Thoughtful conservative James Joyner:
Harry Reid takes to the Washington Post with a piece headlined “Trying to restore Senate comity,” which points out that Republicans are big poopy heads who hate America.
If you RTFA, you’ll find that it contains no ad hominem attacks, has a clear discussion of how Republicans kept using procedural maneuvers to delay legislation, and explains how the Democrats’ response was very limited and specific. Since Senate obstructionism has become a major issue in our politics, I wonder if Joyner, who has a PhD in Political Science, might deign to provide us with reasons why this move won’t restore comity, or perhaps he might weigh in on what he thinks the right approach should be. Apparently he thinks that McConnell is not a “big poopy head” – why?
When I stopped reading Andrew Sullivan, I started reading OTB, where Joyner and Doug Mataconis do most of the posting. This Joyner post is typical of the way that OTB will handle an issue. First, both he and Mataconis weigh in with fairly sober analysis. Having established their bona-fides, they’re free to throw red meat to the base. If anyone objects to Mr. Hyde’s observations, they’ll be sternly reminded of Dr. Jekyll’s posts. Only Steven L. Taylor avoids this trap, and he’s becoming the only reason I visit that blog.
Update: Forgot to mention Alex Knapp, who doesn’t post as regularly as Taylor, but also does a good job (example).
Mataconis and “sober analysis” don’t belong in the same sentence, much less the same paragraph.
I agree wrt Steven Taylor.
It is well known that it is unfair, biased and dirty politics to accurately describe Republican policies and actions.
I’ve started reading Sully again. Does that make me a bad person?
There’s a thin red line that conservatives may not cross, that line’s been moving to the right for quite a while, and lately it’s been accelerating. There’s a good chance that Brooks, Joyner, et. al. are going to have to choose, soon, between Perry and Obama. It won’t be pretty.
An accurate summary of the situation, whether or not it’s what Reid actually said.
Slightly OT, but my TV screen barely survived a 30 second viewing of Krauthammer on one of the Sunday shows this week. He said that America desperately needs some action on jobs, but Obama is doing nothing but political posturing while the country suffers, because he proposed a jobs bill that he knew the Republicans would reject (!!!).
Krauthammer is smart. He knows exactly what is going on, and what he’s aiding and abetting. It’s so grotesque, I’m beyond even hurling expletives at this point.
I went over to OTB too, searching for a spot to read some thoughtful conservative views, especially after sully went off the rails one too many times. I do think that (old-time) conservatives have some good points to make and I like to hear them. After a period of months I concluded that
1) The “thoughtful” bit wrt Joyner and Mataconis is just an act
2) They are so imprisoned by their dogma that they shut down their mental faculties when presented with an irrefutable fact that doesn’t “fit” the libertarian model
3) Neither one of them are, well, very bright.
It became one too many exercises in futility. I’m still searching. Any other recommends?
I have made this search myself. I think you will search mostly in vain.
It’s not that there are no sensible, “old-time” conservatives left. It’s that they’ve been pushed to silence.
Old friendships, allegiances, and connections keep them from saying the obvious, that their side has fallen into sputtering insanity. And that development has such a pervasive effect on everything happening right now, that if you can’t discuss it, you really can’t discuss anything at all.
That’s my take, anyway.
I went over there too.
And I called Joyner immature.
Good luck with all that!
I’ve tried to read OTB to get a sensible conservative take on issues.
All I can say is that Mataconis needs a pie thrown in his face.
The only one I can bear to even read any more is Bruce Bartlett. But he’s a huge RINO, despite his St. Ronnie courtier credentials:
ETA: And a hearty “YES!” to this:
Or Mataconis needs some sense slapped into him.
Apparently the great thing about being a libertarian is that you can be a teenager forever.
It is my opinion that “conservatism” is in crisis because it is, like Buckley said, all about “standing athwart history yelling stop!”
This is entirely alien to my own nature, but handily describes the bulk of the human population, which hates and fears change and won’t even throw out pens that don’t write.
However, the pace of change has increased so dramatically we have a bunker mentality happening where they are not only dragging their feet about changing; they are actively seeking a Wayback Machine.
No matter the implications, large or small.
I don’t know why anyone reads them or quotes them. They troll memeorandum to get links and then just copy news articles and add one line of unimportant commentary. Neither have unique insight of any kind, and both are pretty dumb.
To be fair, available evidence suggests that the GOP *are* big poopy heads who hate America.
No. But anyone who believes Andrew Sullivan (not you, of course) is just as silly as he is.
@Cat Lady: Has Sully changed the color of his blog yet?
