Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is There One Thinking Republican Blogger in CD3?

'A real American that believes in our constitution, our way of life, and America in general will never agree with MoveOn.' The Admiral -- anonymous blogger at Lake Minnetonka Liberty

Dear Admiral @ Lake Minnetonka Liberty:

I just found your blog and wanted to comment briefly.

I see that in your header it says Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes--a quotation of whose generosity you make such liberal use. You attribute the words to Mahatma Gandhi. The quotation does not appear on Gandhi's Wikiquote page, nor does it appear anywhere in Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth, The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas or in Peace: The Words and Inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi. Where did you find the quotation? Can you provide a verifiable source?

And ponder for a moment just how inane that quotation is. What if you were entirely free--though not free to make mistakes? (Pretty hard to picture, no?) Would that type of freedom not be worth having? (I suppose it would depend on for how long they'd have you in the gulag.) And since no such reality could ever conceivably exist within human society--and since our reflection on the hypothetical has thus far produced not one mildly interesting speculation--of what interest is the thought experiment? I mustn't let 2009 pass me by without re-printing Immanuel Kant's fine words: 'Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.'

As a conservative, why do you like Mohandas Gandhi [as I prefer to call him, dispensing with the spiritualist honorific] anyway? I mean, Gandhi was not unsympathetic to socialism, right? And didn't he oppose free trade? (Wikipedia: 'Although Gandhi desired a total focus on the task of winning independence and not speculation about India's future, he did not restrain the Congress from adopting socialism as its goal.')

In your current blogpost you 'openly call on' Erik Paulsen to vote nay on the next gigantic economic stimulus bill. (Brave! I'd so feared you might 'secretly' call for same.) And isn't there something just a tiny bit un-Buford Pusserish about 'openly calling for' stuff in an anonymous blog? But let's leave specifics aside for a moment and discuss general principles. Erik Paulsen campaigned claiming to support making governmental borrowing permanently illegal--that's what it means to support 'the' Balanced Budget Amendment. If Paulsen is seriously committed to banning federal borrowing, then we don't need to get into a complicated discussion of the stimulus bill's merits. In that case Paulsen must oppose any bill not paid for by revenues coming in this year. No one who believes economic stimulus measures are sometimes needed would ever seek to permanently ban federal borrowing, right? Either Paulsen opposes every single stimulus measure, or he's jello.

If Paulsen is still committed to his central political and economic principle--the Balanced Budget Amendment--then our future discussions are tremendously simplified. We'll then merely need to find out when he will begin voting his principles--or when his supporters will start noticing his incoherence.

Erik Paulsen supports the BBA and you support the BBA. Why do you think Erik Paulsen is so unwilling to say this out loud? (Could it be because it's an incredibly unpopular position?) And--if Paulsen honestly wants the Constitution to ban borrowing, how could he support the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 [as in fact he did]--a law which authorizes gargantuan federal borrowing to rescue the nation's financial system? Why--on the House floor last week--did Paulsen attack the 110th Congress for passing a bill he himself supported? Does Rep. Paulsen think his colleagues are too stupid to look up his publicly-stated position on this issue?

Re: Your attack on Bill Weir (a local MoveOn.org activist), in which--without a speck of evidence--you call him a Marxist and a Communist. Is that a claim you're proud of? I believe that McCarthyism oozes from many a Republican pore--but I had little inkling it was of such a semiliterate and unhidden variety. Do your co-bloggers stand by your idiotic, sleazy attack on Weir?

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I was saddened to learn yesterday of the [November 8, 2008] passing of Dick Kroeger. Dick was an activist and a gentleman--and will be much missed. A very cool guy who looked you in the eye and always served it straight up. During a free moment before the Wayzata parade, Dick and I discussed the astounding stupidity of John Kline's--and John McCain's--public positions on the Vietnam War. And I could tell that Kroeger was one sixty-six year old who was never able to seriously entertain the idea that Vietnamese lives were not human lives.
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