Skip to comments.George Will: Be of good cheer, conservatives (Things are looking up whether you believe it or not)
Posted on 01/01/2012 4:27:36 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Columnist George Will is starting off 2012 on a positive note… at least in most areas. For his premiere column in this election year, Will doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about the prospects of defeating Barack Obama in November, but he still feels that conservatism in general is on the upswing and we should be looking forward to a banner year.
Although they have become prone to apocalyptic forebodings about the fragility of the nations institutions and traditions under the current President, conservatives should stride confidently into 2012. This is not because they are certain, or even likely, to defeat Barack Obama this year. Rather, it is because, if they emancipate themselves from their unconservative fixation on the presidency, they will see events unfolding in their favour. And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive.
One of the first items on Will’s list of positive conservative indicators is a story which we covered here earlier this month. It’s the not very widely covered fact that America became a net petroleum exporter again in 2011 for the first time in more than half a century. Good news to be sure, but why does George Will see this as particularly beneficial to conservatism? Because progressivism, he claims, relies on scarcity as a means to allow government to control behavior.
For the foreseeable future, a spectre is haunting progressivism, the spectre of abundance. Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people, and because progressives believe that only governments energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing by them that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans behaviour.
Energy issues aside, the author also sees plenty of room for optimism regarding the November elections even if Obama wins a second term, and the Senate is the key. By taking the majority there, the GOP’s stamp of approval would be required for any future appointments to agencies such as the NLRB, the EPA and the energy department. These entities, which Will refers to as unconstrained instruments of presidential decrees, will lose much of their power to do mischief through what amounts to extra-legislative lawmaking.
This is a double edged sword, of course, and continues an unpleasant precedent. In theory, the president makes these appointments as part of his mandate as expressed by voters selecting him for office. Using the legislative branch to thwart these types of appointments at every turn has always struck me as somewhat dirty pool, but the practice has been in place by both parties for a while now, so there’s not much to be done about it.
In that light, George Will may be correct when he closes by saying that, in the end, control of the White House may not wind up meaning very much if conservatives control both chambers of Congress. With that, this parting observation:
In any case, nothing that happens this November will bring an apocalypse. America had 43 presidencies before the current one and will have many more than that after the end of this one in 2013 or 2017. Decades hence, it will look like most others, a pebble in the river of American history.
And on that cheerful note, enjoy your New Years Day, folks.
Even George Will knows that Willard Romney is toast if nominated.
Atheistic Clinton/Obama lover George Will says that things are looking good to him?
Bad news for America!
Wanna have some fun? Sneak up behind George Will and whisper “Mitt Romney” in his ear.
Watch his botwie spin and listen to him squeal like a fangirl.
Things are not looking up. If Obama wins again, America will probably fall as a world power. If Willard wins, America has very little hope. This is a terrible, dangerous, frightening year, and I hope every Freeper will be working to elect the most conservative government possible.
Will’s opinion does not represent the mainstream of thinking Constitutional conservatives. And, I know, that is not news.
$3.50/gal is the same dynamic as scarcity.
I follow the O/G business and I'm not sure what Will is talking about when he says we are a net exporter. We have started to export some gasoline, but we import 7 plus million bbls of oil per day.
Anything this guy says bears deconstructing. What he calls Conservatism is whatever he thinks will benefit his version of reality. And if that’s not an apt description of what ails modern relativist thinking, I don’t know what would.
Will doesn't sound very enthusiastic about the prospects of defeating Barack Obama in November, but he still feels that conservatism in general is on the upswing and we should be looking forward to a banner year.That's because he's not a conservative, and what he regards as conservatism *is* on the upswing, at least in his own mind.
RE: Atheistic Clinton/Obama lover George Will
Actually George Will calls himself an agnostic.
Excerpt of his interview with Stephen Colbert...
Stephen Colbert: Are you an atheist?
George Will: I’m not decisive enough to be an atheist.
SC: Are you an agnostic?
But at the same time we import oil, however, the number of barrels is falling because of increased domestic production. Several articles that I read about the gasoline mentioned we could also be a net exporter of crude if we would be allowed to drill. Much comment about the oil sands in ND and the fracking in the east.
We should never export crude oil.
What I want to know is....What needs to happen to make refined petroleum products dirt cheap for US Citizens, and outrageously expensive for the foreign markets?
America will suffer greatly if Obama has another 4 years to inflict more weakening of our standing in the world. The world has taken its measure and will challenge us. Iraq’s unity government is fracturing, Iran is not the least bit worried about a US backlash against their nuclear program, Biden has told us that the Taliban is not our enemy and the Administration is for sure getting ready to meet and apologize for all the problems we caused them the last 10 years. We just learned that Gen. Petraeus is deeply at odds over the troop drawback in Afghanistan that Obama is pushing, and wanted to quit. China is using currency manipulation to make US businesses not competitive internationally, but the Obama administration refuses to say so.
We haven’t even gotten to all the problems of an administration with countless statist czars, refusal to submit a budget for years, and total lack of inability to work with Congress unless it is to force a few more liberals into their camp.
