While I’m Engaging In Spittle-Flecked Rants

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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  1. Avatar Robert Cheeks
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    “is ironclad proof that conservatives’ idea of “limited government” has not changed one bit in the last 10 years and that, if elected, they will once again govern in precisely the manner that they did in 2000-2008, even though they claim to be ashamed of that period.”

    Do you think George Bush was a ‘conservative?’Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Robert Cheeks
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      @Robert Cheeks, Put it this way: to the extent that conservatives now believe that it is ok to violate basic precepts of federalism, religious liberty, property rights, etc. when someone might hurt their feelings, what George W. Bush & Co. did was actually closer to the concept of limited government than the current crop of conservatives.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
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      @Robert Cheeks, No dice Bob. He campaigned as a conservative, collected enormous support in votes, verbiage and lucre from conservatives. His administration was completely free of coherent or material opposition from conservatives. Was vociferously defended by conservative opinion flagships and still is lauded and excused by many conservatives today.

      I think Obama’s screwed up in many ways, I think Kerry was an uncharismatic dope with the charisma of a zucchini (a SMALL zucchini!) and I think Michael Moore is a fat imbecile. But I don’t try and deny that they’re all liberals.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to North
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        @North, Wait, Obama’s a Maoist, right?Report

      • Avatar North in reply to North
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        @North, Maoist? Not that I’ve heard. Is the whitehouse forcing their staff to do caliscetics at gunpoint? As far as I know Obama thinks as little of that evil little dumpling as I do.Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North
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        @North, North, I love it when you talk dirty! My point is that here at the League we aren’t to concerned about our political differentiations, and I am. Bush was/is (and his daddy) a Neocon and gentelmens there’s a hell of a difference between your run-of-the-mill ‘conservative’ and the Neocons. And, for the purposes of a meaningful contemporary political conversation we should recognize that or we end up hurtling epitaphes at each other and hurt JB’s feelings. Besides youns are way to smart for the simple-minded definitions. Let me give you guys a hint, Sarah Palin’s a Neocon, as is Newt Gingerich and old Bob’s a Paleocon.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
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          @Robert Cheeks, I suspect Bob, though I wouldn’t know being a capitalist running dog neoliberal, that the left has similar distinctions. I haven’t heard or seen Obama do squat that suggests he’s anything remotely resembling a full blown socialist let alone a communist. Even his most leftwing activities, health care for instance or the bank bailout, had enormous centrist notes that had all the real commies, socialists and lefties howling at the moon in fury. There’s a reason November is looking poorly for him; his base is very blah.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North
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            @North, Well, I guess it’s interpretation: “healtcare,” bank bailout, freddie/fanny bailout, proposed stupid borrowers bailout, auto corps grab, proposed card check, clusterboink in the gulf (“We got our foot on BP’s throat” and associated gummint bs), the nomination of Sotomayer and Kagan, continuing efforts and proposals to centralize, consolidate, and federalize everything that moves. These are not the actions of a ‘moderate’ commie-dem, let alone an American.
            BO’s problem is that he was elected by white people (swp) who wanted to see a black, or in his case as half-black, man in the White House without bothering to notice everyone around him was a card carrying commie-rat (mom, dad, mentor, the local pedophile, and most of his friends some of which planted explosives). Now, it seems, that those same voters are not happy and they’ve determined that voting for a person based on color ain’t a really smart thing to do. BO and his administration have failed miserably at about everything. The commie-dems will probably take it in the shorts in Nov. but I’m not sure BO cares. He still has two years, and he’s done enough damage and the kind of damage that, politically, may not be repairable.
            Also, I might add, that politically I read somewhere that ‘libruls’ only make up about 20% of the voting base…might be a while before we see very many democrats winning elections after BO.Report

            • Avatar 62across in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, this is a nice little rant. One to savor. In fact, I’m going to save it and then post it again on November 7th, 2012.

