Adaptation

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar mike farmer
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    says:

    I’ve heard a lot of this lately, but I still don”t know what the adaptation would look like. Are there any specifics which make up a centrist plan?Report

  2. Avatar E.D. Kain
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    says:

    Again – I’d say it doesn’t even necessarily need to be “centrist” – it just needs to do a good job at communicating a vision in terms that are both coherent and appealing. No more of this shrill, divisive nonsense. Check out David Cameron in the UK, though, for an example of what the conservatives here might think of trying should they find the right leadership.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    A distinction ought to be made between “social conservatives” and “theocons”. Social Conservatives care about a lot more than merely the Focusy stuff. They also care about such things as “immigration” and “cultural” issues. The Theocons, specifically, had reason to think of Bush as one of them. Social Conservatives in general? Eh. I mean, Ron Paul is Socially Conservative. He was the most pilloried of all Republicans running for the Presidential seat by Neocons and Theocons.Report

  4. Avatar E.D. Kain
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    says:

    Jaybird – indeed. But I was referring generally to the social-con-movement. Hell, even I am to some degree socially conservative. (not very, I might add, but I recognize there is a wide diversity of views in this realm)Report

  5. Avatar Bob
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    says:

    E.D., two questions.

    One, who did you have in mind when you wrote, “Some are pretty much liberals ‘mugged by reality’ as the saying goes, who are generally still very liberal on all matters save national defense. They are essentially neo-Wilsonian hawks who believe in humanitarian intervention, democracy promotion, and so forth.”

    I’m sure you had someone in mind but I can’t think of a single person fitting that description. I guess I don’t follow conservative thinking close enough.

    Two, I know you are reluctant to get into specific, one of my tiring criticisms of this site, but could give an example of needed policy change?

    I’m thinking that Republicans/conservatives need more that a pretty face, Palin, or toning down the message to recover.Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain
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    says:

    Bob, just look at the legacy of Henry “Scoop” Jackson. Then too there are bloggers like my friend Roland Dodds or Harry’s Place or Michael Totten and many others.

    Re: policy prescriptions – well, yes, that wasn’t really what this post was about, but I suppose if I had my way I’d suggest that conservatives moderated a great deal, and also pushed back against big business and moved more in the direction that the UK Conservatives are – toward a more localist-driven approach, which I think can be very appealing to independents.

    I’m not really sure, though. I suppose I’m not really a “conservative” so what can I say? I find more and more that where I would like to see changes are often as not against three things – A) big business, B) big military/powerful executive branch, and C) a slow down of globalism in general. Whichever party tends more in those directions will appeal to me. Right now the Democrats appeal more to me because there is at least some shred of hope that they’ll cut back in some of these areas, though I’m not in the least hopeful.Report

  7. Avatar Bob
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    says:

    E.D., thanks for the links, I’ll check them out.

    Scoop Jackson came to mind but he has been gone so long I was looking for the living that matched your statement.

    As I’ve told you before, there is a lot in your philosophy that I admire, agree with. Your A B C’s fall into that category. The “localism” thing not so much. It’s not so much that I find the idea obnoxious, it just seems undoable. Perhaps it’s more doable in the UK. I’m very skeptical.Report

  8. Avatar E.D. Kain
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    says:

    The localism thing, Bob, is a work in progress for me. There are great leaps and bounds between a practical rebuilding of community/localism and where we are now. But I think in the end, recreating walkable communities, smaller businesses/banks (and so forth) can all lead to environmental and economical benefits as well as real social gains. I don’t think this requires moving toward a “small” town system or agrarianism or anything – I think it can be done neighborhood by neighborhood.

    But hey, with this new “car tax” (which I support by the way – and wish they’d go further) being foisted on us (damn fuel efficient vehicles!) maybe there is hope for new urbanism….Report

  9. Avatar Bob
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    says:

    It’s an area where I would love to be wrong.Report

  10. Avatar Graham
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    says:

    People need to understand that Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin and others of the shrill talk radio set contribute nothing to the success of conservatism as a whole. They rabidly preach to the choir without realizing that the pews are emptying out because the less devoted laypeople can’t bear to listen to them.

