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Spiny Norman
25-04-2009, 06:36 AM
This is for you Gunner, as O'Rourke has a wonderful turn of phrase (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/the-ditch-carp-of-democracy/1492879.aspx):


America has wound up with a charming leftist as a president. And this scares me. This scares me not because I hate leftists. I don’t. I have many charming leftist friends. They’re lovely people - as long as they keep their nose out of things they don’t understand. Such as making a living.

When charming leftists stick their nose into things they don’t understand they become ratchet-jawed purveyors of monkey-doodle and baked wind. They are piddlers upon merit, beggars at the door of accomplishment, thieves of livelihood, envy coddling tax lice applauding themselves for giving away other people’s money. They are the lap dogs of the poly sci-class, returning to the vomit of collectivism. They are pig herders tending that sow-who-eats-her-young, the welfare state. They are muck-dwelling bottom-feeders growing fat on the worries and disappointments of the electorate. They are the ditch carp of democracy.

And that’s what one of their friends says.

Basil
25-04-2009, 11:03 AM
Paying $250 HCDs right there, folks!

That is quite possibly the most articulate, most beautiful prose that I have ever seen written on a bulletin board!

I feel channeled! I feel plagiarised! Today is a beautiful day!

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/scene66/smilies/smiley-score010.gif

Rincewind
25-04-2009, 12:18 PM
For all of Thomas Sowell's faults, at least you can admire someone who doesn't feel so threatened that he has to stoop to vacuous name calling. Well, at least not paragraphs of nothing but.

Spiny Norman
25-04-2009, 12:20 PM
... but that is precisely the beauty of it ... it is so creative, as he keeps thinking up new and improved invective!

Basil
25-04-2009, 12:21 PM
For all of Thomas Sowell's faults, at least you can admire someone who doesn't feel so threatened that he has to stoop to vacuous name calling. Well, at least not paragraphs of nothing but.
It's not Thomas Sowell, but regardless Baz; in the face of a such a wall of gross global social stupidity it's all many of us have left - and damn it feels good - not least of which is probably because it hits the nail so accurately.

Rincewind
25-04-2009, 12:25 PM
... but that is precisely the beauty of it ... it is so creative, as he keeps thinking up new and improved invective!

Mmmm sorry but rant like the above worry me as it appeals to the heard instinct. A bit like saying everyone knows the Jews are bad because of what Luther said about them therefore we can vilify them provided we can come up with new and improved invectives. Hey presto, we're back in Nuremberg in the 30s.

Basil
25-04-2009, 12:32 PM
Mmmm sorry but rant like the above worry me as it appeals to the heard instinct. A bit like saying everyone knows the Jews are bad because of what Luther said about them therefore we can vilify them provided we can come up with new and improved invectives. Hey presto, we're back in Nuremberg in the 30s.
Didn't take yu long to take the discussion back to KB's rule of something or other (nazizm). You read it how you want, mate. I can assure you your dead-bat dismissal is well below the horizon of what is being ridiculed in O'Rourke's piece.

Rincewind
25-04-2009, 12:35 PM
You read it how you want, mate. I can assure you your dead bat dismissal is well below what some us see.

Yes, I'm sure it looks good when you're one of the herd.

Capablanca-Fan
25-04-2009, 12:38 PM
For all of Thomas Sowell's faults,
What faults?:hmm: :eek:


at least you can admire someone who doesn't feel so threatened that he has to stoop to vacuous name calling.
Yes, he gives good reasons for his beliefs, and has written many books about them.


Well, at least not paragraphs of nothing but.
Yet KB has mentioned O'Rourke's demolition of alGore with approval (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=178513&postcount=130):


The essence of why I detest Gore has also fallen through the cracks as there are not enough questions of the form "what is your attitude towards a candidate who is a globetrotting eco-zealot who PJ O'Rourke correctly described as having the brains of a King Charles Spaniel?"

Also, I've previously cited (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=215407&postcount=1958) O'Rourke's lambasting of what passes for the political Right in America:


We Blew It (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/791jsebl.asp):
A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered.
Weekly Standard 14(9), 17 November 2008.

Rincewind
25-04-2009, 12:44 PM
The essence of why I detest Gore has also fallen through the cracks as there are not enough questions of the form "what is your attitude towards a candidate who is a globetrotting eco-zealot who PJ O'Rourke correctly described as having the brains of a King Charles Spaniel?"

Gore is a soft target. Even Letterman targets him. :)

Basil
25-04-2009, 01:47 PM
Yes, I'm sure it looks good when you're one of the herd.
I think it's interesting (or perhapds a eflection of the paucity of your options) that you chose the 'herd' defence (attack) given that lefties are the epitome of the herdist mentality: unions, meetings, marches, solidarity, coops, great tomes - all designed to perpetuate and entrap within group-think. :hand:

Kevin Bonham
25-04-2009, 02:40 PM
O'Rourke does give his own side a passing razzing in that piece too:


The Right is the party that says government doesn't work. And then they get elected and prove it.

So while he likes abusing lefties he's far from uncritical about his own side's failings. And he's always been like that.

That said, I've heard his speech generally wasn't all that funny and that he was largely going through the motions of being PJ O'Rourke.

Basil
25-04-2009, 03:03 PM
I don't read Sowell, O'Rourke or any of the political commentators and will take KB's comments on their face. Regardless, the opening quoted post is

pure gold for the ages

ER
25-04-2009, 03:06 PM
... the herdist mentality: unions, meetings, marches, solidarity, coops, great tomes - all designed to perpetuate and entrap within group-think. :hand:
Hey, that's an accurate NAZI party description! :hmm:

Basil
25-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Hey, that's an accurate NAZI party description! :hmm:
Nope. The nazis fail the 'great tomes' for starters. While a few books may have been penned, they were more monuments to self than anything. Lefty books (of proven unworkable drivel) are widely picked-up voluntarily by the weak-minded and eagerly passed around as the great awakening. Not at all true of (the handful of teenage) voluntary nazis outside of the 1934-1944 crockpot.

ER
25-04-2009, 03:26 PM
Nope. The nazis fail the 'great tomes' for starters. While a few books may have been penned,...
Wrong! Nazi Ideology Before 1933 is a classic!
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:kQzCd59NqdsJ:www.alibris.com/search/books/qwork/4603595/used/Nazi%2520Ideology%2520Before%25201933:%2520A%2520D ocumentation+NAZI+ideology+before+1933&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

For a good summary and info check here:
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=fG_oAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA147&lpg=PA147&dq=NAZI+writers&source=bl&ots=SuprTP9cGI&sig=oJDUGQXb3hEl94J9tgCfvvQrX0Y&hl=en&ei=fpzySfD-HYuOMpiN2McP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6

I can't remember if Barbara Miller Lane includes Mein Kampf in her anthology!

Basil
25-04-2009, 03:35 PM
Elliott, refering to an era that lived and died in a bubble, and is now widely regarded as vile by the mainstream, and further was never adopted by the global mainstream in any sense (nazism) IS NOT the same as the living, breathing socialist ideology that has a part in the heart of millions of leftists across nations which span the globe, and has done for 100 years. I don't know what you believe you achieved with your citation - the books do not form a part of any revered ideology that is passed breathlessly from father to son.

