Tag Archives: Daniel McCarthy

The Revolution Was Not Televised


The text of the Declaration Of Independence

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Henry Clay at New Majority on Sean Hannity’s reading of the document:

Hannity explained:

We do believe as a country that all men are created equal, that we were endowed by our creator, that we do have certain unalienable rights, that these are God-given – life, liberty, pursuit of happiness – and that governments often get in the way.

Not exactly.

Americans did argue in the Declaration that all men are created equal and that they possess certain God-given inalienable rights.

But the Founders did not then conclude that government threatens these rights.

Rather, “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

Our forefathers justified revolution because the government instituted to secure their rights had failed in its duty and was actively undermining personal liberty. The Founders did not argue that government as such was an impediment to liberty. Quite the contrary, a society without government quickly devolved into a state of war where no rights were secure.

Daniel McCarthy at TAC:

After 230 years the American Revolution and our Founding Fathers have become shopworn things, leached of much of their character, reduced to mannequins to be dressed up in the intellectual fashions of the day. Idealized portrayals of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and the rest still find a mass audience, resisting revisionist pressure. But as objects of reverence, the Founders cease to be what they were-revolutionaries, men who took up arms against their government and spilled blood for their rights.

If alabaster Founders survive at the popular level, clichés of a different sort prevail in academia, where perpetual debunking is the fate suffered by these men-and that they were men is part of the problem. But only part: Washington was rich as well as white and male. And he owned slaves. So did Jefferson, who slept with one of them, too. Because of the gulf between his life and his ideals-that “all men are created equal” stuff-Jefferson has become a particular target of censure. But the others get their share as well.

Not that all scholarly treatments of the Founders fall into that mode. Just as pervasive, and just as off base, are those scholars who find in the Federalist and other papers of the founding generation far-sighted statesmen who anticipated the modern world of competing interest groups and lobbyists scrambling over one another like beetles after the main chance. Political parties and pork-barrel politics are what America has always been about, in this view, right back to the Constitutional Convention.

TNR’s collection of articles on the Founding Fathers

John Holbo recalls Captain America.

Since I’ve been pondering creative rights and copyright extension, I’ll take this patriotic occasion to remind you of that famous scene in Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles in which Cap travels back in time only to have the design for his uniform become the original inspiration for the US flag. Cap is upset. Why should Betsy Ross get credit, after all? A creative continuum conundrum. (via Bully.)


Some are celebrating the 4th by pondering Lincoln:

Scott Johnson at Powerline:

Lincoln invited Douglas’s audience to return the next evening for his reply to Douglas’s speech. Lincoln’s speech of July 10, 1858, is one of his many great speeches, but in one respect it is uniquely great. It concludes with an explanation of the meaning of this day to Americans with matchless eloquence and insight in words that remain as relevant now as then.

“Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, sometime about the 4th of July, for some reason or other. These 4th of July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge me, I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

We are now a mighty nation, we are thirty—or about thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one-fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty-two years and we discover that we were then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country,—with vastly less of everything we deem desirable among men,—we look upon the change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way or other being connected with this rise of prosperity. We find a race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers; they were iron men, they fought for the principle that they were contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity that we now enjoy has come to us. We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves—we feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live for these celebrations. But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected with it. We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration [loud and long continued applause], and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world. [Applause.]

Now, sirs, for the purpose of squaring things with this idea of “don’t care if slavery is voted up or voted down” [Douglas’s “popular sovereignty” position on the extension of slavery to the territories], for sustaining the Dred Scott decision [A voice—“Hit him again”], for holding that the Declaration of Independence did not mean anything at all, we have Judge Douglas giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence means, and we have him saying that the people of America are equal to the people of England. According to his construction, you Germans are not connected with it. Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form. Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will—whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent, and I hold if that course of argumentation that is made for the purpose of convincing the public mind that we should not care about this, should be granted, it does not stop with the negro. I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the Statute book, in which we find it and tear it out! Who is so bold as to do it! [Voices—“me” “no one,” &c.] If it is not true let us tear it out! [cries of “no, no,”] let us stick to it then [cheers], let us stand firmly by it then. [Applause.]”

