Friday, August 31, 2012

Will Romney Govern as a Conservative?

I, along with many others on the Right, was quite pleased with Mitt Romney's acceptance speech last night.  A far as I'm concerned, he hit all the right notes, allaying the always elusive if not undefinable moderate/independent voter concerns, but doing so without appearing to pander to them in an embarrassingly overt fashion.  For example, I thought he wove the "No, we're not waging a War on Women, to the contrary..." theme in quite nicely.

But not everyone agrees.  Charles Kesler, for one, thinks the speech was written and delivered more from a posture of fear and weakness than the contrary.  He contrasts it negatively with Paul Ryan's speech from the night before which was delivered with much more ideological conviction.

While I think Kessler is wise to remind us that Romney is not, after all, one of us, that is, a movement conservative, I also think he may be worrying a bit too much.

It's true, Romney's pedigree is much like that of George Bush, both of them.  For him and for them, the GOP is the "establishment" party, distinguishing it importantly from the crazies who populate with populism the Democrat alternative.  Public service is principally an act of noblesse oblige, privileged people doing their duty, and conservatism mostly means, "Shhh! Sit still!"

So, why did, and will in Romney's case, movement conservatives support them?  First, and most importantly because of the alternative.  No serious conservative could ever bring himself to vote for Michael Dukakis or Al Gore, and certainly not for Barack Obama.  That, we pray, will be enough to get Romney elected as it did the Bushes.

But how will he govern?

In George the First's case, he governed domestically too often like a moderate and it cost him reelection.  But in the case of  George the Second, he governed, again, domestically, too often like a moderate and it did not.  Why?

The most obvious answer is his conduct of the War on Terror.  Conservatives know that had 9/11 happened with Gore in the White House, with almost any Democrat in the White House, it would have been handled entirely differently, likely with nausea producing soul searching and the self-imposed restraint of multilateral manacles.  However it would have been handled it would not have been done with anything like the decisive and unapologetic leadership Bush provided.  As a result, when it came to Bush too often governing domestically like a moderate, many conservatives simply averted their gaze.  I know, I was one of them.

Absent a similarly serious  foreign policy challenge, Romney will not be afforded this kind of latitude.  Conservative enthusiasm for him is only as deep as his ability to successfully supplant the current White House occupant and, once in office, undo much of his agenda.  If he temporizes in any fashion, conservatives, and more importantly, conservative congressmen and senators will abandon him almost immediately.  If Romney doesn't already know this, he will learn it very quickly if he departs from conservative orthodoxy.

As a result, I think we can be fairly confident that whatever his personal predilections, Mitt Romney will govern from the right.   

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Did you hear or see this in the news today?  "3 NATO Troops Killed in Attack by Man in Afghan Uniform"

This is becoming an increasingly common occurrence, um, over there.  Is there any doubt that were this still the Bush Administration the New York Times, to pick just one, would have placed it bold type, front page, above the fold?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Still Trusting the Establishment?

Former Florida Republican governor and erstwhile GOP senate candidate Charlie Crist has endorsed President Obama's run for reelection.  If you needed still more proof that this guy never was a conservative, well, there it is.

But please do remember that in 2010 the National Republican Senatorial Committee, i.e., the Establishment, endorsed Crist over Marco Rubio the eventual winner.  Now, Rubio is everybody in the Republican Party's favorite politician and Crist is old news.

You connect the dots.   

It Really is that Simple

The CATO Institute's Daniel Mitchell proves, once again, that it's possible to balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes.  How?  Simply by reducing the growth in government spending to 2.5% per year. 

Read that again:  Simply by reducing the growth in spending to 2.5% per year.  No one is talking about cutting anything.

As I say, it's really that simple, and always has been so.  Simple, but not easy.

It's difficult in large part because the underlying argument is not now and never has been about balancing budgets or fiscal responsibility.  The real argument is about the size, scope, and reach of government.  The Left wants it ever larger and the Right does not. 

It really is that simple.

They Can't See It

New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson steadfastly denies--despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, mind you--that her paper is guilty of anything like liberal bias.  While one is tempted simply to say "puh-leeze!" and move on, I sense an opportunity here, a teachable moment perhaps.

While much of the liberal bias that describes the elite media is brazenly overt, and increasingly so, I don't doubt there remain still at least a few liberal editors, journalists, broadcasters, etc., who nevertheless honestly believe they are, or at least try to be, um, well, fair and balanced.

I've always thought that ideological bias works something like color-blindness.  Suppose it's someone's job to detect and report sharp and even subtle differences in color.  Suppose also that that same someone is blind to the color red.  While the fact that he cannot see red when it's plainly there is bad enough, what's worse is that he cannot even imagine the color red.

Such are the elite liberal media, some of'em anyway.  Never can they see conservative rectitude, and never can they see liberal perfidy.  When you point it out to them, they squint and simply shake their heads.  They're blind to it.

As I say, that describes some of them.  The rest refuse to see. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fine Young (and Old) Cannibals

Reactions to GOP Congressman and US Senate candidate Todd Akin's unfortunate remarks point out, again, key differences between the two parties. 

