Questioning Their Motives III

Julian Sanchez has the best response yet to the nonsensical charge that conservatives who criticize John McCain and/or Sarah Palin are only doing so to ingratiate themselves with elite opinion: the reward structure mitigates against it.   That is, for every token “honest conservative” slot out there, there are dozens of “reliable Republican hack” slots.

If you’re willing to toe a straight party line, on the other hand, let’s face it, you can be pretty damn mediocre and still carve out a nice little niche for yourself at any one of a welter of generously funded ideological publications and think tanks. Sure, it’s a smaller pond, but you get to be a relatively big fish. You’ll always have a book deal waiting at Regnery, a warm guest chair on Fox, editors at NR and the Weekly Standard eager to look at your pitches, handsome honoraria on your speaking tour of College Republican groups, and in your golden years, an undemanding sinecure as the Senior Olin Fellow at the Institute for Real ‘Murriken Studies.

And, as he emphasizes, “mutatis mutandis, on the left, of course.”  And, no, Julian’s not the only one to notice this:

I’ve long observed a phenomenon in the blogosphere I call “audience capture,” where a once-interesting writer becomes rather dull and predictable, each post another jab at the lever, predictably rewarded with a tasty pellet.

Ain’t that the truth.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Heck, beyond the comfortable environs of partisan-friendly tv, mags and publishing houses is the fact that most TV likes the ol’ Left v. Right play, in which one persons shills for the Dems and one shills for the Reps. It isn’t like being a “team player” doesn’t get one gigs.

    Beyond that, as you note, the honest to gosh truth is that it is far easier to build an audience if one is willing to preach to the choir. Note, for example, the recent static that you have gotten for having the audacity to criticize Palin.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    Again another one missing the point. It’s not that many of us see conservatives trying to ingratiate themselves with the elite, it’s because they are the elite and can’t be team players. Too much at stake as far as self perception I suppose. The rest of us tend to know when we should hush up even if we think we don’t have the best candidates.

    Supporting your candidate as the election approaches is not being a hack. There’s no scandal covering, there’s no secret that would damage the presidency, and there’s no making up a persona in lieu of the candidate having their own. The GOP has a good ticket and it should be supported by those who believe in the principles of the party. Why is it the term ‘hack’ is used for those who defend the party and the candidate?

    Part of being the ‘elite’ is not realizing the disdain for the common man and his thoughts. It’s the inability to relate to the working guy. It’s not understanding that others can have opinions and values that are different. The fact Sanchez doesn’t get the gist of this issue illustrates the point. We don’t care about the cocktail parties.

  3. John425 says:

    Methinks the proud blog owners doth protest too much.

  4. LaurenceB says:

    If it’s any consolation, there does exist an audience for “honest” punditry. We’re few, but proud, as someone said.

  5. tom p says:

    Again another one missing the point. It’s not that many of us see conservatives trying to ingratiate themselves with the elite, it’s because they are the elite and can’t be team players….Part of being the ‘elite’ is not realizing the disdain for the common man and his thoughts. It’s the inability to relate to the working guy.

    Steve, as a working man, what I see are certain conservatives trying to ingratiate themselves with me. Saying things like “you betcha” wink, wink, “dogone it” is truly condescending and indicative of the complete disdain they have for me, and guys like me. McCain’s pick of Palin was totally insulting to our intelligence and we know it.

    In the other thread on this somebody tried to blame the MSM. I work with a bunch of very conservative guys (knee-jerk even) and I have yet to hear a good word about the Palin pick… and they watch Fox. A large # of them are voting McPain anyway, but another large # of them do not know, or are staying home.

    If the McCain/Palin ticket is tanking, it is not because James, Frum, Sanchez et al didn’t get on board the train, it is because the ticket is a joke, seriously schizophrenic in a way anyone with half a brain can not miss.

    You see it, but are voting for this ticket on the basis that it is the “lesser of 2 evils”. But is it? Keeping in mind that the next election is just 2 yrs away, what are you going to say to the electorate if this administration (McPain) are as big a disaster as the last one? Do you not want a viable conservative alternative?

    You have to start laying the groundwork for the next election now. As a center/left voter I like having a viable right to counter the excesses of the left. Right now, it is not there. Instead we have a dysfunctional mess that is no alternative at all.

  6. tom p says:

    ps: intimating that james, frum and others are elitist, as some have, is insulting, to me if not to them. They don’t talk down to working men. They tell it like they see it, whatever the subject, and let me decide.

    They probably think I am an idiot from time to time, but then I have thought the same of them at times. What is more, they are honest and intelligent idiots, and I therefor respect them enough to listen, even when I don’t agree.

    It is hard to do that with someone who toes the party line all the time.

