Jun
4

Smash Their Fingers!




Posted at 18:50 by HTML Mencken

Glenn has a go at the wingnut weasels:

What is going on here, quite transparently, is not any assertion by conservatives of their alleged “principles,” but rather a craven rehabilitation project. Bush’s presidency cannot be salvaged, but the reputation of conservatives and conservatism can be — but only by separating the former from the latter.

During the years of 2002 through 2004, George Bush was venerated like few other Presidents, spoken of in terms so reverent that at times it seemed almost improper to criticize him. And it was American conservatives leading these virtual canonization rituals.

Such sudden “recognition” that Bush is not a true conservative is transparently prompted by the collapse of the Bush presidency[.]

So many wingnuts are trying to salvage their loathesome ideology from Bush’s abject failure; he’s gone over the cliff and they are just hanging on, trying to get a grip so that they don’t fall with him. All they can claw at in this endeavor is the position that Bush has betrayed conservatism, is not a conservative, conservatism is not responsible for Bush, conservatism is actually viable and popular and should not suffer unduly for Bush’s incompetence.

Don’t let ‘em do it! Kick them off the edge! Smash their fingers! And Glenn does just that, quoting these wingnut pundits’ servile comments when Bush was popular, all of them saying in effect that Bush was a paragon of conservatism. But now that his numbers are in the tank, the weasels are trying to revise their own history. “Suddenly” Bush is not a conservative. Glenn singles out Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, Robert Novak, Doughy Pantload.

Well, Sadly, No!’s specialty is extreme wingnuttery. And what’s more extreme than weaselly revisionist history? What’s worse than ‘suddenly’ discovering that Bush is ‘no longer’ a conservative? Ahh, that would be the claim that Bush was never a conservative, was a rank-rodent, liberal-in-disguise all along! I present, ladies and gentlemen, Mark Steyn:

Just to clarify my own position, I disagree with the President on illegal immigration but I can’t honestly say that he “betrayed” me. Most of the stuff the base is mad about are things he openly championed in the 2000 race. He ran the most pro-Mexican, pro-federalization-of-education, pro-prescription-drugs-for-seniors campaign of any Republican Presidential candidate ever. The convention in Philadelphia was a non-stop riot of mariachi bands playing the Cucaracha alternating with cucaracha bands playing the Mariachi. I bumped into my own Senator, Bob Smith of New Hampshire, in downtown Philly and asked him how he was enjoying it. He said he’d tried to get in but he’d been denied entry. That’s how multicultural and diversity-celebrating it was: guys with suspicious names like “Bob Smith” couldn’t even get past security.

President Bush has, broadly speaking, governed as he said he would seven years ago.

But even that is mild compared to Vox Day, for whom accusations that Bush always was a liberal are too timid to bother with. No, Vox says that Bush was always a socialist!

None of these former Bush cultists can admit that Dear Leader was the bee’s knees, gave them exactly what they wanted, was a living God, was the acme of conservatism. Because to admit that is to admit the fact that what they believe in — their ‘principles’, their ideology, all of which Bush personified — sucks and is a menace to humanity. It’s our job to deny them their grip, to kick them off the cliff along with Dear Leader. Because if we don’t, they’ll just find another Dear Leader, and the Cult will be restored. No mercy. Fuck these people.

121 Comments »

  1. Lesly said,

    June 4, 2007 at 18:58

    No, Vox says that Bush was always a socialist!

    Why not go all the way? Why not use the C word. It’s stronger, faster medicine for ailing wingnutists.

  2. FGFM said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:01

    “Now there are some who would like to rewrite history — revisionist historians is what I like to call them.” – George W. Bush, June 16, 2003

  3. BigHank53 said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:04

    Bob Smith, the dumbest man in the Senate. Why am I not surprised that Steyn is a fan?

  4. Kathleen said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:14

    that is really what they are afraid of isn’t it: white men barred from the party.

  5. bl0ndej0n said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:16

    “Conservative Republicans may be reliably stupid patsies, but they’re seldom overtly evil.”

    The desperation in Vox’s voice says it all.

  6. fuyura said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:31

    At last the truth comes out! I’ve long been of the opinion that Bush, Rove, Cheney and Rumsfeld are long-time SDS operatives who were deliberately providing the worst, most maniacally destructive administration in US history in pursuit of the Leninist maxim of making things as bad as possible in order that their commie alternative would become preferable to the masses. Now I seem to be vindicated.

  7. mikey said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:36

    Here’s the scary thing. It IS going to work. Oh, not for everybody registered “R”, but for a whole bunch of them. They were deeply disappointed by bush, and utterly put off. Some were disappointed by the things he actually did. They will vote “D” in ’08, or not vote at all, but make no mistake – this is the smaller percentage of them. The rest, for the next year and a half will respond to the repeated message that bush was weak, he wasn’t a true conservative, he wanted to give the mexicans amnesty, he was too weak and vacillating to attack Iran, hell, he just surrendered to North Korea.

    Thats the basis for the Republican candidates trying to out imprison, out torture and basically out military the others. Because these people are going to come out of their funk, and like the beaten housewife after the flowers and candy show up, they are going to embrace the guy that promises the most hatred, the most violence, the least justice. By the time the convention rolls around, it’s going to be jackboots and leather greatcoats and “Fatherland” and the promise of “NEVER AGAIN”, as in never again will they be fooled by a weak liberal who claims to be a “conservative” but won’t do the hard work, who wants to be “teh decider” but won’t make the hard decisions.

    And they will come out reborn, enriched, reinvigorated, faces aglow with with the promise that many more will die, many more will suffer, that our revenge for that bright day in 2001 will be complete, and eternal…

    mikey

  8. fish said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:40

    pro-prescription-drugs-for-seniors campaign

    It is obvious that most true conservatives were running on the anti-prescription-drugs-for-seniors platform. I too am against drugs for seniors. Except maybe PCP. Seeing some granny break a pair of handcuffs and head butt a cop while in a psychotic rage, now that would be cool.

  9. kenga said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:51

    fish – that would be so not cool. Osteoporosis, ya know.
    But if I could get my grandma to slip some MDMA into the punch at her next DAR meeting – that would be cool …

  10. cleek said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:52

    yeah, but Vox Day is a member of Mensa.

  11. Kathleen said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:54

    I don’t know Mikey. Maybe I am being too much of an optomist, but “Bush was really a liberal” is just so ludicrous that how can it really work?! I guess for the die-hard conservatives who need a reason why their beliefs didn’t work, it could be convincing but most Americans (I think) aren’t that conservative.

  12. LA Confidential Pantload said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:54

    I’m the…uh, the Revisionamalizer….’cause I, y’know, revisionamalize…

  13. Ginger Yellow said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:55

    It’s not as though any of Bush’s supposedly liberal policies were secret, unlike most of his authoritarian ones. If the “principled” conservatives who are now trying to salvage the conservative brand had cared to look at any one of Bush’s budgets beyond the big shiny tax cut numbers, they’d have seen enormous growth in non-defence discretionary spending. They knew all this at the time and they were still lining up to give him blowjobs.

  14. JK47 said,

    June 4, 2007 at 20:13

    The “Bush is not a conservative” line is really nothing new. My wingnut uncle is like the perfect conservative tabula rasa. He has no opinions of his own– he just waits for Fox News to say something, then he believes it. He believes the Muslim hordes will overrun Europe in less than 20 years, that universal health care is the worst idea ever proposed and that George Bush is not a conservative.

    The top-tier cretins who are running for the Rethug nomination are setting themselves up for Kerry-esque “I voted for it before I voted against it” Catch-22′s. They’re all on record basically saying that they’d pursue basically the exact same policies as Bush, then guess what, it’s general election time and all of a sudden they’ll say they’re nothing like Bush. They’re laying a rhetorical trap for themselves.

    The Dems’ rhetoric has been pretty tepid and uninspiring, but you know, I’m starting to think it might actually work this time. Kill the clock, play to the center, give the wingnuts enough rope to hang themselves. It’s so (not) crazy it might just work!

  15. Kathleen said,

    June 4, 2007 at 20:27

    Everyone knows that million-to-one chances happen 9 times out of 10!

  16. Rufus said,

    June 4, 2007 at 20:30

    League of Human Voters Repudiates Bush

    -claims he was never “Human” in the traditional sense, vows to find candidate with correct set of chromosomes.

  17. Doug Watts said,

    June 4, 2007 at 20:38

    So now the cult must choose its new Jim Jones … and so far it is between serial liar A (Willard Mitt) and serial liar B (B for black beater) Rudy G.

    Glenn gave Retardo Montalban a nice plug in his column. Congrats, HTML.

  18. Doug Watts said,

    June 4, 2007 at 20:39

    Human League Repudiates Bush.

    cue: “Don’t You Want Me Baby …”

  19. James K Power said,

    June 4, 2007 at 21:01

    I don’t know if any of the others have posted this, but it was not just Bush that proved what “conservatism” brought to it’s logical conclusion would bring. Don’t forget, it was the presidency, both houses of congress, the Supreme Court, AND a pliant, rightwing-friendly, national media that refused to stop the GOP/conservative juggernaut to hell.

    The goals set out by Reagan WERE taken to their logical conclusion under Bush. Without oversight, the GOP has been shown to have a seething contempt for civil liberties, competent government, the Constitution, respect for the international community, respect for the American people (from 9/11 to Katrina to illegal wiretapping – the GOP has no interest in protecting this country or it’s people), and on and on.

