My 10 Favorite Posts From 2013 By My Favorite Writer: Me
Well, none of you are going to do it, so if it must be done, it falls to me.
And it must be done.
Yes, we begin with a hockey post. It hasn’t worked out exactly how I imagined it, what with Torts enjoying success in Vancouver and the Rangers….not enjoying success in Vancouver. Or anywhere. Still, I continue to dream of a Canucks-Rangers Stanley Cup Final to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of “This one will last a lifetime“. Damn you Sam Rosen!
Not a particularly deep post but I really loathe Jennifer Rubin. Catching her play the hack, while rather common, is always fun.
Number 8: “What Is Holding The GOP Coalition Together?”
It’s been a rough year for the GOP and conservatives (it’ll be a recurring theme in this list) but the basic problem is the common bonds that held the GOP coalition dating back to Reagan in 1980 have been ripped apart.
Right now people think we can do addition by subtraction. They are willing to throw ‘the other guys” overboard in hopes of bringing in new voters in greater numbers than we might lose. We need to find a way to add by adding.
It’s time we accept that our problems require more than tinkering and do major surgery. If those of us opposed to amnesty don’t come up with a better plan, it will happen and we’ll be in even deeper trouble.
Number 7: “Yes, It’s Amnesty”
The first in my series about the GOP’s love affair with “comprehensive immigration reform”.
Language is very important in politics. The earliest stage of a political fight is often the fight to gain control of the terms used in the debate. Supporters of the bland sounding “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” really don’t like it when opponents call their various schemes “amnesty”. Why? No one wants to be seen as rewarding criminal behavior even when that’s EXACTLY what they are doing. So supporters of amnesty will go to great lengths and intellectual contortions to make sure no one dares use that term.
Bonus link: When Paul Ryan said he’d debate anyone about why it’s not amnesty, I took him up on his offer and dissect why it really, really is amnesty.
Number 6: “Amnesty, Compassion, And Immorality”
My concern and compassion is for the sucker (sic) who have and continue to play by the rules we’ve set up. Does the process we’ve set up need reform? Desperately. But the fact that we didn’t come up with a plan that would enable anyone who wants to come here to just walk on in mean that people are entitled to walk on in.
Currently there’s something like 4 million people waiting to come to this country by legal means. No matter what amnesty supporters say about illegals going to “the back of the line”, the truth is those who get the provisional legal status BEFORE any border security actually happens will be here and will have the ability to work and travel freely. I’m sure the people on that years long line would love to pay a $1,000 dollars and presto! have legal residency here. But they aren’t offered that chance, only those that broke our laws get that easy and instant path. Where’s the morality in that?
Number 5: “In Support Of Immigration Reform”
Team Amnesty will insist otherwise but opposing amnesty isn’t the same as opposing immigration or immigration reform.
Reforming the legal immigration process by rationalizing our system for selecting immigrants. Right now most immigrants come here because they are sponsored by a family member, someone who is often a naturalized US citizen. This “chain-migration” system makes family relation a key decider in who comes to this country. For the most part it doesn’t take into account the needs of the country or what skills the perspective immigrant brings to the table. We need to adopt a system along the lines of Canada or Australia that takes into account the needs of the country and matches the type of people they admit into the country. Obviously if you bring in someone like a doctor you will also need to let them bring their spouse and children but you don’t have to give priority to their 3rd cousin’s husband just because they are all related.
Much of the year was spent arguing over the role of outside groups who are riding herd on Republicans and the “establishment” who wants to be left alone to do what it is they do.
I’m on Team Rebel
The fact of the matter is, given past performance, Republican office holders do need an enforcer looking over their shoulders. I like to think of these groups not as “the enemy within” but as the “motivation squad”. If you aren’t a self-motivator, most people will take the path of least resistance. For Republican officeholders, that often means giving in to the DC mindset that their job is to manage the train and keep it running to the benefit of those who pay the freight. Well, these conservative groups are serving as the eyes and ears (and occasionally the clinched fist) of conservative voters back home who sent people to DC to slow the train down and eventually put it on a different track.
I’ve long argued that the GOP needs to adopt a tactic the Democrats are good at…sound moderate at home and vote like a hard core ideologue in DC. Could Mike Lee lead the way?
I think my ambivalence about the speech, in particular the transportation example (which is a stand-in for how to deal with other policy issues, talk big, act small) is that I want someone to have a national fight about the role and scope of government. I want to take the ObamaCare debacle and discredit the notion of big government paternalism for the ages! In short I want to crush the Democrats, see them driven before us, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Lee’s approach isn’t as satisfying as Rand Paul’s slash and burn approach (which Lee supported) but it’s likely to be more politically effective.
The death of Nelson Mandela generated a lot of reaction with commentators writing whole swaths of his life out of the picture if it didn’t fit their narrative.
In the end the story of Mandela is that he wasn’t like almost all men. He wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t without sin (almost no one in South Africa was). However, he changed and grew. When he lacked the power to change his country he used violent means to attempt to get it. But once he had the power, he eschewed violence. That is not the typical tale of history. He did not crush those who had crushed him and his people. Instead he recognized that no one would benefit from that and more to the point, it was morally reprehensible to him to do so.
Mandela was a complex and imperfect man but when he faced the choice of violence on an awesome scale, a violence he could have turned lose with a single sentence, he said no. He used the moral authority that had been invested in him not simply to sweep away a racist regime but also to control his former comrades, including his own wife, who wanted to change South Africa with blood.
That is the man the world rightly mourns the passing of.
My Number 1 post of 2013 by me: “It’s Not The GOP’s Fault It Is Useless But It Is Useless”
From January 16th, it really set the tone for the year.
It’s simply too much to expect a political party to stand up to voters and say, “no”. Politics is a market and voters have become consumers. If the GOP as a whole or an individual candidate won’t give the customer what they want, they will find someone else to do business with. Consumers don’t care about the health of the places they shop, they care that they get what they want. If Brand A doesn’t have it but Brand B does, who cares so long as their needs are met.
What America needs is a movement that will not just tell people “no” but also convince them to stop being a consumer of government and look at themselves as they were meant to…an owner of the government. Once you own something your value set shifts. Owners care about efficiency, quality and the long term survival of the organization. Owners invest not simply take out.
No political party is set up to do this. It’s irrational for someone selling a product to ask their customers to take on the responsibilities of ownership. Selling is about making things easier, ownership is about hard work.
The goal we as conservatives should have…the long term health of the country, is simply incompatible with the current mindset of the American people. You can get mad at the GOP for not being evangelical for small government values but there aren’t enough of us to make it worth their while to cater to us.