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    The converse is also true: no jab, no pellets.

    Look at your own commentariat, James. It’s got a healthy (or unhealthy depending on how you look at it) proportion of those who either come here to defend the party line from heterodoxy or those from the other side desperately picking for signs of hypocrisy.

  8. Houston says:

    And, as he emphasizes, “mutatis mutandis, on the left, of course.”

    Nothing like using Latin to prove you’re not one of the elite….

    jk, jk.

  9. “Supporting your candidate as the election approaches is not being a hack. ”

    If “supporting your candidate” means “cheerleading even when you actually think your candidate’s decision constitutes a serious error”… then, uh, yeah, it does. That’s pretty much the definition of being a hack.

    Some working man will have to explain the relevance of the free-associated collage of gee-golly-jess-folks talking points that constitute the rest of that comment; I’m afraid I’m too out of touch with Real America to extract a coherent point from them.

  10. tom p says:

    Some working man will have to explain the relevance of the free-associated collage of gee-golly-jess-folks talking points that constitute the rest of that comment; I’m afraid I’m too out of touch with Real America to extract a coherent point from them.

    Julian, as I said above, you are not out of touch with “Real America”, “they” (McPain and their cheerleaders) are. We (south central MO construction/working/farming small town guys and gals) are saying, “Huhhhh?????”

    If you can find a translater, please let us know.

  11. Steve Plunk says:

    tom,

    My intimating Dr. Joyner and others as being elitist came from an earlier thread where it seemed to me he admitted such. Now he’s a smart guy, smarter than me, but on this topic I believe him to be wrong. It’s not meant to insult and he’s too tough to let it matter.

    You might want to rethink the idea that Palin is trying to ingratiate herself to you by putting on a hillbilly act. That is the way many of us talk and perhaps she is just staying true to herself. The elitist argument is she is either 100% bumpkin or she’s putting on a cheap act. What’s frustrating is they have no evidence for either position.

    In my circle I hear a lot of good things about Palin so we really can’t go with anecdotal evidence to prove anything. We do know she’s is a wildly popular state governor and that’s evidence she knows how to be a chief executive which is stronger evidence than anything her critics are throwing against her.

    I would agree any success or failure of the ticket is not a result of internet commentators. The origins of this drawn out discussion concerns party members who stray off and undermine the ticket while supposedly supporting it. I advocate more team play while others feel it betrays their intellectual standards. In the big scheme of things it’s somewhat trivial but still worthy of discussion.

    With due respect it makes no sense to listen to your advice about laying ground work for the next time. You admit to being from the other camp. Since I see no dysfunctional mess (just the left claiming there is one) I will still work for a victory this year. I appreciate your post but I’ll have to decline your advice.

    Julian Sanchez,

    Perhaps you’ll enlighten this hick about what “serious errors” you speak of. Maybe you’ll speak more of incoherent talking points without really saying what they are. Lastly I expect more sarcasm rather than real discussion of the issue at hand.

    Hey I’m not looking for a fight but instead of defending what you said you instead chose to demean what I said through this years trendy catch phrases. It’s a post on a website so don’t expect edited work as much as free exchange of ideas. Try again to explain the line between ‘hack’ and legitimate defender of party ideas and candidates. The trick of just calling people hacks doesn’t play well.

    We’re likely on the same page about a lot of things so be patient with me. If there’s something you don’t understand ask me, I’ll explain it. Okie style.

  12. tom p says:

    Steve:

    It’s not meant to insult and he’s too tough to let it matter.

    I will go along with you on this… (hat tip)

    You might want to rethink the idea that Palin is trying to ingratiate herself to you by putting on a hillbilly act. That is the way many of us talk and perhaps she is just staying true to herself.

    Steve, you say you are an “Okie from Muskogee” (artistic license here, give me a little bit of a break) and I am from Misery and have spent more than a little bit of time in Arkinsaw and bin thru OK a time or 2…

    I ain’t yet never heard anybody from the hill country talk like that…

    Look Steve, my sister lives in MN and SP sounds like she came straight out of a Cohen Brother’s film… “Nor Dakota, yahhh…”

    The elitist argument is she is either 100% bumpkin or she’s putting on a cheap act. What’s frustrating is they have no evidence for either position.

    except for the people of Alaska? Listen to a clip or 2… Sorry, I have no links, but it should not be difficult.

    In my circle I hear a lot of good things about Palin so we really can’t go with anecdotal evidence to prove anything.

    With all due respect, you must have a really small circle, check out the Anchorage Daily News:

    http://www.adn.com/troopergate/story/555288.html

    We do know she’s is a wildly popular state governor and that’s evidence she knows how to be a chief executive which is stronger evidence than anything her critics are throwing against her.

