March 20, 2007

Live Blog: Jonah Goldberg At UM

I found out a few days ago -- from reading The Corner, naturally -- that NRO editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg would give a speech to CFACT here at the University of Minnesota tonight. I have long wanted to meet Jonah, but didn't have the opportunity until now. With the First Mate in the hospital, I sent Jonah a welcome-to-Minnesota e-mail (to which he sent a friendly reply), but didn't think I'd get the opportunity to hear the speech.

Fortunately, the FM has improved greatly. I visited with her this afternoon and spoke with doctors, and they're very encouraged about her status. She tired out quickly today, so I need to let her get some sleep, but her blood pressure has been very consistent and very normal all day. They removed the IV drip and switched to oral medication, and they think she'll get out of the ICU pretty quickly. After I received an invitation from CFACT to introduce Jonah -- whose speech is next door to the hospital, as it turns out -- I accepted, and I'm looking forward to meeting him.

I'll live-blog the speech after I sit down. Keep checking this post for updates.

7:06 - Starts off by talking about the power of blogs -- how much the conservative blogosphere has matured and filled out. Minnesota "punches so far above its weight".

7:09 - Very humorous, but he wants to avoid the "humorist", especially after he got stuck on CNN between two comedians in late 2000, and got challenged to define what was funny.

7:11 - "You have a pulse, which is one of the things I look for in a non-inflatable audience ..."

7:12 - Talks about Bush Fatigue, and how it seems to be getting more and more burdensome. He doesn't feel the need to defend someone so poor at defending himself. Jonah also has gotten tired of having the front man for conservatism be someone who isn't terribly eloquent. That's why Jonah thinks that Fred Dalton Thompson has such cachet now.

7:14 - Jonah talks about his dislike for "compassionate conservatism", saying that he doesn't want government to feel his pain -- he wants it to feel his boot in its ass.

7:16 - If Bill Clinton spent a billion dollars on marriage counseling -- if not on himself -- we would have criticized it as outside of the scope of government. Why do we give Bush as pass? That kind of question has us wanting the next Reagan.

7:17 - Rudy Giuliani is more liberal than people think, but he's still the frontrunner for the Republicans, certainly an interesting development. Jonah says that he did a great job in saving New York City, but that doesn't mean he'll be the great foreign-policy president as people assume.

7:21 - The GOP is turning into the foreign-policy party, and the evangelicals take that very seriously -- apparently seriously enough to deprioritize the social issues on which they normally focus.

7:22 - Now he's looking at the Democrats. Hillary is imploding. A month ago, Hillary's people all dismissed Barack Obama as a flash in the pan, but they're taking him seriously now.

7:25 - Jonah doesn't think that Obama had a long shelf life, at least not if he stayed in the Senate. This is his time -- after this, he would get stale in the Senate chamber.

7:27 - Edwards: the Howard Dean of 2008. Or, maybe, the Howard Dean Wannabe of 2008.

7:28 - We're too focused on electability, instead of having the right discussions on the nature of conservatism.

7:30 - Now we're moving towards environmentalism, and tells a funny anecdote regarding a conversation he had with a polite but earnest Al Gore supporter. He references Jim Ignatowski, but only a couple of us are old enough to get the joke.

7:32 - Thanks, Lexhamfox -- we're hoping she gets into a regular room in the next couple of days.

7:33 - "Over the last 100 years, the average temperature of the globe went up one degree Celsius. In the same period, the globe got 1800% richer."

7:36 - The US uses its wealth to create positive solutions, such as medicine. Wealth frees people to create such things as AIDS treatments, cancer cures, etc. The rest of the world gets more or less a free ride on our R&D. Why should we limit our economic growth, when that's the case?

7:38 - Bush doesn't defend himself on Kyoto. The press says that Bush "refuses to sign Kyoto", but Clinton already signed it -- and then stuck it in a drawer after the Senate voted 95-0 to refuse to approve it if he submitted it. By that measure, Bush, "that war-mongering bastard", refused to sign the peace treaty with the Japanese. If the Democrats want to approve the treat, they could do it tomorrow, now that they control the Senate.

7:42 - China plans on building over 2000 coal-fired power plants over the next 15-20 years, or one every ten days.

7:45 - Carbon dioxide is a lagging indicator, not a leading indicator, of global warming. As oceans warm, they release more CO2.

7:47 - "You can tell you're being conned when all of the supporting evidence and all of the contradictory evidence is said to prove the same thing."

7:49 - M. Simon, I'm the one who got the temperature change wrong. Jonah said 0.6C, 1.0F.

7:51 - He's talking about the connections between fascism and liberalism, especially environmental activism. This is along the same lines as his next book.

