It’s a slow night. Not much new to read on the blogs I usually visit, so I poked my head over the fence to see what might be going on over at the Volokh Conspiracy. The writers there are all male lawyers and law professors, neoconservative Republican types. They call themselves libertarians, but they are at any rate pro-war and Bush supporters.
I understand guys like this to an extent because I grew up in a more or less neoconservative environment.
Anyhow, Ilya Somin is one of the writers there and he is writing about the benefits of Nancy Pelosi becoming the new speaker. Not in terms of making the best of a bad situation, but in actually favoring that outcome. He goes so far as to say:
I want enough Republicans and independents to vote for the Democrats (or stay home) to give Pelosi a small majority in the House.
This has two impacts, one positive and one predictable. The positive impact is that this gives all the more impetus to the removal of power from the principal war party. The predictable outcome is that after the fall elections, the Republicans can say that this was really good for Republicans and bad for the Democratic Party because it will somehow hurt their chances in 2008.
I can’t say that his approach right now is that different from my own, in that I would rather convince as many Republicans not to vote or to at any rate not vote for any Republicans, than get behind any Democratic politician. I’m against torture and war for lies, and it is too much to ask a Republican who does not understand the benefits of social government, to vote for a Democrat. It’s enough that they stay home in droves.
You’ve got problems with the electoral machines to be concerned with anyhow, and not as an afterthought. The fact is that a vote isn’t going to change the minds of society, but if we can get Republicans to defect from that horror and become part of society again we can heal them. In other words, hearts and minds is more important than winning the war; we have to win the peace.
Well I’m all for dialog, anyhow.
Update: Other bloggers are noticing this new Republican strategy of distancing from George Bush, so it does seem to be part of a larger game plan in light of expected losses at the polls in November. But is it in some way commendable or courageous? Not at all. This is a craven political maneuver. As Christy Hardin Smith writes:
Sure, George Bush has been a horrible President. But true character means that you stand up for what is right in the face of overwhelming obstacles because it is the right thing to do…not just because you now fear for your political hide and the President provides a convenient target. That’s crass opportunism, not ethical responsibility, and ought to be labeled as such.
Until the polls went against them, these Republicans (including the neocons of the VC, who call themselves libertarians) supported the administration and never wavered except to criticize when it wasn’t extreme enough. Harriet Miers was undoubtedly unqualified by her record, and wouldn’t have been a strong enough proponent of the principles that the neocons advocate, namely and principally executive authority to do whatever the president deems necessary to win a war against an ideology and a method they themselves advocate employing. Violence against innocent people is justified by the belief that they are virtuous, and the other is not.