    Popular? Where? Anchorage? Not the Anchorage Daily News….

    read above link…

    Oh, wait a minute… they are now a part of the MSM…

    I would agree any success or failure of the ticket is not a result of internet commentators. The origins of this drawn out discussion concerns party members who stray off and undermine the ticket while supposedly supporting it. I advocate more team play while others feel it betrays their intellectual standards. In the big scheme of things it’s somewhat trivial but still worthy of discussion.

    But Steve, which team are you on? The conservative or the Republucan? Even I have noticed, they are no longer the same.

    With due respect it makes no sense to listen to your advice about laying ground work for the next time. You admit to being from the other camp.

    Not advice Steve, a suggestion… if for no other reason than that I appreciate a worthy adversary.

    Since I see no dysfunctional mess (just the left claiming there is one) I will still work for a victory this year. I appreciate your post but I’ll have to decline your advice.

    And Steve, so you sow the seeds of your own destruction. C’mon, Steve, are you honestly going to to try to tell me that you DON’T see the contradiction between McCain and Palin??? He who never took a bit of pork married to she who never saw pork she didn’t love? (she was for the bridge, until she was against it…. and than she took the money anyway…)

    C’mon, Steve…

    In the meanwhile, I appreciate you and read you.

  13. TJIT says:

    For every person complaing about chardonay swilling elites there is another person complaining about bud swilling trailer park trash. They are both obnoxious.

    What is also highly obnoxious on the part of the many in the commentariat is the ongoing slagging of palin for her mistakes and ignorance while simultaneously ignoring the often bigger gaffes biden (with 30 + years of experience) makes.

  14. TJIT says:

    The republicans are fixing to learn a big lesson on how running on a platform of “My policies are bad but the other guys would be worse” is an utterly unsustainable way to sustain electoral success.

    The tendency of too many people to judge policy based on whether there is an (r) or a (d) behind it without looking at the policy itself is a big reason the bush years have been a fiasco.

    Too many republicans supported bad policies bush proposed just because bush proposed it. Yet if clinton had proposed it these same folks would have vigorously opposed the same policy.

  15. Bithead says:

    Beyond that, as you note, the honest to gosh truth is that it is far easier to build an audience if one is willing to preach to the choir. Note, for example, the recent static that you have gotten for having the audacity to criticize Palin.

    But has anyone noticed?
    So far, this discussion only admits that there are apparent intellectually corrupted choir members singing as it were, on the Republican side.

    Does that give us a clue as to the germination of this particular discussion seed, I wonder?

  16. rodney dill says:

    So far, this discussion only admits that there are apparent intellectually corrupted choir members singing as it were, on the Republican side.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with a serious discussion of your preferred candidates pros and cons, but it can’t readily happen on an open Blog. As in the case where you want to discuss the merits or faults of McCain or Palin, That One’s proponents only convey their narrow positive view of their candidate and only spread FUDs about McCain/Palin.

  17. DL says:

    I don’t have strong feelings for john McCain as a president, much beyond anybody but Obama/Marx, but I do have strong feelings as to John McCain as a candidate and they”re not pretty ones. I don’t know how you measure the “worst” but he would have to be considered in that area.
    He plays with changing and explaining contradictory positions and principles like he’s
    imitating liberals, only he does it so poorly that he becomes laughable at times. Without Palin he would have 25% of the vote by now.

    I fear both candidates as neither one can do what the country needs though John would do a better job at defense (except for the border problems he encourages)

  18. sam says:

    My intimating Dr. Joyner and others as being elitist came from an earlier thread where it seemed to me he admitted such.

    And, really, so what? I’m getting a little tired of the reverse snobbism that attacks someone because they have an education and apply that education in analysis.

    And this is just bullshit:

    Part of being the ‘elite’ is not realizing the disdain for the common man and his thoughts. It’s the inability to relate to the working guy.

    I don’t know who this “common man” is you’re referring to. And I don’t know who this “elite” is, either. I’ve known working folks who have zero empathy for their fellow working folks. And I’ve known college professors who were genuinely concerned over the conditions of bluecollar workers, financial and otherwise.

    Wielding this “dichotomy”, elite vs common man, constantly in argument is a sign of intellectual laziness. It represents the substitution of comfortable (and comforting) categorization for any real attempt at understanding. It’s the ideology of the inexperienced.

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    And, really, so what? I’m getting a little tired of the reverse snobbism that attacks someone because they have an education and apply that education in analysis.

    And what about the way I am treated for my solecistic perpetration, be it contrived, un learned or accidental?

    Remember one mans snob is another mans paragraph Nazi.

