National Review still supports fake conservatism

And here you would have thought that all those futile years of George W. Bush, Arlen Specter, and Arnold Schwarzenegger would have cured the onetime conservative magazine of its dedication to power and political pragmatism.

Forty Jim DeMints or 60 Lindsey Grahams? Forty Christine O’Donnell’s or 60 Mike Castles?

These are questions conservatives have to think about when they see polls like the latest Rasmussen, which has Rep. Mike Castle, a moderate Republican thoroughly unloved by tea partiers, leading Democratic nominee Chris Coons 48-37 while conservative Republican Christine O’Donnell trails Coons by the same eleven-point margin, 47-36….

So, again: would conservatives in Delaware rather win, or send a message?

For actual conservatives, the only rational answer is 40 DeMints. Daniel Foster has asked a misleading question. The correct one is, would conservatives rather elect a false conservative majority that will vote against conservative principles while ensuring that a Democratic majority succeeds it when the inevitable reaction comes, or continue building towards a genuine and committed conservative majority?

You can take the boy out of the madrassah

But you can’t entirely take the madrassah out of the politician that the boy becomes. Obama whines about his “some powerful interests” and their opinion of him:

“Some powerful interests that have been setting the agenda in Washington for a long time, and they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. That’s not in my prepared remarks, but it’s true.”

To me, the most interesting aspect of this is that the first negative thing that sprang to mind when Obama wanted to express how people were badmouthing him, he thought of “a dog”. That is not a normal American expression. One works like a dog, one is as loyal as a dog, one is dog-tired, whereas the negative forms tend to utilize the term “bitch” instead. Using dog in this perjorative sense is much more common in the Arab world.

It seems to me that this is, in addition to demonstrating Obama’s inability to withstand legitimate criticism, an example of his Indonesian Muslim upbringing showing itself in a moment of stress. This doesn’t mean he is a crypto-Muslim, but it is rather yet another indication of his essentially foreign perspective. In support of this interpretation, I would note that while I have seen many distinctly negative terms applied to Obama since he first launched his presidential candidacy, I have never read nor heard of him being referred to as “a dog”.

VDH piles on

He addresses Krugman’s WWII stimulus argument from the historian’s perspective:

I’m not an economist, but as an historian, I consider this an abject misreading of the postwar period, at least through the early 1950s. The war years were characterized by frenetic hyperactivity: Americans worked long hours, women were brought into the work force, new towns and manufacturing centers sprang up, and people gave up necessities — all on the assurance that this furious pace and consumer scarcity would be short-lived.

As WWII ended and the clean-up began, there was an enormous amount of pent-up global demand for goods. Given the wreckage in Europe, Japan, and Russia and the underdevelopment of India, Asia, and South America, we were about the only ones with the industrial and commercial wherewithal to supply the world rebound — often receiving cheap oil, gas, minerals, and interest in exchange, which supplemented our own vast supplies of comparatively cheap and easily recoverable resources. Nor should we forget the psychological element: Americans, after winning two wars, were enormously confident about their newfound international stature and influence.

At home, four years of consumer deprivation during the war and the weak demography of the 1930s had combined to create huge demand, all while society was increasingly leaving the farm for good and becoming suburbanized. The result was that in the late 1940s and 1950s, the birth rate soared and consumers enthusiastically made first-time purchases of washers, dryers, fridges, cars, etc. Thus, the American economy grew by leaps and bounds.

Today’s situation is not comparable: We are in hock to foreign creditors for trillions and have not been a net creditor since the 1980s. A China, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, or India is as or more likely to supply recovering demand for food, steel, or electronics.

Krugman should be careful what he wishes for. England, the Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, and Italy all engaged in massive WII spending; England did so to a much greater extent than the USA ever did. And how did it work out for their postwar economies? The Broken Window fallacy only isn’t a fallacy when you win a war while incidentally breaking all the windows and killing all the glaziers in the neighboring towns. And the history of warfare declares that this doesn’t happen very often even when you are fortunate enough to win.