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GOProud Hits CPAC

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:47 pm - February 17, 2010.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America

UPDATE at 10:39pm: I’m about to go on Stage Right – BlogTalkRadio – StageRight

The GOProud Happy Hour just wrapped up and John (PatriotPartner) and I were thrilled to meet a number of GayPatriot readers!!

Thanks to Jimmy and Chris for putting on a great bash!

At 10pm I’ll be on the StageRight show on BlogTalkRadio. Please tune in!

Tomorrow — lots of live blogging from CPAC 2010!

The Mount Vernon Statement

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:07 pm - February 17, 2010.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Freedom,Ronald Reagan

I have now had a chance to read the Mount Vernon Statement through two times, having reviewed several passages even more than that.  On the whole, am pleased with its direction.  For such a short, succinct document, I do think it could have been better written.

Some of the lines sound downright clunky, more like a blogger hacking out a piece in the middle of the night to provide fresh content for his readers than writers crafting a document to define a moment in American conservatism.  Expressions like “the priceless principle of ordered liberty” sound more appropriate for a MasterCard commercial than in a statement defining “constitutional conservatism” for the current generation.

That said, I’m pleased that the document focuses on unifying conservative principles and largely eschews divisive social issues, paying them lip service with references to morality, religious liberty, faith and virtue.  Gay people are capable of living moral and virtuous lives while practicing our faith freely and respecting the right of others to do so a well.  We can thus embrace the document as have a number of social conservative.

I particularly like that it strives to unite “all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles”:

It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

The document then delineates five core principles of “constitutional conservatism,” among them: honoring “the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.”  I do like that emphasis on liberty–and free enterprise.

I expect I’ll sign it.  It does seem a step in the right direction, but could use some language drawn from the Gipper’s first inaugural:

In short, the statement could use a little more Reagan, his ideas as well as his rhetoric.

Preferring the Politics of Personal Destruction when Countering a Resurgent Right

Sometimes, it seems the primary difference between conservatives and liberals in contemporary American politics is that whereas we wish to engage on the battlefield of ideas, they wish to play the politics of personal destruction.  Just look at how liberals deal with Sarah Palin, calling her a whack job, questioning her intelligence (while ignoring her accomplishments) and speculating that she may not be mother to her youngest child.  It’s rare when we hear someone acknowledge her accomplishments, while criticizing her on the issues.

And take a gander at some of the comments (thankfully not all) to this blog where our critics attack Bruce and me personally (or our defenders) without addressing the points that we raised in the post to which they attach their comments.

Or look at how Democrats and their allies in the media respond to the Tea Party movement.  They smear us with a sexual slur and question the sincerity of our motives.

Now, it looks like some who practice the politics of personal destruction are ratcheting this up a notch:

A meeting of former Clintonistas and senior Democrat political operatives to coordinate a push-back to the burgeoning tea party movement. Consider it a Democrat party relief effort. . . .

Big Government has learned that Clintonistas are plotting a “push/pull” strategy. They plan to identify 7-8 national figures active in the tea party movement and engage in deep opposition research on them. If possible, they will identify one or two they can perhaps ‘turn’, either with money or threats, to create a mole in the movement. The others will be subjected to a full-on smear campaign. (Has MSNBC already been notified?)

Big Government has also learned that James Carville will head up the effort.

Why, if Mr. Carville is so convinced that we’ve just entered into a 40-year period of Democratic ascendancy, would he need to stoop to destroying leaders of the Tea Party movement instead of showing how out-of-tune their ideas are with the current mood of the country?

(H/t Instapundit.)

CPAC News Flash

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:22 pm - February 17, 2010.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America

I’m on the plane at Charlotte. Next stop Reagan National! Then the GOProud Happy Hour at 6pm.


Is There Anything Global Warming Can’t Do?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:24 pm - February 17, 2010.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming)

In 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that global warming caused more foggy days in the city by the bay. This year, the Telgraph says it means fewer such days.

What an amazing phenomenon!

