artium and moribus, From The Editorial Desk, intellego ut credam, Mr Robert Luke Capehert

LOOKING BACK CAN BE PAINFUL

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By Robert L. Capehert

At least it has been for myself.

Dave Beilstein has been at it here as resident blogger (under two different site names) since around August of 2012.

I myself came on later to add some punch to an otherwise soporific blog—or at least to add a pinch or two of profanity now and again—with lean prose intended to rankle and offend the statist mindset.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to look back at LM archives: what a depressing glance back into recent history that has been. Ugh.

Nevertheless, Beilstein was all over a Romney victory (as were many others). And whilst the little man can be forgiven, reading column after column reporting good news for Romney and bad juju for Bam-Bam Obama is still painful.

One should never relive the past all that much–besides an effort to avoid the same mistakes. Albert Einstein said something about that I recall.

I too, figured good man Mitt Romney would pull a victory out of President Obama’s atrocious political hand. And I was utterly amazed to watch those aspirations dashed when the electoral wave—come to God or whatever—did not show up, electing Barack Obama to a second term.

That means three more years of Pres. Barack H. Obama’s scatological nonsense.

Certainly, it was the wrong year to run a venture capitalist regardless of Obama’s record. That’s not Mr Romney’s fault. It is the fault of a G.O.P base, however, which pitches such moderates to the base few are enthusiastic over.

Clearly, voting against someone—even a tyrannical impostor like Obama—is not enough to stoke bellies-of-fire-and-rage on the right, propelling even a moderate to victory. I can deal with reading this blog’s errors in presidential predictions. It’s common. Everyone makes mistakes—even Beilstein.

What is becoming increasingly hard to conceive of, however, is how G.O.P. establishment types—horrors!—like Karl Rove and company, continue to  tell conservatives how to win when all they do is nominate “moderate” losers. That’s truly where the shame really belongs, folks.

Truly, indeed.

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FIGHT THOSE REPUBLICAN BAST*RDS

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By David Beilstein

It would seem however much we may scorn the reality, Republicans have abandoned classical liberals in America in order to wheel-and-deal with President Barack H. Obama and — horrors! — Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

What this means, few know; less still, will offer much of an explanation. Other than, of course, Republicans have to fold.

Remember that old aphorism of “have to?”

Even still, a recent Gallup poll suggests the American people are disgusted with both political parties. President Barack H. Obama comes out slightly ahead (accordingly?) with higher approval ratings than both chambers of Congress with a paltry approval rating 36 percent.

It is not like one needed a poll to come to that conclusion. Republicans (again!) allowed Pres. Obama to lead the national conversation—despite having the upper-hand on numerous points of debate. In the news squared, support for a third party now runs close to 60 percent support from the American people in the same Gallup poll.

Of course, this does not matter much either—as there are literally dozens of third political parties with little or no support election after election.

Frankly, third parties are tempting—but electorally worthless. Not even former President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1913, could overcome the third party curse, going down in defeat against Wilson, and taking then-Pres. Taft with him.

In helping elect former Princeton President and New Jersey Governor, Woodrow Wilson to the presidency, T.R. cemented the battle against progressivism by classical liberals for 100 years. Certainly, one must admit the modern classical liberal movement is a cold war with the progressive context Pres. Wilson unleashed upon these United States, circumventing our constitutional framework.

Hell, I myself even joined the Libertarian Party of Florida because I was, and continue to be, violently disgusted with the Republican Party and the mainstream conservative movement.

But let us not be confused. The most viable libertarians whom are apart of the legislative and governing process in our Federal government are in the Republican Party. Had Ted Cruz or Rand Paul (both mainstream libertarians) run on a libertarian ticket, they would be sitting in front of the television on the outside of this nightmare.

Moreover, both Cruz and Paul have given us some of best of classically liberal talking points on a consistent basis since the pinnacle of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

So third parties are not realistic. Not until the G.O.P is no more at least.

Third parties are funny things, really. They are popular in poll after poll—but no candidate rides them anywhere but to defeat, often times, electing the worst of three candidates. We don’t need that—especially now.

It is obvious that something needs to change. That’s clear. Many another pundits on the American right have offered salient ideas.

