Don't Blame Me - I Voted Conservative

By Leon H Wolf Posted in Comments (67) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

First of all, to all five of my regular readers (Hi, Mom!), I apologize for not posting very much over the last few weeks. Apparently, there is actual work involved in getting a law degree, and I've been forced to participate in it. However, in the wake of the recent Republican collapses in the House and Senate on fiscal issues, I thought a few words for our concerned FisCon friends might be appropriate.

I've often wondered what Republicans like Adam C and John Cole must think at times like this - when their party fails an important test on an issue near to their hearts, and they hear the constant bleat of the Press-Democrat telling them that James Dobson is to blame for this phenomenon, and that the social conservatives are selling them down the river. I don't worry so much about Adam and John per se, but I do worry that this obfuscation technique might just be effective on some whose bitterness over spending has finally reached critical mass. It's tempting, when things are not going well, to want to affix blame on someone, and Dobson, et al make an easy target to some degree.

The only problem, of course, with blaming the SoCons for the pork in Congress is that the actual voting records on the bills in question tell a very different story.

More below the fold:

The first thing that I'd like to note is that, while about 7% of the Republican caucus in the House opposed H. R. 4241, 100% of the Democrat caucus opposed the same. Also, the final tally on votes for the Coburn Amendment was 11-4 in favor of the Republicans. I know, at this point, that we're all getting tired of hearing the "better than the Democrats" arguments, but in a very real sense, it's true.

The more important thing I'd like to point out, however, is exactly which Senators took their stand with Coburn on his amendments, and which members of the House supported H. R. 4241.

There are, I think, two convenient bills that can be used to measure who the most socially conservative members of the House and Senate are - the Embryonic Stem Cell bill and the Federal Marriage Amendment. I use those two because they're both relatively recent, and on both bills, social conservatives were in the minority from the get-go. If someone voted against Embryo Destruction and for a Federal Marriage Amendment, it's a fairly good bet that you're dealing with a social conservative. Let's begin, then, with the house.

The first interesting finding is that, of the 19 Republicans were seen as obstructionists to H. R. 4241, only four of them (Johnson, Pickering, Jones and Ehlers) also voted with the majority of their Republican colleagues against the "Stem Cell Enhancement" (Embryo Destruction) bill. Similarly, less than half of these squishies voted with the majority of their colleagues on the Federal Marriage Amendment. The reality is that, while the RSC gets most of its press these days for being a "fiscally" conservative group of Congresspeople, they are in actuality just a "conservative" group of Congresspeople, and their conservatism stretches to all areas of government.

The story in the Senate is even more convincing. Of the 11 Republicans who voted for the Coburn Amendment, there wasn't an Olympia Snowe or a Lincoln Chafee or an Arlen Specter to be found among them. Of the "Gangsters," only two voted in favor of the amendment (Graham and DeWine). Look at the names of the Senators who did support the bill: Kyl, Sessions, Coburn, DeMint. It's a virtual who's who of rabid social conservatives.

Not a single Republican Senator who opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment voted for the Coburn Amendment. Not a single Republican Senator who co-sponsored the latest Embryo Destruction bill voted for the Coburn Amendment.

What's more, when it came time to lead the charge up the hill, it wasn't St. McCain the Pork-Slayer and erstwhile thoughtful "social moderate" who was carrying the banner. It was "lesbians in Southeast Oklahoma" Tom Coburn putting the appropriations from his own state on the line, followed by the aforementioned SoCons. In fact, McCain couldn't even be bothered to show up for the vote.

So the next time some member of the Press-Democrat tries to convince you that the reason spending is out of control is because of the SoCons, think again. We've been behind you the whole time. The reality is that there aren't SoCons and FisCons in the sense that there are two separate groups working together out of convenience for disparate goals. The truth is that there are conservatives (which most elected Republicans are) and then there are liberals dressed as Republicans. The former group is just as likely to stand for the causes that are important to both of us, and the latter group is just as likely to stab either one of us in the back, so long as it advances their own personal agenda.

The bottom line is: don't blame me. I don't vote for social conservatives. I vote for conservatives. Keep the faith and expand the majority, and we can all effectuate our goals.

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Short; to the point; and needed to be said. Well-done, man.

Hmmm.

As a fiscal conservative I don't blame other conservatives.  I blame the Republican party.

From about 6 months ago back I swore to support conservatives, but never again support the Republican party.  I may give money, volunteer time and my vote to specific candidates, but never again the Republican party.

