Open letter to Governor Palin’s supporters
The election is over. It’s time to put our differences aside, come together as Americans, and reach out across the aisle in a spirit of bipartisanship. And so today I address myself to those of you who were so energized by Sarah Palin’s historic campaign.
My friends, do you know what your party is saying about you? Yes, they’re blaming you for McCain’s defeat—you’ve been hearing that for over a week now. They’re really starting to dish the dirt on Governor Palin, all because she’s a strong woman who challenges the liberal media. But it goes much, much further than that. They’re talking about abandoning you altogether.
Panicked by the polls, the fickle intellectual and political elites of your party are now arguing that conservatives need to engage in some fundamental rethinking—and that means they’re thinking about tossing you under the proverbial bus. Colin Powell, Kathleen Parker, Christopher Buckley, David Brooks, Charles Fried, Peggy Noonan—you know, the appeasers and apostates—are clearly more interested in keeping their places at those Georgetown cocktail parties than in standing up for the truth. And they’re not alone, by any means. Look at this “What Should the GOP Do Now?” forum at the liberal online magazine Slate, where they’re openly speaking about a “Conservative Crackup.” You’ve got Constitutional scholar and Obama-endorser Douglas Kmiec saying things like this:
It’s admittedly hard to untie the abortion knot, but here’s a thought: Republicans could have moved a constitutional amendment that would presume life to begin at conception, while further providing that no government, federal or state, is competent to legislate on the question absent a supermajority. The effect? Taking the Supreme Court’s “activist” thumb off the scale against life while at the same time avoiding the criminalization of a woman’s freedom. This is not the ideal Catholic position, but it’s closer, and the Catholic Church has less standing to complain about a grant of freedom that could then be fairly influenced by the moral instruction associated with a woman’s religious choice.
I don’t really understand what that means, but it certainly sounds appeasatory, doesn’t it? What is this liberal talk about “a woman’s freedom”? And then look at Ross Douthat’s followup:
Social conservatives, a group in which I count myself, might profitably meditate on how to disentangle our primary political goal—the protection of the unborn—from secondary issues like, say, abstinence-only education and the debate over evolution and intelligent design, which dovetail too easily with caricatures of religious fundamentalism (as Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin both discovered in the media coverage of their campaigns).
That’s right, Mr. Douthat wants to protect the unborn—but by getting rid of abstinence-only education and letting your children be taught that they’re descended from monkeys. Why? Because he’s concerned about media coverage of Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. You know what comes next, don’t you? Sure you do—once the Republican party gives up on abstinence and proclaims that we’re “nothing but mammals,” your children will be experimenting sexually in ways you don’t even want to imagine. Soon they’ll be letting your sons marry boys and your daughters marry box turtles. And all so these “conservative” elites can keep those precious tax cuts on their capital gains.
Remember, many of these so-called “conservatives” are people who have been to other countries; some of them even speak other languages. Their vision for the party is correspondingly secular and rootless: they think they need to take back the cosmopolitan, metrosexual counties of places like Colorado and Montana, where they like to vacation. And they have no respect for you, no respect whatsoever.
Well, I wouldn’t put up with it if I were you. I’d tell these people to take their Sunday morning talk shows and their Slate forums and their summer homes and join a New Age encounter group if they want to “spend some time in self-examination,” as Douthat puts it. And I’d go ahead and form a new party, dedicated to the fundamental principles these Rockefeller Republicrats are abandoning. I would call it the American Party, and it would be a party for real Americans. No lumbering elephants for the American Party! Its logo will be a golden eagle clutching a fetus to its breast. And it will swoop across America, bringing the blessed light of wonder-working Providence to every dark corner of this land.
Let the double-crossing Powells and Parkers and Douthats go their errant ways. And let the American Party follow the One Way, by the straight and narrow path.
Update: As always, Erick Erickson has the right idea.
I’m current with that Slate thing through yesterday, and all I can say is, jeez, an idiotic base appears to be the least of your worries.Posted by Doghouse Riley on 11/06 at 10:22 AM
Its logo will be a golden eagle clutching a fetus to its breast.
If the Republicans knew anything about biology, they’d realize what would be likely to happen next . . .
