Progressive Dogma Untethered to Results – Voter Laws Edition

by James C. Sherlock

The armies of the progressive left are what the great political scientist George Edwards called “Prisoners of Their Premises.” Many persons and institutions are captives, to a greater or lesser degree.

Lesser is better in this case. Mistakes flow from the best of intentions. You can learn from them or repeat them.

The United States military late in the Vietnam war mandated and then made a science out of analyzing its mistakes in order to learn from them.

At the unit level, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines debrief after every training and combat mission. At higher levels the reviews are periodic, but also professionally honest. Combat training schools capture, but do not enshrine those lessons. Because there is always a next time, newer equipment, newer force compositions, newer enemies and newer lessons.

It is the only way to improve systematically.

Many progressives, in solitary confinement with their dogma, are often wrong but always certain. When their policy prescriptions fail to provide the predicted results, which is most of the time, outcomes are ignored or blamed on outside factors beyond their control. Core beliefs, unchallenged, are undisturbed.

Consider for illustration recent voting law changes.

The left declares public policy initiatives good or evil rather than promising or unpromising.

The playbook is to launch broad and instant assaults in the media, the arts and the universities on the people who do not agree with them, not just on their policy prescriptions. Then under no circumstances admit error. Thus it is with the recent voting law changes in Virginia and Georgia.

Hyperbole occurs on the right, but in today’s America it is only called out by the dominant institutions of the culture when it comes from that direction. Then the same institutions paint everyone with whom they disagree, not just extremists, as racists. No matter what the issue.

The hyperbole has bordered on hysteria in the cases of voting law changes.

Virginia. The left, as represented by the press in this state, was wildly enthusiastic and self congratulatory about the extensive changes made by Democrats to Virginia’s voting laws in 2020. Most of these were technical changes, but a few really did change the system.

The most controversial was perhaps the elimination of voter ID. I personally did not agree with that one for reasons of election integrity. Other changes appear to make the system harder to administer and will delay results in close races.

But it is indeed true that to the winners go the spoils. I don’t begrudge them their policy changes unless and until I see adverse consequences.

In this case they assumed vast new troves of voters previously disenfranchised would be freed of their chains and rush to the polls. The advocates of that legislation may have wished to express a little humility while awaiting outcomes.

Turnout in the 2021 election proved nothing special.

Fifty-five percent of the registered electorate voted in 2021. In the 1993 election, in which George Allen crushed Mary Sue Terry, turnout was 61.1%%. In 1989, when Doug Wilder beat Marshall Coleman in a cliffhanger, it was 66.5%.

Georgia. The left was fiercely critical of the new Georgia election laws. See “A scorching reply to Georgia’s vile new voting law unmasks a big GOP lie”:

Georgia Republicans just passed a far-reaching voter suppression law that is shockingly blatant in its efforts to restrict voting.

Opponents labeled it an attack on voting rights, aimed specifically at suppressing the minority vote. Backlash from the corporate world included Major League Baseball moving its All-Star Game from Atlanta.

President Biden, reliably clueless, said the law amounts to “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” calling it “un-American” and “sick.”

Yet The Washington Post reported on Sunday that

… after three weeks of early voting ahead of Tuesday’s primary, record-breaking turnout is undercutting predictions that the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021 would lead to a falloff in voting. By the end of Friday, the final day of early in-person voting, nearly 800,000 Georgians had cast ballots — more than three times the number in 2018, and higher even than in 2020, a presidential year.

So, two different voting law changes: Virginia and Georgia. One proclaimed by the left as emancipation of voters from chains resulted in average turnout. Georgia’s new law, proclaimed evil and “sick,” is proving to support the highest turnout ever.

Who knew?

What to do. I recommend the progressive left try to escape from the prison of its own premises — it’s own dogma.

First, listen to those with different opinions. Disagreement is not sacrilege unless you consider your positions to be revealed truth.

Then watch for results before preemptively declaring right or wrong, good or evil policies that merely have potential for better or worse.

And learn the lessons that are presented in plain sight.

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31 responses to “Progressive Dogma Untethered to Results – Voter Laws Edition”

  1. So Jim Crow 2.0 is a great thing!!! Who knew? and about that Trump-Russian bank conduit….

  2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    The Post article goes on to point out that “much of the rhetoric directed at the bill was actually based on draft legislation that was subsequently scaled back.” What the Georgia legislature finally passed was milder than what they started out with.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Sorta the way it works with most legislation isn’t it?

      Biden et al screamed racism, accusations of standing with Jeff Davis and Bull Conner, and Jim Crow long after the legislation passed.

      Were they too ignorant to understand the difference between draft and enacted legislation or just deliberately malicious? Maybe with another 30 years in the Senate (you know, a legislative body whose work product is legislation) ‘ol Joe could figure it out, or not.

