Thursday, December 04, 2008

Conservatives Need a Bailout

The Big Three automakers are in Washington this week, hats in hand, looking for a handout. Washington has already bailed out some of our largest banks. But they are not the only ones suffering in this economy, which was ruined by the Democrat Congress and regulations that were implemented by the Clinton Administration that set the meltdown in motion. No one has been hit harder by this financial turmoil than conservatives. Although conservatives generally support self-reliance when it comes to others, the situation is so dire that the only thing that will save our conservative institutions at this point is a quick infusion of government aid.

In the 2008 election a number of conservatives with families to feed who thought their jobs would be safe for years to come got laid off by callous voters. And on January 20, more hard-working conservatives will find themselves on the unemployment line. Barack “Scrooge” Obama has already signaled that he will be pink slipping a huge number of government workers when he takes office, which will flood the economy with unemployed job seekers. Although Presidents have traditionally allowed ambassadors to stay on during transitions from one administration to another, for example, Obama has ruined Christmas for all of our currently serving ambassadors by informing them that they must vacate their offices as soon as he is sworn in. President Bush has made some effort to save people’s jobs by making it impossible for Obama to fire some political appointees through "burrowing," that is, changing their jobs into civil service jobs. But he may not be able to save everyone’s job. Only Robert Gates seems to be absolutely safe from the carnage.

But it is not only government workers who find themselves in economic dire straits. Conservatives throughout the country are losing their jobs as conservative institutions try to save themselves through belt-tightening. The staff of The National Review returned from its luxury cruise in the Caribbean to discover that it is surprisingly not actually making a profit and is now on its knees pleading for money, unfortunately, without much success. “It takes a lot of bucks to run NRO. Of course, each and every dollar we have is stretched to the max — we don’t have the luxury of, well, having luxuries. Cabs? Ha! Subway fare? Think again! How do I get to the press conference then? By foot! That’s how we operate. Calluses, fallen arches, and vibrant conservatism are the consequences” writes Jack Fowler, before losing what’s left of his dignity and concluding, “Come on, I’m begging.”

Recent cost-cutting initiatives to purge conservatives from the masthead of The National Review who failed to toe the editorial line, such as David Frum, Kathleen Parker and the son of the magazine’s founder, Christopher Buckley, have apparently not been enough to stave off financial disaster. To stay alive, The National Review may have to narrow its definition of acceptable conservative thought even further and encourage more of its writers to quit. If readers do not pony up soon, John Derbyshire could be the next apostate to get the boot. Mr. Derbyshire has apparently read the writing on the wall and has started a blog for “secular conservatives” (which is an oxymoron if I ever heard one), though I’m afraid I must disabuse him of the notion, which he probably heard from a mischievous liberal, that blogs are a great way to make money. Mr. Derbyshire is already struggling to pay his health insurance premiums, so losing his job at The National Review would be especially devastating for the man who is, let’s face it, not getting any younger and hasn’t looked well lately.

But even if The National Review makes its political philosophy indistinguishable from James Dobson’s, that may not be enough to save it. Dobson’s Focus on the Family has also fallen on economic hard times. Because group spent $539,000 passing Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage in California, it doesn’t have enough money left over to pay its employees’ salaries so it has been forced to lay off 20% of its staff, which is just the latest in a series of layoffs. I’m sure that the workers being laid off are grateful that their families have been saved from the scourge of gay marriage, which should provide some solace when they lose their homes or their children have to skip a few meals. And economic calamity should make their families even closer and stronger, helping them to fend off future threats from homosexuals. Meanwhile, a leaner more focused Focus on the Family will concentrate its efforts on fighting other dangerous enemies of America, such as ex-National Review writer Kathleen Parker, and retailers who don't say "Merry Christmas."

This economic downturn is especially hard on conservatives because many of them have never held real jobs. Forcing them to develop skills other than deploring the liberal media and warning how gay marriage and Islam will destroy our country from cushy perches at conservative think tanks may be asking too much. There are only so many positions for out-of-work neocons at conservative think tanks and their funds are drying up. Conservative authors are discovering that they may actually have to sell their books as fewer of them will be bought up by their own publishers, like Regnery. Some conservative institutions may even have to resort to outsourcing jobs overseas, to places like India where conservative pundits are cheaper. It’s one thing to send all of our manufacturing, call center and newspaper editorial jobs to India, but conservative punditry is a skill whose nuances would be lost if it were outsourced. Imagine what it will do to our political discourse if every pundit on Fox News and every token conservative on MSNBC sounded like Dinesh D’Souza and Ramesh Ponnuru. It’s too horrible to think about.