    Conservatives gleefully and recklessly wanted to attack Iraq, and not even 9/11 could alter that bloodlust. Then, once the war machine was in full money-making mode, conservatives openly embraced outing a CIA covert agent for shits and giggles – US security be damned.

    The legacy of Bush and the conservative movement are one in the same!

  20. jimmiraybob said,

    June 4, 2007 at 21:05

    Technically, none of the new batch of professed conservatives are really conservative in a traditional mythic sense, they’re mostly a band of sentimentalist, reactionary, rootin’ & tootin’, tough talking, sociopathic, spoiled, daddy-needing, jingoistic, power projecting, thrill seekers and opportunistic self promoters. They brey about glorious war of empire, get others to fight it and bleed in it and then self indulgently bath themselves in all it’s glories and honors with daily hysterical dispatches from the front lines of their mind.

    They create and foster and defend and praise a one-sided, parallel fantasy world (teh “reality”), apart from objective verifiable reality, and then seek to destroy anyone putting the lantern in the tower with the warning that, one if by regular wingnuttiness, two if by new and improved uber special wingnutty delusional insanity, and three if by…. nevermind, once you get to three I don’t even wanna know.

    They bought the Bush doctrine – all of it, they defended the implementation of the Bush doctrine as their own – all of it, and now they own the Bush doctrine – all of it. Just ask General Shinseki, or Joe/Valerie Wilson, Richard Clarke or Larry Johnson how conservative the reactionary, venom-spewing Bush apologists (the “conservatives”) were and are. And in doing what they do so best, righteously indignant poo flinging with a side order of anger, xenophobia and paranoia, today’s “conservatives” have destroyed what once may have truly been a conservative ideal. Or maybe the “conservative ideal” always has been a cobbling together of these base reactionary forces.

    Either way, whatever Bush is or has been, he’s certainly one of them.

    Heh look, I didn’t once say fascist.

  21. a different brad said,

    June 4, 2007 at 21:55

    If anything, Bush proves not that he’s not a conservative, but that conservatism is an empty, bankrupt, useless, stupid, hateful, harmful, foul ideology, and that people who call themselves conservatives believe in the triumph of anyone wearing their team colors.
    Politics are not about seeing your team win, they’re about the common good. If the Dems are smart they’ll find a way to bring Katrina back to the fore. That was conservatism in action, and it killed a fucking city.

  22. SamFromUtah said,

    June 4, 2007 at 22:08

    George Bush was venerated like few other Presidents, spoken of in terms so reverent that at times it seemed almost improper triggered a torrent of anonymous death threats to criticize him.

    Fixed Glenn’s typo.

  23. SamFromUtah said,

    June 4, 2007 at 22:09

    George Bush was venerated like few other Presidents, spoken of in terms so reverent that at times it seemed almost improper it triggered a torrent of anonymous death threats to criticize him.

    Fixed Glenn’s typo.

  24. SamFromUtah said,

    June 4, 2007 at 22:09

    ….oops. And no double post is complete without the apology making it a triple.

  25. Rick Massimo said,

    June 4, 2007 at 22:25

    I love the idea that all you have to do is have a name like Bob Smith and you are entitled to get into anything you want to get into.

  26. Anne Laurie said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:00

    Bob Smith, the dumbest man in the Senate. Why am I not surprised that Steyn is a fan?

    Half-bright poseurs like Mark “Rhymes with Whine, Not With Stain” Steyn love obvious dimbulbs like BS because they feel smart and nimble by comparison. Steyn’s neocon soulmates in the Oval Office loved Bush for the same reason. Unfortunately, Preznident Shadow Puppet has turned out so irredeemably, publicly stupid that he’s starting (as they understand it) to devalue not just the neocons but the Repub brand name. That’s where the WSJ branch of the Repub Revolution is coming into play — they’re starting to out-shout the neocons’ “Bush had the right ideas, he just didn’t implement them hard enough” with the new, theoretically more market-friendly, “Bush didn’t expose the flaws of our product, because that wasn’t reallly *our* product he was pushing.”

  27. eyeball said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:01

    On foreign policy and national security, bush is a fascist. on domestic/economic policy, he’s a nixon republican. a few conservatives saw through him — bob barr, pat buchanan. the rest got erections at the thought of waterboarding arabs and a supreme court that would kill roe. these are the people at the center of american affairs for 6.5 yrs. they have set us back 65 years. if there was a scintilla of honor in them, they would move into the barracks at jonestown, guyana, and wait for the koolaid man.

  28. Lawnguylander said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:05

    Over at Vox Day I found the most deliciously retarded conspiracy theory ever along with a clue to how some Bushies will try to spin his support for the immigration bill. Even people as dumb as this aren’t buying it though:

    I was just told that this immigration bill was the price elicited by the Democrats to continue funding the war in Iraq by someone who I would call a Bush true believer.

    I think that this is instead something that Bush was desirous of doing, and was happy to see the Republican Congressional losses because Hastert’s House leadership stood in the way of enacting these neo-socialist policies.

    At least my conspiracy theory is compatible with the action of holding off the firing of Rumsfeld until the day after the election..

    Other commenters are so over him they’re calling him a “lying fratboy asshole”. Awesome.

  29. David Robinson said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:07

    Richard Viguerie adds an additional layer of slime — he says, (paraphrasing) “George Bush was Conservative but he GOVERNS like a Democrat.”

  30. billy pilgrim said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:16

    See- our Liberal scheming is so sly, so powerful that we can infiltrate the Republicans highest levels, installing one of Our Own as their most prominent political candidate, and enlisting the aid of conservative Supreme Court judges to install him. They never suspected a thing. Now starts the Liberal Interregnum. we shall rule for a thousand generations!

    Our power is unstoppable! eat it, conservative chumpwads!

    Sheesh. self-reinforcing Paranoia knows no bounds.

  31. Lesley said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:29

    The insanity is so off the charts I have to get up out of my chair a few times a day and jump up and down and whirl like a dervish to shake the wingnuttery heebie jeebies.

  32. mikey said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:50

    …I have to get up out of my chair a few times a day and jump up and down and whirl like a dervish to shake the wingnuttery heebie jeebies.

    Does that work? I’m gonna give it a try…

    Whew!

    I’m kinda dizzy, but I DO feel better…

    (My colleagues are staring at me – again)…

    mikey

  33. Lesly said,

    June 4, 2007 at 23:56

    I hope you guys don’t mind me quoting a few of you for comic relief, not to mention posterity, cuz lord I need it. :-]

  34. Svlad Jelly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 0:08

    Old people don’t deserve drugs! Hell, I’ll go one further — we should take away their vitamens! Man, there ain’t nothing more American than vitamen-deficient elderly people suffering the pangs and pains of their rapidly failing bodies. And there ain’t nothing funnier than when it results in delirium.

  35. D. Aristophanes said,

    June 5, 2007 at 0:22

    MEA MAXIMA CULPA

    I hereby apologize to all conservative Republicans:

    - For voting for the Bush administration and calling everyone who didn’t a traitor who wanted the terrorists to win

    - For supporting and endlessly defending: the Iraq War, torture, the detainment of U.S. citizens and non-citizens with no judicial oversight, lying about intelligence findings, spying on Americans, the politicization of all functions of government, rank cronyism in filling government positions and awarding contracts, and the dictatorial assumption of executive powers expressly forbidden by the Constitution

    - For expressing – breathlessly and often – my sexually charged admiration for ol’ steely-eyed Commander Flightsuit McReagan O’Churchill O’Drool

    - For calling that anybody who didn’t do all of the above “unserious”, “treasonous”, “anti-American”, “motivated by Bush Derangement Syndrome” … etc., etc., etc.

    I apologize for doing all of those things these past seven years. If only I (and other liberals like me) hadn’t, our country would not be in the terrible straits we now find ourselves in.

    Oh, wait! Liberals like me didn’t do any of those things! You did!

    YOU TOTAL FUCKING SCUMBAGZZZZZ!!!!!!!

  36. Paddy Mac said,

    June 5, 2007 at 0:44

    “…ol’ steely-eyed Commander Flightsuit McReagan O’Churchill O’Drool.”

    That’s ol’ Mission Acodpiece, aka Teh Commandererer Guy, to you.

  37. ken locke said,

    June 5, 2007 at 0:50

    You know, as any delusion has a grain of truth, Bush is a bizarre continuation of the neo-liberal imperial notion that America has the right to secure its economic needs anywhere in the world militarily if necessary. This notion has never fit comfortably with democracy and individual rights, so Bush, riding his conservative (bowel) movement, has pushed it to its ultimate consistency. Thus, like his favorite flower, he is a turd bloom upon neo-liberal imperialism.

  38. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 1:16

    Ken Locke is, sadly, correct about neo-liberalism.

  39. flea said,

    June 5, 2007 at 2:23

    I read the post and all of the comments thinking that the “Glenn” quoted at the beginning was Glenn Reynolds, not Glenn Greenwald. I was unbelievably confused.

  40. Nemo Ignotus said,

    June 5, 2007 at 2:43

    Anyone who has actually followed Vox Day knows that he’s hated Bush for years. It’s true that he accuses Bush of being a socialist, but he’s not one of the people who parted company with Bush when Bush lost popularity. Those who don’t believe me can read this, written in October 2004.

    I think that the writer of this blog, and most of the readers, probably disagree with Vox Day on nearly everything. But it might be nice, if you’re going to criticize the guy, to criticize him for something he’s actually done or believes.

  41. J— said,

    June 5, 2007 at 2:51

    Bush has lost the Pam.

