Horatio spins in his grave

They might as well knock down the column in Trafalgar Square:

Britain and France will launch a broad defense partnership on Tuesday that includes setting up a joint force and sharing equipment and nuclear missile research centers, a French government source said. Treaties to be signed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron at a meeting in London will pave the way for an unprecedented degree of military cooperation between the two neighbors.

Theoretically, this should be a great sign of peace and progress. Why, then, does it feel so… alarming?


Carrie Lukas thinks the election results prove that women don’t favor security over freedom:

Women voters have also defied traditional stereotypes about skewing liberal. While it will take some time to get complete exit poll data, polls taken shortly before the election suggest a major shift in women’s voting habits. Early reports suggest women split nearly evenly in this election. As Mary Kate Cary reported in U.S. News, a recent New York Times poll showed undecided women breaking heavily for the GOP. In fact, women went from favoring Democrats by 7 points last month to giving the GOP the edge by 4 points in the New York Times’ latest polls. In other words, the famed gender gap — which somehow always refers to women’s tendency to vote disproportionately for Democrats rather than men’s tendency to vote Republican, has vanished.

Pundits will spend the next two years debating the meaning of the 2010 Election. But a few things are clear. The conventional wisdom that women all prefer government-provided safety over freedom has been put to rest, and female political leaders do not come in one mold. There are strong, unabashedly conservative women throughout the country who are prepared to fight for limited government and greater freedom. And they can win.

This is amusing. Remember, the “limited government” for which these supposedly freedom-loving women are fighting is one that is all of 2.8% smaller. They cling to their entitlements and “national security” spending as firmly as Linus clings to his blanket. And perhaps more to the point, it is possible that it is finally beginning to penetrate through many women’s skulls that there is no reliable security in the government spending money it doesn’t have in the first place.

Either way, I tend to see this as less reflective of a positive evolution towards liberty in women’s political consciousness and more reflective of the larger societal trend towards matriarchy and grass huts. Insty notes in response that the Tea Party is majority female, which is one reason I believe it has been so easily coopted by the Republican establishment.

Don’t get me wrong. I would very much like to believe that for the first time in human history, women have genuinely begun to value freedom over security. I just don’t believe this is credible interpretation of the recent electoral events. (HT Dr. Helen.)

Adios California

Not to belittle the historic electoral landslide, which despite the Republican inability to regain the Senate was an even bigger political event than 1994, I suspect the most significant result of last night’s election occurred in California. It wasn’t the failure of Proposition 19, which would have decriminalized marijuana and marked the first roll-back of the thirty-year Drug War, but rather the passage of Proposition 25 by a ten-point margin.

Why was this significant? Because California’s Republican legislators can no longer prevent their Democratic counterparts from raising taxes and increasing spending now that the number of votes required to pass the state budget and spending bills related to the budget has been reduced from two-thirds to a simple majority. As Kevin Williamson noted on NRO: “This election means two things for California: 1. It is now more likely to end up needing a federal bailout, and 2. It is less likely to find Congress receptive to that idea.”

California is already more or less insolvent, it’s just shuffling its debts around to delay the inevitable. But the relaxed budgetary controls as a result of the change to the state constitution almost surely guarantee that the legislature’s attempts to respond to the problem will be counterproductive and make what is already a disastrous situation even worse. It is remotely possible that the second re-election of Governor Moonbeam could somewhat meliorate this structural change, as despite being a Democrat he had a better record for fiscal conservatism than either Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzenegger. But since the veto is much less reliable than simple math, I wouldn’t count on it.

I would not be surprised if the eventual bankruptcies of California and Illinois become one of the more important issues of the 2012 election. If the bipartisan Republican-led bank bailouts were enough to inspire the Tea Party, who can imagine what effect a bipartisan, Democrat-led state bailout will have on the electorate? Rick Santelli asked us if we wanted to pay for our neighbor’s mortgages, but most Americans would much rather do that than pay for California’s teachers unions, prison guards, and imported Mexicans.