George Will…

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

…is my kind of conservative.

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38 Responses to “George Will…”

  1. #1 |  Rhayader | 

    I’ll second that. Of course he’s had me in his corner since Ken Burns’ Baseball came out when I was 11 years old.

  2. #2 |  Ron | 

    Hmmm. Is there a video link to click on? If so I can’t see it for some reason. Can someone summarize the gist of this post? I’m curious.

  3. #3 |  Uncle Kenny | 

    Meaning, of course, not really a “conservative” conservative at all, but something else … a CINO, perhaps.

  4. #4 |  UCrawford | 

    I’d barely qualify Will as a conservative…most of his columns that I’ve seen move more towards libertarianism on a Nolan chart. Which is fine by me, and which is why I enjoy his work.

  5. #5 |  IrishMike | 

    I think Will allows his conservative tag to stick because “conservatives” get newspaper columns and network talking gigs. He is clearly a strong fiscal conservative unlike his current Republican/Conservative counterparts. I’ve never seen him write or heard him speak about social issues. So in the arena in which he opines he appears to be very libertarian. But he can’t out himself because libertarians are a bunch of wackos who don’t get newspaper columns or TV appearances.

  6. #6 |  Chuchundra | 

    So, your kind of conservative is one who repeats the same, oft-debunked criticisms of the New Deal over and over and over again no matter how many times he’s taken to school on them by his betters?

  7. #7 |  Andrew | 

    All the reasons you guys just listed is why George Will is Radley’s type of conservative.

  8. #8 |  Aaron | 

    Ah, the old misrepresentation of the McDonalds’ coffee case.

    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

  9. #9 |  John Jenkins | 

    Addition to the political lexicon “betters” = “people who agree with me when you don’t.”

  10. #10 |  tim | 

    Will lost me when he started to willfully misrepresent climate change data and coverage. His most recent column is a classic example of not knowing what the hell he is talking about anymore.

  11. #11 |  Lee | 

    He talks about how conservatives are supposed to be against entitlements.

    Except they aren’t.

    They want Medicare, Social Security and their Prescription Drug Plan.

    They want corporate entitlements of boondoggle defense contracts and subsidies for oil, farm, etc.

    They just want the Chinese to pay for it.

  12. #12 |  BamBam | 

    I abhor labels. People should embrace principles and ideas such as liberty.

  13. #13 |  la Rana | 

    The kind that regularly writes ignorant analyses of concepts he does not understand (e.g. tort law), or the kind that continuously repeats easily falsifiable information (e.g. climate change)?

  14. #14 |  Mattocracy | 

    Chuchundra,

    That’s like saying Richard Dawkins continues to rehash tired old beliefs in evolution that have been debunked by creationists.

    Epic fail.

  15. #15 |  Les | 

    George has recently become a foreign policy libertarian, but he was far too hawkish in the first half of this decade, and during the Cold War he was very quick to defend the very worst policies of the U.S..

    I hope someday he’ll write about reflecting back on those times and realizing how misguided he was.

  16. #16 |  joel | 

    I loved this speech, but I am having trouble checking facts on some of his claims. 120K income families on SCHIP? Are we talking normal families, or just those with 8 special needs kids? It is framed in a way that McMansion professional families are putting their 2 healthy kids on the public doles, but I am not going to believe that is the case.

    I also don’t like the 1% of the nation pays 40% of income taxes hoodwinking. Income taxes are only 1/3 of the government take. In reality, that 1% pay more like 13.2% (40% of 33%) of all the taxes through their income tax payment. Does not sound that outrageous when put that way. What might sound outrageous is another 1/3 of the take, those FICA taxes, are taxed at 15% on the wage earners under 106K a year, but if you don’t have a job and collect your income from your trust funds, you pay 0%. So, as much as I do not like income taxes, it is the only way to make the other taxes more equitably distributed. And the other 1/3? Those are rolled into the prices of everything you buy (excise / corporate tax). As a rich person, you have a choice to not spend money (and avoid paying this tax) – but pay-check to pay checking working class has a huge tax they pay just to live.

    But I still like the message and lessons, if not the examples which are more rhetorical than I like to hear.

  17. #17 |  Matt Moore | 

    Why is it that when a libertarian puts on a bow tie he’s suddenly a conservative?

  18. #18 |  John Jenkins | 

    @joel: I’m not sure this is the thread for an argument on tax incidence, but the “trust funds” you’re talking about do pay an annual income tax at the entity level (which has its incidence on the beneficiaries), so your example is not well taken.

    Total FICA tax is 15.3%, nominally split between the employer and employee and is not levied on “unearned income,” which, combined with the base rate limit, makes it taper off considerably at the higher end.

