The Obnoxious Laziness of Pro-Gay Marriage "Conservatives"

If the facts that same-sex marriage is a profoundly un-conservative cause or that embracing it would devastate the Republican base aren’t enough to make the Right’s moderates and libertarian types think twice about jumping on the redefinition bandwagon, the caliber of redefiners’ arguments should be. At PJ Media, Roger Simon argues for conservatives to concede that same-sex marriage isn’t a big deal. But rather than being particularly original or insightful, his argument perfectly demonstrates his faction’s intellectual laziness on the subject and apparent disinterest in taking it seriously.
Nowhere does he even try to refute the actual arguments against same-sex marriage — primarily, that it would completely sever procreation from marriage’s meaning, leaving future generations with a flawed conception of the institution’s societal purpose, which is to bind men and women together for the sake of whatever future citizens they create.
Instead, Simon deploys straw man after straw man: “traditional lifestyle that conservatives normally admire and advocate” (leaving “traditional lifestyle” undefined in any useful way), “those heterosexuals deserting” marriage (which nobody’s disputing), and “I know that the Bible says this and that” (theology’s not the issue — marriage’s social purpose to maintaining a society capable of self-government is).

Most significantly, the straw men go from shoddy to shameful when he talks about how much he listens to his professed good friends Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt arguing against same-sex marriage. Here he is claiming to have substantial familiarity with the position he disagrees with, from people he respects and takes seriously, yet he still shadow-boxes with lazy caricatures of traditional marriage talking points rather than the arguments Prager and Hewitt actually make. 

Is it plausible that Simon could be that familiar with their arguments yet still sincerely believe that he’s fairly presented them in today’s post? Do true friends treat each other’s beliefs and the effort they put into advocating them with such dishonesty and disrespect? And is this the caliber of argument that conservatives are content to do battle against the Left with?

Taking the Conservative Message Beyond the Blogosphere

Glenn Reynolds has a great New York Post editorial brainstorming how Republicans could make their money go further in reaching voters:
One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female “low-information voters.” Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.
Since, by definition, they don’t pay much attention to political news, they get this sense from what they do read. And for many, that’s traditional women’s magazines — Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, the Ladies Home Journal, etc. — and the newer women’s sites like YourTango, The Frisky, Yahoo! Shine, and the like. 
The thing is, those magazines and Web sites see themselves, pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. So while nine out of 10 articles may be the usual stuff on sex, diet and shopping, the 10th will always be either soft p.r. for the Democrats or soft — or sometimes not-so-soft — hits on Republicans.
When a flier about getting away with rape was found in a college men’s bathroom, the women’s site YourTango (“Your Best Love Life”) led with the fact that the college was Paul Ryan’s alma materin a transparent effort to advance the Democrats’ War on Women claim that Republicans are somehow pro-rape. A companion article was “12 Hot Older Men Who Endorse President Obama.” 
The solution:
For $150 million, you could buy or start a lot of women’s Web sites. And I’d hardly change a thing in the formula. The nine articles on sex, shopping and exercise could stay the same. The 10th would just be the reverse of what’s there now. 
For the pro-Republican stuff, well, just visit the “Real Mitt Romney” page at snopes.com, or look up the time Mitt Romney rescued a 14-year-old kidnap victim, to see the kind of feel-good stories that could have been running. For the others, well, it would run articles on whether Bill Clinton should get a pass on his affairs, whether it’s right that the Obama White House pays women less than men, and reports on how the tax system punishes women. 
This stuff writes itself, probably more easily than the Spin Sisters’ pabulum. And opening up a major beachhead in this section of the media is probably a lot cheaper than challenging major newspapers and TV networks head on. 
This is a great start, but it should be taken much further. 
God bless Fox News, the blogosphere, talk radio, and conservative magazines. I shudder to think of how bad things would be if we didn’t have so many people working round the clock to counter the mainstream media. 
But while the Right’s alternative media has dented the Left’s narrative, it still can’t outweigh it, and never will in its current form, for the simple fact that these outlets only reach people who proactively look for them, or are led there by someone else. That segment of the population is pretty much baked in to the country’s political makeup at this point – the people who really hunger for truth will find it one way or another, and there will always be a big segment of the population whose political information consumption, for various reasons, never extends far beyond their morning paper and the six-o’clock news. Such voters will never actively seek out Breitbart.com or National Review because they aren‘t interested in digging any deeper, and have no idea they shouldn’t be content with what they’ve got.