The best comes from radio talk show host Mark R. Levin and his recent book, The Liberty Amendments; a cogent apologetic for a state-by-state legislative effort to reform, and recapture our Constitutional republic through amendment clauses.

More than simply an entertainment “shock jock,” Mr Levin has written the most robust Constitutional solution to our progressive, slash, tyrannical malaise in 40 some odd years.

But even Levin’s concise and well-written apologetic will go nowhere unless classical liberals everywhere get involved; state-by-state, vote-by-vote.

Republicans in government aren’t going to do it. Recent developments in the Republican-held House—and wishy-washy Republicans in the senate make that incontrovertible.

War is upon classical liberals. Republicans started it.

Let’s fight those bastards!

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GLASS JAW REPUBLICANS

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By David Beilstein

Republicans are desperate for a deal to re-open the other 17 percent of the Federal Government. At this stage of the game no deal has been struck. Pres. Obama rejected an earlier G.O.P. offer at the beginning of the weekend.

Ironically, in seeking out a deal which continues to offer more and more to the president, Republicans have helped Obama appear principled and themselves, stridently intransigent.

In another how-not-to-negotiate moment in our political discourse (I myself was a afraid of this!), Republicans again find themselves out-communicated and out-hustled on an issue which the President of these United States, holds an untenable position.

Republicans then, appear as wimps in the face of President Barack H. Obama’s continued assault on sane governing principals.

First, we cannot afford ObamaCare. It will increase—not lower— healthcare costs by an ever, discernible amount. Moreover, the quality of healthcare will decrease. Perhaps of more concern is how healthcare will become less spontaneous to the needs of individuals, blunted by the dull edge of latticework of bureaucracy.

When it comes to other fiscal matters it gets worse. In order to maintain the solvency and reliability of the public safety net, enacted throughout numerous generations, fiscal sanity must prevail on Capital Hill and discernible spending cuts must be enacted.

Raising the debt limit does increase America’s debt—substantially!—and the president of these United States is either confused, or a liar, for saying otherwise.

In using the Federal leviathan to punish Americans to strengthen his own hand against Republicans, Pres. Obama has shown the soft tyrannical nature of his progressive ideology, and that citizens are subjects of their government, rather than government being a subject of sovereign individuals.

It does not help, of course, that Republicans and mainstream conservatives alike have not argued against such uses of government—instead, gathering a lowest common denominator political base by preaching the resentment class version of the social gospel, amped up on feinted anger over a plethora of social issues purposelessly decoupled from having anything to do with government—like whether the ten commandments and prayer in school should be imposed on the public square.

As such, the entire point of a constitutional argument against bloated and intrusive government has gone without a credible apologetic.

We can surmise whatever kind of deal is to be struck; Democratic Sen. Harry Reid will probably get 80 percent of what he wants. And he will have done so without bowing at the altar of Republican demands.

Sen. Reid will also have done so with a Democratic Party in lockstep behind him.

The Republican narrative is not one of blood and guts vainglory, but timid action altogether. One of the reasons Republicans fail to create any loyalty in their voters is because they do not stand for anything.

Ever notice those whom many hate inspire reams of admiration? That’s because principals gather passionate loyalty. Republicans lack courage. They are and continue to be wimps despite a strong position because of fiscal realities and public sentiment when it comes to ObamaCare.

But Republicans demand to act as if those things are not true—apologising for their actions.The result is they do not inspire loyalty in the electoral populace.

Even worse, Republicans have taken aim at libertarian and conservative congressional members and fired shots at their backs. Worse, some calling themselves conservative want nothing to do with opposing and defunding ObamaCare, a tyrannical piece of legislation if there ever was one.

Republicans keep giving up inches. Pres. Obama, meanwhile, though with a crappy-as-anything hand, continues to get more and more from Republicans and still make them look foolish. All of this undergirds Obama’s action even though the 44th president of these United States approval ratings are in the toilet, his political capital used up.

 

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CLASSICAL LIBERALISM VERSES TRADITIONALISM

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By Robert L. Capehert

In American conservative circles, especially in our post-modern political discourse, confusion in regards to traditionalism as opposed to classical liberalism, often presents itself.

