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Thread: This Is What a Real Conservative Looks Like in 2019

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    This Is What a Real Conservative Looks Like in 2019

    This Is What a Real Conservative Looks Like in 2019

    This week, two eminent Republicans did something quite novel in 2019. They committed conservatism. By conservatism, I mean a philosophy of limited, constitutional government, individual rights, trust in tradition, love of country, prudence in foreign policy and restraint at home. Restraint means not doing something that you could. It means conceding the right of your opponents to run the country for a while — for the sake of the common good. It means admitting that sometimes you’re wrong. It means give as well as take. It often means compromise.

    First up, Robert Mueller. I think it’s worth reiterating how impeccably he has behaved in what has become an extremely tense constitutional moment. He kept his cool and maintained his silence in an era of massive and deafening oversharing. His bland affect is attuned to the role he plays: as a neutral enforcer of the rule of law. He strikes me, in this sense, as a classic conservative — dedicated to existing institutions and liberal democratic norms. And he felt the need to explain this week, in the wake of the obfuscations and misdirections of William Barr, what his report actually outlined, its reach, and, most importantly, its limits.

    Any objective reading of the report would come to the conclusion that the president clearly obstructed justice — several times. In fact, Volume II is proof of the president’s multiple attempts to rig, stymie, pressure, and prematurely end the investigation into Russian interference in our elections — including witness tampering, and alteration of documents. Mueller did not need to go into all this, but he restated why it matters: “When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”

    Then, critically, Mueller explained why nonetheless he hadn’t indicted the president — solely because it was outside his authority under Department of Justice rules: “Under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited.” So Mueller disappointed everyone who wanted him personally to get this dangerous and deranged president out of office, but it was emphatically not his role. Instead, he reiterated the proper remedy: “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” That is to say: impeachment. And with that, he left the stage. Less is more, he seemed to say. It’s Congress’s job now.

    And then another actual conservative, Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, did another actually conservative thing: He read the report closely, and expressed his view that impeachment was obviously the only appropriate response to President Trump’s attack on the rule of law. He did this in clear and simple English, in a Twitter thread, more effectively than anyone else in Congress, including the Democratic leadership. Then he went back to his district and explained himself further.

    If you have a couple hours, I recommend watching the town hall. I found it hard to tear myself away from the YouTube video of the two-hour grilling. In the years we have lived with a strongman threat to our system of government, this was the first time I discovered someone deep in the congressional GOP who recognizes the profound danger of doing nothing, and may have the fortitude to live up to his constitutional duties. It was, in a word, thrilling. The simplest case against Trump is a deeply conservative one — as Amash, a founding member of the Tea Party and Freedom Caucus, understands. It’s about constitutional order, the restraint of Executive abuse, and resistance to tribalism.

    Amash understands how a tribal mentality — and the mutual hatred and fanaticism it generates — devastates our form of liberal democracy. Here he is responding to a woman who says that he’ll be attracting more Democrats than Republicans in his desire to hold Trump accountable and still run for office:

    I represent the entire district. So it doesn’t matter to me if a person voted for me or didn’t vote for me, or donated to me or didn’t donate to me … That’s not going to change my principles and who I am … I agree with you that many of the people cheering me on aren’t going to support my campaign … It doesn’t matter to me. This is what it means to be a bigger person. It doesn’t matter to me that some people won’t support me or are hypocritical. You have to do the right thing regardless.

    This is a central struggle of this time: Do we acquiesce to tribalism or aim for the citizenship the Founders hoped for? Do we worship a cult leader or practice self-government? This week, Amash has done something important: He has opened up a tiny space within the congressional GOP to debate this question. In a very dark room, he’s the light that begins to seep through the crack under the door. It may not be much, but it’s enough to allow your eyes to adjust and see.

    And this is part of a wider ideological struggle within conservatism. You can see the contours of the Amash versus Trump battle, for example, in last week’s online debate between Sohrab Ahmari, a recent Catholic convert, writing at the theo-conservative, Trump-friendly journal First Things and David French, an Evangelical voice of reason at National Review. Ahmari makes the case for Trump the same way that Michael Anton did: All that matters right now is the culture war between good and evil, the West and the rest. Since this is an emergency, and the Godless enemy is on the march, niceties, such as being a stickler for the rule of law, or rhetorical civility, are irrelevant. Insisting on legal distinctions, believing in constitutional restraint, even cooperating with the other party in some circumstances are, for the illiberal mind, all forms of cowardice and surrender.
    "[N]o one gives a shit about science and reality. I regularly get people telling me on the Twitter machine that liberals support murdering newborns. That's where the conversation on abortion is right now for too fucking many Americans. In other words, there is no conversation. When people wholeheartedly believe something that is completely, patently, blatantly untrue, your puny facts aren't going to put a dent in that level of delusional stupidity."

    ~ RP

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    There is no bigger tribe in America than the left. What a pant load.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

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    I haven't followed a lot of this; other more pressing matters on my plate; but I thought Mueller handled himself admirably in his press conference.
    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
    Robert Southwell, S.J.

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    Let's all remember that Andrew Sullivan said that Obama was the conservative choice.
    "What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

    link

    Time will tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott View Post
    Let's all remember that Andrew Sullivan said that Obama was the conservative choice.
    In some things Andrew is blinded by his own light.

    There is no substance to his No True Scotsman defense of Mueller. ("Any objective reading of the report would come to the conclusion that the president clearly obstructed justice — several times.") Sullivan can do a lot better. That he chooses to lead with a logical fallacy is telling.

    Amash is a waste of time. He and Kasich could team up and give lectures in a tent revival tour à la Billy Graham back in the day. A pup tent should handle it.
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    Any objective reading of the report would come to the conclusion that the president clearly obstructed justice — several times.



    The desperation is hilarious.


    "We demand that you show us these documents."
    "Here you go."
    "You're obstructing justice!!!!"


    LOL! What a spectacular bucket of horseshit. The truism holds true: any time that Leftists accuse someone of something, you can be sure that the Leftists themselves are engaging in what they accuse others of.
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phillygirl View Post
    I haven't followed a lot of this; other more pressing matters on my plate; but I thought Mueller handled himself admirably in his press conference.
    He ran a tight ship with no leaks and only commented once and that was to shoot down a report that the President suborned perjury.
    "[N]o one gives a shit about science and reality. I regularly get people telling me on the Twitter machine that liberals support murdering newborns. That's where the conversation on abortion is right now for too fucking many Americans. In other words, there is no conversation. When people wholeheartedly believe something that is completely, patently, blatantly untrue, your puny facts aren't going to put a dent in that level of delusional stupidity."

    ~ RP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    :The truism holds true: any time that Leftists accuse someone of something, you can be sure that the Leftists themselves are engaging in what they accuse others of.
    Did you just call Bok a white supremacist?
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    No, you do. Except when you go full frontal white supremacy. Then they just pretend you didn’t say that. They do that with all their bigots except Lady Marva. That is probably because her racism is clumsy. But so is Mark’s but in a Trumpian acceptable way, I guess.

    But you? You are rarely challenged here (other than by Bane) and even then, when Celeste forgets how much she loves her gun, it is exceedingly mild.

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    He ran a tight ship with no leaks and only commented once and that was to shoot down a report that the President suborned perjury.
    No leaks? Holy shitbiscuit! What color is the sky on your planet?
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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