So if we can’t pin our hopes on getting more people to come to us, we have to figure out how to go to them – to get the key facts and our unfiltered ideas in the places they’re already going and seeing and watching. And though it might be heresy in this Internet-infatuated day and age, I think that means taking a hard, fresh look at traditional advertising.  
There are scores of bite-sized, eye-opening facts – like the terrifying words of Obama Administration officials, the more-thanfair share of the tax burden the rich really pay, the utter uselessness of Uncle Sam’s spending spree in alleviating poverty or improving education, or the astonishing waste and duplication in the federal bureaucracy, just to name a few – that many voters are completely unaware of, and would significantly change their political assumptions if only they knew. And outfits like Prager University and Learn Liberty expertly demonstrate how conservative principles can be explained in just a few minutes of airtime.
How different might things be if we made a real effort to expose the general public to this? Imagine debt warnings or liberty arguments during the commercial breaks of American Idol, 60 Minutes, or Monday Night Football. Quotes from Obama czars bluntly saying they want to run our lives posted on billboards an entire city sees on their way to work. Real reports on Benghazi or debunkings of media smears in full-page newspaper ads. 
I understand there are a lot of costs and hurdles associated with making such a project happen, but new thinking and new strategies are desperately needed to reach new audiences. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come, but if you go there, they will see.

Inconvenient Truth: Romney Derangement Syndrome on the Right Helped Obama Win

From the outrages he let Barack Obama get away with to the stunning ineptitude of his campaign team, Mitt Romney holds plenty of blame for last week’s dispiriting presidential election. But he’s not the only one, and before we do something stupid like surrender on immigration in a shortsighted bid to woo Hispanics, the Right needs to have a little chat about another key voting bloc that should have been far easier to hold…but wasn’t, for reasons conservatives seem unwilling to discuss.

The single most shocking detail about the results was the pitiful Republican turnout, with Romney receiving 3 million fewer GOP votes than John McCain and 5 million fewer than George W. Bush — a difference that could have overcome Tuesday’s 3-million-person difference in the popular vote or made up the 333,000 additional votes necessary for an Electoral College win.

Yes, Romney’s conservatism was imperfect. But so was Bush’s. And McCain? He was so liberal that, to keep him away from the nomination and ensure a conservative made it on the ballot, the punditocracy told us we had to rally around…Mitt Romney.

So how could Romney — who, for all his flaws, took most of the right positions, had an appealing background, and didn’t share Bush or McCain’s zeal for amnesty — possibly be less palatable than either of his moderate predecessors? Especially while trying to unseat someone widely considered to be the worst, most left-wing president in US history?

A big part of the answer is because somewhere between GOP presidential primaries, half the Right flip-flopped on Romney, recasting their onetime conservative alternative as the new RINO boogeyman we needed an alternative from, with scores of pundits, activists, and bloggers ranting that an amorphous party “establishment” was trying to force Romney on the base. Yes, politics is a tough business and primaries are the place for aggressively vetting our candidates, but far too many of our own crossed the line from “Romney is weak in area x” to “Romney is our enemy.”

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said they’d focus on congressional races because Romney wasn’t worth their members’ excitement. Sen. Rick Santorum suggested Romney might not be different enough from Obama to bother changing presidents. Talk radio host Mark Levin excoriated Romney daily, calling him a corporatist of questionable character who couldn’t be supported in the primary without compromising all of one’s principles. Blogger Dan Riehl considered organizing conservatives to oppose Romney in the general election. Free Republic banned all Romney supporters as “enemies of the Constitution.” Blogger John Hawkins warned that supporting Romney would require conservatives to “sell our souls.” RedState.com waged an all-out war against Romney and his sympathizers, the most hysterical examples of which being Erick Erickson’s claim that nominating the bad Mormon would kill conservatism and Thomas Crown’s accusation that National Review “alienated” itself from the conservative movement by preferring Romney to the alternatives. Conservative stalwarts like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan got torn apart as phonies in popular comment sections for backing Romney. And last month, Personhood USA used an unfair spin on Romney’s words as evidence that he was “insisting on maintaining the status quo of abortion on demand.”