      I’m having a hard time swallowing the Post’s line that virulent criticism hurling ugly accusations of racism was just innocently misdirected from draft to enacted. “Golly gee, imagine my surprise to learn, a year after it was enacted, that the final bill varied from the first draft. I take back and apologize for all those ugly accusations I made and racist names I called.”

      Where is the Disinformation Governance Board when we need it?

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Meanwhile, back in the lap of Southern demockery…

    “Richmond, VA – After a chaotic race-to-the-right Republican primary, Republicans in the 10th district voted for a swampy anti-abortion radical as their nominee against two-time Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. Hung Cao, the Republican nominee, represents everything that is wrong with Washington. From embracing the corrupt D.C. establishment to supporting far-right anti-abortion stances, Cao is out of touch with VA-10 Virginians.”

    God, there must be a joke in there somewhere. I’ll constipate awhile.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      How did we get to the point where they are both caricatures actual political parties? Why didn’t we leave a trail of bread crumbs so we could find our way back to sanity?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        It’s a one-way trip… all of life is.

        Watched a squirrel die yesterday. He must’ve been blown from his nest, but I’m certain he was sick before that. The wife asked me to dispatch him, but the only impliment I had was a shovel, and I could not be certain of my aim. Besides, he was resting quietly, and we all are entitled to our death. Gave him some water, moved him to a moss pad behind the shed in the shade. An hour later, gave him a ceremonial dump in the trash can.

    2. DJRippert Avatar

      Pure anti-Asian, anti-immigrant racism being spewed by NN. This is a typically incorrect and illiterate, un-referenced comment.

      Hung Cao left Vietnam as a child refugee and lived with his parents in Africa before legally immigrating to the United States. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and then the US Naval Academy. He was a salvage diver in the US Navy who retired as a Captain in Sept 2021 after 25 years, 9 months of service.


      Embracing the corrupt DC establishment?

      Cao holds an undergraduate degree in Ocean Engineering and a masters degree in Applied Physics.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        “Hung Cao isn’t running for Congress to represent Virginians’ best interest, he’s running to help his corrupt DC swamp friends,” said DPVA Spokesperson Gianni Snidle. “Simply put, he is an anti-abortion MAGA Republican who will undoubtedly launch attack after attack on a women’s right to choose and make it harder for Virginia families to thrive.”

        “One of his main supporters is former Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who resigned in disgrace after misusing taxpayer dollars and abusing his position for personal gain. Cao is also endorsed by former White House physician Rep. Ronny Jackson, who was found to have engaged in “inappropriate conduct” during his time in the White House.”

        Although Republicans have embraced a role of the master race, they are in fact only a political party. Bias toward them is not racism.

        1. DJRippert Avatar

          At least you finally attributed your quote to the mindless political hack who said it – a DPVA spokesperson.

          18 months ago Hung Cao was serving his country as an active duty Naval officer in Afghanistan while Jennifer Wexton was wallowing in the swamp of DC. But Hung Cao is swampy? Less than one year ago Hung Cao was still an active duty Naval officer while Jennifer Wexton was hob-bobbing with her pals on Capitol Hill. But Cao is the one embracing the corrupt DC establishment?

          I don’t know why liberals hate Asian Americans. I guess the success of Asian Americans screws with the liberal mantra of systemic racism against people of color. Regardless of the nexus of liberal racism, it is wholly inappropriate to make ridiculous public statements against Asians. It is also wholly inappropriate to quote racist commentary by tools of the left, especially while not attributing that commentary to the actual liberal who made the statements.

          Redistricting has made the 10th more competitive and the absolute fiasco of the Biden Administration has increased that competitiveness more. Gianni Snidle knows that Wexton is in trouble. But rather than make considered counter-arguments to Cao’s actual platform he typically anti-Asian Democratic response is to assail Cao for being “swampy”.

          Disgusting. Disgustingly racist.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Unattributed? Here’s another: “How is it that bacteria on Mars is considered life, but a viable fetus is not? Every pre-born child is a human being deserving of protection as the most vulnerable members of our society. As the parent of an adopted child, I know there are many wonderful Americans yearning to welcome a child into their home and love them. I have dedicated a lifetime to protect ALL Americans, born or unborn.”

            Guess who? Just plain weird.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            A liberal?

            According to reporter Myra MacPherson, she asked Trible how he views the post-Vietnam experience. She said he responded:

            “First of all, I would not have committed American land forces. Lyndon Johnson made a terrible blunder. In Asia, there is no value for life. They are at an advantage. They can throw unlimited numbers of people your way. This is clearly the case in the Asian world. They do not share the same Judeo-Christian values about life.”