There is nothing the press would like to see more than Republican party infighting between (press-designated) factions:

  1. Socal Conservatives

  2. Fiscal Conservatives

  3. Big Government Conservatives

  4. Moderates

  5. Intellectuals

  6. Libertarians

  7. McCainiacs

When, in reality, there are only two types of Republicans:

  1. True Conservatives

  2. Ambitious Politicians

That's all folks!

One groups stands for principle, the other for personal ambition.

is blaming Social Conservatives for the out of control spending. The point I hear made (and I don't see it THAT often) is the premise that SoCons pollute the "real issues" debate with wedge, hot buttons issues like Gay Marriage, Stem Cells, Intelligence Design and Abortion. While all this yammering is going on, the real matters and in depth discussion of fiscal policy (Taxes-where it's coming from, how much and where it's going) stay off the Talk Shows and Front Pages of the MSM.

Out of Control spending doesn't get fixed because all pork is bad except (except the pork for one Rep or Senator's district!), cutting certain spending can anger voters and the 2 sides can't agree on what to cut.

Example:

Offer to cutdown on certain Military expenditures by 30 billion over the next 5-7 years and I'm sure the Dems will vote yes.

It's not about "cutting spending" in general. It's WHAT you cut that makes headlines. SoCons don't have anything to do with this.

You don't call the debate over social conservative issues "yammering," and imply that it's all "fake," and I won't give you the ejecta, deal?

of the antics of the SoCons drive me batty, I am firmly aware who is responsible for the little fiscal restraint displayed in Congress.

It's true, as Ross Douthat argues in the Weekly Standard, that the GOP has many socially conservative voters who aren't economic conservatives.  But at the elected level, people who have the guts to take the heat for being SoCons are generally also pretty unyielding on their principles on other issues.  This is one reason why the press misunderstands why pro-choice Republicans are viewed with so much suspicion within the party:  while we do get the occasional principled libertarian, being pro-choice is all too often a leading indicator of an unwillingness to fight for principle.

(This is true of judges as well as politicians).

This is bigger than the Coburn Amendment

Look at the big picture. We control the house, the senate and the executive branch, yet the deficit has gone out of control.

Why??? (it's not just military spending)

The reason we lost in Virginia and Jersey is because  Bush isn't governing well.

  1. Deficit

  2. Trade Deficit

  3. Katrina

  4. Iraq isn't exactly going swimmingly.

  5. No WMDs

  6. The economy isn't bad, but with the 90's boom there's increased expectation.

  7. Grand jury investigations.

  8. Lousy appointments - Harriet Miers and Michael Brown to name a few.

That's alot of stuff.

People vote for Republican's over Democrats because we're generally perceived to be more competent.  Let start governing competently.

We didn't lose in Virginia or New Jersey because of national issues.  We lost in both because of local issues and the candidates.

In NJ the GOP has a natural 7-10 point deficit against the Dems.  Forrester didn't run a good enough campaign tying Corzine to all of the corruption and malfeasance of the State Dems.  It also didn't help that Codey is quite popular and is at least viewed as bringing reform to the state.  Corzine also, as a filthy rich guy, is viewed as incorruptible.  Throw in the really stupid ad using Corzine's ex-wife, and it makes a lot of sense that Forrester lost.

In VA, does anyone really know what Kilgore stood for?  He wasn't for tax cuts, he seemed wishy washy on abortion, he seemed wishy washy on gay issues.  He seemed to have a decent stance on illegal immigration, but wouldn't really focus on it too much.  He had a good agenda on transportation, but again it wasn't very focused.  Kaine ran on the Warner, Warner, Warner ticket and  Warner is very popular in VA.  I'm still not sure why, but it's largely because he's very slick and knows how to appear like he's moderate.  And while I personally liked his death penalty ad, he should have run that much later in the campaign.

However, I agree with your larger point that we need to refocus on governing.  Right now I don't think we deserve to be in power in either the House, Senate, or WH.  And whle the alternative would be much worse, it's harder every day to make that argument.

I recently saw a meme kicked around about the conservative "split" between those who are anti-left and those who are anti-state. I think that it misses the point that conservative and republican largely overlap but are not synonimous any more or less than liberal and democrat are.

I look at it as quarters of the country that swing one way or another on different issues and the parties build coalitions of these quareters that change over time. Of course some percentage of voting behavior is based on simple partisanship, but I think in general the model works.

