Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Question for Conservatives

What is the most important story that the press (that is, the neutral or "mainstream" press) is ignoring or drastically underplaying right now?


  1. Benghazi, of course.

    What a silly question.

  2. How drastic the impact of amnesty for 11 to 14 million illegal immigrants would be on US demographics and politics. The fact is that a substantial percentage of illegal immigrants are here alone, and once they get their green cards, they will be able to petition for their wives and children to join them in the U.S. If they become U.S. citizens, they will also be able to petition for their siblings and parents to come to the U.S. Those migrants, in turn, can petition for their own relatives. So within 10 to 15 years, legalizing 11 million illegal immigrants could result in 30 million new arrivals.
    Why would the Republican House allow such a demographic transformation to happen, one that would be the death knell for an economically conservative Republican Party? Well, some Republicans listen to employers of cheap labor, who benefit from flooding the US labor market with unskilled laborers; others are intimidated by the "multicultural" press support of huge non-white immigration to the US. But it seems to me that a lot of Republican leaders have simply not thought the issue through, and the overwhelming enthusiasm of the mainstream press for amnesty seems to be intimidating them. And some of them do not seem to like the Republican Party's role as the tribune of the white middle and upper classes.

    1. That's a really good one, a concern that fits well with traditional American conservatism. (I actually think it will portend an economic boom, but I am digging the concern especially in the medium term).

  3. How poorly US born Mexican-Americans and their children do in schools. They learn to speak English but test scores and graduation rates are far below whites and Asians. This is frequently described as the fault of educators but whites and Asians in the same schools do much better.

  4. Let's stretch a bit here ... In 40-50 years (or less) advances in genetics and medicine will allow parents to (minimally) select embryos with genes for better than average intelligence, health, height, longevity, resistence to Alzheimer's, etc. Maximally, they'll be able to select sets of improved genes for insertion in individual fetuses. Your kids can be superhuman for say 5 thousand bucks, or more likely 100,000 bucks. (News stories this past month mentioned the Chinese are researching the genetics of genius-level IQ, so I am not inventing this notion wholly out of cloth.)

    Now. I sort of think the Chinese government would like to see a billion or more Chinese citizens who exceed the world average in health, intelligence, longevity, etc. I can even imagine the Chinese government paying for this. I can also imagine French and German and Polish and Finnish and Israeli and Singaporean and Canadian and other governments deciding that helping parents raise healthier, brighter, etc., children is common sense -- both practical and decent.

    And I can think of places where the sentiment is that this sort of treatment is reserved for the well to do, and that common folk should be left to their "natural" state. I can see Zambia going this way, I can see Columbia and North Korea and Haiti going this way, I can imagine places like India which promise much and deliver ... not so much.

    The great issue, of course, is how the US would react to such technology. Would it be seen as something all future children should have, even at the cost of high taxation, or a luxury available for those parents who can aford it? My sneaking suspicion is that Republicans and Democrats will take different sides of this issue.


    You can add climate warming to the mix, if you like. China's rise as a world power, and likely India's rise. And some resource depletion issues.

    What I'm pondering in general is that the Republican Party will face huge problems during the 21st century because the issues that confront the US will not be solvable by conservative/libertarian approaches to government. So this hurts Republicans at the polls, okay, stuff happens. More seriously, I don't think the country is going to be well served while Republican legislators and voters adjust ever so slowly to the modern world.

    Somebody ought to be thinking about this.

  5. Its funny, but Davis' Benghazi jibe above actually spurred a big insight for me re: the partisan press.
    First, liberal condescension to the right-wing fever swamp response to Benghazi is predicated on an eminently reasonable defense of the Obama Administration: yes, the fact that the cavalry didn't arrive on time is regrettable, but that's a tough neighborhood, and there are lots of demands on our asets, and whatever took precedence to Benghazi that day is really none of our damn business. I have no problem whatsoever with that argument.

    But...shouldn't the 4th Estate have a problem with it? Even if they're pretty sure how the question is going to be answered (i.e. its none of your damn business) shouldn't they still be asking? Maybe some in the neutral press did, but my sense is that the reporting was sympathetic from the outset, viz, its a shame it went down that way, but, you know, hand waving hand waving hand waving...

    Which got me wondering whether the Beltway evolves over time to hand out little perks to reporters nice enough not to ask the tough, not-likely-to-be-answered question and instead report (as they did with Benghazi) that this is something we're just not gonna know. Back to you, Tom...

    The same evolutionary process also spawns the Krauthammer types, who get their perks from somewhere else, and spout off all manner of crazy conspiracy to suit their masters.

    This may be somewhat oversold...but neutral press reporters don't really ask anymore, do they? Benghazi strikes me as a great example of this, where the consensus turned into the likely outcome of asking without much, you know, actual asking.


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