Quotes of the day

posted at 10:28 pm on June 12, 2012 by Allahpundit

Am reminded today why I rarely read headlines. #ContextIsImportant

The point I was making yesterday is this: The political system today is hyperpartisan. Both sides are at fault.

My dad & Reagan sacrificed political points for good public policy.

***

Jeb Bush’s definition of Reagan’s brand as one of “finding accommodation” and “common ground” is akin to summing up the Founding Fathers as rabble-rousers who really disliked taxes. He missed the essence of what Reagan provided for Americans

Reagan was more than a charismatic tax-cutter; he was an insurrectionist within the Republican Party, just as the Tea Party movement is in today’s establishment. In 1976, Reagan challenged Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination, and in 1980 he defeated the establishment candidate, George H. W. Bush, who later joined him on the ticket. His 1980 platform called for a return of the citizen activist; in doing so Reagan challenged the political establishment mentality, primarily by returning to this model of the servant-leader…

Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship is what has provided unchecked power to the political establishment. And bipartisanship over principle is what has led us to runaway deficits and a fiscal mess that will take generations to fix. To suggest that Reagan would somehow embrace this insulated tyranny of the political class over grassroots activism is utterly false.

***

Too little attention is paid to the basic fact that Reagan was a man of his times and the times have changed. For instance, much of the GOP’s “extreme” opposition to tax increases stems from lessons learned from Reagan’s experience. Democrats promised to cut spending if Reagan raised taxes. They didn’t cut spending. Reality-based Republicans don’t want to repeat that mistake. Likewise, Reagan agreed to amnesty for illegal immigrants in 1986. Rather than be a one-time deal, it proved to be an incentive for more illegal immigration. And so on. The upshot of so much of the “Reagan was too reasonable for today’s GOP” blather assumes that Reagan wouldn’t have learned from what turned out to be mistakes — and that today’s Republicans shouldn’t either.

If you want to freeze presidents in amber and hold them against today’s political realities, virtually no former president could win their respective party’s primaries today. FDR was adamantly opposed to public-sector unionism. How would that work for him in today’s Democratic Party? John F. Kennedy was a foreign-policy hawk who didn’t care much about civil rights and believed in cutting taxes to stimulate the economy. Would he win a Democratic primary? Times change and politicians change with them. I have few doubts that given Reagan’s principles and the political realities of today, he’d be a mainstream conservative with deep sympathies for the Tea Party. But you can’t blow up the space-time continuum, and if Reagan were alive today, he couldn’t win the GOP nomination — not because he’d be too liberal but because he’d be 101 years old.

***

President Barack Obama thinks Republicans are in the grips of a “fever.” Only if they can be coaxed back to rationality, through the calming effects of his reelection and perhaps some aromatherapy and a deep-tissue massage, will Washington ever work again.

By work, he means pass his priorities, of course. That is the operative definition, too, for all the liberal analysts rending their garments over the breakdown of our governing institutions. If only everyone could sit around a table and agree that President Obama is the personification of reasonableness, the country’s faith in government could be restored…

The deadlock on the more consequential matters is a function of the conflict of visions. The mindlessly obstructionist, heedlessly irresponsible Republicans in the House have written their vision into a comprehensive budget and passed it twice, knowing full well that Senate Democrats would reflexively say “no.” The budget embodies a partywide consensus on an affirmative agenda that will quickly be taken up should Romney win the White House, to the howls of almost everyone now complaining that nothing gets done in Washington.

By that time, partisan obstruction will no longer be an offense against good government, but the highest duty of all patriotic lawmakers.

***

That’s one problem with the current complaint about political “polarization” -– and the dominant Obama narrative, in which he comes to town seeking to transcend partisan differences only to discover the “hyper-partisan” Republicans unwilling to play ball. The truth is we were never going to get universal health care without a huge nasty partisan fight — Republicans don’t want it. And we are are never going to alter the structure of collective bargaining without a huge nasty partisan fight–for unions it’s an existential battle. Yet both are worth doing. If they could be achieved by bipartisan compromise they would have been achieved a long time ago …