And if you think things are bad for conservative pundits, conservative bloggers are hurting worst of all. Kim du Toit, whose essay “The Pussification the Western Male” may be the greatest piece of writing the blogosphere has ever produced, was forced to stop blogging after his stingy, freeloading readers were unable to come up with enough money to pay for his shooting range memberships and food and drink for his family’s European vacation. What a sad commentary it is that after all he has done for his readers these many years, they could not come up with enough cash to keep him living in the style to which he has become accustomed. Unfortunately, Mr. du Toit is unable to work because years of lobster dinners have given him a severe case of gout, though at least he’s not a pussy like black people who just “want to be looked after when they’re sick, for free.”

Mr. du Toit may be the first of many conservatives who get “fed up with supporting the unproductive” and decide to “go John Galt,denying us their wisdom and expertise to punish us for not appreciating them enough. If Confederate Yankee does not get enough donations to purchase new guns, which are going to be necessary when Obama takes office, he may be next. Luckily, this modest blogger makes enough to survive – barely – with the income I get from Google ads and Mrs. Swift’s three jobs, but, of course, any bit helps if you have a little to spare this Christmas season (see the Paypal button above). Unfortunately, my son Spiro and my daughter Schlafly may have to forgo college and join the military anyway, which would be a terrible waste of their skills, though if it comes to that, we’ll probably put the cat to sleep first.

I know there are probably some uncompassionate and vengeful liberals who would prefer to see conservatives left to the vagaries of the free market, and even some conservatives who are too proud to accept government charity and would prefer to stick to their principles. But as President Bush showed us, in a crisis you are sometimes forced to abandon your principles temporarily to survive. Being a conservative, like the Constitution, is not a suicide pact. To fight the terrorists President Bush was forced to bring back the era of big government, on a temporary basis, just as President Reagan was forced to spend profligately to end the Cold War. Conservatives must face reality the way Bush and Reagan did and realize that the only way to preserve our ideals may be to sacrifice them for a time and reluctantly accept government checks. Once we have gotten back on our feet again, then we can go back to doing what we do best: condemning lazy welfare queens and berating the poor for not raising themselves by their own bootstraps.

Update: Ramesh Ponnuru links to the crossposting of this post at Shakesville and calls it an example of "feminist racism," leading to a long battle in the comment thread between Corner readers and Shakerites. Thers comments on the reaction. I am appalled that Mr. Ponnuru would insult me by calling me a feminist and demand an apology.

Carnivals: Bobo Carnival of Politics

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CrackerLilo said...

Once again, an extremely persuasive post! I was going to write my end-of-year charity checks for such frivolous organizations as Second Harvest and the World Wildlife Fund, but clearly it is America's cherished conservative thinkers who need our help far more. Thank you for bringing this dire situation to light. I will of course spend my charity money on a subscription to the new, improved National Review and a donation to Focus on the Family!

Fearguth said...


Thanks for keeping me in stitches while my poor wife pays for our dinner by repairing Herbert Hoover's vacuum cleaner.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Dude, I gotta tell ya, I was getting disappointed by some of your more recent efforts, but this one you hit outta the park!!! (Or maybe it's just that I had a couple Jamesons before reading! Who the fuck knows!!)

Mo MoDo said...

Maureen Dowd did some research and Indian writers (dot not feather) work for 0.75 cents a word. That would make her gross pay about thirteen bucks a week.

And if that is what a major feminist icon is worth, imagine the pittance they would foist on a conservative genius like William Kristol that is only allowed to submit fodder for the corrections page once a week.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Clearly, the only way to save the economy is to allow the current crop of conservative Republicans to stay in their jobs!

Things are falling apart. America should not take any chances on making them worse by changing the people who got it to where the country is now.

More than half of the electorate might have voted for "change" and "hope" and "getting rid of the stupid bastards who have screwed the country right into the ground," but since when should the voices of an angry majority be heeded? And shouldn't there be some concessions made to the people who are happy with the way things are? Pay attention to the happy ones, I say.

It will be no hardship to retain the current crop of leaders and not allow Democrats into office. The Democrats are unemployed already. It will be no loss to them if they have to keep fossicking through wheelie bins to find scraps of thrown-away food. It would be a terrible imposition to Republicans to make them live like Dems.

In the name of compassionate conservatism, Rev. Dr. Swift's sagacious solution should be adopted. By force of the Army, if necessary. Democracy depends on it.

The BoBo said...

I'm beginning to feel that pinch as well. I'm to the point now where I have to buy second-hand grease paint from Ringling Brother clowns. It's just not the same as my patented evil conservative bloggin clown stuff!

Hell, I'm considering pulling my kids from that fancy pre-school just so I can keep blogging.

I know this is shameful, but, I'm using your blog now to try to scrounge up some bizness to keep me in greasepaint. I just can't help myself. I feel so ashamed of myself, really, I do.

If any of your readers want to help out this clown - please, come by and say hi, by some gear, get an ad, or..just click my adsense ads. I'm getting to the point where I'm lifting up couch cushions looking for loose change.

I caught myself checking phone booth and soda machine coin return slots.

But, I guess I'm not as bad off as Kim though. At least I still have my nerf guns. Ammunition for those are much cheaper.