By the way, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts are not getting any younger. Forget the already liberal wing of the court. If we lose any of the 5 justices on the right or swing, the Constitution really is in terrible trouble. George Will better adjust his bowtie. We simply cannot afford another 4 years of Obama. Our country’s survival really is hanging in the balance.
We have not
Myself, I don’t think Romney as Pres would be so bad. Yes, I realize he is a serious departure from conservative ideals, but he is not a vandal. He is not out to destroy the country nor the culture. I believe he is generally a sensible person.
The danger, as I see it, is that for me, Romney as candidate practically guarantees the re-election of 0bama, and that prospect is depressing as hell.
The Supreme Court. ‘nuf said.
“And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive.”
That might have been true years ago, but not anymore.
The Executive branch has been given so much power over the 20th century that presidents like BO can just ignore Congress in many areas. And a majority doesn’t matter unless it’s a veto-proof majority.
Seems like Will ought to know this by now.
There are several reasons why Romney is not my chosen candidate. That said, why do you think his candidacy would practically guarantee the re-election of Obama?
George Will should have his sanity questioned for writing these words. The next Supreme Court justice selection will set the course of jurisprudence in this country for the next 10-15 years.
The coming Obamunist economic crisis will require a solid, conservative hand on the till if we are to have any chance of survival. We face the most important Presidential election since 1860 and Will should know that.
It's why it is more important than ever that we have a truly conservative nominee to defeat Zero. That nominee cannot and must not be Myth Romney.
The reason I think Romney guarantees re-0bama is several-fold, but primarily demographic. It largely hinges on the state of the economy. I think we’ll be in significantly worse shape then than now. And so, the electorate will seek a savior.
The savior will either be “Dad” (Romney) or “change” (0bama)
Yes, it is a stupid, simplistic theory, but I don’t get paid for overthinking it or anything else out of my control. We have stupid, simplistic voters. If it doesn’t fit on a bumper-sticker, it exceeds the average attention span.
The role of “Dad” eg; the family, has been denigrated for many years now, and I need not go into it. The nation is at that tipping point where, out of a condition of severe economic distress, “it” (meaning the majority of its voters including synthetic voters) will want to be taken care of. You and I can banter back and forth over conservative principles, but I expect things to get worse and for the people to want salvation.
That they see it that way now and will see it that way then in 0bama is the most delusional, pitiful, reprehensible, brain-addled piece of unappreciative brat behavior ever recorded. But IMO, see it that way they will. In short, people will vote their stomachs and their survivals, not their principles.
I do not rule a Romney victory out entirely. But in order for that to happen, I believe the economy will have to pick up and to somehow have Romney’s philosophy associated with said pickup. Again, that is the kind of long shot I’m not optimistic about, because 0bama will naturally claim credit should it occur. Romney will never, ever generate the kind of frenzy that 0bama did and may yet again. So I think Mitt loses that one too.
I don’t mean to be pessimistic and I don’t wish to infect anyone with my myopia over the issue, but that’s how I see it.
Silly. As much as he's virtually nobody's favorite around here, he may very well crush Obama if nominated. Really, the only thing that could get in his way is a massive lack of enthusiasm on the right. Given the disgrace now sitting
in the White House on the beach, there isn't much chance of that. The few evangelicals that will never vote for a Mormon and the Jim Robinsons of the world, will be dwarfed by the number of independents that never would have voted for Newt, Paul, Bachmann, Perry..., but will vote for Romney.
It also wouldn't be surprising if Romney tacks right and starts talking more like Newt if he is the nominee. After shying away from red meat rhetoric in the primaries, he may be liberated to play to the base in the general, without turning off anybody in the middle. No way Obama survives hard hitting campaign from a candidate the institutional left can't destroy with scandal.
George is just doing his duty as a journalist getting out the White House line.
Jim, I saw you were mentioned but not pinged.
What would George Will know about conservatives? He hasn’t been one in a couple of decades.
Just who are those independents who wouldn't vote for Newt, Bachmann, Perry (forget Paul) who would be moved to vote for Romney? Are these the fabled "moderates" who never vote for a Republican...but would somehow vote for Romney?
After shying away from red meat rhetoric in the primaries, he may be liberated to play to the base in the general, without turning off anybody in the middle.
Why would Romney have to be "liberated" to play to the base? Why does he have to wait until the general election? Why can't he do it during the primaries?
No way Obama survives hard hitting campaign from a candidate the institutional left can't destroy with scandal.
How can Romney mount a "hard-hitting campaign" if he can't attack Obama on Obamacare?
You may well be right, Minn, that Romney can overcome all his negatives and still beat Obama. But he's far from a strong candidate. We're talking about a guy who couldn't even beat McCain in 2008, fer cryin' out loud.
You’re saying that 0bama is a failure and with that I have zero argument. I’m saying that half the people in the country see themselves as failures and thus they identify with failure and the government’s perceived ability to correct that failure. The proof is the life 0bama gets to lead on the back of government despite his many failures. Moreover, they resent the financial and in general moral success of Romney. For people to switch from an 0bama vote to a presumptive-nominee Romney vote, they are going to have to choose non-failure. I don’t see it happening. I genuinely hope I am wrong.
