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The Coming Conservative Renaissance

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:10 am - October 16, 2008.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Conservative Positivity

Welcome Instapundit Readers! While you’re here, you may want to check out my post comparing Palin and Obama to Reagan, building on a point Glenn made yesterday.

Anticipating John McCain’s defeat (which I am not yet ready to concede), many, particularly on the left, contend that the conservative movement which enjoyed its heyday in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan’s Administration and in the 1990s with a Republican Congress, will finally come to an end.

What these doomsayers* miss is that, in many ways, the conservative movement is now stronger than it ever was.  Rush Limbaugh, his radio show amplified by his web presence, is now joined on the air by countless other thoughtful conservatives and right-leaning libertarian voices, including Bill Bennett, Larry Elder and Laura Ingraham.  The conservative blogosphere has joined the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, National Review and The Weekly Standard as sources of conservative opinion.

Should McCain lose, they will becoming increasingly powerful.  Expect Rush’s audience to soar.  Even our readership will increase, as gays who become disgusted with how the national gay groups fawn over a Democratic president (as did HRC over Clinton in the 1990s), will be looking for a place where their views are articulated.

Radio talk show host Mike Koolidge said as much in an email to conservative bloggers (which I quote with his permission):

People like Michelle Malkin, and Rush, and everyone on this list (and thousands of others who nobody knows yet) will become MORE relevant than ever if Obama wins.  We will grow exponentially in influence, just like Rush did after Clinton was elected.  Country first, yes, but I firmly believe this will be the dawning of a new age of conservative mainstream influence (*cue Hair soundtrack), beyond talk radio and blogs (with those as a base, of course)

It’s not just blogs and talk radio. In the debate on the financial sector bailout, the Republican minority and not the party in power was the source of new ideas. When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sketched out his plan to bail out the financial sector, Democrats tacked on some of the standard notions from their playbook, such as limiting executive pay and providing a slush fund for their favored interest groups, but didn’t come up with any bold new initiatives.

In the most recent crisis, we saw an intellectual fervor among the GOP caucus such as we hadn’t seen since the Contract with America. Even George Will, mostly cynical about the GOP nowadays, took notice:

The rising generation of thoughtful Republicans was represented on both sides of Monday’s vote. Virginia’s Eric Cantor, 45, and Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan, 38, supported the legislation because they had helped to achieve substantial improvements in it, such as requiring financial institutions to help finance their bailout, giving the Treasury potentially valuable equity in firms revived by public funds, and eliminating a slush fund for Democratic activists. Texas’s Jeb Hensarling, 51, and Indiana’s Mike Pence, 49, voted against what they considered a rescue model fundamentally flawed because (in Hensarling’s words) it “could permanently and fundamentally change the role of government.”

If McCain loses, conservatives may be out of power (heck, I’ve argued we haven’t had a conservative president at least since 2006), but we will not be out of ideas. Just look at Obama’s platform, look at what the House Democrats propose, just the same old, same old tired liberalism. Government spending and increased regulaton as the solution to our problems.

Should McCain lose, conservatives will be reinvigorated in opposition, particularly with the shackles to the Bush Administration released. And should McCain win, we’ll have a ready audience at the Naval Observatory.

————

*The temptation to use the expression “Cassandras” was strong, but I did not want to contribute to the misunderstanding of this myth.  She was not a doomsayer.  Apollo had given her the gift of prophecy, but when she rebuked his advances, he wanted to punish her.  Since an Olympian could not withdraw a gift once granted, he instead gave her a different “gift,” that of never being believed.

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107 Comments

  1. It seems many conservatives think that after 4 years of Obama, a new conservative revolution will be upon us. I find it funny that the conservatives can hold power for about 30 years, they can cede power for 4 years then take over again.

    Comment by Mitchell Blatt — October 16, 2008 @ 3:21 am - October 16, 2008

  2. The Democrats are a fractious lot and did not accomplish a heckuva lot during the last time they controlled congress and the WH from 1992 to 1994.

