Saturday, November 04, 2006

'Useful Idiots' or 'Principled Conservatives'?

James Young, the always amusing and always petulant proprietor of Skeptical Observor, has called the prominent Republicans who participated in Friday morning's "vote no on 1" news conference "useful idiots." He also said we were "pathetic."

Well, everyone's entitled to his own opinion, no matter how demeaning.

So let's set those views aside for a moment and look instead at a far longer list of Republican activists and VIPs who have signed on to a pledge that explains why they are voting no on Ballot Question No. 1 on Election Day.

Here is the text of their pledge:

As a strong supporter of the traditional Republican principles of limited government and individual rights, I oppose adding the text of the proposed Marshall/Newman amendment to Article I of Virginia's Bill of Rights. It would be wrong to officially write discrimination into our Commonwealth's constitution and open our courts to so many legal questions and ambiguities caused by the amendment's language. I further believe that such confusing language would cause significant and largely unpredictable legal consequences, as has happened in other states with such amendments, and that such consequences would threaten the basic rights of both individuals and businesses in Virginia.
I won't list the names of every person who signed the pledge (that can be found by visiting the Commonwealth Coalition's web site) but I want to point out a few of the "useful idiots" and the roles they have played in building the Republican Party in Virginia (and elsewhere) and promoting conservative values over the years:
Former Governor A. Linwood Holton, Jr. (the first Republican elected to that high-ranking post since Reconstruction), and former First Lady of Virginia Jinks Holton;

Former Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Bob Barr, M. Caldwell Butler, and Steve Gunderson;

GOP candidate for state Attorney General and for Governor, Wyatt Durrette;

Former Treasurer of the Commonwealth (under Governor Jim Gilmore), Mary G. Morris;

Former member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Joan Girone;

Former member of the Arlington County Board and former 8th Congressional District Chairman Mike Lane;

Tom O'Donoghue, the only GOP congressional candidate this year (8th CD) who is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars;

Former State Senator and state Cabinet member Jane Woods;

Former members of the House of Delegates James Dillard and Panny Rhodes;

Former candidate for the State Senate and Arlington County Board Scott Tate;

Mike McMenamin, current candidate for Arlington County Board;

Former candidate for the House of Delegates Steve Sass;

Former Alexandria Young Republicans Vice Chair Peter Atherton;

Beth Wolffe, former candidate for Arlington County School Board;

and

Mary Cheney, author, activist, business executive, and daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney.
I have not included the names of the grassroots Republicans, who work largely behind the scenes on campaigns, manning phone banks, raising money, writing issue briefs, and badgering Democratic officeholders, and who also signed the pledge. Their work far too often goes unmentioned and unappreciated but that does not subtract from its value. Their contribution to the "vote no" campaign is similarly important.

5 comments:

NoVA Scout said...

Being denominated an "idiot" (useful or otherwise) by James Young is a fairly good indication that the recipient of the appellation has at least a 3-digit IQ and is willing to use it conscientiously to consider issues that affect the welfare of the community, the Commonwealth and the Nation.

Waldo Jaquith said...

James has never subscribed to the notion of disagreeing without being disagreeable. :)

James Young said...

Being insulted by a sycophant who hides behind a pseudonym to hide his affiliations (for instance, his professional association with Chairman Sean, the primary recipient of his sycophancy) and his lack of Republican/Conservative credentials (for instance, that he is not known to have ever darkened the door of or contributed to a Republican/Conservative cause) is a fairly good indication that the recipient has at least a 3-digit IQ and is willing to use it conscientiously to consider AND ACT TO ADVANCE issues that affect the welfare of the community, the Commonwealth and the Nation.

"Principled conservatives"?!?! Few would confuse Linwood Holton, Wyatte Durrette, Jim Dillard, or Jane Woods with a "conservative," and having prominent homosexuals like Mary Cheney or Steve Gunderson (or you, Rick, though sadly, not quite so prominent ;-)) opposing Amendment 1 is hardly a surprise.

Sadly, the useful idiots (i.e., "Republicans who identify with the traditional Republican values of limited government and individual liberty") are those who fail or refuse to recognize the continuing war on civilization that the far Left and/or proponents of the radical homosexual agenda are waging, much in the same vein that Lenin used the phrase, i.e., those who failed or refused to recognize the threat posed by Communism, which is, of course, the context in which I used the phrase. I, too, used to laugh at those who suggested that the campaign for homosexual rights was an attack on the family, but have come to realize/recognize the merits of their arguments by the absurd demands that they have made to --- now --- redefine the fundamental language and institution of human civilization. They don't want tolerance of their perversion, or even the equal protection afforded by the Fourth Amendment to practice their perversions behind closed doors; they want acceptance by mainstream society, something to which they are not entitled.

And Waldo, if it is "disagreeable" to highlight the folly of their position (for instance, the ham-handed, ideologically-driven, and utterly vacuous "legal" analysis) and put it in an historical context, I make no apologies.

Rick Sincere said...

You read it here: James Young thinks that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan are "idiots" for identifying "with the traditional Republican values of limited government of limited government and individual liberty."

Also on his list of "idiots" would be Bob Barr, Jeff Flake, Tom Coburn, Dick Armey, Phil Gramm, Ron Paul, Mark Sanford, Gerald Ford, Robert Taft, Bill Buckley ... shall I go on?

I'm proud to be an idiot in that company!

Waldo Jaquith said...

And Waldo, if it is "disagreeable" to highlight the folly of their position (for instance, the ham-handed, ideologically-driven, and utterly vacuous "legal" analysis) and put it in an historical context, I make no apologies.

I'd never make such a claim, James -- you know that. But it's clearly "disagreeable" to call somebody an idiot. I figure if I have to resort to name-calling then logic is probably not on my side.