Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm Proud to Be ...

In a singularly unusual move, I'm about to link a post by Kos which quotes from Oliver Willis. As a practical matter, it makes no difference whatsoever if my 100-hits on a good day blog links the web's biggest Lefty, so I'm not too worried about my conscience. Ready?

Here it is.

It gets a link because it asks an interesting question, one I'd like to see hashed out in a less summary fashion. O-Chubb writes:

"I've found this to be a remarkable phenomenon. In the blogosphere, you have almost a reverse dynamic to that found in the media. Overwhelmingly liberal bloggers identify themselves directly as Democrats. Yes, there are many who see the party as the lesser of two evils, and in their hearts would prefer Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader, but overwhelmingly I've found bloggers on the left have no problem saying "yep, I'm a Democrat" (I obviously count myself among that group).

"But among bloggers on the right, it always seems that great pains are taken to make it clear that they are "independents" or "libertarians" - these are people who usually endorse much of the GOP agenda and reliably vote for Republicans - and they don't identify as "Republican". Yes, there are some like GOPBloggers who identify with the party, but that was essentially a recent development."

So, if you're a Republican, are you proud to be so? If you're a conservative-leaning independent, do you avoid being associated with the party?

I am a registered Republican, but I guess I'm an example of the type Fat Ollie is discussing. I'm not particularly proud to be a Republican, as such, but if the Republican party best represents my views (and is more viable than another party that better represents my views) then that's the way I'll vote. Simple as that. If the GOP were in competition with a national party other than the Dems, and that other party better represented my views, I'd switch. No questions asked. I'm not married to the party, I just see it as the closest approximation, taking into consideration the political realities of compromise and biding one's time.

Now about labels - I was once taken to task by a liberal after I used the word liberal in a column I wrote. The guy pointed out that not all liberals think alike, and therefore it's cheap to lump them all together under a common label. The thing is, we use labels for a reason - they are very convenient. When I refer to Lefties, liberals, Democrats, or moonbats, it's not because I assume uniformity of thought, but because I'm consciously choosing to generalize about an issue where generalization is appropriate. For that reason, although I sometimes disagree with what the GOP is doing, I'm not about to shriek hysterically when someone calls me a Republican or a conservative. Broadly speaking, it's a good enough label for practical use. If the shoe fits, I'll wear it. I have libertarian leanings in some areas, but I won't insist upon some new label to better describe my "generally conservative with some libertarian and liberal ideas" philosophy.

Dems, on the other hand - and this seems to be Man Boobs' main premise - identify very closely with the party. I can't think of a better example of this than former Georgia Senator Zell Miller, who wrote a book about how his party started to suck, but never left it.

Note: that's not necessarily something to be proud of, Ollie. Even if, as Kos claims, libs are far more likely to take on their own party.

As to that last claim by Kos, I note that conservatives, independents and libertarians are in the middle of a huge dispute amongst themselves over Terry Schiavo. Consider what the Commissar (who was unjustly denied links by Instapundit and TKS) has to say:

"I'm Republican voter, voted for Bush twice, with high enthusiasm both times...Today you asked:
"'In November 2006, voters across the country will turn against the GOP because they fear that Congress will pass individually-targeted laws that prevent patients from being deliberately starved to death?'
"This voter might. I am very, very unhappy right now. Use whatever language you like. This 'law,' using the word loosely, makes a mockery of federalism."

How's that for taking on one's own party?

Finally, Kos has an interestingly ironic overbroad generalization:

"Is it the Fox News Effect? Do they think they are more effective or persuasive if they pretend to be unpartisan? Or are they simply embarrassed of being associated too publicly with the party of hate, war, and religious extremists?" (Links added. Make sure you click them yo get the irony.)

All that said, what do you think? Are you proud of, or disgusted with, the Republican Party?