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Freddie

Freddie deBoer used to blog at lhote.blogspot.com, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Lev says:

    It seems like you’re arguing that liberals are more comfortable with debates on social conservatism than on economics. Actually, I’d flip that construction. I think that liberals are far more confident about the correctness of our economic views than the social issues. Between the success of Bill Clinton’s moderately liberal economic policies and the recent good indicators of the Obama approach so far, coupled with the enormous Republican screw-up last year, I think there is a real case to be made that Democratic economic policies are much more robust and successful than GOP policies. Had the Republicans got their way with a spending freeze, we’d definitely be over 10% unemployment right now. Perhaps we’d be near 20%. We can argue over how much of this success was due to the stimulus, but even honest conservatives (like Doug Holtz-Eakin) can’t deny that there’s been some positive effect.

    On social issues, though, I think that there’s room for hope on any number of issues based on polling of the “Millennials”, though not so much on the abortion issue. But times change, and eventually social conservatism will evolve, just like it has in the past. A generation ago, that term had all sorts of backward racial connotations that it no longer possesses. Eventually, they’ll shed the homophobia, and they’ll maybe even shed the blatant hypocrisy that excuses the likes of Sanford, Vitter and Ensign while castigating Clinton, Spitzer and Craig. I think that social conservatism at its best can offer a sense of continuity to the past and to tradition, but even at its best it is susceptible to moral vanity and pride. Add to this the desire to possess “the answers”, even though religion more often than not provides mysteries instead of answers that necessitate more questions, and I don’t see socioconnery going out of style any time soon. It will change, and it will change to something less hateful, if it wants to stay relevant. Twas ever thus.Report

  2. Avatar Freddie says:

    Mmm. I was unclear. I don’t mean that liberals are more certain about social issues than economic issues. I mean that we tend to believe that we are more likely to get our way with social issues, for the simple reason that the history of social norms since the ’60s moves in a rather obvious and major direction away from social conservatism and towards social libertinism.

    I didn’t mean to make an argument about certitude in policy, in other words, just an argument about our beliefs in popularity.Report

  3. Avatar Mark says:

    Actually, I thought this was just as dumb a column as usual. Most social conservatives that I’ve met came to it a little later in life…Or gave in to the temptations of the flesh as teenagers and young adults. A few easy examples, not counting the Jim Bakkers and the Ted Haggards out there. David Vitter paid a hooker to dress him up in diapers; Mark Sanford chased tail around the world; John Ensign was banging someone in his office; Sarah Palin’s daughter appeared to be having sex in her house. And what to make of Larry Craig? etc. etc. etc.

    Ross, on the other hand, doesn’t really seem like a regular social conservative. He’s more of a puritan with willpower. Didn’t he marry his first girlfriend? He gives it away when he characterizes the 40-year-old virgin thusly: “Still a virgin in middle age? Not to worry — you’ll find a caring, foxy woman who’s been waiting her whole life for an awkward, idealistic guy like you.”

    Sorry, but Ross missed the point. Andy had the chance to nail her on date #2 and totally blew it. There was no idealism – he was just a wuss stuck in an early teenager’s mindset and so he missed the opportunity. Judd Apatow’s point was that Andy needed to “get the pussy off the pedestal” and get some guts.Report

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