Could Is Not Should

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Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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87 Responses

  1. Avatar Gaelen says:

    I would say “could” for both, though not at the same time.Report

  2. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    And remember, TAC’s comment section is relatively sane by right-wing blogs (NRO, RedState, Hot Air) standards.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      I read most of the comments. Low on accusations of socialism, treason, america hating, but Huntsman is not being viewed positively.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to greginak says:

        Put it this way. I’m the weird guy who reads more right-wing blogs than left-wing blogs for a variety of reasons. When I read the comment sections in TAC, I don’t fear for the future of the country. OTOH, when I read the comments at Red State (all 13 of them), Hot Air, or The Corner, I can easily see some people who will go off the handle if Hillary manages to win two terms.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      Yes. It’s conservatism without the hyper-nationalism and neoconservatism of other right-wing sites, which is refreshing (I read quite a bit of Larison, and most of the comments on his blog are fairly reasonable unless neocons show up to yell up him – although a fair number of the comments are also lefties trying to get him to come over to their side on the basis of shared non-interventionist principles). And it’s a reasonable place for sane social conservatism from some bloggers like Dreher; due to it having a fair number of social conservatives, I’m not overly surprised people would respond poorly to Huntsman’s suggestions, but most of the comments, while disapproving, aren’t rabid.

      The main downside of the site is that it’s also host to some writers and commentators who are downright racist.Report

  3. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    Also, to add on to this, I believe I’ve said in a previous post that an economically populist/socially conservative is a coalition that the Republican Party could win with.

    However, the problem isn’t that the GOP can’t win elections in the present with anti-gay marriage candidates. The problem is, in eight or twelve years when Millenials are 35-40% of the voting populace instead of 25% of the voting populace. Being against gay marriage in 2000 will be explainable to that audience of voters. Being against gay marriage in 2012 or 2016 won’t be.

    So, the question is, if you’re the party that more socially conservative people will move too, how do you move to the a place where you can get to the votes of people who are pro-gay marriage without pissing off your base? I’d imagine that by 2016 or 2020, the Republican candidate will be full-on the DNC 2004 train of, ‘states should decide’ and be for federal civil unions in some form.Report

  4. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Whoops, I meant to put this in “off the cuff.” Transferring…Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer says:

    What were you expecting from the audience of the American Conservative? Isn’t this Pat “the last open Anti-Semite” Buachanon’s magazine? Isn’t it filled with isolationist paelo-conservatives ? The modern equivalent of know-nothings and American Firsters?

    I say this slightly in jest. I don’t agree with them but Daniel Larison and Noah Millman are interesting every now and then. Dreher infuriates me.Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to NewDealer says:

      Dreher isn’t much different from Douthat, though Dreher’s probably the better writer. They both ooze self-righteous white christian male sanctimony.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        Yeah, any Dreher post about college kids doing silly college things (OMG, Sex Balls!), gay people, or crime has a tendency to go horribly. Even more so in the comments.Report

        • Or poverty….poverty is the one where Dreher comes out worst. With his homilies about deserving and undeserving poor.Report

          • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

            Well, crime usually usually leads to poverty usually leads to a Steve Sailer devotee posting in the comments. So, I was throwing poverty within the vector of crime posting by ole’ Rod.Report

            • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

              Oh Steve Sailer. His constant posting at Slate is interesting as well.

              I wonder how much money the guy really makes. Can he really earn all that much from writing internet comments all day?Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to NewDealer says:

                I’d imagine if I were more a racist asshole I’d be getting paid to do my blogging.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                You’re young, there’s still time.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Chris says:

                Maybe if I wrote about how much superior asian models of everything were.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                I don’t know about “superior,” but they are pretty good.Report

              • Brazilian Gisele Bündchen remains the world’s best-paid model. She doesn’t look even a little bit Asian.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Tom Brady makes everyone around him look whiter and more wholesome.Report

              • Avatar James and Johanna in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                That falls into the category of things Burt Likko knows that James Hanley doesn’t know, and can hardly imagine knowing (until Burt tells him).Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Here’s your angle, Nob. Get an American anywhere else in the world, he starts in with this Inferiority Complex. You may not be old enough to remember all those dumbass books about Kaizen and Japanese Manufacturing is Gonna Take over the World.