I like Bartlett as well, but search for a conservative pov on more than heavy-duty economics. I see that I’m not alone. There used to be some decent, smart conservatives that frequented the comment threads here and there, but they went missing years ago. In fact, BJ is one of the only blogs with comment threads that are actually readable any more. Sad.
I wonder what the aim is for them to send out all their crazies to disrupt and hijack threads with their lunacy. I really don’t get it.
OK, I read the piece by Reid linked here, then I followed the link to Joyner’s piece, expecting to see an article finding fault with the points presented by Reid.
So what do I find? Joyner’s “article” is two sentences long, one of which sentence is quoted here. Two sentences. Two.
Does he consider that a full day’s work? Does he get paid accordingly?
I guess this means that, when it comes to taking issue with Reid’s article, he’s got nothin’.
The biggest problem at OTB is that Joyner and Mataconis behave as though they’re immune to learning. Economics is one major area in which they don’t know nearly as much as they think they do, but posting that information typically gets no response other than “nuh-uh” (and I post there a lot). Mataconis I’ve completely writen off; he’s totally wedded to the fact he knows everything and has finally convinced me there’s no hope whatsoever of finding common ground with right libertarians. Joyner isn’t dumb, just bullheaded as can be.
@James: Daniel Larison’s blog at the American Conservative is actually readable.
I’ve always considered OTB to be one of those places that you read so I don’t have to.
What I’m waiting for is the end of primary season. I’m anxious to see if anybody other than Romney gets the nomination. If it is a non-Romney, I intend to spend my days on FrumForum to see if David will actually physically explode or if he will become an even more twisted human pretzel than he already is. I’m curious just how far he will be able to twist.
Exactly that. Or not even common ground, but intelligent counterpoint.
Maybe Joyner is just lazy, or blogged out.
Mataconis wrote a piece taking issue with Anita Hill around the time Ginni Thomas phoned her up to say that it was about time Hill apologized to her husband. He showed up here to defend his article and to cast aspersions on Hill’s motives during Thomas’s nomination hearings. Believe me, there was meringue everywhere.
JTA, Larison has been the only one I can read for quite a while. I’ve searched high and low for a readable conservative for quite some time and have pretty much given up. I would be thrilled beyond measure if we could find a readable fiscal conservative in the wild.
@efroh: Thanks, I’ll give it a try.
“The only one I can bear to even read any more is Bruce Bartlett. But he’s a huge RINO, despite his St. Ronnie courtier credentials”
Bartlett may be a RINO, but he’s a true conservative who understands fiscal prudence as well as elementary economics. Most contemporary “conservatives” who blow hard on blogs or play Tea-Partyized GOP politics have succumbed to right-wing radicalism, and are “CINO”
I agree with all who recommend Larison, but he mainly concentrates on foreign policy. I don’t know anyone as good in domestic policy and politics.
That was the moment I went from ignoring him as another idiot libertarian to actively mocking him and telling every and anyone I know that Mataconis is so stupid and misogynist that he makes your wife-beating, teabagger ex-husband seem like Alan Alda.
Agreed. That’s what makes him bearable.
And you are also correct in that the definition of “conservative” has been so twisted and distorted by so many of these people that it bears no resemblance to what it meant only 15 years ago. None whatsoever.
They are radicals. A different kind than we usually hear about, but radicals nonetheless.
So the voting oo AJA started yet ? How many dem backstabbers are ready with their knives ?
Frum’s in quite the state now, isn’t he? He’s [[this]] close to being the next Charles Johnson.
Why you gotta hate?
We’ve had a 30 year lab experiment of conservative domestic policies in action, and that’s why all they can do now is suppress voter turnout, hate on immigrants and lie about everything else.
@Chris: I’m not hatin’, honest. I’m just being accurate about 2/3rd of the population and their attitude towards “change.”
I come from this over years as a peer counselor… and listening to women say things like “I don’t want to leave him, I just want him to stop hitting me.”
Humans. Limited capacity to handle change.
To be fair, Joyner has a good post on the “We are the 53%.”
“Frum’s in quite the state now, isn’t he?”
Yeah, but let’s never let his name pass our lips without a reminder about that crazy “Axis of Evil” speech…
I appreciate his torments – it does him credit – but he deserves every bit of angst and I don’t want to make his task of redemption any easier. It would be unfair to both him and us.
I read Felix Salmon instead of wasting my time on conservative bloggers. Mataconis is probably dumber than Megan, but has less output.
Sullivan is readable again so long as you hold his feet to the fire.