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, military historian and contributor to National Review, clarifies this “conflation,” writing,

A classical liberal was characteristically guided by disinterested logic and reason. He was open to the gradual changes in society that were frowned upon by traditionalists in lockstep adherence to custom and protocol.

 

The eight-hour workday, civil rights, and food-and-drug safety laws all grew out of classically liberal views. Government could press for moderate changes in the way society worked, within a conservative framework of revering the past, in order to pave the way for equality of opportunity in a safe and sane environment.

Dr. Hanson’s insights could easily be understood in light of fellow National Review contributor and former NRO editor, Jonah Goldberg, whose seminal book, Liberal Fascism clarified the American left by positing the idea that modern “liberalism” is the off-spring of twentieth-century progressivism, and progressivism sprang from similar intellectual roots as European fascism.

Still, the most valuable contribution of Mr. Goldberg’s book appeared in the paperback edition of Liberal Fascism, where Goldberg added a chapter entitled “The Tempting of Conservatism.” This game-changer of a chapter unpacked “conservatism” within its American expression, where it can easily go off the rails.

Even still, the chapter’s argument (in this author’s opinion) led to the self-reflective autopsy of the “conservative movement” in our time.

Goldberg’s warning in “The Tempting of Conservatism” defined much of what is called conservatism in our day as a type progressivism of the right – or, right-wing socialism – which cannot, and often does not, argue against government being the primal institution which “forms the habits of our hearts” as Americans.

Goldberg’s first target is nostalgia on the American right. Often plaguing shallow forms of conservative expression, like Mitt Romney’s ’12 campaign, it fundamentally conflates traditionalism with conservatism, making the mistake Dr Hanson refutes above.

The first is nostalgia, a dangerous emotion in politics. American conservatives have long cast themselves as champions of hearth and home, traditional virtues, and, of course, family values. I have no objection when conservatives champion these virtues and values in the cultural sphere. Nor do I object when such concerns translate themselves into political efforts to beat back the liberal statist Kulturkampf. But conservatives get into trouble when we try to translate these sentiments into political programs at the national level. The beauty of American conservatism has been that it is an alloy of two very different metals, cultural conservatism and (classical) political liberalism. Whenever it is willing to sacrifice its political liberalism in the name of implementing its cultural conservatism, it flirts with a right-wing socialism all its own.

Part of the problem with the G.O.P of late, is, it does sacrifice its political liberal instincts with what Hillsdale College Professor of History, D.G. Hart calls a tendency to impose cultural uniformity (cultural conservatism) on the broader nation at large.

Even still, part of the “red meat” of being truly conservative in Republican circles in our times is the intensity “conservatives” seek to impose cultural uniformity on the nation.

Those conservatives, whom question the “conservatism” of such instincts, are often wrongly called “moderates.” Moreover, Goldberg is impeccable when attacking the problem of identity politics within the conservative ranks of the G.O.P faithful.

Lastly, there is the siren song of identity politics. White people are not above tribalism. It is right and good to oppose racial quotas and Balkanising logic of multiculturalism. It is worthwhile to defend the broad outlines of American culture, which multiculturists deride as white culture in order to delegitimise and, ultimately, destroy it. But it is dangerously corrupting to fight fire with fire. It is not that “white Christian America” is a bad or oppressive thing. Far from it. Rather, it is the desire to impose a vision of white Christian America that is dangerous, for in the effort to translate such a vision into a government program, an open society must become a closed one. Rousseau was right about one thing: censorship is useful for preserving morals but useless for restoring them. A Department of Judeo-Christian Culture would only succeed in creating a parody of real culture. In Europe the churches are subsidised by the state, and the pews are empty as a result. The problems with values relativism —the notion that all cultures are equal—is that important questions get decided via a contest of political power rather than contest of ideas, and every subculture in our balkanised society becomes a constituency for some government functionary. The result is a state-sanctioned multicultural ethos where Aztecs and Athenians are equal—at least in the eyes of public school teachers and multicultural gurus. In an open society, best practices win. And the conservative case is that best practices are best not because they are white or Christian but because they are plainly best.

