Friday, June 01, 2007

George Will Made Me Lie

Although a baseball man, a rather decent and smart one from what I've gathered, George Will has been a frustrating fellow to follow in recent years. I suppose that he, like plenty of those on the right, is struggling mightily under Bu$hCo and the wounded yet still powerful remnants of his Rubber Stamp Congress. Yesterday's WaPo column from Mr. Will, The Case for Conservatism, is surely not the best he's got and yet it makes me nearly certain I'll be back in the saddle. So one more post.

In the meantime, I'll read, study, learn, etc. I'll perhaps be a rare Progressive lefty in the next five or more years. I expect there will be plenty of time for talking and sharing. I've read Lakoff and others that suggest Progressives' failure to frame, and otherwise use language as well as the right has managed, which will I hope serve me well. I've long believed that "centrism" as practiced by many in the Democratic Party is very flawed and yet there are admittedly ways to meet in the middle with some rather serious conservatives if in fact they come at things from an intellectual foundation. Paleo-conservatives are reachable as well in some areas. They can be tough nuts to crack but on many issues we can at least agree to disagree. Then again, even some "social conservatives" can be swayed if given a reasoned and principled path they can walk.

Pompous, dismissive, wordy (not that I can throw stones!) the column is classic George Will. He gets much wrong I'll argue but, assuming he's one of the increasingly rare intellectuals on the right that does still have some influence, I suppose a visit would be a good use of one's reading time. The main reason to link to Will is for a partial understanding of what the right is thinking. If Progressives will get a handle on their concerns, at least those that aren't completely bonkers, then we'll be better situated to join issue.

One can hope the Democratic candidates and their handlers are reading George Will and his ilk in preparing to run a campaign in 2008 that will manage to challenge and also use the concerns of thinking conservatives. Again, that's not "centrism" exactly but winning elections is where changes in policy begin. We've got a long row to hoe in the decade or more to follow so getting thing right in these next few election cycles is truly critical. Picking off conservatives votes is I think often best accomplished on a small scale and I intend to get at least a few votes that the other team would have gotten but for the work of this ornery Scot. How many will you get? Peace ... or War!

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