Selene

Day of Reckoning by Tracinski

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TIA Daily October 19, 2010 FEATURE ARTICLE

"Day of Reckoning

Time to Show the Democrats Who's Boss

by Robert Tracinski

With only two weeks left until November 2, it's time to give my official election recommendation.

For regular readers, there will hardly be any suspense about what I'm going to say. I advocate a straight Republican vote, across the board. It is imperative to vote the Democrats out of power and to do so by a historic margin, as a sweeping and unmistakable national repudiation.

November 2 is not just an election day. It is a day of reckoning.

The Democratic Party faces a reckoning for using the financial crisis as a pretext for a government takeover of the economy and for the exercise of raw, unchecked, arbitrary power. It faces a reckoning for spending trillions of dollars of money we haven't even earned yet on a wish-list of big-government programs and paybacks to the public employees' unions. It faces a reckoning for engineering the government takeover of whole industries and for expropriating the rights of bond-holders in order to favor the interests of unions. It faces a reckoning for acting as if there are no constitutional limits on government power, as if they can do anything they like to us so long as they tell us it's for the "general welfare."

The Democratic Party faces a reckoning for not being "shovel-ready"—for being effective only at preventing private economic activity—for enacting, in the first weeks of the new Congress, a stimulus bill that swiftly succeeded in bankrupting the country, but which failed to stimulate anything other than the bloated pensions of state employees and the six-figure incomes of federal bureaucrats.

And most of all, it faces a reckoning for passing a trillion-dollar takeover of our health care against our will and over our loudly expressed objections.

The Democratic Party faces a reckoning for showing contempt for the governed—for telling us that they had to pass the bill so that we could find out what was in it, as if we were too stupid to analyze it for ourselves—for smearing ideological opponents as racists—for regarding all the bitter clingers in flyover country as mentally defective because, in the words of President Obama, they're "hard-wired not to always think clearly" when the issues get too difficult for their poor little heads.

The Democrats face a reckoning for trying to revive the basic principle of aristocracy: the idea that there is a small elite in the nation's capital who know better than us how we ought to work and think and who are therefore entitled to run our lives and spend our money.

This is what needs to be repudiated. If the Democrats are allowed to keep control of Congress after so openly defying the will of the American people, then they will be emboldened to initiate a new and even broader round of assaults on our liberty. And at this point, with expectations high for Republican gains, if Democrats lose control of Congress by a small margin, they will think they got a reprieve and they may be motivated to cling to their agenda for the final two years of Obama's presidency.

They need to be shown who's boss. They need to taught, in a way they will remember for decades, that they answer to the people. We need a Democratic loss that will go down in the history books, one that will stun even the most pessimistic Democrats. They have to realize they are up against a broad historical movement and not just a temporary off-year protest against incumbents.

We need to make this election into the opening shot of a second American Revolution.

This is why I'm offering my recommendation two weeks before election, because it is important not just to vote for Republican and against Democrats. It is important to make November's victory as big as possible by doing whatever you can to aid Republican congressional campaigns. There is still time for your campaign donations to make a difference in close races, and now is the perfect time to offer your services as a volunteer, particularly for the "get out the vote" operation. We need to bring as many pro-liberty voters to the polls as possible, to ensure a massive advantage in turnout that buries the Democrats.

This is also no time for third-party protest candidates. If you want to send a message to the Republican Party to reform itself—well, we already had an opportunity in the primaries, and we did a pretty good job of it. We'll get another good opportunity in the 2012 primaries. But now is the time to support your local Republican candidate even if he is uninspiring—because at least he will be susceptible to pressure from the Tea Parties and from pro-liberty voters, whereas the Democrats have demonstrated that they will simply ignore us.

And he will be susceptible to pressure from a Tea Party Caucus of small-government radicals in Congress, including a number of congressmen who are influenced by Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. These are the Republicans—I've profiled many of them in TIA Daily, and I'll continue to do so in the final weeks—who deserve our positive, fully enthusiastic support. One of the ways you can support them is to send them to Congress as part of a strong congressional majority in which they will wield outsized influence.

