As a bit of a mea culpa for my positive post about Mitt Romney’s pro-natalism plan, I thought I’d atone by looking back to one of my better posts: a detailed rundown of the Romney family’s long history of waffling on important issues, and attempting to play both sides of the political spectrum simultaneously.
Romney’s father, George Romney, was one of a (thankfully) dying breed: the Rockefeller Republicans. These “moderate” and liberal Republicans essentially were a paler echo of the postwar Democratic Party: they espoused heavy spending, government intervention, and socially progressive policies, just in a more toned-down manner than their more overtly progressive colleagues in the opposing party.
In this post, I review Romney the Elder’s infamous “brainwashing” interview, in which he claimed his earlier pro-Vietnam War position was due to a thorough “brainwashing” by the United States military. It was a politically catastrophic and bizarre statement, and one that demonstrated yet another of Romney’s shifting positions to fit with the tenor and fashions of the time.
And so it continues with Romney the Younger, who voted this week to proceed with the farcical impeachment trial against a man who is no longer holding office. Romney will yet again bask in temporary accolades for his “courage” and “bipartisanship” in the press, before they return to reviling him for being a Republican.
At this point, why can’t these Republican squishes—Romney, Murkowski, Collin, et. al.—just show their true colors and join the Democratic Party?
Lazy Sunday is rolling on with some more “Forgotten Posts” (check out Volume I and Volume II). Again, the criteria for selection is pretty loose—I scroll through my archives and find posts I don’t link to very often, or which I’ve largely forgotten that I wrote. Even that’s not a hard-and-fast rule.
This week’s selections come from June 2019. The summer is always a slow month for new; ergo, it’s a slow month for blogging. But with a self-imposed daily post requirement, I’ve gotta come up with something. Here’s a taste of those somethings:
“The Price of Freedom: A Good Attorney” – This post explores the concept “that the process is the punishment.” For conservatives, that usually means blowing tons of cash on attorney’s fees to prove one’s innocence in a justice system that increasingly assumes guilt, tainted as it is by social justice bromides. Lawfare is, more and more, how the Left imposes its agenda on an unwilling population, so it’s good to see the Right fighting back. Owen Benjamin’s recent victory against Patreon is one excellent example. But freedom isn’t free; it bills at about $200 an hour.
It’s another Lazy Sunday dive into some of my deep cuts—the forgotten or neglected posts of yesteryear. As a reminder, here’s my loose criteria for selecting these posts, as spelled out last Sunday:
That’s all a long way of saying that I’m doing some deep dives for an indeterminate number of Sundays into some forgotten posts. These are posts that don’t immediately spring to my mind when I’m referencing my own work. These posts may or may not have had high or low hit counts; they are just posts that don’t linger strongly in my memory. They’re the red-headed stepchildren of my churning mind.
“Breaking: Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize” – I used to do these “breaking” news posts periodically—dashing off a couple hundred words about some major development. I was perhaps overly optimistic about Trump’s peace talks in Korea, but while they might not have ended the Korean War’s long cease-fire, they definitely calmed down tensions between the US and North Korea.
“George Will’s Self-Destruct Sequence” – The Never Trump phenomenon was gasping for air in 2018, but it still had some loyal adherents (and still does, if you check out National Review, The Dispatch, and The Bulwark, the last of which is blatantly progressive, despite its claims to be a conservative site). One of the first major figures to succumb publicly and wildly to the disease was George Will, the long-time WaPo columnist and tweedy neocon. Will argued that Republicans in Congress should be voted out to avoid giving Trump dictatorial powers—a ludicrous obsession with the Left and the Never Trumpers, and completely deleterious to the future of the nation. Sure, we Republicans might be the “Stupid Party” sometimes, stupidity in the highest halls of power is generally preferable to the “Evil Party” of intentional wickedness. Now we have so-called conservatives plumping for Joe Biden on similarly faulty premises. Yeesh!
“HSAs are A-Okay” – I’m a big fan of health savings accounts, or HSAs, thanks in large part to my younger brother’s financial wizardry. Health savings accounts allow account holders to deposit funds that can be used to cover future, out-of-pocket medical expenses. Since my cut-rate insurance comes with a hefty $6750 annual deductible, squirreling away cash into my HSA helps in the event of a catastrophic injury or health crisis. But the real beauty of an HSA is that the deposited funds can be invested in mutual funds and grow in value—tax-free. They’re the ultimate investment vehicle, and you can save medical receipts for years before using them to withdraw HSA funds (if you use an emergency fund to cover medical expenses on the front-end, the HSA funds can grow unmolested until you decide to use them).