Fast-forward to Election Day, and 5 million Republican voters decide to stay home.

Gee, who could have guessed? (I mean, besides me.)

Again, we shouldn’t completely absolve Romney of responsibility. As the candidate, it was his job to assure the base he could walk the walk. Nor should Romney’s shortcomings have gone ignored or unchallenged during the primary.

But with so many influential conservative voices doing everything they could to convince their audiences that Romney was just Diet Obama and that he posed an existential threat to their very philosophy, is it any wonder that so many of them decided not to vote? How is any post-primary coalescing supposed to fully heal divisions that deep? How are Republican candidates supposed to endure two-front wars against Democrats and their own base?

Rather than protect the integrity of the Republican ticket, Levin, Erickson, Perkins, and company served as useful idiots for the Left, dividing conservatives enough for a weak incumbent with indefensible ideas and hated policies to keep power for another four years. And now we’re all going to suffer for it.

It goes without saying that for 2016, we’ll need to find a candidate with bolder instincts, a deeper affinity for conservatism, and greater skill in articulating it. But by the time his own failings and impurities come to light, hopefully Obama’s second term will have taught our Purity Police that a little perspective can make a world of difference.

Rave Reviews 7!

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but better late than never, right? Here’s another delightful roundup of my more disagreeable readers’ greatest hits. Accusations of stupidity, evil, and mental disorders from faceless commenters and prominent bloggers alike, you’ll find it all here! Let’s get started:

…all the political credibility of a geranium, a not very bright geranium. – Tbone

Discussion is impossible with you. Scott Feldstein

That’s the dumbest analogy I’ve ever heard. – Jaynie59

No bumper sticker pasting here young boy .. just an old guy that is pissed off at your  “holier  than thou attitude”…. like you know more about a woman’s body  than she does… what kind of up bringing  did you have? – Walldodger

God you pro-Life people are really annoying me. – Alex

I think you may be a bit slow. – MiketheMarine

I was a Democrat until 2003, Calvin Freeburger. You want to be more careful about the sneers that you throw around. – Moe Lane

Pretty stupid…This whole story is salted with idiocy. – streiff

The important thing is you’ve found a way to pretend to be superior to women to choose to abort their pregnancies. – Jfabiani

Calvin is an inveterate and pathetic troll. He posts crap here that is poorly, if at all, researched, can’t assemble a cogent argument and puts up “defenses” like the one you just responded to. The guy is a simple minded fool or a raving idiot. Pick one. You’re wasting your time attempting to actually engage him. – mbecker908

Calvin, what a load of unmitigated crap…Too bad your understanding of the Constitution is so bad. – retire05

Maybe it is time to realize you live in a democracy where everybody of every conviction has a voice and a vote. – BizarreEntity

Maybe when you grow up a bit we can have an adult conversation. Until then, I’ll pray for you. – proALLlife

You sound like my rapist.  Cope with it, or change your attitude towards women. – Sorites Paradox

What about Calvin Freiburger’s own twisting and ignoring the Constitution when it’s convenient? – britney12

I’m ashamed to know that you are from Fond du Lac, where I live. You’ve written a lot of wacko crap before this, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do so, but you’re a joke. – Hhhhhh

This is what happens when neocon miscreants comment on what they appreciate least, namely the desired morality of the civil society. – NJ_Patriot

Now, the author of the article is not a conservative, he is a Neocon. Neocons are warmongers, more specifically warmongers for Israel, at the cost of bankrupting the United States. – edw987

this is the most poorly written editorial I’ve ever read. My God…Oh, the person who wrote this article is a man. No wonder he has no clue what he is talking about. – Guest

You will never be half man or do half the things in defense of Liberty as has Dr. Paul. Don’t embarrass yourself and blog about Ron Paul. You are too naive, young and stupid. – Illuminoti

…trash… – acat

Why don’t you “Man Up” and grow up while you’re at it and realize that we are only here for a while and then it’s over : Do you really want to spend your life being a hater and a bitter bigot? Get over yourself, why don’t you? – USAgloria

…ignorant pride and a false moral superiority… – Robyn

Calvin, Buddy, I know you hate being challenged on issues and I know it’s hard to process information that goes against your deeply-held worldview. – George