    Color me disenchanted. At the most critical juncture in American history, we had it all (the White House, Senate and House) and we squandered it on goodwill to snakes (Democraps) and savages (Islam.) There is no excuse for the utter abandonment of the Bush Doctrine or Bush’s complete capitulation to neo State Arabist mentality. He has moved the bar so low that anyone one center or right of him is labeled a right wing extremist. There is no difference between him and the Dhimmicrats.

    Emphases hers.

  42. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:02

    But it might be nice, if you’re going to criticize the guy, to criticize him for something he’s actually done or believes.

    Like calling Bush a socialist.

  43. mikey said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:17

    I got this one.

    neo State Arabist mentality = not killing them in large enough numbers…

    mikey

  44. snowdog said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:22

    *BUZZER* Thank you for playing, but you are incorrect. Bush has been disappointing conservatives from the beginning.

    1. New Welfare state (free prescription drugs on the backs of the taxpaper). Not a conservative concept.

    2. Compaign Finance Reform with a nice built-in violation of the first ammendment.

    3. Patriot Act. (See above). Many conservatives were fooled by this one. They’ll wake up when Hillary brandishes this new power.

    4. Calling the Minutemen “vigilantes”.
    5. Campaign for Arlen Spector in PA, who was starting to lose in the primaries against a real conservative. (The last straw for me).

    6. Tried to push an unknown (and probably liberal) woman on to SCOTUS. (This was the last straw for a lot of people).

    7. Latest and greatest, immigration amnesty.

  45. snowdog said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:33

    I’m almost looking forward to Hillary winning, when you moonbats realize that she is really just Bush in drag. She’ll do to you what Bush did to us: string you along for years with rhetoric. Then you’ll wake up one day and realize that, for all her talk, all she really did was raise taxes and MAYBE replace a liberal on SCOTUS with another liberal. There is only one political party in Washington.

  46. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:40

    Snowdog, are you new?

  47. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:40

    we squandered it on goodwill to snakes (Democraps) and savages
    I cannot understand this squandering.
    I’m in a complete squandary.

  48. Andy Wooster said,

    June 5, 2007 at 3:49

    It is apparently too much work for you to even *read* Day before criticizing him. This post amounts to fabricating a position out of thin air and then mocking Day for holding the position you made up. What reading comprehension! What intellectual honesty!

    Perhaps this is why every liberal blog I read is practically frothing with rage. I would be upset if I were dysfunctional and stupid, too.

  49. snowdog said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:06

    Hi Lesly. No just visiting. Couldn’t contain myself after reading this rather provocative post.

  50. Dorothy said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:12

    6. Tried to push an unknown (and probably liberal) woman on to SCOTUS.

    You mean Harriet? Hahahaha! She’s not an “unknown”: she’s an in the pocket Bush crony, a true-blue corrupt-o-crat. She’s been looking out for Bush’s best interests at least as far back as her scandal-plagued running of the Texas State Lottery (which has yet to be investigated, BTW).

    News flash: Bush is beholden to himself and his buddies. He has never given a damn about any ideology or any group of people. He promotes his friends, lines their pockets, and gets them off the hook whenever he can. And that’s what they do for him.

    Harriet was a complete “known”: she would do whatever Bush wanted and side with him and his friends every time. That’s why she was the “most qualified person” Bush could think of.

  51. Anne Laurie said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:13

    Ken Locke is, sadly, correct about neo-liberalism.

    That’s because “neoliberalism” is just conservatism for white boys who wanted to keep smoking dope and their girlfriends’ access to convenient abortions. Believing those tools were interested in anything more progressive than “I got mine, I’m keeping mine, and to hell with anybody who’s not already in my club” was the Great Democratic Disaster of the 1990s.

  52. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:15

    Frothing with rage? I think not. This is purely cosmetic mouth-froth. Mouth-froth is even sexier than whisky-scented aftershave.

  53. GoatBoy said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:22

    “I’m almost looking forward to Hillary winning”

    It has been my experience in the last five years that nobody wishes harder for a Clinton ’08 ticket than conservatives.

    (She doesn’t stand a chance. The Sensible Moderate dems will have to take 50% of the rotating talking points against her on faith as a matter of principle. The dem base knows her for what she is – Lybermyn Lyte. The primaries are anybody-but-her’s to win.)

  54. NobodySpecial said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:28

    You guys really need to do a workup on that David Caldwell guy posting in the comments.

    Ok, now for the after a minute. Congress makes a budget, both for the government and the military. There is however no provision in the Constitution for Congressional oversight, and no provision for earmarking or how the departments will spend the money. That is the job of the Executive. That is one of the Constitutional battles I have spoken of, and I will not sign a budget that contains itemized budget items and that infringes upon the area of the Executive, even if it means shutting down the government for four years, and it will be recognized that just because money is in the budget does not mean it has to be spent. Until impeachment? The Executive is a full branch of government, and there is a check and balance against this on this matter.

    Fucking hilarious, he’s out Unitarying the Unitary Executive!

  55. snowdog said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:47

    Harriet was a complete “known�: she would do whatever Bush wanted and side with him and his friends every time. That’s why she was the “most qualified person� Bush could think of.

    Oh, I don’t doubt she was known to Bush and pals. But conservatives at the time had no idea who she was, ideologically speaking. After all the anti-conservative acts commited up to that point, Bush was saying to his base, “Trust me!” As if he had somehow earned that trust. And that was the first time the right finally stood up to him. No, Bush has never, ever been a social conservative.

  56. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:50

    Andy: It is apparently too much work for you to even *read* Day before criticizing him. This post amounts to fabricating a position out of thin air and then mocking Day for holding the position you made up. What reading comprehension! What intellectual honesty!

    Uh, this is a parody site. The authors are usually on target with their sarcasm, but I think they also say they make no bones about making shit up to ridicule people. Vox and others may have always called Bush a liberal/socialist, but am I supposed to feel better because he’s consistent?

    Snowdog; gotcha. And good Lord, not another triangulator.

  57. lobbey said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:57

    You guys really need to do a workup on that David Caldwell guy posting in the comments.

    he even seems to have Caldwell for President link, although it seems like a dead link. Judging by his comments on the VD thread, it must be comedy gold.

    As for the GOP meltdown, they are all just shuffling around like a drunk in a supermarket, searching for something that will either explain where it all went of the last few years or for some strong drink to make them forget.

  58. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:59

    Snowdog: “Oh, I don’t doubt she was known to Bush and pals. But conservatives at the time had no idea who she was, ideologically speaking.”

    They knew Bush. That was enough.

    I dunno why conservatives like to talk about his “liberal” initiatives. Everything that White House touches turns to dross, and I don’t think it’s an accident. Big legislation he has signed into law, with the complicity of Democrats, have been terrible. A lot of people hate NCLB, the Medicare bill was a giveaway for big pharma, and let’s not forget the consumer credit reform legislation. Even the immigration reform bill. I think Democrats are more interested just like Republicans who support the bill.

    During all of this his friends have benefited financially his initiatives fail. It’s always been my impression that regardless of what Bush passes or proposes, including individualizing Social Security for a strictly conservative example, the intent is the same. To dismantle these government programs and popular support for them through sheer incompetence.

  59. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 5:05

    “I think Democrats are more interested just like Republicans who support the bill.”

    I meant to say more interested in voting with their pockets.

  60. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    June 5, 2007 at 5:26

    And it was American conservatives leading these virtual canonization rituals.
    Virtual canonization? Second Life gets weirder and weirder.

  61. wordyeti said,

    June 5, 2007 at 7:35

    If you scroll down to the comments section of the Pammycakes “We never liked Bush anyway…” sour grapes-a-thon, you get to some rather plangent diatribes by the deranged right. They are convinced that Bush didn’t fail us – we failed Bush. We didn’t follow well enough. We questioned what he was doing.

    Oh! If only we had been more malleable, more willing to walk off the cliff behind this God-made-flesh, All Would Be Well.

    (pause to bang head repeatedly against nearest solid object – man, I gotta start trying the jumping/dervish routine)

    Special bonus points for the raging paranoia and racism inherent in the post, as JJ The Nutjob name-checks the brown hordes breeding or immigrating all the fine upstanding white folk out of existence in their very own country. Oh, the horrors! The whole worldview is one which assumes that the US is Little Red Riding Hood, lost in the big scary forest, beset on all sides by the Big Bad Muslimofascist Wolves … when in actuality, the US is and always has been the wolf. The capability for attacks on the US by the forces aligned against us amounts, at best, to pinpricks when measured against our capabilities of retaliation. And yet, they feel that we have been too soft … and the fatass defense contractors chortle, rub their hands with glee and shop for a new McMansion.

    The wingnuts are, as they always have, projecting their own fears and inadequacies onto the world stage. They know that they are weak, stupid and helpless in the face of any true challenge, and so they screech and cower in fear at any sign of a true challenge; begging other, better men and women to sacrifice to protect them in their Cheeto-stained furnished basements. Witness their seething fear of ever going near “ethnic” neighborhoods … as one commenter here said a while back, it’d be nice to see some of them put some skin in the game, strap on their beloved shootin’ irons and actually try to go to, say, Baltimore, and regulate…

  62. neal peart said,

    June 5, 2007 at 7:39

    mikey said,

    June 4, 2007 at 19:36

    That was some good stuff! Geddy, Alex and I concur. You have accurately predicted the next 2 years.

  63. ahem said,

    June 5, 2007 at 7:39

    I would be upset if I were dysfunctional and stupid, too.

    Good job you’re just a white supremacist asshole, then.