7:53 - He's quoting Gore in Earth in the Balance, blaming Plato, Descartes, and Francis Bacon for using reason to separate Man from his Edenic idyll.

7:57 - Jonah mentions one of the more overlooked aspects of the Nazi movement - its polytheistic paganism.

8:01 - Carbon offsets, the modern-day indulgence to remove the requirement for penance for our sins.

8:04 - Moving into the Q&A. To the extent that the GW debate is over, doesn't that make Gore the perfect candidate for the Democrats? Jonah - Gore and Gingrich have that similarity. Both think they can build a movement that will allow them not to run but get swept into office without campaigning, Gore happens to be doing it better.

8:09 - Is there any candidate on the Right that can slow down the GW train? Jonah -- Short answer: no. Newt probably could do it. Bush lets the Democrats keep painting the lack of Kyoto agreement, but the Democrats could start implementing Kyoto limits now that they control Congress. If they don't, then Bush should use that against them.

8:13 - Fred Dalton Thompson deserves better than Jonah's assessment of him as a "bright new shiny thing". He could be a man who would not get rolled. Jonah - He agrees. He wouldn't have guessed that at this stage there would be this level of dissatisfaction with the current GOP choices, and Jonah is concerned about the desperate quality of the draft-Thompson impulse. So far, Jonah sees him as the Republican Obama.

8:17 - Why are Republicans are so unwilling to challenge GW dogma? Jonah - GW has become "the children" of the political debate of 2007-8. If you argue about GW, you hate the Earth.

8:22 - How can Democrats keep up with Newt Gingrich intellectually? Jonah - Best predictor of who will win in the general election is who has more likability. Newt's negatives are higher than Hillary's and much higher than Obama's. Intellectually, he may be able to run circles around them, but that doesn't mean he'll win.

8:26 - One of the interesting aspects of the campaign so far is that Hillary has lost her identity as a female candidate. Few people talk about her as the first potential woman President.

8:29 - Our focus on competence in the GOP primaries by supporting technocrats serves as a subtle indictment of the Bush administration.

8:32 - Wrapping up. Jonah is an excellent, engaging, and humorous speaker. He drew a significant crowd for a conservative at the U of M -- more than 100 people -- and kept them in rapt attention. He made the event fun and didn't spare criticism for either conservatives or liberals. If you ever get a chance to see him speak live, make sure you take full advantage of it.


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Comments (12)

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 7:20 PM

Very pleased to hear the FM is improving! I hope she continues to progress.

Posted by burt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 7:45 PM

I don't think Bush is "the front man for conservatism." I don't think he is a conservative. "Compassionate," conservatism along with the rest of the adjective conservatisms is not conservative.

We all hope she continues to progress.

Posted by M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 7:46 PM

Uh, Jonah got the temperature rise wrong.

It was .6 deg C about 1 deg F.

Posted by tgharris [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 8:57 PM

Glad to hear the FM is improving. Best wishes to you both.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 9:34 PM

What I'd ask Jonah is, how does one get registered on his mother's website. I've never gotten a response.

Posted by reliapundit - the astute blogger [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 9:36 PM

glad the FM is doing better. praying for you both.

re: rudy v. mitt/mcc/fred dalton thompson -

i think rudy is so high in the gop polls because his entire tenure as mayor makes him seem like the best potential CinC - and as long as we're at war, that is what we want - we who want to win, that is!

thompson looks and sounds the part - he looks and sounds like he has gravitas, but he ain't got the experience of rudy.

mitt is a proven manager, but not in a crisis. except for the olympics, but that short stint doesn't compare to rudy's two terms.

one could argue that rudy saved the city twice: for eight years he fought crime and decay - and won, AND then he saved the city again in the last 6 months after 9/11.

rudy's the most obvious strong leader in the race. the one with the most credible - nay FORMIDABLE - record as an achiever of tough goals.

fred d thompson can't touch that.

not one of the dems can either.

the one who comes closest is richardson. and the mcgovernite - nay henry wallace-ite - dem party will never nominate richardson.

the wild card is pseudo maverick - mccain.

he will continue to implode. and then he might decide to run on a third party line. and elect obama.

i don't think there's another explanation for why liberal rudy is doing so well in the polls.

for mitt to win, he has to out CinC rudy. trying to out flank rudy on the right will not work because CinC qualities trump the social issues. and they will as long as we are at war.

right now, mitt is trying to out flank rudy on the right, and he is going no where.

more proof my CinC theory is true.

all the best!

Posted by Brooklyn [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 11:11 PM

hehehehe !