3/4 of the country are patriotic and want to defend it. 1/4 of the country want to see destroyed by an invader because it "deserves it" for one reason or another (left or right). Since the last election was made to be about "do you want to defend the country" if so vote "r" if not vote "d", we got the result we did. Not because of any specific intrinsic patriotism or lack thereof about democrats or republicans per se, but because of the lines the respective parties chose to draw.

3/4 of the country want to be bribed to some degree by government largess (regardless of who pays for it as long as it isn't them) and 1/4 of the country wants to be free to stand or fall on its own (I'm in that 1/4 as are most libertarians and fiscal conservatives). When Bill Clinton made it about "the economy, stupid", he won because of those willing to be bribed. Very few are really concerned about who PAYS for the bribe, which is why Edwards' "two Americas" speech failed to rile up anyone not on the marxist fringe.

Only a quarter of the country is really upset one way or another about the state of "cultural issues", 3/4 of the country like things pretty much as they are. Social issues only comes to a head when one party drives hard on a particular nerve (e.g. outlaw guns or abortions) that swings people one way or another.

The parties are about forming coalitions of people who can be convinced on one front-page issue which are larger than the people who are more concerned about another issue, rank partisans, or swing the way of the minority 1/4.

Bottom line, when democrats are in charge, republicans can win on small government because there are enough people who want smaller governemt or smaller left wing government. Unless there is nothing else to "worry" about and you aren't TOO left wing(a la the 1990's). When republicans are in charge, half their base wants to be bribed , too. Thus we get the spending blitz of the last five years.

So what is a fiscal conservative to do?

I think at some point , the nanny state is doomed to fail , as it is currently in France. I think cracks are already showing, but not very bad yet. Not bad enough for anyone to seriously think about fixing it at least.

I think we should formulate a plan to 1) set up conditions so that people can make their own recovery from the collapse of the social hammock as quickly as possible and 2) speed up its demise in atime and manner of OUR choosing, through a combination of tax policy (which may include increases as well as cuts) and social policy (which may include increases like medicare as much as cuts).

I don't think there is a plan like that yet, but I also think that republicans cutting government is alost as much a pipedream as democrats cutting government (spare me the Clinton Line, firing 400,000 military/DoD and hiring 300,000 social workers is hardly "cutting" government).

I think there is a way forward for us. I dont know exactly what it is yet. But I don't think the "frontal assault" will win out.

Last time we voted with our feet (Perot) we Got 8 years of Clinton, another two trillion in debt, terrorism and the dot com bubble. I 'd like to opt for plan "B".

I know that this may rub many the wrong way, because they think a particualr issue is the most important. I think little else is more important than our continued military and economic power, because we aren't going to reduce abortions if we're run by the Chinese.  Politics isn't about what's right, its about what works. And I think we need to have a long chat about what will really have the effect of advancing our agenda.

I think the "we" is at the heart of the matter. I have never thought of GWB as a fiscal conservative and he has, so far, proven me right. So that takes the executive branch out of the equation. As for the Congress a quick look at both the House and the Senate bills concerning this issue will show quite a few panty-waist congressmen and Senators who will not stand up and say (with there vote) I'm fiscally responsible!

It has been suggested here that conservatives should target a RINO and cast him or her overboard to send a message to the rest that they mean business. Don't know if that will work or how that may be perceived?

to say Bush isn't governing the right way for the reasons you listed may be a bit to general IMHO

You don't have to care about socially conservative issues. You can, in fact, be completely opposed to most of them (as my good friend John Cole is, but he's a decent enough person to respect my principles for what they are). But what really gets me riled up is when people pretend that they're just window-dressing, and that it's just a big, fat waste of time for politicians to even talk about them.

Just so we're all clear, the death of 1.1 million unborn a year is a real, live issue for some of us, and we don't think it's a waste of time for our elected officials to discuss it, hmmkay?

That I wasn't worried about you, specifically.

Oh, and also, I never have to actually wonder what you are thinking. You're generally not shy about sharing it. :-)

your comment is outrageous and has no basis in reality.  1/4 of americans want to see the country destroyed??????????????????????????? NO WAY!!!!!

NO WAY!!! NO WAY!!!

3/4 of the country are patriotic and want to defend it. 1/4 of the country want to see destroyed by an invader because it "deserves it" for one reason or another (left or right). Since the last election was made to be about "do you want to defend the country" if so vote "r" if not vote "d", we got the result we did. Not because of any specific intrinsic patriotism or lack thereof about democrats or republicans per se, but because of the lines the respective parties chose to draw.