The anti-polarizers’ fallacy is that progress is always achieved in the center. Sometimes that’s true (e.g., the 1983 Social Security fix). But equally often progress comes when one side convinces voters and defeats the other side. Sweeping Democratic victories in 1932 produced the New Deal. A lopsided Dem majority (plus reaction to the JFK assisination) gave us civil rights laws, Medicare, and the Great Society. None of those were compromises. They made some people really angry!…

Polarization, in this model, isn’t the byproduct of a fight over “allocating loss.” Instead, polarization is useful, in an almost evolutionary sense, because it can help resolve unresolved issues like incomplete health care coverage, or illegal immigration.**** Both are pressing problems. They need to be solved. Until they’re solved, elections will continue to be about them, at least in part. But they’re not going to get solved in the center. (Sorry, Fareed!) They’re much more likely to get solved–or at least resolved–when one side in a polarized contest wins, brutally defeating both its polarized opposition and the champions of mindless bipartisanship.

***

The old adversary culture of the intellectuals has turned into a mass adversarial cynicism. The common assumption is that elites are always hiding something. Public servants are in it for themselves. Those people at the top are nowhere near as smart or as wonderful as pure and all-knowing Me.

You end up with movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Parties that try to dispense with authority altogether. They reject hierarchies and leaders because they don’t believe in the concepts. The whole world should be like the Internet — a disbursed semianarchy in which authority is suspect and each individual is king…

I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem. Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions. That’s not mostly because our institutions perform much worse than they did in 1925 and 1955, when they were widely trusted. It’s mostly because more people are cynical and like to pretend that they are better than everything else around them. Vanity has more to do with rising distrust than anything else.

***

***

It was the first “protest” vote I’ve ever cast, and it felt … well, it felt good. Suddenly I understood a bit better why the Ross Perot or the Pat Buchanan or the Ralph Nader voters did what they did.

They thought the system was so broken that they couldn’t sit out but also couldn’t stomach voting for a conventional candidate at a time of unconventional problems.

Do I think a Ron Paul presidency is ever possible? No, I don’t. But I do want some of the Pauline virtues of candor and non-poll-tested conviction to play a larger role in our politics…

What I really want, though, is a party and a politics that’s commensurate with the problems and possibilities of the country. We’ll get there one day — and then we can focus on progress, not protest.

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I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem.

I thought to myself this had to be a Brooks or Milbank quote. It was. Besides which, one would think the NYT would make their writers give approbation to cites from the Christian Science Monitor.

Nevertheless, Brooks has it wrong again. OWS is all about anarchy. The TEA party movement is all about returning to constitutional fundamentals. It’s leadership under the rule of law. But Brooks will never understand that.

Tennman on June 13, 2012 at 5:02 AM

I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem.

THis is the line of thinking from the elites that inevitably leads to mass killings. You see, they are sooper smart and have implemented what should be utopia on Earth. Alas, their utopia is populated with imperfect people, who must be compulsorily perfected.

tom daschle concerned on June 13, 2012 at 5:33 AM

O/T: This one’s dedicated to all of our Trolls. You know who you are.

My take.

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 6:36 AM

. To suggest that Reagan would somehow embrace this insulated tyranny of the political class over grassroots activism is utterly false.

But Jeb would embrace it-and we’ve yet to see if Oromney will.

Don L on June 13, 2012 at 6:37 AM

and the Tea Parties that try to dispense with authority altogether. They reject hierarchies and leaders because they don’t believe in the concepts.

A bit of a stretch there AP?

Don L on June 13, 2012 at 6:39 AM

good morning!

so the morning joe crew is going with the gop dine and dash? puhleeze…continual bashing of the gop to prop up dear leader

look in the mirror there dear leader and dems, look in the mirroe

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 6:41 AM

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Great Take KJ

this one is a doozy…read it folks!!

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 6:55 AM

KJ, this fits right in with the idiot morning joe who doesn’t like free speech as well…

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 6:56 AM

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Muchos gracias, Senora.

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 6:58 AM

Sorry, but after getting Obamacare shoved down my throat, don’t expect me to ask the Democrats to go on a picnic…

I’m willing to watch them drive off a cliff… I’ll even provide the roadmap…

Our side has principles: less government, less spending, start knocking down the deficit… If the Republicans don’t get this started with the next Administration, its Tea Party time…

Khun Joe on June 13, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Scarborough now referring to The Tea Party as “idiots” I see. Morning. And John McCain’s girl
Nicole there to agree. How FUNNY the two people who ran McCain’s election both now on MSNBC only.

