Saturday, February 28, 2009

No Future For You


Mrs. D's well-executed blog post got me to thinking about something....


Let's look at something she said as a postscript:



P.S. Mr. D. - you need more crooners and less angry young men on your MP3 player
:)

I'll admit that I have a lot of angry young men on my MP3 player. But they aren't young any more. Elvis Costello will turn 55 this year. Mick Jones of the Clash turns 54. John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon turned 53 last month. Richard Hell will be 60 this year. Roger Daltrey, who famously declaimed "hope I die before I get old," turns 65 tomorrow. I don't know if they will be getting a table at Denny's to celebrate, but they'll certainly be able to get a few dollars off on a Grand Slam if they so choose. (And as an aside, I might mention that one of Mrs. D's most favorite song stylists, Marvin Gaye, left this earth in a pretty violent way 25 years ago.)


Perhaps bile is a preservative. It's pretty amusing, actually. John Lydon experienced his greatest moment of fame was when he and his mates emerged in 1976, snarling thus:


God save the queen

The fascist regime

They made you a moron

Potential H-bomb


God save the queen

She ain't no human being

There is no future

In England's dreaming


Don't be told what you want

Don't be told what you need

There's no future, no future,

No future for you


It's 33 years on. Not only has that much future turned into the past, there's still a future ahead. And we still have the Queen, too. Not that John Lydon worries about such things much any more -- he's too busy selling stuff on his website. He's a successful modern businessman. Who knows, if the Queen has a sense of humor he might even be knighted some day. She's knighted worse reprobates than John Lydon.


We really need to take our Cassandras at a deep discount, doncha think? As we go through the coming months and endure more tales of woe, that seems like especially good advice. Consider the example of Jonathan Kay, a conservative columnist for Canada's National Post who really needs a Valium or something:



Conservatism as we know it is dead. Its last bastion of power, Washington, is being overrun as we speak, in a blitzkrieg operation fueled by popular panic and led by a charismatic field marshal. To the extent conservative ideology survives the onslaught, it will be as a guerilla force, making its presence felt on web sites and radio call-in shows but never in the corridors of real power.

No future, no future, no future for you! Somehow, I think the future will be a little brighter for conservatives than that.

11 comments:

nukeitfromorbit said...

Well Dennis Hopper is hawking retirement accounts to the slightly-older-than-me generation. I look forward to buying my Miracle Ear from Iggy Pop (its partly his fault that I'm going to need it anyway).
And I'm sure your side of th aisle will be back eventually. I recall reading once about a guy who was arrested in Central Park back in the 50s for "using abusive language". One of the witnesses said "He was calling people conservative and things like that". Things change. Although from what I've seen from CPAC I think you might want to get used to loosing for a while longer. That was some sad stuff.

Gino said...

he's right.
only as a gurilla force, since the conservatives have no party from which to press an agenda, and folks wont want to do away with their entitlements anyway.

Anonymous said...

All is not lost. The one thing that Democrats haven't learned is that just because they have won an election, doesn't mean that they get to over-reach with their agenda. Clinton learned this quickly after losing Congress in 2 years. One would have thought they'd be smarter than that, but Democrats are after all democrats.

Obama and other democrats had to portray themselves as moderates to get elected. We are now finding out that they essentially lied to win. What they have forgotten is that in reality, the swing votes of the population are moderate at best.

In case you don't think that people will become enamored with taxes and increase, consider this: Every referendum in which a school district requested money to exceed budget spending limits that wsa put to the voters in the most recent primary election in Wisconsin failed. Every one.

It could be too late by the time the voters realize it, but they have voted in candidates based on lies. If they Republicans can get their collective heads out of their Clavins, the timing is ripe for a 2010 takeover of both houses, and many statehouses.

Mark Heuring said...

I don't pay much attention to what goes on at CPAC, NIFO. It's preaching to the choir. And you're not in the choir, dude.

You live in California, Gino, so I can see why you'd feel that way. I'm not so sure that the rest of the country is so far gone that they'll simply accept their fates from their benevolent overlords.