Sean Wilentz in TNR at Lincoln

Statue of Liberty in Paris 1886

Tyler Cowen gives a list of other events of July 4th.

Dorian De Wind in Moderate Voice:

Hope that henceforth Americans will be able to celebrate every Fourth of July once again with joy, pride and confidence—as the United States of America, as the most respected and blessed nation on earth.

Finally, a very special hope for our brave troops who are still in harm’s way.

You are the same magnificent men and women who served so heroically under the previous administration and who are continuing to serve equally heroically under the present administration.

You are the dedicated men and women who, in Iraq, are helping the new administration implement the terms of the agreements negotiated by the previous administration, and who, in Afghanistan, are continuing the just battle that was thrust upon us on 9/11.

I hope that you’ll accomplish your missions quickly and successfully and that God will bring you safely home.

Six Foot Skinny: “The Fourth In Iraq”

I was there as a spectator, sitting in one of Saddam’s palaces on the 4th of July.  While my friends roll out of bed at the lake to have a beer, prepare the fireworks, start the potato salad.  While Iraqis struggle with sovereignty.  While American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen struggle with Iraqis struggling with sovereignty.  It was surreal, but so much of this experience is surreal that the word starts to become cliché.  I was in good company – 237 servicemembers ready to become citizens, General Ray Odierno, and Vice President Joe Biden.  Not going to lie, it was pretty cool.  A Soldier in my unit, a native of Kenya, was there to be sworn in, and I was there as the unofficial/official unit photographer.  I am not a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) or a Combat Camera guy, just a joe with a nice camera that likes to take pictures.

My standing room along with the rest of the crowd was not going to afford me much of a vantage point, so I bided my time and waited for an opening.  I snuck past the chains, was approached by the head military press honcho, apparently answered the questions correctly by lying through my teeth (I am a PAO now), and I was in.  I struck up casual conversation with a civilian photographer with the usual question: “So, who do you shoot for?”  The answer:  “The New York Times.”  Wow.  OK, so I’m in the big time now.  I figure I was there to take pictures of my guy, and I was doing what I could to make that happen.  All good.  I ended up ringside for a truly special Independence Day.

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Filed under Go Meta, History, Military Issues

PomoCon’s In The Basement, Mixing Up The Medicine, Front Porch’s On The Pavement, Thinking About The Government


A war’s a’brewing, the times are a’changing, Deenen v. Poulos a’fighting, and we are a’compiling.

Let’s start with Jason Joseph:

PoMo Con” appears to be an oxymoron at first. Postmoderns reject the intelligibility of the universe in favor of the social construction of reality, while conservatives believe it is the other way around. The paradoxical title is probably an attempt to startle readers and encourage them to take a second look at this group. Here is an excerpt from the introductory post of a blog being run by the group:

It is a phrase that is inspired by Peter Lawler’s efforts to recommend a
“postmodernism rightly understood” – a period that may or might arrive after the
passing of the modern order. Thus, it is not to be confused with the
trendy (or, really, tired) postmodernism of modern academia inspired by such
thinkers as Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard. It is instead a rejection of
modernity in the name of the insights of premodernity – Thomistic and
Aristotelian “realism” in particular. That said, it is a postmodernity
that also wishes to retain a good number of the boons of modernity – Starbucks,
McDonalds, suburbs and exurbs, the interstate highway system, orthodontic
dentistry, etc….) – while rejecting its excessive materialism, individualism,
liberalism, atheism, etc.

