November 29, 2007

"What do you mean by 'right wing progressivism'?"

Jonah Goldberg explains what he thinks is so wrong with Huckabee.

66 comments:

Pogo said...

These folks used to be called "goo goos", or Rockefeller Republicans.

In the 1965 NYC mayoral race, the very nominally Republican candidate John Lindsey eventually won, defeating Abe Beame and William F. Buckley Jr., who had accepted the nomination of the Conservative Party. Lindsey was merely an echo of the Democrats, big spending big government and all, differing little from Beame.

It was an hilarious race. Buckley jump-started the conservative movement, and sank Lindsey's hopes of becoming POTUS.



"Q: Do you think you have any chance of winning?
WFB: No

Q: How many votes do you expect to get, conservatively speaking?
WFB: Conservatively speaking, one."

Q: "What is the first thing you'll do if elected?"
WFB: "Demand a recount".

Simon said...

Apropos of Jonah's answer to the question Ann quotes, I'd go back to a passage from Barry Goldwater's book that I've quoted here and elsewhere many times, wherein Goldwater took to task Arthur Larson, who'd written four years earlier in his book A Republican Looks At His Party that “if a job has to be done to meet the needs of the people, and no one else can do it, then it is a proper function of the federal government.” Goldwater (entirely properly, in my view) categorically rejected this position. He accused (entirely correctly) Larson and like-minded Republicans of accepting “an unqualified repudiation of the principle of limited government," of completely ignoring the need for "reference ... to the Constitution" or any theory of "the legitimate functions of government." In their "assumption that it is the government itself that determines what needs to be done," Goldwater argued, the Larsonites had embraced "the first principle of totalitarianism: that the state is competent to do all things and is limited in what it actually does only by the will of those who control the state.” The Constitution, Goldwater warned, is “a system of restraints against the natural tendency of government to expand in the direction of absolutism.” If I read Jonah correctly, his problem with Huckabee is that Huckabee is a Larsonite in that debate, and I'm inclined to agree with Jonah.

rcocean said...

He can accept Gulliani - the liberal mayor of NYC who endorsed Cuomo for Governor, but he doesn't like Huckabee.

Thats our Jonah.

Simon said...

rcocean - Constitution first and last. What Jonah is saying is that Huckabee - in marked contrast with Giuliani - recognizes the limited nature of federal power. It's perfectly logical and valid to be a big government conservative within the constraints imposed by applicable law - that is, I think Jonah's problem with Huck isn't primarily that Huck is a big government conservative and ran Arkansas that way, but that Huck does not seem to have grappled with the reality that the job for which he's applying has very different parameters and limits on it, and that Huck has not shown (as Giuliani arguably has) any recognition that he will confine his administration to doing what he wants government to do only within the Constitutionally legitimate ambit of federal power.

Ron said...

Simon -- very well put!

Salamandyr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salamandyr said...

It should be added that, as far as I can tell, Jonah has not come out for Gulliani either. I think the closest he has come to an actual endorsement is saying "You know, John McCain isn't actually that bad."

At this point he seems to being for whoever will hold to, or do the least damage to conservative principles. I'd agree with him that in this case, the person who would do the most damage is Huckabee. Huckabee is the closest thing I've ever seen in real life to the liberal caricature of a Conservative, all big bucks and Creationism, and I think he would cement the damage Bush has already done to Republican fealty to limited government.

Simon said...

To clarify, I'm not suggesting that one ought to be a big government conservative, even one that recognizes Constitutional limigrations, only that it's a valid and defensible position that people can take. I'm not a big government conservative, I think it's a really bad political philosophy, but it's at least a defensible position for someone to say "I believe government has an expansive role to play in society, and while I governed New York / Arkansas / California /etc., I governed that way, but now I'm running for President, I recognize and accept that the federal government cannot play the role that I would like it to play if I were writing on a blank slate, and I'll conduct myself accordingly, even if it means vetoing legislation that I like, that I think is necessary or meritorious, and that I would have signed in a heartbeat as Governor / Mayor / etc."

rcocean said...