    You’re also ignoring refundable tax credits in your analysis, which dramatically affects the real tax rates on lower-income individual taxpayers.

    As to the taxes incorporated into the price of goods, saying the rich have a choice not to spend money is patently incorrect. The rich have to buy food, clothing, housing, transportation, etc., just like everyone else. The problem you’re looking for is that the poor spend a higher proportion of their income on those necessities, thus bear a greater relative burden (at the same time as they bear a lower absolute burden).

    The absurd incidence of the income tax shows how warped the income tax system is and is an indicator how how much government costs, and citing it in those circumstances is not deceptive.

  19. #19 |  Steve Jean | 

    @tim (#10) …willfully misrepresent climate change data and coverage.

    Read the news. The climate alarmists and the majority of the media who carry their water have been doing just that for decades.

    @la Rana (#13) …continuously repeats easily falsifiable information (e.g. climate change)…

    Right back atcha.

    I don’t know specifically what George Will has written about climate “science” but anyone who still believes that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is “settled science” or even a strong scientific argument is ignorant.

    There has been an increase in the average global temperature since 1900 (less than the MWP before the LIA). Some of it is likely caused by human activity. But just about all of the so-called “experts” who have advised political groups (IPCC, Al Gore, etc.) or garnered the attention of the media have hidden inconvenient facts, distorted, exaggerated, reverse-engineered computational simulations, and, in a few cases, outright lied and fabricated data.

    Warren Meyer has an excellent presentation demonstrating a few of the most obvious flaws in the methodology of some climate “scientists.”

    The knee-jerk reaction of some people to any healthy skepticism (which is at the heart of the scientific method of inquiry) demonstrates how much the propaganda has influenced such people to close their minds to anything which challenges their political beliefs.

    CAGW may have enough momentum to last a few more years in the media and political arena, but it’s a sinking ship, nonetheless.

  20. #20 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #8 Aaron

    Ah, the old misrepresentation of the McDonalds’ coffee case.

    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

    I cringed at that as well. Credibility is everything in a delivery, so I really wished he had used a different example.

    One should remember that awards in civil cases do not come from the plaintiff’s lawyer. They come from the jury (we the people). The civil trial process is one of the very few government activities where ordinary people have so much immediate influence in the outcome. That’s not to say it’s perfect. But, on the list of serious despotic threats we currently face, that is probably lost in the noise.

    I once had the misfortune of having one of my kids explain to me how the phrase “begs the question” is almost invariably misused. So, now every time I hear it, I have an annoying compulsion to point out the error. The same goes for this example of the McDonald’s coffee case.

    One can, of course, make the argument that the phrase “begs the question” has simply evolved into a new meaning as language tends to do and I should probably just get over it. The same could be said for the coffee incident. When raised as an example, no one ever misunderstands what the speaker is trying to say, so maybe it doesn’t matter that the case is being mischaracterized.

  21. #21 |  Mike | 

    “Ah, the old misrepresentation of the McDonalds’ coffee case.

    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

    Ah, the old law lobby lies about the McDonalds coffee case:

    http://overlawyered.com/2005/10/urban-legends-and-stella-liebeck-and-the-mcdonalds-coffee-case/

  22. #22 |  Billy | 

    Hmmm. Is there a video link to click on?

    This will play it, although at the size of your browser’s window – so you may want to shrink that a bit first (or, after trying this link). Also the sound is only on the left channel, so no need to worry about any problem in your computer.

    http://www.ustream.tv/flash/video/4830692

  23. #23 |  ClassAction | 

    #21:

    There is not a single fact presented in the excerpt provided by Aaron’s link that your Overlawyered link refutes. The Overlawyered link does refer to ATLA’s fact sheet as “Orwellian,” but does not refute a single fact set forth in the latter. Every point that the Overlawyered link refutes is from some commentator in some other thread.

  24. #24 |  Awktalk | 

    Yes, a Balko conservative. I climate denialist, just like Balko, who adheres to the “cap and trade will destroy our economy” ethos with absolutely no proof to back it up. A “fiscal conservative” when Democrats wield power, yet is silent when Republicans are turning a balanced budget into trillions of dollars of deficits through tax cuts (2001), unfunded wars (2002-2008), more tax cuts for the wealthy (2003), unfunded giveaways to Pharma (2004), and yet Balko and all his “libertarian” friends are fucking silent until a black man with a (D) next to his name is elected. Spare me the fucking lecture you fucking hypocrites.

  25. #25 |  Awktalk | 

    George Will, torture advocate, hates transparency when it exposes his extremist regressive government pals as committing war crimes. Curiously, Balko is silent about state-sponsored torture.

    http://the-mound-of-sound.blogspot.com/2009/04/george-will-peggy-noonan-torture-is.html

  26. #26 |  Sandy | 

    Refutes the claim that McDonald’s served coffee at a uniquely hot temperature, just from a quick glance.