[…] I would call attention to another school of thought, also grounded in Tocqueville and connected to ISI, which has a blog titled Front-Porch Republic. The title is a reference to the absence of front porches in many neighborhoods today. Patrick Deneen, whose blog is posted on my daily news websites, is part of this group. They reject modernity outright and want a return to localism, agrarianism, and tradition. They would argue that Starbucks, McDonalds, and the interstate highway system is either bad or cannot be obtained without the corresponding modern values of materialism, individualism, and atheism.

Dr. Patrick Deneen at Front Porch:

“This debate pits the anti-consumerist, CSA-loving, small town-adoring, pro-hand working, suburb-loathing, bourbon-sipping denizens of the “Front Porch Republic” against the McDonald’s loving, Starbucks slurping, dentistry-adoring, Wal-Mart shopping adherents of Postmodern Conservatism.I think I’m going to have to invite one of our goons to take on one of theirs.  Let’s have a knock-down, drag-out, fight-to-the-finish, winner-take-all, one-man-standing, n0-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners debate.  You, know – Jets vs. Sharks, and all that.  As long as we can have drinks afterwards.  Let’s find out once and for all whether there’s a place on the porch for the PoMo Cons, or whether there’s a place for the Front Porchers in post-modernity.  What do you think…?  Any one out there want to foot the bill for a title match?  We’ll let you keep the door receipts…”

Peter Lawler at PomoCon:

“In terms of weapons, I told him we, being more modern and all, choose the automatic weapons available at any decent full-service, southern, suburban pawn shop (usually locally owned!). They might pick the whittlin’ knives that keep them amused like rural idiots for hours on end on their front porches while we’re relaxing inside in air-conditioned comfort watching TV, drinking cheap domestic beer made in some foreign state, and munching on big bags of processed foods we picked up at Wal-Mart and Big Lots.And in terms of place, I told them that you guys keep whining that you’re all afraid to leave your little place for fear of getting all confused and not knowing what to do. Our virtue is much more mobile, and so we’ll come to you (which probably means, ironically, that I’ll have to leave small-town Georgia to go to the fanciest part of Washington, DC).”

I also cautioned Pat–so he wouldn’t be disappointed at the turnout for this big event–that studies show that 97% of all self-proclaimed conservatives wouldn’t have anything to do with either team.”

Lawler again:

Postmodern conservatives aren’t first wave liberals and are anti-Cartesian in the spirit of Maritain/Percy/Deneen/MacIntyre, while thinking Maritain himself is too Kantian and Deneen/MacIntyre are too Marxist. So the latter think that the abstraction “capitalist” invented by Marx refers adequately to some real-world way of life and so are too hostile to the blessings of freedom, including even religious freedom. (M’s practical judgments are characteristically silly, while D is always too worked up about peak this or that.) PCs affirms the Declaration of Independence in the spirit of Chesterton in WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA (which I hear Pat likes) or the unjustly neglected Bruckberger, who saw that the legislative compromise between Calvinists and atheists produced a kind of Thomism that was better than intention than either of the factions. So we agree with Brownson (or my bizarre interpretation based on what he actually wrote) that our “providential constitution” shaped the statesmen who wrote our written Constitution–which is why what they accomplished practically was better than (and even qualitatively different from) their predominately Lockean theory. We also don’t use Voegelian words like “egophanic,” thinking them modern deformations characeristic of a highly abstract world divorced from the language of common sense. No Straussian thinks I’m a Straussian, although there’s A LOT to learn from him (as Pat can tell you) and it’s hardly a point of pride not to have read him. What’s wrong with most Straussians is that they think that the fundamenAdd New Post ‹ Around The Sphere — WordPresstally impersonal LOGOS of Aristotle is true, and the personal LOGOS of the early church fathers is false–a point made eloquently by our present philosopher-pope.

Deneen again:

Re:  his tweak at my “Marxism,” what I wrote (and maintain) was that Marx was a masterful diagnostician of the effects of capitalism (one need only read his opening paragraphs of The Communist Manifestofor confirmation of this fact), but that I think he was a loon when it came to offering a response.  Indeed, Marx believed that capitalism was a necessary and desirable step on the path to a proletariat utopia, particularly because it would decimate the particular loyalties that people hitherto had evinced, rather than a unity with the other workers of the world.   What FPR’ers lament as the destruction of capitalism, Marx rather celebrates (even as he aspires to foment the next stage in human development).  So, it’s really inaccurate to try to use the label “Marxist” to scare people off the Porch.