Apparantly Mr. Frieberger is either a shill for the globalist or he bought into the left/right falacy. – andrewhiu

Your a stupid, nazi idiot, you know nothing about politics and your lucky i dont take a big fat dump on your mothers chest. Shes a stupid skank and so are you thoughts, i would be ashamed if i were you, you scumbag american rat. You smell shit and you look like an asshole with out a vagina, […] stupid nigger fuck – Unknown

Come out and say you’re a liberal already. – Anonymous

By the look of you…you will never have sex with anyone much less a woman so why do you care? As a woman I can have an opinion…you…you are just a douche bag dork trying to make friends through all of this. So sad. Go get um acne boy!!! – Anonymous

You’re not pro-life. You might be anti-abortion but you’re not pro-life, you don’t care about the life or the culture. You care about getting retweeted and being stroked by other shut-ins than you do about the culture of death America has produced. – Rob Taylor

Is this serious? You’re an embarrassment to Fond du Lac, this country, and whatever college decided to give you a political science degree. – Apparently anyone can get a political science degree

you sir are a fool. You do not have to vite for every office listed on on a ballot Stay in School… It’s gonna take a while to learn the Stupid out of you. – Anonymous

Does your mommy also beg you to go out and find a girl? Or has she just accepted the fact that with a face like yours, your obvious lack of man’esque type personality, and your constant crying that her son will soon join his true group, GoPride? – Still in anonymous world

sometimes your hurtful comments towards others just makes me cringe. – Jdjdjeeeeerrrryyy

You really don’t get the private property thing, do you? I’m not surprised. – NightTwister

You obviously lack comprehension skills. – Bill S

You’ve repeatedly been warned to follow directions. You clearly can’t. I’ve had it. – Neil Stevens

This one looks like a serial killer – jakeofalltrades

We bash Muslims for their treatment of women but you have shown yourself to not be much better Calvin. – Letscook1

So you get an D for effort. – Oran Switzer

Calvin I wish you a good night as you crawl back in your tent at what ever OWS protest you are at. – izoneguy

Suggestion, instead of a worthless hit piece, post a diary of the good points of your preferred candidate. Oh, wait, I don’t think it would go over to good if you posted a diary promoting Obama. – gekster

…total and complete hypocritical piece of garbage – Scope

So, while you have been pontificating from your ivory tower of intellectualism….I have been looking at this from a “reality” prospective. – carolynr

I’m beginning to suspect that he may suffer from Asberger’s  or some other syndrome that prevents him from picking up on higher order social clues.  Poor Calvin. – Sparky

You are a repulsive scumbag. – Wade Felty

ALERT: RedState Alters Diarists’ Posts? UPDATE: Fixed UPDATE 2: Second Offense

UPDATE (4/12/12): This morning, I emailed Erick Erickson about this. I just heard back from him. He says he doesn’t know how it happened, but it seems to be traceable back to someone with the same IP address. Most importantly, the post has been changed to its original form. Thanks to Erick for a quick response & resolution.

UPDATE 2 (4/22/12): A second post, another illicitly-added link to Erickson’s Perry-boosting. Hmmmm:

GOProud’s stated support for marriage federalism is highly misleading.

ORIGINAL POST: While working on another article, I looked up this post on drug legalization I posted on July 28, 2011, in my now-defunct RedState diary, and noticed something odd in this sentence:

The far-left ex-president is in rare agreement with National Review, which on June 27 called the bill “an excellent first step” toward ending a war that has “curtailed personal freedom.”

The “National Review” hyperlink goes to a post by Erick Erickson, where passes along Ben Domenech’s complaint that NR was biased toward Mitt Romney and had lost sight of conservative principles.

I didn’t put it there.

That post is dated December 15, 2011. I had been banned on November 27.

Apparently somebody at RedState went back and snuck the link in. Was it a petty attempt to get back at me by putting something I disagreed with in my own writing? Or have they been doing this on a wider scale, spreading their material wherever they can without the diarists’ knowledge or consent?

I have no idea, but it’s certainly disturbing to see that RedState is no longer content with misleading writing and purging critics, and seems to have crossed the ethical line into manipulating the writing of others. Has anyone else – other bloggers, Eagle Publishing, anyone – picked up on what’s been going on at RedState?

