Dan Riehl goes ballistic on Jazz Shaw, squish:

Hot Air front-paging this item by Jazz Shaw is little more than self-serving, hypocritical BS, designed to capitalize on the anti-teacher meme out of Wisconsin by re-visiting an old story.

He goes on to explain why, from the conservative viewpoint:

Far beyond teacher union abuse, it is the collapse of morals and values, especially in urban settings, that is the key driver in so many of our schools falling apart. But the same squishes now railing against the evil teachers unions — because they empower Democrats to beat their squish Republican candidates in the Northeast — hike up their skirts and run away the minute a Jim DeMint, or someone else starts talking social conservatism. (punctuation modified slightly —ed.)

Like a lot of socons, Riehl’s right about the basic source of the problem. There is a real and worrisome breakdown of the social arrangements in this country, and many (if not most) of our problems can be traced back to it. ‘Way out here among the Great Flown-Over, I seem some glimmerings that the underlying society may be righting itself somewhat, but starting as it is from a long way off plumb the progress is slow, however encouraging.

Where Riehl and a lot of others fall down is in explaining why there are “squishes”, Republicans who go along with Democrats when the chips are down. He thinks it’s craving for media approval and “collegiality” among lawmakers, and there’s likely a component of that, but it’s not the main reason people don’t immediately cleave to Jim DeMint and others.

Let’s be brutal, shall we? Social Conservatism means Pussy Patrol and doorbreakers. Both of those are total violations of any principle of limited government, fiscally responsible or otherwise, and both of them are just Same Old, Same Old with different labels.

There are far too many abortions in this country. I cannot think of a worse condemnation of any society than to note that a substantial fraction of its young women prefer to kill their children rather than bear them. But that’s a symptom, not a cause, and treating symptoms without addressing the underlying cause is effort wasted at best. More often, it constitutes draconian measures that not only exacerbate the problem but cause new ones. Protecting the Unborn requires at minimum the ability to discover they exist, and that, in turn, requires the Pussy Patrol, empowered to examine young women at will in order to find out if there’s an Unborn to Protect. It’s not just that this would require a massive apparatus of Investigators, Examiners, and Regulators, the constitution of which tosses any smallest pretense of “limited, non-intrusive Government” in the toilet and flushes twice; it’s also that any volunteers for that duty are immediately suspect, for reasons it would be otiose to elaborate.

And, of course, we already have just such an apparatus in place, empowered to intrude upon the private lives of the people to any degree desired, up to and including sending as many goons as may be convenient to break down doors and carry the miscreants off to durance vile. Never mind that both historical and minute-by-minute current experience demonstrate that Prohibitions are useless and ineffective in the very best case — demonstrations of futility simply generate further clamor for Bigger Better Stronger Intrusive Expensive Law Enforcement; dammit, that shit is bad for you! Well, so it is, no question. Why is that any of your f*ing business, asshole?

If you consider and declare yourself a “social conservative”, there is at least a three nines chance[1] that you do so on the basis of Pussy Patrol, doorbreaking, or both. Oh, I know, you don’t call it that — you’re “pro-life” or “anti-abortion”, or you support the “War on Drugs”. Euphemism does nothing but obfuscate, and that only temporarily; the reason for your frustrated indignance is that the leftoids and quasi-liberals see past the words, where you would prefer that they didn’t and in fact angrily deny that they’re doing so.

Unfortunately for you, they are doing so. There is no difference, none, between “death panels” considering “appropriate care” a.k.a. euthanasia and “practices panels” dedicated to censuring abortion doctors. You might want such a difference to exist; you might declare with angry self-righteousness that such a difference does exist; you’re wrong, the leftoids and libtards know it, and they sneer at you with good reason. There is no distinction, none, between a Federal apparatus to ensure people don’t ingest trans fats and/or salt and one to prevent people from doing lines of coke. You might want to make such a distinction; you might pretend that such a distinction exists, from either ignorance or deliberate fabrication; you’re wrong again — the only important distinction is between sending armed Enforcers to monitor and enforce The Rules for substance ingestion, and not doing that; the people you denounce are simply following your lead, and repurposing the apparatus you set up to suppress your version of “bad for you” to go after their version of the same thing.

A socon is inevitably going to be a “squish”, because at some point the essential identity becomes apparent, even if not publicly acknowledged. It may be that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives can get along, temporarily, but it can only be temporarily, because when the choice of whether or not to fund an intrusive State apparatus comes up, they can’t refuse to do so for the leftoids without cutting off support for the intrusiveness they themselves demand.

Oh, and for all of you poised over keyboards, ready to explain in detail the Society-Wrecking Effects of Eeevul Drugs and/or Murdering the Unborn — save your effort. Monitoring the doctors to prevent abortion and monitoring the doctors to prevent end-of-life “abuses” are the same thing; if you have one, you will get the other, eventually if not immediately, because the issue is “monitoring the doctors”, not the specific subject of the monitoring. Doorbreaking to stop drug abusers is the same thing as doorbreaking to ensure a healthful diet; the only difference is the specific substance(s) being anathematized, and the issue is “whether or not to engage in doorbreaking”.

You can’t have one,
You can’t have one,
You can’t have one without the oo-ther!

Pretending otherwise is either self-delusion or deliberate falsehood. You pick.


[1] That is, p => 0.999, or 99.9% chance — “three nines”.

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