What limits on Government did Rudy recognize when Mayor? And what limits has he recognized that Huckabee hasn't?

I see no evidence that Rudy, other than supporting SCOTUS decisions, supports Federalism.

Salamandyr said...

rcocoean,

You're pulling a distraction. Nobody has brought up Gulliani, except you. Jonah didn't say "Gulliani's great, Huckabee sucks." and neither did anyone else.

Let's face it, pretty much everybody who supports Gulliani supports him because they think he'll be great on National Security, tough on lawbreakers, an effective administrator and he's promised to keep his mouth shut about the rest of it. He's not actively trying to pass Constitutional Amendments for or against gay marriage or creationism, or anything else.

Huckabee is up for all of those things, including Healthcare, global warming, Christian welfare and all the rest of the claptrap. For Leave-Us-Alone Conservatives, Gulliani is a compromise, Huckabee is a nightmare.

Simon said...

I think you can oppose action by the federal government on reasons that fall under at least three distinct heads. You could oppose it because you don't think the federal government has the power to take that action, either because it isn't granted the applicable power by the Constitution, or because that action would violate constitutional rights, which are (if subtly analytically distinct) best characterized as limits on the power of government. Alternatively, assuming that the federal government has the power, you could oppose it taking action because you don't think that the federal government either can or ought to take that action as a consequence of your normative political theories about federalism, limited government, and so forth. I'm having a memory failure on what the term is, but there's a view of government that holds that decisions should be taken on the lowest practical level. And lastly, you might take the view that no government ought to undertake a given action, which obviously includes the federal government. This only becomes problem when people say they're opposed to the federal government doing something, or that they think it should be left to the states, when what they really mean is that it should be left to the states because the states won't do it anyway.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"What limits on Government did Rudy recognize when Mayor?"

That's a red herring. The question isn't what limits Giuliani or Huckabee recognize on "government" in the abstract, as a matter of political theory. The question is what limits they recognize that the federal Constitution would impose on what the federal government can do and thus on what they can legitimately do (and argue for) as President.

Salamandyr said...

Another thought on the difference between Gulliani and Huckabee.

When Gulliani does something we, as Conservatives don't like, it's not a threat to Conservatism, it's that in certain areas he's fairly liberal, libertarian, or libertine depending on your preference for adjective. We accept that there are some differences of opinion that color an otherwise congenial working relationship.

But Huckabee isn't about "a little from column A, a little from column B". He's for redefining what it means to be Conservative. He's the exact opposite of a Libertarian; he wants to hold onto all the Social Conservative issues, while jettisoning all of the self imposed limitations that made social conservatives palatable. He wants to take the values of the small, rural community, and impose them on the Country at large, which is as wrong as when liberals try to impose the values of the big city over the country. That would re-define fundamentally what Conservatism means.

Simon said...

Frankly, in an election between a liberal who genuinely understood the Constitutional role of the federal government and could be trusted to confine themselves to those limits, and a conservative like Huckabee, I'd have no choice but to vote for the liberal, even though I promise you I'd disagree with far more of what they want to do than what the conservative wants to do. The criterion for judging what the Constitution allows and prohibits isn't (and can't be) that it allows whatever you think is good policy. That's totally illegitimate. Unconstitutional means to conservative ends are no more legitimate than unconstitutional means to liberal ends.

Of course, that election will never happen, because liberals are generally (with honorable exceptions) acutely allergic to the Constitution except where it happens to be a useful weapon to assail a President they dislike. But hypothetically, the support and defense of the Constitution trumps partisan loyalties, and if Huckabee can't in good faith take the oath of office, because he urges the feds to do many plainly unconstitutional things, he's not a candidate I'm even going to look at. He knocks himself out of contention for anyone who's bound by oath to support and defend the Constitution.

Simon said...