Would Mitt Romney Shrink Government?

When asked by Jay Leno which federal agencies he’d cut, Mitt Romney said:
I’m going to go through it piece by piece, combine — when I was secretary, excuse me, when I was governor of Massachusetts, and we looked at the Secretary of Health and Human Services, we had 15 different agencies.  We said, let’s combine those into three.  We’re not going to get rid of the work that each do, but we’re going to combine the overheads, we’re not going to have as many lawyers and press secretaries and administrators, and that saves money and makes it more efficient.  And I hope to be able to do the same thing in Washington […] We’ll look agency-by-agency and look where the opportunities are best, but I’ll take a lot of what Washington does and send it back to the states.
Byron York characterizes Romney’s answer as “not less gov’t, more efficient gov’t,” and Mark America takes it as an illustration of “why conservatives do not trust Romney”:
Mitt Romney isn’t interested in reducing the reach of government into Americans’ lives, but instead making it more efficient.  That’s part of the message Romney delivered to Jay Leno’s audience on Tuesday evening, and what you need to realize about all of this is that Romney is not a conservative.  He’s a technocrat, and he’s a businessman, but his interest in making various programs and agencies of government more efficient does not make him conservative.  Conservatives realize that to save this nation, we must re-make the government in a smaller, less intrusive, and less-encompassing form.  We need to eliminate programs, bureaus and agencies, and discard their functions.  Romney won’t do any of that, and in fact, he will likely extend their reach.
Of course, nowhere above did Romney actually say he wouldn’t make government smaller, that he “isn’t interested in reducing the reach of government,” or that he’d extend its reach. At most, he gave one example of how he cut government at the state level which offers a general idea of his approach – and while that could be interpreted by those unfavorably predisposed to Romney as meaning he wouldn’t shrink government, you can’t simultaneously read so much into that statement while completely ignoring the part in the very same interview where Romney says he’d also “take a lot of what Washington does and send it back to the states.”
While the blemishes in Romney’s limited-government record are undeniable, let’s not sell him short on that front – Romney’s been against a federal takeover of healthcare since not just 2007, but 1994(!), he’s spoken about getting education back to the states, and as Ann Coulter explained last week, his governorship of Massachusetts was much more conservative than you may have heard from some bloggers:
He cut state spending by $600 million, including reducing his own staff budget by $1.2 million, and hacked the largest government agency, Health and Human Services, down from 13 divisions to four. He did this largely by persuading the Legislature to give him emergency powers his first year in office to cut government programs without their consent.

Although Romney was not able to get any income tax cuts past the Democratic Legislature, he won other tax cuts totaling nearly $400 million, including a one-time capital gains tax rebate and a two-day sales tax holiday for all purchases under $2,500.

He also vetoed more bills than any other governor in Massachusetts history, before or since. He vetoed bills concerning access to birth control, more spending on state zoos, and the creation of an Asian-American commission — all of which were reversed by the Legislature.

As Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, said, “What else could he do?” 

Maybe a President Romney would capitulate to big government. But what he told Jay Leno isn’t evidence of that.

New at Live Action – Buffy the Unborn Slayer?

My latest Live Action post:

Popular action-drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have left the airwaves in 2003, but the adventure continues in a comic book series produced by original series creator Joss Whedon. This week, the comic caught the attention of USA Today for an upcoming story in which protagonist Buffy Summers finds herself single, jobless, and pregnant after a drunken party she barely remembers. Unwilling to simultaneously deal with both parenthood and monster fighting, she plans to have an abortion.
Whedon explains:

“Buffy was always about the arc of a life, and it wasn’t ever going to be one of those shows where they were perpetually in high school and never asked why,” Whedon says. “It was about change. So there’s never a time when Buffy’s life isn’t relevant.” […]
“It offends me that people who purport to be discussing a decision that is as crucial and painful as any a young woman has to make won’t even say something that they think is going to make some people angry.”

Right off the bat, the story’s premise seems highly suspect: after seven seasons’ worth of fighting evil and having the weight of the world on her shoulders, Buffy still lets her guard down so fully that she can get unknowingly impregnated by strangers?

Read the rest at Live Action.