Last Chance: Sign Up Now for Leadership Program Retreat

Today is absolutely the last day you can sign up to attend the annual Leadership Program of the Rockies retreat in Colorado Springs on March 6-7 – featuring speakers Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Michelle Malkin, Mike Rosen, Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ), and more.

What are you waiting for?

Comments

  1. says

    Ain’t no sour grapes, Ben. It’s an honest question. It wuz people like Kristol ‘n Hewitt who dun helped bring th’ GOP down. ‘N they’re givin’ “leadership” seminars?

    ‘N now I see you sangin’ th’ praises of more libertarian folk, such as appeared at the recent liberty rallies.

    So which is it, Ben: libertarianism or neoconservatism? Inquirin’ Confederatarians really want t’ know.

  2. says

    All I was doing was advertising an event sponsored by a great program. If you want to pick bones with some of the speakers, then I invite you to register and attend and ask questions. I assume you believe the debate is worth having. If that option doesn’t work for you, perhaps you might consider starting your own group: something like the Confederate Leadership Program.

    Then again, it’s a lot easier to be the anonymous heckler on the sidelines shouting, “The South will rise again!”

  3. says

    All I was doing was advertising an event sponsored by a great program.

    Doesn’t calling it “a great program” sort of beg the question? The question being whether or not the neocons have been so “great” for the GOP?

    If you want to pick bones with some of the speakers, then I invite you to register and attend and ask questions.

    Oh yeah, right. I’m sure my questions will receive about the same amount of toleration that M.E. Bradford did when he was nominated to head up the National Endowment for the Humanities:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Bradford

    Maybe you missed it, Ben, but the neocons, having successfully exiled the paleocons from the conservative movement, no longer listen to them. Which is one reason, by the way, that this here paleocon exults in neoconservatism’s current fortunes. Unfortunately, it would appear that *some* people haven’t yet come to the realization that the neocons were bad business for the GOP.

    I assume you believe the debate is worth having.

    Precisely. Which is why I created my blog, and why I comment in the RMA’s and other blogs’ comments boxes. Funny how most bloggers simply ignore me, don’t accept my comments (Sharf and Andrews), or have banned me outright (Surace). It really does make one wonder, does it not, who is shriking the debate?

    If that option doesn’t work for you, perhaps you might consider starting your own group: something like the Confederate Leadership Program.

    Uh, that’s already been done. It’s called The League of the South. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

    Then again, it’s a lot easier to be the anonymous heckler on the sidelines shouting, “The South will rise again!”

    Whether the South will rise again remains to be seen.

    Just as your actually ENGAGING the argument I’ve tried to put forth here several times remains to be seen. The very fact that many of your fellow conservatives here in the Denver area seem to be leaning heavily libertarian in recent months should be an indication to you that at least part of my argument resonates with real conservatives. So, read my lips: there ain’t no future with the likes of Kristol and Hewitt. Repeat after me: “there ain’t no future with the likes of Kristol and Hewitt. ” C’mon, you can do this.

  4. says

    The more you write, the more you confess your ignorance. I’m guessing some people have better things to do than debate with an anonymous online figure who types in a cute dialect, practices antisocial behavior, who harps on one note, who uses the term “neocon” like cheap tissue, and who continues to betray his ignorance. I have respect for those who have chosen to ban or ignore you. Perhaps they don’t have the same patience I have to wait for something of value to be added to the debate. Perhaps mine is running out.

  5. says

    The more you write, the more you confess your ignorance.

    On the contrary, the more I write, here anyway, the more I reveal yours. Witness, for example, your seeming ignorance about the Bradford affair. As for my supposed ignorance, I challenge you set forth here an instance whereby you’ve demonstrated it. You’re quite long on assertion but quite short on specifics.

    I’m guessing some people have better things to do than debate with an anonymous online figure who types in a cute dialect, practices antisocial behavior, who harps on one note, who uses the term “neocon” like cheap tissue, and who continues to betray his ignorance.

    Funny how that wasn’t your attitude early on, when you actually tried to debate me. Until your argument went North, that is. Then all of a sudden I was “anonymous online figure who types in a cute dialect, practices antisocial behavior, who harps on one note, who uses the term ‘neocon’ like cheap tissue, and who continues to betray his ignorance.”