    During the 2000-2006, the GOP congress was basically a rubber stamp for Bush, no doubt because it had been about 50 years since there GOP had complete control and were overreaching.

    Perhaps with this election they can go back to being traditional Republicans-being fiscally thrifty and desiring to keep government small and out of our way.

    I would not be surprised if John McCain retires after this senate term or switched parties if he does not win the Presidency.

    Comment by LCRW — October 16, 2008 @ 3:35 am - October 16, 2008

  3. Well, Republicans really only held power in Congress for 12 years.

    But Democrats will certainly do (and are already planning to do) everything in their power to make sure they don’t lose power again. The Orwellian named “Fairness” Doctrine chief among their plans.

    Audiences may flock to Rush and others, but Democrats intend to destroy talk radio.

    They will undoubtedly attempt to increase illegal immigration, offer amnesty. I even heard one proposal to just flat out give illegal immigrants the right to vote, and another to lower the voting age.

    Add to that other election reforms like national absentee voting, same-day registration, laws prohibiting ID checks, and voting rights for felons among others…

    Toss in more policies like Obama’s proposals, buying off a large percentage of the electorate and making more and more people dependent on the government…and lets not forget policies like Jamie Gorelick’s “wall” to prevent the detection of foreign campaign contributions.

    No, Democrats first priority will not be healthcare or the economy, their number one priority will be abusing their office to cement their power permanently.

    And they will demonize anyone who opposes them as racist or whatever else works…

    How soon Republicans return to power depends not just on how quickly Obamas policies fail, but how he and Democrats react to failure, how well Republicans get their message out, how effectively the media will be able to cover for Democrats, etc.

    And YES, I REALIZE I AM RAMBLING RATHER BADLY, but just one last thing :)

    McCain FINALLY made the point tonight that Democrats have controlled congress for the last 2 years. If he and Republicans had only been pointing that out for the last several months, and been drawing attention to the “change” that Democrats have delivered, we would be looking at an entirely different election landscape.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 3:59 am - October 16, 2008

  4. LCRW

    When it comes to spending, Bush was the rubber stamp for the Republican congress’ excess. His proposed budgets were always far more frugal than what they produced.

    I can see McCain possibly retiring, but not sure its his style. Also, i am guessing any chance of him switching parties has become next to nil. I think he is honestly pissed at Democrats treatment of him and his disdain for Obama is palpable. I think he also recognizes how the media has stabbed him in the back. In fact, I think he may finally recognize that his true friends are on the right for once.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 4:09 am - October 16, 2008

  5. If When the Obama Regime re-implements the Fairness Doctrine, here’s a suggestion for Rush, Hannity, et. al. In order to provide balance, they should devote one hour of each program to reading the posts and comments on left-wing blogs like Kos, HuffPo, and D.U.M.B.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 4:59 am - October 16, 2008

  6. LOL that sounds like a plan to me. Not only do you make your points, but you can expose the crazies on the other side at the same time.

    I am not sure the GOP will recover that quickly though-I do think how quickly they recover has a lot to do with how stupid the Democrats are-my hope is that the democrats don’t break too much in the mean time.

    Comment by just me — October 16, 2008 @ 7:07 am - October 16, 2008

  7. I find it curious that so many are lamenting that Obama hails the beginning of a generation of Democratic socialism. To believe this, you have to believe that massive tax increases + massive government spending = booming economy. Has this worked at the state level in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or California?

    True, Clinton raised taxes and got away with it. But these are not the 1990′s. The tech bubble that produced the Pets.com/Enron/Global Crossing economy has plateaued. There is no Y2K crisis on the horizon to inspire 2 Trillion dollars in private and government spending. Oil is no longer cheap, and if Obama and the Democrats push through their ‘Global Warming’ agenda, energy is going to get a lot more expensive, which will not be good for the economy.