OTB is good for a good drive-by harassment now and then, just like here in the good old days before 2006 or so. Since they try so hard to be reasonable they really open themselves up for trenchant, witty debate and ridicule. Then they leave their defense up to some complete twits who all the liberals and moderates gang up on and completely rip apart.
It is not trolling because it is substantive and fairly argued harassment. But it can be fun.
Conservatives suck. I didn’t think that for several years. Now, I don’t think that I have a choice.
They suck. Some of them are evil. Gods! I hate them.
@Bruce S: I agree. Frum deserves the angst. But isn’t it fun to watch?
I am genuinely enjoying watching him post something sane and then the next day he posts based on a GOP talking point as if he is trying to keep “them” from taking his stuffed elephant and ripping the trunk off.
Every day it’s a new knot and it’s been seriously entertaining to me.
@Mark S.: Yeah, a lot of Joyner’s stuff is pretty good, as I mentioned. He’s also pretty good on the 99%:
Harry wrote an article in the latest AARP newsletter about the improvements to medicare that have already taken affect due to “Obama care.” He talked about his childhood & his father’s injury on the job. Good for Harry!!
The “axis of evil” speech was not Frum’s worst moment. His worst moment was at the beginning of the Iraq war, when he wrote a posting for National Review accusing antiwar conservatives like Bob Novak of being unpatriotic and unAmerican, because they did not support W’s excellent adventure in the Middle East.
It’s a little rich for him to posture as the voice of reason now when, to my knowledge, he has never apologized for that incident.
Mataconis is a logic-free moron, tribalist courtier, and blithering idiot.
It’s just how I feel.
The search for a “readable rightie” is futile. You can find people who manage to be both conservative and sane on one or two topics they write about, but you’re not going to find someone who does that on a wide spectrum of topics. That’s because conservatism is fundamentally about preserving the existing social order. All the principles conservatives talk about are basically post-hoc justifications for the way things are (or were), and getting them to line up with each other and with reality is impossible.
@EconWatcher: Frum’s worst moment was on APM’s “Marketplace,” where he did a commentary explaining how Obama was overseeing the worst peacetime economy since the great depression.
He’s an idiot.
@MattF: “Brooks, Joyner, et. al. are going to have to choose, soon, between Perry and Obama. It won’t be pretty.”
Brooks has to make a choice? He pretends a lot, but in in the end (and in the middle) he’s a right-winger. The only question is how much hand-wringing he’ll do over the Evul Librulz forcing him to go right.
Amazing, just utterly amazing, that when Reid is finally starting to call it like it is, the right just can’t handle it and get their fee fees all hurted.
I mean, we’re talking about Harry Reid here.
These are most overly-sensitive, touchy bunch of males, who claim to be tough guys, ever invented.
Also true. That’s the way things work in just about any system, though… the purpose of the official ideology is to defend the ruling class’s right to rule.
@PeakVT: Don’t give up. John Cole’s Balloon Juice used to be a “readable righty.”
#46 – pick your moment among his worst, but let’s not let him off the hook. “The End of Evil” co-authored with Richard Perle was also one of his “worser” moments. What an insane concept…
For me, the Axis of Evil thing reigns supreme because they were words spoken by the President, and a signal that the Bush regime had gone full-tilt loonytoons in the level of insane, incoherent rhetoric that they were willing to spoon-feed to the American people to use 9/11 to their maximum advantage in imposing the neo-con world view.
Following up on this: the funny thing is, it’s really always the same ideology, no matter where and when you go: There is a small, elite race of superhuman beings at the top of society to whom you, the unwashed masses, owe everything, and it’s your duty to kneel in gratitude to those superbeings for being magnanimous enough to even allow you to exist.
The nobility got to rule because they were the Warrior-Gentlemen who protected the peons from harm. The Communist Party politicians and bureaucrats got to rule because they were the ones keeping people clothed, fed and housed. The big businessmen in our society get to rule because they’re the Job Creators without whom you wouldn’t have even the scraps that you do now. Etc, etc, etc… whatever name it goes by and whatever ideals it originally came from, it’s always the same shit no matter where and when you go.
I tried out OTB for a couple weeks. By that point, I’d realized that Mataconis is XXXL douchebag and all around asshole. Particularly when he is engaging in their comments sections. So long OTB, I barely knew ye.
Speaking of thoughtful conservatives, right-wingers have come up with their own “We Are The 99%” website, called “We Are The 53%” and it’s just … sad. Here’s Erick Erickson complaining that he works 3 jobs!
Dude you’re on FUCKING CNN. Get a clue. Call me back when your 3 jobs include flipping burgers, changing adult diapers at the local nursing home, and cleaning offices at night.
