Van-the-Man, 3rd party talk, Newtie & me UPDATED


I apologize for light-to-non-existant posting. We’ve had out-of-state company in for the funeral, etc, and I was wondering why I seemed to have no energy for even answering my emails – then I got my CBC today and realized WHY I was so tired…but I should be back on my feet in a day or so…or so.

Meanwhile, plodding through my emails, I note that Van Morrison is promising (or threatening) to play this summer at a local venue and I was wondering if anyone has ever seen him live and would recommend going? The last time I attended a concert at this particular theater I ended up getting into a testy brouhaha with some elites and scandalizing my husband, so I’ve decided since I can’t behave around human people I will only go to concerts that I really can’t resist. Morrison might be one of those irresistable Celts that I am drawn to (although not because of his looks, I must admit…I am a superficial girl, it seems) so if you have been to his show and found it a stinker, let me know and then perhaps I’ll lose interest!

I AM, in fact, plodding through emails right now – there are a ton of them, and so many of them are so kind…and so many of them are so moving as you have taken the time to share with me your own family’s experiences with cancer or untimely deaths, that the going is slow. I will try to get them answered by week’s end, though. In the meantime, please don’t mind me if I ramble a bit…as I’ve said before when the blood count is screwy, I tend to be screwy as well. And mean, too, sometimes!

I’ve read nothing about politics in the last few days (and curiously, I haven’t missed it) and I am way behind on my blog-reading but I liked this piece by neo-neocon on ballet, baseball and blogging. Yes, neo has actually found the similarities therein.

Oh! That reminds me, I DID read something about politics! Someone (a reader who doesn’t much like me, lately) sent to me Peggy Noonan’s latest, in which she wonders if it’s not the right time for the emergence of a third party. “Perot was ahead of his time!” this reader wrote to me, “he was just 15 years too soon! There is no reason why a third party candidate can’t work in this climate and I’m thinking Newt!”

Aware that I was likely not reading much online, this reader also informed me that lots of the National Review folks were also talking third party. Maybe they are, I haven’t checked. If they are, that’s pretty interesting, particularly in light of what I wrote here on May 26th:

Maybe I should launch a conspiracy theory of my own…say…oh, something silly, like maybe this hysteria is just the conservatives doing everything they can to foment enough discord and discontent to create the “demand” for a third party candidate.

Hmph. That is interesting. It also explains – a little, anyway – a question that has been so baffling to some which is, why – after 30 years of disinterest – is the illegal immigration so urgent now, at this precise moment? And why are some on the right so vehement that nothing less than “shipping them all back” will do? Why there is no interest, with these folks, in allowing a guy who has been here for some years and demonstrated his peacable and hard-working intentions any sort of “plea bargain” in which he may legalize his status?

Oh, I forgot, “illegal is illegal…” and some on the right are becoming all they hate.

As I wrote here, there are plenty of things to not like in the senate immigration bill as it stands, but I’m increasingly convinced that the GOP will do “nothing” and the far right will call that a better thing, on principal, than action. Better to have your principals and nothing else, than a less-than-perfect bill seems to be the prevailing wisdom for some.

Which, if you are buying the line that illegal immigration is the most pressing issue of the day, makes no sense at all.

Unless…unless the whole point of the exercise is not to actually do anything about illegal immigration, but to – in fact – create the furor and momentum needed for that third party idea…then the prevailing wisdom makes sense. Then it seems to have some purpose, at least, to its thrust and motion.

The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
Hamlet, Act III

More and more I am distrustful of “movements.” I distrust anything the media pronounces as “new.” I left the Democrat party when it seemed to become full of “movements” to which I was expected to conform without question. What I’m seeing on the right now is a similar thrust. I have read a very well-respected right-wing blog which has essentially broken down the immigration argument to: If you don’t agree that simply means you’re too stupid to get it, and therefore you should just get out of the way and let the smart folks take over.

Ronald Reagan would not have have liked this, I don’t think.

I think if the right thinks they can pull together a third party that can make them happy and represent the concerns of a majority of voters, they’re deluding themselves. It might be true that “a conservative wins by being conservative,” and it might be true that the American voter is trending more conservative than not. But Americans are not extremists – they distrust extremism (which is exactly why they are trending conservative – the left has gotten too extreme). If the right comes off as the inflexible, moralistic, preachy and paranoid cousin of the unhinged left, then yer average, fair-thinking Americans will find themselves unable to follow. I know I’m trending that way, myself.