All this affects how political campaigns are waged, for as Goldberg contends our politics are conditioned by a progressive outlook.

In Goldberg’s words, “people understand things [politics] in progressive terms.” Thus, classical liberals, whether American conservatives or libertarians, must address voters by first challenging the assumptions of the progressive context.

This becomes no more complicated than (for example) when conservative candidates run campaigns blasting “false religion” or who believes in Jesus more than another candidate, voters get the distinct impression such a conservative candidate is probably not a big proponent of the first Amendment. Hence, whatever “conservatism” is (in the mind of the voters) it must not be all that constitutional!

Sadly, this is one reason why as Americans grow more conservative, according to Kevin D. Williamson’s recent piece, they likewise grow less Republican.

In too many Republican, slash conservatives circles, conservatism has come to mean a lot more—or less, depending on one’s point of view—than a robust view of Constitutionalism. And the statist left (Democrats and progressive Republicans) have thus had a field day taking advantage of this miscommunication by American classical liberals, lampooning conservatives as out of touch and radical for a generation.

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OF CLASSICAL LIBERALISM AND REPUBLICAN IDENTITY

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By David Beilstein

I’d like to spend some time sitting in on the Grand Old Party’s identity in the spacious political times we happen to find ourselves in as classical liberals.

In a sense, possibility has been normed by probability in American politics–as it is elsewhere, under the sun.

Whereas both are the product of the grist of complicating factors life exudes, nevertheless, political parties and human beings together cannot put a finger on it all that precisely–nor control the multitudinous aspects of humanity within contextualised events.

On top of that, it would be helpful to interact with Mr. Kevin D. Williamson’s piece, recently published over at National Review Online.

Gentleman Williamson puts together the thesis based upon empirical datum that in America two paradoxical truths are developing: the United States is becoming more conservative, and it is becoming far less loyal to the Republican party at the same time (particularly when we periscope in on national politics).

That conundrum is worth thinking about right now in light of this astonishing fact: When it comes to the policy opinions of American voters, there have been three peak years for conservatism: 1952, 1980, and . . . right now, according to Professor James A. Stimson, whose decades-long “policy mood” project tracks the changing opinions of the U.S. electorate. Americans have grown more conservative on the whole, but the even more remarkable fact is that the electorate has grown more conservative in every state. As Larry Bartels points out in the Washington Post, the paradoxical fact is that Barack Obama was first elected in a year in which the American policy mood already was unusually conservative, and he was reelected in a year in which it had grown more conservative still. And so the question: Why did an increasingly conservative electorate elect and reelect one of the most left-wing administrations, if not the most left-wing, in American history?

Williamson’s answer: Increasingly, Americans are not associating conservatism (classical liberalism) with the Republican party, or rather, are not associating Republicans with classical liberalism, i.e., either of American conservatism on one side, or libertarianism, on the other.

That seeming paradox may be explained in part by the fact that the American public’s increasingly conservative views are not associated with an increased sense of identification with the Republican party. In late January 2004, Gallup found a Republican/Democrat split of 31 percent to 33 percent in the Democrats’ favor, with more identifying as independent  (35 percent) than as a member of either party. In September of this year, those numbers were 22/31/45. Add in the “leaners” — those who do not strictly identify with one party but generally are inclined toward its views — and the GOP was at a 44/51 disadvantage in 2004, and today is at a 41/47 disadvantage. Which is to say, the Republicans lost 3 percent who didn’t move to the Democrats, and the Democrats lost 4 percent who didn’t move to the Republicans. Independents jumped from 35 percent to 45 percent during that period.

Jonah Goldberg, Williamson’s colleague of sorts, wrote in his 2007 bestselling book, Liberal Fascism, that American society is liberal in the classical sense. Goldberg is correct of course.

To the extent the Republican party strays from classical liberalism, then, either into the stale bog of moralistic socialism (too much social conservative jeremiads), or an affinity with leftist progressivism on the other side, an erosion of the connecting fabric between the party of Lincoln and the kind of society Americans normally support in given electoral cycles unfolds.

Nothing could illustrate this more than the conundrum of same-sex marriage debates within “conservative”/Republican circles.