With a committed leftist still in the White House, it is crucial to have a powerful, radicalized Republican majority in Congress as a counter-balance to the vast arbitrary authority of the modern presidency. We can expect an unrepentant and unreformed President Obama to try to bypass the new Congress, imposing his agenda through the vast authority of executive-branch regulatory agencies. The EPA is already preparing a system of energy rationing more draconian than "cap-and-trade," which they are ready to impose with no specific authorization from Congress. The only thing that can prevent this is a significant effort by the Republicans to reclaim that constitutional authority of Congress. The REINS Act would be a good start.

The issue here is whether there are any limits on government power—whether the Constitution is a limit and whether the consent of the governed in a limit. In the past two years, the Democrats have made their position on constitutional government clear: they are against it. The Republicans are mixed, but their party contains the only Washington contingent of constitutionalists, and they must be put into power.

The best analogy to the current situation is the old story about the frog in a pot of water, who doesn't notice as the heat is gradually turned up until he is boiled alive. President Obama turned up the heat a little too fast, and a lot of voters have suddenly begun to notice: this water is boiling. And they're not going to be content with just turning it down to a low simmer. I think a significant portion of the public has woken up to the fact that we've been losing our liberty for a century and we're on the brink of socialism. The first step is the pull back from the brink, and the next step is to begin pulling back the government to within its narrow constitutional limits.

In that respect, this election not the end of the struggle for liberty. It is the beginning—and let's make it a strong beginning."

Folks:

I do not agree with one statement. Voting a straight Republican ticket regardless. Locally, that does not hold, but in most cases it will be a good when in doubt position. Additionally, there are possibly five (5) democratic congressmen that might be worthy of your vote. I intend to post my predictions and recommendations the weekend before November 2nd. Maybe we can have a contest on how the new Congress will look numerically. Congress, Senate, Governorships.

Adam

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Adam, I agree with your subheading. Tracinski is VERY patriotic and statesmanlike, in the best sense, in this essay. Very revolutionary and radical and inspiring. Which, in the present context, merely means calling it like it is.

Yes, let's have a pool or contest of some kind about the election outcome.

I'll donate the prizes, but the condition is that at least 30 people have to take part in the guessing, and I will disqualify myself from receiving a prize in case my own guess(es) are closest to the actual outcome.

For the person who predicts closest to the total number of U.S. House seats won by Republicans in the November 2 election (after all recounts, etc. are finished), I will send him/her a free copy of my new CD, "Reflective Trombone."

For the person who predicts closest on the number of contested U.S. Senate seats won by Republicans as a result of the Nov. 2 election (after recounts, etc.), I will send him/her a free copy of "Reflective Trombone."

Bonus: for the person who has the best prediction on the number of Republicans vs. Democrats in the new House and Senate, I will send him/her a copy of my earlier CD, "The Art of the Duo," as well as one of the newer CD, if they did not win either of the above.

And to the rest of you folks: thanks to those who have already purchased one of my new CDs. If you haven't already done so, however, it is not to early to buy one or more for holiday gift-giving. You can order from me directly, or go to www.cdbaby.com and order CDs or digital downloads of individual tracks.

Support your friendly local Objectivist composer-performer! :-)

REB

P.S. -- Let me start the ball rolling. I predict that the Republicans will win 22 of the contested U.S. Senate seats. I don't have a prediction yet for the U.S. House.

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Adam, I agree with your subheading. Tracinski is VERY patriotic and statesmanlike, in the best sense, in this essay. Very revolutionary and radical and inspiring. Which, in the present context, merely means calling it like it is.

Yes, let's have a pool or contest of some kind about the election outcome.

I'll donate the prizes, but the condition is that at least 30 people have to take part in the guessing, and I will disqualify myself from receiving a prize in case my own guess(es) are closest to the actual outcome.

For the person who predicts closest to the total number of U.S. House seats won by Republicans in the November 2 election (after all recounts, etc. are finished), I will send him/her a free copy of my new CD, "Reflective Trombone."