It seems you and Baz are intent on throwing up as many furfies as possible to deflect from the marvellous, on point and punishing indictment that we righties have of our friends on the left in the first post. You are wonderful people and of course entirely clueless.

ER
25-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Elliott, refering to an era that lived and died in a bubble, and is now widely regarded as vile by the mainstream, and further was never adopted by the global mainstream in any sense (nazism) IS NOT the same as the living, breathing socialist ideology that has a part in the heart of millions of leftists across nations which span the globe, and has done for 100 years.
It seems you and Baz are intent on throwing up as many furfies as possible to deflect from the marvellous, on point and punishing indictment that we righties have of our friends on the left in the first post. You are wonderful people and of course entirely clueless.
Howie, Nazism, not in name but in mentality and practice has a longer presence in human history than socialism! It was there behind every oppressing, exploiting, imperialistic regime in the world!
You would be much more convincing (and less Basil Fawlty-like:lol:(nothing wrong with Basil ) if you:
Stopped your usual generalisations in accusing people branding them as whatever name dropping comes in your narrow-minded and as such short sighted way of thinking!
Woke up and realise (I know that's hard living in QLD :P) that you do not live in the cold war era anymore, and the reds aren't hidden under your bed and in your closets!
Realised that you were always a pain (witty, lovable, admirable but pain nevertheless:owned: ) but since you gave up smoking, your behavioural patterns and rhetorics sway invariably from delirious to paroxysmic! Either watch more anti-smoking videos or start smoking again! By the way what's this physio business?
Watched Bertolucci's Novecento (1900) (sorry he is another lefty) and realised your resemblance in mannerisms with (brilliantly potrayed by Donald Sutherland) Attila Mellanchini (name and surname of great significance :P).
If by Baz you mean Dr Cox you are wrong again. We tend to disagree with each other in almost every topic under the sun! By the way if you told any person who knows me, including work colleagues (union delegates amongst them) ex-wives, friends, enemies, etc that I am a lefty they will simply laugh at you! :lol:

Basil
25-04-2009, 04:15 PM
OK I confess to not reading everything you wrote but I did catch the last sentence. Nice!

However, if at the end of the day, you're absolutely standing your ground and insisting that O'Rourke's piece squarely (and accurately) aimed at lefties is also applicable to the Nazis - well who am I to argue? :owned: ;)

Rincewind
25-04-2009, 04:31 PM
OK I confess to not reading everything you wrote but I did catch the last sentence. Nice!

I don't consider myself a leftie either and in fact have voted for the Coalition more often that any other party. Mainly due to my general disdain for 3rd party politics and the fact that I live in one of the bluest ribbon ALP seats in the country.

Just lazy writing like that quoted in the first post contains no reasoned argument. It is not trying to persuade or to elucidate. It is simply a diatribe of the lowest denomination. It will only appeal to an audience of self-confessed leftie-bashers and thus it is shallow and unskilled. Not necessarily because P. J. O'Rourke is unskillful, but simply on this occasion he sets his sights far too low.

ER
25-04-2009, 04:32 PM
OK I confess to not reading everything you wrote but I did catch the last sentence. Nice!

However, if at the end of the day, you're absolutely standing your ground and insisting that O'Rourke's piece squarely (and accurately) aimed at lefties is also applicable to the Nazis - well who am I to argue? :owned: ;)

No, no, no! At no point did I express any opinion on O'Rourke's article! My comment was on your "herdist mentality" statement! By the way don't I get anything for the use of "paroxysmic"??? :(

eclectic
25-04-2009, 04:36 PM
No, no, no! At no point I expressed any opinion on O'Rourke's article! My comment was on your "herdist mentality" statement! By the way don't I get anything for the use of "paroxysmic"??? :(

paroxysmicknight does indeed have that certain je ne sais quoi ... :whistle:

ER
25-04-2009, 04:51 PM
paroxysmicknight does indeed have that certain je ne sais quoi ... :whistle:

Indeed, I 'd rather the Ernie reference however since instead of the rather modernistic je ne sais quoi I would prefer the Socratean Εν οίδα ότι ουδέν οίδα! :cool: That's extremely out of topic though so let's return to O'Rourke theme!

Basil
25-04-2009, 04:55 PM
I don't consider myself a leftie either and in fact have voted for the Coalition more often that any other party. Mainly due to my general disdain for 3rd party politics and the fact that I live in one of the bluest ribbon ALP seats in the country.
:D


... writing like that quoted in the first post contains no reasoned argument. It is not trying to persuade or to elucidate. It is simply a diatribe of the lowest denomination. It will only appeal to an audience of self-confessed leftie-bashers...
This is true. I think you made that point at #3 and I responded at #5!

Rincewind
25-04-2009, 04:59 PM
This is true. I think you made that point at #3 and I responded at #5!

True but I just wanted to reiterate my position for the benefit of readers who just go back over the last few posts before replying :)

In my defense: I used original wording and I haven't tried to change horses.

Mephistopheles
25-04-2009, 05:59 PM
O'Rourke is generally amusing but here he was well below par. He usually has a point to make and the quoted passage (which may be taken out of context) is nothing but unsupported abuse. As Kevin observes, it seems as if he's said it to be P. J. O'Rourke rather than to make a point.

Basil
25-04-2009, 09:31 PM
...the quoted passage ... is nothing but unsupported abuse.
... and loving it! :D

Denis_Jessop
26-04-2009, 05:28 PM
Do I take it from the bemused sense of enlightenment displayed by the right wing here that they have only just heard of PJ O'Rourke. He is a rare breed of right wing humourists. Most right wingers have no sense of humour to speak of though Goering is recorded as having told one joke (not original) and now always misquoted. Also, it seems, right wingers have little sense of political history if they think that socialism (one form of left wing thought) is only 100 years old. :hmm:

DJ

Rincewind
26-04-2009, 05:37 PM
...Goering is recorded as having told one joke (not original)...

mein Hund hat nicht eine Nase!

Kevin Bonham
26-04-2009, 05:40 PM
Do I take it from the bemused sense of enlightenment displayed by the right wing here that they have only just heard of PJ O'Rourke.

Gunner first heard of him three years ago - thanks to me!
I think Jono had already heard of him however.

Spiny Norman
26-04-2009, 05:42 PM
Most right wingers have no sense of humour to speak of ...
Humbug. ;)

eclectic
26-04-2009, 05:43 PM
Gunner first heard of him three years ago - thanks to me!
I think Jono had already heard of him however.

he was a regular guest of clive james; that's where i know him from

Basil
26-04-2009, 05:44 PM
Do I take it from the bemused sense of enlightenment ...
Forget who he is. Forget where I first heard of him. Forget if I recall that I heard of him. Forget if there's anyone else I should be reading - I read none of them (save if a quote is thrown up here).

I simply appreciate the cited quote. As I said originally, I feel plagiarised. As such not at all a sense of "enlightenment", more one of a kindred spirit.

Capablanca-Fan
26-04-2009, 09:35 PM
Also, it seems, right wingers have little sense of political history if they think that socialism (one form of left wing thought) is only 100 years old. :hmm:
Yeah Dennis, continue your lefty delusions, which are in a sense quite an example of lefty humour. I for one have cited Bastiat's 1850 demolition of socialists, protectionists, Luddites, public works programs, and spendthrifts, What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen (http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html), now best known for the "broken window fallacy".