I suspect that anonymous is right. Hope and Change wasn't exactly sold as a complete transformation of the economic system of this country, run through Washington. But there's increasing evidence that is what Obama has in mind. He may get by with it this year, but when the tax bills start coming due next year and the year after, and inflation arrives simultaneously, people will understand. And he won't be able to blame George W. Bush any more.

Anonymous said...

Americans love small government rhetoric, but they don’t seem to actually care about shrinking the size of government. Talking about small government when the combined federal and state budgets last year totaled four-and-a-half trillion dollars and our Federal military expenditures were more than the rest of the worlds combined is, unfortunately, very typical American rhetoric. Is this the sort of small government you guys are talking about? It is just another one of those myths we are so totally in love with. But Americans aren't ready to give up their entitlements and their regulatory agencies. And now that we have had a financial collapse, a peanut butter scare, a potential round of bank nationalizations and a consistently worsening health care crisis, I don't see people turning their backs on the SEC, FDIC, FDA or Medicaid/Medicare anytime soon, unless it is to increase the reach of these agencies or create new ones.

Whether you guys like it or not, the GOP is presently perceived as the party of deregulation, which is deemed a widespread failure. The stock market has lost over half its value in the last 12 years. Is this the market that you want to privatize Soc Sec into? Are you really going to ask Americans over 65 to give up SS or trust it to private hands when 80% of folks over 65 rely on Soc Sec for at least 50% of their total income, and for 50% of them it’s 100% of their total income?

And the Conservative answer to all this, while the world economy flails, is to obstruct. I havn't heard one Conservative admit that 40% of Obamas's stimulus package is tax cuts. And now that he is considering serious entitlement reform, especially entrenched and outdated programs like Agriculture Subsidies, you have CPACers vowing to obstruct that as well. But you do have Joe the Plumber and Rick Sentelli to rally around. I really think Conservatism has lost its ability to be be clear eyed about things.

Ronald Reagan cut taxes dramatically in his first year, and then raised them every year for the next seven. He realized that there were practical considerations that needed to be accounted for. Most notably, that Americans want and have come to expect an awful lot of things from their government. The fact that they say they want small government means no more than the fact that they say they want a balanced budget. It’s rhetoric that isn't founded on anything actionable.

I’m sorry, but people who say that they want small government and less taxes but refuse entitlement reforms and refuse to reduce a bloated military budget are not to be taken seriously.

Rich

Mark Heuring said...

Rich, so much of what you wrote is crap that even you can't believe it.

The stock market lost half its value in 12 years? Well, it's lost about 25% of its value since Obama took office. His fault? Not entirely. But it was also at record highs under evil, deregulating Bush.

I don't see anyone on our side trying to take down the agencies you mention. It's not possible to do it, so that's a strawman argument. Tell me who wants to get rid of the SEC or FDIC, Rich.

And you know as well as I do that Social Security is only as good as the generations that will pay it going forward. Our kids and grandkids will be saddled with so much debt because of every administration that has come in our lifetimes that they will be looking at unsustainable commitments. Guess what's going to happen? They won't pay. And I won't blame them. The plans that were on offer (and still are on offer) provided a variety of ways to invest money in something other than the IOU's that are in the Social Security Lockbox.

And when you give a tax cut to someone who isn't actually paying federal income tax, it's not a tax cut. It's a welfare payment. You can call it what you want, but that's what it is.

I've written about this before. The best thing about being rich isn't that you get to roll around in a vault full of money like Scrooge McDuck. It means you options. And one option rich people have is to move their money and their operations elsewhere. Go ahead and cheer on Obama as he attempts to tax the snot out of "the rich." Watch what happens. It won't be pretty.

I have more to say, but I gotta go.

Mark Heuring said...

Rich,

A few more points.

Let's look at some of your statements:

the GOP is presently perceived as the party of deregulation, which is deemed a widespread failure.

Who is doing the perceiving, Rich? Who is doing the deeming? You? Barack Obama? All 53% of the electorate that voted for Obama? Were all those people who voted for Obama primarily concerned about the perceived failures of GOP deregulation? He didn't run his campaign on the follies of GOP deregulation, now did he? He ran on Hope and Change, never really defined. The notion that this election was about the perception of GOP deregulation is nonsense on stilts and you know better than that.

