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'Free to Lose' Isn't Good Philosophy for the Right Wing (Mark Steyn)
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | November 19, 2006 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 11/19/2006 2:39:53 AM PST by Tom D.

'Free to lose' isn't good philosophy for the right wing

November 19, 2006 BY MARK STEYN Sun-Times Columnist If Milton Friedman had to die, then a week after the defeat of a Republican Congress that had apparently forgotten every lesson Friedman taught in Free To Choose is eerily apt timing. As it happens, had ill health not intervened, Professor Friedman would have been disembarking round about now from a National Review post-election cruise with yours truly and various other pundits and commentators.

Instead, we were obliged to sail without him, and in the days that followed I found myself wondering what the great man would have made of the most salient feature of our deliberations: On the one hand, there are those conservatives for whom the war trumps everything and peripheral piffle like "No Child Left Behind" can be argued over when the jihad's been seen off. On the other, there are those conservatives for whom the war is peripheral and, insofar as it exists, it doesn't begin to mitigate the abandonment of Friedmanite principles on public spending, education and much else. There is a huge gulf between these two forces, to the point where the War Party and the Small Government Party seem as mutually hostile as the Sunni and Shia on their worst days. If the Republicans can't reunite these two wings before 2008, they'll lose again and keep on losing.

Take, for example, Ward Connerly, whose Michigan ballot proposition against racial quotas was one of the few victories conservatives won on Election Day. (Needless to say, most GOP bigwigs, including washed-up gubernatorial loser Dick DeVos, opposed it.) In a discussion of conservative core values, Connerly suggested it wasn't the role of the federal government to impose democracy on the entire planet. And put like that, he has a point. However, I support the Bush Doctrine on two grounds -- first, for "utopian" reasons: If the Middle East becomes a region of free states, it will have been the right thing to do and the option most consistent with American values (unlike the stability fetishists' preference for sticking with Mubarak, the House of Saud and the other thugs and autocrats). But, second, it also makes sense from a cynical realpolitik perspective: Promoting liberty and democracy, even if they ultimately fail, is still a good way of messing with the thugs' heads. It's one of the few real points of pressure America and its allies can bring to bear against rogue nations, and in the case of Iran, the one with the clearest shot at being effective. In other words, even if it ultimately flops, seriously promoting liberty and democracy could cause all kinds of headaches for the mullahs, Assad, Mubarak and the rest of the gang. However it turns out, it's the "realist" option.

The president doesn't frame it like that, alas. Instead, he says stuff like: "Freedom is the desire of every human heart." Really? It's unclear whether that's the case in Gaza and the Sunni Triangle. But it's absolutely certain that it's not the case in Berlin and Paris, Stockholm and London, Toronto and New Orleans. The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government "security," large numbers of people vote to dump freedom -- the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff. I would welcome the president using "Freedom is the desire of every human heart" in Chicago and Dallas, and, if it catches on there, then applying it to Ramadi and Tikrit.

Meanwhile, from the War Party's point of view, the Bush Doctrine is beginning to accumulate way too many opt-outs. For example, a couple of weeks back, U.S. forces in Baghdad captured a death squad commander of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army only to be forced to release him on the orders of the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. When I had the honor of discussing the war with the president recently, he was at pains to emphasize that Iraq was "sovereign." That may be. But, at a time when a gazillion free-lance militias are running around the joint ignoring the sovereign government, it seems a mite pedantic to insist that the sole militia in the country that has to obey every last memo from Prime Minister Maliki is the U.S. armed forces. Muqtada al-Sadr is an emblem not of democracy's flowering but of the arid soil in which it's expected to grow. America would have been better off capturing and executing him two years ago.

That's not the worst mistake, alas. The crucial missed opportunity (as some of us pointed out at the time) occurred five years ago, back when the president still had his post-9/11 approval ratings. You can't hold them forever, obviously, but, while he had them, George W. Bush could have used them for a "teaching moment." As we can see in Europe every day of the week, Big Government is a national security issue -- for all the reasons Milton Friedman understood: In diminishing individual liberty, it transforms free-born citizens into nanny-state charges to the point where it imperils the existence of the nation. If ever there was a time for not introducing a new prescription drug entitlement, wartime is it. Yet the president and Congress apparently decided that they could fight a long existential struggle abroad while Big Government continued to swell and bloat at home.