What Dennis can't find is an instance of socialism ever working!

Oepty
26-04-2009, 11:14 PM
Yeah Dennis, continue your lefty delusions, which are in a sense quite an example of lefty humour. I for one have cited Bastiat's 1850 demolition of socialists, protectionists, Luddites, public works programs, and spendthrifts, What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen (http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html), now best known for the "broken window fallacy".

What Dennis can't find is an instance of socialism ever working!

What has worked?
Scott

ER
27-04-2009, 12:29 AM
What has worked?
Scott

:clap: :clap: :clap: Good question!!! :)

eclectic
27-04-2009, 12:31 AM
but if "nothing" has "worked" it proves the socialist state is alive and well! :owned:

Basil
27-04-2009, 12:31 AM
What has worked?
Scott
Capitalism 'works' with its obvious deficiencies, as every system has its deficiencies. In much the same way the law is an ass - it's the best we've got.

We tick along with capitalism striving to improve and tweak. Ticking along with socialism self-defeats every time.

ER
27-04-2009, 12:34 AM
Capitalism 'works' with its obvious deficiencies, as every system has its deficiencies. In much the same way the law is an ass - it's the best we've got.
Fair enough for the "haves" grossly unfair for the "havenots" but the "it's the best we've got" statement is really hard to beat!

Basil
27-04-2009, 12:45 AM
Fair enough for the "haves" grossly unfair for the "havenots" but the "it's the best we've got" statement is really hard to beat!
One if the many things that makes me wanna puke over leftist ideals is the idea that the have-nots will somehow be better off under the contorted constructs of various leftist systems. Simply - they are never better off.

ER
27-04-2009, 01:03 AM
One if the many things that makes me wanna puke over leftist ideals is the idea that the have-nots will somehow be better off under the contorted constructs of various leftist systems. Simply - they are never better off.
Never say never, in primitive tribal societies they were and they still are, since private property and accumulation of wealth makes no sense to them! And no, I am not prepared to migrate to Amazon, I prefer Capitalism after all! :P

Capablanca-Fan
27-04-2009, 02:16 AM
Fair enough for the "haves" grossly unfair for the "havenots" but the "it's the best we've got" statement is really hard to beat!
How about Churchill:

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

ER
27-04-2009, 03:27 AM
How about Churchill:

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
:clap: :clap: :clap: Sharp and to the point!!! Classic Winston! :)

Mephistopheles
27-04-2009, 06:21 AM
Gunner first heard of him three years ago - thanks to me!
I think Jono had already heard of him however.
The rapturous glee with which they greeted this sub-par offering leaves me surprised to find that they had heard of him at all.

Spiny Norman
27-04-2009, 06:51 PM
I'm waiting for a Righty to nominate it as sub-par ... but I won't be holding my breath ...

Oepty
27-04-2009, 07:01 PM
Capitalism 'works' with its obvious deficiencies, as every system has its deficiencies. In much the same way the law is an ass - it's the best we've got.

We tick along with capitalism striving to improve and tweak. Ticking along with socialism self-defeats every time.

Okay. I am just not impressed by a society that seems to be about chasing more and more and more money.
Scott

Basil
27-04-2009, 07:26 PM
Okay. I am just not impressed by a society that seems to be about chasing more and more and more money.
Scott
I don't think so many of us are. We have colectively decided to operate within a capitalist system. We can collectively change that any time we wish.

Until then, socialists and others wishing to tinker will (and do) create a dog's breakfast. It would be similarly disasterous to try and inject capitalist ideas into a socialist superstructure.

With money, good deeds are capable of being done. Without it, it's a little more tricky.

Oepty
27-04-2009, 08:32 PM
I don't think so many of us are. We have colectively decided to operate within a capitalist system. We can collectively change that any time we wish.

Until then, socialists and others wishing to tinker will (and do) create a dog's breakfast. It would be similarly disasterous to try and inject capitalist ideas into a socialist superstructure.

With money, good deeds are capable of being done. Without it, it's a little more tricky.

Okay, a good answer, I have nothing more to say at the moment
Scott

eclectic
27-04-2009, 08:39 PM
With money, good deeds are capable of being done. Without it, it's a little more tricky.

what about the guy who stimulated the palestinian economy without using money by effecting an extraordinary alteration of the laws of supply and demand with his handout of loaves and fishes? ;)

Rincewind
27-04-2009, 09:27 PM
I'm waiting for a Righty to nominate it as sub-par ... but I won't be holding my breath ...

I've been a self-confessed Righty where it counts (at the polling booth) for several decades.

I nominate it as sub-par (as a piece of humour).

Basil
27-04-2009, 09:30 PM
I've been a self-confessed Righty where it counts (at the polling booth) for several decades.
O.M.G! GTFFOOH LOL
This is not possible. All my prejudices and little thoughts now come tumbling down. I am lost. You must be mistaken. It is simply not possible. OK, I know - it was a dare, no - a protest vote.

Rincewind
27-04-2009, 09:36 PM
O.M.G! GTFFOOH LOL
This is not possible. All my prejudices and little thoughts now come tumbling down. I am lost. You must be mistaken. It is simply not possible. OK, I know - it was a dare, no - a protest vote.

I'm not sure of the source of the surprise. I believe I've stated this a few times on this board (as well as my reasons for almost exclusively voting Liberal/Coalition for the last 24 years).

(I consider myself a liberal as well as a Liberal) :)

Capablanca-Fan
27-04-2009, 09:46 PM
Okay. I am just not impressed by a society that seems to be about chasing more and more and more money.
A free market is about freedom of economic acts between consenting adults. See Milton Friedman on greed, pointing out that no society is immune from greed, but that no society has improved the lot of ordinary people as much as the free market. Then he asks whether political self-interest is more virtuous than economic self-interest.


RWsx1X8PV_A

Mephistopheles
27-04-2009, 10:20 PM
I'm waiting for a Righty to nominate it as sub-par ... but I won't be holding my breath ...
If any of the right wing persons on this board were remotely familiar with Mr O'Rourke's writing they would instantly recognise the quotation that started this thread as far from his best output. He is not afraid to put the boot into the left but he usually does so with far more substance behind it than he has here.

Kevin Bonham
28-04-2009, 12:41 AM
The quote is actually from a speech and may have worked better with all the nuances and pauses he might have injected into it - although again, the accounts I've seen suggested otherwise.

And that's just what some of his friends said!

TheJoker
28-04-2009, 10:45 AM
O.M.G! GTFFOOH LOL
This is not possible. All my prejudices and little thoughts now come tumbling down. I am lost. You must be mistaken. It is simply not possible. OK, I know - it was a dare, no - a protest vote.

You'll be even more shocked then to find out I voted for Howard in all but his last election campaign. And would have continued to do so, except that I felt his IR reforms were a political stunt designed to undermine the ALP, rather than being based on any serious research. And his promise to keep interest rates low despite adopting inflationary tax cuts, and IR policies.

I'll probably vote for the Libs again once the crisis is coming to an end, in the hope that they will reduce government spending and pay down the debt.

