Saturday, January 24, 2004

LRC quotations today
From David Franke:

...that "awful" thing he [Howard Dean] did in his concession speech in Iowa. Am I the only person in America who can't comprehend what was wrong with it?

No.

It was a pep rally with his followers, for goodness sake, and he was letting them know they weren't going to accept this as a defeat and how much he appreciated what they had gone through together. It wasn't a tirade of a mad man, it was a real man caught up in the moment, and bonding with his mostly young and very enthusiastic and idealistic fans.

Exactly.

Is this what it comes down to – that we accept a president who lies us into war for his hidden agendas, and who harms the American people in countless other ways, because he piously mouths all these platitudes about God and country, and turn against a man who refuses to give a concession speech (which is what the press wanted) and turns it into a pep rally?

Seems that way at least based on the well-meant idiocy I've read on two religious message boards, one RC, the other actual and would-be Eastern Orthodox, both largely ex-Evangelical - subsets of the Protestant religious right. Makes me remember why so many secular people think religious people are stupid.

...have we become so conditioned by bland suburban "values," not to mention political correctness, which really comes down to – in the end – "don't do anything that will make people think you are different"?

Yes.

From Jerome Tuccille:

The Dean candidacy made some sense on the grounds that, first, he was opposed to the war in Iraq; second, he wanted to balance the budget; third, he was a good civil libertarian supporting gay civil unions [disclaimer: we are not left-libertarians], First Amendment rights, and other issues; and, fourth, he supported gun rights, which made him a refreshing oddity among Democrats. On the negative side of the ledger, he promised to repeal all of George W’s tax cuts and was beginning to sound a bit like Dick Gephardt on free trade, but at least he warranted a closer look from libertarians who believed that extracting Bush from the White House was the number-one priority.

It strikes me that the Republicans as "the lesser evil" theory no longer carries any weight, notwithstanding their classical liberal rhetoric. A case can be made that Bill Clinton was a better "Republican" than the current ruler of the White House. Clinton supported free trade (Bush gave us steel tariffs), he overhauled welfare (Bush expanded Medicare), and he was a miser on spending compared with Bush (who is generating record deficits). So the old argument that Republicans are better on economics than Democrats is no longer valid.

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