Breakfast!Posted by on 11/06 at 10:38 AM
What is Douthat talking about. Intelligent design a “secondary issue?” Does this man not understand what is really important? Why aren’t they calling for a national debate on this question sponsored by the government under NSF auspices? Heck if they win the debate everything else should fall into place like dominoes.
captcha “normal” (left as an exercise for the reader)Posted by on 11/06 at 10:41 AM
I’m thinking maybe the American Independence Party (AIP).
The American Independence Party can be summed up in just two words:
ALASKA COUNTRYAMERICA FIRST!
Until we as Real Americans receive our Ultimate Goal, the AIP will continue to strive to make America a better place to live with less government interference in our everyday lives*.
*Assumes a Godly and upright everyday life.Posted by on 11/06 at 11:15 AM
"a constitutional amendment that would presume life to begin at conception, while further providing that no government, federal or state, is competent to legislate on the question absent a supermajority.”
Typical anti-abortion incoherence from Kmiec. No government is competent to legislate absent a supermajority? Just like “life begins at conception, and the fetus is a person, except in the case of rape or incest in which case we’ll bow to political pressure”. A government is either competent to legislate on something or it isn’t. Should the government be incompetent to legislate on which is the approved and official religion—unless they get a supermajority?
Not that the GOP base is all that smart, but I wouldn’t fall for this either. You either take the issue seriously, in which case you’re not going to settle for this, or you don’t.Posted by on 11/06 at 11:26 AM
"the debate over evolution and intelligent design, which dovetail too easily with caricatures of religious fundamentalism “
Yes, the problem with creationism is that it’s too easily caricatured as religious fundamentalism. Whereas in reality it’s just dogmatic dismissal of multiple independent lines of evidence in order to support a religious belief.Posted by on 11/06 at 11:43 AM
With a mighty hand, the American Party smote the appeasatory intellectual elites, right and left, and turned whole continents into simpler, more righteous places called “countries”:
continentcountryPosted by on 11/06 at 11:48 AM
Africa’s not a country? Who knew! They still speak Latin in Latin America though, right?Posted by on 11/06 at 12:17 PM
They still speak Latin in Latin America though, right?
Yes, but you’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.
More evidence that Palin was the logical next step down the Reagan->Quayle->GW Bush “know-nothing” trajectory. Now with Joe the Plumber safely disposed of (I hope), who knows what rough beast slouches towards Real America to ultimately follow her.Posted by on 11/06 at 12:36 PM
The Anger Management Dropout Party?Posted by alphie on 11/06 at 12:42 PM
"Its logo will be a golden eagle clutching a fetus to its breast.”
It doesn’t matter how he grips it. It’s a simple question of weight ratios.Posted by Michael Drake on 11/06 at 12:52 PM
The good Professor is exactly right! Sarah Palin supporters are Patriotic Americans who should understand that what America needs right now is a new party! A party for Real Americans who are for America. A Real America! A Real America just like, say, the America of 1840—Coal-Fired, God-Fearing, Steam-Driven, Strong, Brave, and Somewhat Free.
Make it happen, Palin supporters! Hark! 1840 beckons!Posted by on 11/06 at 12:56 PM
As crazy as the members of this new party may appear, I’m sure they will sing the Star-Spangled Banner with gusto.
captcha: received. The new party will be guided by the received wisdom of the innerant word of God, doncha know.Posted by on 11/06 at 01:06 PM
I second, or third (or whatever) the call for launching a True American Party! For God, Fetuses, and Country! Oh, and Guns!
It would be a Big Tent, welcoming Catholics and evangelical Protestants! But no appeasers! And I’m not entirely sure about women. Maybe, like, a Ladies’ Auxiliary or something.Posted by on 11/06 at 01:12 PM
I just read the Manzi piece, which was first up. As one of his “new” ideas he proposes increased competition among schools, including a national scholastic “rating agency,” which, he says, should have the same relationship to schools that a credit agency has to bonds. Okay, is he completely nuts or does he just go into hibernation during the months of September and October?
His immigration “recruitment” policy is just slightly less daft and pretty much amounts to, “Let’s keep the brown people down south and use immigration to recruit some really desirable folks.”
These people are simply consumed by ideology: he actually identifies the problem pretty well, i.e., income inequality, but then just pastes the same GOP claptrap over it as the answer.