Capablanca-Fan
28-04-2009, 11:49 AM
If any of the right wing persons on this board were remotely familiar with Mr O'Rourke's writing they would instantly recognise the quotation that started this thread as far from his best output.
Depends what you mean by "best". No, it wasn't his best as far as substantiated facts, but was a very good summary of Leftism.


He is not afraid to put the boot into the left but he usually does so with far more substance behind it than he has here.
There was more than this paragraph in this article.

Capablanca-Fan
28-04-2009, 11:52 AM
You'll be even more shocked then to find out I voted for Howard in all but his last election campaign.
Now that is a surprise, given your support of leftism. One even wonders why you voted for Howard at all, since these reforms were mainstream Lib policy at the time.


And would have continued to do so, except that I felt his IR reforms were a political stunt designed to undermine the ALP, rather than being based on any serious research. And his promise to keep interest rates low despite adopting inflationary tax cuts, and IR policies.
Who says they were inflationary? Inflation was low during the Howard years, interest rates were lower than under Layba, and the IR reforms are now being commended by your beloved OECD.


I'll probably vote for the Libs again once the crisis is coming to an end, in the hope that they will reduce government spending and pay down the debt.
There's hope for you yet then ;) But your one slack vote for Layba might mean many terms of trying to pay back the debt of just one Layba term.

Mephistopheles
28-04-2009, 06:07 PM
Depends what you mean by "best".
I mean best. One of the word's antonyms is "worst". HTH. HaND.

Spiny Norman
28-04-2009, 06:11 PM
... I voted for Howard in all but his last election campaign ... his promise to keep interest rates low ...
Isn't that a misunderstanding? I thought his promise was that under a Coalition government they would be lower than under Labor (which is a promise that can never be tested one way or another incidentally, so it was a waste of breath if anyone spent more than a few seconds thinking it through).

Basil
28-04-2009, 06:17 PM
Isn't that a misunderstanding? I thought his promise was that under a Coalition government they would be lower than under Labor (which is a promise that can never be tested one way or another incidentally, so it was a waste of breath if anyone spent more than a few seconds thinking it through).
You'll have to give it up Steve. You;'re right - it was quite clear what Howard meant. However, the words used did actually a convey a promise he couldn't keep. (Do these same lefties hold Obama to what he actually said on the Special Olympics - fft!). Regardless Howard's words (nevermind he later tried to clarify) was sufficient a lever for those looking for one to vote elsewhere. It's all pathetic, but I stopped arguing that point two years ago. If you engage with someone defending their position, more fool you! But yes, of course it was a misunderstanding.

Ian Murray
30-04-2009, 03:02 PM
The Gift Of Right Wing Humour (http://newmatilda.com/2009/04/30/gift-right-wing-humour)

By Irfan Yusuf
newmatilda.com 30.4.2009


Political satirist PJ O'Rourke was warmly welcomed by conservatives on his recent visit to Australia. That is, until he cracked that joke about how we should open our borders to asylum seekers

"The problem with the Right is not that it is at odds with progressives or Democrats. The problem with the Right is that it is at odds with reality. It is at odds with facts, with evidence, with science. And that's why it has been so dangerous. And that's why it has been so discredited."

That assessment of the Right by former Republican Party partner (and now new-media matriarch) Arianna Huffington before the last US presidential election might easily be applied to Australian conservatives, be they political parties, publications or even think-tanks.

But Australian conservatism has a different kind of parochialism to its American equivalent. Our conservatives aren't just pro-life and pro-war simultaneously, nor are they uniformly anti-science and obsessed with the teaching of "intelligent design" in schools. Our conservatives manifest their parochialism somewhat differently.

When they're not beating their chests about religious and cultural issues, some conservatives prefer to pretend they're radical by challenging what they see as the new orthodoxy of a nebulous group known as "the Left". The editorial writers for The Australian, that elite bastion of anti-elitism, heralded the arrival of American humorist PJ O'Rourke in an editorial published on 25 April. They claimed that "much of what [O'Rourke] said this week would have upset supporters of the accepted wisdom" in relation to the free market and the role of governments in helping us out of the recession. Unlike Kevin Rudd, and like New Zealand's PM John Key, O'Rourke understands that "economics is about the way the world is, not the way we want it to be".
...

PJ happily challenged supporters of the accepted conservative wisdom on asylum seekers and miscellaneous dark-skinned riff-raff when he appeared on ABC TV's Q&A program last Thursday. In what was a very wise and very funny performance, O'Rourke's analysis on the show about how we should deal with asylum seekers outshone even David Marr's.

So what does PJ say about asylum seekers? What does he say about how conservatives in America deal with the issue? While fellow panellist Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop was frothing at the mouth that "since last August there has been an increase in the number of people arriving by boat" and how "the people smugglers are back in business", PJ had this to say:

"You know, we in the States have much, much more experience with being all wrong about immigration than you do. I mean 36,000 you said in Italy? ... We laugh. That's a day in the United States. And we are so wrong about it. I mean, build a fence on the border with Mexico, give a huge boost to the Mexican ladder industry, you know [...] the thing is when somebody gets on an exploding boat to come over here - they're willing to do that to get to Australia - you're missing out on some really good Australians if you don't let that person in."

With righteous indignation, Julie Bishop made some indistinct noises about smugglers. To which PJ responded: "Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. You know, if you open your borders, you don't have people smugglers."

Then PJ did something that will probably put him in the bad books of many in Australia's conservative establishment. He actually suggested Indigenous people might have something to say about all this.

"I'm not seeing any Aborigines on the panel here. I am not a Comanche or a Sioux. You know, my people came over to the United States in a completely disorganised way. Doubtless by way of people smugglers [...] I really believe in immigration ... Let them in. Let them in. These people are assets. [O]ne or two of them might not be, but you can sort them out later ... Oh, I think conservatives are getting this wrong all over the world, I really do."

And when Bishop finally pleaded for an "orderly migration system", O'Rourke wondered whether such a system would have turned back his ancestors.
...


Irfan Yusuf is former editor of pro-Action, a conservative youth magazine, and was a Federal Liberal candidate in the 2001 Federal Election.

paulb
04-05-2009, 01:34 AM
The Gift Of Right Wing Humour (http://newmatilda.com/2009/04/30/gift-right-wing-humour)

By Irfan Yusuf
newmatilda.com 30.4.2009


Political satirist PJ O'Rourke was warmly welcomed by conservatives on his recent visit to Australia. That is, until he cracked that joke about how we should open our borders to asylum seekers

"The problem with the Right is not that it is at odds with progressives or Democrats. The problem with the Right is that it is at odds with reality. It is at odds with facts, with evidence, with science. And that's why it has been so dangerous. And that's why it has been so discredited."

That assessment of the Right by former Republican Party partner (and now new-media matriarch) Arianna Huffington before the last US presidential election might easily be applied to Australian conservatives, be they political parties, publications or even think-tanks.

But Australian conservatism has a different kind of parochialism to its American equivalent. Our conservatives aren't just pro-life and pro-war simultaneously, nor are they uniformly anti-science and obsessed with the teaching of "intelligent design" in schools. Our conservatives manifest their parochialism somewhat differently.