By your own logic 48% of the country wants to see this country destroyed.  Once again your comment is outrageous, has no basis in reality, and is very inflammatory.

I would add a third kind:

3. Traditional Christians

These people often get tagged with the false label "social conservative," but a more accurate term would be the old media standby "religious right."

Conservatism isn't a buffet.  You can't pick only the consequences of conservatism that appeal to you, and still claim to follow it as a framework for government and culture.

wants to create the myth that the social conservatives are out to spend tax dollars like the money grows on trees.

But my congresscritter is a RINO through and through-he loves to spend money on lots of programs and he is socially liberal (with a few votes swinging to the right depending on the issue).  

I didn't check his vote on the bill, but if I had to bet money, he voted with the liberals on this one.

myth that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives aren't the same group.  

I strongly identify with both groups, and my ideal candidates do too (I don't get them very often in NH though-my representative is a textbook example of a RINO-and I think he has his seat until he doesn't want it anymore given the support he gets).

I have lately been troubled though by the hostility some libertarian oriented conservatives who focus on the fiscal issues towards those who are social conservatives, or religious.  I think they may either have bought into the myth, or even worse prefer to promote it (which plays into the MSM's hands), for their own reasons.

In the end, conservatism, like liberalism is a spectrum, but I think in general the fiscal and social conservatives have far more overlap, than the media or those who don't like the social conservatives care to admit.

I feel your pain on work involved with getting a law degree!  ;)

I think the distinction between "social conservative" and "fiscal conservative" is false, but for a different reason.  I think conservatism is a pretty binary thing.  If you're a conservative, you're not going to give up that conservatism when it comes to matters of government size or our culture.

However, not everyone who supports social traditions is a conservative in the sense of Burke and Buckley.  That's where there is a potential split in the party.

much of a split.

Fiscal conservatives and social conservatives are much closer in their conservatism than the RINOs or all but RINOs.

But like I said I see conservatism (and liberalism and pretty much any political position) as more of a spectrum-there is going to be some variation-and that is a good thing-that is why we have places like Redstate-you would be hard pressed to find cookie cutter conservatism.

liberalism and a lack of courage post-elections due to the msm and washington culture.

Liberalism has had its effect on most ALL Americans which causes even the GOP to hesitate when it comes to implementation of our principles, especially when tempted to use taxpayer dollars to "buy votes" as one "brings home the bacon."

The main problem too is that there are a dangerously high number of liberals in America and given their majorities in so many states, it is hard for us to get real conservatives elected from them.

Plus, there is no party discipline.

What amazes me is how we forget the Reagan landslides and Gingrich revolution  examples of victories for unabashed conservatism.

Take it from a former dem that knew AT THE TIME AND ALL ALONG AND NOW, what sells. I always feared unapologetic conservatives for I knew the allure. For even as a dem then, it appealed to me!

those who are tempted to blame James Dobson and/or social conservative activists for our fiscal woes are missing the salient point that neither he nor they control federal spending on anything. We must look to Congress for that.  

Moreover, I must say that I have been impressed by the Congressional GOP's "Operation Offset" which has looked closely at the budget to find ways to cut some serious spending in order to make up for the Katrina deficit.

However, if there are disgruntled fiscal cons in the GOP who are looking for a social conservative to throw overboard, I nominate Pat Robertson who has reached Dean-like albatross status of late and deserves to be removed from polite republican circles until he can behave himself. And that's coming from a pro-life republican who favors the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Re: Last time we voted with our feet (Perot) we Got 8 years of Clinton, another two trillion in debt, terrorism and the dot com bubble. I

Sure, the business cycle was not repealed the way some overly optimistic people thought, but the fact that the 90s expansion came to an end with a recession no more means that the 90s economy was nothing but a false bubble then, well, the fact that the Reagan expansion of the 80s ended in the recession of 91 means that the 80s economny was false prosperity. All in all the 90s economy was pretty sound and the tech boom (not bubble, boom) is largely responsible for the high levels of productivity we are enjoying today. The dot-bomb "bubble" was small potatoes: it mostly affected Silicon Valley, while the rest of the country enjoyed a solid boom led by the tech industries.

Now as for the budget deficit, the unlikely team of Clinton and Gingrich actually did a good job there and this should occasion no complaint. Those of us who voted for Perot in 92 actually did get what we wanted (if we were voting for fiscal respomsibility) albeit not from the candidate we voted for.