Most people don't think much about the amount of regulation that the government does, unless it (a) directly benefits them or (b) directly hurts them. And trust me on this -- if Obama and his acolytes go on a regulatory spree and it starts to affect how Americans live their lives, the Democrats will have hell to pay.

And the Conservative answer to all this, while the world economy flails, is to obstruct.

Obstruct? Us? We can't stop anything. All we can do is dissent. And dissent is patriotic, remember? At least it was last year. Must have missed the memo on when dissent became obstruction. I think Nancy Pelosi suggested something about it last year, but I didn't think her press conferences were holy writ.

But you do have Joe the Plumber and Rick Sentelli to rally around.

Tell ya what. You assign Joe the Plumber and Rick Santelli to me, I get to assign Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan to you. CPAC can invite whomever it wants to invite to its shindig. I wasn't there and I don't take my marching orders from them.

The fact that they say they want small government means no more than the fact that they say they want a balanced budget. It’s rhetoric that isn't founded on anything actionable.

That just ain't Republicans, Rich. And if the Democrats actually believed that things like tax cuts and smaller government aren't desirable, then Obama shouldn't be promising tax "cuts," and Bill Clinton surely shouldn't have told people that the era of Big Government is over. Right? Barack Obama didn't run on "eat your spinach." The last presidential candidate to run on that message was Walter Mondale. Deregulation? Pfft.

Are you really going to ask Americans over 65 to give up SS or trust it to private hands when 80% of folks over 65 rely on Soc Sec for at least 50% of their total income, and for 50% of them it’s 100% of their total income?

No, and it's a straw man argument, because nobody did ask such a thing. Bush's proposal was only to give people the option to take part of their money and put in the dangerous evil, stock market. He also would have let them put the money into things like exceptionally well-managed Chicago municipal bonds, too.

Rich, it's pretty simple. The Democrats are going to get their way on almost everything they want for the next year or so. We are screaming as loud as we can about it because we've seen this movie before. I don't care how smart or gifted or visionary Barack Obama is. No one can ever have enough knowledge to know how to run an economy as gigantic and diversified as the United States economy. He knows this, but he has put himself out there in such a way that he becomes the symbol of every initiative that the Democrats are putting forth. It's all going to be on him. And it's all going to come crashing down on his head.

No one is listening to the Republicans now. Once the realities of what Obama, Pelosi, Reed and the rest of the worthies on your side of the aisle are actually doing become clear, they'll be listening to us again. I would like it if we were a little more coherent than we are, but incoherence didn't stop the Democrats from regaining power, now did it?

Anonymous said...

Mark,
as you told me recently, you doth protest too much. Most of my comments were aimed at Americans in general, not just Conservatives or Republicans. We, collectively, want far more from are government than we are happy to pay for. So we embrace huge entitlements, vast military budgets, intrusive government regulations, etc. while at the same time, espousing small government rhetoric. It's an issue we are almost all guilty of to varying degrees, but the simple fact is that since 1980, the GOP has been the party of dominance at state and local levels, and they talked a lot about small government, but they sure didn't do much about it. They talked a good game, but they didn't back it up. Did the Dems play a hand in that? Absolutely. But there were several times when the GOP had the same or similar advantages that the Dems now have, and they squandered them. And I confess that my short list of departments or agencies that I suggested as being targeted by the Right was a strawman in the sense that I was just pulling acronyms out of the air, but give me 15 minutes on the internet and I will bet you a steak dinner that I can find at least one nationally prominent Conservative that has denounced every agency I mentioned. My point was that denouncing big government is mere rhetoric. It plays nice on the hustings, but no one really acts on it.

It wasn't a Democrat or Liberal who said "Deficits don't matter." That was Dick Cheney, 7 years ago. It wasn't a Democrat that took the unifying mood in this country after 9/11 and tried to use it as a political battering ram to beat down opposition. That was W. And it wasn't a Democrat who on Friday stated "One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat [the Democrats] is with better policy ideas." That was Rush Limbaugh, the new putative leader of the Conservative movement (and my quote is not taken out of context. You can view the speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKjY3gEaLMQ).
So is this what has become of the Party of Ideas? Ann Coulter, JTP and Rushbo?