                So, I’m your book editor. You write a book in two editions, one in Japanese the other in English. Erm… what should you name it? How about Nazo Ga Hyoukai. Melting the Riddle, or Dispelling Mysteries. In it, you indulge in every fearful stereotype of models, both Asian and American.

                Of course, it will be complete scaremongering bullshit. We both know Japanese and Americans have more in common than most people suppose. Both cultures have superiority/inferiority complexes but damn, both cultures just love new things, fitting them into their own cultures with a few interesting twists.

                Or, you could just do it straight. Which might be a great book, all things considered.Report

              • Oh I remember all those books. I also remember the scholarly articles that cropped up around that time, too. Chalmers Johnson (RIP) made a cottage industry out of it.

                There’s a lot of “American type management” and “visionary”ness stuff out there nowadays.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Heh. Chalmers Johnson. I remember my decade at Panasonic. Spent a lot of time getting drunk with a couple of the engineers. Turns out all that supposedly-Japanese mastery of manufacturing was of American origin anyway. Well, some came from Germany, the Japanese always admired German efficiency.

                Anyway, these guys claimed it all came from W Edwards Deming, for whom the Deming Prize is named. Nobody paid him much attention in the USA but the Japanese immediately grasped how much better it would be to manufacture 100 consistent units than 80 superior units and 20 crappy ones.

                My Japanese is getting kinda creaky. I should go back for a while. I loved Kyoto, probably more than I care to admit.Report

              • You know Japanese companies looking to figure out their manufacturing investments would probably make a killing right now getting into sourcing in the US again. The exchange rate is favorable, the infrastructure needed for high tech manufacturing costs the same regardless of location, better labor pool and more reliable services like electricity would make putting things up in the US more profitable.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                The Japanese screwdriver factories I worked on back in the 80s and 90s moved around a bit, taking advantage of tax situations.

                There’s a logistics problem putting Japanese firms over here. The whole genba mentality — [Japanese managers, especially in manufacturing are hands-on. The only parallel to genba is the US Marine Corps, also a hands-on, deeply integrated command structure] — means Japanese will always want to put their own management in charge of everything. Which isn’t really a bad thing, but it means everyone stays late so they can get on the phone to talk to management in Japan.

                The only way this ever works is to make a Little Japan over here. Or, more properly, the only way I’ve ever seen it work.Report

              • Yeah, but the genba mentality happens whereever they move the factories. And the headaches are manifestly larger in Manila or Jakarta compared to Marysville Ohio.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Nob, you know you ought to write Melting the Riddle. Americans are great workers. One thing the Japanese always liked about us: when anything went down, an American wouldn’t stand there like a pig looking at a wristwatch. An American will get in there and fix it. Even if it wasn’t a very good fix, it usually worked.

                Duct Tape Mentality they called it.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Yep. Deming, along with a fellow named Juran, basically invented statistical quality control at Western Electric. Which eventually morphed into AT&T and promptly forgot everything they once knew about quality, efficiency and cost control because, being a humongous monopoly, they simply didn’t have to. Until they got broken up by Judge Greene and got their ass handed to them by competitors.

                It was damned ugly around there at the time.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Actually, statistical quality control was invented by William Sealy Gosset, who worked at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin during the early 20th Century. His employer considered his work to be a trade secret, so he was allowed to publish his theoretical advances only under his pseudonym, “Student”, as in “Student’s t-test”.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Chris says:

                James and Johanna,

                Now we will even be more confused about who is posting! Unless you have assimilated and are now the Borg. Though I can’t see James joining a collective.Report

              • Avatar Russell M in reply to NewDealer says:

                I did not even notice till you mentioned it. Just gotten used to seeing the battery cat and thinking James. Now confusion reigns.Report

