Must Read

The Anchoress has an excellent post talking about conservatives, including this quote from Ronald Reagan:

“When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn’t like it. “Compromise” was a dirty word to them and they wouldn’t face the fact that we couldn’t get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don’t get it all, some said, don’t take anything. I’d learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: ‘I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.’ If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.”

– Ronald Reagan, An American Life

I couldn’t agree more.   Read the whole post.

Hat tip to Rightwingprof, who’s impressions of the race are also worthwhile.

16 Responses to “Must Read”

  1. Mark next Thursday down. Lost starts.

  2. joated says:

    The Anchoress’ point about sitting it out is right on the mark. If nothing else, you do your homework and go into the booth to pull the lever for the least problomatic choice offered or, barring that, against the worst choice on the ballot. Sitting out the election to teach a lesson is not and option.

  3. I don’t know–maybe my perspective is colored by the fact that living in Illinois, my state’s chunk of the electoral college is going to whomever wins the Clinton/Obama grudge match anyway–pretty well frees me up from the necessity of voting for the slightly less noxious candidate, out of fear of the most noxious one.

  4. What about still casting my vote for Fred, or Ron Paul? Will I still be seen by the Anchoress and her infuriatingly sanctimonious ilk as betraying the cause? My own response to her is here.

  5. Ahab says:

    I’d rather vote for someone who agrees with 60% of my positions and has a chance of winning than someone who agrees with 90% of my positions and has no chance of winning.

    Especially when the people on the other team agree with maybe 5% of my positions.

  6. “I’d rather vote for someone who agrees with 60% of my positions and has a chance of winning than someone who agrees with 90% of my positions and has no chance of winning.”

    A pragmatist. How refreshingly adult. And if one wants to make a “statement,” he needs to do it at a protest. The ballot box is not the place to wave giant puppet heads.

  7. Maybe if there were a candidate who agrees with 60% of my positions, and who has a shot at the nomination, I would be willing to choke on my principles and vote for that candidate. As it happens, there is no such candidate.

  8. Sebastian says:

    What about still casting my vote for Fred, or Ron Paul? Will I still be seen by the Anchoress and her infuriatingly sanctimonious ilk as betraying the cause? My own response to her is here.

    Vote for who you want in the primary. I think no vote is wasted there. Especially with Romney and McCain being the other serious choices.

  9. Who’s talking about the primary? Hell, write in Bozo the Clown on the primary ballot if you want. Or vote for Ron Paul. Same thing.

  10. Ah–I hadn’t realized that Bozo was such a staunch advocate for a return to the Constitutional principles on which our republic is based.

    Learn something new every day, I guess.

  11. Funny, there’s nothing about gold standards, evil neocon world order conspiracy theories, disastrous foreign policy a la Jimmy Carter, or any other favorite Ron Paul plank in my copy of the Constitution — and apparently, neither he nor his little band of wild-eyed wackos has ever read the Constitution, since in order to accomplish anything in his platform other than the suicidal foreign policy, he would have to suspend the Constitution.

    Then, when you read Ayn Rand instead of Jefferson, why would you know anything about the United States. Of course, what’s ironic about all of this Ron Paul nuttiness is that libertarians hated his guts when he ran as a Republican not because he ran as a Republican, but because he didn’t parrot the “abort that nasty brat!” libertarian party line. Now, suddenly, they all love him. Go figure.

  12. Sebastian says:

    That’s mostly my problem with Ron Paul. I think he’s a very poor vehicle for making pro-constitutionalist and pro-liberty ideas part of the main stream. The things Rightwingprof mentions here are what makes him that poor a vehicle.

  13. Poor vehicle? Perhaps–but I don’t notice any other candidate who wouldn’t take us farther away from the Constitution. No thanks.

  14. Sebastian says:

    I’m not going to fault anyone for supporting Ron Paul… hell, even I might vote for him in the primary just because I’m having a hard time figuring out whether there’s a damned bit of difference between McCain and Romney… but I’m sticking with the party in the general election. I don’t like it, but I think Obillery would be an utter disaster for the country, whereas 8 years of McRomney would be an annoyance.

  15. One of the things I respect about you, Sebastian, is your ability to disagree with someone, without resorting to petty insults (“wild-eyed wackos,” for example).

    As I said earlier, living in Illinois affords me the “luxury” of voting my conscience, knowing quite well that my refusal to vote for whichever empty suit wins the Republican nomination will have nothing to do with said empty suit losing the state.

    Actually, given the state of the economy, and the near universal disgust at the Bush administration’s utter incompetence, I think the whole country is going to Obillery, no matter who gets the Republican nod.

  16. straightarrow says:

    While everyone else is addressing the election, and most of the views are well covered, I would like to address Reagan’s view of compromise and his citation of Roosevelt’s strategy and point out the disparity between those viewpoints and what we have been doing for the last several decades.

    In their view of compromise, they got something for giving something. Nobody got everything they wanted, but nobody got nothing they wanted also. That is compromise.

    The way we have been doing it is the other side doesn’t get everything they want, but we get nothing we want. That is victory for them, and surrender for us. It is not compromise.

    Then the “they” come back and fight for the rest of it and we repeat the cycle.

    Almost all the gains we have made have been at the state level. Which is important and has served us pretty well. At the federal level the very few ostensible gains we have made are not honored nor enforced. Think FOPA here, for just one example. Think directives from Congress to correct abuses of the BATFE, for another.

    In a compromise we should gain something of equivalent value to what our opposition has gained. We have not, Hell we haven’t even bargained for it in most cases. That is not compromise.

    We have a de facto definition of compromise at the moment of “they get part of what they want, we get to keep the other part until they come back for more, we won.” That is stupidity, not compromise.

    One other thing Reagan said about compromise is that you should never compromise on principle, only on process and details that do not betray principle.. (very paraphrased, as I do not have the direct quote handy)

    So the next time any of us call for compromise, let’s bear in mind the true meaning of compromise (co promise). And if we are to compromise, let’s get it right.