When they're not beating their chests about religious and cultural issues, some conservatives prefer to pretend they're radical by challenging what they see as the new orthodoxy of a nebulous group known as "the Left". The editorial writers for The Australian, that elite bastion of anti-elitism, heralded the arrival of American humorist PJ O'Rourke in an editorial published on 25 April. They claimed that "much of what [O'Rourke] said this week would have upset supporters of the accepted wisdom" in relation to the free market and the role of governments in helping us out of the recession. Unlike Kevin Rudd, and like New Zealand's PM John Key, O'Rourke understands that "economics is about the way the world is, not the way we want it to be".
...

PJ happily challenged supporters of the accepted conservative wisdom on asylum seekers and miscellaneous dark-skinned riff-raff when he appeared on ABC TV's Q&A program last Thursday. In what was a very wise and very funny performance, O'Rourke's analysis on the show about how we should deal with asylum seekers outshone even David Marr's.

So what does PJ say about asylum seekers? What does he say about how conservatives in America deal with the issue? While fellow panellist Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop was frothing at the mouth that "since last August there has been an increase in the number of people arriving by boat" and how "the people smugglers are back in business", PJ had this to say:

"You know, we in the States have much, much more experience with being all wrong about immigration than you do. I mean 36,000 you said in Italy? ... We laugh. That's a day in the United States. And we are so wrong about it. I mean, build a fence on the border with Mexico, give a huge boost to the Mexican ladder industry, you know [...] the thing is when somebody gets on an exploding boat to come over here - they're willing to do that to get to Australia - you're missing out on some really good Australians if you don't let that person in."

With righteous indignation, Julie Bishop made some indistinct noises about smugglers. To which PJ responded: "Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. You know, if you open your borders, you don't have people smugglers."

Then PJ did something that will probably put him in the bad books of many in Australia's conservative establishment. He actually suggested Indigenous people might have something to say about all this.

"I'm not seeing any Aborigines on the panel here. I am not a Comanche or a Sioux. You know, my people came over to the United States in a completely disorganised way. Doubtless by way of people smugglers [...] I really believe in immigration ... Let them in. Let them in. These people are assets. [O]ne or two of them might not be, but you can sort them out later ... Oh, I think conservatives are getting this wrong all over the world, I really do."

And when Bishop finally pleaded for an "orderly migration system", O'Rourke wondered whether such a system would have turned back his ancestors.
...


Irfan Yusuf is former editor of pro-Action, a conservative youth magazine, and was a Federal Liberal candidate in the 2001 Federal Election.
Three - no four ... heck, make it five - cheers. Maybe someone could also address the abiding hypocrisy of Australian politics - that we get excited about maybe 3000 boat people while importing more than 100,000 migrants each year (a policy long supported by both sides of politics, as well as business, but oh so quietly). As O'Rourke rightly points out, it takes balls (and brains) to leave your home, risk everything, for a better life ... far more balls than the narrow-minded cowards who score endless cheap points opposing it.

Capablanca-Fan
04-05-2009, 02:07 AM
As O'Rourke rightly points out, it takes balls (and brains) to leave your home, risk everything, for a better life ... far more balls than the narrow-minded cowards who score endless cheap points opposing it.
Not really surprising for O'Rourke as a libetarian; it's quite common for libertarians to support free immigration, and blame problems on the welfare system not the immigrants. See for example Immigration and Individual Rights (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5138) by Craig Biddle (Capitalism Magazine, 21 March 2008) or a shorter article Immigration: Why the Debate is Tragically Flawed (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5449) by Michael J. Hurd.


Unlike Kevin Rudd, and like New Zealand's PM John Key, O'Rourke understands that "economics is about the way the world is, not the way we want it to be".
Which is why that divorce-settlement–welfare lefty Huffington harridan has it back to front.

Basil
04-05-2009, 06:55 AM
And when Bishop finally pleaded for an "orderly migration system", O'Rourke wondered whether such a system would have turned back his ancestors.
Cute goal-post moving. Is O'Rourke suggesting against an an "orderly migration system"? Or is he allowing himself a bob each way? And once the dust has settled on Rudd's policy(ies), do Ian Muuray and PaulB want an orderly migration system or not?

Ian Murray
04-05-2009, 11:07 AM
Cute goal-post moving. Is O'Rourke suggesting against an an "orderly migration system"? Or is he allowing himself a bob each way? And once the dust has settled on Rudd's policy(ies), do Ian Muuray and PaulB want an orderly migration system or not?
Australia's migration system is orderly enough if rather selective and restrictive. Of more interest here however is our treatment of asylum seekers - refugees who arrive here unannounced, legally seeking asylum (the UN Charter guarantees their right to do so, and Australia is a signatory). Those who overstay their visas, largely British and American tourists, are the illegals.

The number of asylum seekers arriving here is miniscule, e.g.

John Gibson, president of the Refugee Council of Australia, told IPS that there has been an overreaction in Australia by both the opposition and the government regarding recent boat arrivals, which peaked at 4,241 in the year 2000. "If you want to look at the figures in perspective... the numbers are really very small here," he says.

Not only do most asylum seekers in Australia not arrive by boat, but other countries receive as many as ten times the number of overall asylum applications that are processed here.

According to the UNHCR report, around 4,700 people sought asylum in Australia in 2008, up from 3,980 the previous year. This is still far less than the number received earlier in the decade, when 13,100 and 12,400 claims for asylum were made in the years 2000 and 2001, respectively.

The U.S., by comparison, received 49,000 claims for protection last year, while Canada, France, Italy and the United Kingdom received in excess of 30,000 applications each.

The UNHCR says that the 12 percent increase from 2007 to 2008 in people seeking asylum across industrialised nations - 341,000 people vs. 383,000 - can partly be attributed to higher numbers of applicants from Afghanistan and Somalia.

www.ipsterraviva.net/UN/currentNew.aspx?new=5906

Despite the predictable public hysteria at the time, in the last generation Australia has absorbed refugee waves from Vietnam, Cambodia, China and East Timor without a ripple. The current Middle Eastern wave is no different. Anyone risking his or her life to reach our shores will obviously be grateful for fair treatment on arrival and be virtually guaranteed to become a good and productive citizen.

For some home truths about asylum seekers see www.asrc.org.au/uploads/File/The_truth_about_asylum_seekers%5B1%5D.indd(1).pdf

Basil
04-05-2009, 11:17 AM
Australia's migration system is orderly enough if rather selective and restrictive.
Do you believe 'boat people' are short-changing those who come through the front door?
Do you believe allowing a back-door policy encourages the short-changing?
Do you believe the boat people are more likely to be comprised of people who can cobble together some cash than the abjectly destitute?

Ian Murray
04-05-2009, 11:52 AM
Do you believe 'boat people' are short-changing those who come through the front door?
If you're suggesting they're queue-jumping, that's a myth. There is no queue. The Australian Embassy in Kabul has been closed for years and the Islamabad embassy does not accept personal applications at present. Under the previous government the closest embassy handling immigration applications was Bangkok

Do you believe allowing a back-door policy encourages the short-changing?
See above. Any back or front door policy cannot override our international treaty obligations

Do you believe the boat people are more likely to be comprised of people who can cobble together some cash than the abjectly destitute?
Obviously, but not that they're wealthy. The same finger was pointed at Vietnamese and Chinese asylum seekers who converted their possessions into more-portable gold before fleeing

Ian Murray
04-05-2009, 11:57 AM
..