So my nomination for new party name: Ideology First! (which can be neatly abbreviated as “IF” and can be used as the basis for all kinds of neat slogans and poster).Posted by on 11/06 at 01:13 PM
My p.s. to the conservatives reading Michael’s words is this: You can trust Michael to look out for your best interests. Why, every time I hear a Republican on tv tell me what is good for my party, I take out my pen and paper and write down what they say. They wouldn’t steer me wrong, would they? They are just looking out for my best interests.
Please, do listen to Michael here. He too is only looking out for your dignity, your souls, and your best interests.Posted by Mitchell Freedman on 11/06 at 01:14 PM
My friends, are you not familiar with the Constitution Party: all ready to meet your True Conservative needs! It is in that party where we can freely acknowledge that the constitution is the actual Word of God given for the Salvation of all those who have been here since 1950 or so. But not those dirty latin-speakers who come up to pick our lettuce.
Check out the party’s mission statement: “to to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity [but not dirty ferreners]” and to “restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.”
They’ve got the bald eagle, but are missing the fetus. Maybe in the next revision?Posted by on 11/06 at 01:49 PM
The Constitution Party is good, Jeffrey, but you gotta have that fetus.
Ginger Yellow @ 6, thanks for clearing that up. Your nation is in your debt.
Michael Drake @ 11: what is your favorite color?
Rich @ 5: I thought you’d like that part. Incoherent yet unworkable: a twofer.
And what Mitchell said @ 16: you can completely trust me on this one.Posted by Michael on 11/06 at 02:21 PM
"the last word in fetus is us.”
e.Posted by on 11/06 at 02:24 PM
Yeah, something tells me that people are going to be criticizing Kmiec a good deal over the next couple years. As one of the early rejectors of Bushism, he has the most credibility left to discredit. Which sounds bad, but really—if people want to present themselves not as thugs but as real thinkers, they have to present something worth thinking, not get by on “I was rational enough to see how bad Bush was just after any reasonable person could have.”
But here’s the real inaugural puzzle. I’m going to be participating in the “1000 Inaugural Poets Project”:
“Every willing poet is asked to write an original “inaugural poem” for President Barack Obama and read it for the first time anywhere at your nearby Inauguration Day Poetry Event.
The most debut poems at a single time in the history of the world.”
Some might say that quantity is a poor measure of poetic goodness. But why listen to these aesthetic carpings when quantity is what I’m suited to delivering? The question is, what attitude should I go for? Harshly cynical is almost as much of a cliche as worshipful would be.Posted by on 11/06 at 02:41 PM
Wow-- I was impressed by the logical contortions it took the folks at redstate to blame Tina Fey for the McCain loss.
Re: the constitution party, the fetus is right there in the talon of the eagle (see platform item 1): http://www.constitutionparty.com/Posted by on 11/06 at 03:38 PM
Oldster that I am, I remember that book, *Our Gang,* by Roth about Tricky Dixon trying to figure out fetile enfrancisement. I recall some problem with getting their little hands up to the voting machine levers.
If feti could vote, Mccain-Palin would have nailed it.Posted by Hattie on 11/06 at 05:52 PM
It doesn’t matter how he grips it. It’s a simple question of weight ratios.
Is that an African or European eagle?Posted by on 11/06 at 06:35 PM
Seems to me that Kmiec and Douthat are attempting to show that, when it comes to obscure prose, those Islamo-Fascist Marxist Postmodern Academics can’t hold a candle to a God-Fearing Fiscally Profligate Conservatives.Posted by on 11/06 at 06:36 PM
At some point the base is going to realize that the GOP leadership isn’t interested in solving the abortion problem. Once that issue is off the table, the fundamentalists will have no reason to support them, and will see so.
Oooo. Capcha “third” as in partyPosted by The Ridger on 11/06 at 08:05 PM
This open letter presumes that its intended audience reads. That presumption seems shaky.
I’m guessing it’s really addressing the political hacks, who actually read, chasing them. That seems dangerous, unless it actually succeeds in splitting their present coalition. I suspect the actual votes would mostly end up on one side, with only the pundits and cocktail partiers on the other.Posted by on 11/06 at 08:28 PM
When the hard core, pro-life, pro-ID, evangelical right becomes disillusioned enough with politics that they stop voting, good ensues. Many who would benefit from Democratic policies have been so disaffected that they haven’t voted for years, until now. Perhaps those clinging to their guns and religion will cling less hard to the hopes that they can, through putting their lot in with the cocktail party Republicans, achieve anything they consider worthwhile.