In peek-a-booing into the idea America’s increased sense of conservatism does not stretch uniformly across all issues, such as same-sex marriage, Williamson unpacks some of the ongoing philosophical realities at work when it comes to marriage “equality” debate:

It’s worth nothing that the rightward shift was not uniform across all issues, with the notable exception being the question of gay marriage, which Americans have grown consistently more friendly toward. (Was it as late as 2008 that Barack Obama ran for office opposing gay marriage? It was, indeed. Was it as late as 2012 that he felt safe announcing his not-unexpected reversal? Indeed.) Those of us who take a more traditional view of the role of marriage and family should note that if the American people are here in error, it is an error that in one sense speaks well of them: Americans’ shifting views on gay marriage are rooted in a deeply American sense of fair play and toleration. They may have come to the wrong conclusion, but their hearts are in the right place.

No investigation into the paradox of Republican erosion, conservative ascendency, would be complete without ideas about a way forward. Even so, gentleman Williamson unpacks some wisely-tuned logic of his own, going forward.

So as the electorate grows paradoxically more conservative and less friendly to Republicans, the challenge for the GOP is to figure out how to connect its conservatism with a conservative public that distrusts the conservative party. That doesn’t sound like a terribly difficult challenge, but it is. Conservatism is a philosophy, which is a different thing from a specific policy agenda. Talking endlessly about the middle class is not going to cut it, nor is tinkering with tax rates. And beyond the specific political platform, Republicans have to show that they can be trusted to govern with the best interests of the broad electorate in mind. In 2013, showing that Republicans can govern starts with Republican governors. If there is any upside to the shutdown showdown, it is that by highlighting the fecklessness and foolishness of Washington, it increases the odds that a governor rather than a senator will emerge to lead the GOP in the next great contest.

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BRICKS IN THE WALL

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By David Beilstein

Could the Obama administration be beginning to feel the pressure of the partial government shutdown?

Recent reports indicate President Barack H. Obama has called upon Republican House Speaker John Boehner, for discussions over the continuing resolution.

To be sure, the two men have many another wishes and prayers to work out.

So far, Republicans have not committed any atrocious public relations missteps. Still, there are other reports of moderate establishment Republicans beginning to fold under pressure.

The usual suspects, guys like Congressman Peter King (R-NY), and a slew of Virginia status quo Republican quislings, are getting antsy.

Meanwhile, Michael Tanner of National Review Online fame and Cato Institute contributor, lays the blame for our current circumstances on big government in general. While I concur with good man Tanner, I am also utterly confused how citizens are surprised about government shutdowns when they continue to vote in larger numbers for a broader, bigger government.

In a government of separate but equal branches of government, the system only works when the government in question limits itself to enumerated, common good. Once government takes on the role of creating the perfect society, various levels internecine conflict will necessarily result — becoming a vera causa of political hijinks and political party warfare.

We again come to the illustration of religion and the state. The purpose of the separation of Church and state clause implicitly outlined in the U.S. Constitution is not to foment a society hostile to religion, but in contrast, preserve and protect religious affection decoupled from the superficial expediency of politics.

In short, Separation of Church and state, in contrast to pop conservatism bromides of late, is a check on government power, not the church, etc.

Insofar as it is possible, the classical liberal desires religion to be decoupled from politics for the health of religion, as religious affection plays an ever important “mediating association” in the development of a people preserving ordered liberty.

The same is true of government. When government intrudes where it does not belong, where there is primal disagreement decoupled from “the common good,” government breaks down.

The result, therefore, becomes those duties which government ought to be about, are left without attention to the denouement of civil society.

And as gentleman Michael Tanner aptly observers,

The Founding Fathers intended the federal government to have a minimal impact on our lives. As Thomas Jefferson said in his inaugural address, “a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement . . . This is the sum of good government.” One has trouble imagining Jefferson quivering in terror at the prospect that the federal government might cut back for a few days.

 

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CONCERNING MISTER DREHER AND REPUBLICANS

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By David Beilstein

I could not help but give a chuckle reading Bob Capehert’s piece on Rod Dreher’s column (Mister Dreher On Fire!), in reference to Patrick J. Buchanan’s digs, The American Conservative, where Mr Dreher is a contributor.