It strikes me as humorous – sadly. It’s very, very funny that folks are ready to do an exact replay of 1992, with an exact result. And as far as Newtie is concerned, well…stap my vitals if I can figure out how the same people who tell me they would never vote for Rudy Giuliani because he is “thrice married” have no problem endorsing the “thrice married” Newtie who, btw, told one of those wives he was divorcing her as she was recovering from cancer surgery.

“Illegal is illegal…” but it’s amazing what you can overlook when you really want to, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Having been “out of the loop” for the past ten days or so, I missed this very good piece by Jim Geraghty (I am still a Geraghtian…). I agree that for conservatives to win in ’08 they’re going to have to stop the infighting and find a way to promote conservative values without going too far – so far as to make those values unpalatable to the rest of the nation. I found the Geraghty piece thanks to this post at Called as Seen, which also links to Mark Tapscott who says ” Tapscottia Seems to be Growing”. :-) Whenever I start to see people excited by movement – which tends to convince others that, since a movement is growing it must be “right,” – I always remember what Chesterton said:

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” – Illustrated London News 4/19/30
“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” - Everlasting Man, 1925
“The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.” – ILN 10-28-22
Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it. – All Things Considered
“It is terrible to contemplete how few politicians are hanged.” – The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21 :-)
“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” What’s Wrong with the World, 1910 (yes…even a less-than-perfect immigration bill…)

Then again, some readers might not appreciate my quoting Chesterton, these days, as he was a Catholic and some of you are accusing us Catholics of only supporting the President’s immigration plan because Mexicans are Catholic…or something. Those emails were a little confusing. :-)

Also, this post is edited because I had read this report that the president was retracting his support for the Marriage Protection Amendment and wasn’t aware that it wasn’t true. For the record, I’m not lining up for gay marriage, but I don’t know if I support a whole amendment to the constitution about it.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • igout

    Anchoress, Anchoress, Anchoress,
    I can’t speak for the other bigots, pigheads and sourpusses, but this is what I think. The Hispanics would probably make excellent God-fearing, freedom loving Americans, if we weren’t all too pc-whipped to show them the roaps. The roaps being things like mandatory English, memorizing Tom Paine’s ‘Give me Liberty’ speech, believing that the title of American Citizen is a higher blessing than that of King or Beloved Leader or el Presidente anywhere. Until we recover our national spine, no more immigration. Racism? The true racism here is not requiring all newcomers, wherever they came from, to love this country.

  • TheAnchoress

    Igout, tell me precisely where I called anyone such names! :-) I’m all for mandatory English, Tom Paine’s (and Patrick Henry’s – ahem) speeches, etc, etc. But if we’re too busy shipping ‘em back and not even looking at them as people, they’ll never want to learn it.

  • http://yargb.blogspot Terrye


    The other day I asked someone on a blog if it was not possible to come to some sort of the compromise on this issue for the good of the country. Something that the majority of Americans could actually support. Considering the fact that the my way or the highway club are polling at about 25% with the remainder of the folks just wishing this was over the far right would shut up about it.

    He started calling me names and going on and on and on and on about amnesty, as if anything short of putting them up against a wall and shooting them was amnesty. I told him I have known embezzlers who got off with a fine, why is it amnesty to let a long time resident with ties to the community etc to do the same?

    Once again he started going and on and on and on and on about amnesty. If people like that do not care enough about the issue to do some realistic negotiating then I am going to begin to wonder if Hillary hired them to make conservatives look dense. He said that we had to have a wall but he would rather not have a wall then give an inch. Why do people like this think the rest of us will take them seriously?

    If the Republicans can not come up with a compromise the American people might will go left not right for a solution. Why would they trust the same people who refuse to negotiate on this issue with the running of the country? Do they honestly think average people prefer gridlock to consensus?

    Most people would be horrified to turn on the evening news for God knows how many nights to see men, women and children loaded up and sent away without any consideration at all to who they were, other than the fact that were undocumented.

    Now I know that illegal is illegal but after the first 5 million or so viewers will see something that looks like a cross between the Trail of Tears and the locking up of Japanese in WW2. It will make Katrina look like a picnic.

    And so lots of folks will want to see a compromise that allows for deportation for some and regularization of some without being so fanatical about it.

    So the malcontents can dream of their third party and put another Clinton in the White House..but I don’t want to have to hear another 8 years of bitching from conservatives after they go and do something stupid.

    BTW, I would not follow Noonan to the little girl’s room much less a third party. It is not only disloyal, it is conterproductive and shows a great deal of hubris. Just who do these people think they are? They are nothing to me.