  20. Bithead says:

    There is nothing inherently wrong with a serious discussion of your preferred candidates pros and cons, but it can’t readily happen on an open Blog. As in the case where you want to discuss the merits or faults of McCain or Palin, That One’s proponents only convey their narrow positive view of their candidate and only spread FUDs about McCain/Palin.

    Well, exactly, Rodney. But that furthers my point, and sharpens it. Such people would NEVER point up Sullivan, for example, as a political hack… despite years of his demonstating his qualifications for the title. Or Krugman. Etc, etc.

    But there seems a bit of one-sidedness to all this. I’ve jumped all over Kristol several times over the years. So too have others. When is the last time you saw Sullivan or Krugman decried by leftists as being the mere political hacks they are?

  21. Dantheman says:

    Bithead,

    You are right about Sullivan being a political hack, you just are wrong for which side (hint, his reaction to 9-11 was to warn that coastal liberal elites would likely form a fifth column to support Al Qu’eda, a sentiment I have little doubt you shared).

    As for Krugman, you clearly did not read him in the late ’90’s, when he went after the Clinton Administration’s economic policies.

  22. Bithead says:

    (hint, his reaction to 9-11 was to warn that coastal liberal elites would likely form a fifth column to support Al Qu’eda, a sentiment I have little doubt you shared).

    Honestly, no, I didn’t figure on that happening at the time, though looking at how the Democrats in Congress has been acting since that time one cannot but wonder if he didn’t get that one right… a rare happening, that.

    As for Krugman, you clearly did not read him in the late ’90’s, when he went after the Clinton Administration’s economic policies

    I certainly did. His complaint(s) boiled down to, ‘He’s not liberal enough’.

  23. Steve Plunk says:

    tom p,

    I too appreciate spirited debate and appreciate your words. I should clarify my Okie background is CIO (California improved Okie) and now Oregonian. My mother and her family were migrant workers. Some of that speech I speak of is California central valley and southern Oregon.

    I understand the Anchorage newspaper may dislike Palin but her 80% approval rating says more. The MSM argument is immaterial here, the fact is Alaskans like her a lot. That is a pretty good measure of her abilities.

    I also understand your point about conservatives versus Republicans. While the party disappoints me at times it is still the best vehicle for attaining conservative goals. The alternative is unacceptable to me.

    I would also disagree with your characterization of Palin as a pork-monger. She trimmed the state budget and is recognized as a fiscal conservative.

    Sam,

    Easy there. This is not reverse snobbery but a recognition of an admitted divide between different branches of the party. The elite claim that moniker by their adherence to intellectual honesty that they wear on their sleeves. I’m saying you can still be intellectually honest and a team player. As for the B.S. statement let me say if a person recognizes himself as some sort of elite he has already admitted some sort of superiority. Not realizing they’ve done that is a common trait of the elite.

    It’s not one versus the other. The elite seem to be claiming those who stick with the team of being ‘hacks’ or intellectually dishonest while I say sticking with the team is a valid position. It’s not a fight but what I see as a misunderstanding of why people support candidates who are flawed to some extent.

  24. Dantheman says:

    Bithead,

    “one cannot but wonder if he didn’t get that one right… a rare happening, that.”

    I’ll agree Sullivan getting one right is a rare happening, but that’s life for a conservative hack.

    “I certainly did. His complaint(s) boiled down to, ‘He’s not liberal enough’.”

    Right. But by airing his disagreements, rather than keeping quiet, Krugman showed he is no hack. Just as James is showing he is no hack by publicly refusing to follow the party line on McCain and especially Palin (you know, the topic of this series of posts).

  25. What some are trying to point out is that it sure looks like there is a faction within the Right that would rather lose than have to defend Sarah Palin as a standard bearer for their party to their friends and colleagues. That is their right, but the wilderness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So much for the big tent.

    For the record, in line with Bill Buckley’s comment about being ruled by the first hundred people listed in the Boston phone book, I’d much rather have Sarah Palin as President than any of the three senators on the two tickets. Which one do you think Thomas Jefferson would have preferred (looking past a temporal bias against woman, of course)?

  26. Bithead says:

    Right. But by airing his disagreements, rather than keeping quiet, Krugman showed he is no hack

    No.
    What he showed is he’s a political hack, driven not by the Democrat party, but by socialism.

    Let’s call this what it is. In a sane world, Paul Krugman should be hammered flat on economics, (His words, I think) and drummed from his perch at the New York Times. However, let’s admit this isn’t a sane world, and Krugman and the New York Times deserve each other.

    The only thing that keeps Krugman in the Tofu is the GED’s that still think he’s impressive. They seemingly operate on the idea that he writes plausably and with a certain flair for pomposity, and that therefore his points must be valid.

    Most other folks, not so much.