James Poulos:

So it’s to be expected that individuality comes in for great scorn among Front Porchers and sympathetic parties. But this is just the beginning of the story I want to tell. The individual is a thing incarnate — a noun, an irreducible being, a person; individuality is a disembodied superstition — an adjective, an abstraction, a fantasy with all the pelagian proteanism of the pantheistic All. To make a long story short, we can find evidence of two types of liberals — one thinking individuality to be descriptive shorthand for individuals, and one thinking ‘individual’ to be honorific shorthand for people fully experiencing individuality. Pomocons, I wager, tend to be staunch defenders of the first kind of liberals — and quite sharp critics of the second. I am, anyway! For pomocons, the last sentence of Natural Right and History is very telling — Strauss shows all this talk of modernity to mask or dramatize a wholly different ‘cosmic struggle’ or ‘eternal politics’: that between Virtue and the Individual. Strauss’ critique, importantly, is not of ‘individuality’; the individual himself, who set liberalism in motion, is bad enough as he is! It’s almost as if Strauss is hinting that the advent of the individual turns out to be to blame for, say, Machiavelli’s cruelly instrumental vision of man’s relationship with nature! That’s quite an inversion.

Lawler again

Dr. Pat Deneen doesn’t think the revolution is coming (although he does sort of have catastrophic Marxian optimism about capitalism having within itself the seeds of its own destruction) and thinks communism (a world without eros or purpose or God or virtue or politics) would be hell. My Marxist tweak had to do with tying virtue or its absence too closely to the prevailing division of labor. So don’t run off the porch and through the fields–trampling on cucumbers–because Pat has a certainty affinity to Marx in a way or two. (My real view is that all the agrarians owe something to the selective nostalgia of Rousseauean romanticism, and Marx does too, despite his [half-true] comment about rural idiocy).

I myself think that Marx says a lot that is true and even brings to the surface a lot that’s latent in Locke (while exaggerating beyond belief the real Lockeanization or “capitalization” of the world). I once led a Liberty Fund on Marx and Mill, and Marx, under my leadership, came out better than (or at least smarter than) Mill. The libertarian guy from the home office paid me the high compliment of saying that he had never heard anyone before find anything true in Marx. But the libertarians and the Marxists really do agree about capitalism conquering scarcity, allowing for the withering away of religion, the state, (the family?), etc., and making possible a life characterized by an ever expanding “menu of choice.” Pat and I dissent from the idea that point of life is the pursuit of happiness through absolutely unregulated choice.

John Schwenkler:

Inspired by James’s coinage of “premod” to describe the Front Porch Republicans who are currently at war with his own merry troop of “pomo” cons, I hereby decree that “prefab”* will be the new term of choice for conservatism of the talk radio variety, as in:

I tried to listen to Mark Levin the other day, but this prefab GOP hackery has just gotten too predictable.”

Conservatives used to be able to think for themselves, but now they’ve decided that regurgitating prefab slogans from the mouths of designated ideologues is a much easier way to go.”

Limbaugh’s prefab musings on health policy are about as novel and exciting as that brick shithouse I saw being towed down the freeway the other day.”

And so on. Apologies for the lack of creativity; readers are encouraged to chime in with further suggestions in the comments, and of course to use the term in ordinary talk as often as is possible.

