Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin stays in--GOOD! Fight back,Todd!

Yes, you read that right--GOOD. May Todd Akin put his embarrassing and stupid gaffe behind him, and take on that liberal Claire McCaskill and focus on the *real* issues, like Claire McCaskill's slavish devotion to the Obamunist Ohministration--a business bashing Ohconomy, a foreign policy that is disastrous, and the growth of a governmental monstrosity.

Nope, I'm not "pro-life". I can't compel a woman to bear a child she does not want and moreover, I find that whole issue (a) too complicated for the simplistic slogans and (b) a sideshow from the very real economic and foreign policy disasters.

So why is it a good thing that Todd Akin stays in the fight, even if I don't agree with him on the abortion issue, and even if he loses in a landslide and goes down in flames?

1. Because it stops conceding the media narrative. We have got to stop dancing to the lamestream Dem-media drumbeat where theirs get away with murder and ours get crucified for gaffes. If Todd Akin makes his apologies, stays in the race, and most importantly gets back on track hammering away at Claire McCaskill's domestic economic and foreign policy disaster votes, he will have done something to dispell the all too familiar drill of the Republicans always groveling before the Liberal Media Narrative.

2. Because we don't have a clear alternative candidate waiting in the wings this late in the race. OK, so you want Todd Akin out. Who are we going to put in the slot, this late in the race? Remember how well the Jack Ryan / Alan Keyes fiasco vs. then Senator Barack Obama played out? Sometimes, it's so late in the game, that you just have to stick with who you have.

3. Because the Democrats will only come up with another gaffe and another smear anyway. What 11th hour "gotcha" will the Demunists play with whoever we try to put in the Senate campaign to replace Todd Akin? Because they will, no matter how contrived. And no matter how contrived, the media will cover for the Dems and give them a veneer of credibility.

4. Because the real issue is what a disaster a liberal Senator like Claire McCaskill has been. Why not just say "Sure, Todd Akin misspoke, and badly at that, but Claire McCaskill is still a wretched Obama stooge who must be replaced!" and get the real economic and security issues back on track. 

5. Because this whole issue is a sideshow. Why do we lend credibility to sideshows? Because no matter how badly Todd Akin misspoke--and his gaffe was a major flop--that issue is *still* a sideshow. You know it, and more importantly, the liberals know it, too.

6. Because at this point, switching candidates is just betraying weakness. Just hammer home what a bolshevik liberal McCaskill is and MOVE ON. 

7. Because Gaffes only matter when you *let* them matter. Remember the George Allen "Macaque" moment? What a phony "racial issue" that was!!!

8. Finally, in fairness, there is a legal distinction between forcible rape (yes, "legitimate" is a poor choice of words) and "statutory" rape, which is consensual sex with a minor. Yes, Akin still botched it, but all the lawyers out there ought to know what a cheap shot so much of this really is.

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom says it better than I can:
First, I am not supporting Akin in any specific way. What I’m doing is criticizing as deplorable, stupid, politically retarded, and all too frequent, the canned, PC, preemptive (and in many cases, I believe, if not ridiculously hyperbolic, then outright phony) outrage that came from the right in reaction to a impolitic phrase from a GOP candidate. I’m criticizing it for its cowardice and its cynicism. I’m criticizing it for its moral preening and its tacit acknowledgment that, because the left would doubtless make a stink about what has become, in our PC culture, a kind of social third rail — everything we know of rape is settled science — those on the right, or in the pro-life camp, who don’t wish to be tarred with the brush Akin wielded, had better get out front of it, fast, and distance themselves from his comments in the most forceful way they knew how. As if not doing so was an admission of some sort of guilt by association.

That is, I’m criticizing them for repeatedly being manipulated by the left, oftentimes before the left even has to spring into orchestrated action. That’s how scared many on the right are of being called anti-science or knuckle draggers, etc. Without stopping to tell themselves that those who are making these charges are doing so solely for political purposes — to try to shame you, to try to mock you, to try to fluster you and silence you. And that, no matter what you say — even if you’ve apologized, or you were one of the first to distance yourselves from the comment to show you aren’t “moronic” or “one of those kind of conservatives” — it doesn’t matter: they’ve determined merely to tie all Republicans to it any way, regardless of your very public protestations that you are nothing like that horrible horrible man who said horrible horrible things.

– When really, the proper response would have been, from the right, well, I don’t agree with Akin and I’d like to ask him on what, exactly, he’s basing certain assertions about rape and pregnancy, because I suspect he has his facts wrong — or at least, he’s relying on old theories. In which case, I’m happy to present him with my facts, and perhaps persuade him to change him opinion on the matter.

You know, treat it as an intellectual exercise, show voters that Republicans can speak intelligently about the finer points of their Party’s pro-life platform, that they are capable of intellectual growth, when the need arises, and that they don’t react to speech like the left does, instantly denouncing, shaming, and calling for excommunication so as not to run afoul of the cultural PC police — all so that they can assert their own moral and intellectual superiority in a way that is terrible ostentatious and entirely self-serving.

In fact, I find it rather odd that those who instantly called on Akin to leave the race for the good of the party and the cause — this race is, they keep reminding us, bigger than just one man, and so much is at stake! — didn’t themselves stop to think just how badly their very public shunning of Akin might hurt the party’s electoral chances, particularly if they failed in their efforts to chase Akin off the ballot and replace him. As is often said, if you’re going to kill the king, you’d better kill the king.

