Archive for July 30th, 2009

Not Spam

I just pulled a few comments out of the spam queue. The oldest is from July 18th.

Apologies to Al Parker and 1Reader.



Taking Credit and Power Strategy

Everyone has a problem seeing why A Plague on Both Your Houses was such a radical book in 1976. Almost everything that hit people between the eyes back then is a matter of routine discourse in politics today. Jeffrey Hart, an English professor at Dartmouth, talked about he books, “coruscating insights.” But those roiling new insights strikes one today as basic logic in politics.

It is actually impossible for anyone today to put himself back in a time when the only recognized “lobbies” in America were big business and defense spending. These were the bugbears of the liberal media. Back then, it was staggering for anyone to talk about the National Education Association as lobby, even though all its money was appropriated by governments. “Lobby” or “pressure groups” were dirty words, applied only to those who used it for Evil Purposes. You cannot put yourself back in those days, when to mention liberal pressure for government money in the same breath with the “military-industrial complex” was not only heresy, but the kind of heresy no one had actually discussed before.

For the first time ever, conservatives at the national conventions were actually discussing what a large proportion of Democratic delegates were NEA members.

In the House, the Republican head of staff made a bet with his Democratic opposite — was it Chris Matthews that far back? — that the budgets for Health Education and Welfare than the Defense budget.

Of course it was. But that had never occurred to either side. Only the Defense budget was discussed. We’re talking about the two staffers who had most to do with formulating the budgets. For the rest of the world the whole thing was unheard-of. And that was just one of the coruscating ideas in there that seem so logical today. By 1980 the whole picture of politics came from what FILTERED DOWN from that little book.

I put filtered down in caps for a reason. I was the intellectual leader on the populist side, which sounds like a contradiction in terms. William Rusher, publisher of National Review, was the leader on the respectable conservative side. We were setting up the 1980 coalition. combining working class conservatives, then called “Wallace voters” with the regular conservative base.

But there was one insight which did NOT go public. This was my undeniable assertion, not discussed before, that the Federal Courts are the last bastion of passing establishment. Bill Rusher gave me full credit for this insight in his history of the conservative movement, but nobody took it up.

The point itself is obvious. One of John last acts as the last Federalist Party president in 1801 was to appoint John Marshall Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Marshall was Chief Justice after the Federalist Party died out completely. But her was a thorn in the side of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson before he died in 1834.

In 1857 the Supreme Court made the totally pro-slavery Dred Scot Decision, because it had been appointed by Democrats when Southerners dominated that Party. By 1938 Roosevelt had his famous “Court-packing” scheme, his first major political loss, because the Court was still full of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover appointees. And in 1976 the Judiciary was, with the cooperation of respectable conservatives, solidly liberal. I cannot imagine how anyone with a general knowledge of American history wasn’t aware of this phenomenon.

It just hadn’t been MENTIONED specifically.

And it has STAYED unmentioned. Bill Rusher, all unknowing, cut its throat.

The reason is critical, and the reason is this: My “coruscating insights” in Plague were in a small book read largely by a small group of insiders. If you were to trace the movement of those ideas to the mainstream, you would see that they were reworded and discussed by an astoundingly wide range of people. left, middle and right, each of whom TOOK CREDIT for them. But when Rusher attributed an idea in a major book to ME. he cut this process off.

Anyone who wanted to reword it and take credit for the Federal Courts as the routine last hold on power of the passing establishment would have been told by someone on the staff, “Oh, you mean Whitaker’s idea. Rusher discussed that.” Nothing is more discouraging to people who make their living getting credit for new ideas than being told it is old hat, yesterday’s news.

This matter of credit taking is not new. Ben Franklin discussed it as a way to promote things in his autobiography. Once YOU take credit you take it out of the taking-credit market before it gets to a Major Spokesman, you kill it, unless you NEED the credit, as a professor or a Major Spokesman does.

I was after POWER, not credit. Credit is what you give to Major Spokesmen to carry on your concept.

So I want it to be THE Mantra, not BOB’S Mantra. I want to write about Wordism unless Buchanan or some other Major Spokesman takes it on. IT is not likely to be Buchanan, but it is a concept just too perfect for everybody to avoid it very long.

You notice that every time we hit them with the Mantra, including Buchanan’s pages, by the time the link is mentioned in Comments it has been removed. That is not so great a problem, because it is obviously a group effort. For now, THAT IS FINE. It is just inside our branch of the political spectrum, just the few writes we are aiming to HEAR it, that it is recognized. It will one day be taken up by someone in the middle or the left.

I am giving you information on how to proceed in a whole field of power politics no one has really even talked about since Ben Franklin. But in an information society, this is the essence of real power politics.