              Who are the paleocons going to be running against Obama and his ideas anyway? Are there any paleocons running this fall whom we should look out for as rising stars? Because, if the Democrats won’t be winning elections after Obama and there are no true conservatives, all good people will be looking for someone to fill the void.Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, 62, dude, yes now that’s what I mean, someone who knows the difference between a paleo and a neo.
              Well, actually you have a point…who the hell are the paleos going to run/support. I dunno. No one to my knowledge is up and running. Maybe the Rand guy, but I dunno. All the rest are neo/rino’s and I don’t support them after Bush the Lessor.
              Hell, with our nearly documented, Kenyan commie pres we might not have much of a country left in two years…you can save that remark as well.Report

            • Avatar Bo in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, How about McCain? He was paleo in body if not in spirit.Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, Bo, good one…pretty sharp, dude!Report

            • Avatar 62across in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, gee, Bob, I’m a little disappointed. Rand Paul is your rising star? It’s going to be pretty hard to build a national movement around a guy who could lose the true blue state of Kentucky if he keeps talking about what he really believes in.

              With the American people so disenchanted with the commie-dems and the neocons, you’d think there would be a constituency for your ideology.Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, Dude, that’s why they use the term “decline” when discussing American culture. I think the intellectual capabilities of Americans has declined sharply since the 18th century. Most Americans today have no understanding of the meaning of “republic,” or federalism, or even “state’s rights.” But, it’s possible, one would hope, that the current collapse, which has given birth to the so-called “tea party” movement will continue to expand and more and more Americans will become familiar with those founding principles and willing to put them into practice. I’m hopeful. We’re two years away and one never knows about these things.
              If things continue as they are old 62, you may find yourself dressed in some federal uniform, say “homeland securtiy”, punching my ticket for the re-education centre. At least you’ll have a job.Report

            • Avatar 62across in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, as I’m not one of the “they” claiming the American culture’s in “decline”, I suspect there’s little more to say.

              I won’t argue with the idea that intellectual capability is in decline in America. Not only do most Americans not understand the meaning of “republic” or “federalism”, they don’t know the meaning of “oligarchy” or “kleptocracy”, either. On the other hand, I sure wouldn’t pin my hopes for a revival of intellection on Sharron Angle and her ilk – no number of tri-corner hats will convince me these people know what Jefferson meant when he said “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

              I’m open to considering different ways out of our country’s current predicament, but I had hoped you’d offer something along the lines of a set of policies that could be put in place to bring those founding principles back to the fore and a set of leaders who could make the case for those policies. If your only game plan is an expanding collapse of the country that will drive people to embrace a return to the 18th century, sorry, but “no sale.”Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, 62, should I come across a cadre of palecons capable of being elected in this contemporary “what will you give me ” clime I’ll let you know. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t hold out that there are a sufficient number of people willing to give up their entitlements or politcos with the nuts to take them away. I believe it was wacky old John Randolph of Roanoke who eruditely remarked that once you gave the people the ‘right’ to vote themselves largesse the game was up..and so it is, or at least appears to be.
              You, of course, are familiar with the ‘policies’ required, maybe there’ll come a time, in the not to distant future, when, out of desperation, we’ll be forced to give them a try..who knows?Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    “Liberty” is a tough concept.

    Everybody grasps the “I have Liberty!” part. It’s the “Other People have Liberty!” that makes them start explaining how complex human inter-relationships are and how, to be sure, you have to understand, as a society, and so on.Report

  3. Avatar buce
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    For a suggestion that the Feds may be /required/ to allow the ground-zero project, go here:

    http://snipurl.com/10b3mu
    [underbelly-buce_blogspot_com]Report

  4. Avatar Michael Drew
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    “…govern in precisely the manner that they did in 2000-2008, even though they claim to be ashamed of that period.”

    Would that this is true (and it may be), but is it on the record, and how comprehensively?Report

  5. Avatar Jason Kuznicki
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    George W. Bush at least would have insisted that Muslims weren’t all evil, and that you could be a good Muslim and a good American both. Today’s conservatives have abandoned that idea, making them little different from 19th-century anti-Semites. Whenever a Jew did anything criminal (which happens sometimes, you know), they’d pipe up. The same with today’s bigots, just with a different target.Report

    • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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      @Jason Kuznicki, Congrats Jason, on conflating Jews and Muslims…now you’ve pissed off two religions, why not insult Christians while you’re at it. BTW, you might want to read a little European history re: Muslims…seems like every few hundred years you gotta kill a mess of them to get them to stop the “world caliphate’ thing.Report