    Also, government spending was restrained between Clinton and a GOP Congress. Obama is proposing massive expansions in spending at the same time millions of baby boomers will begin to retire. To pay for his spending, he will either grow the deficit and choke off investment or he will have to invoke massive tax increases with the same effect.

    Furthermore, the rest of the world is cutting corporate taxes at the same time Obama proposes to raise them here. Why should capital remain in the United States to be taxed at 40-50%, when it can be invested elsewhere and taxed at 10 – 20%? Even Sweden… Sweden for Set’s sake… has cut its corporate tax rate to 20%.

    So please explain to me why A.) Obamunism is going to work, or alternately, B.) If Obamunism isn’t going to work, why the American people are going to embrace it for the next 20 years?

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 7:28 am - October 16, 2008

  8. In a message dated 10/7/08 9:20:23 AM, rusty writes:

    don’t know if this little internet piece has floated across your emails. was sent to me by my partners neice who is a BOEING person north of Seattle.

    http://release.theplatform.com/content.select?pid=x7aVOMrlfkkijQwcLllwk6WjB5JE0zrF

    last Friday, I went to an ART Show of a friend who was sharing a space with another artist. Both artists are Lesbians, so the crowd was very heavy on the ‘homo’ side.

    A conversation started about living in a ‘renaissance.’

    Present in the conversation was a woman who just moved to the US from Amsterdamn with her American husband, another woman from the corporate world of an high end optics company in Japan, one of the artists, a man who works with Microsoft but is from India but had American/Indian parents who wanted to raise him in India and myself. It was a very interesting conversation.

    Just I thought I would share. . .

    DAN of GP responded to my email:

    A conversation started about living in a ‘renaissance.’

    a renaissance? In George Bush’s America?

    Interesting that.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Dan

    My further thought is what will happen, whoever is elected, there may be a changing of the guard. In both cases, The VP might have to step in. Both McCain and Obama are very well aware of that possibility.

    Comment by rusty — October 16, 2008 @ 7:36 am - October 16, 2008

  9. As my father used to say, drawing from his own personal experience, “Nothing makes a you more conservative than living in a socialist society.” It’s one thing to pine for socialist ideals. It’s another thing altogether to actually see those policies in action.

    After 4 years of an Obama, Pelosi, Reid (and Franken Beltway), it’s safe to say that whoever rises to the Republican fore in four years is sure to be a conservative firebrand and not some moderate who boasts about “crossing the isle.”

    Every time I listen to McCain, all I can think is “How did we end up with this guy?” I admire the main greatly and I believe he’d be a better Commander In-Chief than Obama. But the one characteristic about him that I find the least intriguing is his 26 years in the Senate. I am holding my nose and voting for him because I believe Obama’s contempt for the entrepreneurial spirit is in stark contrast to why my family came to America.

    There is something that rubs me the wrong way about a Presidential candidate who says that they believe in the American dream, up to $250,000. Obama makes the same tired argument that every socialist has since Karl Marx: he redefines income brackets into moral categories. That the poor are poor because the rich are screwing them over and whatever transgression a poor person commits is a result of the oppression he’s been forced to suffer at the hand of the rich.

    The problem with that argument is that (as socialists insist on calling them) the social classes in America are not stagnant but dynamic. Incredibly, three out of every four millionaires in America are first-generation millionaires, and one third of those three are first generation immigrants.

    I believe that the government should protect citizens from CEOs and Wall Streeters who steal and abuse other people’s money. What the government has no business doing is telling citizens is when they are making too much money.

    Comment by Right Turn — October 16, 2008 @ 7:46 am - October 16, 2008

  10. McCain will lose because he is talking about Ayers now and “It’s the economy, stupid.” The economy is tanking because of 13 years of Democrat socialist policies that created the bubble-and-meltdown in our real estate markets. McCain stupidly isn’t ‘going there’.

    Obama is not a great American. Obama is the type of guy who would:

    - Openly tell a hard-working small plumber that he, Obama, is going to spread the plumber’s wealth around.

