Heck, I’ve made this argument before, although I don’t remember if I ever did publicly. Mark Thiessen:
Americans have lost confidence not only in Obama’s competence but also in the competence of the federal government. And therein lies the great, unintended conservative achievement of the Obama presidency: Barack Obama has done more to discredit the cause of big government than a thousand Reagan speeches ever did.
This is one reason, by the way, that I take with a grain of salt most assertions that the President has a Secret Plan to radically change the country: based on the clown show that I’ve been watching for the last five years, we’d be a good deal safer if Obama did. The real problem with Barack Obama is that he’s at his most dangerous when he’s trying his best.
Via Hot Air Headlines.
(via Instapundit) He calls it crazy, but it’s not, really:
So here’s what I”m suggesting. Instead of donating to a candidate or a party, donate to a blogger or a podcaster. Make a regular habit of it. If you’d normally give $100 to a candidate, give a blogger $20 a month for five months. Heck, give $20 to five different bloggers. Let them know, in paying green fashion, that you support and appreciate what they do. Tell your friends, too and point them to the same bloggers to whom you donate. Get a little contest going among your friends and family to see who can get the first blogger to post about how their tip jar exploded because of all the cash that you all stuffed into it. Make it last at least through the end of this year and see how it works. If you can keep it up into 2012, when the new media will be even more important, do it. I know times are tough, but I think we can all come up with $10 or $20 a month somewhere.
Plenty of people out there who could use something like this, frankly.
That’s the message (via RCP) of this article about the premature death announcement of conservatism. I will only note that they certainly had us down on one knee, at one point; fortunately, progressives fight like Braxton Bragg did after Chickamauga. Which is to say, no killing instinct and with plenty of backbiting along the way; it’s a damned good thing that we were able to knock the Democrats back on their heels in the GA-SEN runoff and the two late LA elections. If they had won those and Specter had then flipped in time for the start of the 111th Congress, the GOP caucus might not have unified… well, no need to fret over things that can never happen, now.
Still, good thing to remember for November: the fight doesn’t stop when the other guy’s on the ground. Although I suspect that the author of the WSJ piece doesn’t really want me to point that out.
Mind you, Matt Welch is not surprised that it has; otherwise, his fairly comprehensive evisceration of this Salon article whining about the maturity level of libertarianism would have been a good deal more, ah, exercised. I imagine that being editor-in-chief for Reason generally means that one gets used fairly quickly to the pander-then-minimize cycle that libertarians get from both Democrats and Republicans – I say this as a Republican, mind you. I’m not even apologetic about it: my only regret is that we pander too little and minimize too much. Why? Because of paragraphs like this:
The “worldview” of libertarianism suggested, back in the early 1970s, that if you got the government out of the business of setting all airline ticket prices and composing all in-flight menus, then just maybe Americans who were not rich could soon enjoy air travel. At the time, people with much more imagination and pull than Gabriel Winant has now dismissed the idea as unrealistic, out-of-touch fantasia. They were wrong then, they continue to be wrong now about a thousand similar things, and history does not judge them harsh enough.
The differences between libertarians, liberals, and conservatives can be handily seen with this paragraph. When asked whether the government should be involved in something, the libertarian will default to “No;” the liberal, to “Yes;” and the conservative to “I don’t think so.” What a lot of conservatives forget is that their answer and the libertarian answer is not quite the same; once a conservative is convinced that government intervention is acceptable or even laudable he will enthusiastically support it*. And what a lot of libertarians forget is that while “No” and “Probably not” are not quite the same, “No” and “Yes” will never be the same; even in places where the results would be the same the process is significantly different**. In other words: to a libertarian, a conservative is an ultimately unreliable ally (and vice versa). But a liberal’s just going to be somebody who’s only right by accident.
What? What do liberals forget? That conservatives and libertarians have triple-digit IQs, of course; and that they can read. Hence, absurdities like the Salon article that sparked Matt’s ire.
Continue reading Liberal Mask Slipping Watch, Libertarian Edition.