Athena’s Lesson for Our Critics

On Monday, when buying my groceries, the clerk at Trader Joe’s asked me what was keeping me so busy on the holiday, I told him I was working on my dissertation.  When he learned I was studying Mythology, he asked about my favorite myth.  I hesitated, as it is not always easy to pick a favorite.  I settled on Athene’s role in Odysseus’s homecoming, reuniting that wily traveler with his son yearning for paternal guidance.  But, I could just as well have said Beowulf, any number of the stories from Tolkien or perhaps the story of Ganesh from the Hindu tradition.

Had he asked me that question twenty-four hours later, I would have replied quickly, the Eumenides, how Athene works to effect the acquittal of Orestes (for murdering his mother to preserve his father’s honor) and so transforms the Erinyes, the Furies, into the the eponymous beings, the Happy (or Gracious) Ones.  Not long after buying my groceries, I realized that before completing the current chapter of my dissertation, I must first re-read Aeschylus’s play.  And as I did, it easily solidified its place as my favorite Greek drama–and quite possibly my favorite play ever written.

I did not realize until I re-read the play how central its theme was to the current chapter–and maybe even my dissertation.  For we see Athene not only at her moderating best, but also at her most cunning, showing deference to the Furies, eager for Orestes’ blood, so that they might allow her to preside over the trial where she could acquit a man who, like her, honored his impetuous father.

Our critics could learn from the owl-eyed goddess who, unlike her wise brother Apollo, showed respect to the Furies, trying to understand their motivation.  Yes, they were her adversaries, but by not gloating in her victory over their venomous vow of vengeance, she was able to transform them into more benign beings.

Toward the end their leader told her, “Your magic is working . .  I can feel the hate,/the fury slip away.”

Would it that we could find an Athena who could effect a similar magic on some of our critics.

Panel on Gay Conservatives Includes No Gay American Conservatives

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 am - February 17, 2010.
Filed under: Ex-Conservatives,GOProud

The Cato Institute has long been my favorite Washington D.C.-based think tank.  I don’t always agree with them on foreign policy, but do appreciate their commitment to freedom and their promotion of policies which seek to reduce the influence of the government in our lives.  When possible, I support their efforts, having given more to them than to any other policy organization in our nation’s capital.  And I appreciate the respect they show their donors.

Thus, I was disappointed to read that an event they are sponsoring, Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?, does not include a single gay American conservative. Given that the lead panelist, Nick Herbert, who, we know from his very title, (MP [Member of Parliament], Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Conservative Party, United Kingdom) has experience working with a right-of-center party across the pond, you’ve got to wonder why they didn’t include someone who has had similar experience over here.

Instead, they’ve got someone who has spent the last six years (well, it will be six years a week from today) badmouthing the GOP.  Yes, that would be Andrew Sullivan.  Given that they’re holding this policy forum on the eve of CPAC that GOProud (which bills itself as representing “gay conservatives and their allies“) is sponsoring and where my co-blogger is speaking, they could easily find someone working within the conservative movement, someone who would have a less jaundiced view of American conservatives in general and the GOP in particular.

Now, this one panel won’t dampen my overall enthusiasm for Cato and their work, but it does call into question their judgment.  It’s as if they were caught in a time warp and were looking at an early 1990s roster of out gay conservatives.  That list has grown considerably since then.  And despite his claims, Andrew Sullivan’s name is no longer on it.

Americans Want Congress to Start Over on Health Care

With the President and congressional Democrats intending to use the upcoming White House health care summit to push a reconciled version of the bills which passed the House and Senate last November and December respectively, Republicans are crying foul, skeptical of the Administration’s sincerity.

Before going forward with this plan, Democrats should take a gander at a poll showing that an overwhelming majority of Americans think that Congress would do well to junk the current plans, believing they should start over:

In a brutal assessment of the Democratically authored healthcare reform bills pending in Congress and the party’s approach to healthcare, more than half of the respondents to a new Zogby International-University of Texas Health Science Center poll said that lawmakers should start from scratch.

Of the more than 2,500 people surveyed from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, 57 percent agreed with a statement that Congress should start over — which is exactly what Republicans are demanding and what President Barack Obama insists he will not do.

I guess he just hasn’t gotten the message from polls showing increasing opposition to his plan and elections putting Republicans in office, even in normally Democratic jurisdictions.

It seems that, unlike Bill Clinton, this Democratic chief executive is bound and determined to pursue his liberal agenda, no matter what the cost.