arosner + rossdouthat   5

The Mile-High Club: What the Right Really Thinks About Sex « Corey Robin
"And here we come to Ground Zero of conservative commitment. The conservative believes in excellence, as Douthat says, but it is a vision of excellence defined as and dependent on “overcoming.” It’s a vision that abhors the easy path of acceptance, of tolerating human frailty and need, not because that path is wrong but because it is easy. Or, to put it differently, it’s wrong precisely because it is easy...Liberals and leftists often miss this ardor of adversity, and it’s a critical error because it overlooks just how romantic and impassioned, how fervid and fervent, conservative morality, not just about sex but about a great many matters, actually is. And that is part of conservatism’s appeal. Savage in fact commits that very error when he says that Douthat’s vision of marriage eliminates the element of “adventure.” Not so. Douthat’s vision is profoundly adventurous—it’s the adventure of ascent, of trying to reach a summit of moral excellence that you probably cannot reach."
rossdouthat  dansavage  sex  repression  coreyrobin  conservative  marriage  modernism 
september 2011 by arosner
Is The GOP Hopeless? - Ross Douthat
Douthat on "what seems to me like the worst-case scenario for a Republican revival, in which the party regains power without having developed any new leadership at all - as the beneficiary of a disastrous "Obama economy," but without any ideas for how to handle the situation save the same "clapped-out package of 1980s-vintage solutions," as Frum puts it, that too many Republicans are content to offer now. Which is why my watchword for now is patience: The only way conservatism is really going to come back is gradually, and the best thing for right-of-center thinkers to do is to call out bad ideas and promote good ones, and wait for politicians with the wit and courage to give some of the best ideas that bubble up a trying-out. This may not happen at all: The Republican Party could remain dysfunctional for years. But I'm trying not to get too discouraged if it doesn't happen in the first few months of Barack Obama's Washington."
ideas  politics  conservative  republicans  reform  recession  rossdouthat  stimulus 
february 2009 by arosner
What Would Gore Have Done? - Ross Douthat
"As far as the baseline of Bush Administration wrongdoing goes - the decision to take an ends-justify-the-means approach to the interrogation of terror suspects - I do think it needs to be placed in historical context, and treated as an example of the kind of consequentialism that's endemic to modern Presidencies (and to international affairs more generally), rather than as a distinct break with a more idealistic, human-rights-centric American past...if we're going to talk about the current President and his advisors as war criminals - which is how many liberals would have us think about them - we need to follow that logic where it leads: Toward a more wholesale repudiation of how American foreign policy has traditionally been conducted (and how we think about presidents from FDR to Reagan) than I think many liberals would be willing to accept." Pretty much all of Douthat's points here I agree with, but he ends up drawing conclusions completely opposite from mine.
politics  iraq  torture  bush  terrorism  algore  rossdouthat 
january 2009 by arosner
Thinking About Torture - Ross Douthat
I like that Douthat doesn't shy away from everyone's complicity in torture policies. "I was not so innocent, or perhaps I should I say I was more so: If you had listed, in the aftermath of 9/11, most of the things that have been done to prisoners by representatives of the U.S. government, I would have said that of course I expected the Bush Administration to authorize "stress positions," or "slapping, shoving and shaking," or the use of heat and cold to elicit information. After all, there was a war on! I just had no idea - until the pictures came out of Abu Ghraib, and really until I started reading detailed accounts of how detainees were being treated - what these methods could mean in practice, and especially as practiced on a global scale. A term like "stress positions" sounds like one thing when it's sitting, bloodless, on a page; it sounds like something else when somebody dies from it."
politics  interrogation  conservative  torture  morality  terrorism  abughraib  9/11  rossdouthat  bush 
december 2008 by arosner
Matthew Yglesias » The Right’s Inequality Challenge
"Normally talk about the growth in inequality begins and ends with a discussion of whether or not it’s a problem and should we try to “spread the wealth around” or just not worry. But completely aside from whether or not it’s substantively a problem, it’s a political problem for conservatives. That top ten percent is, in an important way, the base of the conservative coalition — providing loyal votes, campaign and institutional funding, etc. And as the economic circumstances of the top ten percent become more and more different from the economic circumstances of the rest of the country, it becomes harder and harder to articulate a policy agenda that speaks to the concerns of both the top ten and also the broad middle. Or, rather, it becomes harder and harder to articulate an economic policy agenda that does that."
policy  economics  conservative  republicans  ideology  wealth  ronaldreagan  rossdouthat  inequality  matthewyglesias 
november 2008 by arosner

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