And finally, as for terrorism, the inattention that led to 9-11 was quite universal; pretty much everyone was riding the End of History bandwagon for a while.

I have never heard or read anyone claim, whether here or in any other forum, that social conservatives are big-spenders and as such as responsible for the out of control budgets we have these days.

I don't think that Social Conservatives are bigger spenders than the Dems, but they are definately not Reagan Republicans.  Fiscal restraint is not their focus, nor should it be since they were elected on a platform of strict Evangelical morals.  They're mandate is the elimination of abortion, prevention of the gay agenda, and generally restoring what the Dobsons and Robertsons see as the correct social order.  

The budget is of secondary importance to politicians like Rick Santorum.

Social conservatives can't sell anyone up the river.  They had barely enough political capital to force an end to the recent unpleasantness and they still didn't get Luttig.

Furthermore, all this rigamarole about factionalization of the GOP serves to divide our big tent.  I would suspect that most Redstaters are socons on some issues, fiscons on others, and even Neocons on still others.

I for one am a conservative first and Republican second.  

What we're seeing is the Bloomberg effect.  Democrats realizing they couldn't win without an (R) behind their name.  Hence RINO.

Social cons need not be big spenders.  

I am conservative on social issues, yes, but I realize that if I am truly pro-family, I ought to push for lower taxes so that my family can keep more of my hard-earned dollars.

Furthermore, as a homeschool family, I want as little of my tax dollars funding our failed public schools.

The tech boom that started with the the introduction of the 486 and Windows 3.1 and lasted through 1998 was good for the country.  American tech firms were innovating and American consumers and businesses were benefitting greatly.  Yet unemployment was similar or worse than what it is now, and the dollar was trading in the same band it is now against key currencies.  

However the period of the 90s that is remembered fondly that Dems point to is the period from 1998 to 2000 after the Asian financial crisis when foreign central banks and scared foreign investors dumped their money into US markets.  The investment surge had multiple effects.  The short lived ones included a tech market bubble that financed the creation of a whole lot of worthless companies (Dot-bombs) and flaky jobs and a surging dollar pushed up by investors seeking the great returns from a stock and dollar bubble that at the very same time choked the profits of the very industries that created the earlier solid boom in the US technology industry.  The strong dollar meant higher profits for foreign competition due to their lower cost base.  The income earned from selling into the US funded aggressive expansion of industry in their home countries which led to strong competition down the road than would have otherwise existed.  

Had the Clinton administration prevented the dollar surge in the late 90s I believe the US would be in a much stronger position today.  Instead they encouraged the dollar bubble.

It is hard to make generalizations about where SoCons or FisCons stand. There are a few people who are only in one camp or the other but most are in both, to varying degrees.

I agree with some of the SoCon agenda, but I would consider myself a FisCon first since I support the entire agenda there and it is a higher priority for me.

I blame the lack of fiscal responsibility on congresspeople who are just looking for the easy path and are always looking to the next election. Then there is the President who I don't think personally supports the FisCon agenda at all, or maybe he thinks that it only consists of tax cuts.

and the policies that flow from assuming a natural goodness of man have resulted in more  evil than any other.

The problem with liberalism is how it progresses over time in an affluent society, slowly eliminating freedom and individual responsibility and weakening the people, thus making them ripe for destruction from without and/or from within. BTW, history defines liberalism, not dictionary entries.

And the fact of modern day western liberalism is before your eyes.

I think an important thing to realize here is not that the Republican Party betrayed us in anyway.  A select number of liberals with an R at the end of their name betrayed us.

So I think if you're a conservative and you live in a district with one of the betrayers, you should do all within your power to see to it that the betrayers are removed in a party primary next election cycle.  And if they are not removed, then simply don't vote for them; afterall, they didn't vote as you would like.  Don't send the message that what they did is acceptable.

I also believe that rather than abandoning the Republican Party, we should praise the vast majority of Republicans that stood up for cutting some spending and what not.  While yes, there were some Republicans that went off and did their own thing, most did not in the House.  And so, we must further expand the majority with CONSERVATIVES, not just Republicans, and then we can hopefully get something done.

he's not exactly running in a town where having that R next to your name helps you. And concerning Luttig, I can't see how he would have been much preferable to Alito.  He is slightly younger than Alito (age 50 to Alito's 55 years), but in terms of philosophy they are roughly comparable.