  64. anonymoose said,

    June 5, 2007 at 7:43

    Vox Day? A former Bush cultist? Have you even read his blog?

  65. George Johnston said,

    June 5, 2007 at 10:30

    Bush is a fascist through and through. Don’t go hanging his No Child Left Behind on liberals. There is nothing liberal about defunding public schools when they fail some test sold by Bush’s brother.

  66. atheist said,

    June 5, 2007 at 12:31

    GoatBoy said,

    June 5, 2007 at 4:22

    “I’m almost looking forward to Hillary winning�

    It has been my experience in the last five years that nobody wishes harder for a Clinton ‘08 ticket than conservatives.

    (She doesn’t stand a chance

    This is simply untrue. Conservatives do not wish for Hillary Clinton in the White House. At least, not if they are halfway smart. Because, as much as they love to hate her, and as much as they may believe that they could wreck anything she would try to accomplish, she would be president. She would be in charge of the millitary, the intelligence aparatus, CIA FBI NSA etc. She would have the bully pulpit that Bush and the Neoconservatives have enjoyed for six years. She would be able to appoint supreme court justices. She would be able to re-make the entire justice dept., the entire labor dept., or any other major function of government, as she saw fit. Any one of these things would be considered deeply and eternally troubling to the power-hungry, fascistic “Conservative Movement” of this country, which does not view government as a give-and-take between two parties, but rather as a winner-take-all, scorched-earth struggle for total supremacy.

    And it is also not true that Clinton has no chance. You and I are in a certain small circle of opinion and knowledge, people who understand about Joe Lieberman, Neoconservatives, the “Conservative Movement”, etc. Most of the country sees our issues only vaguely, and also is only vaguely against Bush’s policies.

  67. atheist said,

    June 5, 2007 at 12:34

    And to answer snowdog, just because Vox Day may have been critical of Bush in the past, it does not invalidate the essential point of this post, which is bone-deep hypocrisy, dishonesty, and lack of personal honor evinced by “conservatives” who try to claim that Bush is anything other than the ultimate example of USA conservatism to this point.

  68. merlallen said,

    June 5, 2007 at 12:54

    so why did vox day vote for him twice? i don’t have to read the fuckwit to make fun of him. fuck you pussies.

  69. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 12:58

    Once again, you might want to learn a little more about Vox Day before you go hanging things on him.

    He is not a conservative (whatever that means these days) by any stretch of the imagination (see also Friedrich Hayek). Vox Day is a classical liberal, also known as a libertarian here in the US. He is also an adherent of the Austrian school of laissez-faire economics.

    Just like Goldwater did in 1964, the Bush clan has changed the nature of American conservatism. Goldwater moved conservatism strongly in the direction of libertarianism. Reagan was the zenith of that move. Bush has moved it toward globalism and socialism. Conservatives are, by definition, supporters of tradition and the status quo. We have a nearly 70 year history of moving toward socialism in this country, so Bush does represent that status quo. Yes, Bush is a new American conservative (neo-con, get it?) as well as a global socialist.

  70. atheist said,

    June 5, 2007 at 13:09

    Goldwater moved conservatism strongly in the direction of libertarianism. Reagan was the zenith of that move.

    Reagan? A Libertarian? Reagan raised US government spending to levels it had never reached before him. In particular, he engorged the millitary budget to levels that were unheard of. He also started the US on a new path of wars, ostensibly to protect US investments overseas.

    My understanding of Libertarianism is that they want to cut government spending, and cut back on the power of the of the state to do all things, including wage war, and have relationships of trade with other nations rather than of imperialism and control. At very least, Reagan’s vast engorgement of the millitary budget shows that he did not believe in limited government.

  71. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 13:21

    Being an atheist, you obviously see everything in terms of absolutes. Too bad the world doesn’t work that way.

    I didn’t claim Reagan was a libertarian. I said Goldwater moved conservatism in that direction and Reagan was the zenith. All Republicans are statists, some are just less so than others. Reagan was the most libertarian-leaning of all the Republican Presidents.

  72. Matt said,

    June 5, 2007 at 13:25

    As a conservative who voted Libertarian in 2000, because I knew Bush was not a conservative, I can only assume that the writer of this post, nor many of the commentators, have close conservative friends. Behind closed doors, conservatives started trashing him very early on in his Presidency.

    I used to joke in the 90′s sometimes with my liberal friends that Clinton was a good Republican: he passed Republican tax cuts, Republican welfare reform, and between the Congress and Clinton, spending was kept low (until the last couple years). Bush has given conservatives tax cuts,(they expire so that’s not even a full point) and Supreme Court justices. That’s it. A war of some sort was inevitable, and Democrats wanted Homeland Security. But on other counts, just like Clinton on foreign policy (North Korea, Pakistani nukes, Al-Qaeda, bombing Kosovo and beginning Russian mistrust of the West) Bush will leave a legacy of messes for the next President (Social Security, Medicare destroying the budget starting in 2009 when the trust fund begins depleting, energy policy, Iraq, etc.)

  73. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 13:25

    Steve B: “We have a nearly 70 year history of moving toward socialism in this country”

    Oh Lord. No, we haven’t. If you don’t want a welfare state it’s very simple. De-industrialize.

  74. atheist said,

    June 5, 2007 at 13:53

    You are wrong about atheists. We are not absolutists as a group and neither am I.

    You say that Reagan was the zenith of Libertarianism in the Republican party up to that point, and apparently until today. If Libertarianism is defined as wanting smaller government, then Reagan was much less of a Libertarian than Carter. Reagan was also less of a Libertarian than Nixon and Ford were. Reagan swelled the size of the government to previously unheard of levels.

    You say that Bush is a Socialist. This claim is totally absurd. A socialist is concerned that people get the resources they need regardless of their wealth, and that they give to society on the level that they are capable of. Bush is the most radical departure from this principle that has existed on this planet to this point. Under his administration, waitresses are taxed a large portion of their salary, including tips, and are commonly unable to get decent healthcare. Wealthy stockbrokers, on the other hand, have seen their taxes lowered greatly, and, if Bush’s desire is met, will be able to give all their money to their kids with no taxation at all.

  75. atheist said,

    June 5, 2007 at 14:50

    Bush has given conservatives tax cuts,(they expire so that’s not even a full point) and Supreme Court justices. That’s it.

    I don’t doubt but that you personally feel Bush gave you nothing but that. I am aware that there are very different strains of thought that go under the name ‘conservative’. I am sure you are aware, though, that Bush has given many Conservatives vastly more than that.

    1. He invaded Iraq, took Saddam Hussein out of power and has started to build permanent bases in that country. The neocons have been asking for that for years.

    2. He has pronounced a doctrine of endless war against “terrorists” everywhere, and swelled the defense budget even beyond what Reagan did. To millitary conservatives, and to those who desire a police state, this is the ultimate slam dunk. A plan of neverending armed conflict, and domestic espionage for the USA- to many conservatives, this is everything they have ever dreamed of in an administration.

    3. He has corporatized the government to previously unheard-of levels. Several corporations, such as Blackwater, Bechtel, etc. have been put in positions of power and influence. Controls on corporations have also been weakened, including labor controls, environmental controls, etc. To many corporate conservatives, this is a major, major gift.

    4. He has greatly weakened the separation between church and state. There are his two supreme court justices. Altering the Supreme Court’s makeup has long been a powerful dream of the religious right, and well it should be. He has also increased the power of the religious conservatives in other ways, such as spending huge sums of federal money on ‘abstinence education’ programs, and denying money from groups outside of the US who talk about contraception.

    These are only his greatest hits. But just from them, you can easily see that most groups of the “conservative movement” have gained vastly from his administration.

  76. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:00

    I did not say that Reagan was the zenith of libertarianism. I said he was the zenith of a conservative move in that direction. Please try to pay attention.

    Reagan grew the military, but he did not grow the welfare state and he rolled back substantial government regulation on private industry. You are still trying to term libertarianism in absolutes. It is not as simplistic as being in favor of smaller government. That’s high school rhetoric.

    My claim of Bush as a socialist is only absurd if you don’t know what a socialist is, which you obviously do not. The definition you gave is something more akin to Marxism or communism. Socialism is defined as state control of the economy and all production. Obviously, a socialist is someone who favors such. Because they are unable to fully achieve that end does not make them less of a socialist. As well, there is nothing that prevents socialists from being oligarchs. The Soviet Union and the PRC are proof enough of that. You might want to read up on how many members of the Russian Politburo received world-class (and usually Western) medical care while the proletariat suffered and died under a planned medical system.

  77. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:03

    Lesly: “Oh Lord. No, we haven’t. If you don’t want a welfare state it’s very simple. De-industrialize.”

    Piffle. There is no requirement for society to be bucolic to avoid Marxism or socialism. Read Von Mises or Hayek (or even Friedman).

  78. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:04

    Because they are unable to fully achieve that end does not make them less of a socialist.

    Tell us how socialists are trying to control the economy and production, Steve B.

  79. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:14

    Lesly: “Tell us how socialists are trying to control the economy and production, Steve B.”

    Wow. I hope you’re not one of those left-hand wingnuts who believes we’re still living in the era of the robber barons.

    Socialism seeks to establish a fully planned economy and eliminate competition. Government regulation of business is intended to achieve that end. In the US, corporatism is a partnership between government and business intended to bring about a more planned and less competitive economy. This is basic social economics.

    If you are unfamiliar with the concepts, I highly recommend either “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek or for a more didactic approach, try “Theory and History” or “Socialism” by Von Mises.

