Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Anyone who still thinks that conservatives know what fighting a war is about, stand for capitalism, or represent a viable alternative to the left should go straight to RealClear Politics right now and read Cal Thomas' column in its entirety. It reads like a fisking of the list in the first sentence of this post.
Since it does, let's allow Mr. Thomas to answer those claims point-by-point.
1. Conservatives know what fighting a war is about.
Cal Thomas replies in the negative:
If we would launch an energy independence program with the intensity of a Marshall Plan for Europe, or a man-on-the-moon project, to liberate ourselves from the petroleum despots by developing synthetic fuels and finding new energy sources closer to home -- especially nuclear power -- we could strike a blow against the Islamofascists more damaging than bombs and bullets. [bold added]I have written about this before. Much of the oil in Venezuela and the Middle East was stolen from American and British firms when the various kleptocracies there nationalized their property. Even without the numerous other acts of war many of these regimes have perpetrated before or since, we would be fully justified in "waging war for oil". In fact, in not doing so, we lose more than just oil. We lose freedom and prosperity.
To fail to wage such a war war is an abdication of responsibility by our government. (And, no, we are not waging such a war now. Nor are we waging the war that we should against the regimes that support Islamic totalitarianism.) To fail to advocate such a war is an abdication of intellectual responsibility.
As just one example of the depths of irresponsibility to which the likes of Cal Thomas have sunk, consider just this one small problem with Americans not availing themselves of cheap, plentiful oil: China and other less-fastidious regimes will get a lot more of it a lot more cheaply without us to bid up the price.
2. Conservatives stand for capitalism.
Again, Cal Thomas replies in the negative:
If we would launch an energy independence program with the intensity of a Marshall Plan for Europe, or a man-on-the-moon project, to liberate ourselves from the petroleum despots by developing synthetic fuels and finding new energy sources closer to home -- especially nuclear power -- we could strike a blow against the Islamofascists more damaging than bombs and bullets. [bold added]Oh. My bad. He already answered that charge a moment ago. Thomas is merely following the fashion of his fellow conservatives by adopting big government solutions for everything, as Brad Thompson has already explained far better than I could. If alternative fuels were an economically viable alternative, there would be cutthroat competition to develop the first one. But there isn't, and Cal Thomas knows this. This is why "Father Free Enterprise" is advocating a huge government program to develop an "alternative" to oil that we don't really need.
In fact, we do not simply not need such a program: It will harm our economy, and therefore our military preparedness -- while simultaneously propping up the likes of China and increasingly-hostile Russia.
3. Conservatives represent a viable alternative to the left.
Yet again, Cal Thomas replies in the negative:
Might it be possible for the [Church of Global Warming] crowd and the Church of Free Enterprise (CFE) to come together for the common purpose of reducing our reliance on foreign oil? CGW fundamentalists would get what they want -- a reduced carbon footprint and supposedly lower global temperatures (go ahead and let them believe it) -- while CFE parishioners would rejoice that Saudi Arabia's hold on us (not to mention its use of our money to underwrite terrorism) could be broken.Yes. Cal Thomas wants to join forces with uber-leftist Al Gore to impose massive government regulations on the American economy in order to start a massive federal welfare program!
[W]ould Al Gore bring his legions with him to the table? [bold added]
As a bonus, even Thomas' likening of global warming hysteria to a religion, although provocative, is ultimately not intended as an insult as witness his far less credible claim that advocacy of a free market is like a religion. Instead, he notes his own lack of a rational basis for accepting what he calls "capitalism" and implicitly cites this contempt for reason as common ground with Al Gore and his ilk. Whether or not that sounds familiar, it is an injustice to capitalism and everyone who has argued for it from evidence and logic.
This is a truly sickening column, but I thank Cal Thomas for writing it anyway.
For now we know Cal Thomas' true color, and it is green, which is to say, "red" -- in the old sense or in the new would seem immaterial....