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The American Conservative / theamericanconservative.com

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How has Hagel distinguished himself in the cause of a realistic foreign policy, beyond attending a few meetings for the Committee for the Republic and giving a speech in 2006?

My thinking is that if we’re going to risk dying on a hill for an appointee he should at least be someone who didn’t vote for the Iraq War.


2012-12-21 18:51:41 Michael Brendan Dougherty


I understand your position. And agree that a war with Iran would be a disaster. But we’ve seen presidents like Reagan and Eisenhower pose much more hawkishly in some instances precisely to enhance their credibility when they stand down.

Daniel is right to hold Huntsman’s feet to the fire. My judgement that Huntsman was obscuring his real thoughts on Iran could be wrong. But I don’t think it speaks very poorly of his character, I think it reveals him to be a politician rather than a prophet.

I’m not sure we’ll ever have a (potentially successful) candidate that takes on the sacred cows. We may have a president that does one day, but that is asking for a lot in a mass democracy.

2012-11-30 01:31:43 Michael Brendan Dougherty


I didn’t mean to gloss over mass immigration, where I too disagree with Huntsman. Although his position is far from McCain’s it isn’t anywhere near Buchananite.

My qualified “support” for Huntsman is in the context of GOP politics as they are, not as I wish them to be. He was – and is – to my mind, the most acceptable of the electable figures out there. (Although it remains to be seen how electable he is.)

“Undying fealty to Israel” is, I think, a bit strong for the normal reiterations of the fact of our alliance.

I think it is important for us to be able to distinguish between figures like Huntsman, Bush, and McCain since they do in fact have different ideas. My judgement is that there are important gradations between perfect candidates and the worst candidates. You may judge him unacceptable, and I don’t pretend to be able to persuade you.


2012-11-29 20:09:51 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Great responses, everyone.

I didn’t include the Jerusalem Bible (the original version) because it is usually not on the shelves. In fact one can usually only find an enormous hardcover “readers” edition of it. I think it is one of the better ones, I agree.

My friend Kenneth insists that “thy, thee, and thou” should remain in all Catholic Bibles. He insists that it instills respect. Others have argued to me on Twitter that it suggests intimacy. And still others above refer to the meaning of “you” in the 16th century as being inherently plural.

If these principles of translation were followed in the 17th century, then the King James and the Douay would have been composed in the same style as the original Beowulf.

I agree that the habit of our prayers should be factored in. But the results can be ridiculous. In the Knox version, our cajoling, pleading St. Paul addresses the audience, “Dost thou, friend…?” This doesn’t teach us to respect God, it just makes us exhausted of the Scriptures, our missals, and other books.

2012-11-21 01:26:41 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Petebrown, Yes, the included essays are really delightfully insightful.

But on the NAB Study Notes, the one given to me when I returned to the Catholic Church had notes denying any historical value to the infancy narratives, and denying Christ’s foreknowledge of his suffering and death.

2012-11-20 16:34:01 Michael Brendan Dougherty


And some Republicans divorced their wives – single mothers are much more likely to be Democrats. And some Republicans had illegitimate children – another ideological turning point.

Further, America’s fertility rate dropped below replacement level during the Obama years, so fewer voters are turning into the kind of nuclear multi-child households that show up Red in the elections.

Point is – a few million votes – and even a few scores of thousands of voters will likely change this election. Relying on voters over 60 is a way to be doomed.


2012-11-06 23:56:56 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Mr. Jones,

I agree that Romney in Massachusetts wasn’t exactly reliable on these issues. He was in line with the people he governed.

But I don’t think he will be likely to challenge his party on these issues. And on judicial appointments he’ll be likely to select the type that the Federalist Society turns out. That’s not perfect, but it is better.

2012-10-31 18:18:12 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Very unlikely.

2012-10-03 23:05:46 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Patrick, that’s the other thing – he is excellent at holding runners. Only 6 times have runners attempted to steal on DIckey this year, and only 3 have made it. Compare that to the other Cy Young candidate in the NL Gio Gonzalez who has seen 11 of the 12 base-stealers succeed against him.

2012-09-28 13:15:13 Michael Brendan Dougherty

You should see the documentary Matt. It basically explains that the psychology of people who become professional athletes is to dominate with their best stuff: hard, fast, etc.

The knuckleball mentality is a complete 180 from that. And most pitchers don’t become knuckleballers until they realize it is their only possible way of staying in baseball. That was true for both Wakefield and Dickey. Niekro too.

2012-09-27 18:57:26 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Yes, Tom, that is the most impressive knuckleball season ever before this one.

Very different era though. And those (2-3) extra wins and those 8 extra strikeouts took Wood an extra 114 innings to produce. That seems significant. If you gave Dickey another 114 innings, he’d probably produce more than 8 extra total strikeouts and 1-3 wins. Wood was also pitching on a team that played nearly .500 ball. Dickey is pitching on a much worse team.

Wood’s S/O – 9 was in the mid 5’s. Dickey’s is 8.6.