Salamandyr said...
"[Giuliani's] not actively trying to pass Constitutional Amendments for or against gay marriage or creationism, or anything else."

And as President would have no power to do so (or prevent their being done) anyway. See U.S. Const., Art. V.

Salamandyr said...

Simon said...
And as President would have no power to do so (or prevent their being done) anyway. See U.S. Const., Art. V.


Well, yes. I believe that's kind of understood. But wouldn't you agree with the statement "President Bush tried to pass an Amendment banning gay marriage."?

While the Constitution doesn't give the President any say in writing Amendments, they have a tremendous bully pulpit with which to actively proselytize for one they agree with.

Salamandyr said...

Simon said...
And as President would have no power to do so (or prevent their being done) anyway. See U.S. Const., Art. V.


Well, yes. I believe that's kind of understood. But wouldn't you agree with the statement "President Bush tried to pass an Amendment banning gay marriage."?

While the Constitution doesn't give the President any say in writing Amendments, they have a tremendous bully pulpit with which to actively proselytize for one they agree with.

TMink said...

Simon, I am not sure I am willing to conceive of a big government conservative. I think it does too much damage to the word conservative and it moves into facism.

So I am in search for a more appropros term. Something along the lines of a meddlesome busybody.

Trey

TMink said...

Huckabee is all about raising taxes. His record is replete with it. He will never get my vote. Conservatives lok for ways to lower taxes and reduce the size and reach of the federal government.

Neither Giuliani nor Huckabee is a conservative, but the latter is more of a meddling pain and thus to be avoided.

Trey

Simon said...

Salamandyr said...
"But wouldn't you agree with the statement 'President Bush tried to pass an Amendment banning gay marriage'?"

No, but I'd be willing to compromise on a formulation like "President Bush advocated passing an amendment banning gay marriage."

Trey -- I think generally speaking, one could say that neoconservatism (in its proper sense) is a philosophy of big government conservatism, but I know what you're saying.

rcocean said...

Regarding Rudy, you say he's a conservative on economic issues, but I see no evidence in his record to support it. We have every reason to believe, campaign rhetoric aside, that he would be another Big Government conservative just like Bush.

And on illegal immigration Huckster is the right of Rudy. he also seems to be more sane than Rudy on both Foreign Policy & trade. To me the best argument against both Huckabee and Rudy is that they both governed as liberals and there is no reason to believe either will turn conservative when POTUS.

But Jonah and NRO have no credibility attacking Huckster given their lack of opposition to McCain and Rudy. McCain is probably the closest thing to an American Fascist holding Federal Office.

SGT Ted said...

Big Government Conservative is a contradiction in terms. Period.

rcocean said...

"Big Government Conservative is a contradiction in terms. Period."

I agree, but I didn't want to use "Compassionate Conservative" - the phase they use to describe themselves.

Bush has really damaged conservatism in the last 7 years.

Salamandyr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

As I said a few days ago, some people (not looking all that closely) see in Huckabee, what they wanted to see from Fred Thompson. But behind the social conservative front are some real troubling positions.

I wonder if Christopher Walkin would see a vision if he shook Huckabee's hand. That's how I feel about him.

Salamandyr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

I thought Huckabee sounded real reasonable a few times during the debate and really appreciated his soft pushback on the "Bible as the Literal Word of God" question.

Huck made the point so many wingers duck, that Christianity actually stresses loving your neighbor and as you treat the least among you, so, too, do you treat me.

Republicans seem embarrassed by this aspect of Christianity. Last thing they want is a society measured by how the least are treated. Because they really could care less. (No, voluntary giving won't address the problem so don't use that dodge).

As far as Jonah Goldberg, he's an embarrassment and never would amount to a hill of beans if he wasn't born into a publishing family. A real silver spoon baby who has had his career handed to him.

Also, being such an adamant war backer, he really should enlist.

(And, where's his new book? Hmmm..?)

AlphaLiberal said...

