Friday, May 12, 2006

Arnold Kling Apparently Has His Priorities Straight

Economist Arnold Kling is quite upset with the Republicans:

“This November, I am looking forward to seeing the Republicans lose control of Congress. I would say to the Republicans, as Oliver Cromwell reportedly said to the Rump Parliament, and as Leo Amery reprised during Neville Chamberlain's final crisis as Prime Minister, "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

The whole oil-company-baiting, education-centralizing, entitlement-expanding, earmark-loving lot of them can be tossed out, as far as I'm concerned. Then we can start over."

Yup, Kling is about to throw in the towel. The hell with those spendthrift and irresponsible Republicans. It’s indeed time to get rid of them. Alas, things are not quite that simple. Kling frustratingly continues:

“Some Basic Differences

For the Democrats in 2006, and more importantly in 2008, I would like to point out that there are some fundamental differences between America and its radical Muslim adversaries. You will forget these differences at your -- and our -- peril.

1 Many people have fled radical Muslim regimes to live in the U.S. Hardly anyone has fled the U.S. to live under radical Muslim regimes.
2 In the United States, women are allowed to choose whether or not to where modest clothing. Radical Muslims deny them that right, as well as others.
3 Americans who abuse enemy prisoners cower in shame and are prosecuted. Radical Muslims celebrate war crimes, proudly display photos and videos of war crimes, and honor the criminals.
4 More Iraqis would like to see the terrorists give up tomorrow than see the Americans leave tomorrow. (If there is any doubt about that, we can put the issue up for a vote in Iraq.)
5 Americans see negotiations as a way to resolve differences. Radical Muslims see negotiations as a sign of weakness.
6 When Muslims come to live in America, we provide them with safety, tolerance, and equal rights. Jews and Christians do not enjoy equal rights -- or even safety -- inside countries run by radical Muslim regimes.
7 The American military is trained to try to minimize civilian casualties. For radical Muslims, civilian casualties are a measure of success.
8 Americans go to war reluctantly, when other means fail. Radical Muslims accept cease-fires reluctantly, when other means fail.
9 Americans desire the approval and support of the European people. Radical Muslims desire the intimidation and submission of the European people.
10 If radical Muslims would renounce violence, then we would not disturb them. If we renounce violence, then we will be conquered and brutalized.

Sooner or later, a party that wants to govern in the modern era has to pay attention to the real enemy.”

It seems that Arnold Kling, after all, may have to vote for Republican candidates. The GOP is essentially the only game in town. It takes the war on terror seriously. The Democrats, on the other hand, apparently believe that the Islamic nihilists pose little threat to our lives and liberty.

(hat tip: Instapundit)


Knucklehead said...

Yet another person threatening to cut off his own nose and then punish the rest of us 'cause the stinking gubmint ain't precisely what he wants these many, many years into the Republican Empire.

They're all either gonna stay home or cast some sort of protest vote, let the Dems take the government over, and the Republican Party and all the rest of the nation will learn the hard way to do what the brilliant wanted.

What planet do these people come from? The only mildly plausible explanation I can figure is that they've been on the minority end of politics for so long that they have no clue that being on the mjority side for a little while doesn't mean you get everything your little heart desires and you get it pronto.

For nearly 90 years, with few exceptions of relatively short duration, the Dems controlled congress. We didn't get where they wanted to go overnight and they never got everything they wanted. What makes people like Kling think a tenuos majority - which is actually a coalition of which they are only a part - can deliver everything they want while dismantling everything they don't like in a mere few years?

I generally like Kling and TechCentralStation but unfortunately for them they are died in the wool libertarians.

Libertarians are very odd ducks. They always want the world to be whatever real human nature guides it to be but they have nearly zero patience or tolerance for the world as it is. Has it never occured to them that we are where we are because that's where our imperfect natures have taken us? Or that change is hard and takes time and will be resisted, sometimes visciously, by those who don't share their vision?

I'm really growing weary and impatient with these childish, I'm gonna take my ball home and teach you all a lesson, hissey fits.

Laclos said...

Sorry to but in with this as it's off topic...
"European People"
When an American pundit, government official or what not says that I kind of get confused.
It's going to be the World Cup over in Germany and a couple of my palls are going over - I doubt there will be much European unity going on.
I know that Europe can just about fit into a couple of your states size wise but with the plethora of languages, customs, faiths and ethnicities - Europe is more a state of mind than of reality.

cf said...