    Of course there’s the hard left that worships on his altar, but face it; they’d worship anything that mouthed what they want to hear. Krugman certainly does that. Either way, Krugman knows where his target audience is, and writes to them. That’s why the Times keeps him around. Then again, that, by definition, is hackery.

    A hack he is, but the relationship between Krugman and truth is non-exsistant.

    And yes, I’m quite sure we’ll all be told in offended tones that this a a Nobel prize winner I’m dissing, here.

    (Chuckle)

    Well, first of all, a quibble; That’s not really a Nobel prize at all. (Link at need)

    That quibble aside, it seems to me the validity of the award should come down to practical application, if nothing else. Take our current economic situation… which is the direct result of the socialism Krugman pushes in his written work. It came upon us unmarked and unheralded by Krugman.

    Shouldn’t alarm bells be ringing over this one? Should we all be getting told about now that he predicted this stuff? He didn’t so predict it, which raises the question, “shouldn’t someone of such vision have seen this big a wave coming?” I mean, the sheer impact of the thing would seem require at least an ‘oops’ from the man, after the fact. Nope. Silence.

    Now, as a rule, I tend to not read Krugman, anymore, so it’s possible that he’s addressed these current concerns, and I’ve missed it. But I will for the moment and barring proof otherwise, assume I’m not in error, here, and say he’s not so much as made mention of the whole thing in public, and if he has, he’s certainly not laid the problem at the feet of socialism, as I’ve done repeatedly. Indeed, the pattern holding would mean that Krugman’s been busy calling for MORE government, not less.

    So, what can be said of an economist who misses predicting an economic event the size of the recent crashes? Perhaps, given that the crashes are the direct result of policies he pushes, one might say he was a political hack. And, I will.

    So as to how Krugman got his award, It is not surpising in the least. One needs only to look at the recent list of Nobel recipiants. Krugman’s award follows the pattern; Those in the various Nobel committees seem to have developed a flair for finding the farthest left crackpot, and laud him as some sort of visionary. We saw it for example, with Al Gore. We’re left with the unshakable idea that leftist political hacks are exactly the type of inDUHvidual who seems to get honored as a matter of routine by the (Faux) Nobel people.

    What, in turn, then, does that say about the Nobel people?

    As for Sullivan, your argument is only mildly amsuing. St. Andrew the Incontinant only manages to argue for conservatism in one particular over the last several years, and for that you label him a conservative hack? Please.

    As Sullivan showed in his conversaion from Roman catholosim, there’s only one thing and one thing only that drives him. What is that, you ask? We need only look at his own words to make that determination:

    I’ve often wondered how many straight Catholics fully appreciate how gay their church has always been. Especially in the old days. High Mass was, in its heyday, more elaborate and choreographed than a very melodramatic Broadway musical. Do people really believe that gay priests and religious had nothing to do with it? They had everything to do with it.

    The first time I walked into a gay disco, with all those lights, music, ritual and smoke, my immediate thought was: church! Madonna gets this, whatever Jonah says. Because she’s a born-and-bred Catholic, which Jonah isn’t. It’s theater, sweetie, theater. And the Church once understood that – which was part of its beautiful Catholicity. Gone, now, alas. But Benedict is helping nudge it back. And although I tease him about it, it’s a wonderful thing. More incense, please. And lace.

  27. Bithead says:

    Which one do you think Thomas Jefferson would have preferred (looking past a temporal bias against woman, of course)?

    It amazes me that the Democrats still hold Jefferson’s Image as iconic, given he’s oppose about everything they’ve been pushing, for the last centrury.

  28. James Joyner says:

    there is a faction within the Right that would rather lose than have to defend Sarah Palin as a standard bearer for their party to their friends and colleagues.

    I don’t think that’s right. There’s just a faction that think she’s unqualified for the job.

    For the record, in line with Bill Buckley’s comment about being ruled by the first hundred people listed in the Boston phone book, I’d much rather have Sarah Palin as President than any of the three senators on the two tickets.

    Buckley was not a populist. His preference was as against the Yale faculty.

    Which one do you think Thomas Jefferson would have preferred (looking past a temporal bias against woman, of course)?

    I’m not sure he’d have liked any of these people. But, certainly, a man who spent most of his life thinking and writing about politics wouldn’t have been impressed with Palin.

  29. James, you are certainly entitled to your opinion regarding Governor Palin’s qualifications, even moreso on your own forum. I do not in any way wish for my comments to be construed otherwise. I am only noting, however inadequately, that there is a differnce between offering reasons for saying she is unqualified and gratuitous bashing of the kind seen in plenty of less objective forums.

    With respect to my use of Mr. Buckley’s comment most of the punditry and Republican establishment people you listed as being opposed to Palin have a great deal more in common with the Yale faculty than they do with me.