      • Avatar Aaron in reply to Robert Cheeks
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        @Robert Cheeks, As opposed to the whole “enforced Christianization” thing? Africa? South and North Americas? I can’t tell how much of your posts are total bullshit/parody of a rabid rightwinger (“commie-dem,” “Algore,” “gummint,” “Kenyan-communist” et al.) and how much you are just a spittle-flecked lunatic using words that you’ve made up private meanings to. But on the substance of your argument, you seemed to have defined “conservative” to mean something that no one in the current Republican Party actually adheres to. The problem with that is, once you start saying that Bush isn’t really a conservative, you’ve just set it up so that you can disavow anything a conservative does that doesn’t work out/you don’t agree with. Bush ran, and was elected, as a conservative twice. While he may have a slightly more expansive view of the federal government than someone like Ron Paul, the Bush who ran on a 50%+1 mantra was certainly not some sort of liberal-in-conservative-clothing. RINO, indeed. Your attitude seems to be similar to the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe
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    Excellent post Mr Thompson; I was thinking the same thing myself when I had come across Kristol’s piece.Report

  7. Avatar Koz
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    I suppose I should write something about this.

    The idea of limited government is that it’s limited, not nonexistent. Especially in combination with the right to private property, limited government means that to do something like banning a mosque at Ground Zero means that there’s some exception to the rule of private property.

    As it applies in this case, Mark’s rant comes down to the assertion that whatever Kristol’s justification to make an exception to the prinicple of private property in this case isn’t good enough.

    Let’s bracket that one for a minute to look at the larger context. It’s ridiculous to question Republicans’ or conservatives commitment to limited government based on supposedly faulty exceptions to the rule of private property when Libertarians such as Mark have no commitment to the general prinicple of it.

    That’s the case now, where the Republicans are fighting, publicly and tangibly, against the stimulus package, the health care bill, teachers unions in New Jersey and all the rest of it. In the current political environment those who are not supporting the Republicans and the mainstream Right have no real commitment to limited government. More than that, they shouldn’t imagine themselves with that commitment either.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Koz
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      @Koz, So let me get this straight: willing to violate federalism, limited government, freedom of religion, and basic property rights after 8 years of the largest expansion of federal government power and size in recent memory because somebody’s feelings may get hurt = committed to limited government because they oppose Obama’s misguided attempts to expand government based on the economy sucking and people lacking adequate health insurance. Someone who thinks neither party has an actual interest in limited government = no commitment to limited government.

      Sorry dude, but the concept of “limited government” goes rather beyond “what’s my tax rate?” If you’re on the one hand fighting to expand the power of the federal government in myriad new and unprecedented ways opposed by the other side, but you’re also fighting the other side’s attempts to expand the power of the federal government in other ways, well guess what? You’re not on the side of limited government.

      The simple fact is – and you have never denied – the years 2000-2008 were not quite the opposite of any definition of limited government. That conservatives are now willing, in droves, to insist that feelings trump property rights, freedom of religion, and federalism – something that Bush never would have done – tells me that not only have they not learned from their past mistakes, they’ve actually gotten worse. Government spending is far, far from the only metric of determining whether government is limited. If it were the only metric, Burma would be the world’s most limited government.Report

      • Avatar historystudent in reply to Mark Thompson
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        @Mark Thompson,
        Property rights are not the issue for many Republicans and/or conservatives, except insofar that with rights come responsibilities and among those responsibilities should be the ability to respect the sensibilities of others who might be affected by those property rights. If A buys and moves into a house in a “libertarian” neighborhood where there are no local ordinances against excess noise or specifying basic upkeep requirements and promptly plays loud music around the clock and paints his house with eye-burning orange and hot pink wide stripes when all the other houses are white or cream-colored, he is legally entitled. But he is still wrong to do it, and his neighbors will undoubtedly have some strong suggestions for him because A isn’t just using his “liberty,” he is abusing it. The same is true of the provocative and insensitive act of building a mosque so close to Ground Zero. When someone abuses the system, there are bound to be others who will push back and try to use methods they ordinarily would not in order to redress the situation. Although neocon Kristol is wrong to suggest the feds should interfere legally in what is technically a NYC matter, the fact that this deals with the 9/11 site and therefore concerns all Americans can arguably justify input from outside NYC. Property rights should be generally inviolable, but they are not totally isolated from context, and the SCOTUS has ruled to that effect quite a few times. In this case, ideally no government action ought even need considering; the mosque backers should reconsider, of their own free will, the location and seek another spot farther away.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to historystudent
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          @historystudent, of course the community center/mosque is not being built at the 911 site. Its two blocks away. Four blocks away from the 911 site is another mosque that has been there for 40 years. Two blocks away from the 911 site is a strip club. For some unexplained reason the last two establishments have not created any fuss.

