Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Writing for Salon, Glenn Greenwald — and it really is him, not one of his sock puppets — has finally answered the question of what the passionate, foamy-mouthed Bush-bashing libs are going to do after President Bush goes home in 2009. It’s no surprise, really. They’re going to do what they’ve always done, which is to cook up their own version of reality (link requires registration).
The great fraud being perpetrated in our political discourse is the concerted attempt by movement conservatives, now that the Bush presidency lay irreversibly in ruins, to repudiate George Bush by claiming that he is not, and never has been, a “real conservative.” This con game is being perpetrated by the very same conservatives who — when his presidency looked to be an epic success — glorified George W. Bush, ensured both of his election victories, depicted him as the heroic Second Coming of Ronald Reagan, and celebrated him as the embodiment of True Conservatism.
This fraud is as transparent as it is dishonest, yet there are signs that the media is nonetheless beginning to adopt this theme that there is some sort of epic and long-standing “Bush-conservative schism.” But very little effort is required to see what a fraud that storyline is.
One of the few propositions on which Bush supporters and critics agree is that George Bush does not change and has not changed at all over the last six years. He is exactly the same.
Now, this is true. Mr. Greenwald is putting into practice, with a level of skill that can be accumulated only through experience, Thing I Know #121:
One verifiable fact can sell a whole package of unlikely speculation. One appealing opinion can sell a whole package of outright falsehood.
And the one verifiable fact is the famous consistency of George W. Bush.
But the logic is weak, because Greenwald needs to live in a universe where the events surrounding George Bush are as motionless and unchanging as the President himself is known to be. For example, in such a universe we would have to have been talking about illegal immigration in 2003 just as much as we are now.
And, well — we weren’t. We were all talking about Saddam Hussein. President Bush was all about taking that asshole down, and our liberals were busy lecturing us that we should leave things as they were, come what may, because that’s what Germany and France wanted us to do.
And the fact of the matter is, if the Bush administration is in any mode of self-destruction right now, it’s there thanks to an abandonment of conservative principles, not because of any unholy alliance with them. This can be validated rather quickly, if Greenwald simply takes a minute or two to actually talk to some of the conservatives he claims to be analyzing here.
I’m not surprised to see he didn’t. On Planet Greenwald, nothing bad happens except things caused by Republicans being fraudulent about things. Irritable bowel syndrome? You’ve got a case of the trots because Karl Rove must have wanted you to.
Do you know any conservatives who are ready to abandon George Bush because of…let’s say, to pick something people on both sides would agree really is conservative…the 2003 tax cuts? I don’t. How about…to pick something on the opposite side of the spectrum…amnesty for illegal immigrants? I venture to say if you were to conduct some kind of poll among conservatives, this issue would dominate all the others. Bush lost my support because he’s letting in all those illegals. And then in second place, there would be — spending money. Are these unlikely predictions? I have trouble seeing such a poll turning out any other way.
What would Mr. Greenwald call these things? If President Bush were to be succeeded by someone who would lock down the border, enforce the law, and veto some spending provisions from Congress as he’s been unwilling to do — what would you call that new President? Conservative? I’m sure Greenwald would agree those would not be liberal things.
Ultimately, his essay fails because it’s built around a stark falsehood: That conservatism has no definition, it’s just a bunch of powerful people and interests who are fair-weather friends with whatever is winning at any given time. At the same time, he contradicts himself by insisting that conservatism does have a definition, and it’s been enshrined in a presidential administration that everyone is now forced to agree is a failure.
I wish, for Greenwald’s sake, someone compelled him to think on this a few more times before it saw print. He’s either not paying attention, or he’s chosen to confine his intended audience to other folks who haven’t been paying attention. Conservatism is a process in which we figure out how much liberty, and how much money, the government needs to do it’s governing. We give it that much and nothing more. Liberalism is a process in which the Government figures out how much liberty and money we need to do our living; and if we show ourselves to be what certain nameless, faceless individuals want us to be, maybe we’ll be allowed to have it.
President Bush was friendly to the first of those two mindsets when he passed the 2003 tax cuts. He got a lot of ridicule at the time for the advance refunds that were mailed out, but nowadays it’s a little hard to assault this cornerstone of his legacy. Once again, the principles of the Laffer Curve have been proven. I’m sure we’ll forget all about them later.
[The tax cuts have] succeeded even beyond Art Laffer’s dreams, if that’s possible. In the nine quarters preceding that cut on dividend and capital gains rates and in marginal income-tax rates, economic growth averaged an annual 1.1%. In the 12 quarters–three full years–since the tax cut passed, growth has averaged a remarkable 4%. Monetary policy has also fueled this expansion, but the tax cuts were perfectly targeted to improve the incentives to take risks among businesses shell-shocked by the dot-com collapse, 9/11 and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Now, when did President Bush show his fidelity to the notion that powerful, anonymous individuals should decide how the rest of us should live, with our liberty and our own property riding on our ability and willingness to conform? Well, his current friendliness to amnesty is probably a better example of that than anything else he’s done. And then there’s his making nice-nice with the global warming sham, which is an exercise in anti-capitalist elites telling the commoners how to live if ever there was one.
These things are not helping his popularity. The people aren’t going for it.
Greenwald might have been more truthful if he’d written an essay to the effect of, “I guess the people who’d been supporting the President have been much more capable of independent thinking than I thought.” Instead, he wants to pretend conservatism exists only in the sense that it can be measured through presidential approval ratings now — but it wasn’t nearly tangible enough to be measured by the same metric right after the September 11 attacks, or two decades ago when Reagan carried two landslide victories.
Well. It’s been often wondered where all this Bush-bashing energy was going to be directed after President Bush went home. Like I said…now we know. It will be bled off, into more viciousness and more spite aimed at any candidate showing the slightest reluctance to kill babies, confiscate guns, slander soldiers, increase taxes, and outlaw all jobs that do not comport with some narrow beltway elitist view of a “minimum wage.”
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