"GW has become "the children" of the political debate of 2007-8. If you argue about GW, you hate the Earth."


sounds like a bit of bitterness involving this subject.

is it because President Bush has some devoted supporters?

or, maybe the criticism is simply weak?

perhaps, some haven't been able to offer sound basis used to bash the Bush Administration.

or, it could be bigger Captain?

tAmericans are used to the meaningless, sophomoric, unethical slander of the Bush Administration, from the Democrats.

the experience of Conservatives dogging the Administration on smaller issues repeatedly, become even more tiresome.

besides, many Conservative pundits have contradicted themselves on their disdain for this Administration.

for example, some are upset the Bush Administration engages the liberals too much, and yet these same pundits show up on biased tv networks, often doing exactly what they object to...

remember when some Conservative pundits blamed this Administration for Israel's efforts against Hamas in SL?

that was overt, emotional, and entirely baseless.

didn't some get upset with the offer of tax cuts in exchange for a higher minimum wage?

why couldn't Conservative pundits see the big picture?

that the Bush Administration was preparing for a Democrat Majority in Congress and needed to bolster alliances on larger priorities in the GWOT?

or, how about the angst shown, when Israel pulled itself from Gaza?

why didn't a number of Conservative pundits oppose the 'Road Map' Plan, when it was offered so many months prior?

the list is endless...

in fact, some Conservative pundits who seem to think they know it all about governing, look a little silly, when the offering isn't constructive and sounds rather demeaning.

failing to produce sound, reasoned criticism, the public is forced to respond to the poor effort.

like the time, many were convinced, and wrongly assumed GW would cave to the BAKER surrender offering?

here is a question...

why haven't some Conservative big wig pundits, shown more understanding of the heavy burden a POTUS experiences, when US Armed Service Members are risking their lives?

seriously, it was a fun joke, but maybe the cynical frustration hasn't cut the mustard.

Posted by Captain Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 5:06 AM

Sorry for the lack of clarity -- in this case, GW = "global warming", not George W.

Posted by Susan [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 8:21 AM

RBMN: to sign on to his mom's site, after accessing site, you hit register, submit info by email and wait for reply. I guess it can sometimes take a while to get a reply. I got registered in a little over a day.

Capt, great news about the First Mate! May the winds ever be at your back!

Posted by burt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 10:39 AM

"8:22 - How can Democrats keep up with Newt Gingrich intellectually? Jonah - Best predictor of who will win in the general election is who has more likeability. Newt's negatives are higher than Hillary's and much higher than Obama's. Intellectually, he may be able to run circles around them, but that doesn't mean he'll win."

A few months ago a think tank with the name Woodrow Wilson (Institute?) came out with a study of voters preferences about president's intelligence. I don't know this organization but judging by the name I doubt that it is right wing. They analyzed the 1960 general election. The numbers they used for IQ were Kennedy 119 and Nixon 144. Their conclusion is that voters don't trust smart people; they prefer people who are moderately above average IQ so that the voters can relate to them.

I watched the famous first "debate." It was clear to me that Nixon won big because Kennedy blatantly violated the rules by using notes. All anyone else ever talked about was Nixon's shave and makeup. Supposedly this determined who would be the next president.

In the 1952 Republican primary between Eisenhower and Taft the above pattern appears to hold. Taft was thought to be one of the smartest men to ever run for president.

Posted by Kilroy [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 10:58 AM

Record Sized Fossil Found

HASBINISTAN – June 12, 25435

In what has been hailed as the greatest archaeological find since the uncovering of the White House, an expedition from the University of Tehran has discovered the fossilized imprint of the largest carbon footprint ever located. The carbon footprint, found in a remote region of Hasbinistan that was formerly known as Carthage Tennessee, is believed to belong to the species Allagorus Globalwarmus. Professor Mahmoud Achtungitzjihad, who led the project, said of the find, “this is by far the most fascinating discovery in my career. The span of this footprint by far exceeds anything we’ve ever seen and it is so well preserved thanks to the large base of zinc deposits that cover the area.”

Prior to the Allagorus fossil, the largest carbon footprint specimen had also been located in Hasbinistan in an area east of the Carthage site known the Raleigh site. At that dig, a huge carbon footprint recorded the nesting place of the Breckus Girlus species. Together, both the Breckus Girlus and the Allagorus Globalwarmus are believed to have brought about the demise of the Western Imperialist Dynasty by consuming vast quantities of resources. "These two literally sucked the life out of this entire vast region until it eventually withered and died", Actungitzjihad said.

Posted by Peyton [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 2:24 PM

A comment by Jonah Goldberg his own self, at the Corner:
"The inestimable Captain Ed from Capitain's Quarter's gave me a very generous introduction last night. He also live-blogged the event. I saw that he had his laptop out, I just assumed he was looking at porn."

Great to hear the the FM is better!