  27. #27 |  Radley Balko | 

    Awktalk,

    You clearly have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

    Do some research. Google works great! Then come back and post intelligently.

    I have not been “silent” about state-sponsored torture, GOP spending, the prescription drug bill, corporate welfare, or the other issues you mention in your two ignorant comments. If you think I in any way gave the Bush administration a pass, you haven’t been reading this site very long. Oh, and I really have no opinion on global warming.

  28. #28 |  ice9 | 

    Will is damaged. He is factually, objectively wrong on several subjects, link-patch-thrashing above notwithstanding, and his mainstream or moderate integrity is long gone over his unwillingness to correct, retract, or even stop repeating these statements (climate change is just the most recent.) Yet he still claims journalist credence. If he were to go full Krauthammer and be an opinionator and damn the consequences, I could live with the fake-ascetic ethos and execrable writing, and could value his occasional insights into political compromise and economic reality. Nope. Even with a shop full of researchers and a long career of good reporting, he’s unwilling to be wrong in public. That’s a golden ticket to full Village membership with all perquisites and remunerations.

    Though I’m afraid of Radley vulturing his own threads, I’ll go you one more. That’s why the complex-but-always-beneficial libertarian/asshole wingnut conservative axis is so bogus. You can’t be both, picksy-choosy. I’ll concede that the democrats aren’t much better, and that there’s an intellectual posture of libertarianism for the ivory towerians that allows them to be distinct from the unwashed Rush Limbaughs with the big pimples on their asses, but on the streets there’s little difference. If it came down to a libertarian candidate needing Republican support in this climate, the libertarian would be sucking up to Club for Growth shoulder-to-shoulder with Tim Pawlenty and police accountability and sane drug policy et al would be out on its indecisive keister. Saddling up with George Will is a substantial loss to any real-world political ethic or policy credibility. He’s a lying sack.

    ice9

  29. #29 |  Mike | 

    “There is not a single fact presented in the excerpt provided by Aaron’s link that your Overlawyered link refutes..”

    Almost all of them are. The 700 claims stuff is addressed, the previous settlement stuff is addressed, the temperature stuff is addressed. The one thing they don’t address is the claim that coffee at that temp is uniquely damaging to human flesh. A British Court, however, rejected that as completely unscientific gobbledygook. You can also read Frank Easterbrook’s opinion on the Bunn-O-Matic case.

    No one denies that Liebeck suffered. The debate is whether a big rich company was responsible for it.

  30. #30 |  Groundhogday | 

    Steve Jean:

    I don’t know specifically what George Will has written about climate “science”
    >> George Will has made some really stupid claims about long-term climate change based up on very short-term variability.

    but anyone who still believes that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is “settled science” or even a strong scientific argument is ignorant.
    >>As the climate change research community fully acknowledges. Can you find an IPCC report claiming this is settled science?

    There has been an increase in the average global temperature since 1900 (less than the MWP before the LIA). Some of it is likely caused by human activity. But just about all of the so-called “experts” who have advised political groups (IPCC, Al Gore, etc.) or garnered the attention of the media have hidden inconvenient facts, distorted, exaggerated, reverse-engineered computational simulations, and, in a few cases, outright lied and fabricated data.

    >> What you have stated in the first two sentences as truth is exactly what the IPCC concludes. There has been a temperature increase and some of that change is anthropogenic. Where is your complaint? Have there been problems with some of the science? Yes, of course. And if you looked at cancer research or crop breeding you would find the same problems. The funny thing is that scientists are human. So should we just throw all science out the window because scientists are inevitably flawed?

  31. #31 |  ARCraig | 

    I know conservatives. You, Radley Balko, are no conservative.

  32. #32 |  ice9 | 

    thumb in your eye:

    “My stand-out favourite was the dashing but not entirely reliable MEP, Marco Cappato. He was elected as part of the Lista Bonino of the Italian radical party which campaigns for social and economic libertarianism. (By which I mean actual libertarianism, not the pretendy American ‘I’m really a Republican but don’t want to call myself one’ or ‘I’ve already got enough power and money and would rather not pay any tax, thanks’ types of libertarianism.)”

    Maria Farrell, “Crooked Timber

  33. #33 |  Radley Balko | 

    thumb in your eye

    Thumb in my eye?

    Given that I have very little in the way of power or money, I’m going to go ahead and assume she isn’t referring to me.

  34. #34 |  Steve Jean | 

    @Awktalk (#24) …climate denialist…who adheres to the “cap and trade will destroy our economy” ethos with absolutely no proof to back it up.