It has been strange for me in these days since the election to spend so much time with so many figures I admire and to find that each group barely recognizes each other's concerns. The War Party is the War Party, the Small Government Party is the Small Government Party, and ne'er the twain shall meet, apparently. That way lies disaster: You can't be in favor of assertive American foreign policy overseas and increasing Europeanization domestically; likewise, you can't take a reductively libertarian view while the rest of the planet goes to pieces. Someone in the GOP needs to do what Ronald Reagan did so brilliantly a quarter-century ago:reconcile the big challenges abroad with a small-government philosophy at home. The House and the Senate will not return to Republican hands until they do.

©Mark Steyn 2006


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2006election; 2008election; 911; america; biggovernment; bushdoctrine; chicagosuntimes; congress; conservatism; domesticpolicy; foreignpolicy; freedom; freedomtolose; freemarkets; islam; islamofascism; marksteyn; middleeast; miltonfriedman; philosophy; presidentbush; realism; republicanparty; rightwing; ronaldreagan; smallgovernment; smallgovernmentparty; steyn; teachablemoment; wardconnerly; waronterror; warparty; west; westernworld; wilsonianidealism
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Steyn's comments are quite timely.
1 posted on 11/19/2006 2:39:55 AM PST by Tom D.
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To: Tom D.; Pokey78
Steyn ping!

Is it my imagination, or are Steyn's columns more and more, well, burdened, grave, sad lately? There's plenty of reason for it, of course . . .

2 posted on 11/19/2006 2:44:05 AM PST by maryz
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To: Tom D.

The thing is I think the Small Government (in terms of spending and entitlements) wing of the party now exists mainly in terms of half the people on an NRO cruise, not actual people out in the country.

The main division in reality among the mass of voters in the party is not between the War and Small Government folks, it's between Fundivangelist Social Cons and the not particularly religious.


3 posted on 11/19/2006 2:46:22 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: Tom D.

Good read from Steyn. He's one of the few voices who can criticise the political right in America with any real legitimacy.


4 posted on 11/19/2006 2:51:28 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: maryz

Yes he does sound less optimistic, but so am I.


5 posted on 11/19/2006 3:00:06 AM PST by kalee (II have taken the pledge that I will no longer read homeschooling or breastfeeding threads on FR.)
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To: Tom D.
I agree. I've one foot in both camps and its time to knock conservative heads together. Or we'll keep on losing election after election.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

6 posted on 11/19/2006 3:05:52 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tom D.
The way I look at it is we need to see freedom take root in the Middle East. But we can't do that if we ignore freedom at home. Big Government ultimately snuffs out freedom by depriving individuals of the motivation to defend it. Just look at Europe. If America goes down the European road, the logic is as relentless as it is inescapable: we'll won't able to secure freedom abroad when it is lost at home. Conservatives face a big challenge and have to begin to address it.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

7 posted on 11/19/2006 3:10:05 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tom D.

***The president doesn't frame it like that, alas. Instead, he says stuff like: "Freedom is the desire of every human heart." Really? It's unclear whether that's the case in Gaza and the Sunni Triangle. But it's absolutely certain that it's not the case in Berlin and Paris, Stockholm and London, Toronto and New Orleans. The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government "security," large numbers of people vote to dump freedom -- the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff. I would welcome the president using "Freedom is the desire of every human heart" in Chicago and Dallas, and, if it catches on there, then applying it to Ramadi and Tikrit. ***


Only Mark Steyn can expose the myth, and sum up the dilemma, of America in one paragraph.

My only regret is that so many of Mr. Steyn's comments are too long to fit into the space allotted for taglines....