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Oh, Joe now going on about Joe in Congress again! Joe balanced the budget. Joe.

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:11 AM

yup

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:13 AM

on a daily basis….

meachum now saying that historians will say that if dear leader only has one term it was because he fell on his sword trying to work with those evil GOP…..at least joe reminded meachum that he had a dem controlled congress for 2 years….

alas, the historians will praise the hard working obama for doing everything he could….

blech

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 7:19 AM

I’ve been watching Schmoe for 20 min and it’s been pure Romney bash. Next up Tim Pawlenty. Let’s see if he fights or gives them a pass with a dumb smile on his face.

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:24 AM

go with door #2….

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 7:26 AM

boy they are really pushing the jeb comments….

ENOUGH

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 7:28 AM

How many Republicans were consulted when the Dems wrote Obamacare, Jeb? How about for Dodd-Frank?

Now I know Jeb is a fool.

farsighted on June 13, 2012 at 7:29 AM

he’s doing ok relatively speaking…

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Jeb Bush is a country club Moderate. Romney needs a Conservative VP.

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Pawlenty: We’re not going to reelect him because he participated. Obama’s the “participation President!”

MJBrutus on June 13, 2012 at 7:37 AM

How FUNNY the two people who ran McCain’s election both now on MSNBC only.

Marcus on June 13, 2012 at 7:11 AM

What’s funny is that anybody thinks those of McCain’s ilk are representative of the GOP. They are a combination of RINOs and the go-along-to-get along crowd. I’m pleased that Romney’s people are in this campaign to win it.

Happy Nomad on June 13, 2012 at 7:37 AM

MJBrutus on June 13, 2012 at 7:37 AM

i lol when i heard that…good one…

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 7:38 AM

long colbert segment on moaning joke, using his wife’s dressage horse to thwack mitt over the head with an elitist hoof. (her horse is depicted going to the olympics on the roof of mitts roof).

“conservative” joe laughing the loudest. 24/7 ridicule of mitt to be continued on the obama channel.

renalin on June 13, 2012 at 7:39 AM

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Great Take KJ

this one is a doozy…read it folks!!

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 6:55 AM

I did and yes it is.

From your article KJ:

MEDIAITE: I saw that you used to be a school teacher…

I learned several years ago that she used to be an English teacher, I was shocked and alarmed.

I was even more alarmed when I saw a clip last year from “The View.” In it one of the ladies mentioned the name C.S. Lewis. This teacher, this educator, this person tasked with shaping young minds said, “C.S. Lewis, didn’t he write children’s books or something?”

*headdesk*

*headdesk*

*headdesk*

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:40 AM

*shaking the head*

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Lord only knows what she thinks a dangling participle is.

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Lord only knows what she thinks a dangling participle is.

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 7:43 AM

That should have included a spew alert. LOL

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Good morning, everyone! Tim Pawlenty did well. Got some nice zingers in.

Nicole Wallace makes the show unwatchable.

Naturally Curly on June 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Naturally Curly on June 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Even Mika had to sadly concede that, “It’s Bush’s fault,” doesn’t cut it. It was touching.

MJBrutus on June 13, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Jeb Bush is a country club Moderate. Romney needs a Conservative VP.

kingsjester on June 13, 2012 at 7:36 AM

My hand to God…I won’t vote for Romney if he picks that feckless turd for VP. Even a political whore has to have some standards.

Extrafishy on June 13, 2012 at 7:57 AM

Brand spankin’ new RNC ad: Lost Focus

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Without structural partisanship, you are then Russia, Cuba or the Third Reicht.

Agree to disagree may slow things down, but I what’s the alternative ?

Trophies for everyone.

FlaMurph on June 13, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Brand spankin’ new RNC ad: Lost Focus

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Good ad! I love that they use all liberal talking heads to illustrate how full of crap he is.

Naturally Curly on June 13, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Good ad! I love that they use all liberal talking heads to illustrate how full of crap he is.

Naturally Curly on June 13, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Yes, I’ve noticed that they rarely use a FOX snippet in their ads. Does away with the “but, but, but, it’s FAUX News” factor I guess.