Dickey’s having a remarkably better season compared to his peers, and a remarkably different season compared to other knuckleballers.

2012-09-27 17:38:22 Michael Brendan Dougherty

To Mr. Giraldi

Rand opposed the Libya war. He used almost all of his powers as a Senator to force a Congressional vote on that use of force. If you can’t recognize him as an ally, I can’t help you.

You insist that yesterday the party successfully purged the non-interventionists? I’m familiar with the shenanigans which were aimed at a group that included (but was broader) than the Paulistas. But if this was a purge, why then are they showing a video tribute to Ron Paul, when they could have used the convenient excuse of Monday’s cancellation to just dispense with it altogether.

If you can’t see how things are different in 2012 (when the GOP is highlighting Paul’s membership) than they were in 2003, then again, I can’t help you.

My post mentioned the lack of elected realists – you can’t name a single one that exists, proving my point while appearing to argue with it. If you can’t be bothered to read or comprehend what I wrote, why should I bother to respond?

I’m very sorry for you that Rand didn’t decide to endorse such worthies as Cynthia McKinney this time, as his father did four years ago.

Good luck with your political strategy of being swept into uncorrupted power by some future apocalypse. In the meantime the rest of us want to build on what little we’ve got.

2012-08-29 21:05:17 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Well, it turns out to be Ryan. I think Ryan has a few virtues: he is smart, attractive, and tough. I just think he will make it very easy to depress the turnout of seniors that might vote for Romney.

2012-08-11 12:55:14 Michael Brendan Dougherty

That was more true when I grew up. But in the 50s and 60s I think there was a bigger divide.

What years were you there?

2012-08-03 17:13:19 Michael Brendan Dougherty

I don’t think you can declare what players and coaches did on the field “doesn’t count” retroactively.

It is one thing to vacate wins gained by cheating. It is another to pretend that football games didn’t happen because of the criminality of a former coach and the indulgence of the current one for off-the-field crimes.

2012-07-23 20:39:44 Michael Brendan Dougherty

To my mind, most of the existing breeds can probably be saved, but only if you can take them out of the hands of the dog-show enthusiasts for a little bit.

Out-crossing was pretty common when the breeds were originally developed. And geneticists and breeders know how to get back to a more healthy-version of most breed standards within 3 or 4 generations. I recently saw a Pincsher that was crossed with a Standard Schnauzer, then in a generation or two was indistinguishable from other Pinchers except in much better health and vitality.

2012-07-18 19:56:38 Michael Brendan Dougherty

What kind of working dogs do you have?

It is amazing to see people reviving or restoring breeds to their original health, shape, and function: Albany Bassets and Leavitt Bulldogs come to mind. They need to be encouraged.

2012-07-18 18:29:59 Michael Brendan Dougherty


At this point you’re determined to view me as an ungrateful git, fine.

I know plenty of kids who had terrible fathers. I just wanted her to have more than I could give her. I’m not talking about salvation, I’m talking about help.

2012-07-17 16:36:07 Michael Brendan Dougherty


You’re reading something else into this piece that isn’t there.

And if that was all Roiphe was arguing, obviously I wouldn’t disagree.


2012-07-17 15:54:04 Michael Brendan Dougherty


I don’t begrudge a thing I did to help out. And every day since she died I wish I could have been a better son, I wish that I gave more and could have given more. I’m not asking for anyone’s pity.

I’m just illustrating the facts of it: single-motherhood means difficulties for mother and child alike. Roiphe and others make it out to be pioneering unconventional fun. But it means scattered resources, and not just financial ones.

2012-07-17 15:06:29 Michael Brendan Dougherty

I’m not saying that the MB shouldn’t play a role. If they have the support of the professional classes, then they should. But, because of our policies since 1975, this outcome will be seen as a humiliation for the United States.

2011-01-28 17:33:11 Michael Brendan Dougherty

I’m saying that the dream of ElBaradei taking over is akin to the dream of Chalabi in Iraq. And remember, there were once images of happy Iraqis and a U.S. tank taking down a statue of Saddam.

The opposition to the NDP is made up primarily of the Muslim Brotherhood – who are organized, well-funded, and serious. And the young people in the streets who are unemployed and have just reason for hating the current regime.

2011-01-28 16:53:22 Michael Brendan Dougherty

I wasn’t there before they went bankrupt. I hope now they pull out now that there is some new blood involved.

2010-12-02 14:59:01 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Just to be clear- noting that Huckabee is at the top of the polls does not necessarily constitute an endorsement.

2010-11-05 00:36:44 Michael Brendan Dougherty


Hardly on cloud nine. I appreciate the probabilities. Though he does take care to mention that the interests of “our friends” differ from our own. Even that is an improvement on the current crop.

But I thought that his answer above was revealing. Hawkish politicians don’t just unfurl lines about protecting ourselves from the “military-industrial complex” when asked about the National Guard, unless something is on their minds. I’m not saying he’s George Washington reborn or making it an imperative to volunteer him our time and money. I just noted that he is someone worth watching, and that this little line of thought is worth promoting.