"Big Government Conservative is a contradiction in terms. Period."

Ha-ha!! Yet that's what we've seen the last 7 years!

Hey, conservatives! War is a government program!

Revenant said...

Simon,

Constitution first and last. What Jonah is saying is that Huckabee - in marked contrast with Giuliani - recognizes the limited nature of federal power.

Did you mean to say that Giuliani, in marked contrast to Huckabee, recognizes those limits? That's what Jonah was saying.

AlphaLiberal said...

OTOH, here's Huck pretending God talks to Bush and supports the right wing agenda.

Ugh. Like God wants the earth despoiled, children left hungry, the greedy placed first in line.

Hypocrites.

Revenant said...

Regarding Rudy, you say he's a conservative on economic issues, but I see no evidence in his record to support it. We have every reason to believe, campaign rhetoric aside, that he would be another Big Government conservative just like Bush.

Rudy may well be a Big Government Conservative just like Bush. But Huckabee says he'll be an even worse Big Government Conservative than Bush.

Let's say you're a conservative. Do you support Rudy... or Huckabee (let's ignore the question of who actually has a chance of winning the Presidential election). Well, supporting Rudy makes sense if you think he's telling the truth about how he'll govern. Supporting Huckabee makes sense only if you think he's lying about how he'll govern! And given that he governed Arkansas like a big-government type, and promises to the the same kind of President -- why should we believe he's lying?

And on illegal immigration Huckster is the right of Rudy.

Er, no. He was an open-borders type until he decided to run for President. He even supported opening a Mexican consulate in Little Rock, for pity's sake. How many LEGAL Mexican immigrants do you think there are in Arkansas?

he also seems to be more sane than Rudy on both Foreign Policy & trade.

What do you see as his significant differences from Rudy on those subjects?

But Jonah and NRO have no credibility attacking Huckster given their lack of opposition to McCain and Rudy.

If you think they don't attack McCain you obviously don't read the magazine.

As for their "lack of opposition" to Rudy, they criticize him for his liberal stances. But taken as a whole package, Rudy's more of a true conservative than Huckabee is -- and he promises to be MUCH more of a true conservative than Huckabee promises to be.

Revenant said...

That Alphaliberal likes Huckabee really tells you all you need to know about how much of a "conservative" the guy is. :)

AlphaLiberal said...

(nyuck, nyuck)

Blake said...

AL,

I don't see how "voluntary contributions" are a dodge.

If people think the poor should be clothed and fed, then let them donate to organizations that will do so.

What you're saying is that the poor and clothed should be fed using Other People's Money.

That strikes me as a dodge.

paul a'barge said...

Eeeuuuwwww!

I clicked on the link and was taken to that horrible Beauchamp fabulist disreputable web site.

Nasty!

Simon said...

Rev, yes, sorry - good catch. :)

rcocean said...

Revenant:

The problem with NRO isn't that they criticize Rudy's liberal policies; its that they haven't attacked Rudy's candidacy as completely absurd. Instead their position is that while Rudy isn't perfect, he'd be an OK nominee.

Which is an incredible position for a magazine which used to be THE Voice of American conservatism. Imagine NR under Buckley writing that Rocky or John Anderson were acceptable nominees!

Gad, Rudy is a liberal on everything except the WOT and MAYBE taxes. He ran with the Liberal party endorsement, he endorsed Mario Cuomo for governor.
Hello? Are we to believe his actions and words for 15 years are now worthless? Oh, but now he's a conservative. Well, how convenient.

As for Huckster, I don't support him, I just think he's no worse than Rudy.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"The problem with NRO isn't that they criticize Rudy's liberal policies; its that they haven't attacked Rudy's candidacy as completely absurd. Instead their position is that while Rudy isn't perfect, he'd be an OK nominee."