For the person who predicts closest on the number of contested U.S. Senate seats won by Republicans as a result of the Nov. 2 election (after recounts, etc.), I will send him/her a free copy of "Reflective Trombone."

Bonus: for the person who has the best prediction on the number of Republicans vs. Democrats in the new House and Senate, I will send him/her a copy of my earlier CD, "The Art of the Duo," as well as one of the newer CD, if they did not win either of the above.

And to the rest of you folks: thanks to those who have already purchased one of my new CDs. If you haven't already done so, however, it is not to early to buy one or more for holiday gift-giving. You can order from me directly, or go to www.cdbaby.com and order CDs or digital downloads of individual tracks.

Support your friendly local Objectivist composer-performer! :-)

REB

P.S. -- Let me start the ball rolling. I predict that the Republicans will win 22 of the contested U.S. Senate seats. I don't have a prediction yet for the U.S. House.

Hmmmm, I'm even having trouble ~giving~ these things away. Maybe I need to set up the contest in a different folder? Is no one interested in speculating about the election results? I'll ~not~ send a CD to the winner, if that will stimulate participation in the guessing game! :-(

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Roger, the Republicans will will and in two years will probably lose again for the same old reasons, just like 1994 turned to crap.

--Brant

they might not win the Senate

if I enter the contest and win will you send me a refund?

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Roger, the Republicans will will and in two years will probably lose again for the same old reasons, just like 1994 turned to crap.

--Brant

they might not win the Senate

if I enter the contest and win will you send me a refund?

If you return the CD unplayed and unopened. :-) (Answered, I hope, in the spirit of the question.)

I think that 2012 will be ~much~ different from 1996. Assuming, that is, that Obama does not gallop toward the center as Clinton did, and abandon his big government/big tax ways. Obama seems to have a political death-wish, determined to go down in flames trying to achieve as much of his socialist agenda as possible, whether through the Congress or federal regulatory agencies or Presidential executive orders. That being the case, he will be an enormous, neon target in 2012 -- unless he declines to run for re-election -- and the Tea Party will be an even bigger factor then than this year. And they will be the tail wagging the Republican Party dog. That's my prediction...

Yes, the Rep's may not win the Senate, but they'll get enough additional seats to be able to keep the Dem's from shutting down filibusters. Also, the real action is in the House. That's where funding legislation starts. Obama's agenda will be starved for funds. Hopefully the mandates will be struck down by the courts. But there may be more to undo with the help of a non-socialist President starting in 2012.

REB

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Roger, the Republicans will will and in two years will probably lose again for the same old reasons, just like 1994 turned to crap.

--Brant

they might not win the Senate

if I enter the contest and win will you send me a refund?

If you return the CD unplayed and unopened. :-) (Answered, I hope, in the spirit of the question.)

I think that 2012 will be ~much~ different from 1996. Assuming, that is, that Obama does not gallop toward the center as Clinton did, and abandon his big government/big tax ways. Obama seems to have a political death-wish, determined to go down in flames trying to achieve as much of his socialist agenda as possible, whether through the Congress or federal regulatory agencies or Presidential executive orders. That being the case, he will be an enormous, neon target in 2012 -- unless he declines to run for re-election -- and the Tea Party will be an even bigger factor then than this year. And they will be the tail wagging the Republican Party dog. That's my prediction...

Yes, the Rep's may not win the Senate, but they'll get enough additional seats to be able to keep the Dem's from shutting down filibusters. Also, the real action is in the House. That's where funding legislation starts. Obama's agenda will be starved for funds. Hopefully the mandates will be struck down by the courts. But there may be more to undo with the help of a non-socialist President starting in 2012.

REB

Gentlemen:

Although the old Rockefeller, Scranton, Romney, Bush, Ford wing of the Republican Party could self destruct this victory, it is significantly different from 1994. I agree with Reb that O'biwan, the incredible shrinking President has absolutely no intention of moving to the center.

Adam

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Roger, the Republicans will will and in two years will probably lose again for the same old reasons, just like 1994 turned to crap.