And so we are where we are: with the GOP now in full-on panic mode, coalescing around their hatred of the dastardly candidate who has RUINED their chances in Missouri, and perhaps cost our children and grandchildren their freedom. Which they are able to do, because they have pulled themselves into a large consensus group where they can reinforce for each other their relative righteousness and selflessness (we act for the good of the party!) — and decry Akin’s relative selfishness for daring to try to save his own political career, and for his refusal to disenfranchise those in Missouri who voted for in the first place. Not to mention whatever good name he may have secured for himself over a long and (from what I’ve read) honorable life.

My criticisms throughout this mess have been an attempt to show the GOP just how it is they themselves are culpable in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory — and to hopefully provide some insight into why they consistently do so, be the left’s scapegoat Rush Limbaugh or Todd Akin.
Jeff goes on:
It has become yet another self-fulfilling prophecy — and it is the kind of thing that many of us no longer accept. Yes, the stakes are high. Yes, we want to win the Senate. But no, we’ll no longer accept being told who we can have as a candidate and who we cannot have, nor will we stand by and watch jackals tear the flesh off a decent man so that they can get him replaced with a candidate of their choosing who couldn’t win the primary.
I’m not from Missouri. Looking at the candidates in the primary race, had I endorsed anyone it likely would not have been Akin. But that’s beside the point. He won, and we owed it to the people of Missouri, who we are asking to help us elect a Republican to take back the Senate, to defend their chosen candidate and in so doing, honor their choice.
Todd Akin didn’t rape Juanita Broderick. He didn’t drown Mary Jo Kopechne in his car. He didn’t engage in shady land deals, hang out with domestic and foreign terrorists and anti-semites, or stuff money in his freezer. He expressed a dubious claim about the frequency of pregnancy after rape — a claim that is based in part at least on well-known and frequently detailed barriers to conception, such as chronic stress.
Whether he was wrong or not was beside the point. The merits of his claim were never argued. He’d said something the left won’t allow to be discussed, and many on the right — just as they did with John Derbyshire and a host of others who have introduced “controversial” propositions — rushed to condemn him rather than to patiently correct him.

We witnessed gross anti-intellectualism and the insidious politically correct chilling of speech through an aggressive, Twitter-fueled pique of competitive outrage. It was disgusting to watch frankly — with people actively trying to one-up each other in their purported bother over a minor point on the pro life continuum. The reasons for this I can only speculate upon: a desire to be seen as a “thinking” conservative, set apart from those kind, whose godbothery social conservatism has always made them suspect to the cognoscenti; a cynical opportunism to replace one candidate with a preferred candidate; an ostentatious sanctimony that seems very important to a large portion of the online right.
Whether Akin should have stepped down or not was never my concern. My concern — and my criticism — has always been aimed at the those who placed our Senate chances in Missouri in jeopardy by reacting to a gaffe as they did. And it wasn’t Todd Akin — who did the perfunctory apology tour almost immediately. Or rather, his contribution was minor, and his recovery would have been easy had it not been for the reaction from the right — from online calls for his removal, to press releases sent by GOP officials, and so on. In the end, this is what sunk Missouri for the Republicans: if you are going to publicly call for the removal of a candidate as a show that you, too, are FOR WOMEN!, you’d better first make sure he’s willing to step aside to give you your moment of cheap grace and social posturing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

George McGovern wises up?

According to Larry Elder, who boldly proposes that George McGovern--yes THAT George McGovern--speak at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

What would make Larry Elder say this? According to him, McGovern, after leaving the Senate, went into business--and wised up the hard way:
McGovern went into business for himself — and went bust.

Following the recommendation of a friend with "a lifetime of hotel- and restaurant-management experience," McGovern bought a small hotel and restaurant, the Stratford Inn in Connecticut. He poured his savings into the place, investing his seven year's worth of post-Senate earnings from the lecture circuit.
A contributing factor to the failure, according to McGovern, was the regulations that make it tough to make a profit. In a mea culpa that should chill every lefty on the Hill, McGovern said: "I wish I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee. That knowledge would have made me a better legislator and a more worthy aspirant to the White House. ... I learned first of all that over the past 20 years America has become the most litigious society in the world. ... The second lesson I learned by owning the Stratford Inn is that legislators and government regulators must more carefully consider the economic and management burdens we have been imposing on U.S. businesses. ... Many businesses, especially small independents such as the Stratford Inn, simply can't pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable."

"I wish I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople."
Holy Ayn Rand! Then in the spring of 2008, McGovern wrote an article called, "Freedom Means Responsibility":

"Many people can't afford the gold-plated health plans that are the only options available in their states," wrote McGovern. "Buying health insurance on the Internet and across state lines, where less expensive plans may be available, is prohibited by many state insurance commissions. Despite being able to buy car or home insurance with a mouse click, some state governments require their approved plans for purchase or none at all. It's as if states dictated that you had to buy a Mercedes or no car at all."

This is, of course, exactly what Republicans, pre-ObamaCare, offered as one of the ways to increase the affordability of health care insurance — without further government intrusion.

McGovern, in warning about excessive regulation, sounded almost Reaganesque: "Since leaving office, I've written about public policy from a new perspective: outside looking in. I've come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.

"Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.
"The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else."
McGovern did a lot of damage while in Congress. Here's a chance for him to help undo some of it. For the sake of the country, McGovern should share his hard-earned wisdom — at the Republican National Convention.
Invite him, Mitt. If he can't make it, then quote him.