Compared to who else in the race? There is no ideal candidate in the race. No one would be happier than me to see Gingrich in the mix, but it wasn't to be. Politics is the art of the possible, and any of the GOP candidates as President is better than any of the Dem candidates as President (which a possible exception: if Hunter or Tancredo are the nominee, I vote for Hillary). And to suggest that Huckabee is no better or worse than Giuliani is really just living in cloud cuckoo land.

rcocean said...

"and any of the GOP candidates as President is better than any of the Dem candidates as President (which a possible exception: if Hunter or Tancredo are the nominee, I vote for Hillary)"

Anyone who would vote for Hillary over Trancredo or Hunter isn't a conservative. Which is why you consider Rudy a possible Republican nominee and I don't .

Revenant said...

The problem with NRO isn't that they criticize Rudy's liberal policies; its that they haven't attacked Rudy's candidacy as completely absurd. Instead their position is that while Rudy isn't perfect, he'd be an OK nominee.

There's nothing absurd about Rudy's candidacy, and plenty of reason to believe he'd be an acceptable Republican President.

Gad, Rudy is a liberal on everything except the WOT and MAYBE taxes.

Your problem is that you're obsessing over Rudy's personal views, rather than dealing with how he proposes to govern. Yes, Rudy is personally a liberal (although still more of a conservative than Huckabee). But he isn't proposing to govern as a liberal; he's proposing to govern as a federalist who will appoint constructionist judges. That's something conservatives can get behind.

So Rudy's pro-choice. So he's pro-gay marriage. So what? Those are NOT areas over which the federal government is supposed to have power! A true conservative doesn't want a President who will ban abortion and ban gay marriage. A true conservative wants a President who will get the federal government out of dealing with the abortion issue and let the states decide it.

Hello? Are we to believe his actions and words for 15 years are now worthless? Oh, but now he's a conservative. Well, how convenient.

Your problem, I suspect, is that you think the social conservative issues are the backbone of conservatism. Plenty of conservatives, including many of the National Review staff, consider the social conservative issues to be unimportant compared to things like federalism, small government, etc.

A true "National Review" conservative, given a choice between (a) a small, federalist government where abortion is legal and gay marriage is widely accepted, and (b) a big government that does everything it can to "help" people but bans abortion and gay marriage, will choose (a) every time. That is by far the more-conservative option. Huckabee is enthusiastically supporting (b).

The current choices for the nomination are, like Simon observed above:

(1): Ron Paul. He's a nut. Next!

(2): McCain. Too much baggage, no party loyalty. Next!

(3): Romney. Mostly liberal in the past, promises to be conservative in the future.

(4): Giuliani. Mostly liberal in the past, promises to be conservative in the future.

(5): Huckabee. Mostly liberal in the past, promises to keep doing the same damned thing in the future. Bzzt! Try the Democratic race, Huck, maybe Hillary can use you to make herself look like a small-government federalist in comparison.

Who, exactly, is NRO supposed to be happy with?

Revenant said...

Anyone who would vote for Hillary over Trancredo or Hunter isn't a conservative.

Given a choice between being rational and being conservative, I'll go with "rational" every time. Tancredo's not fit to be President of the Three Stooges Fan Club, let alone President of the United States. Hillary, bad as she would be, is at least mentally stable.

George said...

Don't know if anyone above has mentioned this, but The New Yorker's Hertzberg just wrote a sweetie-pie love kiss piece on Huckabee.

"But his history suggests that he prefers consensus to confrontation, that he regards government as a tool for social betterment, and that he has little taste for war, cultural or otherwise. He seems to regard liberalism not as a moral evil, a mental disease, or a character flaw—merely as a political point of view he mostly disagrees with."

Any GOP Presidential candidate who can inspire this kind of insipid commentary from Hertzberg deserves to head the ticket. He's clearly the yin to Hillary's yang.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"Anyone who would vote for Hillary over Trancredo or Hunter isn't a conservative. Which is why you consider Rudy a possible Republican nominee and I don't."