Basil
04-05-2009, 12:40 PM
If you're suggesting they're queue-jumping, that's a myth.
I am and it's not. Again you're smoothly moving goal posts.

It is quite clear that each recipient country has limited capacity to accept migrants and asylum seekers. It's quite clear that to this end, this country has an approximate quota. If the electorate wishes to change that quota - fine - I'd probably support it. However in the interim, boat people DO jump the queue of those that have applied through the front for these limited seats.

Your discussion of Kabul is wibbling obfuscation and goal-post moving that will likely excite willing leftists, but not me.

The queue is determined by the recipient country - not by those forming their own queue at Christmas Island.


See above. Any back or front door policy cannot override our international treaty obligations
This is code for everyone can turn up. You're advocating boat people. Fine. Just say so. And let Rudd take it to the electorate. You're fast becoming master of the unsaid sentiment like your leader. Not attractive - and quite duplicitous.

Ian Murray
04-05-2009, 01:23 PM
...It is quite clear that each recipient country has limited capacity to accept migrants and asylum seekers. It's quite clear that to this end, this country has an approximate quota. If the electorate wishes to change that quota - fine - I'd probably support it. However in the interim, boat people DO jump the queue of those that have applied through the front for these limited seats.

Your discussion of Kabul is wibbling obfuscation and goal-post moving that will likely excite willing leftists, but not me.

The queue is determined by the recipient country - not by those forming their own queue at Christmas Island.
I repeat, there is no queue. The facts:
# Current quota for refugees coming into Australia: 12,000 - Myths and Facts about Refugees (http://www.aeufederal.org.au/Campaigns/Myths.pdf)
# Number of requests for asylum received by Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the past two decades: 107,000 - Myths and Facts about Refugees
# Number of refugee boats intercepted this year coming to Australia: 6 - The Brisbane Times (http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/boat-people-remain-at-the-mercy-of-people-smugglers-and-politicians-20090416-a8nt.html)
# Number of people granted refugee status in Australia in 2007-08, out of a total of 13, 014 humanitarian visas granted: 6004 - Australian Human Rights Commission (http://www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/face_facts/chap3.html#3_4)
# Number of asylum seekers who arrived last year: 4750 - Malcolm Farr, The Daily Telegraph (http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/malcolmfarr/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/border_security_is_all_at_sea)
# Number who arrived by boat: 179 - Malcolm Farr, The Daily Telegraph


This is code for everyone can turn up. You're advocating boat people. Fine. Just say so. And let Rudd take it to the electorate. You're fast becoming master of the unsaid sentiment like your leader. Not attractive - and quite duplicitous.
I thought it was quite clear where I stand - I'm not tring to mislead anyone. I've assumed you are opposed, although you haven't said so. Does that make you duplicitous?

Basil
04-05-2009, 01:34 PM
I repeat, there is no queue.
Although we have both canvassed 'quota' and 'order' within the discussion, it appears we are at odds with our meaning of the word queue. I am using it (as John Howard argued) as a line, a process, an order. You appear to be intending it as a waiting list.

So to clarify, are you advocating for boat people to be processed out of turn?

Southpaw Jim
04-05-2009, 02:27 PM
Gunner, you appear to be conflating "migrant" with "asylum seeker/refugee".

Ian is correct, for refugees there is no queue. The number of refugees that arrive by boat is trivial in the context of Australia's total annual migration.

Basil
04-05-2009, 02:40 PM
Gunner, you appear to be conflating "migrant" with "asylum seeker/refugee".
I'm not. Is there a particular post where I have led you to believe this?


The number of refugees that arrive by boat is trivial in the context of Australia's total annual migration.
Ah yes, the 'trivial' line. So you too are in favour of trhe boats. I'm seeking to get you, Murray and your Chairman out and proud. Murray's there. Your turn.

Ian Murray
04-05-2009, 09:00 PM
Although we have both canvassed 'quota' and 'order' within the discussion, it appears we are at odds with our meaning of the word queue. I am using it (as John Howard argued) as a line, a process, an order. You appear to be intending it as a waiting list.

So to clarify, are you advocating for boat people to be processed out of turn?
The semantics are irrelevant. The fact remains that it is misleading if not downright dishonest to attribute queue-jumping to boat people (a perjorative description; the 95%+ detained at our airports are not called air people). Some facts:
- in 2007-08 the Immigration Department (DIAC) processed 4,637,259 permanent and temporary visas
- in that same period 25 (that's right, twenty-five) unauthorised persons arrived by boat
Source: DIAC Annual Report (http://www.immi.gov.au/about/reports/annual/2007-08/html/overview/the-year-at-a-glance.htm)

Obviously it is ridiculous to suggest that boat arrivals are causing any sort of appreciable delay in overall processing time. In any case they are processed offshore, with no effect on processing in Australia.

Some other facts - at 12 Sep 2008 there were a total of 274 people in immigration detention:
*147 were detained because they overstayed their visa

* 67 were detained because their visa was cancelled
* six were unauthorised boat arrivals
* 40 were unauthorised air arrivals
* three were illegal foreign fishers
* 11 were detained for other reasons e.g. ship deserters and stowaways

Of the 274 people in immigration detention, 46 of these were in the process of seeking asylum in Australia.
Aust Human Rights Commission, Face the Facts 2008 (http://www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/face_facts/chap3.html#3_4)

There are no grounds for xenophobia - these people are assets, not liabilites. Past governments of both stripes have recognised this basic truth and accepted Asian and African refugees. Nothing has changed. As far as I am concerned, they are more than welcome.

BTW the quota of 12,000 I mentioned in Post 71 has been revised and is currently 13,500 (including 500 one-off special-needs Iraqis) - 6500 refugees and 7000 other humanitarian cases.

Basil
04-05-2009, 09:45 PM
I don't think there is any semantics. I do accept I could be more careful with my words on what is a sensitive issue. I also believe that your side shouldn't be so indignant.

There was no attempt to be dishonest. When I say Boat People, I mean asylum seekers who have arrived by boat - without permission. This is different from a QANTAS plane of similar people trying to land by stealth - which of course doesn't happen by the planeload.

Ian, I have no issue with most of what you have said immediately above. I think it's a very good post. However I believe your approach would fail should 300 boats turn up. At that point a stated and defined policy would simply have to be framed, as opposed to this vague humanitarian approach that you and others seem happy with ATM.

Should 300 boats turn up and you then embrace everybody on board (as you may well do) then I would support you if the people were (largely) genuine and I would support the government if it were entirely transparent. Which it isn't - and that's the problem.

What I object to more than anything (as you may well know!) is Rudd's straddling of the issue to try and appease an electorate. If you wish to say 'bring in all the boats you can' - then good on you. If Rudd wants to do likewise, then good on him. But he isn't - and he makes me wanna puke.

------------------------------------------

All that aside, I do take issue with leftist idea of:
Only six boats
Rudd's air hostess thing as long as it happens just once
Obama's Special Olympics quip but he retracted it

The apologist/ minimalist justification is more than irking and self-serving - not that it applies to you here (depending on where you end up on the 300 boats issue).

