Brit Hasn’t a Clue About U.S. Politics

Many elitist American leftists like to go about claiming that it is only Americans that are dunces on foreign matters. There is some truth to the accusation that Americans are not knowledgeable about the rest of the world but if a column in the UK Telegraph is any indication it isn’t much better for Britain’s understanding of American politics. Worse, it is plain that even a British journalist hasn’t a clue what he’s on about when attempting to discuss the differences between a Democrat and Republican in today’s climate.

At issue is the incredibly garbled take on American Democrats and Republicans as posted by U.K. Telegraph writer David Lindsay, who claims himself to be a “freelance writer and tutor at Durham University.” One wonders why he doesn’t get a real job.

In “Why real American conservatives should register as Democrats,” Lindsay’s main point seems to be that Republicans really support what the Democratic Party supports and so GOP voters should resign from their party and join the left side of the aisle. But Lindsay’s reasons prove that he doesn’t know a thing about what he’s talking about.

In many ways I agree with his first short paragraph:

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Real American conservatives should forget the Republican Party. It has certainly forgotten them. Instead, they should register as Democrats and get on with it.

Lindsay is right, of course, that the GOP has let many of us down. But, from this opening few lines Lindsay begins to go astray.

The only way to proceed is to fisk every paragraph.

On the protection of American jobs, they could have no stauncher allies than the unions, never mind a President hysterically denounced as a “protectionist” as if that meant anything other than a patriot. If only they were Democrats.

Unions are not about “protecting jobs” at all. They are about destroying business and protecting union bosses. Unions prove every single day that they don’t care a whit about the workers. And Republicans are about the free trade before they are about “jobs” because without free trade you don’t have jobs. So joining Democrats on this measure would be an obviation of Republican ideals.

Lindsay goes on…

On halting and reversing the national emergency of unrestricted and illegal immigration, and on making English the only official language of the United States, they could have no stauncher allies than anyone with a largely black electorate. If only they were Democrats.

Boy, it would be nice if America’s blacks did, indeed, vote in anyway like conservatives do on practically any issue. Black Americans do seem to support school choice vouchers fairly heavily, but on every other issue they are quite far to the left. Of course, there is no reason not to team with the black community on education, but to say that Republicans would be at all comfortable in a party that offers a full-throated support of the sort of far left policies that the largest number of blacks support is simply idiotic.

It doesn’t get any better for Lindsay’s understanding of the issues.

On fair trade agreements, repealing much of the USA Patriot Act, ending completely the neocon war agenda, strict campaign finance reform, a crackdown on corporate influence generally and on corporate welfare in particular, and tax cuts for the pitchfork-wielding poor and middle-earning, these are stated aims of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, with its 11 out of 20 House Committee Chairmanships. Conservatives could certainly line up with the CPC in order to secure the measures listed here. And they might even get one or two Committee Chairmanships out of it. If only they were Democrats.

This paragraph is indecipherable. There are no Republican issues mentioned in it. So, what would a few token “Committee Chairmanships” do for GOP principles when nearly every issue mentioned is anathema to most Republicans? Should the GOP throw away every one of its principles just to have a few “Committee Chairmanships”? Apparently this goof thinks so. Most Republicans, for instance, are fine with the PATRIOT Act.

On moral and social conservatism, those who feel most strongly about immigration and about the status of English also feel strongly that marriage is only ever the union of one man and one woman. They made that perfectly clear on the same day as they delivered Florida’s and California’s Electoral College votes to Obama, himself a supporter of traditional marriage. The Republicans have been talking about this for years, just as they have been talking about abortion for years. But they have done absolutely nothing about either. Conservatives could be fighting for the views of the President and of other black Americans on traditional marriage, and for Senator Bob Casey’s Pregnant Women Support Act, effectively endorsed by Obama at Notre Dame. If only they were Democrats.

