Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson Gets It

From National Review Online:

In short, low taxes, secure borders, moral governance, sober government spending, ethical leadership, exploration and conservation of petroleum, and strong defense is what the American public wants — but those core principles have to be articulated hourly and can't be compromised. In an honest debate, Obama's alternatives to the above would be to turn toward more government, higher taxes, more bureacracies, more dependence of the individual upon the state, etc. And I can't believe the public wants a prescription that historically simply doesn't work.

I think in their depression, the Republicans fail to see that their problems were not in their principles, but rather in the sometimes sleezy and sloppy way they advanced them — and even more often in the manner that they abandoned them — and as a result, they are apparently eager to compromise on them.

To the degree McCain can articulate the above, he will win; to the degree that he either cannot or believes the latest gurus that he must abandon them, he will lose. Moving toward a lite version of the Obamian/European "bipartisan"and socialist view of government and calling it a new conservatism is a prescription for utter disaster.

Will the Republican Party take his advice? Probably not. It seems to be in a drag race with the Democratic Party to see which can commit suicide first.


Unknown said...

"Conservation of petroleum", a little bit of a reach for Republican principles :) My main problem is the whole "Obama's alternatives to the above would be to turn toward more government, higher taxes, more bureacracies, more dependence of the individual upon the state, etc." If you look at charts of positions on key issues the 3 biggest difference are repealing Bush's tax cuts or making them permanent, mandating children's heath care or letting the market possibly achieve that, and more immediate withdrawal from Iraq instead of staying forever. Obama wants to raise taxes back to previous levels and only for people who make $250k+, make sure children have health care, and stop the tax dollar sink hole that is Iraq. Not exactly the end of the world as Republicans seem to think and really including all the different issues not very radically different stances at all. All of those principles are pretty much shared by the two parties, the difference is in what each one believes is necessary and proper to achieve those goals.

Darren said...

I myself am just fine with tax cuts; don't *want* more government mandates, be they health care or child care; and would be willing to keep forces in the Middle East until the threat from there is minimal.

Do you see a reason to keep one single soldier in Europe anymore? Perhaps some airmen, maybe even some naval personnel here and there in bases around the perimeter--and then, only a few. Korea I understand, the Mid East I understand, Colombia I understand. Europe, I do not.

Anonymous said...

I thought there was something familiar about Obama.

Higher taxes, more government intrusion, irresponsible foreign policy and promises that are provably false as they're being made. When you remove all the "audacity of hope" gas you have the same ideas that've defined the Democratic party since, at least, the 1930s.

Matter of fact, when you leave all the "audacity of hope" gas in the similarity to previous Democratic promise-mongers is even harder to ignore.

Horrifyingly enough, Bill Clinton starts to look good by comparison to the last couple of bargains the Democratic party has dangled in front of the American public, Obama included.

Clinton's political instincts drew him to the center although he didn't have the slightest hesitation about exploiting the excitability of the left. But he knew that while the bug-eyed left was worth plenty of bark they didn't have anywhere near the bite they were certain they had so Bill Clinton gave the left the boot when it suited him.

Whether it was the unions, gays or feminists, he'd crap on them when it suited him which, it turned out, was fairly often. What's that tell anyone impressed with Bill Clinton's political skills?

The outcome of the election hinges as much on personality as it does on policy and that's part of where John McCain comes up short. Much of the antipathy among conservatives towards McCain comes from the perception that he takes himself as seriously as he takes his job. That's such a distinctly left-wing attitude that it's hard to look past it to his policy decisions. It's also why Reagan is so venerated and where McCain comes up short by comparison: Reagan didn't take himself very seriously at all and took the job very seriously.

While the Lenin wing of the Democratic party is in a fever about Obama it's less his race to win, given his off-the-left-edge voting record, then it is McCain's to lose. Unfortunately, I've had the distasteful privilege of watching an essentially empty suit, in the form of Jennifer Granholm, win two gubernatorial elections due to the phenomenal ineptness of her experienced Republican opponents then her own abilities and record. Must be a Republican thing.

Ellen K said...

If McCain can expose the DNC's economic plan, which is basically a national version of the much maligned Robin Hood plan in Texas, there will be people who realize that they won't be recipient, but instead will be involuntary contributors to the program. Right now, too many of the folks on the Democrat side, especially in the Obama camp, think they are all going to get free this and free that. I don't think they have done the math or taken time to consider who would be paying for medical, social and welfare programs as outlined by the Green/DNC party.