8 posted on 11/19/2006 3:11:03 AM PST by Uncle Ike ("Tripping over the lines connecting all of the dots"... [FReeper Pinz-n-needlez])
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To: maryz
Is it my imagination, or are Steyn's columns more and more, well, burdened, grave, sad lately?

Perhaps so, but I sense he is (like so many of us Conservatives) approaching a point of frustration due to his perception of different factions not willing to cooperate and the results becoming debilitating for the party.

His is a clarion call for all factions within the party to start to work together if we are going to reclaim a majority in Congress in 08 and most of all, IMHO, he is calling for something akin to a Reagan Era/1994 Contract direction which we could all support.

Sadly, beginning with the "top" their is not much in the way of such a movement, direction, philosophy or goals toward achieving that end.

9 posted on 11/19/2006 3:19:10 AM PST by Traditional Vet
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To: Tom D.

Sound like Styne is loosing patience with the Prez.


10 posted on 11/19/2006 3:23:59 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Traditional Vet
"If we don't hang together we will all assuredly hang separately." The way out of the morrass as I see it, is to apply what we're doing in Iraq at home: shrink government's non-core functions as fast as we can so we can evangelize freedom abroad by the power of example. Wilsonian idealism is really the essence of conservatism but not in the way the Left understands the term. For conservatives, freedom is about individual self-determination and keeping government's encroachment on that sphere of life to the absolute minimum. Its principled, sound policy and a political winner. To put it differently, you can buy votes but you can't keep people free with that practice. If we want people to be free we have to stop promising to do for them what they ought to do for themselves.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

11 posted on 11/19/2006 3:26:32 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tom D.

Very objective and timely article!!! Mark Steyn routinely hits the ball out of the park. Hope the GOP is paying attention.


12 posted on 11/19/2006 3:27:52 AM PST by xtinct (I was the next door neighbor kid's imaginary friend.)
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To: kalee

Twelve years of betrayal by Bush 1 and 2 will do that to conservatives. Oh yes, we have two years more of betrayal to make it twelve.


13 posted on 11/19/2006 3:45:56 AM PST by sine_nomine (No more RINO presidents. We need another Reagan.)
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To: sine_nomine

Amen to that. Now pray we don't get shafted on immigration and brace for the attack of the Bush-bots.


14 posted on 11/19/2006 4:15:17 AM PST by beckaz (Deport, deport. deport.)
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To: Traditional Vet
The thing is we have to work together because the lack of success of one faction spells disaster for the other.

Sooner or later President Bush is going to have to learn to trust the American people and tell us what is going on instead of spouting platitudes over and over and over until most of the people doze off.

I love this president, and I know he's trying to "protect" us from the truth, but we're big boys and girls and will stand by him if he will trust us.

15 posted on 11/19/2006 4:26:45 AM PST by McGavin999 (Republicans take out our trash, Democrats re-elect theirs)
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To: Traditional Vet

We cooperate on FR


16 posted on 11/19/2006 4:28:42 AM PST by larryjohnson (USAF(Ret))
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To: goldstategop
For conservatives, freedom is about individual self-determination and keeping government's encroachment on that sphere of life to the absolute minimum

Amen. Now the trick is finding enough R's to buy into that philosophy and unfortunately, there aren't many in either house which adheres thereto and the few that do, have been so frightened by the MSM and cowed by the pseudo-Republicans and the other RINO's that they are practically, impotent. Sad. Very sad and depressing!!!!

17 posted on 11/19/2006 4:46:23 AM PST by Traditional Vet
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To: beckaz

I don't see how amnesty for illegal immigrants doesn't happen anytime soon, and I don't see how the entire U.S. as well as conservatism doesn't vanish at some point solely because amnesty for illegal immigrants is allowed to happen.


18 posted on 11/19/2006 4:47:19 AM PST by johnthebaptistmoore
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To: McGavin999
I love this president, and I know he's trying to "protect" us from the truth, but we're big boys and girls and will stand by him if he will trust us.

I know so do I and voted for him twice (though the last time it was more against Kerry, than for W) and though he is not articulate, I wish he would (and would have in the past) take a page from the Gipper's book and bypass the MSM and begin speaking directly to the people.