--Brant

they might not win the Senate

if I enter the contest and win will you send me a refund?

If you return the CD unplayed and unopened. :-) (Answered, I hope, in the spirit of the question.)

I think that 2012 will be ~much~ different from 1996. Assuming, that is, that Obama does not gallop toward the center as Clinton did, and abandon his big government/big tax ways. Obama seems to have a political death-wish, determined to go down in flames trying to achieve as much of his socialist agenda as possible, whether through the Congress or federal regulatory agencies or Presidential executive orders. That being the case, he will be an enormous, neon target in 2012 -- unless he declines to run for re-election -- and the Tea Party will be an even bigger factor then than this year. And they will be the tail wagging the Republican Party dog. That's my prediction...

Yes, the Rep's may not win the Senate, but they'll get enough additional seats to be able to keep the Dem's from shutting down filibusters. Also, the real action is in the House. That's where funding legislation starts. Obama's agenda will be starved for funds. Hopefully the mandates will be struck down by the courts. But there may be more to undo with the help of a non-socialist President starting in 2012.

REB

WAIT A MINUTE!!!

If I win why do I have to return it? Where's my prize?

--Brant

smoke coming out of my ears!

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Maybe I need to set up the contest in a different folder? Is no one interested in speculating about the election results?

Sounds like a March Madness pool. But when are the predictions due? It’s always best to wait, so you have the best information possible before committing to your forecast.

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Maybe I need to set up the contest in a different folder? Is no one interested in speculating about the election results?

Sounds like a March Madness pool. But when are the predictions due? It's always best to wait, so you have the best information possible before committing to your forecast.

All entries are due as of 6PM November 3rd 2010 - those will of course not be eligible so I suggest you wait until then.

All eligible entries must be posted by 10 PM Barbara Boxer time or 7 PM Bearded Marxist time [Delaware] on November 1st to be eligible. You can post before this time, but if you change your entries by the deadline, you have to make your change by "adding reply" from your original post with the changes.

Adam

Edited by Selene

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Maybe I need to set up the contest in a different folder? Is no one interested in speculating about the election results?

Sounds like a March Madness pool. But when are the predictions due? It's always best to wait, so you have the best information possible before committing to your forecast.

All entries are due as of 6PM November 3rd 2010 - those will of course not be eligible so I suggest you wait until then.

All eligible entries must be posted by 10 PM Barbara Boxer time or 7 PM Bearded Marxist time [Delaware] on November 1st to be eligible. You can post before this time, but if you change your entries by the deadline, you have to make your change by "adding reply" from your original post with the changes.

Adam

Adam, thanks for your efforts, and folks, please carry on with the contest (i.e., guessing about the Nov. 2 election results), but I am hereby withdrawing my offer to provide prizes.

It's now just 4 days before the election, and no one, let alone the minimum of 30 that I asked for, has yet submitted predictions, either here or on the other thread -- just a lot of discussion. So, I take that as a lack of interest in the contest -- as opposed to ~talking~ about the election.

I think it's ironic and sad that not only can I not even generate enough enthusiasm among Objectivists to ~give away~ copies of my new CD, but also the one person on OL who ~did~ buy a copy of it said he wanted a ~refund~ if he won the contest! (I hope he was joking, but who knows?)

This tops Peikoff's secretary emailing me back and telling me that he did not want a free copy of my previous CD (a piano-trombone jazz duo), because he only likes ~piano~ jazz. Gah!

Maybe it's time to try a different marketing strategy....

REB

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Maybe I need to set up the contest in a different folder? Is no one interested in speculating about the election results?

Sounds like a March Madness pool. But when are the predictions due? It's always best to wait, so you have the best information possible before committing to your forecast.

All entries are due as of 6PM November 3rd 2010 - those will of course not be eligible so I suggest you wait until then.

All eligible entries must be posted by 10 PM Barbara Boxer time or 7 PM Bearded Marxist time [Delaware] on November 1st to be eligible. You can post before this time, but if you change your entries by the deadline, you have to make your change by "adding reply" from your original post with the changes.

