Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oh My

We've lost William F. Buckley, (arguably) the most important conservative of the 20th century. In the coming days, many will try to summarize the effect he's had, but it will be almost impossible to do. I do not think it is far-fetched to say that without Buckley, there's no Reagan. In fact, without Buckley, there's probably no modern conservative movement.

This is most unexpected and saddening, indeed. He's been writing right up until the present.

Nor The Son Of One

At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, here's something I wrote the morning after the 2006 elections, about a year and a half ago:
My suspicion is that Republicans are going to try to move to the Left as a result of this election (pointing to the defeats of swing-staters Jim Talent and Rick Santorum as justification), culminating in the nomination of John McCain for president in 2008. If they do, it will officially mark the end of the Republicans' 21st century dominance, as conservative and evangelical voters will have even more reason to sit it out.

If they're smart, however (and I frankly see no evidence of that), they'll see this as a well-timed wakeup call to begin becoming conservative again to reinvigorate their underwhelmed base. Fortunately for them, this was not a presidential election year. They still have time to right the ship (and it does need to be turned Right) in time to avert an era of disaster.

We'll see what they decide to do. I'm not optimistic.
Sadly, I was quite correct. John McCain is going to be the nominee. Between now and the election, many "conservatives" who have great unease about McCain are going to convince themselves that he'd really be pretty good after all, and more and more will "get in line" with the Party. But understand this: McCain is going to lose this election in a 40 state landslide. I'm not kidding. Think about it--which states do you see McCain carrying in November against, say, Barack Obama? I'll give you Arizona. Find me nine more (let alone 20 or 30 more). And that's not even including the specter we'll be treated to in the general election, with John McCain and Barack Obama directly competing with one another on the campaign trail. Obama next to McCain is like a supernova next to a dingy ten-watt light bulb swinging from a cord in a warehouse basement.

Someday someone is going to wake up and realize that in years when the Republicans run as conservatives ('80, '84, '88, '00, '04) they win. And in years when they run as moderates ('76, '92, '96), they get slaughtered. The Republicans are absolutely going to get their clocks cleaned come November. And frankly, it's probably the best thing that could happen to them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Can I Take Your Order?

I don't exactly know why, but every time I watch this, I find myself laughing uncontrollably:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rip Van Winkle

Well. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and I hope you had a nice Valentine's day. It looks like I needed a little bit of a blog break. I hadn't entirely planned to take one, but it just turned out that way. Did I miss anything while I was gone? Anything new happen in the presidential race since last October? Did the Patriots finish off that undefeated season I was expecting? Have they named any names yet in baseball's steroids investigation? How's that Heath Ledger "Batman" movie coming along?

I'm hoping to get back to more semi-regular posting. We'll see how it goes. Bouncing around on the web today (and recently), I see:

  • Finally, there's a much-needed takedown of that obnoxious little twit Franky Schaeffer. So your dad didn't play catch with you enough when you were growing up. Suck it up, Skippy.
  • It looks like we may have to put the global warming hysteria into hiatus at least until we get past the ice age that seems to be blowing through.
  • Christiane Amanpour of CNN gets a tour of a North Korean nuclear facility. She writes:
    For a nation President Bush labeled as part of the "axis of evil," it was not an impressive sight: a dilapidated concrete hulk, built with few resources back in the early '80s

    ....Parts of the plant are now dismantled, wrapped in plastic and put into storage

    ....It seems a far cry from the hostility conjured by the axis of evil.
    Right. What an idiot that Bush was when he called them that. Why, their stuff is practically falling apart. Of course, buried in the ninth paragraph is this little note, about this harmless little country Bush was so irrationally ramped up about:
    And we even were shown the reprocessing plant where plutonium was extracted from the rods, plutonium that was used for nuclear weapons, the chief engineer admitted.
    I wonder if it's possible that the reactor is in disrepair because President Bush's campaign against North Korea's nuclear program actually worked?
  • Doug Wilson wrote something a few weeks ago which ought to light a few fires. I don't always agree with him, but when he's good, he's really good:
    Whenever the radical agenda or the slow encroachment of the state are advanced by the liberals, a large number of conservatives oppose them, sometimes effectively. When we elect the kind of "conservatives" who are just methodical, plodding liberals, this has the effect to consolidating and sealing the previous advances of the radical agenda. A good example of this is the issue of women in combat, something that Scripture calls an abomination (Dt. 22:5). This used to be controversial just ten years ago, and it was the Bush administration that settled the issue, putting it beyond our reach.

    ....The fact that I will not vote for McCain or Romney has to do with my judgment (which could certainly be in error) that the effect of their election will be to consolidate and institutionalize some of the central problems in our culture, and that this will happen to even a greater degree than if we get a liberal president. In short, I would rather have a real enemy than a false savior.
Before flipping out, I think it would do us well to consider what he's saying in light of the trajectory of things over the last 40 years or so.