    - Send a million dollar earmark to his wife’s hospital in exchange for them boosting her salary.

    - Disbelieve that Americans are capable of winning in Iraq.

    - Raise taxes in a recession, making it a depression.

    - Get himself elected to the Senate and then show zero leadership on any looming issue of the day. Vote ‘present’ – when he bothers to show up at all.

    - Give a speech to 200,000 Germans – *Germans*, ya know what I mean? – and pander to them at his own country’s expense.

    - Engage in vote fraud with ACORN.

    - Pander to the likes of Rezko / Pfleger / Wright / Ayers and use them to launch his career; then disown them (along with his own grandmother) if and when they become politically inconvenient.

    Based on that, we can know that Obama has no character and predict he will be a poor President. Unfortunately, we will all suffer while 10,000,000 average Americans in the political center figure it out.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 9:06 am - October 16, 2008

  11. I find it curious that so many are lamenting that Obama hails the beginning of a generation of Democratic socialism. To believe this, you have to believe that massive tax increases + massive government spending = booming economy. Has this worked at the state level in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or California?

    True, Clinton raised taxes and got away with it.

    Well the thing is, Roosevelt did it and got away with it. That’s the historical precedent. Hoover’s and his tax increases took an ordinary stock-bubble recession and turned it into a Great Depression, yet people just voted for those policies all the more. Will we repeat that generation’s mistakes?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 9:13 am - October 16, 2008

  12. Every time I listen to McCain, all I can think is “How did we end up with this guy?”

    Because brilliant party leaders think picking the most electable (i.e. moderate) candidate with war hero credentials is the only way to win when the odds are against you.

    Right, President Dole?

    Right, President Kerry?

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 9:14 am - October 16, 2008

  13. Every time I listen to McCain, all I can think is “How did we end up with this guy?”

    We can thank party leadership for that. They assume the key to victory is finding an “electable” (meaning m-o-d-e-r-a-t-e) senator with a heroic war record. Hence, John McCain. Hence, John Kerry. Hence, Bob Dole.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 9:17 am - October 16, 2008

  14. Will we repeat that generation’s mistakes?

    Maybe. Probably. But we do have a chance to avoid them. I’ve read Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” and Amity Schlae’s “The Forgotten Man.” There are some differences between now and then. The main one is that we now know socialism doesn’t work. Back then, it hadn’t been tried. No one knew it would fail. We know that now, and we can make a case against it.

    Also, capital is more global and fluid now than it was then. In the 30′s the U.S. could isolate itself economically from Europe and the rest of the world with its socialist experiment. (a.k.a ‘The New Deal.’) Not any more. With the increased flow of information, more Americans will know that other countries with better economic policies are succeeding, and that may provide a measure of accountability.

    We know the first thing the Obamunists will do is try to cripple conservative media. (Like Chavez did in Venezuela).Which is why it will be critical to make sure that means of getting the truth out survive. I don’t have the answer to that problem.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 9:30 am - October 16, 2008

  15. V,

    You are correct regarding the Dems attacking the conservative media. This has been shown by Pelosi’s pack of hounds pushing for government funding of FAR LEFT radio like Air America and others like them.

    Again, so much for FREE MARKET.

    jeb

    Comment by Jeb — October 16, 2008 @ 9:51 am - October 16, 2008

  16. I also predict the corruption we’ll see in the Obama regime will be like nothing in American political history. We already see it with ACORN.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 10:15 am - October 16, 2008

  17. I apologize for dominating this thread, but since I accepted the inevitability of a McCain defeat long before anyone else did, I’ve been thinking about this longer.

    In 1992, we were warned repeatedly that Clinton was a liar and a philanderer… charges that were laughed off by the MSM, but that later turned out not only to be true, but to be the traits that defined his presidency.