UPDATE: Lawler again

UPDATE #2: More from the PomoCons:

Ralph Hancock

Robert Cheeks

Lawler again

Ivan Kenneally

UPDATE #3: At the Front Porch (or is that “on” the Front Porch):

Caleb Stegall

Russell Arben Fox

And the Pomos:

Samuel Goldman

UPDATE: And some outsiders comment. Daniel McCarthy:

I’m closer to the Front Porchers, for their decentralism and because they make the more penetrating critique of state and society, though if I had to choose a neoteric faction to align with I’d go with the “left-conservatives,” since I would take Dwight Macdonald or Gore Vidal over Wendell Berry. The greatest doubt I harbor about the Front Porchers is whether local communities (as if they can all be described at once) are as really virtuous as the Front Porch Republicans wish them to be. Most of the evils of the world exist on the local level, too — they’re just proportionally smaller. That’s good, but it’s not a panacea.

Alan Jacobs at TAS:

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s line about the weather: Whenever people talk to me about modernity, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. The problem is that what we call “modernity” is a collection of propositions and practices, of varying degrees of interconnectedness, and within various spheres of life. Modernity is a matter of political economy, but also of epistemology, and then again of technology, and so on and so on. No two people seem to conceive of the relations among these in the same ways, and people who are proponents or opponents of modernity — and I include people like the estimable Herr Professor Poulos who are willing employ the “post” language, as well as those who ally themselves with the “pre” — are never really reacting to modernity tout court, but always to some particular aspect of it, one (or at most a few) of the cogs in the great machine.

UPDATE: More posts! Huzzah!


Peter Lawler

Lawler on localism.(This will become important later, see below)

Will Wilson takes the local, too.

Robert Cheeks on localism

Ivan Kenneally brings out the Descartes

First Thingers, going local:

Jody Bottum

R.R. Reno

Jody Bottum on Reno’s localism

Reno responds to Bottum

Bottum responds to Reno

David P. Goldman jumps in.

Reno again. Bottum again. Bottum again

Joe Carter

Front Porchers, going local:

Caleb Stegall

Patrick Deneen

Stegall again

And, to cap it off, Daniel McCarthy has responses to Bottum and Reno, here and here.

UPDATE: John Schwenkler goes local.

UPDATE: Kenneally

UPDATE: Chris Dierkes at The League


Filed under Conservative Movement, Go Meta, New Media

May I See Your ID, Please?


Blog posts on the WaPo story about “Real ID” being replaced with “Pass ID”

Daniel McCarthy at TAC:

Needless to say, this is far short of the outright repeal. “We don’t want to end up with National ID Lite,” Chis Calabrese of the ACLU tells the Post. The administration seems to be setting up Pass ID as a “compromise” between real ID critics and national-security statists like Rep. Lamar Smith (”Real ID, not a gutted version with a tough-sounding name, is necessary to continue to keep us safe”) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (”Maybe governors should have been in the Capitol when we knew a plane was on its way to Washington wanting to kill a few thousand more people” — Jim deserves a demagogue of the year nomination for that one). This is typical of how liberties get chipped away: when the public in the states rallies against assaults on privacy, the security apparatus in D.C. switches tracks to implement its wish-list piecemeal. We’ll see whether the feds succeed in undercutting the grassroots revolt in the states.

Mark Krikorian at The Corner:

I know there are a lot of libertarian-minded folks on our side of the aisle who bristle at the very idea of improving document security. They don’t want any government identification system because of the possible threat to liberty, and since they can’t get that, then they’ll settle for a bad ID system instead. The problem is that in a modern, mobile, anonymous society, where you don’t spend your whole life in the same village with the same people, some universal ID mechanism is essential, and a bad one simply helps bad guys of all kinds conceal their nefarious activities. And the current system, reinforced by REAL ID, helps maintain the relatively decentralized approach that conservatives rightly favor, which has developed organically at the state level over the years via birth certificates and driver’s licenses. Without credible national standards, there will be an irresistable push for a single national ID the next time something big blows up here, which is a lot more likely to happen than it was before January 20.

Jonathan Adler

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Filed under Homeland Security

George Tiller: The Blogosphere Reacts

The (mostly as of this writing) left blogosphere reacts to the death of George Tiller, who performed late term abortions, and was shot as he attended church today.