Will’s assessment of the situation is bizarre. We have NOTHING to be happy about if Obama wins a second term.
George Will is the epitome of the RINO establishment. Enough said.
That means the f’n, treasonous GOP needs to understand that RINOs are unacceptable.
There are many million of them, mostly women, almost exclusively apolitical marginal voters. Not moderate, just too detached to vote ideology.
Here's what Newt has for them: He's a pudgy, pugnacious, full of himself blowhard, and somebody somewhere said something about him and deathbed divorce papers or something. Do I really want to look at that mug for 4 years? He's really hard to like personally for people on his own team. He isn't going to appeal to many that aren't already predisposed to dislike his opponent. Then there's the fact that Newt,s flirtation with trendy lefty thoughts doesn't make him acceptable to some on the right. The sit down with Nancy will not be forgotten.
I'm sure you have noticed, looks and personae are probably the two biggest factors in determine presidential electability. The most likable candidate usually wins.
Bachmann: Gotta love the woman. But, like Newt, she has said a few things that make easy to characterture. The vaccine thing was suicidal. And it's not political moderates that would refuse to support Michelle Bachmann, it's everybody that refused to support Palin because Tina Fey told them not to. I would love to see the result of a Bachmann Obama race, because I don't think it's impossible for her to beat him, but she's have to have something really big go her way to overcome the cultural hysteria that her nomination would surely set off. There could maybe be some incredible backlash and cultural awakening about how routinely the left demonizes normalcy, combined with some huge event, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Rick Perry: Seriously? He has run a historically awful campaign. If it was really his intention to convince people not previously familiar with him that he is a thoroughly incompetent, bumbling, hayseed, he has succeeded wildly. I would, of course, vote for him over Obama enthusiastically. But I don't remember the last time I was so unimpressed with somebody I really tried to like. He just doesn't play well on a national stage.
Romney has that vanilla, phony baloney, plastic banana, used car salesman sort of look and demeanor that apolitical people will find much easier to vote and root for compared to the candidates we all prefer. Most FR readers think about more than looks, charm (blandness, some would say), and vulnerability to smears. But many voters don't Unlike some, I don't believe Romney's wealth will be a big factor. The idiot "99%" aren't going to vote Republican anyway.
It's hard to find anybody excited about a Romney nomination, me included. But the assessment that he is toast, compared to any other surviving Republican candidate seems a stretch.
Are these the fabled "moderates" who never vote for a Republican...but would somehow vote for Romney?
No. As discussed, they are apolitical personality voters. The broke decisively for Obama in 08, and for Bush in 04 because Kerry is such a twit. I'm sure you know a few. It's 50/50 on whether they could name the two senators from their state. But they vote in presidential Elections. They vote Republican as often as not.
Obama abysmal failure as a president is going to make it much more difficult for him to capture the cultural momentum this time. It isn't just conservatives that are sick of him.
A Republican opponent that is difficult to demonize and mock effectively will make it hard for Obama to change the subject from his inadequacies. People guided by the current pop culture mood, rather than policy or ideological preferences, decide presidential elections. I think it's hard to argue that any of Romney's opponents are better equipped to appeal to the shallow, which I think your assessment ignores.
God, I can't believe how long I rambled on.
So, that is how elections are won, huh? By appealing to the shallow?
We should choose our candidate based on how the shallow respond to him/her.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'm not so sure I buy that...
we could also be a net exporter of crude if we would be allowed to drill.
.......We might be able to eliminate our African and Middle East imports but not Canada and Mexico.
"Hope", "Change","Yes We Can", "I'm not going to have to worry about putting gas in my car. I'm not going to have to worry about my mortgage."
You're joking, right? If you don't appeal to the shallow, you have zero chance. It's a cruel but undeniable fact of political life. What would motivate you to deny something so obvious?
This conclusion gives me no satisfaction. I would much prefer that conservatives would do a better job of selling conservative ideas and principles such as individual liberty, self reliance, family and small government.
Why do we have to take a back seat to liberal notions like fairness, diversity, government intervention and class warfare.
Why do we not have the ability to sell our positive, hopeful and liberating ideas and visions of America?
If what Will is saying is that America will not be totally destroyed by another Obama term, I agree. But I don’t think we want to get that close to the edge. Obama has two wheels on the edge of the cliff, and after another term , he’d have three and one half. That’s playing it too close.
Presumably that, as a conservative, I have more faith in the intellect of the American electorate than you.
Obama's win was predicated on a shallow premise, I'd agree.
But it was better than what the opposing candidate was offering. He was not only a "moderate", he was a timid pile of crap. McCain offered nothing -- to nobody.
Any conservative who is willing to actually BE a conservative will defeat Obama in 2012.
I wasn't saying anything, I was asking:
"What needs to happen to make refined petroleum products dirt cheap for US Citizens, and outrageously expensive for the foreign markets?"
Gasoline is a "refined petroleum product".
In other words: Too stupid to vote.
Now that is a good line.