The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘In One of the Wiser Posts I Have Seen’

Posted on | January 1, 2011 | 19 Comments

Eric at Classical Values knows what words to put beside my name in a post about the alleged conflict between social conservatives and economic conservatives.

When (alleged) libertarian Ryan Sager was pushing this “House Divided” angle from one side, I denounced it. And now that some people are pushing it from the other side, I denounce it again.

This allegedly irrepressible conflict between liberty and morality is fictitious, and is never aggravated by people who have the best interest of the conservative movement foremost in their purposes. Go back to my October 2008 American Spectator column, “The Bible vs. the Bailout”:

Some years ago, I was asked to speak to a Christian homeschooling conference — my wife and I have homeschooled our six children — and during the question-and-answer session after the speech, I faced a question for which I was unprepared.
“How has your Christian faith influenced your political beliefs?”
This stunned me into silence for a second. Then I answered: “Well, I guess it comes down to that part about ‘Thou shalt not steal.'”
From there I proceeded to discuss the basic immorality of the welfare state, how it is wrong for government to take money that one man has worked for and give it to someone who hasn’t earned it.
Whereas transactions in a market economy are voluntary and peaceful, the actions of government are essentially coercive, backed with the threat of violence to those who disobey. What government does, it does “at the point of the bayonet,” so to speak. Therefore, the fearsome power of government ought to be constrained to limited and specific purposes — defending the life, liberty and property of citizens.
When government begins to meddle in the economy, picking winners and losers, using appropriations and fiscal policy to transfer money from one group of citizens to another, it divides society into two classes, taxpayers and tax consumers, punishing the former in order to reward the latter.
Such a policy is not merely misguided, it is immoral — indeed, it is sinful, as I told the Christian homeschoolers — and by displaying the spectacle of government engaging daily in legalized theft, the welfare state tends to corrupt the morals of its citizens. . . .

Read the whole thing. My point is that I am an all-around, general-purpose, hidebound reactionary. If I had to pick a “Golden Age” of America, it would be no later than the administration of Grover Cleveland, and quite possibly a good deal earlier.

Nobody can play the “More Conservative Than Thou” card on me. When the passage of Prop 8 in California resulted in outrageous attacks on supporters of the gay-marriage ban, I made pointed reference to Judge Roy Moore’s ruling in Ex Parte H.H. — which is about as hard-core as it gets. And when picking a fight with Conor Friedersdorf over same-sex marriage, I deployed this quote:

“The fantastical project of yesterday, which was mentioned only to be ridiculed, is today the audacious reform, and will be tomorrow the accomplished fact.”

If anyone cares to research the source of that aphorism, be my guest. Like I said, hard-core.

Pundette recently recognized me for one of her “Thirty Favorite Quotes of 2010” for my Mother’s Day critique of the Contraceptive Culture.

Yeah, I’m against the Pill, too. Like I said, hard-core.

Nevertheless, until we can muster a Supreme Court majority to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut — “penumbras, formed by emanations,” my butt! — we must fight the fight we’re in, on a battlefield not entirely of our choosing, under conditions that put us at a disadvantage.

Thanks to the GOP’s biggest congressional landslide in 60 years, the House is clearly under conservative control. Yet Democrats hold a Senate majority and President Obama is still in the White House. The economy is in the crapper and until that’s fixed, American voters don’t give a rat’s rectum about anything else that goes on in Washington.

Why, then, start a squabble about the inclusion of one group, GOProud, in this year’s CPAC?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

If those idiots don’t get their priorities right, we’re never gonna get back to the good old days of Grover Cleveland.


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