EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for March 2, 2010
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This year many of us will be faced with a similar dilemma—wondering whether a Republican politician, who claims to be a conservative, is the real deal or the type who goes along to get along and will end up being part of the problem.
For self-described conservatives, it is easy to be pro-life, pro-troops, and pro-tax cuts. In most races, that is not how you separate the wheat from the chaff. You separate them on the basis of their belief in limited government—in short, do they think that government should do stuff. Period. And there is no better bellwether of politician’s proclivities toward limited government than whether they request and defend earmarks.
I know, I know. Many defenders of the Republican establishment don’t want us to talk earmarks. Earmarks are not the problem! They amount to such a small portion of the federal budget. Earmarks are the only way to deal with an intransient bureaucracy. They divide Republicans when we should be focused on battling the Obama Administration’s liberal agenda. Earmarks are the only form of constitutional spending and need to be defended no matter how unpopular. Its about the CONSTITUTION—didn’t you know??
The arguments are many, but they are all full of holes.
It appears that, for all the supererogatory publicity, all the celebrity promotion, all the doomsaying, all the prevarication, the green agenda is breaking on the shoals of reality.
Recently, the (British) Institute of Physics — as Mencius Moldbug wryly comments “only the national physics society of the country that invented physics” — released a statement on the Climategate emails which begins with about as thorough a rebuke as can be imagined from a bureaucratic institution.
Like a spoiled and petulant child who has tattled on a sibling to Daddy to no effect, angry liberals who are mad that Bush Administration lawyers suggested it was legal to put a terrorist in a box with a caterpillar have decided to try the other parent to see if they get a more satisfactory response. By way of reminder, the DoJ cleared Yoo and Bybee last week of professional misconduct in connection with the issuance of the infamous “torture” memos which suggested that throwing neck-braced terrorists against fake walls might not be illegal. Ever content to parody themselves, outraged liberals offended at our very uncouth treatment of people who plot our national destruction have been busy demanding the heads of current law professor John Yoo and current federal appeals judge Jay Bybee ever since. Apparently, they now want the DC Bar and Pennsylvania Bar to take some sort of action against Yoo and Bybee.
From the give credit where credit is due file: The Washington Post editorializes today on the damning Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report on Venezuela that was issued last week. The evisceration of Venezuela’s democracy is laid out in dispassionate detail–the judicial and media crackdowns, the elimination of the private sector and the targeted use of violence against any and all opposition. Our tendency has been to dismiss Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez as a minor annoyance–a buffoon who bumbled his way into power and would bumble out again at some point, or, worse, to embrace him as a modern day Che Guevara who channels low-cost heating oil through the kindly auspices of Joe Kennedy and Bill Delahunt to underprivileged Americans. But this report paints a very different and ugly picture of a canny, ruthless manipulator who has over the last decade effectively consolidated the power of this once-vibrant democracy into his despotic hands.
The response so far has been a resounding so what? Why should we care, and even if we could summon the energy to care, what can we do about it? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are now we should care very much and there is precious little we can do–although if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would read this report it would be a start.
I want and need you to pay serious attention to this.
The Los Angeles Times is running a story today about the rising tide of moderates sweeping into the GOP. This will only happen if you let it.