  • saintonge

    Dear Anchoress:

            I’m sorry, but I can’t go along with you on illegal immigration.  I’m tired of being treated like a fool by politicians who are supposed to be on my side.

            Back when Ronnie was Prez, there was a bill that was supposed to fix the illegal immigration situation, with amnesty for those illegals then in the country.  Well, we got the amnesty, but we didn’t get the fix for the problem.  Instead, we go an even bigger influx of illegal immigrants.

            Now, the Senate is insulting our intelligence by trying to palm off another amnesty bill, but this time they don’t have the honesty to refer to it as amnesty.  Instead, it’s “reform,” and “an earned path to citizenship,” and similar euphemisms.  This time, I’m supposed to believe that they really will get tough on border enforcement.  But somehow, enforcing the laws against illegal immigration is something they can’t begin to do until they first green cards to all the people who are already here illegally, because . . . well, that’s where the subject gets changed.

            The fact is, there’s a big constiuency in favor of illegal immigration.  Some are Democrats, some are Republicans, and all are dishonest.  They think they can put this latest con-job over on us by pretending to do something to stop illegal immigration, while granting ‘amnesty under a phony name, along with an amnesty on unpaid income taxes’ to the present crop of illegals.  And I and those like me aren’t having it.

            I can’t see any reason why we can’t clamp down on border security first, and then, when we’ve knocked 90-99% off the present flood of illegal immigrants, consider what we do with the illegals already here.  But the Senate won’t go for that, and they refused to go for a compromise where their ‘reforms’ would be passed, but not take effect until the border with Mexico is secured.  That tells me that what they want is lots of green cards for those here illegally, a big increase in legal immigration, and a continuing flood of illegal immigrants, who will be encouraged by the thought that ‘The gringos say we should stay out, but get across the border, and sooner or later they’ll decide to let us stay legally.’

            If that’s what the Senate wants, let them have the basic honesty to fight for it openly.  If that’s what YOU want, then say it straightforwardly: ‘I like illegal immigration, and want it to continue and increase.’  But do us all a favor, and drop this rhetoric about compromise.  This Senate isn’t offering a compromise, they’re offering amnesty to those already here illegally, and a massive increase in legal and illegal immigration.  I’m against that, as is most of the country.  And we’re going to make our opposition heard.

    Stephen M.
                St. Onge
    ex-Republican, now Indepenent
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Donna

    I am also too tired to talk about immigration.
    I popped in to strongly advise you to get the Van Morrison tickets. No, he’s not much to look at, but he’s a fine musician. I very much enjoyed seeing him in concert a few years ago.
    It’ll be fun. And I think you’re due for some fun, Anchoress. Just try to steer clear of snotty, America-hating elite types.
    (I wonder what those elites thought when cars started burning all over France. Kinda hard to blame that one on Bush or Halliburton, although I’m sure they tried their best.)

  • igout

    Patrick Henry! Duh me! Touche/! You see the deplorable state of civic awareness in this county? I’m living proof that we have to put our house in order before taking in more company.
    I’m with Saintonge.

  • http://yargb.blogspot Terrye

    One word:

    Compromise. If you can not master it then there is no point in asking others to follow. Hardliners need to realize this.

  • igout

    De Gaulle, when he was in WW2 London without a country, an army or even a government said something to the effect that he was too weak to compromise. We “hardliners” should emulate that brave patriot, who saved France when he had nothing going for him except a big nose and a bigger attitude.

  • TheAnchoress

    Stephen wrote: I can’t see any reason why we can’t clamp down on border security first, and then, when we’ve knocked 90-99% off the present flood of illegal immigrants, consider what we do with the illegals already here.

    I agree. And when we do “figure it out” we have to remember that these folks are human beings, many of whom did come here legally but whose papers may have expired, etc. IS the senate feckless? Yes. But if congress chooses to do nothing – nothing at all – because the bill is not perfect, then I say it’s all so much hooey and all of this noise has been for nothing…or for another reason entirely, as I have said.

  • Big Sissy

    Van Morrison live…anyone?

  • chilled242

    Why can’t comprehend an alternate viewpoint? You appear to measure all humans by their reserved loathing of all things “liberal” and seem to speak about hot button conservative issues as if they have a large effect on everyday life.

    When one of your breed crosses “the line” as some of the conservative posters and the host appear to believe here with Ms. Coulter, you get all introspective and solemn, all the while continuing to accept as gospel the particular viewpoints you espouse. Chastising your cohort for the terrible infraction of being shrill.

    Ever think of really taking an accounting of your positions? Why are you so worried about Ms Coulter making an ass of herself?