2010-10-28 13:34:47 Michael Brendan Dougherty

. I’m sad that some people are so oppressed by this imagined Zionist conspiracy that all they can see in the above is an attack when the bulk is spent praising the man and asking for a rereading of his work.

I enjoy Sobran’s work much more than I enjoy indulging in feelings of victimhood, much in evidence on this thread and elsewhere.

I write what I think, regardless of the limits and taboos some cranks would like to impose on me. They don’t own this man’s work and they are poorly-served by trying to forbid people to enjoy and honor him for his great work.

One of the lessons we should take from Sobran’s life and the failures of conservatism is that we should not confuse rationalizations for our defeat, and the dark pleasures of losing with integrity.

2010-10-03 20:11:17 Michael Brendan Dougherty


I have no idea what you are talking about. I’m a resttictionist. and Graham is not for enforcing the law, it’s just that in this case he is trying to pull the wool over our eyes with his idiotic amendment. lease don’t confuse his stunt with an attempt at law enforcement. As I implied in the post, the first thing we need to do is restore order at the border, and in our immigration system.

2010-08-03 02:45:17 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Actually the successes have been coming in for the restrictionists of late. The entire political establishment supported Comprehensive Immigration Reform (which included a path-to-citizenship/amnesty), and it was stopped dead.

Restrictionists have changed the debate to one of enforcement first and even got funds directed toward building a fence (not complete yet-obviously). I would say that restrictionists would be better served pursuing an attrition through enforcement strategy, and that in the absence of federal enthusiasm for the law, states should be creative, as Arizona is trying to be. Finish the danged fence, enforce the law, enforce quality of life laws at the local level, enforce employment laws on employers.

I really think it is important not to be distracted by an insincere Constitutional amendment that may not be helpful even if passed.

2010-07-31 13:33:43 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Putting energy into a doomed Constitutional Amendment is a waste of time. He is not serious and he is wasting the time of serious immigration restrictionists.

2010-07-30 23:33:38 Michael Brendan Dougherty

Actually there are open-borders advocates who argue for ending birthright citizenship. http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/204649/arizonas-latest-immigration-idea-makes-sense

The U.S. may be one of the only countries with birthright citizenship but Europe’s immigration and illegal immigration problems are much much worse than our own. Ending it is not a cure-all. Law enforcement would be a good beginning.

2010-07-30 21:01:42 Michael Brendan Dougherty


Thank you for drawing this debate out further. I was certainly welcoming of J Street when I wrote about it upon its launch. And if they achieve some of their goals, such as orienting pro-Israel activism into a pro-leace direction, I will be very pleased.

My fear is that J Street takes as a given the same premise as AIPAC: that Israeli and American interests are perfectly aligned. I think this is not the case, and the source of some serious problems for our security and other national interests.

J Street is necessary. But its approach to correcting American policy is not sufficient.

I don’t claim to speak for all of TAC. Scott McConnell takes a much more positive view of J Street’s potential than I do. We have room for dissent on this ship.

2009-11-03 03:05:31 Michael Brendan Dougherty

No one here is going to bat for the bonuses.

2009-03-20 18:40:58 Michael Brendan Dougherty
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Ordinary Times / ordinary-times.com

A Place of Culture, Politics, & Discourse

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@M Moran,
Belloc survives. THe reason Belloc has dimmed is that it is more difficult for non-Catholics to enjoy someone so militant. Also, his histories, while full of genuinely valuable insight are also riddled with errors.

I like Belloc even more than Chesterton because I enjoy his fighting spirit, his willingness to make enemies for his cause, and well, while Chesterton sparkles like fireworks, occasionally Belloc’s prose shines like the aurora borealis.Report

2010-09-09T15:35:43 Michael Brendan Dougherty
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Will Wilkinson / willwilkinson.net

A discussion of intersectionality for people who don't like intersectionality.

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This is the best comment I've read in a long long time 2008-12-16T16:12:40-05:00 Michael Brendan Dougherty
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MANSIZEDTARGET.COM / mansizedtarget.wordpress.com

Paleoconservative Observations

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Will - I am back in NY from time to time - just take 84 to the border- and I'm 3 exits away.

Thanks for the compliments - we'll talk soon I hope.

James Markels: that possibility was brought up by Daniel Larison on my blog. My line of thought is that there are several things that could have played a role - his father's anti-semitism, a dangerous iconoclasm, the liquor, the dark desire to 'live down' to the image people have of you. (If you think I'm an anti-Semite, I'll show you an anti-Semite - any number of things.

Related note:
Not to be crude but "sugar tits" - while totally inappropriate is hilarious - very old school of Mel. I'm congenitally against women in army boot or cop uniforms (bedrooms excepted)- but I'd never have it in me to say what I thought.
2006-08-01T21:54:29+00:00 Michael Brendan Dougherty