The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Examiner column I really liked

I've recently mentioned some columns and editorials in the Washington Examiner to which I found myself very much opposed. I should, in fairness, cite a column which appeared today, which I applaud unhesitatingly. It was done by Examiner columnist Noemie Emery. (I read it first in the paper; it is now available online as well.) She in turn was responding to a column by Michael Walsh in the National Review Online in which Walsh had said:

"After running one of the most disgraceful 'honorable' campaigns in American political history ... you'd think the least the least of the military McCains could do is to slink quietly off into the wild blue yonder with the thanks of a grateful nation trailing in his wake. But no, at age 74, he's still in the Senate ... where he can continue to reach across the aisle, poke his finger into the eyes of conservatives, hog the media spotlight, rail about Republican 'isolationists,' suck up to Fox News, and unleash his ankle-biting mini-me onto his enemies. Please, just go away."

Emery's response, after quoting this paragraph, began:

This was National Review Online contributor Michael Walsh's pique-bomb for John McCain, R-Ariz., whose behavior was clearly irking him.

But the appraisal is as short on understanding as it is long on rhetoric. McCain's "disgraceful" campaign did a remarkable job under the circumstances in staying close to Obama. He actually led him for two weeks before the financial implosion put paid to his chances.

McCain was also elected to the Senate five times, by fairly large margins. Having put away a movement conservative challenger by a two-to-one margin in the 2010 primary, he has the right and the power to do as he wants. He represents his state — not conservative pundits, to whom he owes nothing. He has the right to poke his finger in the eyes of anyone when he thinks they deserve it. He has the right to rail at "isolationists" when he thinks that they're wrong on the issues. And they, of course, have the right, and the duty, to rail back at him.

And then Emery went on to make it clear that the Republican Party has an identity separate from its conservative wing. And one of Emery's best remarks in that column is:

The Republican Party is conservative in the relative sense that it is the more conservative of the two major parties, and home to everyone in the country to the right of the center, by one degree or by one hundred: to Olympia Snowe and Michele Bachmann, to Jim DeMint and Jon Huntsman, to Rand Paul and Marco Rubio; to Scott Brown and Rick Perry.

There are no "Republicans in Name Only"; only different kinds of Republicans.

Bravo, Ms. Emery. I couldn't have said it better.

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