  80. Vox Day said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:20

    “so why did vox day vote for him twice? i don’t have to read the fuckwit to make fun of him. fuck you pussies.”

    Vox Day has never voted for any member of the Bush family. Vox Day is not even a Republican.

  81. atheist said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:23

    Reagan grew the military, but he did not grow the welfare state and he rolled back substantial government regulation on private industry. You are still trying to term libertarianism in absolutes. It is not as simplistic as being in favor of smaller government. That’s high school rhetoric.

    Now you are on the other horn of your dilemma. If all that is required to be “Libertarian” is to roll back regulation of private industry, and to not grow the welfare funtions of the state, and if millitary spending is unimportant to the question, then Bush is in fact a better ‘Libertarian’ than Reagan. Because he has not only not touched the welfare state, he has attempted to destroy parts of it. He has rolled back regulation on private industry farther than Reagan ever did, too.

    Your statement about Socialism’s nature is tendentious. Some socialist regimes used control of private industry ostensibly in service of the Marxist maxim that I explained earlier. Whether it worked or not is another, and a fair, question. It still doesn’t bring Bush any closer to being a Socialist.

    Being able to tell shit from shinola doesn’t make me an absolutist. Saying that Reagan wasn’t a Libertarian doesn’t make me absolutist. Saying that Bush is nothing like a Socialist doesn’t make me an absolutist. These statements only make me reality based.

    And now I must work so goodbye.

  82. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:38

    My claim of Bush as a socialist is only absurd if

    …you say it out loud.

    As well, there is nothing that prevents socialists from being oligarchs. The Soviet Union and the PRC are proof enough of that. You might want to read up on how many members of the Russian Politburo received world-class (and usually Western) medical care while the proletariat suffered and died under a planned medical system.

    You might as well argue that drug-dealing is an integral part of the American political system.

  83. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 15:46

    I have no dilemma whatsoever since your straw-men are very thin and I don’t even have to burn them. I did not assert anything about any absolute requirements to be a libertarian. The two attributes I mentioned are only part of libertarianism.

    As well, your assertions on the nature and extent of government regulation on business are nonsense. With the exception of the oil industry, which is Bush’s pet and already heavily regulated, government control of business is at unprecedented levels under the Bush Administration for any supposed capitalist state. The Justice Department uses Sarbanes-Oxley to rule corporate America by fiat. The corporatists, naturally, go along willingly, using SOX as an excuse to hand over business operations to the government in ways never explicitly intended.

    Finally, your argument that Bush can’t be a socialist because he doesn’t act like every other socialist is laughably pathetic. That’s like saying you can’t possibly be an atheist because you don’t believe everything every other atheist believes. In other words, more absolutism. It is also laughable to assert that because some socialists act to enable purely Marxist ends, that socialism is now suddenly redefined in those terms.

    Have a great day.

  84. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 5, 2007 at 16:01

    With the exception of the oil industry, which is Bush’s pet and already heavily regulated, government control of business is at unprecedented levels under the Bush Administration for any supposed capitalist state.

    I gather from this that Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne were socialists.

  85. Auntie Occident said,

    June 5, 2007 at 16:42

    Random thots:

    As I type, the preznit is on the Teevee, talking about Democracy and global security. Typical. The tv is full of people yammering on topics they know nothing about.

    Vox Day said: “Vox Day has never voted for any member of the Bush family. Vox Day is not even a Republican.” Does Vox Day always refer to himself in the third person?

    Snowdog, et al: “Bush has been disappointing conservatives from the beginning.” That must be why Our Lady of The Dolphins canonized him as the Steely Eyed Rocket Man; it explains the numerous comparisons to Churchill. No matter what -you- say, many, many people who call themselves “conservatives” have lauded bush as the conservative ne plus ultra. If want to argue the point, go read Greenwald’s post.

  86. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 17:03

    I hope you’re not one of those left-hand wingnuts who believes we’re still living in the era of the robber barons.

    Steve B., are you trolling? Why the fuck do you respond to a legitimate question like this.

    Socialism seeks to establish a fully planned economy and eliminate competition. Government regulation of business is intended to achieve that end.

    So, all corporate regulation is bad, even when trying to eliminate or decrease the effects of negative externalities?

    In the US, corporatism is a partnership between government and business intended to bring about a more planned and less competitive economy. This is basic social economics.

    Cooperation between the government and corporations is fascism. Maybe you should expand on this. Socialism, to my understanding, is not particularly interested in business needs.

    If you are unfamiliar with the concepts, I highly recommend either “The Road to Serfdom� by Hayek or for a more didactic approach, try “Theory and History� or “Socialism� by Von Mises.

    Somehow I knew Hayek’s Road would come up. He’s the darling of Reaganomics and retrenchment. Hayek wrote Road during a time when he thought U.S. economic policies would lead towards socialism. He turned out to be wrong.

    I know laissez-faire supporters like using that book like a cudgel, but Hayek was an economist and fallible like any economist. He wasn’t an oracle.

  87. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 17:07

    Steve B.: Piffle. There is no requirement for society to be bucolic to avoid Marxism or socialism.

    Uh. Oh boy. Bucolic? Basic welfare protection is bucolic. Oy, this is going to be a long discussion.

  88. Anne Laurie said,

    June 5, 2007 at 17:11

    I knew Bush was not a conservative, I can only assume that the writer of this post, nor many of the commentators, have close conservative friends. Behind closed doors, conservatives started trashing him very early on in his Presidency.

    “Behind closed doors”… that’s our brave little conservatives, all right. When they’re sure Big Daddy (or their boss) can’t hear them, when they feel safe behind Internet anonymity, surrounded by fellow (mean) spirits, they’re full of brave talk and bold ideas. Liberals are never slow to b*tch in public when ‘one of ours’ fails to live up to our sometimes overoptimistic standards. But conservatives shut up and salute every figurehead, every half-baked idea, that their masters serve them — until the new golden boy is unseated or the marketing campaign fails. At which point, the bold conservative bhoyo stands up on his hind legs and assures the world that *he* never fell for that bilge, nope not him, he knew better all along and if his blog archives hadn’t been tragically scrubbed or if he’d allowed comments then all the world could appreciate his prescience!!!1!…

    Gee, ya think I might not have many ‘close conservative friends’? The way you sorry little cowards behave, why would I *want* any?

  89. Karl Rove II said,

    June 5, 2007 at 17:49

    “There is only one political party in Washington.”

    Very good Snowdog, you finally understand…now if only the other tards living in the US could get it through their thick skulls.

  90. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 18:36

    Lesly asked:

    “Steve B., are you trolling? Why the fuck do you respond to a legitimate question like this.”

    Nice mouth. Do you eat with that?

    Your question actually sounded like trolling to me, sorry if I misunderstood.

    “So, all corporate regulation is bad, even when trying to eliminate or decrease the effects of negative externalities?”

    Too general. What negative externalities do you have in mind? In theory, competition and self-interest (in all parties) negates the need for government regulation of business. Theory is rarely practice, though. Sorry for the weasel answer, but it’s the best I can do with such a general question.

    “Cooperation between the government and corporations is fascism.”

    Um no. Fascism is central control of all property, including people.

    “Socialism, to my understanding, is not particularly interested in business needs.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that. In order to accomplish a completely planned economy (once again, theoretical socialism), the state must control all means of production. That means the state must regulate business in totality. It is likely accurate to say socialism is uncaring of business needs, just as it is uncaring of the needs of the individual. That being said, it does not negate corporatism as a flavor of or means to socialism.

    “He’s the darling of Reaganomics and retrenchment.”

    If you say so. It is not why I offered him.

    “Hayek wrote Road during a time when he thought U.S. economic policies would lead towards socialism. He turned out to be wrong.”

    Hardly true. The ideas put forth in “The Road to Serfdom” are exonerated daily. One of the more interesting ideas used to test our proximity to socialism is the question of how difficult it would be for the government to nationalize any particular industry. With the Democrats in Congress all but flatly proposing such a thing with regard to oil, I would say we are not far. Hayek was right.

    “I know laissez-faire supporters like using that book like a cudgel, but Hayek was an economist and fallible like any economist. He wasn’t an oracle.”

    So as atheist liked absolutes, you prefer generalities. I seem to recall offering a couple of works by Von Mises as well. Of course Hayek was fallible on details, but overall, he was quite accurate. Have you read any of Hayek’s or Von Mises’ works? Have you read “The Road to Serfdom,” or are you criticizing based on what others have told you it contains? Just curious.

    And killing two birds with one stone:

    If bucolic gives you problems, then let’s say pastoral. You insisted that industrialization inevitably results in communism. So Marx and Bukharin thought, but competition, where it is actually applied, has shown that to be untrue. There is no need for a society to remain pastoral in order to avoid Marx’s plague.

  91. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 5, 2007 at 18:49

    Hey, you know what? Bush as socialist remains absurd if you say it or if Hayek or von Mises implies it. Should I read something that an obvious nut recommends? Of course not.

  92. Northern Observer said,

    June 5, 2007 at 19:13

    Steve B,
    If you still buy Hayek and Von Meyes as arbiters of the “truth” you either aren’t very bright or have an agenda.
    Economic theory has progressed a lot since 1946, why don’t you learn about it.
    What I find so funny is that when you dig down and read the Austrian school texts it becomes apparent that everything they believe is based on faith not fact. You have faith that markets always produce optimal moral conditions, because you can’t tolerate living in a world where this might not be true. Any empirical evidence that comes your way you rationalise away with your faith.

