"Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and opposes rapid change in society. Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself. It is the persistent image of society as a command structure in which the responsibilities of leadership can be exercised within the framework of a strong state manifested in divine right."Where to even start? The first sentence boldly defines conservatism as a "political and social philosophy" with a mission to keep society from changing. The second sentence less-boldly counters that, by saying that conservatism is not a philosophy.
(Mission statement over at It Makes Sense Blog.)
(Huh? But you just said...)
No, not a philosophy, we meant to say it's an "attitude, a constant force."
It goes on.
It goes on to suggest that this mysterious "force" is apparently performing a "timeless function," with the goal to develop a "free society." This force, by the way, also "corresponds" to some "requirement of human nature." It does not specify what that "timeless function" might be, nor does it specify what that "requirement" might be, but it boldly continues on, in the third sentence, to suggest this philosophy/attitude/force/timeless function/requirement thing is also an "image of society."
The rest is equally inane blather, suggesting a reality in which there's an image of a command structure of a framework of a a state...
(Ow, my brain! Make it stop!)
This stultifying switchback of anti-everything pseudo-intellectualism may as well have been comprised of words plucked randomly and assembled from one of those refrigerator magnet kits that we all thought were so cool in the 90s.
Despite its claim to "make us better informed to Counteract the Radical Revolution," and no, I don't know why the random capitalization, this blog's content is devoid of anything remotely informative. It's all reeling lunatic rantings against liberals, all Obama-as-Muslim, Fox News quotes, bloodcurdling Ann Coulter'isms, and heavily 1%-esque random opinions presented cleverly as though it were independent data but in truth penned by the actual billionaire hedge funders it applauds!
If that gives you a chill, then your spleen will go absolutely sub-zero when you learn this blog's take on the Mitt Romney "47%" video. Right now the media can't even keep up with the spin on that comment, as even staunch conservatives have turned even paler than usual upon hearing those dismissive remarks. But this blog's headline read, "Romney Gets Real: Obama Supporters 'Dependent on Government,'" revealing that this conservative source is fully endorsing Mitt's haughty dismissal of half the nation by spinning the insult as finally "getting real." Who are these people?
Given the extreme positions presented in "It Makes Sense" it is no surprise that there are rambling reams of words about how President Obama caused the recession. Allow me to correct myself -- it just says that President Obama caused the recession. Like most conservative arguments, it never once explains how, exactly.
I find this to be the most frustrating problem with our nation's new conservatives. I say "new conservatives" because there used to be a time when the lunatic fringe in Congress was just that, a fringe. When I was a kid, Senator Jesse Helms' incredibly racist, anti-woman, anti-gay crusade was spectacle, but growing up I recall assuming he was the Archie Bunker of CSPAN. I was a child of the 70s, shit was weird. Even my own grandmother, an outwardly and unapologetic racist, used to say unrepeatable things about non-white people and, when my little face would appear shocked, she would realize that I was confused and scared and she would tell me stoically "I'm old, honey, you can't change my mind." Her admitting that made it clear to me -- she was aware that she was acting horribly and that her ideas were from a different time. Gram was born in 1914, into a world where women were still considered lesser citizens. She relentlessly harped at me as a high school student for my burning desire to go to college, refusing to accept it, yelling at me, "Why! You're a girl!"
I guess I always assumed that working towards progress, moving forward to an enlightened society devoid of discrimination was a future goal, and that the hard work of reaching that goal was up to me and my generation. The Jesse Helmses and Archie Bunkers and old Italian grandmothers had their society. We would strive to be better. Better hearts, better souls, better minds. Better.
Having said that, I would really like to take Paul Ryan aside, privately, to find out what the fuck happened to him in his life. The man is my age and he is obviously smart, clearly educated. But socially he thinks and acts the same as my un-educated 98 year old off-the-boat Italian grandmother. Does that sound right to you? And he's not the only one. This cadre of extremists isn't even bothering to hide their bigoted, frightening agenda anymore. Valerie Hodges, Todd Akin, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann -- it's like they've come from some other era. Not better. Worse. Worse, because we should know better in this century. I will be writing more about that in Reason #12: Science is Bunk And So Are You, which should be out around mid-October unless the zombies get me before then.
The new conservatives are maddening. Mostly because, put colloquially, you cannot talk to these people. Of course there are exceptions, but why do most of these guys seem to employ the same foot-stamping, podium-banging tactic? Is there a secret camp they all attend where they learn this method of just stating a wildly inaccurate claim, connecting it to an entirely unrelated true fact, and then conveniently ignoring both the groundless connection and the abundant evidence disproving the claim?
Take for example, the job market. I covered this in some detail in Reason #6 - Obama Promised Jobs. The claim here is that Obama has failed on delivering on jobs. The true fact here is that the unemployment rate is high. But to blame this on the President is to blatantly ignore that the Republicans have stubbornly blocked seventeen jobs bills in the President's comprehensive American Jobs Act, deliberately sacrificing the health and welfare of the entire nation for one reason only: so that they can claim that he failed on delivering jobs. This is not only sickening, it is absolutely in direct defiance of the guiding principles that each and every single one of those members of Congress have sworn to uphold. It is not only obnoxious, it is treason. From the Declaration of Independence, on what defines tyrannical behavior on the part of the lawmakers:
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
The question the American people should be asking themselves has surpassed "why are these people sitll in Congress." It should be "why are they not in jail."
The "It Makes Sense" brain trust has stuffed their corner of the blogosphere chockablock with this dizzying brand of borderline criminal Republican circular logic. In this August 5th entry for example, the writer opens with the oft-debunked-but-so-what Fox News talking point that "President Barack Obama’s punitive tax proposals and other divisive policies are pushing the country into a recession." He goes on to talk about how the growth rate since 2009 has only been at around two percent, helpfully interpreting that means "the U.S. economy is barely growing" and calls this growth rate a failure of "the president’s class-warfare economic rhetoric and policies" and that "it’s no wonder the unemployment rate cannot move lower."
Huh? So...the economy is growing, but not fast enough, and this too-slow growth is because of Obama's job creation attempts, all of which the Republicans have systematically blocked anyway so they never even happened...wait, what?
You know what it sounds like? Does anyone else remember the South Park episodes with the Underpants Gnomes? It is a storyline that is typically South Parkian wacky in an "is there enough weed for this?" way, but to sum up: these Gnomes had a goal to take over the world. When pressed for the details of the plan, they said first they would steal all the underpants. That's Phase 1.
Phase 2? They'll get to that later.
Phase 3? Take over the world!