    Tsk.

    I have respect for those who have chosen to ban or ignore you.

    I’m beginning to think that you do. That fellow from WRMEA noted your censorious penchant when it came to the Israel/Palestine issue. Maybe you really aren’t the objective, fair-minded individual I initially thought you were.

    Perhaps they don’t have the same patience I have to wait for something of value to be added to the debate.

    Or perhaps they’re cowards.

  6. says

    Thanks for the education. This comment thread here exposes your ignorance (whether willful or otherwise) of what the Leadership Program of the Rockies is and does. Then there are more subtle examples, like your misaligned views vis a vis David Kopel and the Independence Institute.

    My attitude from early on has been to give you a chance, perhaps too generously. But experience tends to shape attitudes. The cute dialect was at first humorous, then annoying – now apparently you’ve given it up, too. The antisocial behavior is something I’ve come to see examples of since I first engaged you. The harping on one note … well, after awhile it would drive anyone tone deaf. The same with the overuse of the term “neocon” as a convenient, catch-all pejorative. The more one sees of it, the more one reasonably assumes it’s part of the character and not attributable to some sort of aberrant phase.

    As to the Bradford affair, you’d have to refresh my memory. Not that you need to bother to do so. I’m pretty open about when I make mistakes. My ego has been bruised more than once. Better to confess, correct the record, learn from it, and move on. I’m awaiting any such confession on your part.

    If you think I have a “censorious penchant” – as one who for lo these many months has published your every comment, from the most thoughtful to the most inane – well, I suppose that professes something about yourself.

    And hiding behind an anonymous pen name to suggest people of established character whom I know personally and trust are “cowards”? I find that richly ironic at best.

    There is a real world out here. You’re welcome to join it.

  7. says

    Sigh. Responses in no particular order:

    — Regarding my pseudonym: asked and answered. Several times. How convenient it must be for you to work at a conservative think tank, which allows you to publish many unpopular views without the risk of retribution. I don’t happen to enjoy that luxury. There are other important reasons why I don’t blog under my real name. I was deliberately vague about it for an important reason. Dig up my old comments about this and try to puzzle out what I tried to tell you there.

    And lastly, read this: http://tiny.cc/gDj34 . If using a pseudonym was good enough for “Cato”, it’s good enough for “Snaggle-Tooth Jones.”

    — Regarding your vaunted “Leadership Program”. It’s quite clear what the program is an does, so why comment on it? My criticism was reserved for its slate of *speakers*, all neocon retreads. And that criticism was lodged here as a comment regarding the broader issue of what stargegies you “conservatives” are employing in hopes of returning the GOP to power. I’ve asked you to explain why you continue to look to these guys and gals as authorities when their reputation has clearly been tarnished, and when other conservatives are headed in a different, i.e., libertarian, direction. Which leads to my next point.

    — You are, Ben, for all intents and purposes, a neocon. So is your fellow blogger Sharf. Other RMA bloggers are more or less neocons. One, Mr. Nielson, is most certainly not a neocon. You even employ the old “Neoconservative, Moi!?” argument that so many other neocons do, when it is pointed out that they are a relatively NEW phenomenon (hence the prefix) in the conservative movement. Some, however, are honest. Hugh Hewitt, whose views appear to be virtually identical to yours, openly calls himself a neoconservative. Why not just own up it? If it walks like a duck, etc.

    Or is merely scoring rhetorical points against me about my use of the term more important to you?

    — A related point, your response about the Bradford affair signals to me that you are indeed somewhat unread about the nature and history of neoconservatism. And it is wholly consistent with how so many young conservatives keep harping on the need to bet back the principles of Reagan, going so far to say that Reagan’s ideals were the Founders ideals. Apart from that being a *huge* oversimplification, it’s as if conservativism didn’t exist between the time of the Founders and the time of the Reagan presidency.

    But it was on Reagan’s watch that conservatism morphed into something that traditional conservatives don’t recognize as the real item. Bradford’s exile looms large in that story. The Wiki article I linked gives a good intro. The fact that you’re unfamiliar with it probably speaks volumes. So I hope you’ll read it.

