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Subsidies Have Consequences Capitalism in Crisis? Surely You Jest!

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Carry On Borking, Say Libs

by Christopher Chantrill
November 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm


WHAT DO our liberal friends really think about the infamous nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, that went down 58 to 42 in the United States Senate 24 years ago on October 23, 1987? If you have ever wondered, wonder no more. Joe Nocera just published an article in The New York Times, suggesting to his readers that if they want to know how the ugliness of todays politics got started they might look in the mirror. “The Ugliness started with Bork” and the liberals that attacked him.

Now what would you think the NYT commenters would say to that? Would they say, yeah Joe, that was not our finest hour, and we liberals should resolve to do better in the future?

Not a bit of it. The New York Times readers are pretty well united. Carry on Borking, they say, because Republicans are worse in the ugliness department, and anyway, Robert Bork was too extreme.

I ran a quick rundown on the first 100 comments (out of 255) on Nocera's article to quantify the sentiments of the NYT readers, and the widest agreement was that Republicans are worse than Democrats in the ugliness department. In fact, if you combine Republicans are Worse sentiments with Republicans Started It, you can say that the main thing that distinguishes the educated from the uneducated is that it takes an educated person a whole paragraph to say “So's your father!”

Here are the results of my little analysis of NYT Bork commenters:

31Republicans worse
15Bork was wrong, too extreme
13Pox on both their houses
10Republicans started it
9Nocera right
8Bork was corrupt e.g., fired Cox
5Democrats to blame

Only one commenter agreed with me, and I think that shows the desperate situation of the New York Times as clearly as anything.

I think it is pretty clear that when the Democrats regained control of the US Senate in 1986 they realized that they now had the power to push back on Ronald Reagan's conservative agenda. So when the Bork nomination came up, Ted Kennedy was ready with his memorable speech:

Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids...

And so on. Today, of course, we have Ted Kennedy's America in which people are censored all the time at our major universities and schoolchildren are not taught the facts about climate change.

Did the Democrats score a strategic victory by voting down Robert Bork? Maybe. They got Anthony Kennedy on the court instead of Robert Bork. They certainly satisfied their political base, but they weren't able to keep Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito off the court.

But at least Democrats won a victory against hate. “You've got to be taught / To hate and to fear” went the lyrics in South Pacific.

Er, no. Democrats have the power to all other people haters. That's one of the benefits of dominating education and the culture. And as long as they keep their eyes glued to The New York Times and their ears glued to NPR they'll always know that the other guys are the problem.

You can see that in the contrast between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement. Tea Party activists know they have always to be on their best behavior, because at any moment they could be accused of sexism, racism or incivility. The Occupy folks are much less guarded; they are free to hate anyone they choose, from Jews to bankers. The whole point of community organizing is to organize hate.

This country needs a satiric movie, “Carry On Borking,” to make fun of all the liberal haters. It could feature all the liberal stereotypes: the community organizer, the eco-terrorist, the ACORN rent-a-mob, the pro-choice termagent, maybe even the crony capitalist.

The Brits made a bunch of “Carry On” movies starting in the late 1950s that featured the stereotypes of post-war Britain, including the gay guy, the upper-crust colonel, the streetwise Cockney, the nervous be-spectacled government clerk, the formidable middle-aged woman, and the obligatory statuesque blondes. In Carry On Sergeant they had fun with National Service, the British draft. In Carry On Nurse the same actors played happy patients in a National Health hospital.

How about a whole series of movies? After “Carry On Borking,” the jolly story of a Supreme Court nomination, we could have “Carry On Caring” about homeless activists, “Carry On Warming” about a climate science team, “Carry On Lending” about housing activists trying to expand access to affordable housing. What about “Carry on Dying” about a panel of bureaucrats deciding whether grandma lives or dies, “Carry On Printing” about a grandfatherly bearded central banker trying to stimulate the economy, “Carry On Golfing,” about an unpopular president running for reelection? Talk about a franchise!

I know: today's liberals are beyond parody. To which I say that someone should have started making fun of them decades ago.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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