Here’s to Stopped Clocks

StoppedClocksThumbby Brad Nelson
This is more of an extended quip than an article proper. But I just wanted to give a sincere apology to the Paulbots, Paulinistas, Paulistianians, Paultards, or whatever you want to call them.

Although much like a stopped clock which is right twice a day, the Paulbots are indeed correct in their warnings (even if unsoundly anchored) regarding “Neocons” and there penchant for intervening where angels (but not the Marines) fear to tread.

I’m not all that sure what a “Neocon” is. But, generally speaking, it seems to have come to mean those who, when  asked the question “What should we do about Issue X,” answer “I don’t know, but I’m fairly sure it means we need to launch a  military response.”

I’ve been shocked and surprised to see so many supposed wise conservatives (including Dennis Prager, to some extent) get on board with the idea of choosing sides in Syria.

Egads, how screwed up we are (at least the political and commentary class) if this issue isn’t crystal clear? Stay the hell out. Do not (how do they say?) intervene. Non-intervention as a foreign policy may be shallow if simply “not intervening” is your one and only guiding policy. But in the instance of Syria, don’t intervene.

And I want to assure you that no one has hacked this site and posted something under my name. I agree with the Paulbots, in general, that conservatives, Republicans, and many others, are much too quick to want to get involved military, even if our reasons for that are different. (My foreign policy is more complex than simply “don’t intervene.”)

I won’t name names, but I’m rather shocked at the number of supposed wise conservative thinkers who suggested that we should take one side or the other (usual the “rebels”). As much as I make fun of the simplistic and usually misinformed politics of Paulbots, I will agree with them on this one issue, in general, all else being equal.

And as Mark Steyn would no doubt say regarding the various nuanced positions in regards to either supporting the “rebels” or the existing government in Syria, “We’re broke.” I would say that we’re ideologically bankrupt as well, although you could say that one tends to precipitate the other. • (1183 views)

Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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11 Responses to Here’s to Stopped Clocks

  1. pst4usa says:

    OK Brad, I be hyperbolic, bomb both sides into submission and hand it over to Bibi. Then there would be “hope and change”. I have to agree, I do not trust this administration! If the big 0 came out and told us that it rains in Washington State a lot, I would have to check to see if we are really in a severe drought.

  2. Kurt NY says:

    Neocons are former national security liberals who were driven out of the Democratic Party following its takeover by the New Left in 1972 and the debacle of the Great Society. Think folks like Daniel Patrick Moynihan. As such, they have brought a great deal of intellectual vigor to the conservative cause, as their disillusionment with the Great Society caused them to re-evaluate their positions on the government’s role in society and economy.

    However, like the Samantha Powers of the world, they can’t seem to cure their itch to use American power to right the wrongs of the world. That being said, neocon thinkers still provide a necessary faction of the conservative party, as do the libertarians of the Paulite fringe. So let’s disagree with each other as necessary, but let’s remember the rule not to speak ill of another Republican – God knows the MSM does enough of that, they don’t need our help trying to discredit us.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Kurt, I’ve never been a big believer in Reagan’s 11th commandment. I was listening to Levin today and he was talking about John McCain equating “Allahu Akbar!” to an American Christian saying “Thank God.” Here’s an NRO article dealing with it.

      And Paulbots have said, and believe, some equally ridiculous stuff. For me, we are far past the time where we just sing Kumbaya with our crazy uncles.

      But although I often poke fun at the Paulbots, they’re not completely wrong about this propensity of Republicans (whatever there taxonomy) to reach for military intervention. We now live in the “do something, do anything” socialist-mindset culture that truly believes that government can achieve anything.