Again, indecipherable nonsense. The reason the GOP has not “done anything about abortion” is because it is still a closely split issue in the electorate and therefore difficult to swing in one direction. Not only that but a succession of left leaning Supreme Courts have done their best to shoehorn abortion into the Constitution and too many American’s have been bamboozled into imagining that it is a protected “right.” The GOP has fought an uphill battle against abortion yet has admirably held its own. But, let us remind Mr. Lindsay where that abortion supporting half of the electorate resides… that would be the Democrats. So, “if only they were Democrats” would preclude ending abortion in America, not any possibility of succeeding against it.

Additionally, if Lindsay believes Obama’s word on anything he hasn’t paid attention to current events. Obama has covered nearly every side of every issue since he began to run for president in 2004! Anything this president claims he supports is suspect until action has been taken so his so-called support “at Notre Dame” is meaningless rhetoric.

On foreign policy realism, that is now the mainline Democratic position, the default option beyond the pacifist Left. Any remaining War Partisans (or, indeed, any anti-defence fanatics) are only a primary challenge away from oblivion. Conservatives could be backing, or even mounting, those challenges on the basis that peace must be defended by deterring aggression, and that “liberal interventionism” is the road to Saigon, Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kabul and Baghdad, the graveyards of huge numbers of young blacks, young Irish Catholics, young Scots-Irish Southerners and Westerners, and young working-class Democrats in general. If only they were Democrats.

This is an idiotic statement. In fact there really has not been any concrete Democratic doctrine on foreign policy. The Obama administration has spent far more time on domestic policy with the result that his foreign policy has been carried on in fits and starts and left without a coherent, overall strategy. Furthermore, to claim that “realism” is now the “mainline Democratic position” is just as foolish as assuming that Obama has a concerted foreign policy doctrine. Neither the party nor the president have lighted upon any real policy plans for dealing with much of our challenges in foreign policy. About the only concrete policy Obama seems to have is that he doesn’t support Israel and that he wants to pull out of Iraq ASAP. The rest is up in the air. On top of that the left-wing in Congress is beginning to marshal its forces against the president on his plans for upping the ante in Afghanistan. Despite his claims to want to stand firm in Afghanistan, Obama has not made too many strong decisions or instituted any policies that might assure one that he won’t fold under the mounting pressure coming from the left-wing to forget the whole thing.

If Obama stays in Afghanistan he’ll be bucking his party. We conservatives can and should support the president if he stands firm in Afghanistan, but becoming Democrats would not be a way to do so. After all, if the party is turning against Obama’s stance on Afghanistan, joining that party will but lend more numbers to the position we stand against.

Sadly, all the signs are pointing to the president appeasing his anti-war party members and backing down on his commitment to Afghanistan. It is looking likely that he will not give his generals the troops they are requesting and he’s already made two other bad decisions that will hurt out military stance. 1) he’s just killed the missile shield, and 2) he’s killed the F-22 fighter jet for the more expensive, less reliable F-35. If we end up facing China some day soon we will be out fought in the air by them.

The shame of it is, Obama is about to preside over the loss of the peace in Iraq and the loss of the war in Afghanistan. But whether that ends up being the case or not it’s plain that Lindsay really has no idea what he’s on about analyzing American foreign policy as it stands today.

But then we come to the central debate over ideology and here Lindsay articulates the half-a-loaf situation that conservatives really are in.

Some things that conservatives did not want, and going without out some things that they did, would be the price of other Democrats’ support on other issues. That is political reality. Conservatives are supposed to be good at dealing with reality. And this reality would be infinitely preferable to the present one, in which conservatives get nothing that they want and everything that they do not want.

This concluding paragraph is perfectly logical. After all, compromise is what the U.S. system is built upon and many conservatives are wondering if getting half a loaf is better than being shut out entirely. It is a tough question, to be sure.

On the other hand, when someone like Obama comes to office and is leading a movement composed of a minority of the far left that wants to destroy the entire U.S. system and re-make it on a Euro-centric model, a little intransigence is warranted, don’t you think?

To Lindsay, letting the re-ordering of America go on unabated is just good politics. No principles need apply. But this is precisely why Republicans cannot join Democrats.

At the end of the day, this whole piece by Lindsay shows he is completely clueless on what is going on over here and what the principles are among the two parties here.

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