Monday, January 01, 2007

Brain dump

Random thoughts on some things going on in the blogosphere.

The Althouse-Goldberg-Liberty Fund Conference brouhaha

You can follow the links from this post to catch up. And depite Adler saying those were the "last words," I'll chime in (I doubt anyone will notice).

a.) Regardless about who's right on this, I think Althouse's reputation suffers from her involvement in this debate. My impression of her is someone who is accustomed to accusations of racism ending debates in favor of the person launching the accusation, and doesn't know how to handle it when it doesn't.

b.) Jonah Goldberg detacts a double standard that isn't quite apt for reasons Matthew Yglesias outlines here.

But it's also true that the civil rights movement and the abolitionist movement were largely fueled by religious conviction. Shouldn't the many commentators warning about the dangers of fusing faith and politics have to account more seriously for the possibility that what they are proposing would have robbed these movements of their fuel? But I guess it's different because they were right and today's "Christianists" and "theocons" are wrong.

c.) If I'm basing a new ship's design on the design of the Titanic, I damn well better account for how my ship will avoid the same fate. If I'm proposing that we start using zeppelins again, I better be prepared to answer questions about the Hindenburg

And yes, if I'm going to say how great states' rights are, I better account for segregation and slavery.

Whether the Liberty Fund conference is a forum where this needs to take place is less clear.

Not a Bush Not A Nixon Not A Ford Not A Lincoln
Bruce Reed writes that Bush should emulate Ford in serving the remainder of his term in humility.

The thing is I don't think Bush is disposed to do that. And I don't think a President Kerry would have been either.

Ford is unique among presidents in that he never was elected or sought the office of vice president or president. Thus, this type of shot was in his bag.

But I think the type of person who would do everything it takes to launch a successful presidential run is not the type of person who is going to serve with humility. I also think it's human nature not to do that after all that work. I travelled all over the country, alienated my family, lived out of a suitcase for a solid year so I could stay out of the way? No, thank you.

In my opinion, the critical flaw of this administration is that it has aimed to maximize the power he has to do what Bush wants rather than doing the hard work of leading the country and the world community to support it. Maybe a different president would have a different style. But, "if elected, I will lead by building consensus!" doesn't exactly get people reaching for their checkbooks.

Football predictions

  • Chiefs over Colts -- Larry Johnson runs over the Colts; Dungy gets fired.
  • Cowboys over Seahawks -- I really think the Cowboys are better than their loss to the Lions.
  • Patriots over Jets -- Looks like the easiest call on the board, which gives me pause.
  • Eagles over Giants -- Both New York teams in playoff action against their closest geographical division rivals. Should be a fun week!

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