              • Avatar j@m3z Aitch. in reply to NewDealer says:

                It was only for the Monday trivia since were were working on it (gasp!) collectively. And then, of course, I forgot to change the settings, because, well, I forgot.Report

              • Avatar Russell M in reply to NewDealer says:

                so no need to check you for borg implants james?Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to NewDealer says:

                Well, I am married, so we can assume some amount of borg hive-mindedness.Report

        • “ny Dreher post about college kids doing silly college things (OMG, Sex Balls!), gay people, or crime has a tendency to go horribly. ”

          Unless he’s excusing someone who can no longer hope be a military officer for “merely” participating in a riot. Alas I don’t have a cite, but as I recall Mr. Dreher was as concerned as only a troll could be in that particular case.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to NewDealer says:

      To be fair to the TAC, they’re far more paltable to read than either The Corner, Red State, or Hot Air. Buchanan seems to be on the masthead largely because he keeps the hardcore isolationist/American Firster’s subscriptions around while the rest of the people write better stuff. For example, in the past few weeks, we’ve had a call for an increased minimum wage and Hunstman’s article.

      Dreher doesn’t infuriate me, I just find him a good place to find a nice variety of reasonably sane religious people, the Earth is falling because women are getting birth control for free, and the “race realists.”Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        “Race Realists” is one of the most depressing self-coinages I have ever heard in my life because it shows a kind of half-awareness that being racist is bad but….

        Yeah they are depressing and horrible to me.Report

        • Avatar Fnord in reply to NewDealer says:

          At least “Race Realists” admit that they’re talking about race. “Human Biodiversity” people apparently would like you to think that it’s a coincidence that they’re always talking about NAMs (that would be “non-asian minorities”).Report

          • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Fnord says:

            I suppose that is good news in bad news?

            I don’t understand how the trend for some racists to single asians out as being comparable to whites but blacks and latinos are still horrible :/Report

            • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to NewDealer says:

              Asians are well-behaved engineering types who don’t make a fuss or hurt property values. They’d be very disappointed in Nob. (As are we all.)Report

              • My only real disappointment in Nob is his refusal to embrace the fantastic theater that is Serie A futbol Italiano.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Do you watch any Mexican soccer, Burt? Since I spend more time than I should in my neighborhood taqueria, I see a lot of it, and find it highly entertaining. It’s basically the anti-Italian football (I say this as someone who’s half Italian), with very little flopping and flailing.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chris says:

                I admit I’ve not.

                I know Azteca enjoys a tremendously scary reputation, and part of that is altitude and part of it is that the loud home crowd. I’ve heard it say that the Mexican teams are all just that much faster than pretty much everyone but Brazil.

                You make me wish I could hang out in a taqueria all day. It sounds pretty cool.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Well, I don’t hang out all day, but it’s literally just down the street, so I walk over and grab a beer and a torta or a burrito california (my girlfriend loves it took, and they’re extremely friendly, so we just sit and hang out with the staff and other patrons, few of whom speak English). Also, when they’re not playing futbol on the TV, they’re playing novellas, and those are way too entertaining.

                Mexican soccer is very fast, and also very physical. The talent level isn’t comparable to the Premiership or la Liga, but it’s still very fun.Report

    • “I don’t agree with them but Daniel Larison and Noah Millman are interesting every now and then. Dreher infuriates me.”

      Ditto, ditto, and ditto. I used to link to TAC on my blog just so I’d have a quick way to link to Larison and Millman. For a while I read Dreher, too, until I couldn’t stand him anymore.

      I’ve taken that link down because I don’t wish to do something that could be interpreted as endorsing TAC. I still link directly to Millman, though. I do think Millman and Larison do themselves a disservice by associating themselves with Buchanan. I think Millman’s old blog was a lot better. (I forget its name.)Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

        Yeah, I get the same nervousness about reading stuff. I don’t want anyone to think I approve of TAC.