Never, and I do mean never, would any Democrat react as so many Republicans have this week to a similar faux pas (or worse, much worse, in fact) committed by one of their own.  The examples are simply too numerous to recount.  By contrast, it seems Republicans have come to over-react in just the way almost routinely.

George Neumayr's thoughts on this are worth more than just a read.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Try to Imagine a Biden Presidency

Now that Joe Biden has finally crossed the ever-shifting and always invisible "too far" line, John Podhoretz tells us that the Biden stories everyone in Washington has are pouring out.  I'm assuming from liberal journalists as well. Anyway, here's his and it's worth reading for the story itself, but even more so for his analysis.

As we all now know, Barack Obama was insufficiently vetted by the press and the people in 2008.  The Left, the left-leaning elite media, and all Democrats had of course no reason to; he was their guy after all.  But far too many on the Right, along with virtually all professional Republicans didn't because they were scared to death of being called racists.  (They were anyway.)

But an almost equally egregious dereliction of duty was the failure to tell the voters exactly who Joe Biden was as well. 

What he is, and always has been to anyone with, unfortunately, ears to hear, is a gas-bagging buffoon.  But, as Podhoretz makes clear, the problem with his long-windedness is it's accompanying shallowness.  Biden talks and talks, but in the end has no serious point to make, often no point at all.

(The only difference between Biden and Bill Clinton, by the way, is that Clinton's gas-baggery always has the point of trying to get into some woman's pants.)

Back to Biden.  Can anyone seriously imagine him as the president?  For that matter, can you imagine him in charge of anything?  I doubt it and that explains why until he was sworn in as VP in 2009, he's never been more than a legislator.  In our system, taking charge of either the House or Senate is all but impossible.

Will the possibility of a Biden presidency if something ever happens to Obama while in office (God forbid, and I do mean that) creep into voters' minds this fall?  Let's hope so.

Apocalypse...NOW...I Mean It!

As you've no doubt already heard, it's all going to be over this coming December.  I'm not referring to the election results, which, if it's as close as it promises to be, will remain undecided until after Thanksgiving at least.  No, I mean it's ALL going to be over...according to the oft-consulted Mayan calendar, that is. 

But before you stock up on too many canned goods, it might be useful to recall first how many predictions of doom have failed to materialize in just the last 50 or so years.  We're still here, aren't we?  Without breaking a sweat, I can remember Y2K, AIDS, acid rain, ozone depletion, nuclear winter,....  Matt Ridley offers (briefly) a more comprehensive list with some good analysis as well.

(I told you the Sage would be back.  Infrequently, sure, but back.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In Case You Were Wondering

The Sage has been, is now, and will be for another month and more otherwise preoccupied.  As a result, posts will be few and intermittent if at all.

But fear not, he'll be back.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Really Happened?

It's been almost a week now since multiples of thousands of Americans showed up at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country to demonstrate, well, to demonstrate what exactly?

If you listen to the media, the liberal and conservative media, the chief reason they came was to protest the blatant attack on free speech made by liberals and, worse, liberal office holders.  That is, while they may not agree with Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's views on homosexuality and homosexual marriage, they support nonetheless his right to express himself freely.  And it's true, that motivation does in large measure explain the turnout. 

But the dirty little secret (as Rush Limbaugh likes to say) is that a great majority of those who showed up do in fact agree with Cathy.  They resent deeply the Left's attempt not only to silence them for holding similar views, but even more so their design to make those views altogether socially unacceptable.

Americans are tolerant, but tolerance is not the same as approval. What the Left knows is that in spite of their long-term and virtually comprehensive efforts to normalize homosexuality, most Americans still don't agree with them.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Nothing to Lose

So, why has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not only made, but even doubled down on his unsubstantiated allegation that Mitt Romney has failed to pay taxes at all for the past ten years?

You'll find the answer in POLITICO of all places:  Because even if the charge is not true, no, make that especially if it's not true, it will cost him absolutely nothing.  Sure, for a little while, a few not too prominent Democrats will huff and puff, sotto voce, of course.  But even POLITICO reports the story with more amazement than disgust.  All you need to remember is that we're talking about the party of Bill Clinton after all, not to mention the legion of liberal apologists and enablers both in and out of the elite media.

Of one thing you can be sure, however.  Were Reid a Republican, there would be no end to the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.  Also, he would already be the former Majority Leader and soon to be former senator as well.  Such are the differences between to the two parties and the people who comprise them.  (There!  I said it.)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Two Can Play

So, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says an anonymous source from Bain Capital told him the reason Mitt Romey wont release his tax returns is that he, Romney, didn't pay any taxes at all for at least 10 years.  Reid insists that it's up to Romney to prove himself innocent of the charge.


OK Harry, an anonymous source from an unnamed Las Vegas casino called me just yesterday to tell me that during visits to your home state of Nevada you routinely consort with underage young boys, use escort agencies to affect the assignations, and pay them with government funds.

Can you disprove any of these allegations Senator?  Well, can you?