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Klavan On The Culture

Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Long Game: A Cultural Manifesto

November 7th, 2012 - 12:49 pm

My reaction to the election is now up at City Journal:  The Long Game. It’s by way of a cultural manifesto:

Life is short, said Hippocrates, but art is long. There is a practical corollary to that great truth: elections are won and lost in the politics of the moment, but it’s the culture that makes the nation.

In the aftermath of President Obama’s victory, conservative political thinkers will have to ask themselves some hard questions. How much of our defeat was due to strategy and how much to structure? How can we reach out to struggling workers without sacrificing our commitment to free enterprise and individual liberty? How can we speak to single women without losing voters committed to family values and the lives of the unborn? How can we welcome the children of illegal immigrants without compromising our belief in the rule of law?

The smartest political writers in the country, all of whom are conservative, will now be addressing those questions. I’m an artist; I play the long game.

To win that game, to create an electorate more deeply committed to true liberty and resistant to the sort of cultural scare tactics the president’s campaign team used so effectively, there are three areas to which conservatives need to commit intellectual and financial resources—three areas that our intelligentsia and funders, in their impractical practicality, too often ignore.

Read the rest here.

Shut The Hell Up and Vote for Romney

November 5th, 2012 - 5:00 am

It seems to me that many left-wingers confuse good intentions with good outcomes and mistake the feeling of virtue for virtue itself. I hear them say things like, “Well, at least Obama cares,” as if the presidency were not an important job that could be done well or badly. Would they choose to be operated on by a surgeon because he cares or would they prefer one who knew what he was doing and could get the job done? They praise programs for their intent without considering their outcomes or costs. They do not weigh their liberty in the balance of their reason. At their worst, they cherish a sense of themselves as good and generous because they vote for the people who tell them they are good and generous, and hold as hateful those who will not join in praising the emperor’s new clothes.

But there is a conservative version of this as well. There are conservatives who confuse good principles with good outcomes and who mistake the feeling of wisdom for wisdom itself. I hear them say things like, “There’s no difference between Obama and Romney,” as if a president with no intention and no plan of fixing our looming debt crisis is the same as a candidate with a proven record of fixing such problems and who has given his word to try. They hold their firm adherence to their ideals above the doing of what good they can. They trumpet their vaunted love of liberty while throwing their vote away on a Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, which will do not one thing for their liberty or anyone else’s. At their worst, they cherish a sense of themselves as superior because of their fantasized solutions while discounting as a fool anyone who would support the best option available.

Over the course of this campaign, I have come to have a lot more respect for and confidence in Mitt Romney than I did when the campaign began. In fact, I have come to hope he may be just the man the moment requires. Maybe this means he’s just a good politician and I’m gullible or maybe it means he’s a good man with a good plan and I’ve come to see him more clearly. But in either case, there is no doubt in my mind that he is by far — by far — the better of the two plausible choices. Obama is a mediocrity schooled in hostility to our founding principles. Romney is a successful man of the world who may not hew to every tenet of my cherished beliefs, but who wants to see the country prosperous, free, and powerful as it once was and as it can and should be again.

So yes, you’re wiser than all of us — more firmly rooted in conservative principles than any of us  — you are wholly unpolluted by the shabby compromises of either party and your protest vote will rock our worlds.

Now shut up and go vote for Mitt Romney. For the love of your country, choose the better way.


According to a report by Daily Caller investigative reporter Matt Boyle, two women from the Dominican Republic are charging that Democrat New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez paid them for sex. The ladies say the senator offered them five hundred dollars but then only paid them one hundred each after the fact.

Senator Bob was the subject of a CBS/New York Times poll in 2006. They asked folks to name the first thing that came to their minds when hearing Menendez’s name. The top answer given was “corruption” or “crooked.” Of course, that doesn’t mean he actually stiffed and then stiffed these girls. His office denies it and I wouldn’t want to presume him guilty. But oh, let’s go ahead.

What then can we learn from this sordid story? Three things.

1. Take a look at the girl in the picture above. Do you notice anything? That’s correct — she has no head. There’s nothing but an oval of empty space where a normal woman’s head would be. What the hell, right? Well, from this we can learn that Democrats prefer women who are nothing but bodies composed of reproductive organs, breasts and some sort of interstitial material holding them together. Since the Democrat Party says it is “pro-women” and offers to supply the needs of their organs and breasts at the taxpayers’ expense, women obviously have no need to decide which party to vote for or what ideas to hold and so don’t actually need heads. Sure, this might create a problem when women find they have nowhere to put their pretty little faces, but Democrat scientists are working on this around the clock and when they find a solution, it will be covered under Obamacare. So there’s no need for women to trouble the empty space where their heads would be.

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I’m With You, Abbey!

November 1st, 2012 - 7:17 am

It’s very rare I run into a piece of commentary I agree with %100, but here’s one. A mom asks her beautiful child why she’s crying:

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h/t Ann Althouse guest blogging at Instapundit.