Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ryan: "People Are Sick and Tired of That"

Man, was that a dead-on observation!!

Paul Ryan said the above after stating that 'in Washington, there's a lot of finger-pointing...[but] no SOLUTIONS are offered' [to problems]. (Sykes show, 10:20 AM or so...)

Nice to know that someone else understands the term "the Common Good."


Buried in the middle of a lengthy (and lefty-ish) essay in the New Yorker is indirect affirmation of Ryan's thought:

As long as Bush and his party kept winning elections, however slim the margins, Rove’s declared ambition to create a “permanent majority” seemed like the vision of a tactical genius. But it was built on two illusions: that the conservative era would stretch on indefinitely, and that politics matters more than governing. The first illusion defied history; the second was blown up in Iraq and drowned in New Orleans.

Distilled: Ryan's proposals aim at "governing," rather than "politics."

MORE: (same essay)

Recently, I spoke with a number of conservatives about their movement. The younger ones—say, those under fifty—uniformly subscribe to the reformist version. They are in a state of glowing revulsion at the condition of their political party. Most of them predicted that Republicans will lose the Presidency this year and suffer a rout in Congress. They seemed to feel that these losses would be deserved, and suggested that, if the party wins, it will be—in the words of Rich Lowry, the thirty-nine-year-old editor of National Review—“by default.”

And, vaguely counter-echoing themes we've mentioned before in this blog:

On April 4th, a rainy day in New York, I attended Buckley’s memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with some two thousand people, an unusually large number of them women in hats and men in bow ties. George W. Rutler, the presiding priest, declared that Buckley’s words helped “crack the walls of an evil empire.” Secular humanism, he said, “builds little hells for man on earth. . . . Communism was worse than a social tyranny because it was a theological heresy.” The service reminded me of the movement’s philosophical origins, in the forties and fifties, in a Catholic sense of alarm at the relativism that was rampant in American life, and an insistence on human frailty. The conservative movement began as a true counterculture; how unlikely that its gloomy creed took hold in America, the optimistic capital of modernity.

Of COURSE "conservatism" recognizes frailty and relativism--but that is not per se "gloomy." It's realistic, and underlines the locus of real problems in the polity: the moral frailty of individuals. That is precisely the reason that Conservatives are wary of Big Gummint: it's not going to resolve failings of individual humans. No way. No how.

Deneen, again:

"citizenship as shared and mutual governance, which goes far beyond our current conception as citizenship as suffrage."

Remember, Deneen began his essay by observing that the size of Gummint has grown concomitant with the growth of the economy:

The growth of Guvment and the scale of the economy increased together, constantly in tandem. It could be argued that this is simultaneously the logic of market capitalism that requires a strong state (of course, a liberal state) in order to expand with firm expectations of stability and enforcement of laws and contracts, and it is the logic of the Constitutional order (modified and interpreted increasingly so along the way), which was designed in significant part to support this economic logic (as Antifederalists saw on their first reading).

Interesting stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe he bluffed her out of a big pot in the Friday night home game!!