Other than those points, I agree with you.  The Social Cons do not run the GOP, although they are a powerful voice within the Republican party, and they have not sold anyone ... ahem, DOWN the river (that is the correct metaphor (-;).

reference to slavery in the antebellum South.

It looks to me like monowhatever is saying that a quarter of the country is not willing to defend it and would be perfectly content to see our gov't fall.  It is split between the far right and the far left, but at this time the lefties are more likely to be mad and want us to get paid back for some real or perceived wrong.  S/he did not say that it was 25% on both sides, which is apparently what you thought (if I understood this: By your own logic 48% of the country wants to see this country destroyed correctly)

Save for the potshot about McCain, you have described well the reason I endorsed and blogged about Senator Coburn's campaign in 2004 (even in the primary).  I knew he as a person would stand up to the silly pork barreling even if he did some other things (and said some things) that I would find embarassing.

What I don't get is why the social conservatives feel the need to pile on McCain unnecessarily.  McCain didn't vote on the Coburn Amendment.  But it is rather obvious he would have supported it and his vote was not crucial in getting it passed.  He was one of the 3 R Senators who voted against the Energy and Transportation Pork Bills.  And he's pro-life and against same-sex marriage.  Here's someone who is socially conservatives (on the full American axis) and fiscally conservative.  His priority is with fighing pork and pushing fiscally conservative issues, but he is no Guiliani on social one.

So when you go out of your way to play down McCain's efforts, it does more to make the fissure between SoCons and FisCons real than is necessary.

"it wasn't St. McCain the Pork-Slayer and erstwhile thoughtful "social moderate" who was carrying the banner."

So where were Brownback, DeMint, and Coburn when McCain was calling the Transportation Bill a disgrace on the Senate Floor.  I'm glad Coburn is taking the lead on these issues as I expected he would.  But Sen. McCain has done more for those of us who care about small government and fighting wasteful pork barreling than most Senators.  And those who crusade against him are making a needless division between two wings of the party.

Might I add that it would be much more productive to demonize Sen. Chafee, Specter, Collins, or Snowe if you want to make your point about FisLibs being SoLibs.  

Gingrich actually did a good job in controlling spending.    The problem we have now is that we have new spending (a war) and we've reduced taxes.    The tax cuts were put into effect before 9/11, but were not adjusted to take into account the unforeseen expenditures.

I think the problem is the lack of leadership in both Congress and the WH on the issue.   It just hasn't been a priority to fix the fiscal mess.

The religious right and the conservatives have so many policy goals in common, that there is no split, no.

The split could really only come in some distant(?) future, where judicial activism is defeated, anti-Christian bias in government is destroyed, confiscatory taxation no longer supplants charity, parents are the consensus pick to raise their children, and so on.

Since my folks live in New Jersey, I can tell you that there's a lot of skepticism about Dems in NJ right now since all the corruption issues came to light.  It was a perfect opportunity for a guy like Forrester to win a predominantly Blue State.  My parents are registered Republicans and they voted for Corzine to "send a message to Bush" as my mom put it.  All my arguments and even a threat not to stop by for dinner next week couldn't dissuade her.  That was a big wake up call for me. I'm sure many people felt similarly across the state and that's a real problem.  It's not just one thing but an accumulation of poor governance on many issues that drives registered republicans like my folks to vote democrat.

since mono was saying everybody who voted for kerry would be content to see the gov't fall, and 48% of people voted for kerry, that means 48% of people are content to see gov't fall.

The Left tries to marginalize social/cultural issues by saying that they are 'divisive', and that the GOP only brings them up to distract from real issues and to, of course, divide Americans in order to win elections.  

This is all absurd and dishonest.  I mean, just think about it; the Left implements things like racial preferences via bureaucracies, and runs to the Courts to have things like gay marriage and abortion on demand imposed, and that is all fine (apparently it is a unifying force in their minds), but if conservatives dare object and fight back, then they are the ones guilty of being divisive!  The Left can do all of these things, and its not a distraction from the economy, national security, education, etc, but the Center-Right's objection to these acts and attempts to remedy them are!  And come election time, if conservatives try to give people a say in the  matter (such as with the 18-19 popular rejections of gay marriage), then the GOP is guilty of using wedge issues; apparently if we would just shut up and meekly accept it, then we'd be good citizens in the eyes of the far Left.

