A Reminder About the Good of Conservatism


As a new front in this year’s political war opens up, with the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and as Republican polling favorite Donald Trump embarks on the phase of his campaign in which he proves that he is generally a dishonest liberal with the kind of personality that would be undeniably dangerous in a modern president, leading many on the right who may have been entertaining the possibility of electing him to reevaluate (albeit, unfortunately, not leading others to do so), Charles Cooke offers a worthwhile reminder that conservatives and even Republicans haven’t been completely useless on the political scene in recent years:

… we can contemplate the past decade with some considerable pride. Because conservatives aim to repeal so much of the damage done by progressivism of late, we can at times feel hopeless — and even angry. In theory, we understand that the people backed Obama twice and that his veto stands proudly in the way of our getting to reverse his excesses; in practice, however, it can be tempting to assume that the lack of major progress has been the product of quiet acquiescence or tactical incompetence — or, worst of all, of deep-seated corruption.

Read the whole thing for Cooke’s examples — and be sure to heed his acknowledgement that Republicans and the conservative movement more broadly have left much to be desired and are rightly in the precarious position of having to prove themselves quickly.  The point is that, as tempting as it may be to destroy the whole machine in our frustration at its imperfection and inability to overcome every political obstacle, we’d actually be throwing quite a bit away in doing so.

The time may come for that move (e.g., with the appointment of another Obama lockstep liberal to the Supreme Court), but when we make that decision, we should be aware that it’s essentially an admission that what we’re really saying is that the current condition of our country and the opportunities for change are so abysmal as to make worthwhile the risk of utter destruction.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Let’s leave aside for the moment Justin’s apparent call for armed insurrection and anarchy … and go to this quote from the article referenced =►

    If, as seems eminently possible, a man with a gleaming “R” next to his name is inaugurated next January 20, the Right will be given its first chance at meaningful reform in over a decade …

    As I have explained here in painful detail numerous times … simple Electoral College math shows that it is *extremely* unlikely that we will ever again have a Republican POTUS

    Let’s just take the hypothetical case of The Bern-ing Man vs Trump

    Add up the solid blues — CA NY PA WA OR MI WI MN IL NJ MD & all 6 New England States — plus the big States that are now blue — OH FL VA NC SC … and the Electoral vote will be a landslide

    And that will be Trve even if the Dems nominate a Yellow Dog


    • Rhett Hardwick

      It is difficult to deny your electoral arithmetic, but have you considered the possibility of a schism in the Democratic party? Let us take your example of the “yellow dog Democrats”. These were “Southern Democrats”. As a result of “radical Republicans” forcing “Reconstruction” on the South, “Democrat” became the acceptable party for whites. Notwithstanding party affiliation, they were quite conservative, “Southern Democrats” forming one of the bulwarks against FDR’s “New Deal”. I am thinking of a number of southern relatives who registered Democrat out of tradition and would regularly vote for Democrats locally, they usually voted for the more conservative Presidential candidate. I am also thinking of Nixon’s “hard hats” drawn from ethnic groups which were traditionally Democratic.

      I would also observe, without much comment, that much of the Democratic plurality in Blue States is composed of low information “Have nots”. Suppose many become “haves”?

      “tempting as it may be to destroy the whole machine in our frustration at its imperfection and inability” I think it is closer to the actual idea that the machine be “set right”. Even the minor “haves” are seeing the government seep into their lives, gas guzzler taxes on their cars, EPA regulations foiling their plans to add a deck, gun regulations run amok, etc.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®4

        ——– Original message ——–

        From: Paul Jacome

        Date: 02/18/2016 3:59 PM (GMT-05:00)

        To: Dave

        Subject: Fwd: These are all EXCELLENT

        Begin forwarded message:

        From: Kieran Kennedy

        Date: February 16, 2016 8:40:07 PM EST

        To: undisclosed-recipients:;

        Bcc: nortonarms@comcast.net

        Subject: Fwd: These are all EXCELLENT

        Subject: FW: These are all EXCELLENT

        Some good ones in here.



    • Raymond Carter

      Your consistent labeling of states with Republican governors, Senators and even solidly Republican legislatures-even one state that voted for Romney! as “blue” forevermore is not only tiresome but intellectually pathetic and no there is no magical difference in the presidential electorate. If anything the millions of pimps, crackeads, ho’s, junkies, welfare bums, young people and others disillusioned by the false promises (well he did calm the seas and cure cancer-LOL) of President Zero will likely sit out November’s election and make the electorate similar to 2014; which didn’t go to well for the Party Of Owe.
      Lastly what diseased mind would label SC as “now blue”.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Rhett :: a Repub POTUS is possible only if there is a viable
    Lib 3rd Party candidate. Remember 2000 which was decided by FL ??

    ‘W’ carried it by 537 votes. But Ralph Nader — who drew 100% of his support from Dems — got 97,488 votes there. Course, if Gore had carried his own home State of TN with its 11 Electoral votes FL would have been moot … W won the election by 5 electoral votes.

    Raymond : I am ONLY talking the POTUS race ,, not State gum·mints. We will see who is right in a few months and almost nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong. But right now I would bet my house that the Dems will keep the White House

    I also think you are wrong about the turn·out. If it’s Bern·ing Man vs The Donald we are gonna have the highest voter turn·out *ever*

    And FTR you are correct that SC is a Red State. And I should know … I lived in Charleston SC for 3 yrs from ’79 til ’82 — when Reagan carried it. Then I moved here and he carried Li’l Rhody in ’84 … as far as I know the ONLY time we went Red

    • ShannonEntropy

      p.s. Speaking of The Bern·ing Man … I like to play the Bernie Sanders Drinking Game

      You watch a Dem Debate and every time Bernie mentions a free government program you drink someone else’s beer

    • Raymond Carter

      Nixon carried RI in 1972.
      The main flaw in your analysis is that politics changes, sometimes quickly. Just ask public unionists in WI , IN, WV and MI. Not to mention RI where we can query creatures like Morse and Day about their “forever carved in stone cuz its IN DA CONTRACT” COLA’s.
      Tommy Cranston

      • Rhett Hardwick

        “politics changes, sometimes quickly.”
        Yes I find it difficult to believe that a Socialist is a viable candidate for President. Takes us back to what? William Jennings Bryant?

  • ShannonEntropy

    The main flaw in your analysis is that politics changes, sometimes quickly…

    Once a State turns Blue it stays that way … CA being Exhibit # 1

    FL & OH used to be major “swing states” but are now Blue also

    When TX flips to blue — most likely by 2020 — we might as well re·name it The Blue House

    • Raymond Carter

      Of course Mississippi and Alabama were once the 2 bluest states in America with Texas not far behind-in my lifetime. Politics changes QUICKLY.