Archive for the ‘Post Mortem’ Category

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said today that the U.S. economic downturn is much worse than political leaders admit and predicted the recovery will take three to five years.

The financial meltdown points to “a much more profound problem than people think” as American industries and education have lost ground to China and India, Gingrich said.

The former Georgia lawmaker told a reporters’ breakfast that the one upside to the crisis is that it might prod reform.

“This is frightening enough that you could have a genuine national conversation about fundamental change,” he said.

Source. If I’ve learned one thing following the GOP, it’s that we should answer any mention of “China,” “India,” “reform” or “national conversation” with one hand on our wallets and the other hand on the Constitution. It boggles the mind to imagine the sort of “fundamental change” Gingrich might be calling for. His comments were just vague enough to be frightening.

The article goes on to describe Gingrich’s evolving view of Sarah Palin, hence the category.


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Money quote:

There is a lot of stimulus and growth in this bill – that is, of government. Nothing in this bill stimulates the freedom and prosperity of the American people. Politician-directed spending is never as successful as market-driven investment. Instead of passing this bill, Congress should get out of the way by cutting taxes, cutting spending, and reining in the reckless monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.

Read it all here. I disregarded Ron Paul during his 2008 presidential bid, because for the first time in decades a libertarian had a microphone … and the American people were listening. Yet he squandered his time (“squandered,” or so I thought) talking about closing down the Federal Reserve. Closing down the Department of Education. Closing down the Department of Energy. If anyone does, a then 10-term Republican representative knows the value of principled baby steps.

But as it turns out, the Federal Reserve has arranged for our worst recession in decades.  Inverted interest rates have led us from one asset bubble to the next for nine years now.  No Child Left Behind is its own punch line.  Oh, and, by the way?  How is that Department of Energy treating you now?  Revolutionary monetary policy, far-reaching shift in government operations are starting to smell pretty good right now.

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Apparently crowds sent then-former-president George Bush off with a rousing chant of:

Na na na na,
na na na na,
hey hey hey

And, as always, one of Ann Althouse’s commenters absolutely nails it:

Actually, the “Na na hey hey” thing is perfectly appropriate. Large portions of the left and right have always seen politics from the perspective of a sports fan; that’s what partisanship is. It’s not serious, it’s trivial. It’s mindless us/them b.s.

If they believed anything they said, that Bush is a war criminal and worse than Hitler blah blah blah, it would be unconscionable to just let him fly to Crawford for a dignified retirement. That’s truly a morally reprehensible response if you believe anything close to what Doyle et al say they believe. Apprehend him, try him, hang him.

But they’re not serious. They’re just rooting for the “D” (and others for the “R”) and ramping the hyperbole up to 11 without ever bothering to check what the actual people are saying or doing. Because they’re not thoughtful enough to do more.

Still, it would be nicer if people would just wave their pennants and Obama foam #1 fingers.

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Her piece includes the reaction from a 2012 GOP hopeful. (No, contrary to what you may have heard, Politiwatch is not in the tank for Romney. If I had to guess, I’d say that Tobias is leaning toward Jindal. As for me? Ron Paul was so dead-on with his prescription for monetary policy that right now it’s difficult to consider much else.)

Romney’s brief:

“Barack Obama gave a speech from the middle. He once again is communicating that he intends to govern from the middle and not from the wing,” he wrote. “It was a speech that could be offered by a leader from either party and that’s good.”

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And that is “Bush.” At least when following the name “George W.” And unless used well in context.

But what a long, strange eight years it’s been, no?

For the record I wish President Obama very well. To the shock of my wife I will add that many of his challenges appear to be no-lose propositions. After possibly a bit more constriction, the economy will largely heal itself, with or without effective or ineffective government action. Give me 18 months for nearly all major indicators to have recovered any lost ground. Over the next four years combat operations should largely cease in Iraq, and the conditions there should continue to gradually improve. And the attentive reader may have noted that the administration did not make a last-minute announcement that, by the way, we’ve been holding on to Osama bin Laden for several months now. Any remaining policy issues seem altogether trivial when compared to that trifecta: Economy — Iraq — Afghanistan. And who believes that — even if national policy is left to coast in neutral — any of these concerns will become more intractable over just the next year, to say nothing of the next four years?

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Former congressman Tom Davis (R-VA) claims to have the cure for the GOP’s Wilderness-itis:

So what do we do? First, we eliminate checklists and litmus tests and focus on broad principles, not heavy-handed prescriptions. Free trade. Strong defense – at home and abroad. Government as small as is practicable in these times. Economic, education and energy policies that promote growth, energy independence and a competitive agenda that will allow businesses to grow and compete, not be protected by artificial barriers.

That’s it. Believe anything else you want, but advocate for those things outside the structure of the party.

Let me make sure I’m grokking you, Mr. Davis. The Republican Party needs to become a solely fiscal entity and ignore values altogether except in the broadest, most vague terms? That’s a sure way to cut the size of the party in half, not increase it. If the GOP does what Mr. Davis is suggesting it does, Christian conservatives will abandon the party en masse.

By the way, Mr. Davis is now the Chairman of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which (according to its mission statement) “was founded in 1998 to promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party, and to partner with individuals, organizations and institutions that share centrist values.”

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Who is my favorite bass guitar-playing conservative, you ask?  That’s easy.  It’s J. Tobias Reuel.

My second favorite might be Mike Huckabee, although one never knows what sort of musical instruments Ron Paul has tucked in a case under the bed.  But let’s for sake of argument say that it Mr. Huckabee, since the former Arkansas governor is in the news again.  This time

Mike Huckabee has launched Huck PAC, a grassroots organization that aims to support conservative candidates throughout the United States.

Huckabee says the goal is to identify volunteers nationwide, organize into local groups in every U.S. county and then assist Huck Pac endorsed candidates. Huck PAC will be “begin recruiting leadership in every state and county….[with a goal to] have at least one Huck PAC group leader in every county in the nation by the end of 2009.”

Huckabee says that the group is aiming to help locally because America “needs conservative leadership now more than ever. Important issues are at stake: tax reform, controlling spending, the 2nd Amendment, sanctity of life, traditional marriage and much more.”

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