October 6, 2013

"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil..."

"... it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromise is the transmitting rubber tube."

That's the quote from "Atlas Shrugged" that Ted Cruz read on the Senate floor during his (it's not a) filibuster. We talked about it here, and it sprang to mind this morning as I was reading Rich Lowry's column "Stubborn democrats escaping all the blame in shutdown":
Refusing to negotiate is the new reasonableness.

After years of agonized media commentary about the failure of key players in Washington to sit down and work out their differences, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to win the fight over the government shutdown by rejecting all compromise, calling his opponents names and escaping blame in the press.

Eric Cantor, do not try this at home. It is a gambit available only to Democrats, who are presumed, almost by definition, to be free of any responsibility for a shutdown....
Appreciation for standing on principle depends on whether your principle is appreciated. It's right there in the Ayn Rand quote: There is food and poison, good and evil. We've got to believe you're the food, the good, before we admire your refusal to compromise. 

The media aren't going to see the Republicans as serving the food and the Democrats as serving the poison, so in the media, the refusal to compromise is always going to be bad for Republicans and good for Democrats. As usual, the conservatives have to fight against the media, and of course, Lowry knows that.

It's possible to use media opposition in a positive way, some jujitsu move. It needs to be something better than the usual whining that the media is against you. But what?

20 comments:

Jane said...

I've been writing on my Senator's facebook page, and asking his constituents the following:

If the federal government has the power to shut down roadways and parks and your disability check, why would you give them power over your health care?

Michael K said...

I have been amazed at the clumsy actions of the Park Service and Harry Reid. The vindictiveness may yet turn the public (not the Huffington Pot readers) against the Democrats

Jimmy said...

From where in the Constitution does the government draw the power to bar citizens from public lands?

Where is our Gandhi?

Oso Negro said...

Contemporary progressives rely on four major institutions to purvey their collectivist poison:

1) Employees of the Federal government, aside from the traditional armed forces, are predominately Democrats. Hence, it does not matter who writes the legislation, it will be interpreted and enforced by Democrats.

2) The public schools are predominately staffed by Democrats. Hence little schoolchildren are taught that Franklin D. Roosevelt "saved America" with the New Deal, anthropocentric global warming is taught as established fact, etc, etc.

3) The nation's universities are predominately staffed by Democrats. Hence an undergraduate is more likely to read a treatise on queer theory than "The Road to Serfdom."

4) The mainstream media of the nation is staffed and controlled predominately by Democrats. Hence a person who believes in smaller, more affordable government can be routinely termed an "extremist".

Until these institutions are altered, there is small hope of substantial course correction in the direction of, well, smaller, more affordable government. Please note that the establishment Republicans are, as has been observed, not opponents of the current system, but rather wishing to have their turn to be in charge. I don't see how these institutions can be corrected from within, and so fear that we will experience cataclysm before we can change. No society on this planet has ever gotten away with living beyond its means for ever and ever and ever. Reality always wins. Poor people will be skinny again, old people will be cared for by their families again, the idle will reap the result of their labors. That is the norm for humanity and the reversion will likely be cruel.

Jack Wayne said...

The truth is not cruel.

Larry J said...

Jimmy said...
From where in the Constitution does the government draw the power to bar citizens from public lands?


Fully 50% of the land in Colorado is owned by the federal government. In Nevada, it's over 80%. What's next, the federal government shutting down access to vast areas in western states?

Titus said...

Rich Lowry saw starbursts when Sarah Palin spoke....

Tom said...

From what I saw in the Wisconsin public union show-down, the Republicans sat back and allowed the public unions to show themselves as thugs - not to the governor or the republican legislature, but to the general public and the rule of law. The media gladly filmed the protests in an attempt to portray the plight of the unionized teachers - but what the public saw were thugs. In fact, they saw entitled thugs.

If I were the republican, I'd stop the fight against Obamacare (I've always thought we need to feel the pain of Obamacare to fully understand the mistake). I'd then propose admending Obamacare to apply to the Congress and most ferderal employes (and at least the appointed ones) and then I'd move to decertify the public employee unions. For that, I'd offer the president a complete surrender on spending - hell, offer an across-the-board 5% raise to all federal employees (borrowing this money from China would be a huge investment). Then I'd sit back and watch the public employee unions explode. Let the people know the thugs in control of their government!

Hagar said...

Larry J,

Where in space have you been visiting the last 100+ years?

cubanbob said...

The republicans should up the ante by stating there will be no back pay for the furloughed federal employees. That will scare the hell out of these fascist and force Mafia Senator Harry Reid, Las Vegas in to reality. Goons are like Afghans. You can't buy them. Only rent them and only to those who pay them.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, Jane asks a good question.

@Jimmy, they're called "Angel Flight." Depicted here.

William said...

The shutdown is a nebulous issue. It's hard to understand, and the efforts of the Dems and the media to propagandize it will probably succeed. The failure of Obamacare is the most flaming fuck up since the Hindenberg. As the crowd flees and the smell of incinerated bodies fill the air, the efforts of the media and the Dems to explain this as a glitch will be less successful.

Inga said...

Republicans are far more likely to get back in power again if they lose the TeaPublicans. Just a friendly tip. I like Christie, he is a powerhouse and has that big personality. Alas, he may not be pure enough for some. I probably wouldn vote for him, but I imagine plenty of moderates would.

Democrats are seeing Elizabeth Warren as a rising star. Just a hunch.

Oso Negro said...

Inga,

We who are interested in smaller, more affordable government, also known as the Tea Party, will not be wished away by your personal preference for squish Republicans. Just because the sun has been shining on the ass of big-state collectivists for the past 70 years does not give us a permanent break from reality.

Freder Frederson said...

I'd offer the president a complete surrender on spending - hell, offer an across-the-board 5% raise to all federal employees (borrowing this money from China would be a huge investment). Then I'd sit back and watch the public employee unions explode. Let the people know the thugs in control of their government!

Federal Employee unions are not allowed to negotiate salaries, so you obviously don't know what the hell you are talking about.

Carl said...

What do you mean "back" in power, Inga? Why is there a government shutdown if the Republicans lack power?

NM OBJECTIVIST said...

"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil..." (Ayn Rand)

I think the confusion here is about not compromising on principles and the permissible compromising on details (which are not about principles). E.g., it is not permitted to steal a car but it is permitted to negotiate the price.

Today it seems hard to tell the difference but that is due to the Pragmatist belief that there are no principles.

Inga said...

So Carl, are you saying Republicans are responsible for shutting down the government?

SOJO said...

Not the best writer, was she?

('Compromise is the transmitting rubber tube'???? Yikes.)

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