    Obviously, I disagree about Jefferson’s opinion. If he saw the government we have today, I would have to believe that he would welcome an outsider, someone from the relative frontier over the three Senators who all cannot correctly interpret the simple English phrase, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  30. Sorry, I meant to close with that it may be true that Jefferson would not have been impressed with Governor Palin, but I believe he would be appalled by Senators McCain, Obama, and Biden.

  31. Bithead says:

    But, certainly, a man who spent most of his life thinking and writing about politics wouldn’t have been impressed with Palin

    .

    There’s a line here, James that needs be highlighted. Would that be because of her political accumen, or lack thereof, or because of the values she espouses?

    At the risk of being told I’m drawing comparisons, I wonder, just a bit about the people who made it large in early American politics, when most of the country was still frontier. How many people who ‘went large’ in America’s early days, were not lifelong pols?

    Indeed, what would Jefferson said of lifelong pols? Didn’t our founders expect that our leadership would be drawn from not the political establishment, but from rank and file citizenry, who would serve a term or two and go back to life?

  32. Dantheman says:

    Bithead,

    “What he showed is he’s a political hack, driven not by the Democrat party, but by socialism.”

    So in other words, you have no idea what a political hack is, but just like throwing the term around. Duly noted.

    Additionally, your perceptions of what is socialistic are remarkably skewed, so that you can claim that all Democrats in Congress, and a significant portion of Republicans are leftists. As such, your wrongheaded opinions on whether Krugman is a socialist are worthless.

    As for Sullivan, he was a blind follower of the Bush Administration until the Schiavo mess. He also was arguably the person most responsible for promoting The Bell Curve, including the racist overtones of the authors’ argument, into the public discourse. So yes, he was a conservative hack.

  33. rodney dill says:

    I’m not sure he’d have liked any of these people. But, certainly, a man who spent most of his life thinking and writing about politics wouldn’t have been impressed with Palin.

    I don’t entirely disagree with that, I never felt that Palin was a political heavyweight, It is just obvious that Obama is also political lightweight. The two compare fairly even experience wise (just different kinds of governance experience)

  34. Bithead says:

    So in other words, you have no idea what a political hack is, but just like throwing the term around. Duly noted

    .

    So, you view hackery as being commtted in support a particular political PARTY, not a particular ideology?

    Interesting, if just a little narrow.

    As for Sullivan, he was a blind follower of the Bush Administration until the Schiavo mess

    Something which I assure you wouldn’t have occurred had Bush been a mere centerist.

  35. Dantheman says:

    “Something which I assure you wouldn’t have occurred had Bush been a mere centerist.”

    No doubt. Of course, the Bush Administration’s actions on Schiavo were supported by substantially all the Republicans in Congress, especially the more conservative ones, and opposed by all the Democrats. Which is why that incident is an example of how, contrary to your perpetually wrong political compass, Bush is a conservative.

  36. James Joyner says:

    Didn’t our founders expect that our leadership would be drawn from not the political establishment, but from rank and file citizenry, who would serve a term or two and go back to life?

    No. Recall that the “rank and file citizenry” weren’t even allowed to vote. Suffrage was reserved for stakeholders. Further, only state officers and the House of Representatives were voted on at all. The Senate was indirectly chosen by the state legislatures until the early 20th Century and the president is still indirectly chosen by the Electoral College — which was never intended to be even a proxy for a popular vote.

  37. Bithead says:

    No doubt. Of course, the Bush Administration’s actions on Schiavo were supported by substantially all the Republicans in Congress, especially the more conservative ones, and opposed by all the Democrats. Which is why that incident is an example of how, contrary to your perpetually wrong political compass, Bush is a conservative.

    Laughable.
    Once again, you pick up the one instance… the perception of the value of life, in this case… where Bush’s view meets that of a frustrated Roman catholic?

  38. Bithead says:

    No. Recall that the “rank and file citizenry” weren’t even allowed to vote. Suffrage was reserved for stakeholders.

    Well, landowners, anyway. But it certainly was not limited to the political class, per se.

    Further, only state officers and the House of Representatives were voted on at all. The Senate was indirectly chosen by the state legislatures until the early 20th Century and the president is still indirectly chosen by the Electoral College — which was never intended to be even a proxy for a popular vote.

    And I wonder, often, if we’d not have done better sticking to that part.

  39. Grewgills says:

    There seems to be some confusion by some as to the definition of hack. The relevant definition from Websters is:
    3 a: a person who works solely for mercenary reasons : hireling b: a writer who works on order ; also : a writer who aims solely for commercial success

    or for a definition more specific to what we are talking about there is the Wiktionary definition of political hack:
    a negative term ascribed to a person who is part of the political party apparatus, but whose intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction. The term “hired gun” is often used in tandem to further describe the moral bankruptcy of the “hack”.