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

good ad…agree NC use the lib talking heads

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 8:15 AM

The frustration is that the democrat party has dominated our politics for so long – perfect example how “glamorized” the Kennedys are/were – and the dialogue has been so monopolized, propagandized, and slanted for so long that we’ve been conditioned into accepting that anything that goes against the status quo now is “radical”, extreme, polarizing – it’s sickening! And besides the media, there are also “moderate” republicans like Joe Scarborough and Jeb Bush which aid and continue this “polarization” canard by demonizing conservatives or Tea Party members. Of course the democrats paint Scarborough and his groupies as the true “conservatives” (including our current presidential candidate) and nothing could be further from the truth and damaging to the republican party, IMO. But these moderates are so far engrained into the status quo that they are in danger of disappearing if anything changes. So they feel threatened and would love nothing more than to have Romney, Bushes , and McCain types continue as the future faces of the republican party. Very demoralizing and we’ve got our work cut out for us.

mozalf on June 13, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Has anyone bothered to point out that even Clinton could not be elected in the Democratic party today? In fact, his closest proxy — Hillary — has already tried and failed because the Democratic party has gotten too extreme and hyperpartisan even for the Clintons.

Caiwyn on June 13, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Yes, I’ve noticed that they rarely use a FOX snippet in their ads. Does away with the “but, but, but, it’s FAUX News” factor I guess.

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 8:14 AM

With the added bonus of driving them right up the wall, to have their words used to such effect against their messiah. Heh.

Naturally Curly on June 13, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Is Jeb! trying to tell the rest of us tea party types to get back into the rino line? Cuz if he is he needs to go back to Miami and retire again. Reagan would love the tea party. He would have used it to make this an even great country to live in. No way would he have told us to sit down and shut up.

Kissmygrits on June 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Glad to see Jeb has taken himself out of the VP race. GW had issues – but I think at his core he had a better understanding of what conservatives think than Jeb ever has or will. The statement on Reagan is so telling on the attitude front.

Democrats don’t beleive in bi-partisianship – they beleive in the GOP’s surrender.

Screw them – DC is the problem, they are the danger and the evil. Everyone of either party who thinks there is any good reason for the sprawl of the feds – to the current degree – should be watched very closely.

Zomcon JEM on June 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

b-e-l-i-e-v-e I hope my grade school english teacher isn’t reading.

Zomcon JEM on June 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

There should be no such word as bi-partisanship, it simply doesn’t exist. And that’s a great thing. In order to create a so-called bi-partisan world people would have to give up their ideals and beliefs. And that’s a bad thing. Call it what is…a compromise…a compromising of ideals and beliefs. Does it happen? Sure it does. I just hate to see it presented as some phoney ideal of “let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.” Jeb Bush can go pound salt.

Deanna on June 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Both Krauthammer and William A. Jacobson got it right. Of course Reagan would get the nomination in today’s GOP.

Jeb just played into a Democratic narrative, and he shouldn’t have.

Now he is being rightly criticized by conservatives for playing the Democratic Narrative Game.

Meanwhile, as to Scarborough; his assertion is laughable. The GOP is undergoing a Revolution from Below. Jeb’s time may actually be passing. However, the Beltway GOP is still powerful enough to act as a nomination gatekeeper, which is why you didn’t see Palin run this time.

Palin, the Pauls, and others are changing the GOP, moving it back towards what Reagan stood for and away from the oily Beltway hack market it became during the Bush Ascendancy. This has Joe out of sorts.

Good.

victor82 on June 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

will get you the same results that Floating Rock usually receives; which is to be ignored.

4Grace on June 13, 2012 at 1:10 AM

While they have their heads stuck in the sand where they feel safe, I get to walk along behind them and kick some reality into their butts.

FloatingRock on June 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

*headdesk*

*headdesk*

*headdesk*

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 7:40 AM


STOP!
You can damage your spine using that approach!

The safer method is to stand up, go to the nearest wood door, bend slightly forward at the waist and then pull the door into the top of your forehead just hard enough to dislodge the stupid before it can infect your mind. Like so:

*headdoor*

*headdoor*

*headdoor*

This method allows the spine to function in its normal ‘shock absorber’ mode.

PolAgnostic on June 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

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