Ian Murray
04-05-2009, 10:41 PM
I don't think there is any semantics. I do accept I could be more careful with my words on what is a sensitive issue. I also believe that your side shouldn't be so indignant.

There was no attempt to be dishonest. When I say Boat People, I mean asylum seekers who have arrived by boat - without permission. This is different from a QANTAS plane of similar people trying to land by stealth - which of course doesn't happen by the planeload.
In retrospect my remarks could be taken personally; actually I was talking generally - no personal affront intended


Ian, I have no issue with most of what you have said immediately above. I think it's a very good post. However I believe your approach would fail should 300 boats turn up. At that point a stated and defined policy would simply have to be framed, as opposed to this vague humanitarian approach that you and others seem happy with ATM.

Should 300 boats turn up and you then embrace everybody on board (as you may well do) then I would support you if the people were (largely) genuine and I would support the government if it were entirely transparent. Which it isn't - and that's the problem.
Hypothetical, but if they all pass the basic security and criminal history screening and meet the refugee criteria, then all 300 boatloads should get in. However, despite the rhetoric on both sides of the House, there is no real surge taking place. Geographically speaking we are at the end of a long line of potential destinations by boat. Those less ignorant and desperate would be more likely to book a seat with Qantas and face the nusic at the airport on arrival (although I'm not sure if airlines have any obligation to check the visa status of passengers - unlikely).

What I object to more than anything (as you may well know!) is Rudd's straddling of the issue to try and appease an electorate. If you wish to say 'bring in all the boats you can' - then good on you. If Rudd wants to do likewise, then good on him. But he isn't - and he makes me wanna puke.
'Opening the floodgates' is a no-win position for a politician. Fraser and Hawke largely ignored the outcry and went ahead.
------------------------------------------


All that aside, I do take issue with leftist idea of:
Only six boats
The point is that we're talking about a relatively small number of people (a very small number in global terms) who need help from someone. We're affluent enough and have room enough to come to the party.

Basil
05-05-2009, 06:24 AM
The point is that we're talking about a relatively small number of people (a very small number in global terms) who need help from someone. We're affluent enough and have room enough to come to the party.
I disagree. "Only" is not a basis for a policy. Policies should be made on their merits, not on a matter of degrees.

Ian Murray
05-05-2009, 04:20 PM
I disagree. "Only" is not a basis for a policy. Policies should be made on their merits, not on a matter of degrees.
Point taken. Current policy, replacing the Pacific Solution, is to hold them during security, health and criminal history checks (maximum three months) then release into the community on bridging visas while protection visa processing continues.

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2009, 01:19 AM
“The right is always going to win the intellectual argument; the Left is always going to win the emotional one.” — Rush Limbaugh.

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2009, 01:28 AM
“The right is always going to win the intellectual argument; the Left is always going to win the emotional one.” — Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh wouldn't win either.

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2009, 01:47 AM
Rush Limbaugh wouldn't win either.
Oh really? When Commissar Obamov tried to pick on him, who gained and who lost more?

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2009, 02:33 AM
Oh really? When Commissar Obamov tried to pick on him, who gained and who lost more?

You mean when "Commissar Obamov" responded after Limbaugh had had a go at him (Obama)?

On an intellectual level I'd say Limbaugh was struggling, given that he had to backpedal like crazy after saying "I hope he fails" to make it sound less confrontational than it sounded.

Naturally Limbaugh's ratings went up when he got in these stoushes but that's no evidence of winning any kind of argument.

I'm sure Obama would have been falling over laughing when his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel named Limbaugh as the effective head of the Republican Party (which was really just cheap trolling on Emanuel's part) and it worked so well that Limbaugh and the formal RNC chief got in a stoush over it.

So what argument has Obama "lost" against Limbaugh?

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2009, 09:36 AM
On an intellectual level I'd say Limbaugh was struggling, given that he had to backpedal like crazy after saying "I hope he fails" to make it sound less confrontational than it sounded.
Yet it was perfectly clear what he meant, and he was right. I.e. hoping that Obamov fails in his aims to socialize America and pack SCOTUS with judges who go for "empathy" rather than law. He was abused as if he was wanting the US to fail; no he wants Obamov to fail so the US can succeed.

And actually reading Obamov's speeches shows how intellectually vacuous they are ("hope" and "change" is hardly a logical argument). He's a great politician not a great intellect, as explained here (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YWRiOTM2OGU1OGFjMzc4ZjMzYmM4MWE1MWQwNTAzYjY=)by Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, who thus knew Obamov when they were colleagues.


Naturally Limbaugh's ratings went up when he got in these stoushes but that's no evidence of winning any kind of argument.
Yes there was: Obamov looked decidedly unpresidential in stoushing with him, while Limbaugh's ratings went up. Looked like a winner to me. Note I did ask, "who gained and who lost?"


I'm sure Obama would have been falling over laughing when his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel named Limbaugh as the effective head of the Republican Party (which was really just cheap trolling on Emanuel's part)
That's always been Obamov's way: let others troll on his behalf, e.g. when he won the Senate seat after his primary and election opponents court-sealed divorce records were opened.


and it worked so well that Limbaugh and the formal RNC chief got in a stoush over it.
And once again, Steele was the one who had to backpedal. Limbaugh was a critic of the GOP as well, such as their big spending, and he was proved right. More of the same from the GOP will keep them in the doldrums.

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2009, 01:58 PM
Yet it was perfectly clear what he meant, and he was right. I.e. hoping that Obamov fails in his aims to socialize America and pack SCOTUS with judges who go for "empathy" rather than law. He was abused as if he was wanting the US to fail; no he wants Obamov to fail so the US can succeed.

What Limbaugh said is here (http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_011609/content/01125113.guest.html).

There is no mention of SCOTUS anywhere in the transcript. Most of it exaggerates Obama's position to one of flat-out socialism ("absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible") which Limbaugh seems to bizarrely think is exactly the same thing as "liberalism".


And actually reading Obamov's speeches shows how intellectually vacuous they are ("hope" and "change" is hardly a logical argument).

How vacuous Obama's speeches are or are not is not relevant to whether Limbaugh is in a position to make the claim about winning arguments that he made.


Yes there was: Obamov looked decidedly unpresidential in stoushing with him, while Limbaugh's ratings went up. Looked like a winner to me. Note I did ask, "who gained and who lost?"

Who did Obama look "decidedly unpresidential" to? Mostly those who were dead-set against him anyway; hardly anyone else would have cared. And as I said, ratings are not a sign of winning either the intellectual or the emotional argument; to suggest that they are either is just an argument from popularity.


And once again, Steele was the one who had to backpedal. Limbaugh was a critic of the GOP as well, such as their big spending, and he was proved right.

And the funny thing about this is that in backpedalling, Steele strengthened Emanuel's initial trolling by making it look like Limbaugh's influence in the GOP is such that the party dare not take him on.


More of the same from the GOP will keep them in the doldrums.

I think that's true, but being too cozy with Limbaugh will do much the same thing only worse - it concedes the middle ground to the Democrats. The comments by ex-Bush speechwriter David Frum on this are good:


My main problem with talk radio is things you're doing to excite a loyal audience are very different than things you do to try to win back the departed middle. [..] We can't win elections by getting our core voters agitated. But if you're a talk radio host and you have 5 million who listen and there are 50 million people who hate you, you can make a nice living. If you're a Republican Party, you're marginalized.

