Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cruising the Web

Mark Steyn agrees with Nancy Pelosi, life on the planet is changing. But not in the way she thinks.

Jonah Goldberg explains why the Reagan game no longer works.

A. Barton Hinkle notices how far-left politicians are praised by the media while far-right politicians are just nuts.
The late Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was a man of the hard left—"the Senate's most liberal member," as Mickey Kaus once termed him in the liberal online journal Slate. Wellstone opposed the first Iraq War—and the second one. He was no friend of the Second Amendment—or the First. He thought the government should strictly control campaign ads by groups such as the Sierra Club and the NRA. Even The New York Times, which supports the rationing of political speech, called Wellstone's idea a proposal "of questionable constitutionality."

Wellstone died in a plane crash in 2002, and was immediate lionized. The Washington Post called him one of the Senate's "leading liberals. . . . Colleagues from across the political spectrum praised Wellstone as a passionate advocate for his beliefs." He was "a hero to the left," the paper said, noting "there was little doubt where his heart lay." To The New York Times, Wellstone was "a rumpled, unfailingly modest man," a "firebrand," and although "his opponents always portrayed him as a left-wing extremist," Wellstone was "so happy, so comfortable, so unthreatening that he was able to ward off the attacks." Rumor has it he once fed a crowd with five loaves of bread and a couple of fish.

This is not, to put it mildly, how Tea Partiers and their congressional cohort have been portrayed during the recent game of chicken over the debt ceiling. Rather, those opposed to raising the debt ceiling—or willing to do so in exchange for a slowdown in the rate of government growth—are "obstreperous," "flatly and dangerously wrong," and "not interested in governing." (These are all quotes from major media organs, not obscure blogs.) They're "crazy" proponents of a "dangerous delusion"—"ridiculous," "extremist," "ultraorthodox tax haters," players of "ideological games," "totally unrealistic," authors of "madness," etc. etc.

Hey, what happened to people of conviction? Aren't the Tea Partiers "firebrands"? Isn't there little doubt where their hearts lie?
Craziness is all in the eye of the beholder and we know how the media beholds craziness. For them, anyone who wants to slow, perhaps reverse, the increase of government must be crazy, if not evil.

Go inside the algorithm-making at If I hadn't been happily married for over 30 years, I'd certainly try out one of these online dating sites. Why limit yourself to relatively small horizon of those people you come into contact with in your busy lives?

George Will reviews The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America. Will is right that the debt-ceiling debate is a proxy for the more important debate about the role of government and refuting the reactionary liberalism of the left. I love this anecdote:
The America of one universally known list of Top 40 records is as gone as records. When the Census offered people the choice of checking the “multiracial” category, Maxine Waters, then chairing the Congressional Black Caucus, was indignant: “Letting individuals opt out of the current categories just blurs everything.” This is the voice of reactionary liberalism: No blurring, no changes, no escape from old categories, spin the world back to the 1950s.
Yeah, we just gotta stay in those old categories and never leave the boxes that we've been put in.

Megan McArdle exposes the ridiculous mendacity behind the liberal claim that the great majority of the debt that our country is facing comes from the Bush years. Instead, this simple chart exposes when the real jump in spending occurred.