I don't really care whether I'm regarded as a conservative or not, but the bottom line is that if you're against free trade, you're not a serious candidate, and a serious candidate who's wrong beats an unserious candidate who's wrong every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Plus, Hunter's role in the last two Congresses disqualifies him from running for any office more consequential than dogcatcher. To finesse Rev's reply, given a choice between voting for someone who's rational and someone who claims to be a conservative, I'll go with "rational" every time.

Rev said...
"Plenty of conservatives, including many of the National Review staff, consider the social conservative issues to be unimportant compared to things like federalism, small government, etc."

That's exactly right. Whether I'd vote for Rudy as governor is irrelevant to whether I'd vote for him as President. A candidate who advances unconstitutional policies loses it all unless they're opposed by a candidate who advances policies that are even worse.

George said...

Don't know if anyone above has mentioned this, but The New Yorker's Hertzberg just wrote a sweetie-pie love kiss piece on Huckabee.

"But his history suggests that he prefers consensus to confrontation, that he regards government as a tool for social betterment, and that he has little taste for war, cultural or otherwise. He seems to regard liberalism not as a moral evil, a mental disease, or a character flaw—merely as a political point of view he mostly disagrees with."

Any GOP Presidential candidate who can inspire this kind of insipid commentary from Hertzberg deserves to head the ticket. He's clearly the yin to Hillary's yang.

rcocean said...

Huckster is now the liberal MSM favorite conservative. Their previous favorite, "Maverick" John McCain isn't going anywhere.

Like McCain, Huckster seems to love the MSM press. A big warning flag for any conservative.

Revenant said...

But his history suggests that he prefers consensus to confrontation

It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to achieve "consensus" as a socially conservative pro-agriculture populist in Arkansas.

At the national level, though... what exactly is the "consensus" position between "Roe vs. Wade should be overturned" and "Roe vs. Wade should be upheld"? Overturning it, but reinstating it for major holidays and alternate weekends?

And what is the "consensus" that lies between federalism and federal supremacy? Do we flip a coin? Heads it goes to the states, tails the President and Congress call the shots?

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"[W]hat exactly is the 'consensus' position between 'Roe vs. Wade should be overturned' and 'Roe vs. Wade should be upheld'? Overturning it, but reinstating it for major holidays and alternate weekends?"

Well, it seems to me that liberals don't care about Roe, per se, they care about abortion rights and Roe is a shibboleth and a cipher for that. So I think that misstates the question: the question, I would think, is what's the consensus position between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice? It seems to me that a reasonable compromise would be for both sides to concede that the Constitution of the United States says nothing about the issue, and that the issue should be decided by states, where no one will get exactly the policy they want, but both sides will get tolerable results.

Thus, compromise on abortion begins with overruling Roe-Casey; any proposed compromise that involves those cases remaining in force isn't a compromise, which is why it's patently obvious that pro-choicers have no interest whatsoever in compromising on the issue, and why Obama is so transparently disingenuous or moronic in suggesting that we can just get past these culture war issues. And why would they compromise, I suppose? They own the status quo, so there's nothing that they can gain through compromise - unless they can be persuaded to see the normalization of politics and the extinguishing of this slow-motion national conflagration as a benefit in trade.

Revenant said...

Simon, my feeling is that most of the people who are pro-choice enough for that to influence their vote tend to be singularly unsympathetic to the idea of allowing abortion to be outlawed in SOME states -- much more so than pro-lifers are to allow it to be legal in some states. Left-wing federalism dates back to approximately 2003, when the implications of having an entirely Republican-dominated federal government started to sink in.

Now that Democrats have Congress again (and a good shot at the Presidency), that momentary interest in federalist solutions seems to have evaporated.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"Left-wing federalism dates back to approximately 2003, when the implications of having an entirely Republican-dominated federal government started to sink in."

That's not entirely true - see Brennan, State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights, 90 Harv. L. Rev. 489 (1977). But certainly I agree that their interest in any aspect of the Constitution depends on its utility to them at any given moment.

Revenant said...

