April 25, 2005

Dueling Conservatisms

Andrew Sullivan describes the dueling factions of "conservatism."


Let me be rash and describe the fundamental divide within conservatism as a battle between two rival forms. The two forms I'm referring to are ideal types. I know very few conservatives who fit completely into one camp or the other; and these camps do not easily comport with the categories we have become used to deploying--categories like "libertarian," "social conservative," "paleoconservative," "fiscal conservative and social liberal," and so on. There is, I think, a deeper rift, and a more fundamental one....Call one the conservatism of faith and the other the conservatism of doubt.

Sully may not quite have hit a home run here, but he's sure as heck rounding third with a lead. And you can safely put me in the "type 2" category.

(As always, cross-posted to Centerfield--head on over!)

April 10, 2005

DeLay under the gun

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) is saying that it's time for Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX) to "come forward" and explain the actions that have led to accusations of ethical lapses and misconduct.
Sen. Rick Santorum's comments seem to reflect the nervousness among congressional Republicans about the fallout from the increased scrutiny into DeLay's way of doing business.

DeLay, R-Texas, has been dogged in recent months by reports of possible ethics violations. There have been questions about his overseas travel, campaign payments to family members and his connections to lobbyists who are under investigation.

"I think he has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves," said Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

When those immediately behind you in line for the party leadership start handing you sharp objects and telling you to be careful, it's time to review your career options.

(As always, cross-posted to Centerfield. Go there to reply.)

April 05, 2005

Crossover Issues

Yes, I'm lousy at updating and cross-linking and my comment code is farked. Get over it. And go visit the community Centerfield blog for some thoughtful discussion of current issues.


It's easy to make the mistake that political topics are not highly interrelated, as we tend to examine them in isolation. There's very good reason to tackle issues one at a time in a democracy. Simply put, there is no feasible Grand Unified Field Solution in the democratic process. Democratic reform is by nature incremental, an uphill struggle against societal inertia. Trying to do everything at once is called "revolution," generally requires abrupt and deadly force, a forced disintegration of the social compact. Democracy is designed to avoid such abrupt violent revolution by substituting peaceful (if noisy and often bitter) incremental revolution in its place.

One of the biggest cop-outs in examining any political issue is to try to divert attention to another issue, saying "But what about X?" Social Security is a problem. But you're ignoring Medicare, which is a bigger problem. Illegal immigration is a problem. But deficit spending is a bigger problem--what about that? Sorry, but the Revolution isn't here yet. One step at a time, please, and quit changing the subject!

But, of course, many issues are highly interrelated. If they weren't, solutions would be much easier to find and implement. I've written often about the very good and sound practical reasons that both parties pay lip service to illegal immigration but don't ever seem to do much about it. Today, the New York Times shows that I'm not the only one who's noticed some of those reasons.

Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions

Canada, Land of the Benevolent [CENSORED]

The hearings into the sponsorship scandal of the Liberal Party of Canada continue, and the judge in the case has issued a publication ban on the proceedings to keep otherwise open-court testimony out of the eye of the public.

Already a conservative U.S. blog is being accused of violating the Canadian law. Captain's Quarters has been noted by the Toronto Sun as having posted parts of the banned testimony, angering the Canadian court. And an all-news Canadian web site (Nealenews.com) has been pressured into pulling its link to Captain's Quarters under threat of legal action.

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit notes that Canada seems to be all in favor of the supremacy of international law and the United Nations--until it comes to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

O, Canada! Land glorious and free!