Ryan’s speech

Within the fatal limitations of the Republican Party which this website discusses endlessly, Paul Ryan was a superb choice for VP. He’s smart, he’s substantive, he’s sincere. As I said of Ryan and other young House Republicans in the first VFR entry that mentioned him in 2008, they were so superior as human beings to their Democratic counterparts that they seemed to be on a higher level of evolution. (N.B.: Of course I do not mean that the Democrats are subhuman.) But being on a higher level of evolution is not enough. It is very, very far from being enough, if the higher types do not actually oppose the lower types and what the lower types are doing to us.

I saw live the last several minutes of Ryan’s speech, which were very effective. Then I read the rest of it. It’s ok, but you would have no idea from it that Obama is a radical leftist who seeks to transform America into a statist society. You would think that Obama was, say, Jimmy Carter-light, an ineffective bumbler who is not solving our problems. From Ryan’s speech, you would have no idea that there was anything wrong with America besides a poor economy and a president who has failed to “lead.”

The Republicans remain what they have always been—businessman types who are decent human beings, but who, apart from their belief in individual freedom, have zero comprehension of the intellectual, moral, cultural, and civilizational fundaments of our society and how they are being rapidly destroyed.

- end of initial entry -

James N. writes:

I think there is a legitimate difference of opinion about the best tactics to support the strategic goal of removing Obama.

Romney and his people obviously believe that what you and I would call “telling the truth about Obama” will lose key voters they have to win. Even disingenuous white liberals should be able to see that things are not quite right with the current regime. Romney and his advisors have decided, wisely or unwisely, not to focus on who Obama IS but rather what he has done, or not done. Of course, this approach will turn off many in the troglodyte community, but the question of the number of DWLs compared to the number of trogs is unresolved.

Nevertheless, I thought the birth certificate “joke” was brilliant. Romney can now disavow any doubts about Obama’s natality every time he opens his mouth, and count on the media to keep bringing it up.

I would much prefer the hammer and tongs approach. I would also, however, be a terrible politician.

Who was right about the best attack tactics can be debated after November 6 if the worst happens. In the meantime, if you want Obama out, you have to let the team that can accomplish that play their game and hope for the best.

LA replies:

If you are implying that critical analysis of the Republicans from the traditionalist conservative point of view should cease until after November 6, Sorr-y, ain’t gonna happen. Not at this site—which, you seem to have forgotten, is not part of the Republican electoral apparatus but exists for the purpose of thought and discussion.

August 30

James N. replies:

No, I am not implying that critical thought and discussion of the problems in the GOP (which are an important subset of America’s problems) at VFR should cease.

I meant to say that, for me personally, anything that might inhibit me from casting my vote for Romney on November 6 is going to be set aside until after that day.

I have friends who subscribe to the theory that since the outcome of the election will not change our trajectory, it does not matter who wins. I have a smaller subset of rebellion –minded friends who are looking forward to an Obama win.

Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but I believe the election is very important and that it’s important for Obama to lose.

So, by all means, keep doing what VFR does.

Allen W. writes:

James N. writes: “there is a legitimate difference of opinion about the best tactics to support the strategic goal of removing Obama.”

You respond that critical analysis of the Republicans should not cease, because we are interested in thought and discussion. [LA replies: to be more precise, I did not state as a general proposition that critical analysis of the Republicans should not cease; I said that critical analysis of the Republicans will not cease at this site.] Yet James raises an issue for thought and discussion, namely “What is the best tactic for removing Obama?” The Romney campaign engages in crowd-pleasing double-talk, rather than providing a principled position. There is no consistency among the candidates or those who speak in their favor. The Republicans an optimism that is advocated. Nor do they address the realities presented in VFR. Yet is this the best strategy for winning, or is there a more effective approach? Perhaps the Republicans should be principled even if that is ineffective. I don’t claim to have the answer, but would be interested in your view.

LA replies:

Of course I believe that the only way to win in the long run is to take the principled and true stand and stay with it.

Eric writes:

On the subject of your recent comments about Paul Ryan’s relatively mild attack on Obama, I found it interesting that right after I read it, I saw a clip displayed on the front page of YouTube from Aaron Sorkin’s show The Newsroom titled “The Tea Party Is the American Taliban.”

I didn’t actually watch it, and sometimes I worry I might be cocooning myself off by ignoring channels like MSNBC and columns from people on the other side. The thing is, though, that regardless of whether people disagree with your individual opinions, your site pretty much sums up the methodology of liberalism in a way that I had a good idea of before, but couldn’t put into words. I don’t find it worthwhile to read the other side when I can always predict their arguments on any given issue, and rarely glean any new insight on a subject that I hadn’t heard before. [LA replies: I feel the same way. Occasionally I go to some liberal site just to see what they’re saying, and it’s of such a low nature, below the level of rational discourse, just name calling and insane vitriol, or, at best, presenting such a wildly distorted view of things (for example, calling National Review the “far right”) that I instantly stop reading it.]

There is also the fact that while conservative pundits tend to view liberals as simply misguided idealists, liberals think conservatives are evil, and it shows in their tone. It’s clear that it isn’t just political rhetoric. I am not interested in paying attention to people who attribute every conservative position under the sun to irrationality, bad faith, and hatred.

I honestly don’t know if the somewhat generic approach the Republicans are taking in their rhetoric against the Democrats is more politically viable than a more aggressive attack, but I certainly wish they would be more confrontational at times, and not in the all-too typical fashion of trying to use the Left’s rhetoric against them.

(Sidenote: I always thought Left and Right as nouns were capitalized—is that only for political parties?)

LA replies:

I do not capitalize them. One reason is that if you capitalize “the Left,” then you also have to capitalize “the Right.” “The Right” makes it seem as though what is called “the Right” is a real substance, a hard-line conservatism that is essentially different from and opposed to the Left. But it is not such a substance. It’s simply ridiculous to refer to the likes of Victor Hansen, Michael Barone, Jennifer Rubin, “Rich” Lowry, David Blankenhorn, David Frum, David French, Kevin Williamson, Steve Chapman, and Michael Potemra as “the Right.”

However, when editing readers’ comments I’m not consistent on this, and sometimes I leave readers’ capitalizations of “the Left” (but not of “the Right”) intact.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 29, 2012 11:06 PM | Send

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