    A “denialist” is the Newspeak label for people who employ a healthy skepticism, which is essential to the scientific method of inquiry. Science is not a popularity contest, but a pursuit of testable truth. When you demand that people not be skeptical, not question or test the result of other scientists, you’re being anti-science.

    Any financial penalties designed to reduce carbon output must be economically destructive or they won’t work. Transportation and energy utility costs must skyrocket to effectively force people to make the drastic cuts demanded by environmental lobbyists. That not only will make your home utility bills and personal transportation costs triple, quadruple, or worse–which in this economic climate will cause widespread financial havoc on personal savings or debt, tipping millions over the edge to ruin, and overall causing consumer demand to tank as energy costs dominate income/spending. It will also increase the cost of doing business (electricity, shipping, transportation) to skyrocket. Many businesses will fail. Others with drastically raise their prices to compensate, further putting pressure on consumers to reduce demand.

    In order to reach the goals of the climate alarmists currently holding sway over those in power in the US government, this economic devastation must be akin to carpet bombing American cities.

    If it isn’t that destructive, you won’t meet your goals.

    Furthermore, Cap and Trade is grossly unfair as it allows bureaucrats to arbitrarily decide who gets how many credits, which will undoubtedly be driven by political concerns (campaign contributions, union involvement, industry unpopularity).

  35. #35 |  Steve Jean | 

    @Groundhogday (#30) George Will has made some really stupid claims about long-term climate change based up on very short-term variability.

    Many proponents of CAGW theory and/or “Green” legislation have done exactly that for years, whether it’s claiming that an alleged increase in the number of storms is evidence of “climate change” even in years when global temperatures actually decline or politicians yammering about feeling more turbulence as evidence.

    Steve Jean (#19) …anyone who still believes that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is “settled science” or even a strong scientific argument is ignorant.

    @Groundhogday (#30) As the climate change research community fully acknowledges.

    That’s demonstrably false. Have you not heard of Al Gore or read news articles about “climate change” in the past decade?

    Only now, after recent embarrassments have (C)AGW proponents scaled back their claims.

    @Groundhogday (#30) Can you find an IPCC report claiming this is settled science?

    Most of the (C)AGW proponents, like Al Gore, who have used the phrase “settled science” point to the consensus of the members of the IPCC (who are by and large political appointments) or peer review in publications whose review boards overwhelmingly reject any skepticism (likely for political reasons).

    Whether any damning cites have made their ways into formal reports, I couldn’t say.

    @Groundhogday (#30) What you have stated in the first two sentences as truth is exactly what the IPCC concludes. There has been a temperature increase and some of that change is anthropogenic. Where is your complaint?

    The massive propaganda campaign which often includes dire predictions of ocean levels rising by a couple feet, or even a few meters, within a matter of decades, inundating coastal areas where hundreds of millions of people live. Or polar bears going extinct (who are hunted in parts of Canada to keep their population in check).

    Have you not picked up a paper, browsed the internet, or watched TV in the past couple decades?

    @Groundhogday (#30) Have there been problems with some of the science? Yes, of course. And if you looked at cancer research or crop breeding you would find the same problems.

    Absolutely false. With the exception of ethanol or other politically driven aspects of such research, there has not been widespread fraud and suppression of dissent. If you’re working to find cures for cancer or improve agriculture, you have to deliver or someone else in the market will beat you. You don’t get to scream like Chicken Little and have grant money tossed in your lap, because there is an accountability which is distinctly absent from climate research. If you predict that seas will rise 2m by 2100, you won’t be around to pay the piper when your prediction fails.

    @Groundhogday (#30) The funny thing is that scientists are human. So should we just throw all science out the window because scientists are inevitably flawed?

    You have it backwards. I’m advocating more rigorous science, which necessarily means skepticism, inclusive debate, accountability, and a detachment (or severe reduction) of political motivations to get the results that the powers that be want. The “settled science” crowd want to shut down debate, squash skepticism, and avoid outsiders testing their results.

    If you look at some of the big names in the CAGW scene, a number of them have a history of attacking capitalism and advocating measures to implement socialist changes which dovetail neatly with the CAGW agenda.

  36. #36 |  andyinsdca | 

    Can you make this not auto-play, please? thanks.

  37. #37 |  More CPAC Goodness « Incessant Dissent | 

    [...] at least two highlights this year. We already touched on McCobin’s moment, and here’s George Will talking about the flaws and contradictions inside the conservative ideology. The retreat of the [...]

  38. #38 |  Zeph | 

    Curious. A very funny man who never smiles and seems distinctly impatient with his audience. It’s not a bad political rant but, he’s a bit creepy, and probably smells of mothballs.

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