          There are many of us, i believe we are also called American’s , who have no problem with the mosque being built in the old burlington coat factory building. Why is it that the sensitivity of those who don’t like it holds sway? Is there a magic pole number where people of disfavored groups need to watch out not to piss anybody off? Should the other mosques being protested also just go away so as not to piss anybody off?Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to historystudent
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          The saying that “with rights come responsibilities” was never meant to convey the idea that your responsibilities would be enforced for you by the state. On the contrary, they are responsibilities precisely because the state will not look after them for you.

          When the state sees to your following a certain code of conduct — be it keeping your family in food or refraining from hurting the sensibilities of others — that code of conduct ceases altogether to be a “responsibility.”Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson
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        @Mark Thompson, Mark, hep me here. Besides the so-called ‘Patriot Act’ legislation signed by Bush the Lessor, do you have any other examples of “gummint expanison over the years 2000-20008?” I’m not being snarky, just curious.
        Also, I think you’re falling back into the wrong-headedness of referring to Bush as a ‘conservative.’ He wasn’t ever a conservative. Other than that I like your disquisition on ‘federalism, and limited gummint’, it’s timely and needed for both sides of the political equation considering that we now have Juan and Eva Peron in the White House.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
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          @Robert Cheeks, Well Bob, there was his enormous prescription drug benefit expansion (entirely unfunded, 100% pure deficit spending). Also he launched two large expensive wars (again pure deficit spending). Additionally he cut taxes very sharply with no commensurate spending decreases (in fact he increased spending pretty much across the board) while his VP declared that deficits didn’t matter. Now maybe you think that tax cuts don’t count as government expansion but if you deficit spend then you are increasing taxes; either in the near or long term future taxes have to go up or other spending has to be cut to pay for past debts.

          And after all of that he was only written out of the conservative movement initially only once his popularity plummeted and primarily once he was out of office and it wouldn’t matter anymore except for using it as a shield to defend the GOP which, it seems, arose phoenix like from the ashes of his presidency newborn pure as the driven snow and innocent of all his heresies.Report

          • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to North
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            @North, You forgot NCLB, the “unitary executive” theory (Cheney’s pet project, which is important because Cheney seemingly remains a conservative in good standing with the movement folks), enormous expansion of defense spending, two wars (at least one of which was completely unnecessary and indefensible), increased steel tariffs, absurd prohibitions on internet gaming, and raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. That’s just off the top of my head, by the way.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Mark Thompson
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              @Mark Thompson, I got the Wars Mark, but yes on all the other items. Bush’s mouthed some nice small government words but he was a huge expander of the government in especially damaging ways with the enthusiastic assistance of his party and most of the “conservative movement”.

              It’s like Gingrich said to his wife when he informed her he was divorcing her and marrying a younger woman and she asked about all his schtick about family values. “It doesn’t matter what I do, it matters what I say.” Strikes me as the mantra of the modern GOP.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mark Thompson
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              @North, recently, on Newt’s website, he gave a little post about the importance of the sanctity of marriage.

              One of the comments that was most “thumbed up” (or whatever the term is) asked “which of your three marriages do you consider most sacred?”Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson
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              @Mark Thompson, Mark, AGAIN, I don’t know where you get this stuff: “(Cheney’s pet project, which is important because Cheney seemingly remains a conservative in good standing with the movement folks), ” but Cheney isn’t now, nor never has been a conservative. He is now and always has been a RINO/Neo.
              Work with me here, dude. It’s important that you guys let this sink into your head.Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Mark Thompson
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              @Mark Thompson, *cough* habeas corpus! *cough*Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North
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            @North, Thanks NOrth, nicely done. Re: his being “written out of the conservative movement,” he was, in my little circle of Huns, never included and proved, as you illustrate above, that there’s some very close similarities between the Left and RINO’s/Neocons.
            Given Brother Bush’s gross errors how do you compare his tenure and Brother Obama’s and yes I know we’re talking two terms vs. slightly less than two years?Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              @Robert Cheeks, Bob, I really do appreciate that you’re a paleocon and not a neocon. But I’ve never heard exactly what neoconservative beliefs you disagree with and why. I thought a key “neocon” idea was that we’re in a civilizational battle to the death with the dar-al-Islam, which you do agree with as I remember. So, beyond a general claim that neocons are entirely too liberal for your tastes, what are your specific differences with them?Report

          • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to North
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            @Robert Cheeks, I get your point, but the trouble is that you paleocons – quite unfortunately for the rest of us – make up an excrutiatingly small portion of those who claim the “movement conservative” banner.Report

          • Avatar Bo in reply to North
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            @North, the striking thing about these lists of Bush’s government expansion is that they are almost exclusively things Bush ‘accomplished’ in his first term. Bush had started 2 wars, signed the Patriot Act, signed NCLB, enacted steel tariffs, signed Medicare Part D, cut taxes 3 times and increased military spending by almost 50% (not including the 2 aforementioned wars’ price tags), all by the time the 2004 elections rolled around. The percentage of self-identified conservatives who voted for Bush increased from 81% in 2000 to 84% in 2004.Report

  8. Avatar Koz
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    “So let me get this straight: willing to violate federalism, limited government, freedom of religion, and basic property rights after 8 years …..”

    Let’s look at what I wrote about exceptions in my last comment a little closer, because it mitigates most of the rhetorical force of your last comment, but more important in its own right because it correctly locates the principles of limited government and private property in our current political/cultural context.

    The idea is that, as a general principle, people have the right to dispose of their own property as they see fit, and also have the right to conduct commerce and reap whatever benefits that are there.

    But, even in a regime of limited government, this doesn’t hold in toto. Government levies taxation and enforces regulations for this and that. The point being, is that these are the exceptions to the general principle of private property. Exceptions which are or ought to be limited in purpose and scope.

    Modern liberalism is the perversion of limited government, wherein the “exceptions” and their justifications multiply and expand to the point where there is no operational general principle of private property. The exercise of private property, to the extent that it’s allowed to exist at all, is the exception, and doling out favors to politically or socially favored parties is the rule.

    In this context, you are clearly overstating your case against Kristol (and to be fair to Kristol, I didn’t read that particular piece). Banning a mosque at Ground Zero, is by its very nature, clearly an exception to a rule. It’s not banning mosques in Yonkers, or Cleveland or Tulsa, and I’m sure there are mosques in all of those places. We can argue, as you do, that Kristol’s exception is a poorly-justified one, but even allowing for that it is still an exception, and in a regime of limited government, there are many such exceptions.

    “Sorry dude, but the concept of “limited government” goes rather beyond “what’s my tax rate?””

    Absolutely, see below.

    “Government spending is far, far from the only metric of determining whether government is limited.

    That may be true in general (or in particular for Burma), but right now for the United States, the level of government spending at levels is more or less the only metric worth worrying about.

    At the current levels of spending (or higher), there is no tax regime, no regulatory regime, no law enforcement apparatus which can ever be credible as limited government. People know that government will have to collect oppressive taxes, now or in the future or both. Under those circumstances it’s very very difficult to create and manage a successful ongoing concern.

    Therefore, it’s the Republican Party and the nexus of people who are in some way associated with it in one way or another (Greater Red State America, mainstream conservative intelligentsia, Tea Party activists, etc.) who have with it the legitimate hope for prosperity and limited government in America. And outside of that nexus, there is no such hope.

    At some level, Mark I think you perceive this, ie the nature of modern liberalism as it applies to limited government but for some emotional or psychological reasons, won’t accept the obvious natural consequencees.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Koz
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      @Koz,
      “At some level, Mark I think you perceive this, ie the nature of modern liberalism as it applies to limited government but for some emotional or psychological reasons, won’t accept the obvious natural consequencees.”

      Might this be because I actually take the time to listen to what liberals are saying rather than rely on 30 year old caricature?