I remember one time, yrs ago, I was watching a youth voter forum on MTV or some channel like that.  Some student asked the GOP representative about why they held such 'divisive' views as opposing racial preferences.  It struck me immediately that this sounded like something out of the Bizarro world, because in reality those seeking to grant such inherently divisive preferences/quotas are the guilty ones, and in an honest world this student would never have thought to ask such a ridiculous question.  The GOP talking head of course gave some lame response, as they almost always do.

I agree that there is more overlap between the two groups than there is difference, but that difference may prove to be decisive in some elections.

That is basically the strategy behind the recruitment of Bob Casey Jr in Penn to take on Rick Santorum.  Jr allegedly holds culturally conservative views, and it is thought that many of the conservative Democrats who have voted for Santorum based mostly on social issues will now have less reason to support the Republican, and instead will feel comfortable voting for a Democrat again.  

Pretty much every Democratic statewide victory in Southern or Western states uses this same approach -- nominate a culturally center-right Democrat (or one who claims to be, like Kaine in Va) to neurtralize the social issues and then make the race about economic/role of govt issues where the Dems aren't so out of the mainstream of public thought.

That is not at all what mono said.  You are interpreting it that way in spite of the fact that it says nothing of the sort.  We used to call that picking a fight.

3/4 of the country are patriotic and want to defend it. 1/4 of the country want to see destroyed by an invader because it "deserves it" for one reason or another (left or right).

you really think I am misreading his statement..how else could I interpret the statement above?

It seems to me he states pretty clearly that those of us who don't agree with Bush's policy are unpatriotic and think the country deserves to be destroyed.

I apologize if I am being oversensitive, but I really think his statement doens't leave much room for a different interpretation.

well over 1/4 of Americans are questioning Bush/the war. So, no, I wouldn't say he's saying everyone who does so are unpatriotic. I'd say he's saying some of them are.

Now, I will agree that the numbers may be a bit elevated, but seriously. It's naive to think that element doesn't exist strongly within the ranks of the Left. I've heard people say it; on more than one occasion.

that you would object to an investment boom. Those are usually desirable. And those of us who adhere to free market principles would do well not to blame the politicians when the market goes wonky, especially since in the 90s the politicians were doing what they should and leaving the market to itself. The economy will inevitably have good days and bad days and when the bad days come we ought resist the temptation to whine that Washington should have done something to prevent those bad days.

Now as to the details of the late 90s, I'm am still not convinvced that the dor-bomb crash was all that big of a deal. Sure, when you have a new technology whose economic potential has not yet been mapped out, and very low barrers to entry

you will end up with a lot of people with no business acumen trying to make a killing and business will fail and people will lose money. But outside those places (like California) where these businesses were concentrated the larger economy should have been been able to weather that storm with nary a hiccup. But some other things were also happening at that same time and here I think is the real reason things went sour.

First off there was the Y2K panic. Yes, there were some problems to be fixed, but just about every buysiness and concern in the country was stampeded by money-hungry technies and grim lawyers into shoveling tons of money at the "crisis" with the result that once everyone's Party of the Millennium hangovers cleared up, there was no more money left in the IT budget, and it's only been the last couple of years that things in the IT world have gotten back to normal.

Then there was the telecom over-build. Here I admit I am mystified.  Unlike the Internet, telecom has been around a while, and should have had sober people armed with accurate analyses running the show. Why the whole industry got the future projcetions so wrong and sunk so much money in excess capacity is a question you're welcome to address, since I haven't a clue.

youve heard people you personally know..say they think this country deserves to be destroyed?

or you mean youve heard anecdotes about people saying think this country deserves to destroyed?

Where does that say anything about voting for Kerry equating wanting to see the country destroyed?

Mono clearly stated that 1/4 of the population thought the country deserved to fall: left and right. (I personally think 1/4 is high, probably more like 1/8.)

Kerry is not mentioned anywhere in the post and mono clearly adds the Left and Right, so as to say that there are people on both sides that are so upset with the country they would like to see it fall.

I could just as easily have been offended because the poster inferred that the right wingers are so upset with abortion, gay marriage, and pornography that they believe the country should be destroyed.  

Now read it again, more slowly.

I was at a demonstration held by some Iranian ex-pats who were calling for the downfall of the Mullahs over there. Some woman came by handing out flyers. A friend of mine asked her, "Aren't you worried that the Ayatollahs will get nukes and set one off in Washington, DC?"

Her answer: "We deserve it."

here by zee2

Since the last election was made to be about "do you want to defend the country" if so vote "r" if not vote "d"

I presume "d" was referring to kerry, perhaps he was referring to democratic members of the house and senate, but it is still the same idea, equating democrats with not wanting to defend this country.

