Comments on Is our politicians lurning? by CK MacLeod

@ narciso:
Frum's endorsement reads a lot better a year and a half later than it did the Saturday before the vote. He was part of the trashing of Palin, which harmed the campaign and the party, so a lot of people remember him as one of the Obamacons, and in a way he was, despite the late decision.

You're aware that Frum didn't endorse Obama, right? He has been very critical of the O-crats on a number of issues. He's also raised some good questions about the R strategy - along with a number of bad questions... and a series of very difficult-to-forgive or -explain, excessively personal attacks on movement conservatives.

@ Ken:
I think Cameron and Frum probably both thought they were thinking creatively, outside the "conventional" straight-line view. They just out-thought themselves or were, in the British phrase (very suitable in these circumstances), too clever by half.

They're not wrong that conservatives need to claim the middle to win and govern. Their ideas about doing that depend too much on accepting the opponents' premises and adopting the opponent's program piecemeal.

If an issue appears to be moving the voters, then a failure to address it in some meaningful way will harm a party's chances. That doesn't mean, though, that you just stop thinking or abandon your principles in order to look more like the other party.

@ Rex Caruthers:
I've read 'em. They're not very good on Rules for Imperialists. They're more into other stuff.

Your comment has been posted. I don't think my own tragic tale stands for much of anything relevant to the discussion, so I'll spare us all the recitation.

Rex Caruthers wrote:

You have a big problem thinking like an Imperialist.

That may be true. Know of an any on-line correspondence courses?

@ Rex Caruthers:
Yeah, because it consisted of like 50% typical spam stuff - credit, debt, home equity, etc. If you had thrown in cheap drugs, "thank you, your blog was very helpful to me," "emmy rossum nude" you might have taken down the whole system. ;)

@ Rex Caruthers:
If people lacked confidence in the dollar, they could take their exchange in energy or for that matter they could convert their barrel of oil into gold at whatever gold is going for. But that's a monetary question.

You've frequently proposed that we take over the world's oil fields as a source of new wealth, but any operation that cost us more than supporting $50/barrel (ca. 60% today's spot market price) would be counterproductive. If we have several trillions to spend on conquest, why not spend a fraction of that amount building gasification plants that solve the same problem without blood and larceny?

Just asking.

@ Rex Caruthers:
I'm not convinced Ø is dead. It depends on the timing and character of the next crisis. It could reinforce his power if it comes at the right time (Jimmy Carter's popularity ROSE at the outset of the Iranian hostage crisis) or remain irrelevant to his electoral prospects (if the crisis takes place after 2012). If the crisis merely consists of structural unemployment, then the Dems will pose as the defenders of the downtrodden and the sponsors of government-guaranteed income and consumption support, casting the Rs as heartless purveyors of greed, etc. The old tune. Meanwhile, the R Congress may get little done, the economy may putter along gradually improving, and Triangulobama will pose as the guardian of the people's interest against the wild schemes of the free market ideologues who "got us into this mess."

On a different subject, how would we operate if we declared a floor on the price of oil at $50/barrel in 2008 dollars? At a stable $50/barrel, coal is economically convertible to gasoline, meaning that the U.S. possesses a ca. 1000-year supply. (Oil shale is convertible at ca. $75/barrel, another several millennia at current consumption.) Would we be better off with a carbon tax, proceeds to go to the debt, or with energy asset-backed certificates supplementing the currency?

If it's determined at some point that global warming really does pose a threat, set the floor higher.

Zoltan Newberry wrote:

I think that this debate in this country has been over for quite some time now, with all Republicans (even Mc Cain) trying to channel the growing anger at the arrogance of the 0bamabots.

And that gets you how far? Maybe control of the House and balance in the Senate, a check on arrogance amidst dissipated anger, with six more years of Obama - welcome to the new power structure same as the old power structure.