    In 2008, we are warned repeatedly that Obama is a radical and corrupt, and the same people who laughed off the idea that Clinton was a liar and a philanderer in 1992 are assuring us that Obama is not a radical or corrupt, despite his numerous connections to radical people and corrupt organizations.

    Those who do not learn from history… Fool me twice, shame on me… there are lots of aphorisms that apply.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 10:29 am - October 16, 2008

  18. A true conservative revival would be an excellent thing. An increase in “the left is so mean” mentality would just drive us further down the drain. Malkin and the rest will never be relevant but they will be dangerous as more people turn to the gutter factor for answers. You want to make a positive difference in this country, then find the roots of conservatism and return to them. Dump this neocon, control the masses, rule the world nonsense. It’s not conservative, it’s suicide. Provide solutions, don’t just throw out the worn-out boogie man of socialism.

    We have survived every other idiot who has been elected, we’ll survive the next one.

    Comment by Dave — October 16, 2008 @ 11:27 am - October 16, 2008

  19. There will not be a renaissance for the GOP until it finds a new voice. It needs to stop looking back at Ronald Reagan as it’s oracle. It was Reagan’s vision that both revitalized the GOP…and delivered it into the hands of the religious and social conservatives. The GOP has to stand “for” something, not “against”. If McCain loses, which looks likely, then the era of Reaganism is dead and it’ time to look for fresh memes and ideas for a new century just Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressivism did. Reaganism was the culmination of the Greatest Generation’s dream….it’s time for ideological renewal, not just electorial reinvigoration.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — October 16, 2008 @ 11:47 am - October 16, 2008

  20. We ended up with McCain because none of the other candidates passed the ideological purity test, even the guy I would have picked: Rudy Giuliani, who would have made mincemeat of Pinocchiobama.

    We haven’t had it all that rough since Jimmy Carter left office in 1981. A whole generation of voters (including myself) has sprung up that never experienced the folly of statism first-hand. The generation that remembers the Great Depression is dying out. I fear we may have to see for ourselves what statism is really like before its ideas get put out to the ash heap of history where they belong.

    Comment by Attmay — October 16, 2008 @ 11:48 am - October 16, 2008

  21. When the GOP does find a voice and a leader, it won’t be a m-o-d-e-r-a-t-e. Mods are inherently incapable of leading because they don’t stand for anything, and compromise is not the stuff of leadership.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 12:00 pm - October 16, 2008

  22. Hoover’s and his tax increases took an ordinary stock-bubble recession and turned it into a Great Depression, yet people just voted for those policies all the more. Will we repeat that generation’s mistakes?

    Oh Come On. The Crash of 1929, and it’s aftermath, were far more than just a simple stock-bubble recession and you know it. Hoovers tax increases didn’t come until 1932, when the Great Depression was firmly entrenched throughout the world economy. When Hoover did finally increase taxes, the scope of the increase is stunning, from 25 to 63%. The Hoover policy that may have accelerated the Great Depression was the protectionist Smoot-Hawley tariff, passed in 1930, which stunted world trade, and spread the negative economic pulse throughout the worldwide markets.

    The causes of the Great Depression were implemented long before Hoover entered into office. Hoover’s greatest flaw was his continued insistence that everything would be OK, which made him appear completely out of touch with the reality of the situation, which is why the Bush administration is being so pro-active.They may not be taking the right actions, or it may be that we’re going to go through a severe recession no matter what actions are taken. But at least they will not be remembered as the New Hoovers.

    Finally, the inaccurate statement above is just the type of historical claptrap I have come to expect from the likes of Rush and Hannity (especially Hannity). If they are the future of the conservative movement, we are doomed.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 12:59 pm - October 16, 2008

  23. Sonic, have you read ‘The Forgotten Man?’

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 1:11 pm - October 16, 2008

  24. Also, capital is more global and fluid now than it was then. In the 30’s the U.S. could isolate itself economically from Europe and the rest of the world with its socialist experiment. (a.k.a ‘The New Deal.’)

