Daniel Larison Responds
March 30, 2008
Quite thoughtfully, actually, so I want to address all of his points one at a time:
I apologize to Larison for misinterpreting his view on the likely House and Senate results in 2008. If we take him at his word, that his consistent prediction has been 5-6 Senate seats and 40+ House seats for the Democrats, this is the conservative prediction that right now is near-universal among elections experts. My only point would be that it could end up being well in excess of the conventional wisdom, admittedly whopping as it already is. In addition to the possibility of a perfect storm of a deep recession, a $4 gallon of gas, and 100+ casualties a month in Iraq this fall, let us remember that in 1994 the Republican gains were nearly double most predictions, indeed very few predicted the Republicans would actually take back the House.
I would also take this opportunity to say that one of the things I find disappointing about Larison is that in spite of how sharp he can be very often he can be so boringly conventional in his elections coverage. His obsession with statistical analysis and polling data, particularly in his brief against Obama’s electability, can sometimes be as bad as The American Prospect!
What I meant by a “Burkean answer to the specter of revolution on offer from Ron Paul” was merely the case for Obama that I articulated in, among other places, indeed, my writings on Ron Paul! I would gladly invite an argument on the merits of this, but my feeling, as I have stated throughout, Obama is who will be most amenable to reality of what is facing this country hands down, and so much of what he says in the way of “views diametrically opposed to the paleos on almost every issue?” must be taken with a grain of salt.
As I said in my previous writings on Ron Paul, the Burkean hope for his ultimate impact is that he will end up having been Norman Thomas to Obama’s FDR. History may well remember the more obnoxiously liberal parts of Obama’s platform, which even now are not very prominent in public discourse, as akin to FDR’s 1932 platform opposing Hoover’s genesis of the New Deal. This is not to say that a more radical and even revolutionary outcome represented by the Paul campaign would not have been desirable or just, but merely that to support Obama in this context is the Burkean position because it is the position of he who would ideally like to avoid a revolutionary upheaval.
As for Gottfried, I clearly spoke in ignorance of his feelings about Obama, and for that I sincerely apologize. But I would not consider the matter closed at that. His subscription to “the politics of the very worst” is exactly the same as I personally heard him articulate at a program I attended last summer, with Hillary in the place of Obama.
What leads me to such a definitive declaration about Dr. Gottfried (and the very title of this blog should dispell any doubt that I am one to accuse others loosely of racism) was this rant in which Gottfried chided his fellow paleos that David Horowitz is willing to publish more incendiarily racist material than Taki. I don’t think its presumptuous of me to think that a gentleman of Taki’s calliber should do anything but deeply resent the suggestion that he has failed to live up to the impeccable standards of David Horowitz.