Economics

Reason Writers Around Town: Nick Gillespie in the NY Times on Joe Scarborough's New Book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise

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Reason.tv and Reason.com Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie reviews MSNBC host and former Florida Rep. Joe Scarborough's new book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise, in The New York Times.

A snippet:

If this book is indeed the last best hope of conservatism and America's promise, well, it was nice knowing you. Ultimately, Scarborough offers what Barry Goldwater might have called an echo, not a choice, of a Bush-Obama status quo regarding everything from bailouts to stimulus spending to rendition policy. He unwittingly tells us that conservatives can at best stand athwart history yelling "Slow down," but they can't fundamentally change its direction….

Scarborough is the host of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, the most consistently engaging morning talk show on cable television. His co-host, Mika Brzezinski, and a stable of regulars that includes the accused plagiarist Mike Barnicle and the John Demjanjuk enthusiast Pat Buchanan (as well as the editor of the Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus) are a genuinely spirited crew who discuss and debate the news of the day with a mixture of conviction, knowledge and humor that is all too rare. Compared with, say, "Fox & Friends," "Morning Joe" is the Algonquin Round Table on steroids, or at least Vivarin.

Yet "The Last Best Hope" is less a serious manifesto (the book quotes the conservative saint Russell Kirk and the mawkish singer Sarah McLachlan) than a breezy bull session. Scarborough argues that right-wingers seeking to recapture Ronald Reagan's box office mojo need to embrace environmentalism (they should be "Going green for God"); acknowledge the permanence of troubled entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare ("Everyone is going to have to give until it hurts"); and pursue a humble foreign policy (except when they don't: "Most Republicans, including myself, were steadfast in their support for the war" in Iraq)….

Whole thing here.

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  1. Who needs conservatism? Scrap it.

  2. Shriek is neglecting his trolling duties today. Very disappointing.

  3. I haven’t read the book or seen the TV show, but I have listened to Joe’s radio show. His positions there have been libertarian for the most part. He’s called for less government in all areas. He even said the government should not regulate porn, and he stood up for a woman’s right to wear the veil if she chooses to do so.

  4. “Everyone is going to have to give until it hurts”

    This isn’t even the Democratic position, which is make someone who makes more money than you give till it hurts.

    Who needs conservatism? Scrap it.

    Conservatism is about preserving the best from the past as well as the immutable truths. Things like liberty, rights of the common man against the government.

    Scrap it and you scrap your flabby arse.

  5. Who needs conservatism? Scrap it.

    Let’s see if you feel the same way when you’re old enough to pay taxes.

  6. “He unwittingly tells us that conservatives can at best stand athwart history yelling “Slow down,” but they can’t fundamentally change its direction….”

    When they have no principles except ‘be a bit less of a liberal than liberals’ of course they aren’t going to fundamentally change the “direction of history”. You have to be trying to go in a different direction to actually change the current direction.

  7. It would not matter if a Republican went 100% environmental. When the various non-profits come out with their rankings, the politicians with the R always score lower. Even if the non-profits have to change the rankings evaluation. The best bet it to focus on the regional environmental issues. Water conservation and collection in California, and the states connected to the Colorado River. Soil Conservation in the bread basket.

  8. Jim Treacher – I love it when you show up in comments. I always feel better.

    Anyway – Joe wants everyone (who is liberal) to like him. He is the male version of Sally Field. Just when I think he is getting ahead on Morning Joe, making good conservative points, I watch the next day and he says stuff that undoes any headway he made. He is more interested in keeping his show than really being a conservative and he has to be wishy washey so that Mike Barnicle (the maker up of fictional bleeding heart true life pieces that weren’t true life) will stay his friend…

  9. I really enjoy Morning Joe. You actually get to see articulate representaions of multiple points of view. You don’t need to agree with everything to learn from listening to different ideas.

    Besides, Mika is really hot.

  10. Joe’s book will be in the bargain bin in a month.

  11. This reminds me of when Malcolm Wallop slapped the GOP, saying that if the Democrats put forth a bill to burn down the Capitol, the Republicans would counter with a bill to phase in the conflagration in three years.

  12. That should read “over three years.”

  13. Conservatism is the largest ideological grouping in the country, according to current polls, 40% or more, meaning in theory that they need only a tiny margin of swing voters, or a slight decrease in Dem turnout, to put GOP candidates in power. The trouble is that at ground level, a huge swath of that 40% are _social_ conservatives primarily, while the GOP leadership and much of the conservative chattering class is socially liberal and conservative only fiscally (in theory).

    This divide is the reason conservatism is currently stuck in neutral.

  14. You actually get to see articulate representaions of multiple points of view. You don’t need to agree with everything to learn from listening to different ideas.

    I didn’t see any multiple points of view when they were talking about Sarah Palin’s response to Letterman.

    They all just nodded their heads, and quibbled only on the details, not the general over-arching point.

