Porch Banter

Michael Gerson’s column this morning seems a likely candidate to spur some friendly discussion on the Porch.  Highlights:

1) An offhanded scoff at those who think “that the federal government has only those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution” (file under–what happened to the 10th Amendment?);

2) The claim that opposing “[federal] unemployment insurance, the [federal] minimum wage, [and] the federal highway system” are “political gaffes” spelling political death for any who fall into them;

3) The claim that gestures toward political violence are “far from reflecting the spirit of the Founders” (with a citation to the putting down of the Whiskey Rebellion … Lexington and Concord don’t qualify for consideration apparently);

4) Suggesting that the decentralist political philosophy so caricatured and dismissed by Gerson has no history as an “intellectual argument … conducted for years in serious books and journals” but rather was born out of a collection of Sarah Palin tweets;

5) And concluding with this claim: “Tea Party populism is just as clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs. It is at odds with Abraham Lincoln’s inclusive tone and his conviction that government policies could empower individuals. It is inconsistent with religious teaching on government’s responsibility to seek the common good and to care for the weak. It does not reflect a Burkean suspicion of radical social change.  The Democratic political nightmare is now obvious and overwhelming. The Republican challenge is different: building a majority on an unstable, slightly cracked foundation.”

It is fun to see liberal centrists like Gerson scramble amid the ruins to admonish the GOP towards “responsible leadership” in the wake of the disastrous regime of “responsible leadership” under which we have suffered for many years.

5 comments on this post.
  1. HappyAcres:

    Glad to know steam spewed from other ears.
    Gerson’s are the casual assumptions of our ruling class.

  2. D.W. Sabin:

    While I find Palin to be like someone scratching their nails on the blackboard…a kind of waterboarding of cheerfully earnest dunder-headedness, I do like the ipso facto logic that any significant course change from this Idiots Cruise of Unfunded Entitlements and War Train Exploits is “un-Burkean” by virtue of the fact that it is a radical political change. Yes, lets avoid conservative government because we’ve slouched into profligate and inchoate liberalism, on both sides of the aisle and thus, we must stay the course, conservatively. Only a current mainstream journalist could feel no shame about spouting that bit of tender-headed sophism.

    Journalism is show business marketing now and politics is a kind of theater of bunko and so one cannot expect the marketing department to attempt any clarity.

  3. Duke:

    Gerson says “It is inconsistent with religious teaching on government’s responsibility to seek the common good and to care for the weak.”

    Here I still considered Subsidiarity an important element of Catholic Social Teaching. Don’t get me started on the cringe-inducing “religious teaching on government’s responsibility.”

  4. John Gorentz:

    There are so many good things in that article, but I especially like how the Brezhnev Doctrine is defended because it’s Burkean.

  5. Albert:

    The peons are getting mean and uppity!

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