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11:00 p.m. Post: Missing the point with style

May 16, 2010

GOP’s Utah and Maine conventions show a party coming unglued

My main criticism of liberals has never been their opinions.  Instead, it’s been their complete and utter failure to ever actually support their opinions with anything except rhetoric or arrogance, and sometimes rhetorical arrogance.  Case in point: Dana Milbank’s lengthy column in the Washington Post on Sunday.  In what must have been a slow news day, she attempts to analyze the reasons why the Republican party in Utah would go crazy, and give the boot to three-term Senator Robert Bennett, which this blog examined last week.

Ms. Milbank also sought an explanation as to why the Maine GOP would seemingly shift from what was a “sensible” platform to what she called a “Manifesto of Insanity,”

Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform — a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation — and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a “myth,” sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting “efforts to create a one world government.”

The point of Ms. Milbank’s article is explained in the foregoing paragraph: why would the Maine GOP lose its mind?  Of course, this jumps over a potentially more pertinent question: has the Maine GOP lost its mind?  Ms. Milbank provides her answer to the latter by simply defining the Maine GOP’s position as insane.

Is global warming a “myth?”  I have no idea, and neither does Ms. Milbank.  However, to simply dismiss as crazy those who recognize the very real disagreement within the scientific community regarding the existence and/or cause and/or effect of global warming, makes me wonder what she did to get her own column in a major newspaper.

Ms. Milbank’s rhetorical arrogance is completely revealed though, when she addresses the “one world government” assertion.

One world government? Do our friends Down East fear an invasion from the Canadian maritime provinces? A Viking flotilla coming from Iceland under cover of volcanic ash?

Might Maine’s GOP being going a bit overboard here?  Possibly.  But let’s not forget about the recent U.N. calls for a global currency and global environmental controls. But why waste time with facts when spewing nonsense is so effective?

Now, to return to Ms. Milbank’s original point: Why has the Maine GOP lost its mind?  This time, she simply blames Beck.  This irritates me almost as much as the baseless column itself, because Beck doesn’t speak for me as a conservative, and I doubt he speaks for very many.  To simply rely upon his prime-time television show as the reason for the Maine GOP shifting to the right is, again, to ignore the significant issues that currently exist, some of which Ms. Milbank actually references:

The Maine Republicans a week ago rejected a platform proclaiming that “we believe that the proper role of government is to help provide for those who can not help themselves”; that “we believe in ensuring that our children have access to the best educational opportunities”; and that “every person’s dignity, freedom, liberty, ability and responsibility must be honored.”

Instead of going crazy, it appears that the Maine Republicans are simply returning to their small government roots.  Maybe they realized that there’s a lot of gray area within the class of people who “can’t help themselves” nowadays.  Maybe they realized that the “best educational opportunities” don’t always result in an education.  Maybe they realized that making sure everybody’s “ability and responsibility” were honored was flying a little too close to “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  Or maybe they just realized that we can’t pay for all of it.  Who knows?  The point is, Ms. Milbank certainly doesn’t, but you wouldn’t know it by reading her column.

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