Out of touch, much?
Look, Joyner is in my opinion one of the most reasonable conservative voices out there, he’s just stubborn (but he can be moved). Anyone who called themselves an honest conservative prior to 2008 had to engage in some serious re-thinking in light of what happened. James Joyner has also done that to an extent; unless his entire blog is a conspiracy of tricksters he’s definitely moved to the left. He also allows commentors to say pretty much whatever they want so long as they don’t make threats to anyone.
Having said that his flippant responses to things he thinks are silly can drive one to pull their hair out unless you keep in mind blogging is not his primary job, he just does it when time permits. Not ideal, but there it is.
This has all the intrigue of who currently constitutes whatever version of REO Speedwagon is touring county fairs across the country.
I stop back once every couple days or so. He writes well and I like the videos sometimes. He’s gone totally off the rails with his links though, each one dumber than the last.
The problem with Buckley’s metaphor is that standing athwart the train tracks yelling stop is indistinguishable from a train robbery in progress, if you don’t pay any attention to who is holding a gun and who is getting the loot. And yet it makes all the difference in terms of the final result.
He’s great. If I didn’t find economics so depressing right now, I’d read and link to him all the time.
He and Ezra Klein give me a lot of hope about the next generation of punditry (even tough I find Ezra a bit dry, I think his work is very solid, better than anyone else at a big paper besides Kthug).
Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods
Well to be fair, Joyner’s Ph.D is from Alabama, so …
The meta–it’s HUUUUUUUUUGE!
I was watching C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Sunday morning and they had Dan (?) Simmons from Politico to give his perspective on the current Presidential race/Republican primaries. The host pointed out he started covering Presidential elections in 1975-1976, with being a reporter that got assigned to Jimmy Carter.
With that in mind, the guy blurts out about this could be like the 70’s and Obama’s Carter because of stagflation. He quickly points out that no one should ask him about what stagflation is because he doesn’t know.
How the hell is this guy employed? He lived through the entire 1970’s and doesn’t know what stagflation is? How much coke was he snorting to not have a clue?
It was shocking new possibility that can summarized nicely, though: A period of economic stagnation and rising inflation.
I’m not expecting him to know that stagflation took the Phillip’s curve out to hunt some snarks in the woods and just left it there for most the 70’s, but lord to be paid to distill your expertise to the American people and be that clueless on something basic that happened in your lifetime…grrrr….just can’t take the buffoonery any more.
I’m always amazed at the fact that Larison appears to be the height of conservative punditry. He writes very well, and doesn’t visibly froth at the mouth, but: he believes that everything important was finally and forever decided at some 14th century catholic conference in some backwoods Russian village, his ideal society closely resembles Tsarist Russia and he thinks we’d all be fine if the commoners were tied to the land and gratefully accepted the guidance of their betters, who are informed by a religious aristocracy. Then, benign top down authoritarianism would solve all these icky wars, which he properly dislikes. In short, he’s actually fucking nuts.
#67 – les: Not clear what you’ve got a problem with. Other than the fact that everything important wasn’t finally and forever decided until the Council of Trent two centuries later, Larison seems totally right on.
#6 EconoWatcher – Krauthammer is a trained psychiatrist, so he knows with precision exactly how he can drive people crazy.
Thanks, dude; I lost my head for a second there. Enlightened serfdom, fuck yeah!
Finally, something we all can agree on.
Joyner and Taylor, PhDs in Political Science, had never heard of Saul Alinsky until 2008. That would give them the same level of insight into politics during the Clinton era that they exhibit now. Joyner considers himself telegenic and is desperately trying to position himself as a “go to” “conservative” blogger for MSNBC. Both Joyner and Taylor are left of Jimmy Carter in their ideology and are still dependable votes for Obama in 2012.
Mataconis is a logic-free moron, tribalist courtier, and blithering idiot. (wait, did someone already say that?)
#70 – Or as William F Buckley liked to put it: “Enlightened serfdom? Futuo certe!”
@Ben Wolf: Hmm, sounds like he just needs to stop blogging
I’m at work, so I’m a little skittish about saying what I think Erickson’s real job is. Beyond that, that picture just makes me want to shoot myself in they eye.
Mataconis is an arrogant pinhead who thinks the #OWS people are nothing but hippies & college grads who whine about the price of lattes.
Joyner has a response. My favorite bit:
Yeah, boy, from the bugfuck crazy right all the way to the milquetoast-maybe-slightly-left-of-center. He’s really covered the ideological map.
Monitor and mock, guys. It’s going to happen eventually, you might as well move them now and be done with it.