      Moreover, your analogy ignores that secure property rights are simply a function of the rule of law. As long as the rule of law is applied with equal force and is available for everyone to understand and rely upon, property rights are secure – regardless of what the rule of law may be. But when property rights may be infringed merely on a whim, and without regard to the rule of law, or when the arbitrary violation of property rights becomes accepted, property rights are no longer the rule. What Kristol, and conservatives all over the place, are demanding wrt Park51 and a number of other Islamic owned properties is that the government act arbitrarily to deprive them of their property rights. A belief that the government has the right and authority to arbitrarily violate property rights on a mere whim is a belief that property rights themselves do not exist. And so we get outrageous, unchallengeable and secret no-fly lists, warrantless wiretaps, justifications for searches and seizures based on “suspicion” rather than probable cause, and so on and so forth. In essence, we get a governing philosophy that entrusts the Executive branch with absolute power.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Mark Thompson
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        @Mark Thompson, Shorter me: I’m under no illusions that the Democrats are firm believers in my understanding of limited government. But if you want me to think of the GOP as anything other than a foil in a blessedly divided government, then the GOP will have to explain exactly how it intends to limit government. Otherwise, I’ll just continue to look at the years 2000-2008 (not to mention 1981-1992, and definitely not to mention Wage and Price Controls Nixon) and at the refusal to touch Medicare, and at the insistence on increasing the size of the defense budget and at the insistence that the federal government has the right to arbitrarily violate property rights of politically unpopular groups and at the insistence that we should, like, totally start a new war against Iran, and at the refusal to find ways to pay for any of this whatsoever and think: they have not learned, they really have not learned.Report

        • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson
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          @Mark Thompson, Thanks for not identifying the GOP as ‘conservative.’ And, while I agree with much of what you’ve written, and having left the GOP due to Bush’s policy of “taking democracy to the Middle East,” I have to think that because much of the GOP is ignorant, greedy, stupid, and statist that’s no reason to vote Democrat.
          It appears to me that the current commie-dem policies are designed specifially to destroy the economy and put as many people as possible on the financially shaky ‘welfare’ roles. It’s almost as if they want a revolution?

          “that the federal government has the right to arbitrarily violate property rights of politically unpopular groups…” May I ask who you’re referring to? I know the Waco massacre was executed by Clinton and I think that was the most significant act of gummint oppression of “unpopular groups” in my lifetime.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to Mark Thompson
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          “I’m under no illusions that the Democrats are firm believers in my understanding of limited government. But if you want me to think of the GOP as anything other than a foil in a blessedly divided government, then the GOP will have to explain exactly how it intends to limit government.”

          This is pretty close to the Platonic archetype of noncommitment, in a way that goes way beyond this particular context of limited government.

          It took me a while to get, but I finally figured out that the things we really want in life are the things we take chances to get. The big ticket stuff never comes gift-wrapped. The current situation with limited government here in America right now is close as it gets.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Mark Thompson
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        “Might this be because I actually take the time to listen to what liberals are saying rather than rely on 30 year old caricature?”

        I have no idea what you’re talking about here.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Mark Thompson
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        “Moreover, your analogy ignores that secure property rights are simply a function of the rule of law. As long as the rule of law is applied with equal force and is available for everyone to understand and rely upon, property rights are secure – regardless of what the rule of law may be. But when property rights may be infringed merely on a whim, and without regard to the rule of law, or when the arbitrary violation of property rights becomes accepted, property rights are no longer the rule.”

        This is horribly wrong, at least in terms of how you’re applying it here.

        First, the exercise of private property is downstream from the laws and regulations that are on the books at the moment. But that is downstream from the composition of the political class, and that is downstream from our national culture as a whole. The key question for the moment is whether the nation at large, of which there’s a substantial number of us who believe in limited government, can pull rank over the political class, a substantial number of whom don’t. In this context, you are part of the problem.

        In this case, you’re also continuing to misunderstand the idea of exceptions to the rule of private property versus having not having a regime of limited government at all. This is perplexing for me because this is not exactly a subtle case.

        If Kristol et al, are successful in scuttling the Ground Zero mosque, a businessman in Denver can still think up ideas for a new widget. Engineers can design them, factories can build them and trucks can ship them to Omaha, all while infringing on the “property rights” of Cordoba mosque landholders.

        The same simply does not apply wrt the stimulus package or the health care bill, which can and are taking a big bite out of our economy as I write.Report

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