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Where There's a Will There's a Way? - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Where There's a Will There's a Way?
As I've previously noted here, I have never been a big fan of George Will, even though I like what he writes about baseball. The ideological divide between my positions and his was simply too great. Lately, though, as he he has stepped up his criticism of the Republican Party's current standing, I've been enjoying his acerbic prose a good deal more. Tomorrow's column, in which he tears into John McCain and his running mate, put a smile on my face:
Some polls show that Palin has become an even heavier weight in John McCain's saddle than his association with George W. Bush. Did McCain, who seems to think that Palin's never having attended a "Georgetown cocktail party" is sufficient qualification for the vice presidency, lift an eyebrow when she said that vice presidents "are in charge of the United States Senate"?

She may have been tailoring her narrative to her audience of third-graders, who do not know that vice presidents have no constitutional function in the Senate other than to cast tie-breaking votes. But does she know that when Lyndon Johnson, transformed by the 1960 election from Senate majority leader into vice president, ventured to the Capitol to attend the Democratic senators' weekly policy luncheon, the new majority leader, Montana's Mike Mansfield, supported by his caucus, barred him because his presence would be a derogation of the Senate's autonomy?

Perhaps Palin's confusion about the office for which she is auditioning comes from listening to its current occupant. Dick Cheney, the foremost practitioner of this administration's constitutional carelessness in aggrandizing executive power, regularly attends the Senate Republicans' Tuesday luncheons. He has said jocularly that he is "a product" of the Senate, which pays his salary, and that he has no "official duties" in the executive branch. His situational constitutionalism has, however, led him to assert, when claiming exemption from a particular executive order, that he is a member of the legislative branch and, when seeking to shield certain of his deliberations from legislative inquiry, to say that he is a member of the executive branch.
I suppose I shouldn't be smiling. But it's nice to see someone on the Right call his fellow travelers on their mistakes. The attack on Dick Cheney may be one that many people have already made, but it means a lot coming from Will.

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Comments
pissang From: pissang Date: October 30th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
George Bush's presidency made me appreciate George Will (and some of his Georgetown cocktail partying high-brow conservative brethren) a lot more. I realized that although I usually disagree with him strongly, his arguments follow a certain logic and that he works from a consistent political philosophy. On the other hand, Bush never governed with conservative principles. His presidency has just been this crazy-ass theory-less clusterfuck of idiotic incomprehensible and disastrous decisions. Compared to that, real Republicans actually don't look so terrible.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 2nd, 2008 01:44 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I think that's it, the fact that Will has been pretty consistent. It's hard to see how anybody with conservative principles could have endorsed the Bush Administration's approach to either domestic or foreign policy.
barca_k From: barca_k Date: October 30th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i've always kind of respected George Will for his intelligence but i usually disagree with him. although, as you mentioned, his baseball writings are wildly entertaining.

this was a joy to read. it is indeed to see someone from that side of the aisle speak out against his peers - particularly in the critical run-up to a national election. thanks for posting it.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 2nd, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
He has been critical of W & Co. for a while, but this was especially biting, considering the timing and the work McCain has done to make it seem he is breaking with the Bush legacy.
barca_k From: barca_k Date: November 2nd, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i think Will's like a lot of old-school small-gov't conservatives who have had the skin shocked off of them by neocons run rampant.

i think a lot of conservatives are only now realizing the price of letting evangelicals & foreign policy dreamers take over their party.
From: ext_129711 Date: October 30th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Another "conservative" I've enjoyed is Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic, who also writes a pretty popular blog. Nobody has been a harsher critic of McCain, and esp. Palin, than he. I think there's a different brand of conservativism lying in the shadows out there somewhere, waiting to be resurrected, and that resembles something more like Eisenhower's and T. Roosevelt's governing philosophy (careful foreign policy, not overly religious). Let's hope it makes a comeback, and that the nation begins a general shift toward center-left, so that when the Right needs to be engaged, we're not dealing with a bunch of anti-rationalist zealots.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 2nd, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I have a hard time imagining a Democrat winning the Presidency. But were that to happen this time around, the response on the Right would be very, very interesting to watch. The fractures visible now will be hard to mend.

Nice to see you blogging, BTW. How did you use your blog address to not have your comment be anonymous?
From: ext_129711 Date: November 3rd, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
you can click on OpenID, then it prompts you to log in to your blog
barca_k From: barca_k Date: November 2nd, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i couldn't agree with you more. we've just tested the right-extreme & it's worked just about as well as the left-extreme did for the USSR.

i hope if there's a dormant brand of conservatism snoring out there somewhere that it manages to meet up with a more centrist brand of liberalism that might be equally torpid, & that the collision wakes them both up.
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