    — Yeah, I confess to some occasional “antisocial” behavior. Forgive me. In my defense, I have to say that it seems to have been the only way of getting many of y’all’s attention. And it appears to have worked.

    — I said that you had a **censorious penchant**, not that you were censorious. To me, that is evident from the bit of arm-twisting I had to do to get you to accept all my comments at first, and the guy from WRMEA testified to how both Sharf and you refused to accept his comments on the Israeli/Palestinian issue. And now you’re saying that you don’t blame folks who ignore or ban me. Telling, that.

    In spite of this, to date you’re still accepting my comments, and for that I thank you. But you clearly show signs of strain here, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the comments under this blog entry end up being some of my last. I guess we’ll see.

    — Lastly, on the matter of cowardice. I use a pseudonym for reasons that are of vital importance to me, and possibly to *others* in your “neck of the woods.” So you’re just going to have to deal with it. That being now settled (hopefully), I want to ask you if you think debate as to conservatism’s nature and future is a healthy endeavor. I certainly do. Like I said, it’s largely why I created my blog and why I try to engage the RMA bloggers and other so-called “conservative” commentators. Slowly but surely, I’m getting people to bite. You bit initially, and since then I have had extended discussions with El Presidente, Randy Kettner, Jim Cannon, Julian Dunraven and Richard Reeb. Those guys are most certainly not cowards. I submit that those who do ignore or ban me are largely *afraid* that I might actually be right about some very important matters relating to the nature and history of conservatism, That War, and suchlike. That’s cowardice in my book.

  8. says

    Sigh. Thanks for the extended reply. I appreciate the thoughtfulness I’m starting to see – with the exception of the prima facie assertion that my views are virtually identical to Hugh Hewitt (we happen to agree on a number of issues) and the continuing presumption of certain people’s motives as cowardly.

    But to the heart of the matter: Why does it seem to me we’re mired in a sea of semantics? Whose definition do you employ to narrowly define what true conservatism is (as opposed to neoconservatism, and who knows what else)?

    Re the Bradford affair, I read the wiki link and will look more deeply into it. I find it interesting that Harry Jaffa was one of his supporters. Jaffa, a champion of Lincoln’s views on slavery and statesmanship, didn’t seem upset and offended by the supposedly controversial remarks cited in the article – Are there citations where Kristol et al. publicly expressed their reasoning for this dissatisfaction? Was the Bradford affair really a delineation of paleocons vs. neocons? The wiki article doesn’t elaborate to give any indication of the significance that you have accorded the event.

    What would you cite as the fundamental difference(s) between the views of Messrs. Bradford and Bennett that proved so divisive? And how do you make the case that this isolated incident was some sort of seminal, definitional moment in the history of modern conservatism? Was Reagan a paleocon at heart because he had Pat Buchanan in his administration?

    A final provocative question: Do you see any way to undo the immanentizing of the eschaton?

  9. says

    PS – I also suppose I should be flattered you consider the Independence Institute a “conservative” think tank – because that wasn’t the impression I had earlier. (Or maybe this just illustrates the semantic problem I highlighted earlier.)

  10. S Jones says

    Yes, it seems we’re making a something of a breakthrough here. That’s a good thing.

    But to the heart of the matter: Why does it seem to me we’re mired in a sea of semantics? Whose definition do you employ to narrowly define what true conservatism is (as opposed to neoconservatism, and who knows what else)?

    If I remember correctly, you once described yourself as an adherent of the Straussian school. Since Leo Strauss is widely regarded as one of neoconservativism’s formative ideological influences, wouldn’t it be appropriate for me to conclude that you’re likely a neocon? As for your disagreements with the confessed neocon Hugh Hewitt, what would those be? Would they be numerous and substantive enough for you to be able to avoid the label?