My guess is similar in tone to Capehert’s: Mr Dreher is too concerned with maintaining tactical criticism on Republicans; he often forgets when to lay off the gas pedal.

To begin, The American Conservative magazine and website debuted in 2002 (roughly), and was a rebuke to Bush administration internationalism aimed at Iraq before the invasion of 2003, from a paleo-conservative perspective.

Therefore, contributors tend to stress localism and Federalism (all good) and a healthy dose of conservative principals often watered down in the mainstream conservative movement’s more populist currents within ‘pop’ political discourse.

Some of the more thoughtful conservative journalism takes place at TAC. Often employing richly diverse writers, it’s erudite journalists have done an apt service connecting American conservatism to its rich intellectual heft; something badly needed in our time of intellectual impecuniosity, especially on the conservative side of the political ideological spectrum.

Certainly, there is often more intellectual depth and interaction with the intellectual history of American conservatism over at TAC than many another populist conservative blogs and ‘bergs on cyberspace.

For example, the best criticism of the Iraq War based upon conservative ideology up and against the inherent Wilsonian internationalist tendencies of Bush administration policy in Iraq, spirited from folks who write at TAC, not the anti-war left.

The anti-Iraq War gyrations at TAC were ideologically driven, not circumstantial, like many on the left were.

In short, those paleo-conservatives and libertarians opposed to the Bush administration’s Iraq policy did so because of classical liberal foundations (conservative ideology) – whereas the statist left simply wanted to destroy a Republican president they did not like.

Still, bare reaction-ism often filters onto the glittering webpages of TAC – and Mr Dreher’s recent column reeks of it.

One of the problems with TAC, however, since it’s moniker contains jeremiads about attacking Republican Party “conservatism” it finds shallow, and hardly conservative – it often gives voice to contributors who simply blast Republican conservatives in a vacuum – or as in the case of Dreher’s latest – seem to miss what it means to be a conservative altogether, or holistically.

Part of being a conservative, and I would argue a libertarian as well, is the enrichment which comes from being a happy warrior.

Dreher’s latest column, err, plaint panegyric, seems to want to retreat at the exact time in the fight one had better give the battle his or her all.

As the first Negro American to become heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson once observed, “Gentleman, I never stopped stepping.”

There is no question the popular conservative movement takes many a position it need not in opposition to a strict constructionist perspective of Constitutional fealty.

Moreover, much of the miasma on the American right can be blamed on the populist conservative movement, mistaking fundamentalism (religious and cultural) for conservative principals, concerning secular governance.

At the same time, Dreher’s notion that the government shutdown is to be laid at the feet of “mad-barking” Republican ideologues cannot be taken seriously as strong conservative criticism, with the facts on the ground as the are.

Almost without exception, GOP policy errors in the last 25-years have been almost the exclusive result of a negation of robust conservative ideology.

Likewise, Dreher’s own criticisms against the Iraq War from an isolationist-non-interventionist perch are fundamentally ideological in spirit.

To be sure, Dreher’s criticisms of Mitt Romney’s smoldering campaign for the presidency in ’12 would be ideologically based.

If I am wrong – I apologise. But I can presume I am not.

Similarly, Bush administration overspending – which Dreher and other conservatives (paleo and otherwise) wisely opposed – was ideologically based.

I would gather with Bob Capehert that Dreher uses ideology the way conservative thinker Russell Kirk did, which, denied American conservatism was indeed, ideological.

In the manner the late Mr Kirk meant, I am in agreement. I would throw out there Jonah Goldberg of NRO fame did an admirable job intimating that the way most people mean “ideology,” Kirk would therefore concede the language being apart of conservative principals.

But what does a conservative or in the case of myself – a libertarian – do with written statements by Dreher, such as,

Guess what: the 2012 elections were their [Republicans] last, best chance to overturn ObamaCare, and the country didn’t go for it.

Dreher appears to have borrowed a premise from the left – at least when it comes to ObamaCare. And so, the crunchy-con Berry-ian opens himself up to salient criticisms on the libertarian right for such nonsense.

