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by Christopher Chantrill
January 10, 2007 at 11:23 am
WHAT IS it that really worries Republicans and conservatives as we lick our wounds after November? It is the nagging fear that the Democrats didnt just win because its an off year election and the voters are in a foul mood.
Not that the voters dont deserve to be a foul mood, mind you.
But what if the Democrats were executing a secret plan, a grand strategic concept, a new approach to politics and we right-wing foot-soldiers didnt have a clue what hit us? That is what keeps us awake at night.
Fortunately an evil Republican spy has come up with the answer. She sneaked into the Pelosi victory party with all the heavy hitter Democratic contributors.
And everything is ok. Theres no "there" there in the new Democratic Congress.
Writer Lisa Schiffren talked to a contributor, a real-estate developer, at the party.
I asked the real-estate developer what he thought of Pelosi. I spent a lot of time with her. She told me she could win. She said she had a plan. What was the plan? The idea was that they would just criticize whatever plans the Republicans put out there¦.They would tear them down -- like they did with Social Security -- and not put out their own plans. They have been very disciplined. Indeed. No stray substance at all -- and this sharp businessman had forked over $25 grand in support.
So thats all right. That six point plan was just what it seemed to be, a lot of nothing.
Of course, the assembled party faithful had some interesting things to say. Take a load of this. Heres what Schriffens real estate developer had to say about the issues.
All the wealthy people I know, they only care about having their taxes cut. I dont think thats right. What are the issues you really care about? I asked. Rich and poor in this country. Its not right, he said, as if it was obvious what that implied.
OK, conservatives, stop laughing and get back to work. When are you going to come up with the next brilliant conservative idea to reform the Democrats corrupt and unjust welfare state?
You cant beat nothing with nothing, you know.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America