bore I want my niche.

2/23/2008 05:35:00 PM

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Comment on "The key to Iraqi reconciliation" on The Belmont Club

LifeoftheMind said...
America's singular Constitutional gift to the world is Federalism. Yes I know the Swiss got there first. Seriously if we can get the communities in Iraq to understand that the more diverse their overall society the safer they are as members of component communities then the drive for unitary political and moral domination which is at the heart of Islamism will be broken. That is why the Jihadis and their sponsors are in a panic. Bush got it right, our conversion of Iraq into something closer to a normal society poses an existential threat to backwards and totalitarian regimes across the region. Similarly the existence of a moderate multi-confessional Lebanon was barely tolerable when communications were primitive and the locals in some other backwater did not know it existed but in the modern age it is as great a threat as the presence of a modern democratic Israel.

2/13/2008 06:15:00 PM

Comment on "Daily Roundup February 16, 2008" on The Belmont Club

LifeoftheMind said...
The Republican's have suffered because of two holes in their platform.

1) Something they stand for that means more than "Conservatism" to the voters. Eight years ago after Clinton "Maturity" was the theme, as in "Isn't it time to let the adults take charge?" The pork barrel politicing that cost them the Congress two years ago made that a tough theme to run on. My suggestion is that they run on the theme of "Civilization." We are for it and it is worth defending. A good politician can make this an inclusive and uplifting approach. Reagan did this brilliantly.

2) We do need something to run against. It better not be seen as running against the woman or the black guy. Running against "Liberalism" is as tired and empty to the average voter as running for "Conservatism." At one time Republicans were very successful in running against Tip O'Neill. He became the poster boy for the old corrupt sounding insider politics we didn't want to be identified with. My suggestion is that Republicans run against the Trial Lawyers Association. Dan Quayle was unsuccessful in attempting this but the problem may have been the messenger more than the message.

The failure of the Democrats to pass the intelligence bill could be best attacked not on narrow legal or policy grounds. If we go down in those weeds the Democrats will flood Jim Lehrer's News Hour and other shows with windy explorations of the procedures of the FISA courts until America goes to sleep. In fact they have already started. If we attack it as a full employment gift to Trial Lawyers then we can build a band wagon.

The Democratic party rests financially on four interlocking pillars. One is the public service employees unions, especially teachers. Second is the inherited wealth of trust fund babies. That includes the management of the Foundations that have effectively inherited much of the great wealth of the Industrial Age, such as the Ford Foundation. Third is a very narrow self referential Arts and Culture elite. Finally there are the Trial Lawyers. Anything that redistributes power away from these four groups is good for America and good for the Republican Party.

2/16/2008 04:02:00 PM

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Comment on "Resign, Archbishop of Dhimmitude" on Michelle Malkin

On February 9th, 2008 at 9:36 pm, Lifeofthemind said:
Henry VIII always felt himself to be a Catholic. He probably believed that marrying his late brother’s (presumably unconsummated) widow was illegal. His title of Defender of the Faith from the Pope, that the English Throne uses to this day, was for his critique of Luther. Henry was an interesting and accomplished man.

The problem with the Church of England is that after the Civil Wars of the 17th century the teeth were drawn from the established religion. Establishment is not designed to increase the power of the Church but to defang it, house-train it and make it harmless. The tradition arose of sending the fool in the family into the Church. Tolerance became the central formal doctrine of the Church of England. The important thing was they had to be tolerant of royal whims and peculiarities and also of regional or political Protestant minority groups. The expectation was that the non-conformists of the Chapel would in return be politically loyal to the Crown. That was centuries before anyone thought about Moslem immigration. Tolerance for Jews and Catholics came more slowly. Troublesome non-conformist sects were largely exported or channeled into industrial and political movements. That is the historical basis for the Liberals and ultimately the Labor Party.

Americans sometimes have trouble understanding how the recent carnage of the 20th century, especially the First World War, created the deep strain of pacifism that Britain, and many other parts of Europe, exhibit today. It is much harder for us to understand how the horrors of the religious wars of the 17th century produced the desire for secularism and tolerance that dominates elite opinions in Europe.