    Second. The bedrock of western freedom and ligitimacy does not come from the market economy, it comes from free government democratically elected and chosen by the people for the people. This is a struggle that has been going on since Cleisthenes brought isonomia rights to the Athenean polity in 507 BC. All of Western history has been a struggle to maintian and spread these rights to the citizens. The market is neutral. It can be a force for democracy or a force for oligarchy or a force for tyranny depending on the laws and the rights of the citizenry. The failure of the Austian School to understand this puts them on the same side as their so called ennemies, Karl Marx, Heiddeger and the anti-enlightement school of european romanticism. The Austrians are just another totalitarian mysticism; the market takes the place of the proletariat, besides that it’s all the same, blind faith and agressive authoritarianism.

  93. Steve B. said,

    June 5, 2007 at 19:33

    “If you still buy Hayek and Von Meyes as arbiters of the ‘truth’ you either aren’t very bright or have an agenda.”

    It’s actually Von Mises. Have you read either of them? From your post, I seriously doubt it. Your screed sounds like reaction to the Cliffs Notes version. And how does that calling your opponent stupid to open a debate thing work out for you elsewhere? Not well, I can imagine.

    If you actually do dig down and read the Austrian School texts, you will find them based on acts of empirically demonstrable human behavior. Rather than believing in the fairy dust of equality and fairness and some coercive force that renders all to the lowest common denominator, their ideas are based on the most obvious and consistent characteristic of human behavior: self interest.

    The market can indeed be used by whatever forces attempt to control it, but when allowed to operate on free competition, Smith’s invisible hand will result in a condition optimal to all. Not utopian, as the statists and totalitarians would like you to believe, but optimal.

    Of equal astonishment to me is the insistence of the fans of planned economy on its efficacy given the overwhelming evidence of its failure. There is where the hopeless clinging to faith over fact becomes funny (in a sadly ironic way).

  94. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 5, 2007 at 19:39

    It’s actually Von Mises.

    No, it’s actually von Mises.

  95. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 20:02

    Steve B.: Nice mouth. Do you eat with that?

    Yes, and fuck with it too. Lest you forget, I’m a liberal. That means I don’t pass out when I hear cussin.

    Your question actually sounded like trolling to me, sorry if I misunderstood.

    Apology accepted.

    What negative externalities do you have in mind?

    I was thinking the one that I think gave Coase and the biggest headache, pollution. He believed negative externalities are “factors of production� and should be “thought of as rights� the government shouldn’t regulate and even if it did, it was unnecessary.

    Um no. Fascism is central control of all property, including people.

    Seriously, this sounds like Communism now.

    The ideas put forth in “The Road to Serfdom� are exonerated daily.

    Yes, exonerated by whom?

    One of the more interesting ideas used to test our proximity to socialism is the question of how difficult it would be for the government to nationalize any particular industry. With the Democrats in Congress all but flatly proposing such a thing with regard to oil, I would say we are not far. Hayek was right.

    Nationalizing any industry isn’t particularly hard considering the state has a monopoly on violence. Economic policies, even laissez-faire policies, can’t protect industries from the state. That’s why you limit the state, although economic expansion normally has the opposite effect.

    So as atheist liked absolutes, you prefer generalities.

    That’s funny. I’ve been watching the conversation between you two and you sound like the guy that likes absolutes to me. So far as I am able to tell, there is no demarcation between liberal and socialist economic policies to you.

    Of course Hayek was fallible on details, but overall, he was quite accurate. Have you read any of Hayek’s or Von Mises’ works? Have you read “The Road to Serfdom,� or are you criticizing based on what others have told you it contains? Just curious.

    I’ve read articles like The Use of Knowledge in Society. Never heard of Mises until now, and my impression of Hayek’s Road is what I’ve gathered from so-called conservatives touting the book. You can try explaining how Hayek was right overall, but I don’t know if it would be worth the effort to you. I know we’re not going to agree on capitalist-America-turned-socialist.

    You insisted that industrialization inevitably results in communism. So Marx and Bukharin thought, but competition, where it is actually applied, has shown that to be untrue. There is no need for a society to remain pastoral in order to avoid Marx’s plague.

    Here’s the problem, Steve B. That’s not what I’m saying. That’s what you’re saying. Present-day liberal economic policies originated in England during the 19th century to avoid socialism. Dismantling the classic conservative avoidance of free trade and other protectionist policies resulted in electoral pressure to provide society with economic insurance, some sort of safety net for people who will lose out from market-generated inequalities. If safety nets are socialist by definition, then democracy fosters socialism.
    If you want to avoid “Marx’s plague� I suggest overthrowing the government.

  96. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 20:06

    “If you want to avoid “Marx’s plagueâ€? I suggest overthrowing the government.”

    I should add and install a dictatorship, preferably a military junta, after overthrowing the government. Gotta run.

  97. Northern Observer said,

    June 5, 2007 at 20:33

    I find it halarious that you assume I am a fan of a planned economy simply because I don’t sign on to the Von Misery school of faith based economics and morality. I am not your straw man Steven.

    Yes I’ve read the Road to Serfdom and some of the debates between Von Mises and Karl Polanyi. I also spent quite a bit of time looking at the free essays and material at the Von Mises institute web site, out of curiosity. Hayek’s insights are excellent as a caution against over-regulation of free information systems. His book is useful as a warning. What is unfortunate is that simpler (or more devious) minds have since extrapulated his teachings from the need to be careful about government regulation, into all government regulation is bad always. From insight to dogmatism.

    Unfortunately, like Milton Friedman, in later life Hayek was seduced into believing all the flattery from conservative political circles that were against the post war consensus and he took his work into an increasingly political direction and spurrious conclusions. The early Hayek is interesting, the late Hayek is a political conservative hack.

    If you actually do dig down and read the Austrian School texts, you will find them based on acts of empirically demonstrable human behavior
    Here we touch on the faith of the Austrians. As if we truly know all that is to be known about human behavior for all time. As if such a thing as “human nature’ was fixed and immutable. Illusions. Worse then that predjudices about how human behavior should be masquerading as facts about how human behavior is In this way the needs of the Austrian theories tell humans how to behave.. or else, just like the Marxists with their fairy dust of life without struggle, the Austrian sees life as struggle on his terms and his terms only

    The market can indeed be used by whatever forces attempt to control it, but when allowed to operate on free competition, Smith’s invisible hand will result in a condition optimal to all. Not utopian, as the statists and totalitarians would like you to believe, but optimal
    Again, faith based conclusions. There is no proof for this. Modern economic research refutes this conclusion. Imperfect competition, oligopoly, rising returns, sticky prices, etc… And in all seriousness you mock us as utopian. Faith in the inherent moral nature of the market is the utopianism of today; we can see it is a sham and it too shall pass.

    I would suggest to you that Free Governments and Free Markets are moral equivalents and one can not function properly without the other. Adam Smith understood this.

  98. met said,

    June 5, 2007 at 22:24

    I’ve been reading Vox Day’s articles for years. He has never been a supporter of Bush. In fact, he’s been the bane of liberals and neocon/liberals since he’s been around.

    Simply read his articles, his blogs. Never has he mentioned support for Bush. A libertarian supporting a socialist?? That is so far fetched that it becomes laughable!

    Fact, true conservatives are not quick to war, are not quick to raise taxes, nor spend money we don’t have. Nothing conservative about any president we’ve had in the last 20 years.

  99. Northern Observer said,

    June 5, 2007 at 22:34

    met,
    but he probably voted republican consistently in the last 20 years.
    libertarains also act as useful allies for conservative parties by demoralising angry independents and persuading them not to vote democratic; which leads to more republican governments.
    All ways around, republicans benefit from Vox.
    A bush supporter by accident?

  100. Lesly said,

    June 5, 2007 at 23:20

    Met: “A libertarian supporting a socialist?”

    Well I’ll give you Vox readers this much. Ya’ll seem to be on the same sheet of music.

    I don’t care whether Vox voted for Bush, but he’s not my bane. Get a new punchline.

  101. atheist said,

    June 6, 2007 at 0:06

    True conservatives are not quick to start wars and spend money?

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Conservatism is practically defined by its eagerness to start a war, any war, and keep it going as long as possible.

    And if you look at the past 40 years, Republicans have consistently spent more than Democrats.

  102. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 6, 2007 at 0:37

    True conservatives are not quick to start wars and spend money?

    True conservatives, not those actual real conservatives. Comes under True Scotsmen.

  103. atheist said,

    June 6, 2007 at 1:21

    Interesting Bubba. Thanks for that link. And, I had forgotten about that logical fallacy. It does seem germane to the topic.

  104. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 6, 2007 at 1:59

    It does seem germane to the topic.

    Steve B. is establishing a strange place for himself in which everyone who is not slurping from Hayek’s toilet is a socialist, including almost all Republicans. This gives him a pedestal or ditch from which he can safely babble at all comers, because there’s no way in hell anything he talks about is going to be enacted in a sane country so his beliefs need never be tested.

    I suppose there are free markets chock-full of would-be rational agents in Somalia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and so on, but thus far optimal conditions have not yet been created or we’d be flying to Liberia to vacation.

  105. atheist said,

    June 6, 2007 at 3:16

    Yes, Steve seems like he is using a straw man of Socialism, focussing on the outwards of how Socialism was in the USSR, but not on the inner idea that really animates Socialism, the Marxist idea.

    Now, I grant that he may have some reason for saying that Reagan really was a libertarian, or libertarian lite or whatever, that I do not understand. However, he refuses to talk about this reason, opting instead for vague statements about how “it’s just more complicated than that”, and pointless digs at Atheism in general. A pretty pointless discussion altogether.

