Friday, May 14, 2010

The Sum of All Their Fears

Legal Insurrection is an excellent blog - for us conservatives, anyway. A lawyer who draws from the well of conservatism seems almost an oxymoron in an age when tort law is one of the bloated distortions of American culture. If we don’t get the law back under control…never mind. You can see the damage all around you.

Today’s post by Professor Jacobson is an excellent fisk of the rhetorically challenged Left. The good professor slices their arguments deftly, updating his critique with the latest extremity being entertained by Politico - i.e., that Tea Parties are the “dark side” of conservatism.

Interesting metaphor, that. If the term were used by the right it would immediately be deemed racist. Can’t say ‘dark’, you know. And no, I don’t exaggerate: black holes, devil’s food cake, dark horse - for the terminally thin-skinned (and etymologically illiterate) these are niggardly, nasty words.

Meanwhile, back at the dark side, Jacobson takes the Leftist doctrine apart as he points to the illogic of the Left’s claims about conservatives:
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One day, we are totalitarian control freaks who want to post police at every ice cream shop to check for papers.

The next day, we are pseudo-anarchists who want no government at all.


Which extreme are we supposed to be, or are we everything to them, the sum of all their fears?

The argument by extreme reflects left-wing epistemic closure, an inability to engage in meaningful discussion of the failures of big government, resulting in a series of strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole meant to marginalize those who disagree.

We have seen this time and again. It seems to be all they know.

I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard. But then again, what do I know, I am the mob.

Legal Insurrection demonstrates once again, the paucity of genuine rhetorical argument by the Left and their fear-driven ideology.

Professor Jacobson is that rara avis, a Harvard Law School graduate who doesn’t walk in lock step with the power brokers inside the Beltway. School reunions must be entertaining.

Cato puts that Politico essay in its proper context:

Are tea partiers the new John Birchers?

This is absurd. An obscure assistant professor teaching in a middling university writes an opinion piece comparing the Tea Party movement to the John Birch Society - indeed, even to the Ku Klux Klan - and Politico Arena asks us to take it seriously for comment?! Res ipsa loquitur: The several recent elections speak more loudly than this professor ever will. Back to adult fare.

The children’s menu adverted to here contains nuggets like this:

For its part, the JBS [the John Birch Society - D] followed in the tradition of the Liberty League, a right-wing citizens’ group organized by the DuPont family in the 1930s to overturn President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

We’re still mired in the unforeseen effects of that “New Deal” and they continue to hollow out our commonweal. The best one can say is that FDR didn’t mean any harm, though others would argue he knew full well. A few generations from now, political historians will write books about the New Deal with titles such as What In The World Were They Thinking?, books that will eviscerate the undead Keynesian theories to which governing elites continue to be addicted. FDR may not have known, but these current members of the political class realize full well what they’re attempting to tie onto the back of our current crisis.

That’s why they’re reduced to “strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole” to make their points against conservative principles. They understand that shining the light on their ideology would result in indecent exposure.

The only reason they’re able to prevail is the headlock these pernicious ideas have on all the portals of information distribution. Or rather, nearly all of them. Blogs like Legal Insurrection are evidence that there is one opening they don’t control.

Of course, if the EU has its way, that escape hatch will close on the Continent. But then again, the weight of its own hubris and the coming economic meltdown may drag the European Union down to perdition. Think of it as the silver lining in this mess.


Zenster said...

The next day, we are pseudo-anarchists who want no government at all.

Hasn't anarchy always been a near-exclusive domain of the radical Left? How very telling it is − with their preferred Communist ideologue now in power − that somehow “The System” is magically in possession of the correct (as in Politically Correct), solutions and, suddenly, “Big Government” no longer carries the automatic connotation of “Big Brother” it once did now that Liberals are the ones in control. This, despite how BHO's Liberal manifestation of Big Government is busy fulfilling George Orwell’s ominous predictions far better and faster than all previous versions. Irony abounds.

Professor Jacobsen is that rara avis, a Harvard Law School graduate who doesn’t walk in lock step with the power brokers inside the Beltway. School reunions must be entertaining.

Does anyone else find it amusing or coincidental that "Jacobsen" is, most probably, a Danish name? Obstinate Viking blood dies hard, it seems.

Anonymous said...

Leftists&liberals do the mistake of thinking of conservatism as an ideology. It's not. This is why things don't make sense to them.

Sean O'Brian said...

I doubt if there will be any books by political historians criticising FDR - or blaming the New Deal for America's financial woes - written for a very, very long time.

FDR essentially bribed contemporary and future historians.

First, during the Great Depression, part of the make-work provided by the US government was to pay historians to collect and publish historical works. This was a big change, making history a field dominated by professionals instead of amateurs as it had been previously. (Naturally today's professional historians view this as a good development).

The historians of FDR's era were quite naturally favorable towards their employer - and their writings are the main primary sources that historians of our day turn to.

It goes beyond that though. One of the things FDR paid historians to do was to go around and interview former slaves before they died. This collection of interviews has been invaluable in recreating the history of slavery. Every American historian has had some experience with this collection and is profoundly grateful to FDR because of it.

It's the bribe that keeps on bribing historians long after his death.

The lesson of all this is that government funding can turn any area of research, where there is a potential conflict of interest, into a basically criminal enterprise.

This problem is much worse in Ireland - in a slightly different form - where there has never been a full academic investigation into either the Anglo-Irish War or the Civil War by any of the national universities.

Dymphna said...

Sean O'B--

That's why I said "a few generations from now" -- say a hundred years or so.

As for the paucity of historical research in Ireland, I put the blame for that on the heavy hand of Britain. People are still intimidated. Who wouldn't be with the very methodical and complete destruction of all birth and family records before the 1800s. I may be off a century or so, but it was indeed total obliteration. Those kinds of deeds live on in the racial memory of a people.

The result is silence. Who notices silence?

Svartwulf said...

Actually, Anarchy has always been closer to a conservative ideology, since the Founding Fathers wanted only the tiniest amount of government needed. The Left has always been more totalitarian in government, but to appear friendly they tend to claim anarchy, which gave it the bad name it has among conservatives.

Anonymous said...

NorseAlchemist, anarchy means the lack of a government. Small government isn't an anarchist position and anarchism is incompatible with conservatism.

EscapeVelocity said...

There are anarcho-libertarians, but they are a tiny minority even amongst libertarians.