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

Van-the-Man, 3rd party talk, Newtie & me UPDATED June 5, 2006


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.

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