Of course, he would have to have a message that resonates and his unwillingness to address the root cause of terrorism (ISLAM) as well as his intransigence on Border Security, leaves him with little to articulate about which anyone (other than the left and libs) will respond to.

19 posted on 11/19/2006 4:54:07 AM PST by Traditional Vet
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To: Strategerist

"The main division in reality among the mass of voters in the party is not between the War and Small Government folks, it's between Fundivangelist Social Cons and the not particularly religious."

I dunno. I'm not particularly religious, but I'm also socially conservative. One does not have to be religious to believe that abortion is both the taking of innocent life and thinly veiled eugenics, that marriage -is- supposed to be about providing a stable platform for children, etc. etc.

Unfortunately, I seem to be in a minority. Fact is, there's an incredible and irrational and extreme hatred for "fundamentalists" among the non-religious lately. I truly don't understand it. Every time I want to hear the word "theocracy" I want to heave... I mean, for God's sake, if the social cons got absolutely every last thing they wanted - abortion illegal, prayer in schools, cleaned up network TV, etc. etc. - it would at worst be a return to the laws of the 50's regarding these matters. Was the U.S. a "theocracy" in the 50's? I really wish the people who live in unending fear of an impending theocracy would get a grip.

Qwinn


20 posted on 11/19/2006 4:58:30 AM PST by Qwinn
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Perhaps if he champions the President his cronies on the cruise will crucify him?


21 posted on 11/19/2006 5:03:16 AM PST by OldFriend (WEAKNESS IS A PROVOCATION, AN INVITATION TO OUR FOES TO CONFRONT US)
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To: Strategerist

Knowing right from wrong has nothing to do with being a "Fundivangelist Social Con."


22 posted on 11/19/2006 5:08:06 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: Tom D.
those conservatives for whom the war trumps everything and peripheral piffle like "No Child Left Behind" can be argued over when the jihad's been seen off

That's me.

23 posted on 11/19/2006 5:11:51 AM PST by ExGeeEye (Day 185 (counting up))
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To: Tom D.
As usual, Steyn is right on. I really wish the Congress, the REPUBLICAN Congress, had used Bush's stellar post 9/11 "numbers" to get themselves elected or re-elected, instead of thinking that passing Prescription drug "reform", forming a Department of Homeland Security, and continuing the same old "pork for me = votes in the bank" philosophy of governance.

There are enough old warriors in the Senate and House who should have known that fighting a war is expensive and that pet projects had to be cut back in order to keep the government checkbook somewhere close to balance.

I'm a big supporter of the President but I don't like how "compassionate conservatism" has become "Conservatives giving away money to liberal causes in order to appear more likeable". That's not what I signed on for.
24 posted on 11/19/2006 5:13:57 AM PST by brothers4thID (Being lectured by Ted Kennedy on ethics is not unlike being lectured on dating protocol by Ted Bundy)
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To: Tom D.
the war is peripheral and, insofar as it exists, it doesn't begin to mitigate the abandonment of Friedmanite principles on public spending, education and much else

If we don't win the war, we won't be pleased with the public spending, education, or much else.

Not to worry, though; we'll be too busy paying the dhimmi tax and watching the beheadings of infidels and apostates and prostitutes (i.e. women who dared go outside without their masters) to care.

25 posted on 11/19/2006 5:15:19 AM PST by ExGeeEye (Day 185 (counting up))
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To: larryjohnson
We cooperate on FR

Most of the time and on some issues. However, like our leader, peole and attitudes change.

Many who supported him have grown distant and not because of our (Conservative) position, philosophies or principles have changed, but "his" has.

I want the George Bush (BACK) I was so proud of on this day and made me wish I was 30 years younger again so I could have rushed to the recruiting station and reenlisted in the AF (which I spent 8 years, including 18 months in Nam)such was I moved when I saw and listened to him here:

bush1

"We heard you and listened to you Mr. President. You made us proud to be Americans and we realized that with your leadership, we would exact revenge on those who dared attack our Homeland and you made us want to follow you anywhere.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THESE PAST 5 YEARS??