I wish that I could introduce Karl Rove personally to every voter he has attempted to court over the years. They’d hate him more than Obama.Posted by on 11/07 at 12:17 AM
If life legally begins at conception, doesn’t that mean that every miscarriage must be investigated as a possible homicide?Posted by gmoke on 11/07 at 12:34 AM
Yes. Are you trying to imply something ridiculous?Posted by on 11/07 at 01:35 AM
No lumbering elephants for the American Party! Its logo will be a golden eagle clutching a fetus to its breast.
It appears that the American Party has already gone soft on the issue of the beginning of human life.
Time to leave these left deviationists and form the Real American Party whose logo features a golden eagle clutching a blastocyst to its breast.Posted by on 11/07 at 03:46 AM
Just so i am clear on a few points here. Will this party be co-sponsored by Neiman-Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue??? Would Elizabeth Hasselbeck be on the ticket or just the official press secretary?? Might the platform contain other non-fundamental issues such as national security, empire building, and nuclear proliferation (we still want a nuke in every garage)? I would so hope that Karl and Sean will be invited to the party parties, so that we all can share in their amazing radiant intellectualisms???
Bring (captcha) forth the sacred amulet Sarah.Posted by on 11/07 at 06:02 AM
Is that an African or European eagle?
It’s a Russian eagle. God preserve the Tsar!Posted by on 11/07 at 06:11 AM
is that “Bring forth the sacred amulet Sarah”
or “Bring forth the sacred amulet, Sarah”
whadyaknow captcha word “change” no explanation necessary.Posted by on 11/07 at 09:09 AM
This is way OT but I couldn’t find a way to email it. John Lanchester explains how Derrida applies to the current financial crisis.Posted by on 11/07 at 11:05 AM
Ben Alpers in #30 is too cynical. A blastocyst is certainly a bold step in the right direction, but it would be more optimistic to depict hearty American sperm approaching a docile and receptive ovum.
I always thought it would be nice if we could have one of those parliamentary systems in which two or three parties could find common ground and unite to form a ruling coalition. But if the fine people trapped in a dissatisfactory Republican party see fit to splinter into the two parties as Michael suggests, then the American system looks wise indeed.Posted by Orange on 11/07 at 11:52 AM
Bring forth the sacred Mullet, Sarah!!Posted by KMTBERRY on 11/07 at 01:20 PM
“restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.”
aka the Judeo-Saxon tradition.
(capcha = works, as in “salvation by faith not by")Posted by on 11/07 at 04:15 PM
Assumes a Godly and upright
Captcha: “help,” as in “only too happy too while mds tries to catch up on her sleep post-partum.”Posted by not mds on 11/07 at 05:23 PM
Hey! Is mds really post-partum?Posted by Michael on 11/07 at 05:31 PM
You know, Michael, I wrote that “post” based on her referencing her son, utterly forgetting in these new-fangled days of radar and movable type and such that people do sometimes know the gender of their children *ante*-partum.
So if I was wrong I apologize, and of course wish mds and family all the best and plenty of undisturbed sleep, someday.Posted by Chris Clarke on 11/07 at 05:51 PM
Michael, have you ever thought about taking up concern trolling for a living. You and Jon Swift would make a wonderful team.Posted by Eli Rabett on 11/07 at 08:36 PM
Thanks, Eli! I met Jon Swift a couple of years ago, and (a) that really is his real name, and (b) he really is a reasonable conservative. Funny you should mention it, but I do intend to write a post about concern trolling one of these days!
And Chris, yeah, I thought she was due in early December. But these things are harder to predict than elections.Posted by Michael on 11/07 at 10:19 PM
I am really concerned that we need to settle whether to believe in the Bible or those slippery apologists for Darwinism, the Intelligent Design people. They admit all kinds of un-Biblical things, like the Earth being billions of years of old. I think some of them even admit we humans are kind-a sorta descended from monkeys. No, only Young Earth Creationists should be let into our party!Posted by on 11/09 at 11:00 PM