Two small points in response to a couple of guest-posts. First, I heartily endorse David's suggestion for a one-sentence summary of where conservatism should now be headed:
A reality-based, culturally modern, socially inclusive and environmentally responsible politics that supports free markets, limited government and a peaceful American-led world order.
My only quibble is somewhat with the last phrase. A "peaceful American-led world order" should not be interpreted as a policy of constant war in pursuit of an unattainable peace imposed unilaterally by a paranoid hegemon. That's what the last ten years have taught me. American global power should be calibrated to the relative strengths of other powers (right now, it seems to me to be almost absurdly over-developed) and to America's economic resources. I believe that will require a severe downsizing in the near-future, and that this will be a critical faultline between Obama's realism and the return of an utterly unreconstructed Bush-Cheney foreign policy under a president Palin or Romney.
And insisting on total US hegemony (with its comcomitant delusions) while barring the natural rise of other great powers with zones of regional influence is a recipe for more conflict - not less. In my view, there should be no project for a new American century, just a pragmatic attempt to defend America's interests within sustainable resources. I think Obama has done a good job of dialing back Bush's massive and unsustainable polarization and over-reach. But I think future GOP nominee Palin could reverse all this in an instant - and will, if she continues to ride her mendacious media-enabled ride to the White House.
And last week seemed to me to confirm that she is deadly serious, that the media is too afraid to tackle her, and that the last real way to get at the truth about her has been effectively silenced and bribed.
Yes, Levi, you caved.
And wasn't it staggering that much of the MSM simply reiterated the Palin line without any scrutiny whatever? Actually, not staggering. Utterly predictable. Take it away, Mark Halperin:
This week Johnston and Palin's daughter Bristol reannounced their engagement after months of estrangement, removing with apparent serendipity a blemish from her wholesome narrative.
"Apparent serendipity." The words of a weasel, not a journalist. At least the NYT managed this critical quote:
Michelle Church, who was active in local politics with Sarah Palin, said of the young pair: “They both learned from the best on how to be an opportunist. Everything’s a farce with this family.”
How much money did Jann Wenner pay them for this piece of Palin propaganda? Don't expect the "press" to find out.
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