That’s it for another edition of Lazy Sunday—one of the last truly lazy ones for some time, as I report back to school tomorrow morning. Classes resume 20 August 2020, so I still have about eleven days to prepare for the return of students.
It’s an election year, in case you’d missed that point, and our man Trump is up for reelection. Trump is not doing well in the polls at the moment, but George H. W. Bush was similarly down against Michael Dukakis at this point in 1988, and won in a blowout victory. Of course, Dukakis was an exceptionally feeble and excessively nerdy politician, and Lee Atwater’s Willie Horton ad was a gutsy, effective attack on Dukakis’s program of weekend release for prisoners.
1988 was also a very different America. Even 2016 seems like another world. Trump’s election was the paradigm shift of our age, spawning four years of constant resistance from progressives and neocons alike. Joe Biden, like Hillary Clinton before him, enjoys the full support of the media and the institutions; even in his advancing senility, they are determined to drag him into the White House, where he will serve as a dull-witted, mentally-diminished puppet for every crazy Left-wing policy ever concocted in the faculty lounge of a women’s studies department.
I first found out about him and his controversial essay from NR, back when I was a devout print subscriber, amid the heady days when campus protests were novel enough to be terrifying. NR ran a little blurb about Williams College cancelling a scheduled talk from Derb, and I’ve been listening to his podcast—an entertaining mix of news, science, political and cultural commentary, and updates on the president of Turkmenistan—ever since.
As a teacher, one of my favorite “weeks” of the school year is this one. I put “weeks” in quotation marks because, from a teaching perspective, this isn’t truly a “week,” or even a “short week” (four days, such as the Labor Day holiday early in the academic year). Instead, it’s two days of either cramming in tests and material, or of laconically drifting into the glorious Thanksgiving Break.
Hard to believe that in sixty-four days, we’ll have reached one year of daily posts here at The Portly Politico. In that time, I’ve done my fair share of exposing one of my least favorite activities: self-righteous virtue-signalling.
So, what better way to signal my virtue in exposing virtue-signalling than by feature virtue-signalling for today’s Lazy Sunday?
Without further ado, here are my selfless, virtuous contributions:
“Self-Righteous Virtue-Signalling Lives On” – This post looked an egregious National Review piece by Nicholas Frankovich in the wake of the Covington Catholic situation. That seems like a distant memory now, but it was one of my battles in the never-ending culture wars. The issue was that Frankovich, in his zeal to show to a Left that hates him that conservatives can gang up on themselves, threw innocent children under the bus. Disgusting.
“Tom Steyer’s Belt” – I love to rant about television commercials. Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer has a series of them he runs on Hulu, in which he’s wearing a ridiculous belt that makes him look like the old hippie he is. This dumpy, stoop-shouldered elite tries to jazz up his look with some multiculturalism by wearing a Kenyan belt—sartorial signalling at its worst.
“The Dirty Pierre” – Mitt Romney is the Establishment Republican King of Virtue-Signalling now that John McCain, the loathsome Arizona Senator and necromancer, is dead. His “Pierre Delecto” Twitter account, which Romney used to defend himself against online detractors, rather than being a man and doing it as himself, is a despicable, cowardly example of a man who wants the Left to love him. They never will, Mitt!
That’s it for this week! It’s a muggy Sunday in South Carolina—typical Halloween weather for us. D’oh!
I hold a soft spot in my heart for conservative gadfly and Internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. I recall fondly his heyday in 2015-2016, when he championed free speech in the Babylon of Progressivism, Berkeley, California. I still wish President Trump would appoint him White House Press Secretary—it would be must-see TV every day.
Behind the flamboyant, cartoonish homosexuality and the over-the-top trollery, though, is a talented journalist and writer; indeed, Milo’s work is some of the best long-form journalism I’ve ever read. His writing, like his public speaking, is engaging and well-researched: he really checks his facts and his sources, while still delivering that withering Coulterian death strike upon his unfortunate target.