The Other McCain

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

Dear Jonah Goldberg: What?

Posted on | December 28, 2011 | 12 Comments

by Smitty

Jonah Goldberg has an excellent column in the LA Times, but throws this in:

Frankly, I can’t blame anyone for being underwhelmed by Romney, or begrudge anyone their frustration with the field. What’s harder to understand is how nobody has noticed that the conservative establishment, which includes many of my friends denouncing it, has become vastly more conservative over the last two decades. It’s more pro-life, more pro-2nd Amendment, more opposed to tax increases.

I guess my take on the nature of conservativism begins with the Founding Fathers, who seemed rather libertarian in outlook. Maybe if the technology had existed 240 years ago to pull stunts like the TSA, the Founders would have done it.

But I doubt it. Would the Founders have bought into central banking and social security? Maybe, maybe not, and counterfactuals are distraction, in any case.

So, if ‘becoming vastly more conservative’ means you can now slide a piece of paper between the Democrat and Republican parties, fine. I’ll buy it. But the GOP has a great deal of atonement to accomplish, and the VA primary fracas, hopefully, is not a general indicator of the willingness to repent of the GOP’s statist, anti-American leanings.

via McEnroe


12 Responses to “Dear Jonah Goldberg: What?”

  1. EBL
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    Okay, I am not thrilled with Romney either.  Of course, we could rely on Newt…oh wait, his staff are all on acid:

    Newt tried damage control, but EBL finds the bizzare Christmas video.;postID=1828208340196783974
    (Did Dan Collins cross the border from Vermont, sneak into Gingrich headquarters, and spike the water cooler with special mushrooms?)

  2. smitty
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Collins certainly has not denied this rumor.

  3. EBL
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    I do not disagree that there are divisions in the conservative camp.  There are also divisions over in the Democratic Party too.  Sort of ironic about Occupy Wall Street and…well….Wall Street being in all sort of key positions in the Obama administration.  Great article by NRO (maybe Jonah read it).  

  4. Aarradin
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    ” conservative establishment”  One wonders what that means so Jonah Goldberg.  Conservatives see themselves as fighting against the “Republican establishment”, and while hoping to take it over they clearly don’t believe they’ve done so.  Conservatives neither feel themselves to be part of the “Republican establishment” or indeed feel they have an “establishment” of their own.  Frankly, I’ve never heard the term “conservative establishment before”.  Now, to a Jonah Goldberg, “conservative establishment” and “Republican Party” may be synonymous, I don’t know.  They certainly are NOT to actual Conservatives outside the beltway.

    Smitty: your response seems to assume that he was refering to the “republican establishment”, which to me would be a completely different thing.  I’d agree with you that there hasn’t been much change in the Republican Party, but Conservatives have indeed become more numerous, more vocal and moved further Right.

  5. EBL
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    It has Collins covert mission written all over it!  

  6. EBL
    December 28th, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    See the Newt Staffer Mushroom Christmas Special while you still can!  

  7. chuck coffer
    December 28th, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    “So, if ‘becoming vastly more conservative’ means you can now slide a
    piece of paper between the Democrat and Republican parties, fine.”

    That’s hyperbolic to the point of abject stupidity.

  8. smitty
    December 28th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    Sorry: sitting in Virginia, looking at this primary vote debacle has me feeling a little more Stupid Party than usual.

  9. Adjoran
    December 28th, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    I think Goldberg meant that the center of the Republican Party has moved to the right, and he is absolutely correct on that.  At the time of Reagan’s first election, and the later 1994 wave election, the center of the Republican Party was only slightly to the right of center.    Senators like Mathias, Frank the Murk, Schweiker, Javits, Packwood, Gorton, Weicker, Durenberger, Chaffee, Heinz, and Danforth were not movement conservatives.  Guys like Danforth, Lugar, Howard Baker, and John McCain were considered the conservatives.

    Of course, the Democratic Party has moved even further to the left, as well.  Compromises in Congress were once driven by the moderates in both parties; now they are a vanishing breed.  The ideological reshuffling began in 1968, as Southern conservative Democrats rebelled and the McGovern Commission shifted power in the Party from officeholders and bosses to activists and interest groups, all of whom were liberal.

    Up until then, party labels were almost inherited, and both parties had conservatives, liberals, and moderates.

    But it is blood libel to call the Founders “libertarians.”  Such miscreants were exiled or imprisoned in those days.  The Founders originated the idea of limited republican government; libertarians are usurpers who tried to steal some of those ideas 200 years later and pervert them.

  10. ThePaganTemple
    December 28th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    Here’s another one, a recipe for Newt’s Serial Marriage Chicken.

    However, I think Robert Stacy McCain might prefer the ending recipe for “Santorum Stew”.

  11. Quartermaster
    December 29th, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Calling the founder libertarians is no more a blood libel than calling them liberals. They were both. The moderns have taken the names to provide some cachet among the easily duped.

    The modern Libertarians would more accurately be called libertines.

  12. Quartermaster
    December 29th, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    I started ignoring Goldberg when the Paleos disassembled the boy. He was so outclassed it hurt to watch.

    Goldberg is not a conservative. He’s at best a Neocon Chickenhawk. The entire NR gang has gone establishment. Buckley turned it over to the boys in his dotage and the mag is now lost to the conservative movement.