        Larison seems like an old school American Firster (and I would not be surprised if he was somewhat to very anti-Semitic and/or racist ) but he understands that GOP is acting really crazy on lots of stuff. Not that such matters to me.

        Millman is a more interesting test case for me. As far as I can tell, he is a secularish-Jewish resident of new Brooklyn who sincerely likes all the rustic-sophisticated-hipstery things that new Brooklyn has to offer. Yet he writes for the archly paleo-Conservative TAC. I’ve never seen him explain himself but I love parties of one like that. Liberal cultural preferences, ultra-conservative politics.Report

  6. Avatar Scott Fields says:

    Pretty good illustration of the dynamics for the GOP. Here’s an OP ostensibly about the good Jon Huntsman could do for the Republican Party and only 2 comments out of nearly 50 make even a passing reference to Jon Huntsman. 🙂

    Sane voices in the GOP just aren’t going to make a difference. They are whispers in thunderstorm.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Scott Fields says:

      I am a dyed in the wool liberal Democrat. So the response to Huntsman is good news to my partisan ears. Though I agree that we need at least two functioning parties to prevent complanency and corruption. I don’t want my party to become complacent.

      That being said it would take a major sea change for me to consider voting Republican even if they were a big tent party and had people like Jacob Javits and Earl Warren still.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Scott Fields says:

      Pratt.
      There, now you’ve got three.Report

  7. I believe celebrating Huntsman’s heroism for saying this is what they used to call the bigotry of low expectations when I was a more wee lad.Report

    • I must concede that this is true.

      That immigration policy should seek to integrate people who want to work into the workforce and treat people like human beings, and that marriage rights ought to be presumed, ought to be propositions so obvious as to be nonpartisan. Once, this sort of thing was so obvious as to be nonpartisan. Ronald Reagan signed the amnesty law, for crying out loud.

      Jon Huntsman urging, even in a very generalized way, policies like these ought not to be a heroic and brave sort of stance to take. These policies ought to be so obvious as to elicit a reaction from the rank-and-file of “Duh.” But instead of even debating this, there is only pointing and screaming at the RINO. That pointing and screaming, even more than the fact that it is remarkable at all that Huntsman should take a position like this, is really what I was initially writing about.

      It’s not just that they say “This is what we stand for and we’re not going to change that,” it’s that they pick these kinds of things to insist upon. It might be easy to find a good-looking if ill-hydrated Latino politician to be a “new face” for the party, but until the party line world view breaks out of the amber it’s crystallized in, and updates out of a time from before I was even born, it’s going to be very hard for them to woo me back.

      I suspect there are a whole lot of ex-Republicans like me out there. I’m sorry if the post seemed to invite the Three Minute Hate aimed at the GOP, because it was really intended to be a sad shake of the head for yet another opportunity for meaningful reform seemingly discarded by the rank-and-file, more than a call to pile up the obloquy.Report

      • It’s hard not to give in to the Three Minute Hate sometimes, frankly. I don’t see the average Republican (at this point) as someone who honestly disagrees with me and with whom I can have some kind of discussion to find common ground. He is, rather, more like a cartoon character who says and does wacky things because the physics that applies to him is not the physics that applies to me. He just doesn’t even really seem like a person, so it’s hard to grant even the bare minimum of respect.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Can I ask a dumb question? I missed the kerfuffle over Rubio and the water bottle. What was that supposed to signify, other than I assume his throat was dry and scratchy enough that he couldn’t continue (I assume he was on live TV, so suddenly losing his voice or coughing would have looked even more ridiculous?)Report

        • Avatar Bob2 in reply to Glyph says:

          the sound and the furyReport

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Glyph says:

          It signifies “amateur hour.” Not ready for prime time. And by itself, it would just have looked goofy. But it was the climax of a whole series of nonverbal signals that Senator Rubio was extremely anxious and nervous about the speech. Something about what he was doing made him very, very uncomfortable.

          (Soon afterwards, he gave the same speech in Spanish, and was much smoother. Interesting, no?)

