Books: Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative”

June 30, 2008

I’m embarrassed that I’ve never read this.  It certainly lives up to its reputation as the bravest, most lucid book written by someone in office.  Writing in 1959-60, Goldwater diagrams exactly the play he would run in 1964.   It would bring tears to my eyes and a song to my heart if someone could distill the progressive equivalent:

“The turn will come when we entrust the condudct of our affairs to men who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given.   It will come when Americans…decide to put the man in office who is pledged to enforce the Constitution and restore the Republic.  Who will proclaim in a campaign speech:  ‘I have ilittle interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size.  I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.  My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.  it is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on tghe poeple an unwarranted finacial burden.  I will not attempt to discover wither legislation is ‘needed’ before I hav efirst determined whether it is constitutionally permissable.  And if I should later be attacked of rneglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cuase I am doing the very best I can.”


Jon Stewart on Big John

June 30, 2008

This is priceless.

Say of the Day: Terry McAuliffe

June 30, 2008

From CNN

“Terry McAuliffe said the former president was angered by media reports suggesting he bore a grudge against Obama after the sometimes bruising primary campaign and did not plan to actively support Obama in the general election.”

Terrific.  So now President Clinton is angered by reports that he’s angry.   It would be far preferable if  he were unavailable for comment on rumors that he’s disappeared, but I don’t suppose that’s in the cards.

It’s NOT his party:

And I think he’s got the notion of ass kissing right, except he ought to be the kisser, not the kissee:

Bill Clinton was something of a hero to me.   Nothing has made me sadder in this campaign cycle than his scorching meltdown into a puddle of narcissistic goo.

I’m trying to think of anyone–public figure or in my personal life–for whom I’ve lost more respect, more quickly.  Nobody comes to mind. 

Fascinating Stuff on European Demos from NYT

June 30, 2008

Say of the Day: HuffPo on Rs’ Self Loathing

June 29, 2008

The money quote is delivered by a long-time GOP loyalist: “The Republican Party is a dead rotting carcass with a few decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version of Weekend With Bernie [sic], handcuffed to a corpse.” I didn’t think it could be done, but that tops Republican Rep. Tom Davis’ classic “If we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf.”

Obama and Hate Groups

June 29, 2008


The New Political Lineup of the VA’s-WashPost

June 29, 2008


OK, so I accept that some of Thomas Frank’s conclusions may not be as data driven as some academics would like.  But I still think his conclusions should drive the tactical decisions of the Dems in rural and poorer areas.  THE SAM’S CLUB VOTER IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCCESS AND FAILURE 15 YEARS HENCE.  There is no reason we shouldn’t be ascendant here–guns be damned.