The Other McCain

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

Couldn’t Agree Less With Podhoretz

Posted on | January 5, 2012 | 25 Comments

by Smitty (via Insty)

A point has been completely missed here:

Debate Hell provided terrific copy for pundits, led to record ratings for cable-news channels, and helped enshrine Twitter as the news flavor of the moment. But it made the Republican Party look foolish and silly, not serious and sober in facing the problems of the present with solutions for the future.
In that sense, the debates were worse than a waste of time. They were a self-destructive exercise. Both parties better wise up and figure out how to limit the takeover of the process by cable television and these interest groups between now and 2016 — or whichever one of them has an open run for the presidential nomination in 2016 will be humiliated in the same way.

Both the Republican and Democrat parties are silly, in the sense that they put their own advancement ahead of the citizenry.

The Republican party looks like the WWII U.S. Army mired in an asymmetric war somewhere. Welcome to the internet. We don’t give a rip about your bumper-sticker collection of focus-group tested phrasings:

  • We want serious details on policies. “I’m gonna whip me out some jobs” is not an economic plan.
  • We want rationale for where a candidate altered a position on major policies. “That audience in 2005 really wanted me to offer free medial care for unarmed illegal Gaylians with green skin, and I just didn’t understand the question.”
  • We want to know the candidate recognizes the decay of our Constitutional system, and intends to do something about it. #OccupyResoluteDesk has poisoned the well significantly. Why should anyone believe Candiate X is different?

We need more, not less debates. The alternative is life on the Democrat plantation, where you take your handout and praise BHO for it.

Also needing to lighten up: Walter Russel Mead.

In any case, the turmoil and trouble of Iowa told us almost nothing that we didn’t know six months to a year ago. I hope the media outlets who covered this in such cash burning, mind numbing detail are pleased with themselves. Otherwise it would all look like a terrible waste of money and bandwidth.

Americans are getting riled up and paying attention. Moreso than any time that I can remember in 42 years of life, with a dim recollection of Carter’s ’76 win being about my earliest political memory. Welcome to people participating in democracy. Kind loud, often mindless, but the alternative is Oceania.

Update: linked at That Mr. G Guy.


25 Responses to “Couldn’t Agree Less With Podhoretz”

  1. What We Have Here Is A Double Fisking « That Mr. G Guy's Blog
    January 5th, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    […] Couldn’t Agree Less With Podhoretz. […]

  2. Adjoran
    January 5th, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

    You’re both right.  We need debates, but we cannot continue allowing the media to set the rules.  We end up talking about what THEY want us to talk about, and fielding their “gotcha” attempts.  There’s room for one or two debates like that, but let us not pretend there is any substance in one minute answers.  The problems of the world’s leading polity are more involved than that.

    Most debates should be without outside questioners, panelists, or moderators.  Have one neutral timekeeper to keep it even between them, and let the candidates bring up the subjects THEY want to talk about, ask each other questions if they like, however they want to use their own time.  They say they can run the country, can’t they run a debate between them?

  3. Joe
    January 5th, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    Debate is a good thing.  The more the GOP argues issues the better.  But I 100% agree that we find some rich conservatives (other than Donald Trump) to host these things and then we put it out there on C-Span or through the networks (without the networks getting to control it).  

    Their news department will balk, but ultimately they will pick them up as cheap TV (provided it is not an infomercial).  

  4. Drek
    January 5th, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    He’d have done better simply to observe that the party should have kept Paul off the stage entirely.

    Now had Podhoretz confined himself to that rather commonsensical observation, he’d have stayed on safe ground.

    What Podhoretz is really decrying without acknowledging as much is that Romney can’t move northwards in the polls, despite the collapse of the unready like Cain and Perry, and despite the unprecedented attempt to utterly obliterate and destroy Gingrich, and all things Gingrich.

    So yes, Romney can place former staffers in charge of well funded PACs that then launch despicable attacks against Conservatives.

    But other than that, —————— what’s he got to offer those who aren’t mormons, who don’t share NR’s desire for a place within the establishment, what does he have to offer those of us who aren’t interested in being radio hosts who’ve been bought via undisclosed book deals, what does he have to offer the jobless, the underemployed, the energy sector, those disgusted with ethanol subsidies.

