Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mungowitz Joins the Angus Party; STILL Not a Republican

Full disclosure: Angus has never, ever been a Republican. Not even close, really.

Me? I was.

People ask me why I am not a Republican, and I stumble for an answer. To paraphrase Jimmy Buffet, the answer is so simple it's like the Charleston, it plumb evaded me.

I do have a pretty good answer, now. It was sent to me by Anonyman. But it was written by Andrew Sullivan, who has always been one of my favorite conservatives.

For these reasons, I found it intolerable after 2003 to support the movement that goes by the name "conservative" in America. I still do, even though I am much more of a limited government type than almost any Democrat and cannot bring myself to call myself a liberal (because I'm not). My reasons were not dissimilar to Charles Johnson, who, like me, was horrified by 9/11, loathes Jihadism, and wants to defeat it as effectively as possible. And his little manifesto prompts me to write my own (the full version is in "The Conservative Soul"). Here goes:

I cannot support a movement that claims to believe in limited government but backed an unlimited domestic and foreign policy presidency that assumed illegal, extra-constitutional dictatorial powers until forced by the system to return to the rule of law.

I cannot support a movement that exploded spending and borrowing and blames its successor for the debt....

I cannot support a movement that refuses ever to raise taxes, while proposing no meaningful reductions in government spending.

There's more. It's good. And he's right.


Eric H said...

You've probably forgotten about this post, but the piece you linked to by Sullivan has been sticking in my mind. I needed an antidote to it. I found it in this brief bit by Han Sennholz.

Anonymous said...

That was a good piece.
A big catch phrase when flame wars erupt on blog comments is, "But reasonable people should be able to disagree." I think short shrift is given to the flip side which is "Sometimes reasonable people can agree." I am a liberal but love Kathleen Parker and David Brooks. The vitriolic comments that attended Parker's columns on were just sad. I always look forward to Brook's polite and middle ground comments on the Newshour. I learn a lot from volokh, LFG, and this blog. I will now add sullivan to the mix.

John Thacker said...

I cannot support a movement that exploded spending and borrowing and blames its successor for the debt....

However, he can support a movement that explodes spending and borrowing and blames its predecessor for all the debt...

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

W doubled the debt in a time of prosperity. His tax cuts were therefore future taxes, which is what we are paying now and for years to come.

Eric H said...

I don't think Sullivan's piece was good at all. It's whiny. It's "shrill," to borrow from Brad DeLong. I can't believe Munger linked to it. I never would have pegged him for the kind that feels compelled to identify with either party, as Sullivan clearly does. And yes, Sullivan goes on and on about voting for Reagan, and Bush, and Clinton, and Dole, and Bush and whatever. All Sullivan's piece did was confirm that he desperately wants to join a club, but none will take him. So what?

None of us chose to don the veil of tears, but here we are. Joining a political party is one of the things we can actually choose to do or not do--but Sullivan whimpers on as if being torn in two by inexorable forces: the dadaist side of him that drove him to vote for Dole (why?!?) and a desperate loyalty to his Toryism.