Slavery, as Capehert pointed out, was the law. It was also extremely antithetical to Constitutional law, as was forced segregation. Prohibition too, was once the law of the land.

It goes without saying. I hardly think that if Republicans passed legislation as tyrannical, as severely oppressive on individual liberty as the ACA legislation (ObamaCare), Dreher would call his own rightful animus toward such ill-conceived “laws” as barking mad ideology.

Neither have I myself come across a column written by Mr Dreher criticising those who fought to have the Volstead Act (Prohibition) repealed, called a pack of ideologues.

The reason being is based upon either constitutionality, or 18th century liberalism, many former laws were bad laws, and their overturning animated individual liberty and the sovereignty of the citizen in the eyes of the government.

To be sure, the presidential election of ’12 was not based upon ObamaCare. In fact, the nomination of Mitt Romney assured ObamaCare would not be attacked constitutionally during the campaign, as Romney himself passed a similar healthcare albatross in Massacheuttues.

Election ’12 was about personality at the top, and recent governing incompetence on behalf of Republicans, where, the Grand Old Party found itself with no legitimacy when it came to wiser spending proposals, and a principled, but differing foreign policy posture for America.

It was likewise based upon the inability of Republican nominee Mitt Romney to convince large swaths of voters, the unpopular decisions of the Bush administration would not be repeated by a potential Romney administration.

ObamaCare was one of the most singular, partisan pieces of legislations. Its popularity continues to plummet the more Americans hear about it.

Moreover, the more Pres. Obama and the Democrats try and sell the healthcare provision (even with detractors in their own party cabal), the more the increase of large sections of unions, individuals, businesses, try to find exemptions from the law for themselves.

The Supreme Court did not recognise ACA to be Constitutional based upon the grounds the law was argued. It was made law so long as it was a tax, and a tax was exactly what Pres. Obama and his minions swore the legislation was not.

Dreher himself would argue many so-called conservative postures, like anti-same-sex marriage legalisation, to be misguided because of conservative fealty to individual liberty.

But same-sex marriage is against the law in many another state. How come those issues aren’t settled? After all, they are, to use Dreher’s own bullsh*t, the law.

Again, should the Civil Rights movement packed it in, retired Scotch and cigar in hand, because segregation was the law?

Just because one is more consistently conservative and stresses a more fulsome grasp of political priorities on the right than much of what drivels out of so-called “conservative” ‘bergs, does not mean everything libertarian or conservative Republicans do is therefore suspect.

In which case, Dreher and TAC’s best criticism of the Republican establishment and the mainstream conservative movement is not because of an absence of ideology, but it’s anaemia from political discourse – and its replacement with bare political expediency.

The government shutdown is a result of Pres. Barack Obama’s political and ideological radicalism. The shutdown is, frankly, a reality because of Pres. Obama’s stiff ideological posture, not Republicans.

Republicans stand opposed to funding a law which will impoverish healthcare for hundreds of millions of average citizens; which will raise costs exponentially, on more and more financial strapped Americans, and force individuals into becoming subjects of their government, rather than sovereign, free, individuals.

The Republican response, while late, while often clumsy, is hardly “mad-barking” ideology, but simply common-sense governance. It is a reaction, a just one, based upon our Constitutional social contract, but also are financial well being.

Paleo-conservatives like Dreher have been rightly screaming about government spending for generations. And when a chance presents itself to cap a piece of legislation which increases federal spending into the stratosphere, which also contains immense tyrannical edges, Dreher’s best punch is reserved for Republicans?

Something is wrong. Dreher is either seriously unserious, or simply confused as to the parameters of limited government.

There comes a time in life where one has to throw punches. Lots of them. Mr Dreher strikes this libertarian as thinking paleo-conservatism – since it so often attacks Republican establishment types and mainstream conservatives – is beneath such rhetorical and political pugilism.

But true classical liberal reform (as with the contemporary victories of the statist left) do not arise out of retreat, because, well, err, it’s the law.

To be sure, it has been political expediency, which has most watered down robust classical liberal expression in the GOP and caused the Party of Lincoln to govern unwisely within a short-term perspective, which continues to accelerate long-term social and fiscal dislocation, and electoral collapse.

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