Simon,

I was talking more about the American Left in general. Individuals within the Left, as within the Right, have long realized that their long-term interests are best served by federalism. This is more common on the right than the left, though, by far.

The notion that maybe abortion should be left up to the states didn't start to crop up in mainstream left-wing circles until very recently, when the possibility of Republicans simply making it entirely illegal nationwise started to look likely.

Zeb Quinn said...

Over the last number of years when it came to medical marijuana and the legalization of pot generally, and to Oregon's physician assisted suicide law, the left became full-blown state-righters. They have it in them to think right when they want to. It's just the issues they choose to do it with.

TMink said...

Rev wrote: "Your problem is that you're obsessing over Rudy's personal views,"

I take that view as well, only I consider it a strength Rev! I quickly recall how I was told that W would show his true conservative colors in his second term. I believed it. Oh how wrong I was. Bush is not and has never been a conservative.

So I want a real conservative, not someone who says I will be more conservative than I was in New York where I supported abortion, gave money to Planned Parenthood, and instituted gun control.

Fool me once etc.

Trey

Paddy O. said...

"Who, exactly, is NRO supposed to be happy with?"

Thompson. Only the televised debate formats with a crowded stage is not his strength whatsoever. His policy statements, however, seem quite conservative. Right now the race is depending on who is the best at soundbites.

Speaking of NRO, does anyone else agree with them that Romney had a good night? I thought he stumbled and faltered and waffled the whole time, but they're saying he did a great job. I thought he was a consummate politician, using a lot of words to not answer questions. Maybe they like that over there.

AlphaLiberal said...

Blake:

I'm criticizing the use of Christianity as a political tool by Republicans and pointing out how Republican policies are the opposite of what Christ preached.

The question is not whether you care about the poor being fed or clothed. It's that Jesus clearly
said "as you treat the least among you, so, too, do you treat me."

Despite this clear instruction to care for the poor, so-called "Christian Conservatives" and their political machine attack funding to feed, clothe and shelter the poor.

That's what we call a contradiction and hypocrisy that shows how undeserving of the label "Christian" their polices truly are.

Paddy O. said...

AL, I bet you'll find that Jesus didn't say for the State to feed and clothe and whatnot, as well as the fact that all those supposed Republican hypocrites likely give above and beyond to those in need, just not using the state.

He wasn't talking to Caesar. He was talking to you personally. To me personally. He was saying that we need to take each responsibility to act right towards others, not pawn off the responsibility to some kind of government agency (such as the Temple in his day). In fact he railed against folks who gave to the poor so that they could be arrogant about how much they give.

Don't use Jesus for your own politics. It's not right for Republicans and its not right for Democrats. Jesus said what needed to be done, not the method.

AlphaLiberal said...

Paddy O:

The Republican base consistently demands that Biblical teaching become US law. Hence we see the marriage ban movement quoting arcane Scripture.

And Jesus never even said anything about gays or same-sex marriage!!

Here we have Jesus explicitly saying we should treat the poor well. Yet, Republicans reject this element of Christ's teaching by cutting funding for programs to help the poor.

I'm judging Republicans by their own standard. You're making excuses for them.

SGT Ted said...

"The Republican base consistently demands that Biblical teaching become US law."

Wrong. Again. Just another Strawman that tries to paint conservatives as biblethumping redneck bigots, just as CNN tried to do with their choice of questions.

hdhouse said...

sgt ted...

there are way too many strawmen in your backyard. please list the republican pretenders (contenders? sic!) who, aside from Mr. Guliani (now a devote catholic of sorts) who hasn't made their moral fiber born of their religion....all of these guys have found the sacred ground so its a ligimate question to call them on it...as in "just what do you mean when you say...."

ohhh and Simon...I'm back on a limited basis but it is clear during my absence you have let the sheep out and they have scattered about. This thread is about "right wing progressivism"...a non seq at best and the opinions on it are all over the fence as if someone had thown dung up to see what sticks. you need to get your boys and girls in line.