Few reacts from the right:

Gateway Pundit

Charles Johnson at LGF

Mr. Ed at Redstate

Two posts at Free Republic, here, here, here and here.

Concerning the comments on the posts at Free Republic, Doug J. and JMA at Daily Kos.

From the non-conventional right or left:

Ann Althouse

Andrew Sullivan with the O’Reilly connection.

Ann Friedman at Feministing

Amanda Marcotte

Matt Y.

And from the MSM, Karen Tumulty at Swampland at Time

More later.

UPDATE: From National Review’s the Corner, K-Lo has two press releases and commentary, here and here.

Robert P. George

From the left:

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Joan Walsh at Salon

UPDATE #2: Via Sullivan, Robert Stacy McCain Via McCain, Becky Brindle

James Joyner

Rod Dreher

UPDATE #3: Thanks to commenter Tim, Max Twain at Race42012.

Kathy Kattenburg at Moderate Voice

UPDATE #4: Andrew Sullivan gets some dissents from his O’Reilly post.

Via Sullivan, Al Giordano

UPDATE #5: Allah Pundit and Ed Morrissey

UPDATE #6: Several posts from Andrew Sullivan, here, here, here and here.

Sullivan links to Gabriel Winant in Salon

Two posts from Rod Dreher, here and here.

Dreher links to Damon Linker.

Michelle Malkin

David Frum

UPDATE #7: Kathryn Jean Lopez and John Cole

And two sides: Erin Manning and two posts by Hilzoy, here and here.

UPDATE #8: E.D. Kain

UPDATE #9: Megan McArdle

UPDATE #10: Conor Friedersdorf, linking to Linker, Dreher, Ezra Klein and McArdle. I haven’t quoted any bloggers on this post, but I will this. I associate myself with these remarks and hope that anyone who clicks on any link from this post observes these words.:

Anyway, I mostly posted all this to see what those in comments think about the debate aired above. Please keep in mind, as you post, that Rod, Ezra, Megan and Damon are owed civility — all are intellectually honest writers doing their best to grapple with the morality of an exceedingly thorny issue (and I’ve been forced to strip their posts of nuance by the need to excerpt, so due read their comments in full, especially if you plan to criticize them). An objectively correct conclusion is beyond mere logic, and it is only through conversations like the one they’re having that humanity can grapple toward the best conclusions we have the capacity to reach.

UPDATE #11: New Majority

Chris Good

James Joyner

Jacob Sullum at Reason.

UPDATE #12: McArdle again.

William Saletan in Slate

In The American Conservative,

Daniel McCarthy

Freddy Gray, responding to Sullum and others.

UPDATE #13: John Cole, responding to Sully’s posts

Rod Dreher, here and here.

Hilzoy responds  to McArdle

McArdle responds to Hilzoy

One more McArdle post.

UPDATE #14: Mark Thompson on McArdle and Hilzoy

Ramesh Ponnuru on Saletan

UPDATE #15: Scott Roeder found guilty Justin Elliott at TPM


Filed under Abortion, Crime

Dropping Dimes With Edmund Burke

The Republican Hip-Hop project is proceeding as planned.

Chris Good:

Young Conservatives rap about being a young and conservative in the Obama era: “I debate any poser who don’t shoot straight/government spending needs to deflate” … “We need more women with intellectual integrity/I’m talkin, Megyn Kelly not Nancy Pelosi” … “Superman that socialism, waterboard that terrorism”

Scott Johnson at Powerline

Allah Pundit:

It’s making the rounds on Twitter and destined for viral status so you might as well watch it now. I want to call shenanigans and say this is a false-flag operation, but how often do you see a political parody play it absolutely straight? If this were a goof, surely there’d be some sign — an obviously jokey line, a bit of comic overacting, something.

Adam Sewer at Tapped

This whole conservative rap thing is nothing new under the sun. We believe the focal point, the nexus, may be Eli Lake. Or Reihan Salam.