Mberenis said...

I'd like to Post a Comment The recession really isn't that bad if you know where to look. The bailout money is spilling over to us believe it or not. I've done research and found that there is more money than what you think...

Bailout Spillovers

Anonymous said...

If things get really bad, you might want to keep that cat around. Provided you can still get it, you can salt it and store it for a rainy day, of which there will be many.

Rob Anderson said...

awesome job

J. said...

It's a tragedy of national proportion, Jon. Thank you for calling this issue to our attention. What would this country be without The National Review and Conservative bloggers? At least Rush doesn't seem to be affected.

But there is another group that needs this country's help (and welfare), Jon, whom I surprised you neglected: lawyers, many of whom are staunch conservatives. You probably did not realize what dire straights law firms are in as you do not read that socialist rag The New York Times, but if we truly want to retain or maintain what makes this country truly great, we should strongly consider bailing out law firms.

Your humble reader,

J. of J-TWO-O

James Higham said...

Jon, are you also covering the December 5th USSC vote? Many eyes are on this one.

Aayla Security said...

I love the folks at conservative think tanks. They make great circus freaks. I can even picture them in the cage tagged "GROTESQUE HYPOCRITES".

Fantastic post, as usual!

JB Herrick said...

So the Republicans have been in charge of damned near everything in the country until 1 1/2 years before the big meltdown and somehow this becomes the Democrats' fault? Now that is a stretch!

Who's to blame? Everyone who has been just too damned greedy, starting with those who put up the mortgage money, continuing with those who rated the funds, and ending with those who went ahead and got the mortgages despite the fact that they knew they were skating on extremely thin ice. Yo, right wingers, you can't blame everything on the Democrats, although this is your knee jerk reaction to every problem. But keep saying that long enough and the many conservative sheep out there who only get their information from Rush and Fox (whining constantly about media bias)will eventually believe it.

An Independent

Pamela D. Hart said...

Well JB Herrick, you Lefties are IN CHARGE now. So, if this financial mess was the Republicans fault Congress would be DEMANDING an investigation, but there is silence on that front.

Sabelle said...

though if it comes to that, we’ll probably put the cat to sleep first.

You are a Bad Swift for even thinking such sacrilegious thoughts, let alone writing it on the internets where it will live FOREVER!!!

60 fang bites for Mr. Swift and my cat wants to administer it.

Stop owning cats! said...

Don't conservatives typically own DOGS, not cats? Dogs are obedient and hard-working, but mainly obedient. And if they aren't, you can beat them into submission. All important conservative traits! Cats, OTOH, don't do what you want them to. Always slinking around with minds of their own. Like liberals.

Sabelle, the fact that Swift would cop to owning a cat makes me suspicious of his conservative credentials. Unless he has it to give his dog something to torment. And the fact that he'd consider putting the damn dirty liberal cat to sleep is encouraging. But sometimes I doubt Swift's conservo-sincerity.

Micgar said...

Those poor, poor conservative bloggers! Their ideological boats have taken on water, and they are starting to sink! It's ghastly! I don't even want to look!

Sabelle said...

@Stop owning cats --

No one owns a cat. Seriously. When I said "my cat" I meant the cat who owns me.

Perhaps Bad Swift [for this post, anyway. ;)] wants to put his cat to sleep because it torments his conservo-stupid dog who is obedient, nice and sincere. Well, at least he appears to be so. For all we know the dog has taken lessons from the cat and is totally duplicitous, and that's why Bad Swift wants to end the cats Socratic-like life.

James Higham said...

...leading to a long battle in the comment thread between Corner readers and Shakerites....

A move you would deplore, Jon.

JollyRoger said...

When will Obamination understand that if we don't support our banking CEOs, the rest of our great capitalist economy cannot possibly recover? What is he going to do next, suggest that these big, efficient banks ought to be regulated into smaller, inefficient units?

phil said...

What is a shame though, is the lack of right wingers without a sense of irony who used to fulminate in the comments.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the "discourse" over at the Corner vs. the Shakers!

When you get wingers of all stripes in the same room, it's a simple pleasure to sit back and watch "The Tempest in a Teapot Calling the Kettle Black Show."

Myopia, please meet nihilism.

Jaesoreal said...

Great stuff once again! Hey, I changed the address to my blog to so i can more easily blog in secrecy. Can you make the change on your blogroll? Thanks!

Anonymous said...


Your insights are remarkable. I greatly appreciate understanding the plights of these groups of people.

Something must be done but I am confused. I hear of the "fairness doctrine" so much. The idea here is that the press MUST employ people who give a counter-point of view. Since most of the media are in the bag for the Demofarts, this means more employment for right wing pundits.

Why would the GOP oppose this "Fairness Doctrine". Or, is the 'cat out of the bag' (I think you would appreciate this phrase) and the right really owns ALL media, secretly. I have wished this for many years, and only now do I think there could be some truth?

Can you please expose this important and related topic?


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