Paddy O. said...

AL,
I am the Republican base.

I treat the poor quite well. I have been the poor. Quite a bit poor.

I don't think that government programs treat the poor all that well. Treats them like products and political fodder. I think government programs depersonalize the poor and shove them off into categories.

I see the poor as real people, people who need a chance and people who often need opportunities. The poor are not a race. They are people who don't have much and need help to help themselves.

That help is much better given personally by individuals, like Jesus was talking to, than by the state.

Jesus was not saying hand off the responsibility to someone else. He wasn't saying Caesar should institute programs. He was saying to each person they need to do their part as they can.

That's a message to you. To me. Not to political parties.

You're trying to make Jesus say something he didn't say to make a point you wish he would have made.

To accuse people of hypocrisy as compared to the straw Jesus you've made.

I know great Christians who have given everything to help others, and some are Republicans others are Democrats, voting for who they think will best choose the strategy that actually helps.

Jesus, you see, wasn't about rhetoric or political points. He was about actual practice and help in our own lives.

Personally, having been poor, I found much more help during Republican administrations than Democratic. Democrats like to talk, but they wouldn't want to lose their base by having them rise out of poverty.

Revenant said...

Over the last number of years when it came to medical marijuana and the legalization of pot generally, and to Oregon's physician assisted suicide law, the left became full-blown state-righters.

Well, California legalized medical marijuana while Bill Clinton was still President (in 1996), and he told us to go f*** ourselves. So if the left started approving of federalism on drug issues, it only happened after Bush entered office.

Freder Frederson said...

He wasn't talking to Caesar.

Well no, but he did tell you to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's". He was not there to challenge a overbearing government and in fact encouraged people to pay their taxes without complaints (after all what did the Romans ever do for them?).

Freder Frederson said...

and that the issue should be decided by states, where no one will get exactly the policy they want, but both sides will get tolerable results.

Simon, I really wish I could get some of the stuff you and rev are smoking. Do you really believe that the pro-life crowd will be happy if "murder" is legal in some states but not others. My God man, you really are clueless.

rossi said...

I must be the only one who is so tired of vlogging from people who are best NOT seen in their basement, lit by the glow of their laptops with a circa-1999 cord mike from their Nokia dangling around their unkept selves.

I appreciate the metaphorical back and forth, but the literal, pitiful, physical rocking back and forth speaks more to the post-dungeon-and-dragons, psychological tilt of these basement dwellers and the need for serious medication to rid them of their tics. Or at least their wives/moms/boyfriends to scream down the stairwell to take out the garbage, dammit.

More print and less video, please.

Blake said...

AL,

I don't recall Jesus saying anything about "...and you should force all others to do the same."

Seems to me that "free will" plays pretty heavily into most Christian theologies.

In any event, I'm gonna hafta go ahead and disagree with you on boht counts:

1) I don't buy your hypocrisy argument at all, since one can easily agree with Jesus and act accordingly, yet believe the gov't is the wrong medium through which to act.

2) I don't see much evidence of the Reps being unwilling to dole out massive amounts of cash, to wit, the massive Medicare Part D fiasco.

Blake said...

"(after all what did the Romans ever do for them?)."

The aqueduct.

TMink said...

Freder asked "Do you really believe that the pro-life crowd will be happy if "murder" is legal in some states but not others?"

Well, this anti-abortion person would. The numbers do not support an abortion free America. But the numbers would support an abortion free Tennessee.

It is my hope that the latter will happen, and that over time, the morality of our position will be recognized. The problem with that is too few people who are pro-life are willing or able to discuss the matter in a compelling matter.

Maybe because it is an emotionally charged issue for us, maybe because we are sidetracked into attacking the pro-choice folks instead of seeking to persuade, maybe something else entirely. But that is what I would hope that we would do.

But my hope is tempered to that level because of the poll data and my reluctance to subvert democracy.

Trey