            The problem with his denial and misquote theory is that he made the same statement in the Congressional record…


          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            You are that with which you hang…

            Aside from Zinke and Jackson, Pham was not unswampy…

            Nick, nick, nick, swamp.

            His interview with Bannon is fun too.

          4. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Hung Cao Says It’s an “Honor” to Be Endorsed by Sen. Tom Cotton

      2. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        NN is and has always been a bigot, that is laid out in 3/4 of his comments.

    3. LesGabriel Avatar

      I suspect the mainstream media would have said much the same no matter which of the 11 candidates won the nomination. Care to comment on his stance on parental rights compared to that of Jennifer Wexton? Or is that an issue the Left would rather not address?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        He’s an EXTREME anti-reproductive rights candidate. He could be Jesus Christ and I would have no less contempt for him. All other issues are rubbish.

        1. LesGabriel Avatar

          Mr Cao’s position on abortion is that it should be left to the states. If that is an EXTREME position, then many if not most Americans would fit that description. I assume by the term “rubbish” you mean losing issues for Democrats.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            No. He is anti-choice even in the case of rape and incest. And NO RIGHT belongs to the States. Or state, any state.

          2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Find another country. This one is governed by a constitution with a Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            And a 9th. That’s the one you stepped on to get to a “go back where you came from” position.

    4. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      You quote the website VaDems as an authority on Hung Cao. “swampy antiabortion radical”.

      Good to know VaDems is where you get your news. Explains a lot. Enjoy.

      I offer you a more balanced portrait of Capt. Cao from the Washington Post.

      “Cao, a Vietnamese refugee who went on to serve 25 years as a commissioned Navy officer, leveraged a personal story that many voters said they found compelling as he maximized outreach in minority communities and hit on some of the same themes — such as fighting “indoctrination” in education — that carried Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to victory last year. About 44 percent of the voting-age people in the district are minorities, including 17 percent who are Asian American.”

      “We came to this country with nothing,” Cao said in an interview Sunday. “We clawed our way up and we made it work, and we harnessed all the opportunities this country gave us, and we didn’t take any handouts. That resonates with all the people in this district, especially all the immigrants and minorities. And all hard-working Americans, not just minorities.”

      “Cao’s victory sets up an intriguing matchup between a political novice with clear grass-roots appeal in conservative circles and Wexton, a former Loudoun County prosecutor and state senator who flipped the district blue in 2018 by a double-digit margin. Cao’s nomination aligns with the Virginia GOP’s push to elevate more diverse slates of candidates to expand the party tent — such as Attorney General Jason S. Miyares and Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears — and that could end up as an asset for Republicans in what will be a difficult attempt to oust Wexton in the blue district.”

      “Cao was born in Vietnam and fled the country with his family shortly before the fall of Saigon in 1975. In an interview last week, he recalled his mother sewing money into the hems of his and his siblings’ clothes, in case they were separated. And as he watched the fall of Kabul in August, seeing Afghan mothers hand their babies to U.S. Marines, Cao said the deadly withdrawal reminded him of his family’s experience. Soon after, he decided to run for Congress.”

      “A father of five whose children are home-schooled, Cao hammered on education throughout his campaign. He advocated for school choice and sought to appeal to conservative parents who had become active at school board meetings to oppose “critical race theory” and racial equity and diversity policies.”

      “Cao, who graduated from the district’s elite Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, had been vocal in his opposition to the Fairfax County school district’s changes to the school’s admissions process. The district eliminated a notoriously challenging entrance exam and made other changes in an effort to boost student diversity. But Cao and parents with the Coalition for TJ — who filed a lawsuit and fought the case to the Supreme Court — argued the changes lowered standards and discriminated against Asian Americans.”

      So come up with a joke about Capt. Cao’s name. He is Asian-American who served his adopted country in the military. Perfect target for you. In your progressive world, Asian-Americans are safe to ridicule. You are now officially qualified to be Secretary of Education in the next Democratic state administration.

      Piece of advice. When the Post is more balanced than your own go-to news source, you may be on the wrong track.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Great. Retired Navy Captain. Makes him qualified to ground a ship.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        “I believe in god and…why we have a rainbow is because that’s god’s covenant to us, it’s his promise to us he’ll never wipe out the world again, so it’s kind of arrogant for us to believe that we can we can destroy god’s creation”

        Your boy just gets weirder and wierder… curiousier and curiousier.

  4. Lefty665 Avatar

    The hue and cry over Georgia’s voting law changes have been amazing examples of just how crazy we have become.

    Georgia’s new voting laws described so pejoratively by the President and others are more liberal than those in Biden’s Delaware, Schumer’s New York, or Colorado where the All Star game was moved. Yet no one has been screaming about racist voting laws in Delaware, New York or Colorado.

