Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday miscellaneous (11/23)

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. But since that was yesterday, on to more important stuff like … shopping. For your convienence, Mint.com has provided a shopping preperation checklist.

With the reelection of Barack Obama, we’re due for another round of antichrist rhetoric. It wouldn’t be the first--popes, presidents, and other provocative people often get the designation. (Poor Gerald Ford, though. He is one of the few modern presidents to not achieve antichrist status.)

Continuing the theme of reforming the Republican party, Jim Geraghty points out that some of the “mean” label is deserved. And the Washington Post highlights some of the worst candidates of the 2012 election cycle.

And going back in history a bit (1977 to be specific), we find some similar criticisms and need for adjustments coming from Ronald Reagan himself.

What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority. 
This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics. 
*** 
Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanaticism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way -- this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before. 
*** 
I need not remind you that you can have the soundest principles in the world, but if you don't have candidates who can communicate those principles, candidates who are articulate as well as principled, you are going to lose election after election.

David Brooks likewise looks at some of the various strands of conservatism.

And Ross Douthat reminds us that the 2012 Democratic base may not be as solidified as it appears: “Liberals look at the Obama majority and see a coalition bound together by enlightened values — reason rather than superstition, tolerance rather than bigotry, equality rather than hierarchy. But it’s just as easy to see a coalition created by social disintegration and unified by economic fear.”

As the Republican party looks to regroup, it’s important to not neglect foreign policy (where left and right consistently get mixed up). One author thinks that, of all places, George W. Bush’s 2000 foreign policy may be a good place to start:
The Republican Party needs a new message on foreign policy that is true to the conservative principles of the base and yet has a broad appeal to the American public. It so happens that one already exists, has a proven track record of electoral success, and is only slightly used: the "humble foreign policy" that candidate George W. Bush espoused during the 2000 campaign but abandoned with the Global War on Terror and the Iraq invasion. 
Bush's wisdom during the October 12, 2000 debates is striking in hindsight. "If we're an arrogant nation," he warned, "they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that's why we've got to be humble, and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom."
Senator Rubio is currently taking criticism for his recent comments on the age of the earth. What his critics forget is that his comment is no different than the President’s. Erik Erickson responds with an apology (in the defense, not the “I’m sorry,” sense). Meanwhile, Joe Carter takes the opportunity to reflect on what this says about our perception of knowledge.

Anyone planning to contact Rep. McDermett of Washington should make a note: don’t use nicknames for his staff.

CNN provides the backstory for the Hostess shutdown.

This is an encouraging story of a teenage single mother climbing out of poverty.

This is an excellent article on the fad of irony and how it affects our culture.

The ironic frame functions as a shield against criticism. The same goes for ironic living. Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public.
And finally, Air New Zealand is definitely getting ready for the release of The Hobbit.
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