    I understand the Anchorage newspaper may dislike Palin but her 80% approval rating says more.

    Now 68%, not bad but not 80%.

    I would also disagree with your characterization of Palin as a pork-monger. She trimmed the state budget and is recognized as a fiscal conservative.

    She sought and received hundreds of millions in pork as mayor and governor. I think that qualifies her more as an eager courter and customer of the pork mongers.

    Easy there. This is not reverse snobbery

    Perhaps not on your part, but anti-intellectualism and the snobbery that accompanies it have become all too common in general and particularly on the right during elections.

    The elite seem to be claiming those who stick with the team of being ‘hacks’

    See above definitions. It would seem that while many of the accused aren’t (at least explicitly) part of the party machinery their “intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction.”

    …people support candidates who are flawed to some extent.

    That is a perfectly valid and reasonable position and is shared by most if not all of the people who contribute and comment here. The logical extension of that support is where the disagreement lies.
    Some here apparently see the logical extension meaning that they must or should publicly defend their choice and admit no fault. The other extreme would be those who demand ideological purity on all fronts to give their support. Then there is the vast middle ground where most of us have staked out our positions. You apparently cleave rather close to the first position while the contributing authors here appear to fall somewhere close to the center in that broadly generalized dichotomy.

    What he showed is he’s a political hack, driven not by the Democrat party, but by socialism.

    See above definitions. Do you really think he is supporting the American Socialist Party or are you just grasping at straws?

    In a sane world, Paul Krugman should be hammered flat on economics

    You mean, of course, in a world that Bit considers sane. That is a very different world than most of us live in (or want to live in).

    Take our current economic situation… which is the direct result of the socialism Krugman pushes in his written work.

    This conversation has been rehashed too many times to fully go into it again. Suffice to say that your opinion is in a small minority among economists and most everybody else in the US and elsewhere. Oh, and it is wrong.

    assume I’m not in error, here, and say he’s not so much as made mention of the whole thing in public,

    But you are. Give some specifics about the type of links you want. How old must the column or speech be? There are plenty from 2007 and some earlier. If you have LexisNexis access (i don’t) you should be able to find plenty.
    Here is one you won’t like.

    and if he has, he’s certainly not laid the problem at the feet of socialism, as I’ve done repeatedly.

    That would be to his credit rather than yours.

    What is that, you ask? We need only look at his own words to make that determination

    His sexuality? Do you not want him ‘gaying up’ your political philosophy?
    I guess if it were not for the overt homosexuality the log cabin republicans would be good republicans.

  40. mannning says:

    I believe that most conservatives, whatever their position on Palin, actually do not have warm feelings for anyone calling themselves intellectual conservatives while at the same time loudly and publically denigrating Palin three weeks before the election.

    The only purpose for such action must be to provide a mattress for the future when and if the Republicans lose. It is very much the “I told you so” syndrome, with a defensive twist.

    There is perhaps another motive for such anti-party action, and that is a sneaking wish to abandon the Republicans to their fate altogether, and start planning for a future election.

    Why one would desire to aid in any way putting us in the hands of tax-and-spend liberals with a strong socialist odor for the next decade or two I have no idea. It would also mean a resurgent liberal majority in the Supreme Court that could last much longer than that.

    It seems to me that the issues of motivation have been over-intellectualized like too much salt in the soup.

  41. Bithead says:

    This conversation has been rehashed too many times to fully go into it again. Suffice to say that your opinion is in a small minority among economists and most everybody else in the US and elsewhere. Oh, and it is wrong.

    You keep saying that. Yet, you’ve done anything but prove the point.

    Try, now.

    for example, the column you offer is decidedly wrong. He never mentions the casues behind the housing slump, all of which… I say again… all of which… weere the result of governmental tampering in the market.

    See above definitions. Do you really think he is supporting the American Socialist Party or are you just grasping at straws?

    Obviously, he writes for the NYT. He gets paid to do so. But in taht role, he’s found two seperate niches, as I suggested, to write to… GED’s and hard left types… and that keeps him valuable to the Times. So, yes, he’s a hack, even by your own definition.

    His sexuality?

    It’s the one point upon which he can be counted on to lose all sense of reality.

  42. anjin-san says:

    It is just obvious that Obama is also political lightweight.

    Yes, this would explain how he dismantled Hillary Clinton, who had every conceivable advantage going into the primaries, and why he is now doing the some to John McCain, who is alleged to be the proven leader, battle tested, possessor of wisdom, so on and so forth…

    Obama crushed one of our great political dynasties and is doing the same to a man who has been one of the elite since the day he was born. To dismiss him as a lightweight is either the act of a fool or someone who is simply denying reality.

