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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Joe Scarborough loves the GOP. He loves it so much, he is asking its leaders to man up and touch the third rail of conservative politics: Sarah Palin. Stop pretending she has a shot at the Oval Office. Of course, if your really base loves this Alaskan ninny as much as they seem to, you could always make a different move: change your party name from the G.O.P. to the D.O.P.E.

In a particularly caustic passage, Scarborough seeks to draw a comparison between the accolades of H.W. Bush and Palin.

I suppose Palin’s harsh dismissal of this great man is more understandable after one reads her biography and realizes that, like Bush, she accomplished a great deal in her early 20s. Who wouldn’t agree that finishing third in the Miss Alaska beauty contest is every bit as treacherous as risking your life in military combat? Maybe the beauty contestant who would one day be a reality star and former governor didn’t win the Distinguished Flying Cross, but the half-termer was selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.

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Okay. Let’s all take a deep cleansing breath and release the chowderheaded nonsense that the wingnuts on FOX News are spewing to get Americans into the holiday mood of fear and knee-jerk acrimony. Repeat after me, our Pilgrim fathers were not dirty commies. There. Feel better. This from Right Wing Watch:

Despite a comprehensive repudiation by historians of the belief that the original Pilgrims were socialists who only began to succeed and prosper once they turned to capitalism, on this Thanksgiving conservative leaders and writers continue to spread the urban legend that the settlers were almost doomed by their socialist-ways.

Some background: according to real historians, the Pilgrims held their land in common “in the interest of realizing a profit sooner, and was only intended for the short term; historians say the Pilgrims were more like shareholders in an early corporation than subjects of socialism.” But the settlers, who came from different part of England, “spoke different dialects and had different methods of farming, and looked upon each other with great wariness.” Because of such difficulties, the colony scrapped the land arrangements in 1623, yet the colony held the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and the original “arrangement did not produce famine.”

But that hasn’t stopped the Right from propagating the myth that the failures of “socialism” forced them to embrace capitalism. In order to make the myth seem true, Fox News commentator John Stossel simply moves the date of the first Thanksgiving from 1621 to 1623:

Had today’s political class been in power in 1623, tomorrow’s holiday would have been called “Starvation Day” instead of Thanksgiving. Of course, most of us wouldn’t be alive to celebrate it.

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn’t happen.

Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

That’s why they nearly all starved.

Apparently, not all filthy rich millionaires believe in big tax cuts, smaller government and ballooning deficits.

More than 40 of the nation’s millionaires have joined Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength to ask President Obama to discontinue the tax breaks established for them during the Bush administration, as Salon reports.

“For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled,” their website states. “We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more.”

 

A 66-year old shot his TV after witnessing Bristol Palin shake her over-sized booty on Dancing with the Stars. My sentiments entirely.

Despite it’s salt of the earth, rugged individualist exterior, the GOP has leaned on its pointy-headed intellectuals and right wing think tanks to formulate policy. But those days maybe over. Nils Andreson explains:

A party needs a well-educated echelon – call it an elite – to formulate policy to deal with complex challenges. Without the philosophical and academic achievements of the likes of Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and James Q. Wilson, the Reagan revolution would not have been possible.

Even the Bush administration, which critics tried to portray as anti-academic, benefited enormously from the Ivy League. George W. Bush went to Yale (as did his father) and went on to do an MBA at Harvard – albeit with moderate grades. Donald Rumsfeld went to Princeton. Paul Wolfowitz was at Cornell – though a Democrat at the time. Treasury secretary Hank Paulson started out at Dartmouth, before doing his MBA at Harvard. Chairman in President Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board – and National Security Advisor in the administration of George H.W. Bush – Brent Scowcroft, did his PhD at Columbia. Condoleezza Rice had been a Provost at Stanford, “the Ivy of the West”. Robert Gates, who Obama has retained, went to the College of William and Mary, one of “the Public Ivies”. And David Frum, went to Yale before he got his J.D. at Harvard.

I believe future Republican administrations would also try to draw on such talent to formulate policy. However, the well is drying up. So few of the experts in any given field will in the future be Republican. That is an enormous problem. The intellectual resources directed at finding conservative answers to today’s problems are weakened year by year. If not quite critical yet, thanks to the efforts of an older generation of Republicans, the ramifications of this trend might be dramatic.

Here’s an idea. All the new small government guys can do their part in making government smaller. They can quit. Apply their staff’s salaries toward paying down the national debt. Go start a new business. It would be sooo Sarah Palin.