The Economist on former CNDer-turned-EU foreign policy czar Catherine Ashton and the double standard that seems to apply to the former communist fifth column in the West:
The real scandal, though, is the West’s continuing amnesia about the cold war. Given the Soviet Union’s history of mass murder, subversion, and deceit, it is astonishing that even tangential association with Soviet-backed causes in the past does not arouse the moral outrage now that is still so readily evoked by connections with the (undisputedly revolting) regime in South Africa. Most CND veterans see their peacenik days, at worst, as romantic youthful idealism. Warm-hearted but soft-headed, maybe: but better than being cold-hearted and hard-headed.
That is a shameful cop-out. Imagine a 1980s Europe where CND had triumphed, with left-wing governments in Britain and Germany scrapping NATO, surrendering to Kremlin pressure and propping up the evil empire. Her opponents complain that Lady Ashton is ineffective. As a CND organiser, that may have been a blessing.
This phenomenon is hardly unique to Cold War era; witness the continuing relative whitewash of Stalin’s crimes in comparison to Hitler’s for the most obvious example thereof. Or the vague sympathy—rather than outright revulsion—that seems to accompany much writing by western Sinophiles about Mao’s rule of China.
We do have a moral obligation, emerging from several centuries of concern with equity in a highly inequitable country, to make access to and completion of college more equitable. But rather than proclaiming College for All, we should be stressing High School Completion for All, emphasizing that such completion requires either college readiness or readiness for sustained employment—or for the combination of the two that has become so common.
The whole debate would be valued reading for our political masters, who seem to have a different idea.
The real problem, of course, is that this fight reveals the ugly truth of statist health care: That personal medical decisions are no longer a matter of private bargaining, but of political argument. The fight over abortion funding is not an exception, it is a harbinger. Medical decisions are becoming more ethically complex and culturally contentious, not less. Do you really want the legislature deciding who may pull what plug, whether men can get drugs for longer-lasting erections, or whether functional neurosurgery to treat depression, addiction, or obesity is a good idea? Speaking only for myself, I would rather that my employer dangle these benefits in its campaign to retain me than have the matter settled by some clown Congressman from a safe seat in a distant state.
Somehow I don’t think TigerHawk is the only one with similar sentiments.
As Steven Taylor notes, the third-party candidacy by Doug Hoffman in New York’s 23rd congressional district seems to have backfired, delivering a solid Republican seat for generations to Democratic candidate Bill Owens.
While some conservatives like my Twitter pal (and OG blogger) Jayvie Canono have suggested that Republican nominee Dede “Scozzafava would’ve been a vote for the Dems,” one of the iron laws of contemporary politics in the House is that the vast majority of the time, even the most liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats vote with their party. Would Hoffman have been a more reliable Republican vote than Scozzafava? Probably. But Owens, if he’s anything like the vast majority of his future colleagues, will almost certainly vote with the Democrats more than 90% of the time; even the most “disloyal” Republicans only break from their party around 35% of the time while the vast majority only defect less than 10% of the time. In other words, conservatives have probably traded a reasonably Republican vote in the House for a reliably Democratic one, which in the grand scheme of things is not likely to be smart politics.