    Is it possible there is some hypocrisy among the elite woke racists who have been running amok free in the country to express their outrage while cheering censorship and suppression of others?

    I have no confidence the Repubs will do better, but we surely need a change from what the Dems have brought us. November cannot get here soon enough.

    A lot of it seems to have been spawned by the years of hysterical false Trump/Russia sewage promulgated by Clinton, her campaign and the DNC. Durham’s disclosures around Sussman’s trial are explicit. It was all false, all of it from the DNC hack to the Dossier to Alfa Bank. From that corrupt beginning it has only gotten worse in succeeding years. So much for the ideal that the Dems are the party that believes in governance and doing the right thing.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Trump backed Perdue ended his campaign in true white supremacist form asking “Why doesn’t she [Abrams] go back where she came from?”

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    I shouldn’t worry. SCOTUS is on top of it…

    “The Supreme Court (Thomas writing for the majority) held that defendants cannot get a federal hearing for their claims of ineffective counsel if their counsel was too ineffective to present them properly before state courts”.

    With logic like that the GOP is in full control…

  6. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Pardon me but I have been observing and discussing issues with conservatives for decades. If any cohort on the political spectrum is dogmatic, it is conservatives. In practice, modern conservatives wish nothing to change in order to preserve the status quo. “It’s the law,” they claim. Fifty years ago Roe was “wrongly” decided. That was the law then, they say. Nothing has been learned, as this article states is the path to wisdom. Conservatives are preachers in the mold of Elmer Gantry.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Being a conservative is easy. You need only believe on Wednesday what you believed on Monday no matter what the Hell happened on Tuesday.

    2. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

      So far, you’ve not addressed what “conservatives” and others found to be egregiously wrong in Griswold – the conclusion that the Bill of Rights created “emanations” of protection that created “penumbras” within which rights could still be covered even if not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. Do you believe this is sound legal reasoning? Do you believe that rights other than marital/sexual privacy can be found in emanations and penumbras? If so, which ones? Are there certain claimed rights not mentioned in the Constitution and its amendments that cannot be found in emanations and penumbras? And if so, what are the differences? (Needless to say, I don’t expect answers.)

      I first read Griswold as a 1L, when I was also a campaign treasurer for a Democratic Farmer Labor Party senate candidate, who won a special election. I also served as his treasurer when he ran for reelection in two years. Despite my liberal leanings, I could make no sense of Griswold. It seemed contrived and artificial. While agreeing that the state had no business addressing the use of contraceptives, I thought and still think that Griswold was not good law.

      Most lawyers find themselves in positions where they like or dislike a result of a court decision. But we also need courts to follow the law and not make up science fiction to justify a result. Needless to say, there are extremists who don’t believe a system of law is important.

      If the opposite is true — that the ends justify the means — then we must expect each “side” to change the law whenever they get the chance. And if one side believes that only it can do this, the result is a necessary response of armed revolt.

      The real problem is that, since 1965, Congress has failed to address marital/sexual privacy in any comprehensive manner. Yet, except for 1995-2006 & 2011-2018, Democrats controlled the House. And except for 1981-1987, 2995-2000, 2003-2006, & 2015 -2020, Democrats controlled the Senate. Certainly, there was time during this period, most especially during the Johnson, Carter, Clinton and Obama presidencies for Congress to pass appropriate legislation addressing these areas of privacy. Why haven’t such important issues been addressed with legislation?

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        They would have to adhere to the guidelines enumerated in the Laws and they would no longer stir the base issue.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Unteathered… swampy Cao positions:
    Supporting supposed “off-label alternatives” to treating COVID19.
    Being against a woman’s right to reproductive freedom from the moment of conception (which would also outlaw certain types of contraception).
    Railing against what he calls “insidious grooming and exploitation of students at the hands of well-funded, government-backed organizations hell-bent on sexualizing our vulnerable children.”
    Buying into Trump’s “Big Lie,” saying: “It’s just very difficult for me to understand what happened in 2020, when the person sits in their basement for the whole election cycle and they got more votes than Barack Obama…I’m just saying it’s just very hard for me to understand and decipher that …and you know you can’t change the rules halfway through like in Pennsylvania.”
    Railing inaccurately against clean energy: “The left just wants to come up with crazy ideas about, you know, wind power well…what happens when there’s no wind? Solar power; what happens in the winter time? Also what what do you do with the lithium?”
    Denying climate science, stating “I believe in god and…why we have a rainbow is because that’s god’s covenant to us, it’s his promise to us he’ll never wipe out the world again, so it’s kind of arrogant for us to believe that we can we can destroy god’s creation” and “I need a lot more data about for climate change to really convince me that and also if we did everything and we did what AOC said which is kill all the cows because the farts are killing their ozone”

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