    True, It couldn’t be like the 30′s. There was still a very strong nationalistic, isolationist impulse left over from the previous century – a vision of how a nation could be so much better if it were to gain economic dominance over its neighbors. WW2 proved that wrong then, just as our immigration situation with impoverished Mexico proves today.

    We are probably headed toward another bout of isolationism. In the 1930′s, isolation from Europe hurt both regions, and lead to the US becoming complacent with the rise of Hitler in the late thirties. Everyone wanted desperately to avoid another world war, which is ironic, since the drive to avoid another war led us directly into one.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 1:20 pm - October 16, 2008

  25. Not yet.

    I’m still wolfing down Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton.

    BTW, how is it coming with the kids learning guitar. I, after twenty two years of playin’ bass, and twelve years of swearing to also learn to play the six string, have finally picked it up myself. Soon, I hope to debut a song with my band.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 1:27 pm - October 16, 2008

  26. Good. I guess. Their band has several shows lined up. They’re still looking for a better front man. They had this one guy lined up, but he crashed his car while tripping on shrooms and hasn’t covered yet.

    Frankly, I’m hoping and praying the new kid ain’t into music.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 1:35 pm - October 16, 2008

  27. The thing is, if you read ‘The Forgotten Man,’ you find that Europe was beginning to pull out of the Depression by the mid-thirties. But Roosevelt stubbornly clung to his designs of raising taxes (to 83% ultimately) and government control of key industries. People were literally thrown into prison for not charging the government-set rates for meat. So, yes, tax increases in the teeth of a recession are a bad idea. And Obama is out to punish the investor class, i.e., the people who have money to invest and create jobs for other people.

    Did you ever think you’d live in an America where Democrats make heroes out of bad cops who abuse children, and then attack an honest plumber who’s just trying to make a living? Things really are that effed up.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 1:40 pm - October 16, 2008

  28. I just read a summary of “The Forgotten Man”. Sound good, especially since it seems in line with my assessment of the period.

    Another good book to read, if you want a fun history of Wall Street, is “The Great Game”. It’s short, sweet and a heck of a lot of fun, and, concerning the GDep, it leans in the same direction as “TFM”. There is a companion documentary based on the book.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 1:43 pm - October 16, 2008

  29. The next two things on my reading list are the book about pirates that Lileks was flogging this week, and a book about high school football. I have a long ride plane coming up, that’s one of the few times I have a chance to read and digest books. Lately, I’ve been studying scripture a lot.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 1:58 pm - October 16, 2008

  30. With 25% of the workforce unemployed, Roosevelt desperately saw the need to get people to work the quickest way he thought possible. In that regard, the first portion of the New Deal worked. Roosevelt’s fatal flaw was that he never envisioned the need to transfer back to a free market / laisse faire economy. He probably couldn’t have if he wanted too, as that was seen as the cause of the Great Depression in the first place.

    I still have a hard time wrapping my head around some of the hardships faced by that generation. Though many of the old timers I’m sure remembered what it was like to not have so much stuff, the world had changed dramatically in the years after WW1, from a world of self reliance – from growing your own food, to making your own clothes, or bartering for those things with your neighbors – to a world of unprecedented economic symbiosis and the acquisition of great wealth in a relatively short period of time . When it all came crashing down, they had never faced such an economic crash in anyones memory. There really was nothing on that scale since Andrew Jacksons crash of 1836 and 37, and even that doesn’t really compare. We have the benefit of having a great economic hardship in our distant past, and of being able to analyze all the successes and failures of that era. Both candidates border on economically illiterate, as far as I can tell. That said, I’m still optimistic that, no matter who wins, though either candidate will make plenty of mistakes, the lessons of the past will not be ignored.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 2:17 pm - October 16, 2008

  31. Lileks was flogging Pirates…. Sounds like fun :-)

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 2:20 pm - October 16, 2008

  32. What worries me about an Obama presidency is our enemies will be so embolden, I could see mushroom clouds rising out New York City!