WHY won't you hear our voices and listen to us, the Conservatives who help elect you and now are (apparently) without ANY leadership, ANYWHERE???"

PLEASE, please, don't succumb, cave, and give into the libs on anything and everything they want and PLEASE, reconsider your position on Border Security and Amnesty."

26 posted on 11/19/2006 5:15:21 AM PST by Traditional Vet
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To: maryz

I don't think it's your imagination. I've noticed a change in tone, too. And as you say, with good reason.

This was an interesting analysis of an aspect I hadn't thought of before, that is, a division of the GOP into those particular two camps, the War Party and the Small Government Party. But I'd say that it is not new but has actually always been a constant in the GOP (people attracted by the idea of a strong national defense and people attracted by the idea of small government), although there have been different issues around which it has coalesced.

One of the features of the Small Government Party is a certain isolationist tendency, which, while it may sound good, is completely unrealistic for the US in today's world or any other. The War Party, having no concern for small government issues because it thinks small government might limit defense, attempts to conciliate the SGP by limiting wars so that it cannot be called imperialist or be accused of trying to spread US values beyond our borders. This leads to a tendency to fight half-hearted wars.

Practically as soon as we were a nation, we had to fight the Muslims (Barbary Coast pirates). But even in that case, we did what we are doing here: we didn't entirely defeat them. We knocked them back enough to get them to leave us alone.

The only people we thoroughly defeated were the Germans, and that was under a Democrat president. Curious issues to ponder.


27 posted on 11/19/2006 5:16:04 AM PST by livius
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To: Tom D.

I think Mr. Steyn's article is interesting, but I think he misses a few key points.

First, he implicitly assumes that the GOP is all that interested in conservatism. I disagree. The GOP, like the Democratic party, exists to get it's members elected to political office. Hard stop. Ideology is a secondary concern. To the extent that it's even considered.

The recent GOP leadership votes in both the U.S. House and the Senate underline this in bright red. Particularly in the House. GOP representatives had the opportunity to embark on a fresh start and elect a bona fide conservative as their majority leader. They instead picked a defensive strategy and business as usual. And the margin by which they picked that course of action speaks volumes.

Second, Mr. Steyn didn't consider the structural problems that the GOP is facing at the ballot box by way of immigration. I found it interesting that hispanics broke 7-3 for Democrats in this last election. Given that some sort of amnesty deal and future citizenship is a pretty good bet at this point, that spells a structural disadvantage that GOP will be hard pressed to counter. Regardless of whether the GOP is able to pull various disparate factions together.

I don't think the GOP has a very good chance of regaining a majority in either the House of the Senate in 2008. The Presidency is very much in play, but that's about it. And after 2008, the structural advantages that the Democratic party has will really begin to kick in. Now of course the Democrats could always mess things up like they did in the early 90's with socialized medicine. But I don't think that likely. And waiting for the opposition to mess up is not exactly a strategy.

Lest you think I'm bearish on conservatism, I'm really not. I'm very optimistic about the future of conservatism. But not because of partisan politics.


28 posted on 11/19/2006 5:22:58 AM PST by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!)
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To: Tom D.
On the one hand, there are those conservatives for whom the war trumps everything and peripheral piffle like "No Child Left Behind" can be argued over when the jihad's been seen off.

The problem the War Party has is that many of those whose votes they need don't feel threatened by the jihadis. Lots of Blue state liberals will bite it long before they try to come for our well-armed butts. Long before they get to us, the libs will grow a pair or two and go on the offensive. So our conservative agenda for smaller government and national security remains intact anyway.

Someone in the GOP needs to do what Ronald Reagan did so brilliantly a quarter-century ago:reconcile the big challenges abroad with a small-government philosophy at home. The House and the Senate will not return to Republican hands until they do.