Reihan Salam and Eli Lake on Bloggingheads on rap and twap.

Reihan’s twitter feed. Eli Lake’s twitter feed.

Some of their twaps:

Eli Lake:

@reihansalam Condi aint a neocon/soft like scowcroft/underboss rick-ross style realist/anti-idealist/freedom lovin neos never feelin it/

Tbogg had something to say about that.

More Lake here:

Haters quote me/anti-okey-dokey/aint no joke/ E’s just to low-key/ i order code reds like I’m jessup/stress up a source to fess-up of course


my shaolin is DPRK/karate juche/no se/anyway/ I’m Kim jong illin 2 blackbelt status/rhyme apparatus/pyonyang’s general mattis


plugged in like a socket/check the court docket/wanted: unbelieva/Bagdadis call the e mr. man shia/cause i love ali but i don’t love sharia

Some recent Reihan rhymes:


Ascending lofty heights/Steve Kroft in striped tights/Lesley Stahl’s appalled/ + Andy Rooney drawls so off-the-wall/”I hate some s*” y’all


Twitter it/David Vitter is not illiterate/so why not read the statute bout knocking boots with prostitutes/I’d rather be a cheater like Newt


Ran into Dick Armitage/he was mangled my a marmoset/the pharmacist said, “I’m out of leeches/let’s cross-dress and listen to Peaches”/yes


Pakistan Zindabad/Ichabod Crane insane/headless on horseback/welcome you back like Horshack/my keyboard setting: Dvorak/Dorothy Zbornak

Back at CPAC, there was  a conservative rapper called Hi-Caliber that got some attention.

Spencer Ackerman and Eli Lake on Bloggingheads on conservative rapper Hi-Caliber.

Max Blumenthal in Daily Beast on Hi-Caliber.

Spencer Ackerman:

“Yeah I’m a PC, I’m a positive conservative/ A hip-hop emcee and a life-long Jersey kid/ Got my degree from the streets just like Curtis did.” Yo, your style is suicidal because you just self-murdered it. So this is what would have happened if 50 Cent came from New Jersey? Mountain Lakes, stand up for your boy!

And for bonus points:

Attackerman and Vitamin’s (Spencer Ackerman and Eli Lake) Blago rap:

For even more bonus points, Jeff Chang and Eli Lake on whether rappers are natural Republicans.

UPDATE: Dday on the Young Conservatives

UPDATE #2: Dave Kasten at Attackerman on the Young Conservatives:

Look, maybe their passions will moderate, but what scares me far more is that this is where people who used to believe that “Ideas have consequences”  now see no deep rhetorical contradiction in traditional values being defending by Soulja Boy’s favorite move. It’s not the contradiction, it’s the lack of irony  that freaks me out.

UPDATE #3: Sadly No on the Young Conservatives

UPDATE #4: John Schwenkler on the Young Conservatives

George Hawley

The conservative movement knows that it has a problem with young voters. Specifically, they have no young voters. The Young Cons, or any similar group, will not help. Hip-hop will never be a good medium for promoting supply-side economics – or any other Republican buzzword these tools will ever want to advance. BET and the GOP are not natural allies. A disingenuous rap song explaining that Martin Luther King was “really a conservative” (which is simply not true, by the way) will not change that essential fact.

You occasionally hear that the conservative movement needs to “engage in some culture,” and finally abandon the myopic strategy of focusing exclusively on the electoral health of the Republican Party. I simultaneously agree and have no idea what that means.

The trouble with efforts to advance “conservative art” is that artists are a self-selecting group. I am not sure what can be done to change the fact that most musicians and screen writers tend to lean toward the statist left. However, if someone decides to be an artist of any sort simply because he is a conservative and he thinks more conservatives should be artists, it’s a good bet that he will churn out crap.

Daniel McCarthy


Filed under Bloggy Funnies, Conservative Movement, Music, New Media