    Otherwise, Obama’s ability to govern may be severally limited, unless there are wimps in congress that will cave in whenever someone starts the name calling. I don’t see the fairness doctrine being resurrected but they will try very hard. However we’re in for some very crazy times and Middle America will see how insane these people really are. Yes, not only will it resurrect the conservative movement, it will be galvanized like it’s no tomorrow.

    As for McCain, he has a history of coming in from behind and just may take the election much to the potentially violent chagrin of socialist liberals. If he does win, it won’t be because of him or his running mate . . . it will be because of Joe the plumber. I don’t envy the position he’ll be putting himself in and it may, God forbid, take his life. However, if he does survive I rather have him being baby sited by a conservative Hockey Mom from Alaska!

    Palin brings absolute terror to the Washington elite, including so called conservative Republicans. That’s because she’s not one of them, will shake things up and get away with it. All because of Palin’s remarkable ability to identify with average people. This woman just may be what the conservative movement has been looking for. If McCain goes down in defeat, WATCH OUT, here comes Sarah. She knows how to hunt and is not afraid to go for the kill!!!

    Yea, Dave is back!!!

    Comment by Dave_62 — October 16, 2008 @ 3:31 pm - October 16, 2008

  33. What, conservatives don’t want to entertain the prospect that this election is likely a realignment year?

    Because is it. The Democrats aren’t even running a southern bubba like Clinton and yet, look at Virginia, look at North Carolina. The solid south is dead. The west is changing too – look at Colorado, New Mexico. Arizona would be a major battleground if it weren’t McCain’s home state. Meanwhile, New England is a Democratic fortress and the Midwest is becoming even more reliable territory for the Democrats.

    The map is changing.

    Comment by Erik — October 16, 2008 @ 3:53 pm - October 16, 2008

  34. Erik, that all may be true, but it can swing back in the future, and I figure after four years of skyrocketing deficits and tax increases that come with an all Dem team in Washington, the conservatives can easily win if they stick to the smaller government/lower taxes mantra. If they hadn’t gotten away from that in the first place, they wouldn’t be where they are today. A lot of folks in Colorado are already questioning their Democrat run state government that hasn’t even tried to control spending and keeps on increasing taxes. The Dems are on the verge of running the oil and gas folks out of the state, and when that happens a lot of counties are going to be without 60% of their tax base. When the taxpayers that are left get HUGE increases, only the Dems are going to be there to blame.

    Comment by Hunter — October 16, 2008 @ 4:08 pm - October 16, 2008

  35. Erik,
    Sorry to burst your bubble. This isnt a “realignment year” any more than Jimmy Carter was a realignment or Clinton was a realignment. Democrats controlled the White House and congress the first two years of the Clinton presidency, Americans were supposedly done with Republicans after 12 years of Reagan/Bush, and what happened after two years of Democrat control? Both houses of congress flipped entirely in a landslide for Republicans.

    The last time Democrats held both houses of Congress and the White House before Clinton? Jimmy Carter, who lost his re-election bid in one of the biggest landslides in American electoral history.

    Every time liberal ideas are tried, they fail. They are the cause of the financial crisis we are in now. They are not going to make life better for Americans, they are going to make things worse. And the left thinks President Bush is the worst president in history? Well guess who assumes that title when things get worse under Obama! Ironic that liberals set him up for it.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 4:57 pm - October 16, 2008

  36. - Send a million dollar earmark to his wife’s hospital in exchange for them boosting her salary.

    I wish McCain would talk about THAT earmark instead of the stupid telescope or whatever it was. It just goes to further illustrate Obama’s deep corruption.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 5:06 pm - October 16, 2008

  37. Erik, you’re only thinking about politics and trends. We’re talking about issues.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 5:42 pm - October 16, 2008

  38. As always. leftists are emotional and juvenile. We must use this against them, and bait them into going too far.

    This superbly hilarious picture is not only true, but guaranteed to send a leftist into therapy. Send it far and wide. It is market-tested to induce the maximum of indignation in a leftist.