  43. Grewgills says:

    You keep saying that. Yet, you’ve done anything but prove the point.

    Try, now.

    It does not matter that less than half of the subprime loans went to people who could have qualified for traditional loans or that only about 20% of the subprime loans were related to CRA or that there is not a significant difference in default between CRA and non-CRA subprime loans; no matter what, it is the fault of socialism. It does not matter to you that deregulation in 1995 and 2004 increased the problem by at least an order of magnitude, perhaps much, much more; it is all the fault of socialism. We have covered this ground before, it is not on topic and no matter what anyone says or what evidence is offered you will continue to make the same argument, so there is no point in continuing.

    So, yes, he’s a hack, even by your own definition.

    1. Not my definition
    2. only in the sense of one who writes on order or perhaps one who writes for commercial success and we both know that when the term is used in political discussions it is the Wiktionary definition that is intended. Whatever else he may be he is not a political hack.

    His sexuality?

    It’s the one point upon which he can be counted on to lose all sense of reality.

    and what exactly does that have to do with the rest of his political philosophy?

  44. tom p says:

    tom p,

    I understand the Anchorage newspaper may dislike Palin but her 80% approval rating says more. The MSM argument is immaterial here, the fact is Alaskans like her a lot. That is a pretty good measure of her abilities.

    Steve: You are probably way past reading this by now, but I feel the need to point out that getting an 80% approval rating is real easy when one has the energy resources to allow one to eiliminate state income taxes AND give every one $3200 a year. That is hardly a good measure of anybodies abilities. Even I could have done that.

    I also understand your point about conservatives versus Republicans. While the party disappoints me at times it is still the best vehicle for attaining conservative goals. The alternative is unacceptable to me.

    In 2002 I refused to vote for any of my choices for congressional representativees (they were “pro-I-war v pro-I-war”)(I live in MO) In the years since, I have caught unmitigated hell for not voting for Jean Carnahan… and yet, the Dem Party stands in a stronger position now, then they did then or have since. Sometimes, making the easy vote, is not the right vote.

    I would also disagree with your characterization of Palin as a pork-monger. She trimmed the state budget and is recognized as a fiscal conservative

    .

    As a blue dog democrat, I can not help but laugh at how far the GOP has fallen. SP as a fiscal conservative? It is a joke… The woman who left Wassilla in a $3000 per person hole of debt? For a Rec center they do not need, and do not even own (my understanding is, this is STILL working it’s way thru the courts)????

    If that is “fiscal conservatism”, God save us all.

    In the meanwhile, I leave all, with this thought from Larison:

    “What is instructive about all this is what it tells us about loyalty. For the denouncers, loyalism ultimately seems to mean keeping your mouth shut, ignoring reality and not breaking ranks. In another era, these would be the legitimists who would have defended the rights of an imbecile heir rather than a competent claimant on the throne. What we see is that it is not loyalty that is being defended, but rather conformity. The loyalist is bound by devotion, and the conformist by fear, usually fear of an enemy or opponent. We see the former when people rally to a monarch or leader they genuinely admire, and we see the latter in support for a dictator as the lesser of two evils.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  45. mannning says:

    Just perhaps it is simply banding together to reject the rogue outsider, the Ayers friend, the black liberation supporter, and the Acorn mentor, along with a myriad of associations with other weirdos, none of whom should be allowed to come near the White House (but probably will now.).

    The door is opening for the riffraff and demigogues of the nation to have a go at pilfering, plundering, and punishing the rest of the citizens.

    This time will not end peacefully.

  46. Grewgills says:

    The door is opening for the riffraff and demigogues of the nation to have a go at pilfering, plundering, and punishing the rest of the citizens.

    This time will not end peacefully.

    Really? Why not?

  47. mannning says:

    Well, GG, I am speculating that it won’t take more than two years of Obama in the WH to forment some very ugly reactions to the socialization pushes he and the Dem congress fosters onto an unwilling public. Give it two more-to four more years, and I am speculating that the ugliness will spread over the land.

    What ugliness? I do not know, but it will not be pleasant. Perhaps it will merely be like the unparalleled ugliness that the Dems have projected into the national conversation for the last 8 years, or perhaps it will be far more intense, since our survival as as nation may well be at stake. We had to impeach the last egoistic Dem in the WH.

    In any event, it will not be a peaceful ride, with the nation heavily split between those who want to take more and more from the government, and those who want to return us to constitutional government, fiscal responsibility and thrift, self-reliance, patriotism, and equal opportunity–not equal outcome–to name just some of the directions we will not see from Obama. The idea of redistribution of wealth will be Obama’s greatest theme.

    Give it a few years…