      This myth might be busted when out debt eventually blows up in our faces. But even then, I’m not so sure people will get it.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, in 2010 I voted for Trey Grayson over Rand Paul in the primary because I considered myself somewhere between them, probably about equally far from each, on the issues and thought Grayson would be more electable. Events (involving both) since have shown that Paul was the much better choice But as Sam Rayburn once observed, “If two people agree on evrerything, one of them is doing all the thinking.” No one does my thinking, and unfortunately no one else lets me do theirs. So the only way to get a politician who always agrees with me is to run myself, and I don’t think I would be very electable.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Good points, Timothy. I like Rand Paul. I would have no problem voting for him for president. He still retains a few Paulbotian quirks, but even these quirks are (except perhaps regarding foreign policy, although his views of late have been superb) are not particularly dangerous and most likely would be a tonic for what ails us.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            For what it’s worth, John Hawkins in his Townhall column today listed Rand Paul as #14 of the 25 most influential conservatives — better than McConnell at #18 but not as good as Ted Cruz at #9 and John the McCainiac at #11 (mostly due to his negative utility as Obama’s leading GOP suck-up). For what it’s worth, the top 5, from most to least influential, are Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and John Boehner.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Interesting. I wouldn’t have expected Drudge or Boehner to be up there…if only because Boehner isn’t a conservative and I didn’t think Drudge was quite a household name for conservatism.

              Rove’s not a conservative either. Nor was Romney. I guess that word now has been officially hijacked.

  3. RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

    Kurt provides excellent summary of the Neocon foundation. I think the Left once again successfully tarred conservatism by labeling Neocons blood thirsty militarists engaging in bloody foreign entanglement contrary to the will of the people.

    As to Libertarians… intellectual libertarianism was founded on the shoulders of giants. Von Mises, Hayek, Milton Friedman were tour de forces of economic conservative geniuses. What is called Libertarian today is a major deviation from the writings of the masters. Ron Paul in my mind is a bit kooky when he waxes outside of free market principles. Libertarians in the original where focused on economics, not social and foreign policies. Rand Paul is much closer to the tenets of the original movement.

    True libertarians have a lot to offer, as do all conservatives. We must not fall into the trap of doing the Lefts handiwork by disparaging conservative brethren. The Left wants us, encourages and aids us in that effort for their gain and our demise.

    Conservatives of all stripes must focus on our great commonalities to persevere; small government, individual liberty, free markets, rule of law.

    • Black JEM says:

      And absolutely no problem conservatives debating with one another – we needn’t be in lock step. But why can’t we air our differences professionally and without all the hyperbole.

      • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

        Agree, that was the brilliance of William Buckley’s NRO, he brought together all forms of conservatism amicably to great result. His fusionism, wit and invitation to Americans youth grew a new generation of conservatives which reached fruition with Reagan. We need to rediscover this successful formula.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        But why can’t we air our differences professionally and without all the hyperbole.

        Sometimes there is nothing more professional and apt than a little hyperbole and satire. To me, to look at the bizarre stuff that is going on in this country and to just sit back and cast it all in the King’s English is to be self-neutered.

        The very essence of RINOism is to make sure that you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Don’t you dare call Obama a guy who voted (twice) for infanticide, for instance. Don’t mention his connection with a domestic terrorist. Don’t mention the inherently racist things such as affirmative action. Don’t mention that George Zimmerman is an upstanding citizen and the whole Trayvon hullabaloo was simply about giving black people the license to do what they want, regardless of the law.

        The Paul Ryan method isn’t working. We need a little spunk and irreverence in our politics. And truth. The Left (and Paulbots) are friggin’ crazy. I see no reason to sit by and not say so.

        I’m not about building winning coalitions. That’s not my job. My job, such as it is, it to comment on some of the insanity taking place around us. It’s about time that we did so. If it has become a losing proposition electorally to point out the absurdities of the Left then we might as well fold up the tent and admit that the conversation has moved so far Left, all we can do is play various shades of John McCain.

        But that’s not me. We have been literally peppered by absurdity upon absurdity by both parties these last 10 years and more. They would drive our country into bankruptcy for their own electoral gain. In many cases, they are the scum of the earth dressed up on non-hyperbole.

        I say enough. Let’s hyperbole these fools and fiends and make them a laughing stock. That is perhaps out best chance to regain this country. Only when it is generally safe to admit that the emperor has no clothes will people begin to talk about this stuff. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the fear. There is no future in doing anything but speaking in proper and perfect King’s English.

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