          He can overcome this. He likely will, and I hope he does. But it’s all but certain to be a part of his political costume for the rest of his career. Hopefully he can turn it to his advantage — selling Rubio’s Bottled Water might become a fundraising vehicle, for instance.Report

          • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Burt Likko says:

            It’s sort of like when that idiot talked about how the US had “fifty-seven states”. I mean, come on, dude, you went to kindergarten, right?Report

            • Avatar david in reply to Jim Heffman says:

              Of course, no “idiot” ever said the US had 57 states. The “idiot” did say the state he was CURRENTLY VISITING at that time was the “57th” state in which he’d actively campaigned (as opposed to the “47th”state, which would have been an accurate statement).

              There is a difference between an exhausted candidate screwing up a digit during an off-the-cuff remark and a prepared speaker in the biggest national political spotlight possible not doing what even a D-level stand-up comedy hack would know to do (keep a glass or bottle of water at hand during your time on stage).

              As noted above, it was Amateur Hour, Part II. So, how’s Piyush Jindal’s national aspirations been coming along since HIS big “coming out” party?Report

          • Avatar Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

            At least in the linked clip, he didn’t appear that nervous (though he did wipe his mouth before taking a a drink, so whatever he was dealing with gave him some warning before continuing sans water became untenable). But if you’ve ever had a sudden tickle in yr throat or a coughing fit, you know that you can’t just power on through; whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you gotta take a drink of water. What if he’d sneezed? It’s live TV. These things happen. At least he didn’t barf on a Prime Minister.

            It makes total sense to treat this as comedy – but like the “Dean Scream”, I don’t think reading politics into it makes a whole lot of sense.Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Glyph says:

              Well, I was making a throwaway sort of joke about it. At least attempting to. Didn’t pull it off, I guess.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Oh, sorry, no, I read yours as a joke. But when WaterBottleGate happened and everyone was talking about it I wondered what the big deal was, if people were saying it indicated [something or other] like Dean’s “scream” supposedly showing he was unhinged or angry (which was equally silly).Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Glyph says:

                Though the Dean Scream did real damage to his political future. The water bottle will be forgotten within a few weeks. (Rubio’s helping with that by being willing to make self-deprecating jokes about it.)Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to MikeSchilling says:

                Rubio just looked awkward. The Dean Scream made Howie look demented, like somebody you don’t want near your kids. Still a lousy reason to withdraw support from the guy, but if some of the vague rumors I’ve heard are correct, the political world isn’t always a very fair place.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Glyph says:

              I don’t think reading politics into it makes a whole lot of sense.

              If you think that’s relevant, you don’t really have a good handle on politics.Report

      • Avatar Scott Fields in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Burt –

        As an ex-Republican, what do you think it will take to “break the amber”? As I intimated in my earlier comment, even if there are leaders who could show the way off the cliff for the Republicans, they can’t get heard within the cacophony that is the rank and file. Is there an incremental way back or is crash and burn required?

        I’m a pragmatist, so I agree with what NewDealer says above, that the country is best served by two functioning parties working with some give and take.Report

        • What it takes is when messengers like Huntsman are listened to and ideas like these are incorporated into the internal dialogue of the party, with a meaningful impact on the resulting platform.

          Even Senator Rubio, a recent crush of Tea Party types, had been given cool treatment after signing on to a rather modest immigration reform proposal, one heavier on the punishment than the reform. Maybe some of that was because he actually worked with some Democrats to come up with some ideas. But some of it was also clearly because he was not offering a reform along the lines of “2,000 miles of twenty-foot concertina wire loops, fragmentation mines, and automated machine guns on the border from Brownsville to San Ysidro, and sell licenses to private gunowners so that they might hunt illegal immigrants for sport.”Report

  8. Avatar Philip H says:

    I think Amb. Huntsman should be considered a hero for saying it; I think he WILL be run out of the Republican Party for saying it.Report

  9. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    It would have been nice if Huntsman hadn’t opposed same sex marriage when he ran for President back in the halcyon days of last year.Report

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