    And, hey, not only are true rational actors rarer than hens teeth in Somalia and Afghanistan, I’d really like to see a private person (not a corporation) who is a rational economic actor in the USA! Because I have to tell you, I don’t see it.

  106. Steve B. said,

    June 6, 2007 at 3:46

    Lesly blurted:

    “Yes, and fuck with it too. Lest you forget, I’m a liberal. That means I don’t pass out when I hear cussin.”

    Vulgarity is the last refuge of a weak vocabulary.

    “I was thinking the one that I think gave Coase and the biggest headache, pollution. He believed negative externalities are “factors of productionâ€? and should be “thought of as rightsâ€? the government shouldn’t regulate and even if it did, it was unnecessary.”

    Libertarian economic solutions to pollution have existed for years. Taxes on pollution, tax breaks for low or non-polluters, and so on. One of the essential tenets of libertarian economics is that entities react more quickly and favorably to incentives than to punishment. Government regulation is, of necessity, a one-size-fits-all solution and cannot be implemented effectively or economically.

    “Seriously, this sounds like Communism now.”

    Um no, communism is government redistribution of wealth coupled with control of production. That’s why communist and socialist states can be somewhat indistinguishable. Keep trying, we’ll eventually get through all the isms.

    “Yes, exonerated by whom?”

    Reality. Every time even quasi-libertarian economic solutions are tried, they work better than anticipated. Every time planned economic solutions are tried, they fail miserably.

    “Nationalizing any industry isn’t particularly hard considering the state has a monopoly on violence. Economic policies, even laissez-faire policies, can’t protect industries from the state. That’s why you limit the state, although economic expansion normally has the opposite effect.”

    You’re sounding a lot like a libertarian here. I actually meant logistically difficult to nationalize rather than tactically. Remember, running a large industry like oil under a planned economy requires a substantial amount of government infrastructure and bureaucracy. Large corporations, of necessity, usually have large bureaucracies in place. The question of ease is answered in how much effort it takes to transform the latter into the former.

    On the tactical side, since we live in a nominally democratic state, ease also covers what the electorate will bear. With regard to oil, the hue and cry following nationalization would be strongly tempered by $3 per gallon gas prices. Sadly, the electorate, ever taking the short view, would be disappointed when government-run oil took gas prices to $5 per gallon in a very short time.

    “So far as I am able to tell, there is no demarcation between liberal and socialist economic policies to you.”

    I have no idea what that means since I haven’t addressed liberal economic policies. I guess that would depend what you mean by liberal. In the classical sense, liberal economic policies are known here as libertarian. However, if you are talking about European-style social liberalism, that is simply a watered-down form of socialism. And finally, if you are talking about American liberal economic policies, you are talking about a further diluted European social liberalism with economic policies based on Keynesian theory. This would be why generalities and absolutes would not apply to my arguments since the specific context is everything.

    “I’ve read articles like ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society.’ Never heard of Mises until now, and my impression of Hayek’s Road is what I’ve gathered from so-called conservatives touting the book. You can try explaining how Hayek was right overall, but I don’t know if it would be worth the effort to you. I know we’re not going to agree on capitalist-America-turned-socialist.”

    In other words, you are commenting on them based on indirect knowledge. I would urge you to read them. You would be surprised how much you would probably find agreeable. Even if you don’t, it is always good to know what your opponent is thinking. I have very definitely read “Das Kapital” and “The Communist Manifesto.”

    “Here’s the problem, Steve B. That’s not what I’m saying. That’s what you’re saying.”

    Well you did say that to avoid socialism, we must dismantle industrialization. I guess I assumed that meant you require a non-industrialized society. That led me to assume you meant a pastoral one. Did you perhaps mean nomadic? That would be even stranger.

    “Present-day liberal economic policies originated in England during the 19th century to avoid socialism.”

    Not in this country. As I noted above, American liberal social economics are based on European social liberalism with large doses of Keynes thrown in.

    “Dismantling the classic conservative avoidance of free trade and other protectionist policies resulted in electoral pressure to provide society with economic insurance, some sort of safety net for people who will lose out from market-generated inequalities.”

    Well yes. The people will always vote themselves wealth, right? But you’re talking about the turn of the previous century, not modern economic policies. Most of those are simply knee-jerk reactions offered by Keynes to address economic problems the government itself created in the first place. Markets will always have winners and losers. Hopefully it is a zero-sum game, and on some macro scale, it always is. But the demand for socialism is one founded on an irrational belief in some mythological universal doctrine of fairness. Once that is established, demagogues do the rest.

    “If safety nets are socialist by definition, then democracy fosters socialism.”

    Bingo. Or as Karl Marx said, “Democracy is the road to socialism.”

    “If you want to avoid ‘Marx’s plague’ I suggest overthrowing the government.”

    I expect it will eventually come to that, much as it was required to do away with King George’s tyranny.

  107. RobW said,

    June 6, 2007 at 3:55

    Um no. Fascism is central control of all property, including people.

    “Fascism should properly be called corporatism because it is the marriage of corporation power with state power”
    - Benito Mussolini

    “…the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else … Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathisers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.”
    - George Orwell

  108. Jillian said,

    June 6, 2007 at 4:18

    I hope y’all aren’t seriously arguing about anything Vox Day has to say. He’s a total ignoramus. He’s less worth taking seriously than your average Clownhall columnist – and that’s saying a lot. The only group of people less worth taking seriously than good ol’ Theodore Beale is anyone who thinks he’s worth reading. It’s fine to make fun of him – in fact, it’s all he’s really good for – but anything past that point is a waste of time.

    Seriously – he’s an assclown. Here’s a good place to start digging around if you’re honestly curious as to what sort of flaming idiot he is, but in all honestly, he’s really not worth the time.

    And always remember, people who take Hayek too seriously are people who think the government is oppressing you by making your doctor have a medical license to practice his or her profession. Another clear case of really just not worth the time.

  109. Lesly said,

    June 6, 2007 at 6:37

    Steve B.: Vulgarity is the last refuge of a weak vocabulary.

    Yeah, and it really shows with me.

    Government regulation is, of necessity, a one-size-fits-all solution and cannot be implemented effectively or economically.

    It isn’t usually effective or economic but most supporters of government programs (at least some programs) support welfare because they know that government is good at distributing inequality.

    Keep trying, we’ll eventually get through all the isms.

    I don’t have the rest of the week to figure out how you decided socialism is fascism and communism is socialism. Someone already quoted Mussolini. Here’s Britt’s meta-analysis of seven fascist regimes if you care to read it and:

    However, in order to address the questions here, we need to look beyond the “symptoms” of fascism and examine what fascism, as a system of governing, really is. In essence, fascism is authoritarianism. [T]here is a lot of overlap between fascism and Stalinism. The only difference is that one is a form of authoritarianism from the left and the other from the right. At root, fascism is an extreme reaction against liberalism. It is any system that attempts to impose state control over all aspects of life from a conservative position, usually a government in collaboration with business and corporate interests and (especially in “clerical fascism” like that of Franco) in league with a religious ideology. Its power is generally derived through direct control of the military and industry, both of which support its ruling elite. But one of the main reasons fascism is so difficult to identify is that it has no guiding principles—except a will to power. And a right-wing bent.

    Every time planned economic solutions are tried, they fail miserably.

    Define planned economic solutions before we continue. It’s so generic a term it can mean a dozen things.
    I actually meant logistically difficult to nationalize rather than tactically. Remember, running a large industry like oil under a planned economy requires a substantial amount of government infrastructure and bureaucracy. Large corporations, of necessity, usually have large bureaucracies in place. The question of ease is answered in how much effort it takes to transform the latter into the former.

    You’re not making sense. Transform corporate bureaucracies into infrastructure, logistics? Transform corporate bureaucracies into government bureaucracies?

    The difficulty of logistically nationalizing an industry is relative and depends on the government’s preexisting size and capabilities if it wants to avoid nationalizing the industry through brute force. The feds would avoid the fuss with a logistical nationalization but this also depends on how funds are used, what federal bureaucracies take up the most resources, etc. Right now, that’s the Pentagon.

    As far as directly answering whether oil should be nationalized, that depends from my perspective. If voters really want to temporarily lower the price of gasoline they must nationalize the oil industry so extracted and processed sweet crude doesn’t enter the global market. Selling extracting and letting it enter the market isn’t going to make a dent. I don’t think either option is worth it. The estimated barrels in Alaska and some offshore drilling aren’t going to make a difference. The bottleneck is in the refining process. If they were aware of all this they wouldn’t entertain the idea.

    Sadly, the electorate, ever taking the short view, would be disappointed when government-run oil took gas prices to $5 per gallon in a very short time.

    Señor, you are loco. If there’s one thing politicians want above all else, it is being reelected.

    And finally, if you are talking about American liberal economic policies, you are talking about a further diluted European social liberalism with economic policies based on Keynesian theory.

    You haven’t gotten the memo. Keynesian is out, neo-liberalism is in.

    In other words, you are commenting on them based on indirect knowledge. I would urge you to read them. You would be surprised how much you would probably find agreeable. Even if you don’t, it is always good to know what your opponent is thinking. I have very definitely read “Das Kapital� and “The Communist Manifesto.�

    If direct knowledge means arriving to some conclusions you’ve expressed here I’d rather avoid it. I haven’t read the Manifesto either and don’t plan to. I prefer reading articles and essays written by “mediocre� economists and social commentators less sure of themselves, and less full of themselves.