It's clear he doesn't see Bush in this role. Nor does he mention any comers for '08. This is the reason for his pessimism.
29 posted on 11/19/2006 5:34:50 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: maryz
I think Steyn is becoming increasingly frustrated with eloquently pointing out the looming crevasses, only to be patently ignored as the West continues to "Mush!" the same old blind sled dogs and plung headlong into the open abysses.

Life is so much simpler when all one thinks deeply about is Brittany Spears.

30 posted on 11/19/2006 5:47:21 AM PST by Gritty (Big Government transforms citizens into nanny-staters and imperils the nation-Mark Steyn)
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To: Tom D.
Promoting liberty and democracy, even if they ultimately fail, is still a good way of messing with the thugs' heads.

Hey Steyn, how about sending your sons and daughters over to die just to mess with thugs' heads? Fight for utopia? Fight for mind games? How glib. Fortunately, Americans are naturally averse to sending ground troops anywhere just because the whim strikes a president. The burden is high for those who want wars, as it should be.

31 posted on 11/19/2006 5:59:04 AM PST by gotribe (There's still time to begin a war in Iraq.)
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To: Gritty
Life is so much simpler when all one thinks deeply about is Brittany Spears.

LOL! I'll have to try it sometime! (Well, maybe Tom Selleck . . .)

32 posted on 11/19/2006 6:01:20 AM PST by maryz
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To: Tom D.
There is a huge gulf between these two forces, to the point where the War Party and the Small Government Party seem as mutually hostile as the Sunni and Shia on their worst days. If the Republicans can't reunite these two wings before 2008, they'll lose again and keep on losing.

This is an excellent point.

33 posted on 11/19/2006 6:01:50 AM PST by Tax-chick (My remark was stupid, and I'm a slave of the patriarchy. So?)
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To: livius
The only people we thoroughly defeated were the Germans, and that was under a Democrat president.

Well, Japan too. But I take your point. The thing is (as I never learned in American history in high school or college) that in WWII, the left was more or less on America's side (fancy that!) because we were against Hitler, who committed the unforgivable sin of betraying the sainted "Uncle Joe."

34 posted on 11/19/2006 6:08:40 AM PST by maryz
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To: goldstategop

You would be surprised how many people will look at you like youjust grew horns when you say something like that.


35 posted on 11/19/2006 6:11:40 AM PST by Hawk1976 (And for my next trick I will use splel chuck.)
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To: RKBA Democrat
GOP representatives had the opportunity to embark on a fresh start and elect a bona fide conservative as their majority leader. They instead picked a defensive strategy and business as usual.

I believe the GOP leadership does not expect to win and probably does not want to win. They don't want to change so they have contented themselves to a minority party status. That is why they have a defensive stance and have signalled they will folow the Democrats' lead.

36 posted on 11/19/2006 6:13:52 AM PST by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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To: livius

I've got a foot in both of these "camps". Though I tend to wonder, why couldn't isolationism work? After all we tended isolationist from 1848 - 1898 and then from 1899 - 1940. Of course we would need to boost some technology development a bit.

Steyn is right, with so many people not believing in value such as individual right to self-determination and such at home, it ispointless to pursue it abroad.


37 posted on 11/19/2006 6:21:26 AM PST by Hawk1976 (And for my next trick I will use splel chuck.)
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To: maryz
You are correct...I sense that he, can see the "black hole" of socialism, quickly approaching...something like a tornado on the horizon....IMHO, as we move in a (more) feminist society, we will see big government, attempting to be a nanny to all....of course, if you disagree with the supreme nanny you will be subject to brain-washing...a nanny is always correct
38 posted on 11/19/2006 6:21:28 AM PST by thinking
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To: Hawk1976
...why couldn't isolationism work? After all we tended isolationist from 1848 - 1898 and then from 1899 - 1940.

With more than a million Muslims here, many of whom would like to forcibly impose Islam on us, and 15-or-so million Hispanic immigrants, it's a bit late for isolationism. We imported trouble and now we have to fight the root causes of it.