    What’s he got to offer the 75% who want no part of him, and no part of anything he’s shilling?
    So other than hitherto winning the rather unimportant competition of who can best target others for destruction, without having a single thing worth the while to point to that he himself accomplished.

    Nobody wants Romney, other than mormons, NR, Hewitt, Coulter and certain foolish political pundits.

  5. Drek
    January 5th, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    That last observation by the by is a riff off of John Hawkins previous observation that nobody is for him other than “mormons, NR and political pundits..”

  6. Anonymous
    January 5th, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

    Donald Trump isn’t a Conservative. End of Story.

  7. Drek
    January 5th, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    Our own GOP establishment WANTS that liberal media selecting the issues, because they kind of agree with the general trend of cultural events.

    The last thing the GOP establishment really wants is Roe and Casey being overturned and Republican legislators having to pass laws prohibiting or allowing abortion.  Likewise, they don’t want to be crosswise to current trends relating to the growing acceptance of sexual pathologies.  They see all opposition to the legal codification of such courtships as a modern Jim Crow.

    There are reasons the Bush family supports Romney, and has supported him over guys like Gingrich.

    This country is in trouble.  And Romney’s candidacy is but yet another symptom of an intellectual and moral decline.

    Increasingly people are incapable of holding an intellectual line for any length of time.   People understand that Romney’s positions are recent, but nonetheless, they’ll still convince themselves that “he means it this time….”  When he’s playing them all along……..

  8. TR
    January 5th, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

    War is peace.  Ron Paul can have his 2 minute hate for Goldstein but you my good man know that we will all betray Julia after room 101.  Let’s roll back the clock before it’s too late!  (BTW, Mr. Smitty, I signed up for CPAC 2012!  I mean who could pass up Pamela and Sarah at the same convention?)

  9. Adjoran
    January 6th, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    Who in their right mind considers Gingrich OR Santorum anything EXCEPT “GOP establishment” types?  Decades in DC, part of the scene, and when their time in Congress is done, they went home to . . . Northern Virginia.

    Yep, “the outsiders,” that’s them, all right!

  10. Adjoran
    January 6th, 2012 @ 12:26 am

    Which “despicable attacks on conservatives” are you talking about?  Telling the truth about Newt?

    That nasty little creep was thrown out of the Speaker’s chair by a conservative revolution in the GOP Caucus.  It was like cutting off a skin cancer.  The man is toxic.

  11. Anonymous
    January 6th, 2012 @ 1:18 am


    We need Palin.

    The country needs Palin.

    God help us, the United States needs Sarah Heath Palin.

    But what we’re going to get is Willard Mitt Romney.

    God help us.

  12. Anonymous
    January 6th, 2012 @ 1:22 am

    I’ve never understood just who Romney’s base is. Historically — at least in the last half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st — the only way for a liberal northeastern Republican to get the GOP nod is to pretend he’s from Texas.

  13. TR
    January 6th, 2012 @ 1:51 am

    Romney ought to be nicknamed RomneyFeller after Nelson A.  The most loved liberal republican, but always the bridesmaid, never the bride.  (sadly though as fibert said, God help us).

  14. ThePaganTemple
    January 6th, 2012 @ 6:48 am

    You might be right about Santorum, but not Gingrich. You don’t get to be much more of a rebel than he is and manage to stay this side of the law.

  15. ThePaganTemple
    January 6th, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    Or maybe they kicked him out because he wasn’t orthodox enough to suit them?

  16. Pathfinder's wife
    January 6th, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    All of the Republicans are to some extent “establishment” — the only one who came from outside the halls of politics was Cain, and even he was pretty well connected with those halls of politics.  Same with the Democrats.

    So I don’t see why this “outsider” meme has gotten such traction with people.

    Pick the one best able to act as an able and clever chief executive for the republic and upholder of the Constitution (being compassionate and loving towards the people and the country itself would be a big plus after some of the self-serving scumbags we’ve had).  That will be hard enough to find as it is.