    Which is sort of like saying it is a new house, when the materials are the same, only painted over in different colors.

  15. Conservatism is about preserving the best from the past as well as the immutable truths. Things like liberty, rights of the common man against the government.

    You sure you’re talking about this planet?

  16. Sorry to put such a mindless comment, … but …

    Are there any other guys that are gay for Joe? I find myself hoping he’ll have an homosexual affair -and that my wife won’t notice how interested I would be in all the news about it.

    Just a good looking guy (in my opinion)

    Again, apologies.

  17. I never saw Joe S.’s TV show, but reformed libertarian Michael LeBron as Lionel on the radio used to lovingly make fun of Joe S.’s picking on ostensibly salacious pictures to cluck about.

  18. Stewart if your wanting to come out of the closet, fine, but telling people on an annoumouse board doesnt really count.

  19. Sorry to put such a mindless comment

    Could be worse… You could be spewing left-wing drivel like lonewhacko.

    -jcr

  20. Or you could be ranting about anarcho-libertarian dogma

  21. “Conservative” is a term that’s been distorted all to hell, just like “Liberal”.

    A Conservative is supposed to be for limited government and low taxes. Whatever Bush was, he certainly was no conservative.

    -jcr

  22. Isnt Joe considered a liberal now? Wasnt he pulling for Hillary in the primary?

  23. “When the various non-profits come out with their rankings, the politicians with the R always score lower. Even if the non-profits have to change the rankings evaluation”

    Do you have any evidence at all to support this?

  24. Dorthy Jane has got it right. The problem with Scarborough is that he is a loser with no balls. Conservatives, libertarians, small government types and the whole lot need to put aside their differences and put their fingers to the wind. The wind is not going to be blowing the way it has been. The contry is going to shit and there will be as they say some people held responsible for it. Those people are going to be everyone associated with the Washington establishment R and D.

    The first and best thing any candidate can do is tell every egg sucking beltway pundit who is more concerned with getting invited to the right parties and looking sophistigated, as opposed to all those knuckle dragging hicks out there, than they are with telling the truth. Just to name a few, that means telling Scarborough, Peggy Noonan, George Will, David Brooks and all of their ilk to go fuck themselves.

  25. “”Everyone is going to have to give until it hurts””

    UNCLE!

  26. “Joe’s book will be in the bargain bin in a month.”

    But first they’ll have to make room by throwing out all of those unsold McCain books that Welch had printed up by some vanity publishing company.

  27. if the Democrats put forth a bill to burn down the Capitol

    …i’d vote a straight D ticket, provided they don’t intend to rebuild it.

  28. I should add, and provided they don’t evacuate the building first.

  29. Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  30. “”When the various non-profits come out with their rankings, the politicians with the R always score lower. Even if the non-profits have to change the rankings evaluation”

    Do you have any evidence at all to support this?”

    I do! I love posting linksQ!

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx

  31. I was gay for Joe but hit my head on a desk and my body was found the next day.

  32. Scarborough argues that right-wingers seeking to recapture Ronald Reagan’s box office mojo need to embrace environmentalism (they should be “Going green for God”);

    I, for one, welcome our new sanctimonious carbon-rationing overlords.

  33. “Conservative” is a term that’s been distorted all to hell, just like “Liberal”.

    A Conservative is supposed to be for

    …keeping things the same. In practice, because people tend not to change their ideas they already have a label for, a conservative is for:

    keeping things the same, or

    going back to the way things were when they adopted the label “conservative”, or

    going back to the way things were when the person they modeled their ideas on adopted the label “conservative”.

  34. “John Demjanjuk enthusiast Pat Buchanan…”

    Priceless.

  35. Titling one’s book “The Last Best Hope” is just slightly pretentious.

    The political labels “conservative” and “liberal” are largely meaningless in this country. The two movements slosh around through various ideological currents in search of the magical 51%.

  36. Whatever.

  37. It is impossible to watch that show for one reason: Mike Barnicle. Watching someone who had to resign in disgrace hurl invective at other news outlets for things he sees as offenses is just too much hypocrisy for me to stand in the morning.

  38. Nick: Were you reviewing a book? It seemed like you were showing everyone how bright YOU are.

  39. Hayek said he could not be a conservative–because conservatism is only as good as that which it wishes to conserve.

  40. Joe is an imbecile and Mika’s routine is transparent and nauseating. The only one I can remotely stand is Willie and that’s only because I can tell there is a lot he would like to say but doesn’t. Bring back Imus.

  41. I’ve seen the light, & wisdom of the US Government being run by DINOs & RINOs.
    Today I started selling all Stocks, turning them into CASH, I’m selling my Business, with 35 employees, was 45 last yr.
    I’m moving to an Island in the Caribe, Fish & Golf @ 49 yrs old.
    I will take no News/TV/phones to the outside world with me, & I’m not the only one doing this.
    TRILLIONS of DOLLARS to run this Country into the Ground, Borrowed from China????????/

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