    How can an intelligent leader rise to prominence if Hannity and Limbaugh are the gatekeepers?Report

  11. Avatar E.D. Kain
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    says:

    They can’t, Graham. First the gatekeepers must self-destruct.Report

  12. Avatar Kyle R. Cupp
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    says:

    Republicans need someone who can talk about ideas in a persuasive manner that voters will like. It’s pretty simple really. Quit acting like a bunch of jerks and see what happens.

    I love it!Report

  13. Avatar Katherine
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    says:

    There have been many social conservatives who have adopted a “who me?” attitude now that the war in Iraq has proved so unpopular, but in the beginning the social conservative/neoconservative marriage was one of convenience, and both sides played a big role in the Bush policies. I don’t recall much opposition to Bush policies coming from the social conservatives, who it must said, are largely in the movement camp. Those who remain outside it – generally paleo-catholics and other indie-cons like Daniel Larison – are the exception to this unholy alliance, not the rule. So yes, blame can be laid at the feet of the social conservatives for much of the mess the conservative movement finds itself in.

    This is a good point, and definitely true. I do think, though, that quite a lot of people (particularly reformist conservatives) are misinterpreting that idea to suggest that specifically social conservative policies are to blame for the Republican Party’s current state, and the road to success is to ditch them.

    The Republicans really need two things: at least the credible appearance of some domestic policies on things like education and health care, and someone to voice those policies who people actually like. It would be nice if they dropped neoconservatism, too, but it’s very unlikely and may not be essential – people’s views on foreign policy are shaped by the moment and the media, and if the Republicans can whip up a new threat it could even help them.Report

  14. Avatar caltha.palustris
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    says:

    Well done! You, my man, are right.

    On this related to “smaller communities” (in your response above to another commenter)

    But I think in the end, recreating walkable communities, smaller businesses/banks (and so forth) can all lead to environmental and economical benefits as well as real social gains.

    I think this was a direction attempted in “new” real estate development 20 years ago. I think it is what was referred to here as: “smarter growth”. Then, the 1990-91 recession hit. Community organizers attempted to revitalize and gentrify Main Streets in order to attract tenants for vacant commercial r.e., …fast forward to today.

    I think that may be where skepticism comes in to play as “undoable”; especially in the context of current economic conditions…”nobody knows the trouble” we may see before this cycle – in terms of unemployment percentages – bottoms out next year. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. We shall see what takes place in the next building boom.

    I’d love to be wrong, and frankly, I agree with you. I’d love to see sustainable communities as seen in the UK and Northern Europe.

    Now, { blisfull dreaming, here } if there was a way to make nuclear energy safe…hell, I might even go as far as to endorse that too…but… you didn’t hear that from this social liberal/fiscal conservative.Report

  15. Avatar Bob Cheeks
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    says:

    E.D., Thoughtful analysis.
    I have no idea where this ‘new leadership’ is going to come from; probably just a redo of the neocons. However, I see some signs, already, of a Obama backlash, that may stir the pot.
    If or when, he screws up the economy it’s liable to get ugly for the Dem/socialists plus they have a tendency to overreach, politically, in their hunger for the ‘new tomorrow!’.Report

  16. Avatar Bob
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    says:

    Here’s a thought experiment using this jive from Mr. Cheeks, “If or when, he screws up the economy it’s liable to get ugly for the Dem/socialists plus they have a tendency to overreach, politically, in their hunger for the ‘new tomorrow!’.”

    Okay, let’s pretend it’s late 2007. I comment about Bush, If or when, he screws up the economy it’s liable to get ugly for the Rep/fascists plus they have a tendency to overreach, politically, in their hunger for the ‘permanent Republican majority.’

    Just saying.Report

  17. Avatar mike farmer
    Ignored
    says:

    “Here’s a thought experiment using this jive from Mr. Cheeks, “If or when, he screws up the economy it’s liable to get ugly for the Dem/socialists plus they have a tendency to overreach, politically, in their hunger for the ‘new tomorrow!’.”

    Okay, let’s pretend it’s late 2007. I comment about Bush, If or when, he screws up the economy it’s liable to get ugly for the Rep/fascists plus they have a tendency to overreach, politically, in their hunger for the ‘permanent Republican majority.’

    Just saying.”

    It’s encouraging to see more and more people stating the real problem — both parties are made up of over-reaching statists.Report

  18. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Not a dime’s worth of difference.

    The democrats are somewhat nicer on gay marriage though. A little.Report

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