    As for the debates, they are pretty much worthless (although sometimes the “gotcha” questions work to show which ones may not be so damn clever) — wouldn’t matter who was moderating.  The only thing the respondents will do is regurgitate talking point pap anyway (unless you could actually find an actual journalist who would be willing to ask the pointed questions and follow up…which the canidates would never probably allow to do anyway, because they usually have nothing but canned pap to say).
    Besides, the debates are only a part of the issue; the GOP has enough trouble with shooting their own now (a whole other can of worms imho) — appears Santorum is the new target for the circular firing squad…

  17. Drek
    January 6th, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    There are those that go to Washington to change how things are done inside the Beltway.

    And though such people are “in” Washington, they are not of Washington, nor do they share its prevailing prejudices and world view.

    So yea, Gingrich was “in” Washington for decades, but the Washington he left was decidedly different than the one he arrived in.

    Likewise Santorum, he too rattled cages in the House and the Senate.

    Now Santorum didn’t have near the wild successes that Gingrich had in changing a minority party into a majority one, but Santorum  played a role in that Gingrich revolution.

  18. Drek
    January 6th, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    You haven’t the slightest clue what went on in Washington at that time.

    Those of us who were privy to the battles swirling up on the Hill about Gingrich know for a fact that it hadn’t anything at all to do with some kind of “conservative revolution.”

    Gingrich WAS that revolution.

    Once Gingrich was gone, PRESTO, federal spending immediately skyrocketed.

    Who here thinks that spending under GW Bush would have been allowed to get utterly and supremely out of control had Gingrich still been Speaker?

    To even ask that question is to answer it and answer it definitively.

    The GOP establishment, NOT conservatives, but the establishment HAD TO REMOVE Gingrich so as to allow them to do what they always wanted to do if they earned majority status.

    Which was earmark.

    Which was go on a spending spree that has resulted in this kook Obama.

    Many here haven’t a clue that Gingrich WAS BOTH the revolution AND the firewall against all that ensued thereafter.

    You people haven’t a clue………..

  19. Drek
    January 6th, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    The establishment wanted to spend, and wanted to retain their majority status comfortably, they didn’t actually want to do anything with it.

    People forget that Gingrich had to force a vote on the Contract with America ON HIS OWN PARTY.

    The GOP hated that Contract as much as any Lib!

  20. More Debates? Sure – But With a Caveat | Daily Pundit
    January 6th, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    […] Debates? Sure – But With a Caveat Posted on January 6, 2012 9:30 am by Bill Quick Couldn’t Agree Less With Podhoretz : The Other McCain We need more, not less debates. The alternative is life on the Democrat plantation, where you take […]

  21. Bob Belvedere
    January 6th, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    We do need her.  I have been saying and writing this for over a year now.  But, if she is determined not to run, I’ll be happy to take Mr. Santorum as my second choice.  They share a lot in common, although it must be admitted he doesn’t ‘get it’ as much as she does.  However, he understands enough to mean that, if I enter the voting booth in November and he is on the ballot, for the first time since 1984, I’ll be casting a vote with a smile for Electors who are committed to candidate I can am voting for.

  22. Bob Belvedere
    January 6th, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

    I think Willard’s base is those at every level – county, city/town, state, and national – who like being part of the GOP Establishment, who enjoy the company therein and the perks.

    I was a member of a rogue city committee in the early ’90’s [Vice-Chairman] that attended a lot of state committee events and, I’m embarrassed to admit, we quickly went Esablishment because it was enticing.  We sold our souls for drinks and rolls.

  23. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    January 6th, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    You know who’s put forth a detailed economic policy for how to fix things?  Ron Paul….

    Just sayin’…

  24. ThePaganTemple
    January 6th, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    So has Santorum. So has Perry. So has Gingrich. Even Huntsman has done as much. Bachmann did as well. So did Cain. All of their policies have and/or had their strong suits and their negatives, but none of them are embedded with the booger-eating craziness of Crazy Uncle Ron.

  25. Bereft Of The Best, But Not Sans Hope « The Camp Of The Saints
    January 9th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    […] a comment to a post by Smitty the other day over at The Other McCain, Filbert wrote: […]