For thirty years, we've been told about the wonders of free markets, deregulation and "the ownership society." It's all part of the Conservative brand, and right now, it doesn't seem to have worked. Maybe it would work in some Ojectivist utopia where Ayn Rand was the Meritocratic Empress, but it hasn't worked in this one, and re-convincing people that it will some day is going to be a pretty hard sell.

Nine years ago, Al Gore was repeatedly mocked about his lock box idea. You just took a shot at it now. But he didn't want to put IOUs in it, he wanted to fund it with part of the surplus we were running. That idea isn't looking so bad anymore, is it?
And since we are talking about obstruction, and who is obstructionist, lets go back 8 years and consider what happened then: Bush had just been elected in one of the narrowest and most divisive wins in the history of our nation. He entered office with a government that was running a surplus, and economic times were pretty good. I was raised to believe that this is the best time to pay down debt and sock something away on the side. Many Dems thought it was a good time to shore up Soc Sec and pay down our massive deficit. Bush and the Republicans ran on the notion that any surplus should go back to the people. In spite of my sides disagreements, 28 House Democrats and 12 Senate Dems voted for Bush's 1.35 Trillion dollar tax cuts. Now we can argue the merits of that tax cut vs. paying down the deficit and shoring up the SSA, but I am merely pointing out that Dems were a tad more accomodating to an incoming Republican President than the GOP has been to Obama, and under much less dire circumstances.

And you are right in saying that no one can know how to run an economy as gigantic and diversified as the United States economy, and that Obama has put himself out there on point by moving so aggressively. But that is what Presidents are elected to do. He's got his head on the block, and knows that better than anyone. I know you don't like his approach, but you can't accuse the guy of being a wimp. He's got a mess on his hands, and he's trying to avert a catastrophe with the tools he's comfortable with. You didn't honstly expect him to embrace the Chicago School approach, did you?
BTW, I am really enjoying this debate. I know you aren't a CPACr, and I am glad for it. I'd much rather argue with you than someone who would cheer on the notion of Chicago being hit by a nuclear weapon (also at CPAC this year.)
Respectfully,
Rich

Mark Heuring said...

I was just pulling acronyms out of the air, but give me 15 minutes on the internet and I will bet you a steak dinner that I can find at least one nationally prominent Conservative that has denounced every agency I mentioned. My point was that denouncing big government is mere rhetoric. It plays nice on the hustings, but no one really acts on it.

I don't disagree with this at all, Rich. It's been a source of frustration for conservatives forever. And that is a structural problem within the Republican Party -- the Arlen Specters and Susan Collinses of the world must be assuaged in order to keep them on our side. And when we don't have anything to offer them, they don't have a problem going over to the Democratic side, as has been demonstrated.

And it wasn't a Democrat who on Friday stated "One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat [the Democrats] is with better policy ideas." That was Rush Limbaugh, the new putative leader of the Conservative movement (and my quote is not taken out of context. You can view the speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKjY3gEaLMQ).

Well, I know what Rush means. His point was that the Republicans have plenty of ideas. Still do. If you listen to Limbaugh (which I don't do much because I'm in an office job) he spends a lot of his time talking about ideas. The ideas didn't matter in the last cycle, because the Obama campaign wasn't about ideas. It was about Hope and Change. You can have all the ideas in the world, but it won't matter if your messenger can't articulate them well (John McCain, Steve Forbes, W, etc., etc.)

One last thing on CPAC. I've heard more from Democrats than Republicans about CPAC. I wonder why that is.

Anonymous said...

Mark,
As an outsider to the machinations of the Conservative movement(s), I thought Limbaugh was attacking Gingrich, but I would be curious to get the Conservative take on that.

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. That is way too young, and Bob sounds like a great guy. I wish I had had the chance to meet him. God speed.

Rich

Mark Heuring said...

Thanks, Rich. You definitely would have liked Bob. Oak Lawn guy, went to Richards High School. His dad (who died last year) and brother were both Water Department guys, too. If anything, I'm not doing him justice. Hell of a guy.

I dunno if ol' Rush had Newt in mind or not. It's been tough to find the time to watch the speech and I'm not entirely certain that I even want to. Guess I'll have to see for myself.