This coming week Bush will make a major speech on immigration and Drudge tips us that the National Guard will be planted on the border. That will take up his numbers considerably.
Heyden will do a Roberts with the Senate Intl committee--today even after all the distorted reporting on the NSA program which often misstates it is eavesdropping--60% of Americans approve of it. So the Dems are going to either wound themselves or lay off it.
I understand and share the thoughts of many fiscal conservatives but like their hope for small govt, I think we are in fantasy land. Jay Cost has done a number on this and says it is the very grease for the wheels of our federal system and unavoidable. *Sigh* I think he's right.

Knucklehead said...


Nice to know someone else is engaged in the same bit of confused consternation I am. I would love for the US government to be smaller, less corrupt, and far more efficient in terms of both costs and results. And no doubt there is huge room for improvements in all those areas.

Nevertheless I keep washing up on two rather large and craggy rocks. One is that a large portion of the American people, Porkbusters aside, seem to want their governments to spend enourmous amounts of money. Their squabble is largely only a matter of whose pockets the money comes out of.

The other one is that for all the faults re: spending, inefficiency, corruption, and so on, I have been unable to identify any nation with a large economy that doesn't have similar, or worse, levels of all of those things.

We Americans - and rightfully so - are forever screaming bloody murder about how bad our government is. But if one goes out and does a quick survey of large nations (say roughly 60M people or more) where are the shining examples of efficiency and non-corruption? What nation of more than 100 million people does even marginally better than the US? Take that to 300 million people and there isn't anyone in the same league as the US in terms of good government.

Yeah, we could surely do a whole lot better if we actually were able to find better people who wanted to be elected and if we could get a whole lot more of us to stop blathering nonsense and start demanding workable solutions, but if one pops one's head up and surveys the horizon, it is nearly astonishing that we have as good a government as we have.

Materially speaking, we do pretty darned well for roughly 85% of our people which is a huge number. Find me another nation that does as well by that many people. It ain't hard to find nations where far more people are living miserably.

Frightening, perhaps, but there it is.

truepeers said...

"but with the plethora of languages, customs, faiths and ethnicities - Europe is more a state of mind than of reality"

-well, maybe when the rampant anti-Americanism and the undemocratic craziness of the bureaucratic regulatory machine in Brussels are diminished by people who, e.g., proudly call themselves English - and not just while on holidays in the nostalgiac football stands - and not multiculti Europeans, then Americans won't have a reason to lump all of "Europe" together. BUt as it is, we look at your demographics and declining national sovereignty and think you are all together in a suicide pact, however "diverse" you may be. The point is this: when you start championing how diverse you all are, it may be taken as a sign that you are becoming more of an object of rule (by the elite "diversitY" baiters ruling a new empire) rather than independent, democratic, self-ruling subjects. An empire, as opposed to a nation, might look very multicultural on the ground; but as a political phenomenon, it is a single object, not a diverse subjectivity. Of course, the same anti-national trends are at play in North America, so I don't want to sound as if it is just your problem.

chuck said...

Has it never occured to them that we are where we are because that's where our imperfect natures have taken us?

No. The observable reality of human nature has no influence on the libertarian understanding of it. Libertarian true believers have just as much squirrel food upstairs as the Marxists.

Unknown said...

Knucklehead is right here.

If Republicans sit it out and sabotage themselves, the Democrats will raise taxes, impeach Bush, surrender to Sadr and Zarqawi and create a National Health program. And then they just might get reelected.

The thing about cutting spending, is that unless it is an across the board kind of requires singling someone or something out...and all that spending is there for someone's benefit. And I don't just mean the politician.

It is like the whole issue of Katrina...on one hand people complain about the incompetence of the government and on the other they complain about the goverment spending money on things like..well, natural disasters.

Given a choice between locals running things and the feds staying out of it...and the feds just running right over the top of the locals and taking over from the gitgo whatever the cost...which do we really think the country would have preffered to see during that debacle?

Speedmaster said...

I read that column too, his list was dead-on!

2Hotel9 said...

Got to admit I am in favor of pitching all the bums out. Only problem is, no alterative set of bums has been put forward to replace them. knucklehead is quite right, many people are very content with with government spending on a plethora of neo-socialist programs, their only complaint is how much they, themselves, get. As for the continuing clamor to "punish" politicians by not voting or voting for some entirely nonviable candidate, sounds like a campaign strategy from the Deaniacs.