    There’s been a lot of material written on neoconservatism. While they are “only” Wiki articles, the several that have been written over there on neoconservatism, paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism seem to summarize the issues well. Basically, I see neoconservatism in action when I observe these things: 1) fervently pro-Israel, anti-Arab sentiment (neoconservatism being largely, but not exclusively, a movement of Zionist Jews); 2) a “Jacobin” devotion to the spread of democracy in the world (e.g., Ledeen’s “creative destruction”); 3) a belief that the “American experiment” is more propositional in nature than ethnic (e.g., Ben Wattenberg’s notion of America as the “universal nation”); 4) a related nonchalance about illegal immigration; 5) a thoroughgoing Lincolnianism, with an associated tendency to view all things through an egalitarian reading of the Declaration of Independence).

    All these things are roundly rejected by traditionalist conservatism.

    Re the Bradford affair, I read the wiki link and will look more deeply into it. I find it interesting that Harry Jaffa was one of his supporters. Jaffa, a champion of Lincoln’s views on slavery and statesmanship, didn’t seem upset and offended by the supposedly controversial remarks cited in the article – Are there citations where Kristol et al. publicly expressed their reasoning for this dissatisfaction? Was the Bradford affair really a delineation of paleocons vs. neocons? The wiki article doesn’t elaborate to give any indication of the significance that you have accorded the event.

    What would you cite as the fundamental difference(s) between the views of Messrs. Bradford and Bennett that proved so divisive? And how do you make the case that this isolated incident was some sort of seminal, definitional moment in the history of modern conservatism? Was Reagan a paleocon at heart because he had Pat Buchanan in his administration?

    Yeah, Jaffa’s support of Bradford sort of breaks the mold, but as the article shows, it was nonetheless the neocons who were responsible for sending Bradford into exile. And the main reason was that he, a Southern-style paleocon, rejected the Lincolnianism referenced above. That’s the MAIN reason as I understand it. But you can read about the “whys” of the tensions between the neocons and the paleocons elsewhere. How they were driven not only from positions in government, but out of “conservative” periodicals like National Review. The paleocons were in part deemed too reactionary, i.e., not fitted to the kind of evolution, spoken of at length in that Dabney excerpt, that would be necessary to keep the GOP aloat. But it is precisely reaction that is needed these days, if the cultural and political “tradition” is to survive. The neocons and “movement conservatives” are merely following Radicalism down its road, protesting all the way to be sure, but nevertheless being molded by it, per the dynamic Dabney described.

    A final provocative question: Do you see any way to undo the immanentizing of the eschaton?

    Sorry, not following you here. I know what “immatizing the eschaton” means, and I intend to address this issue in my next response to Claremont fellow Richard Reeb, but I’m not sure what you mean here as far as our discussion is concerned.

    As for the II, well I believed I once described it as a “libertarian-leaning” think tank over at my blog once. And while I would call it “conservative” as well, also suspect that it is funded by organizations that aren’t really all that concerned about traditional conservatism. Hope that helps to further address the “semantic problem.”

  11. says

    I don’t have time to respond to all your comments. But wanted to review the 5 points of neoconservatism, as you introduced them:

    1. Depends what you mean by “fervently”, but I would say this tends to fit. Israel, being the only democratic government in the region, is more worthy of support than its tyrannical neighbors.
    2. Color me skeptical about this one. Part of what frustrates me here is all the talk of the United States as a democracy and glorifying democracy as if it’s the summum bonum. As the Founders rightly designed, we have a constitutional republic with democratic institutions that are worth preserving.
    3. Yes, I believe in the American creed, not in America as a Caucasian experiment.
    4. I don’t think nonchalance describes my point of view toward illegal immigration. I believe in the rule of law, enforcing the borders, reforming the guest worker program, but am not a hard-core immigration restrictionist at all.
    5. If you mean that the Declaration of Independence is the national creed and purpose statement, count me in again. The belief that every person has equality before the law is an essential core truth of Jefferson’s writing. Do you not agree with this?

    I never thought of paleoconservatism as inherently racialist before. I knew it tended more towards paternalism and anti-democratic sentiments, not all of which are bad. But if a belief in ethnic superiority is also implied, I’d say I’m glad I don’t belong. I don’t consider myself a doctrinaire neoconservative, but they get some things (like that) right.

    And where do you see neocons come down on limited government, free markets, personal freedom, etc?

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