Adam

Adam, thanks for your efforts, and folks, please carry on with the contest (i.e., guessing about the Nov. 2 election results), but I am hereby withdrawing my offer to provide prizes.

It's now just 4 days before the election, and no one, let alone the minimum of 30 that I asked for, has yet submitted predictions, either here or on the other thread -- just a lot of discussion. So, I take that as a lack of interest in the contest -- as opposed to ~talking~ about the election.

I think it's ironic and sad that not only can I not even generate enough enthusiasm among Objectivists to ~give away~ copies of my new CD, but also the one person on OL who ~did~ buy a copy of it said he wanted a ~refund~ if he won the contest! (I hope he was joking, but who knows?)

This tops Peikoff's secretary emailing me back and telling me that he did not want a free copy of my previous CD (a piano-trombone jazz duo), because he only likes ~piano~ jazz. Gah!

Maybe it's time to try a different marketing strategy....

REB

REB:

It is a shame because there are some incredible races going on in the House.

Here is your state REB:

Tennessee 9 Congressional Districts Current Distribution four (4) Republicans and five (5) Democrats could become seven (7) to two (2), Republicans to Democrats.

* Blackburn, Marsha, Tennessee 7th R Blackburn* R Prof. Greg Rabidoux D SOLID REPUBLICAN

J.W. “Bill” Stone I

* Cohen, Steve, Tennessee, 9th D Cohen* D Charlotte Bergman R Dem +33 SOLID DEMOCRATIC

* Cooper, Jim, Tennessee, 5th D Cooper* D David Hall R [building Contractor] Leaning Dem+3

* Davis, Lincoln, Tennessee, 4th D Davis* D Scott DesJarlais R Toss up Rep + 5 Possible Switch

* Duncan Jr., John J., Tennessee, 2nd R Duncan* R Dave Hancock D SOLID REPUBLICAN

D.H. Andrew I H. James Headings C Joseph R. Leinweber, Jr. I Greg Samples I

* Gordon, Bart RETIRED after casting a late vote for the “Health Care Bill,” Tenn., 6th Possible Switch

Open D Brett Carter, D [Attorney, had trouble raising money] Diane Black, R

BIG UPSET RACE Rep +13

* Roe, Phil, Tennessee, 1st R Roe* R Michael Clark D Kermit Steck C SOLID REPUBLICAN

* Tanner, John RETIRED, Tenn., 8th OPEN D Fincher R Herron D James I Possible Switch

[Davey Crocket Dist] Rep +15 and trending upward as we approach Tuesday.

* Wamp, Zach, RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR Tennessee, 3rd R OPEN SOLID REPUBLICAN

Chuck Fleischmann [attorney] R John Wolfe D Don Barkman I Mark DeVol I

Gregory Goodwin I Robert Humphries I Morris Kiah I Savas Kyriakidis I

You have some incredible races going on.

Adam

Post Script:

Sorry about the formatting.

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Why don't you guys wait another four days and you won't have to speculate anymore.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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In lieu of election analysis on election day, Tracinski has published the final part of his series on what went right and why in history. He elaborates his understanding of "implicit" concepts; it would be interesting to see Campbell's take on Tracinski's views.

Tracinski says the top-down view of philosophical influence on history is more plausible in the case of bad philosophy, which just can't rely on the implicit knowledge of people dealing rationally with the world, the basis for the development of good philosophy. An excerpt:

"The view that ideas are transmitted from the top-down through universities is incomplete—if one is seeking to explain what went right. For explaining what went wrong, however, it's pretty much the whole story. That's why I think the existing Objectivist theory is best at explaining the spread of bad ideas, which—not being based on reality—have to spread top-down from the ivory tower, because they cannot be induced from the bottom up. The purveyors of bad ideas have to take over the schools and universities, because their only hope of survival is to drum their ideas into the heads of the young and ignorant, who have not yet gained enough specialized knowledge or experience of the world to build a base of knowledge that will resist bad philosophical ideas."

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