The Spectacle Blog

The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

By on 9.20.06 | 12:31PM

All of these comments have been made here in the UNITED STATES in the last 24 hours at the United Nations General Assembly:

The Ugly

"The devil came here yesterday…. He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world." - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Ugly Runner-Up

"If they have difference with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council and as claimants, arrogate to themselves simultaneously the roles of prosecutor, judge and executioner. Is this a just order?" -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


The Bad

Losing In November

By on 9.20.06 | 11:18AM

On our main site, David Hogberg does a great job countering the arguments of those conservatives who say that losing in November would be a good thing.

I have my own mixed feelings on this issue. First off, when discussing this topic, it's important to differentiate between the short-term and the long-term. There's no doubt in my mind that conservatives will be worse off in the next two years if Republicans lose control of Congress. In the long run, depending on what lessons Republicans learn from the loss, it could be bad, but it could trigger the type of soul searching that could renew small government conservatism. The question is whether conservatives want to accept a Speaker Nancy Pelosi for at least two years and risk having Democratic control for many more just for the mere chance that a principled Republican Party that learned the exact right lessons from their loss will re-emerge in two years.

Hmm…There Appears to be a Coup Happening

By on 9.20.06 | 8:39AM

So reads the title of a post from yesterday on Heather Roscoe's wonderful blog about her life and times as a volunteer in Thailand, Lost on Earth. While I would highly recommend the site any day, Roscoe's blurb on the normalcy of life outside of Bangkok during this time of political upheaval is worth checking out.

Come up, Pence

By on 9.19.06 | 9:17PM

Good comments all re: this morning's breakfast -- an excellent event and even better kickoff. And yes, anchoring the awful titular pun is the idea that conservative Republicans will get their comeuppance in '06 according to Pence's zippy formula: what we need are more conservative GOPers, not more liberal democrats. It sounds fine as a stump line, but there's just one problem: Congress is so tightly polarized that a handful of switched seats, particularly in the Senate, can tip the balance in favor of the Dems.

I like and trust Pence -- he has a first-rate team working with him at the RSC, too -- but the argument can be made that the party won't bet on real conservatives unless those conservatives hold seats vital to the party's fortunes. And that means sitting conservatives, the status quo. Regardless of whether or not this is fair, the question must be asked: how can Congress possibly add new -- that is, more -- conservatives, particularly in a hunker-down, circle-the-wagons election cycle? (I'd hoped to ask this question, but duty called in Georgetown.)

Spending A Pence

By on 9.19.06 | 5:42PM

After Pence excoriated the GOP for being seduced by big government, I was surprised to hear him say that he thought that the chances of getting more serious spending restraint next year was "better than even." I would have been happier if he had said that the road ahead was difficult--although, to be fair, I did ask him to put the chances in percentage terms.

The Disconnect Between Cause and Effect

By on 9.19.06 | 5:33PM

Got an email today from FamiliesUSA with a link (PDF) to one of its publications criticizing state-based Taxpayer Bills Of Right (TABOR). I found this passage enlightening when it comes to the political left's ignorance (often willful) of economics:

By Enforcement on Employers Too

By on 9.19.06 | 4:50PM

Wlady -- Actually, when you read the full white paper by the Krieble Foundation (to which I have linked numerous times), which is the basis of the part of the Pence plan that you question, it all does start to make sense. Basically, the plan provides major incentives for employers to buy into it (and disincentives for them not to do so), which means that they WILL NOT hire illegals when/because legal "guest workers" are available. So the "short-term" labor you worry about (outside of proper Ellis Island Center channels) won't even be available, because employers won't be willing to provide it. I, too, had major doubts along the same lines, until I read the plan for about the fourth time AND heard Pence explain it in person. But I've come to believe that it actually is quite workable. --Quin

Pence For Your Thoughts

By on 9.19.06 | 3:52PM

Quin: Thank you for your comprehensive reports on Rep. Pence's comments at our breakfast earlier today. In keeping with the polite tone of the proceedings, I can understand why you didn't raise your eyebrows (at least in print) regarding the excessively kind words Pence had for Speaker Hastert -- whom you excoriated in excellent column a few months ago ("Hastert La Vista Baby") in calling on him to step down from the leadership for deviating from conservative principles. But right there was a troubling sign -- wouldn't it be better if Hastert felt Pence was planning to oust him rather than butter up to him?

Other Notes and Discussion Welcome

By on 9.19.06 | 1:16PM

Come on, everybody else who was there, let's keep the conversation going about the Pence meeting this morning. What did I or Philip miss that Pence said that is worthy of discussion? What is your take on all the things he said? Inquiring minds want... etc.