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2009, 05:12 PM
What Limbaugh said is here (http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_011609/content/01125113.guest.html).

There is no mention of SCOTUS anywhere in the transcript.
Not there, no. But it's part of Limbaugh's concerns.


Most of it exaggerates Obama's position to one of flat-out socialism ("absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible") which Limbaugh seems to bizarrely think is exactly the same thing as "liberalism".
It's not the same as classical liberalism, for sure, but it's pretty much what passes for American "liberalism" these days. Obamov has taken it upon himself to fire a CEO of a company, and then rail against fund managers who assert their rights under law to be paid back as creditors. Clifford Asness, money manager for the firm AQR Capital Management, struck back (http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/cliff-asness-i-am-ready-for-my.html):


Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients’ money to share in the “sacrifice”, they are stealing. Clients of hedge funds include, among others, pension funds of all kinds of workers, unionized and not. The managers have a fiduciary obligation to look after their clients’ money as best they can, not to support the President, nor to oppose him, nor otherwise advance their personal political views. That’s how the system works. If you hired an investment professional and he could preserve more of your money in a financial disaster, but instead he decided to spend it on the UAW so you could “share in the sacrifice”, you would not be happy.

Let’s quickly review a few side issues.

The President's attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him. Why is he not calling on his party to "sacrifice" some campaign contributions, and votes, for the greater good? Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power.


How vacuous Obama's speeches are or are not is not relevant to whether Limbaugh is in a position to make the claim about winning arguments that he made.
Well, he was just being himself: a talk show host. He has made gains since his comments.


Who did Obama look "decidedly unpresidential" to? Mostly those who were dead-set against him anyway; hardly anyone else would have cared. And as I said, ratings are not a sign of winning either the intellectual or the emotional argument; to suggest that they are either is just an argument from popularity.
It's unpresidential to get into a brawl with a talk-show host. And he tried to bully the GOP to distance themselves from Limbaugh's more consistent conservative free market views, but ended up driving many of them closer.


I think that's true, but being too cozy with Limbaugh will do much the same thing only worse — it concedes the middle ground to the Democrats.
Yet the GOP nominated just the sort of candidate that should have been successful if that were true: a moderate who called the Leftmedia his "base".

More likely, actually standing for something for a change might encourage some of their lost supporters to return. They might be motivated to support a party that really practises fiscal restraint, as opposed to whimpering, even correctly, "sure, we're spendthrifts, but not as much as the other lot." And reaching for the "middle ground" by spending is hardly likely to work either. The Leftmedia tricked Bush Sr. into raising taxes, then turned on him for breaking his promise.


The comments by ex-Bush speechwriter David Frum on this are good:


My main problem with talk radio is things you're doing to excite a loyal audience are very different than things you do to try to win back the departed middle. [..] We can't win elections by getting our core voters agitated. But if you're a talk radio host and you have 5 million who listen and there are 50 million people who hate you, you can make a nice living. If you're a Republican Party, you're marginalized.
Oh yeah, and Frum's ideas have really worked well for Republicans lately. The GOP is down the gurgler precisely because it tried to "reach out to the middle" by being Dem-lite big-spenders.

Thomas Sowell writes in The Republican Civil War (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031709b.php3), 17 March 2009:


...

Regular listeners to the Rush Limbaugh program or subscribers to the Limbaugh newsletter know that both contain far more factual information and in-depth analysis than in the programs or writings of pundits with more of a ponderous tone or intellectual airs.

...

There has long been an element of the Republican Party that has felt a need to distance themselves from people who stand up for conservative principles, whether those with principles have been Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh or whomever.

...

There is certainly a lot to be said for inviting wider segments of the population to join you, by explaining how your principles benefit the country in general, and those segments in particular. But that is fundamentally different from abandoning your principles in hopes of attracting new votes with opportunism.

No segment of the population has lost more by the agendas of the liberal constituencies of the Democratic Party than the black population.

The teachers' unions, environmental fanatics and the ACLU are just some of the groups to whose interests blacks have been sacrificed wholesale. Lousy education and high crime rates in the ghettos, and unaffordable housing elsewhere with building restrictions, are devastating prices to pay for liberalism.

Yet the Republicans have never articulated that argument, and their opportunism in trying to get black votes by becoming imitation Democrats has failed miserably for decades on end.

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2009, 07:24 PM
It's not the same as classical liberalism, for sure, but it's pretty much what passes for American "liberalism" these days.

I'm not sure it is anymore. Left-liberalism in America entails the government regulating the market to ensure social outcomes, but not being an active player in the market beyond that. Under the current pressures both parties have abandoned that and taken on aspects of a corporatist-socialist model. Despite this it is not accurate to describe this piecemeal process of temporarily taking over or heavily intervening in failing sectors as equivalent to full-scale socialism.


Well, he was just being himself: a talk show host. He has made gains since his comments.

Again, gains in popularity are not relevant to whether he would know an effective intellectual or emotional argument.


It's unpresidential to get into a brawl with a talk-show host.

Says who? And is Limbaugh the real target of Obama's comments anyway? Seems more like they're an attack on the GOP's lack of convincing mainstream leadership figures or direction.


And he tried to bully the GOP to distance themselves from Limbaugh's more consistent conservative free market views, but ended up driving many of them closer.

As I indicated above, that's a win for Obama. For the GOP to retreat to an ideology easily portrayed as inflexible and irrelevant is even better for an opponent than them being a leaderless negative unprincipled mess.


Oh yeah, and Frum's ideas have really worked well for Republicans lately.

Nothing has worked well for Republicans lately. Just because someone can't find something that does work doesn't mean their views on what may well be even worse should be disregarded.


Yet the GOP nominated just the sort of candidate that should have been successful if that were true: a moderate who called the Leftmedia his "base".

McCain didn't lose because he was a bad candidate. Indeed, he probably did better (in terms of %age share of vote at least) than any other candidate would have done. He lost because the party name was toxic over foreign policy especially after eight years of Bush, and then the GFC made it impossible for him to get any traction in debate about anything else. If the free-marketeers were going to dump the party for having its snout in the trough they could have done so in 2004.


More likely, actually standing for something for a change might encourage some of their lost supporters to return. They might be motivated to support a party that really practises fiscal restraint, as opposed to whimpering, even correctly, "sure, we're spendthrifts, but not as much as the other lot." And reaching for the "middle ground" by spending is hardly likely to work either. The Leftmedia tricked Bush Sr. into raising taxes, then turned on him for breaking his promise.

Reaching for the middle ground is not necessarily about policies. In cases like this it can also be about manner. "I hope he fails" is a soundbite that is easily used to argue (somewhat out of context) that the GOP is in thrall to a negative extremist who doesn't want to give Obama a fair go.


Thomas Sowell writes in The Republican Civil War (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031709b.php3), 17 March 2009:

... among other things, that McCain was in the lead shortly after Palin's candidacy was announced (but then the GFC came along and took away their chances). But Palin's numbers going down lagged behind the GOP's numbers going down, and happened because she was hopeless outside a preprepared script situation, so the Palin bounce would have deflated anyway.