Yes, there are always the apochryphal examples, but by and large the governorships were local issues.

I agree.

The same be argued about other concepts?

For example conservatism has traditionally has been associated with small government and keeping the cost down. But the current administration which claims to be conservative did nothing of the sort. The government has balooned up, and the spending is thru the roof.

But let me also say, that today's conservatism long ago incorporated much of the good and bad of liberalism, and most all of us accept a safety net for the elderly, children and the poor, within limits. The differences between conservatives is mostly a matter of degree, state vs. federal, or whether govt can be shrunk quickly or slowly.

The slow crowd, like Bush, wants to first, put conservative principles in place, like responsibility and accountability that will actually solve  many problems and thus cause the programs to shrink naturally.

The problem of liberal infection and addiction can be traced to the post ww2 years when we should have eliminated many programs and of course to the 60s when the libs went ape, incl Nixon.

If oenly Reagan could have saved us earlier, but even Reagan could do only so much with a lib congress.

Bur the lib problem is that they refused to declare victopry in 1965. Instead, they have becomne radicalized in every area and if they had kept contropl of congress and the presidency fopr 8-12 years we would now be living in new France. see hillary care.

Liberals, of which I used to be one, used to serve a great purpose much like a fireman. But instead they have become what they once loathed in racial matters and seek to make every american a victim that they must cared for by govt.

But, yes, half a century of liberalism has weakened us ALL and I suspect bushs method is best in the long run in weaning us off the dependency govt tit.

raising taxes of copurse, is anathema.

Plus, most of the increase is is the war and entitlements and I hope we get back to soc sec reform and tackle medicare in a comprehensive way. The Px bill will save money when we have comp reform.



most all of us accept a safety net for the elderly, children and the poor, within limits.

Reagan ran up a huge debt. And we are still paying for it. Now Bush has done the same. What are we going to do with that? If we are to cut the social programs it seems all our taxes are going to go to pay the debt of the war.

I never did understand what those limits are in conservative view. What an acceptable limit for you?

:)

the freedom it buys is priceless. The % is debt is much less than at other times. We pay it back with cheaper dollars due to economic growth.

How long have you been saving to pay cash for your house? Are you economically illiterate.

And economic growth is essential to a free people's survival in a world governed by the aggressive use of military force against totalitarian slave states. And strong moral values and faith are necessary to gird us to fight and not appease the new islamo-facist threat that will one day get the bomb.

My limit is the lie, often racist, that tells people they cant make it in this country and that they shouldnt be expected to live a responsible moral life. Removing shame and consequence weakens us.

It has been criminal what the lib's "LOVE" has done to so many of the poor dependants on their plantationm since they kicked daddy out of the house and moved uncle sam in.

Freedom works and is precious. Your policies in the name of feeding assurance becomes govt job protection by keeping dependants.

And your policies would eventually cost us our freedom and multiplied starvations and murders.

meh by TrentJ

Sorry, This just sound like some kind of conservative evangelism speech. It does not answer my question at all.

I agree 1/4 is probably high.Its probably like 1/10 that really care, and maybe some more that are willing to go along with the outrage and noise without seriously thinking it through. And yes I meant right or left, whether it's Timothy McVey or Tom Hayden. (and that would have been my math, not my logic, both of which were seriously misenterpreted by some)

My point was also that the majority of democrats are patriot americans that love thier country, even ones who opoosed and still opoose the war. I believe I stated that in so many words.

My more important point is that people sometimes get so tribal in their association with a party, that they forget, while there is a good deal of overlap - party, politician, policy, platform and principle are not the same thing, and associations between each of them ebbs and flows over time.

My point on the 2004 election was about where the lines were drawn, not how each and every person felt. If that were the case, we'd have 280,000,000 choices , not two. If you voted D then yes, you though that baling on Iraq and rolling up the terror war into a police policy at home was either better or at least less worse that defending it militarily abroad. It doesn't mean you hate america or that you even thought it was a good idea..but it IS where the parties drew the line.

I consider myself a "pragmatist" in that I view voting as a tool to achieve an end. I have nothing personally invested in these guys. I have voted for people I didnt "like" and voted againts people that I do. But I don't actually know any of them. (Although I have met Ross Perot and Adm Stockdale) For now, that end is generally met in voting republican. That may not always be true.

 
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