    Well you did say that to avoid socialism, we must dismantle industrialization.

    You’re the one equating the welfare state to socialism. Why can’t you admit this?

    Not in this country. As I noted above, American liberal social economics are based on European social liberalism with large doses of Keynes thrown in.

    Yeah, really, in this country too, though we were latecomers.

    Well yes. The people will always vote themselves wealth, right?

    The people will vote rationally and demand something in exchange for greater economic risk.

    But you’re talking about the turn of the previous century, not modern economic policies. Most of those are simply knee-jerk reactions offered by Keynes to address economic problems the government itself created in the first place.

    Created by not being able to assist the population during an economic recession?

    But the demand for socialism is one founded on an irrational belief in some mythological universal doctrine of fairness. Once that is established, demagogues do the rest.

    I think you have it backwards. People don’t vote for the welfare state because they think markets should be fair. They vote for the welfare state because they know markets aren’t fair.

    Bingo. Or as Karl Marx said, “Democracy is the road to socialism.�

    I hear Singapore is nice.

    I expect it will eventually come to that, much as it was required to do away with King George’s tyranny.

    I’ll see you on the other side. Picking up a rifle is the ultimate expression of responsibility. Being a robust individual I’m sure you can appreciate my sentiment.

  110. Steve B. said,

    June 6, 2007 at 12:48

    Lesly replied: “Yeah, and it really shows with me.”

    You said it, not me.

    “I don’t have the rest of the week to figure out …”

    Well you were the one originally quibbling over terms. I’m still trying to figure out how all this cherry-picking amounts to a refutation to the charge that Bush is a socialist. I mean it’s been fun, but…

    Quite obviously I’m not going to convert you (or any of the other regulars here) into Austrian school libertarians. Thanks for he spirited dialog without most of the usual Internet decorations of pointless ad hominem and twisted straw-men.

  111. Qetesh the Abyssinian said,

    June 6, 2007 at 15:13

    Smith’s invisible hand will result in a condition optimal to all.

    Bzzzt, sorry. Someone proved mathematically a couple of years ago that Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ doesn’t work under current conditions. Even Smith himself admitted there were problems with applying the theory to the real world.

    The problem is that the invisible hand depends on two constraints:

    1) That capital can’t cross borders; and
    2) That people can.

    Clearly the situation in the real world is the exact opposite of this, and that’s why every attempt to apply the principles ‘strictly’ has resulted in a complete dog’s breakfast. Look at the responses to the East Asian meltdown in 97: the countries that followed the doctrine almost imploded, while those that took interventionist measures suffered less.

    There’s also the issue that the notion of free markets making everything optimal depends on rational actors having complete knowledge. Here, again, the real world diverges sharply from the theory, implying that there will never be a situation where the invisible hand could be said to apply, at least not until humans evolve a great deal.

    Finally, I’m always a little amused, and a little annoyed, when economists hold forth about their subject. Economics is a pretendy science: economists have picked the low-hanging fruit and somehow convinced the world that they know what they’re doing. As a mathematician, I get rather cranky about this. Economics, which in careful hands may be almost (not quite, but almost) a science, is bandied about as though it’s a combination of obvious empirical fact and God’s law. It’s not. Some economics is about as scientific as aromatherapy.

  112. Northern Observer said,

    June 6, 2007 at 15:54

    Steve B,
    You talk about economics the way Bin Laden talks about Islam.

  113. Realist said,

    June 6, 2007 at 16:03

    you might want to learn a little more about Vox Day

    Why on earth would we want to do that?

  114. atheist said,

    June 6, 2007 at 16:47

    Economics, which in careful hands may be almost (not quite, but almost) a science, is bandied about as though it’s a combination of obvious empirical fact and God’s law. It’s not. Some economics is about as scientific as aromatherapy.

    Interesting Qetesh. Your statement reminds me of a similar one from the science fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin, who prefers anthropological and mythological views of society to economic ones, which, she feels, “miss the point”.

  115. Lesly said,

    June 6, 2007 at 17:44

    Qetesh: Even Smith himself admitted there were problems with applying the theory to the real world.

    That’s because economists ignore real life complications to emphasize the relationship between variables. For x theory to work there are no transaction costs involved, or the assumption that everyone wants to maximize production, etc.

    Political economists, on the other hand, emphasize complications to give economic theory a political framework. Smith B. doesn’t fall into this group. To people like Smith B., politics just mucks up pure theory that can prove a point if you allow caveats. Politics in fact, is unnecessary.

    True Believers of any stripe suck.

  116. stonehinge said,

    June 6, 2007 at 18:01

    Steve B. = home-schooled and proud of it, first-rate example of the unlimited power of Orwellian double-stink.

  117. Jillian said,

    June 7, 2007 at 3:40

    Because of the many, many times I moved as a youngster, my education was a stochastic process at best – between kindergarten and my senior year of high school (thirteen years), I attended twelve different schools. So I was constantly getting shoved into classes that I was either only half-prepared for, or which covered stuff I had mastered years ago.

    I remember getting stuck in an AP chemistry class in high school – one of the classes I was definitely not prepared for. I’ll never forget the day the instructor was getting ready to teach us something or other about crystalline structure, and he looks out at all of us and says “You guys have all taken trigonometry, right?”….the sinking feeling in my stomach was immediate: I was in an algebra class at the time, and getting lost even with that because the district in which I had done pre-algebra had far, far less stringent standards than the one I was currently in.

    The class was a hoot, though….the teacher was old and forgetful, and constantly doing things like complaining about how he couldn’t find his plutonium anymore when we started doing a unit on radiation. Fun times – in this day and age, Homeland Security would have subjected him to extraordinary rendition or something.

    What makes me bring the class up is that I remember struggling to make sense out of the series of laws that govern the states and motion of gasses – Avogadro’s law, Boyle’s law, all the rest of that stuff – and then after thinking it finally was starting to make sense, getting unbelievably pissed off when my teacher casually mentioned that none of these laws actually describe the motion or volume of real gasses in real spaces. They all refer to hypothetical idealized gasses in hypothetical perfect vacuums.

    I couldn’t figure out why I had wasted so much time learning things that had nothing at all to do with reality, and it took quite a while for my teacher to get me to understand that learning how hypothetically perfect things behave under idealized conditions helps us to approximate how things behave in far more complex real-world settings. The thing to remember was that we must never mistake the model for reality – remember that perfect vacuums do not exist, and that no gas ever behaves in an idealized fashion – and if we did that, the formulae could still tell us useful things about the way the world works.

    This was perhaps difficult for me to fully grasp the first time around because I was fifteen. I have no idea what the excuse is for fully grown economists, or economic dabblers.

  118. Qetesh the Abyssinian said,

    June 7, 2007 at 16:55

    This was perhaps difficult for me to fully grasp the first time around because I was fifteen. I have no idea what the excuse is for fully grown economists, or economic dabblers.

    For the dabblers, it’s because they Believe (as in “Hallelujah, lord, Ah Bulleeve!”). They know little, and so think that economics is, actually, a science. In all its flouncy fancypants variety.

    Fully grown economists, now, I really don’t know. Perhaps they know so little real science or maths that they imagine what they’ve done is all there is. I know I’ve met some people who, on hearing that I studied maths to honours level, were befuddled: “But what else is there to learn about it?” Perhaps they thought we studied the multiplication tables, but we studied them really hard.

    I think there’ll always be a rift between those who understand that the world, and therefore any part of it (like maths or parenting or the double and a half twist with pike), is infinitely complex, and those who believe in Doctrine, Perfect And Ultimate Truth, and The Existence Of Aliens Who Abduct Yokels For Anal Probe Purposes.

    Fractals shocked a lot of mathematicians. The corollaries in qualitative studies still fail to be accepted by most.

    atheist, I like Ursula Le Guin a lot, and kind of agree with her. People are unquantifiable, at least so far, and economics is an attempt to force square pegs with infinitely frilly edges (us) into mathematically smooth round holes (abstract theory). Anyone with more than half a brain knows why we can’t do this: it amazes me that politicians and economists don’t.

  119. Lesly said,

    June 7, 2007 at 18:52

    Qetesh: They know little, and so think that economics is, actually, a science.

    It is a social science, and like all sciences studying society, it is susceptible to personal interpretation. :-p

    “An economic transaction is a solved political problem. Economics has gained the title of queen of the social sciences by choosing solved political problems as its domain.” — Abba Lerner

  120. atheist said,

    June 8, 2007 at 2:58

    Jillian, may I just say, it sounds like you had an awesome Chemistry teacher, especially for High School. Explaining ideal gas theory is really college level stuff, or at least it is in the US (are you in the US?). Explaining the difference between theory and reality, and why theory is useful and necessary for all its faults, is an ongoing question in life.

    Qetesh, may I say that while I tend to agree with Mrs. Le Guin as well, I don’t quite follow you all the way in thinking that economics is nothing but glorified voodoo. I mean, I know that there are economists who use their science dishonestly, saying that it proves things which it really doesn’t. But I think there are also economists who readily admit that their discipline is a social science, and therefore fuzzy and open to interpretation.

    I dunno, maybe the crappy, politicized economists just tend to get all the attention because they are the ones saying what politicians want to hear.

  121. The great right-wing fraud to repudiate George W. Bush said,

    December 15, 2010 at 1:22

    [...] him when they thought doing so would be politically beneficial. UPDATE: HTML Mencken at Sadly, No highlights the same game being played by Mark Steyn, while Balloon-Juice’s John Cole focuses on Steyn [...]

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