A Little Holiday Season Homework

The great essayist, scientist and science fiction author David Brin starts out a group of essays on his Contrary Brin blog with the following:

As folks prepare for coming days of joyful and (full-bellied) reunion with family members from across the continent, another tradition looms — old-fashioned encounters between loving relatives who happen to despise each others’ political views.

Yes, many families wisely ban talking politics during holidays… or at the dinner table. By all means, keep peace in the clan.

Yet, there’s another side to all this. The election of 2008 is crucial. It must not be a squeaker – which only guarantees more “culture war.” Only a landslide will do. And, for that to happen, we need millions of basically decent “ostrich” conservatives.

We need them to wake up and get mad at the crooks who’ve hijacked their party. Decent conservatives like that sweet uncle of yours, who stays glued to Fox, desperately keeping head-in sand to ignore what’s happened to the GOP. To America.

The holidays are your chance to say to that uncle or aunt:

”This country that we both love is in trouble. If I’m right, then a lot more trouble than you realize. For America’s sake… and out of respect for me… would you come with me on a long walk? Away from the house? (We’ll drop all political talk, after we get back.)

“There are some facts I want to show you. About how our nation has been betrayed.”

Brin gives enough in his cheat sheet for a walk that would leave most of us panting for breath and not back before long after sundown and while I’d highly suggest reading the full Ostrich Papers and the detailed and cheat sheet versions, here’s a quick summary of just a very little part to get you started at Ostrich Hunting…


Which president would be the logical choice for a patriotic and logical "decent conservative?"

President A President B
Balanced budgets Bankrupted us

Enhanced government efficiency (according to neutral auditing companies) by increasing competitive bidding for contracts

Gave $300+ billion in no-bid contracts directly to friends, while losing more than ten billion dollars in raw cash, then appointed known crooks to be the inspectors and auditors

Oversaw the nation’s greatest boom in small business creation

Oversaw a surge of monopolies, while small businesses floundered

Cut government secrecy way down, even while being investigated

Sent secrecy rocketing to levels never seen even in the Cold War

Worked with governors to enhance experimentation at the state level

Asserted federal authority more than any other president in history, bringing states’ rights to a new low

Helped all society to prosper spectacularly

Helped only aristocrats

Which president would be a "strong" commander in chief, in the eyes of any "decent conservative"?

President A President B
Earned respect from the U.S. Officer Corps Betrayed the military at every turn, driving officers to flee the service at a rate never before seen.
Maintained military readiness, including thirty fully ready combat brigades

Stripped us bare, exhausting our brave troops and leaving us with at most two ready brigades. (Less than Mexico)

Handled his war with fierce, surgical precision and blazing speed, costing no American lives and transforming an entire continent for the better, while boosting our popularity and alliances

Drove away nearly all of our allies, made us more hated than ever, left our states defenseless, and devastated our state of readiness, while accomplishing almost nothing at all

Doubled the Border Patrol

Shattered it

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a core hero of conservatism for thirty years. So —

President A President B
Praised by Greenspan as the smartest, most openminded, most focused on long term economic health and best for the economy Scored the “very worst” on every count, including basic honesty

Which president was the "sleaze" subjected to a $2 billion witch hunt?

President A President B
Left office without a single administration appointee indicted for official duties? (Not one. Not even one.) (Despite bullying the FBI) loses comrades to jail or ignominy almost every week

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