In the movie Conan The Barbarian, the title character is asked: What is best in life? Arnold replies:
To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!
It is true it is great to win big but it almost never happens in sports, politics, or bridge. And it is also true that there will be another Super Bowl or election in short order. Thus, we hope for Conan but realize that Mick and Keith are more likely:
You can’t always get what you want,
But if you try sometime,
You’ll find you get what you need!
And both quotes end with an exclamation point. We all want what Conan wants but don’t realize the wisdom of Mick and Keith. As examples we have The Donald, Josh, Sohrab Ahmari, the greens, and both sides on abortion . The Donald on tariffs and the abortion parts are so obvious that we are only going to look at the other three.
Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO tries to defend Josh on attacking the prospective judge, Michael Bogren. We are not convinced but read it all. He identifies three arguments against Josh. We are on the first one:
[Michael] was merely representing a client and, if we reject his nomination because he faithfully advocated their position, we are traducing the core American right to fair legal representation. That’s the view of the editors of the Wall Street Journal, [and MWG] for example.
Part of Ramesh’s counter-argument to the first argument is:
Perhaps more important, Sullivan was punished for the mere fact of representation, whereas Hawley has criticized Bogren for the way he represented East Lansing. For these controversies to be analogous, Sullivan would have to have been criticized for smearing and bullying [Harvey] Weinstein’s accusers.
It is a forgone conclusion that Sullivan will be criticized. Of course Harvey’s defender(s) are going to be criticized for smearing and bullying his accusers. They are going to advocate for Harvey in the same way that Michael made the best case for his client. In Harvey’s case it would mean casting doubt on the accusers in some manner.
Sohrab does his best Conan in attacking, of all people, that noted never-Trump stalwart David French from NRO. Sohrab, at First Things says:
I added, “The only way is through”—that is to say, to fight the culture war with the aim of defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered to the common good and ultimately the Highest Good.
Conan would be impressed although it might help to mention salting the earth too. Sohrab makes this guy look reasonable and nuanced. We understand that in politics we need coalition with folks with different priorities. Conservatives will never be a majority. Any group of conservatives with an adjective will be a tiny minority. To have a majority coalition we need David and Sohrab.
Sidebar: We have never found a modifier for our conservatism. The closest we came is when Rod Dreher coined Crunchy Cons. We are really close to the opposite of that but there don’t seem to be enough of us to warrant an adjective. End Sidebar.
Jeremy Carl at NRO tells us:
Last week BP and Shell both pledged support for the Climate Leadership Council’s (CLC) proposal for a revenue-neutral “carbon fee and dividend” plan, under which extractors of carbon-based fuels would be charged a fee, and all of the money collected would be distributed to the public as a dividend. While conservatives have a wide variety of views on how, or even whether, to address climate policy, this initiative is perhaps the most genuinely bipartisan attempt so far to move forward on a famously contentious issue.
We are not at all sure we want to support this deal but much depends on the details. Our first choice would be a lower tax without a dividend. Holman W. Jenkins, jr at the WSJ has great article on how environmental regulations lead to conflicts. If we undo these as part of the deal we might be in. Do read it all. But the greens are not in. They are not in because they love Conan:
But instead of expressing happiness that some of the biggest oil producers were willing to accept a major concession to help lower emissions under a plan with almost unprecedented bipartisan support, many on the left have complained because the plan also limits climate-change-related litigation.
Jeremy notes that none of this litigation has ever succeeded so far. But the greens still want to hear the lamentaions of the oil companies’ stockholders.
It is hard to compromise, especially when principles are involved. It is a tough decision but sometimes you just got to play Mick and Keith. As an example, we hope that David and Soharb will join us in voting for The Donald in 2020. Strange things can happen over the next year when we find out the Democrat nominee but right now it looks close to certain that The Donald is our best option in 2020.