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Monday, July 25, 2016

National Review's editor (hearts) Tim Kaine

Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review is marching lock-step behind Hillary in the praise parade for Tim Kaine.

It's almost as if Mister Never Trump is for Hillary....

From Lowry:
I’ve never paid much attention to Tim Kaine (and, really, why would I?). So I was surprised by his conversational deftness as a communicator. It’s rare for a career politician to seem so normal. He has the affect of an earnest suburban Dad. Not that he will be able to do anything to soften or change Hillary’s image, but–assuming no defining gaffes over the next week–he’s not going to do any harm and might help at the margins. 
A couple of other observations from this afternoon: I get that his speaking Spanish is an asset given that Democrats want to run up the score among Latinos, but it was over the top today; as someone noted on Twitter, it’s remarkable how many of the attacks on Donald Trump are unique to Donald Trump, i.e. they are attacks that wouldn’t have been possible to lodge against any other Republican; Hillary is going to hammer Trump’s contention that he alone can solve the nation’s problem as 1) patriarchal (one man saying he can fix the country, 2) authoritarian, 3) a symptom of how he can’t work with others; Clinton will also try to make many of his criticisms of the status quo unpatriotic attacks on the country itself; it was a very buttoned-up, polished event compared to the Pence announcement and the same will almost certainly be true of the convention this coming week–an advantage if the usual rules applies, but this year a significant slice of voters may consider this very professionalism a sign of inauthenticity and politics as usual.
You know, for a guy who regularly lambastes Trump for talking about Trump, Lowry went from discussing Kaine right into hating on Trump. Could have mentioned the $186,899 in known gifts Kaine accepted as governor of Virginia. But why bother when you can dump on Trump?

So what did Lowry say about Mike Pence?
Trump is going to need a wingman who can believe six impossible things before breakfast; who can defend the Muslim travel ban during those times when it is Trump’s position and skate away from it during those times when it’s not; who can take any new controversy of the hour, defend it and explain it away; and who won’t ever let personal or philosophical standards get in the way. 
There’s nothing to suggest that Mike Pence is up for the rigors of this political and media proving ground. The closest he’s come in his career was an unhappy experience defending his state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. His low-key Midwestern persona would risk utterly disappearing, compared to Trump’s outsized personality. The party’s excitement over him would be low to undetectable.
No mention of the need for Kaine to do six impossible things before breakfast: 1. defend Hillary's latest security breach, 2. explain why she wasn't indicted, 3. explain why she should be rewarded with the presidency despite that, 4. defend the rise in terrorism on her watch as secretary of state, 5. defend Goldman Sachs buying her off with $250,000 speaking fees, 6. explain why she never apologized firo Benghazi.

But of course, Kaine does not have to defend Hilary.

That's the Washington press corps's job -- and Lowry now is a member of that team.

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  2. I have books by the boatload. Two houses full. Some bought, some inherited, some from library giveaways (sometimes they throw away pretty good stuff). The other day I picked up one of those titled The New Right Papers, published in 1982 after Reagan beat carter. A compilation of essays by a variety of conservatives of different strains prognosticating about the future of the movement. The two essays I have found most intriguing so far are one by Sam Francis that puts populism and nationalism front and center--a literal prophecy of what is going on now, and one by Thomas Fleming, a Southern Traditionalist.
    In Fleming's essay, titled Old Rights and the New Right, he makes the point that "freedom" is just a word, an abstraction, that cannot be used as a predicate of anything with substance, but can only be used to describe a relational state. He goes on to say, "Whenever we turn an abstraction, a word, into a living force, we create an idol." This struck me in two ways. Whenever a Christian sees this word, the first thing that pops into his head is the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Plus the fact that God wants us to understand Him as a person. And according to the Nicene Creed actually one in three for the purposes of human understanding and worship. The other is that the chief business of philosophers and universities is to make gods out of concepts, because they no longer have the personal God in the universe of their minds, minds that, in their own understanding of evolution were evolved to include religion, God, as a necessary aspect of survival of their own species (don't get distracted, this is a side point). The gods created by these then go on to be represented in the slogans and goals of various strains of politics, as if they are real things. After all, mankind has seen God and gods as real, tangible things, persons, or Person throughout history, right down to the ones marking property boundaries in prehistory (The Ancient City, Fustel DeCoulanges). Fleming goes on to point out that very fallible humans are in turn held up as demigods (he doesn't use this word, but he might as well, I think it appropriate because the early theologians decided to call these "daemons" demons and say that they were ambassadors of the Devil), and that they have their places in the pantheon, not because of what good people they are or were, but because they held OTHERS to a standard that is unattainable established by holding up an abstraction as a god to be obeyed and worshiped (think of the corrupt Mirabeau in that of France). The reason I write this now is that this same abstract thinking has taken over certain strains of the conservative movement, and for a short period in the last thirty years or so has been ruling the roost. I've always considered myself a student of the movement, yet I have left unread most of the writings of the Southern Agrarians as irrelevant. But this kind of thinking is as necessary to conservatism as is the air we breathe. Burke and Kirk warned us about abstractions and abstractionists, but we always thought they were "the other guys", not us. It's just as bad as a black person thinking that they can't be racist, a category mistake. Another blog that I've found useful to read lately is called Zman, or some such thing. He divides the world into "cloud people" and "dirt people". The thing is, how many people think they are dirt people, but think in terms that they unconsciously learned from cloud people? Now the point: Lowry is one of those.

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  3. Bill Buckley is thrashing in his grave right now. Within a year, NR will smell just like Mother Jones. Then they'll go out of business. People like Limbaugh, Selleck, the Kochs, et al will stop giving them money. Game over, SUCKAHS. Way to run a once great magazine into the ground, Rich. You Doosh.

  4. The Kochs are supporting Crooked Cankles.

    1. The Kochs---from the Democrats' boogie men to their bag men. Will the Dems refuse Koch money? Or will they twist themselves into pretzels to rationalize their taking dirty money from the Kochs? When it comes to following "principles" the Left is always "flexible." The one most sacrosanct rule for the Left is Gewinn über alles.

  5. Such a pity to see a once-great magazine thrown into the mud and trampled.

    Once I had a full subscription and enjoyed NRO greatly; then they fired Derbyshire, which amazed and upset me, and later Mark Steyn, for the most purile of reasons. That was just the beginning of the slide downhill, now they've doubled down on stupid (or they're getting paid by the Dark Side.)

    "Conservatives" apparently have "principles" which mean that they can only put up gentlemanly arguments against the other side's knives and clubs; then they're supposed to lose gracefully, going down with their ship. It would be unthinkable to engage a different captain, who might (in his rough and ungenteel way) correct course to prevent the capsize, because that new captain is Not.One.Of.Our.Kind.

    Lowry can look down his patrician nose at me as much as he likes; I'll wave to him as he's going down for the last time under the tidal wave that is coming, which will sweep Donald J. Trump into the White House!

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