If we had truly remained isolationist and had retreated to our side of the planet after World War II, Communism would have taken over much of the world. We would be entirely outnumbered and surrounded by Communist aggressor nations, people who were as hypnotized by their ideology as the Islamists are by theirs, and almost as determined to install it here.

39 posted on 11/19/2006 6:54:21 AM PST by Fairview
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To: Fairview
9/11 ended the neo-isolationist fantasy. We may vote ourselves off the island metaphorically speaking but the natives will come all the way here. If we don't want to fight over there we will have to fight over here.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

40 posted on 11/19/2006 7:22:55 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Fairview

As the saying goes, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I think there are people with more perspective and sanguinity who do not see losing 15 seats in a legislature of 535 as a big deal. Then there are the chattering classes whose jaws have come unwired and seem to be flappping their gums to any and every tune this week. New direction will come from the national conversation engendered by the presidential election, not from post election cruises of pundits.


41 posted on 11/19/2006 7:23:04 AM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: maryz; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...
Thanks!

Steyn ping!


42 posted on 11/19/2006 7:43:20 AM PST by Pokey78 (‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’)
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To: Traditional Vet
WHAT HAPPENED IN THESE PAST 5 YEARS??

IMHO, 5 years of relentless attacks, lies and contrived BS by the LSM (left-stream media) finally wore down W's self-confidence and resolve.

43 posted on 11/19/2006 7:48:13 AM PST by Zman516 ("Allah" is Satan, actually.)
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To: Tom D.
Steyn seems curiously pessimistic on the threshold of thanksgiving.

Why focus on the fumbles and follies of Iraq?
Many great gains have been had in the 2 short years since Saddam was deposed.
Free elections.
The writing and ratification of a democratically based constitution.
The formation of a sovereign government.
The Federalization of the Iraqi states.

Lets not forget that it took 11 long years to ratify our own constitution.
When everyone is given a voice it takes a long time to come to a consensus, but that is the way forward.
If the people are given a voice and they are afforded the opportunity to prosper by their own hand they will reject the yokes of tyrants.

Benevolent Dictators and Socialist Governments may be a river to their people, but the waters run shallow.
Freedom is a gift that runs deeply,even to our very souls.

Carry on Mr Bush. Carry on
44 posted on 11/19/2006 8:06:52 AM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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May I add the words of Theodore Roosevelt to the discussion?

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." THEODORE ROOSEVELT (Paris Sorbonne,1910)

45 posted on 11/19/2006 8:20:45 AM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Tom D.

""Freedom is the desire of every human heart." Really? ... The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government "security," large numbers of people vote to dump freedom -- the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff."

Heh. If you say that on FR, be prepared to be called 'loosertarian' and 'libertine.' Mark has finally run up against the foamers.


46 posted on 11/19/2006 8:40:02 AM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: Strategerist

Fundivangelists? LOL
Socon is so much more ... concise. You're right, though. The republican tent is looking as fractious as the democrat morass ever was.


47 posted on 11/19/2006 8:43:59 AM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: livius

"The only people we thoroughly defeated were the Germans"

Heh. Unfortunately, relying solely on Japanese histories of WWII provides less that a complete picture of the war's outcome.


48 posted on 11/19/2006 8:51:33 AM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: Tom D.; Pokey78

Thanks for the post, Tom. Thanks for the ping Pokey!


49 posted on 11/19/2006 8:55:34 AM PST by UnklGene
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To: Uncle Ike

The president doesn't frame it like that, alas. Instead, he says stuff like: "Freedom is the desire of every human heart." Really? It's unclear whether that's the case in Gaza and the Sunni Triangle.

Part of the problem is too many people don't look at this (the Bush doctrine) in a long term way. come back in 20-30 years and see what this part of the world is like, because that's the time frame the President is looking at. Will this work? I seem to have misplaced my crystal ball so I can't say. This I do suspect it will be 2 steps forward 1 step back. What's the alternative? Nuking the area?
Can we start looking at the forest instead of the trees?


50 posted on 11/19/2006 9:18:53 AM PST by Valin (Rick Santorum 08)
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