“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shelby Steele On The Attraction of Conservatism

Monday's Wall Street Journal featured an incredibly well-written, personal view on the GOP's challenge in luring minority voters, as expressed by prominent black conservative and Hoover Institute member Shelby Steele.

Steele explained, by way of personal attestation,

"What drew me to conservatism years ago was the fact that it gave discipline a slightly higher status than virtue. This meant it could not be subverted by passing notions of the good. It could be above moral vanity. And so it made no special promises to me as a minority. It neglected me in every way except as a human being who wanted freedom. Until my encounter with conservatism I had only known the racial determinism of segregation on the one hand and of white liberalism on the other -- two varieties of white supremacy in which I could only be dependent and inferior."

This is something that I have always suspected. That is, open- and fair-minded minorities eventually realize that liberalism plays on their sense of inferiority and victimhood, rather than their equality as a person, irrespective of the very attribute which characterized their minority status.

But Steele went further, writing elsewhere in his piece,

"When redemption became a term of power, "redemptive liberalism" was born -- a new activist liberalism that gave itself a "redemptive" profile by focusing on social engineering rather than liberalism's classic focus on individual freedom. In the '60s there was no time to allow individual freedom to render up the social good. Redemptive liberalism would proactively engineer the good. Name a good like "integration," and then engineer it into being through a draconian regimen of school busing. If the busing did profound damage to public education in America, it gave liberals the right to say, "At least we did something!" In other words, we are activists against America's old sin of segregation. Activism is moral authority in redemptive liberalism.

But conservatism sees moral authority more in a discipline of principles than in activism. It sees ideas of the good like "diversity" as mere pretext for the social engineering that always leads to unintended and oppressive consequences. Conservatism would enforce the principles that ensure individual freedom, and then allow "the good" to happen by "invisible hand."

And here is conservatism's great problem with minorities. In an era when even failed moral activism is redemptive -- and thus a source of moral authority and power -- conservatism stands flat-footed with only discipline to offer. It has only an invisible hand to compete with the activism of the left. So conservatism has no way to show itself redeemed of America's bigoted past, no way like the Great Society to engineer a grand display of its innocence, and no way to show deference to minorities for the oppression they endured. Thus it seems to be in league with that oppression."

Steele is, in my opinion, completely correct. Conservatism's "invisible hand" offers no splashy and expensive programs to demonstrate itself. Rather, it relies on each person's comfort in the security of their own beliefs and the liberty to pursue their self-determined goals without government intervention or interference.

For a white to state these things is suspect. Coming from Shelby Steele, however, they are both elegant and credible.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grassley Should Be Recalled

Here's a YouTube video clip containing Iowa Senator Grassley's call for AIG executives to commit suicide.

I thought the Senate was supposed to be the country's "deliberative" body. These remarks by Grassley are reprehensible and inappropriate for an elected federal government official.

Yesterday, on Glenn Beck's Fox News program, psychologist Drew Pinsky decried Grassley's outburst as signifying a dangerous populism more akin to the French Revolution than our own, more reasoned and principled American Revolution.

I find Grassley to be tremendously irritating. From his grandmotherly rasping voice and similar glasses to his annoying Iowan farmer's perspective, his naivete, which the Senator mistakes for common sense, he has become, for me, emblematic of what is wrong with Congress.

Grassley demands corporate contrition for the US financial sector woes, but conveniently sidesteps his own and his colleagues' culpability in allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to swell to dangerous sizes, as well as forcing banks to make CRA mortgage loans which contributed to the current dilemma.

Perhaps the Senator will favor us all with a live demonstration on himself of how the AIG executives might follow up on Grassley's demand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Carolyn Maloney Wants To Eliminate Private Contracts

New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney is reaching new heights of stupidity and legislative excess.

I wrote this post last month describing her economic naivete. It was hard to believe Maloney could behave worse than that on live television. But she has.

Yesterday, I saw her ranting on Grat Von Sustern's Fox News program that she was introducing legislation to tax the recent AIG bonuses at 100%! Moreover, when Greta pointed out that these were private contracts, Maloney retorted that Congress would simply nullify them.

That's right. This Congressional idiot is now rampaging through contract law, a linchpin of our economic system, threatening- no, promising- to simply legislate private contracts to be void.

It's hard to fully convey the irrational, grasping, power-crazed persona that Maloney projected last night.

For what it's worth, even Charlie Rangel, another liberal NY Democratic Representative, and tax-cheating-embroiled chair of the Ways and Means Committee, has indicated that he is hesitant to use the tax code to punish specific groups.

To her, standing laws, legal protections and the sanctity of the contract are nothing. If her own culpability as a member who voted for the TARP is inconvenient, she'll simply shred existing legal protections using federal power.

This woman is dangerous. Let's hope her district sends her back to whatever she was doing before she became a stain on our Congress.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wonderboy's Fall In The Polls

Last week, Karl Rove, on a Fox News program, displayed a comparative chart of public opinion results for Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush senior, GW Bush, Clinton and Wonderboy.

Guess what? The latter's poll numbers are now squarely in the middle of the pack. Ironically, Carter had the highest early poll numbers. And we all know where he ended up.

Despite the media love affair with the First Rookie, he's already fallen back to earth from the pantheon of the Gods where the liberal media has tried to install him since last summer.

Remember the faux Greek columns in Denver?

Anyway, as Rove pointed out, even his boss, George Bush, had higher ratings at this point in his infant administration.

So much for change that the public wants. Or the strict view that everybody must get behind a new President and want him to succeed.

More on that in my next post.

Monday, March 16, 2009

That Was Then....This Is Now

Remember back in September when Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, in an attempt to promote positive attitudes about the US economy, declared it to be "fundamentally sound?"

And then Wonderboy made fun of him, and claimed the US economy was the worst since the Depression of the 1930s, conveniently overlooking the Carter-created 1980-82 recession?

Guess who's now claiming, after months of worse job loss numbers than we saw by October, that the US economy is, yes, "fundamentally sound?"

That's right- our newly-elected First Rookie.

Wonderboy's handlers, when asked about this, replied,

'We won that spin contest, and the election.'

Nice. We have a liar in the Oval Office. The same guy who decried the condition of our economy when it was actually performing somewhat better than it is now, now is trying to tell everyone, as he socializes the country, that the economy is still in good shape.

Is it 2012 yet? Can we vote the inept one out yet?