    Comment by Toads — October 16, 2008 @ 5:43 pm - October 16, 2008

  39. The only way for conservatives to take back Congress is to purge itself of the corrupt big-government leadership we have now, and finally admit to ourselves that Bush is not, and never really was, a conservative.

    Because of Bush, conservatism has been dragged through the mud and people discredit it because the left keeps on saying that Bush is an incompetent big-government type, and that since bush is a “conservative,” then conservatism is to blame.

    It will be hard, but we must admit that some Republicans were anything but conservative; that conservatism (if we actually applied it) does work; and (most difficult of all) convince people that the GOP can be trusted.

    That will take a good amount of time, and the damage Obama can inflict in that time is great.

    Comment by MadHatChemist — October 16, 2008 @ 5:47 pm - October 16, 2008

  40. Should McCain lose (I don’t believe he will, despite his poor campaign, but let’s just say…), I don’t think Obama will be able to enact most of the policies that we fear most for the simple reason that most Americans are reasonable fair-minded people. Even most of the ones who are voting for Obama. My only fear of Obama is that he will destroy the economy and bloat the regulatory state–problems that can be rectified later. (I’m thinking of American Elephant’s comments above.)

    But if McCain does lose (and even if he wins), I would like to see the Republicans take a step back and work on strengthening the farm team. Most state parties are a shambles, the Democrats are gaining in legislatures and state houses across the country. Here in New York there basically isn’t a Republican party and there hasn’t been for some time. Just a few stars keeping the name up on the marquee, but no organization worth the name.

    I think Palin was a fantastic and gutsy choice for the new energy she can inject into this decrepit party. To those Republicans who decry her as untested and inexperienced, I have to ask, what else could McCain have done? Every household name is severely compromised in one way or another. If he had gone with Huckabee, Romney, or any of the other big names, this campaign really would have been over.

    There just aren’t any greats on the national stage right now (the Democrats suffer from the same problem at the national level, but are doing fine at the state level, which is where the next generation will come from).

    Comment by tim maguire — October 16, 2008 @ 5:50 pm - October 16, 2008

  41. Did you ever think you’d live in an America where Democrats make heroes out of bad cops who abuse children, and then attack an honest plumber who’s just trying to make a living? Things really are that effed up.

    When the democrats want power, they stop at nothing. I think it is ironic though that they are defending a bad cop, but then they also went after a teenage girl and her infant brother, so this isn’t all that shocking.

    The attack the messenger mentality with regard to Joe the Plumber is really par for the course. The sad thing is Obama doesn’t seem to need them to go on this kind of attack, but they seem to be conditioned to it-sort of like Pavlov’s dogs.

    Comment by just me — October 16, 2008 @ 5:52 pm - October 16, 2008

  42. If McCain loses (today’s Gallop numbers show him within only two points !) …we must immediately move to form a Palin for President 2012 Committee.

    Palin is going to need a tremendous amount of support and an early start if she is to overcome the biased media and campaigns which begin earlier and earlier.

    One of the flaws with Hillary is that she wasted a lot of time with her hemming and hawing. The years that Hillary spent being coy, could have been better utilized raising money and solidifying her base. By the time Hillary got to Iowa….it was all over.

    We have to make sure that doesn’t happen with Palin. It has to be clear, even four years ahead of time, that there is a strong level of support for a Palin Presidency movement, and yes, even at this early date…..a group must be formed to back a potential Palin 2012 Presidency. We need to hit the ground running on this, and I’m ready to do everything I can to see that she gets elected in 2012.

    Comment by Christopher — October 16, 2008 @ 5:53 pm - October 16, 2008

  43. Before there is a conservative renaissance, conservatives actually will have to learn conservatism again.

    Conservatism as a governing philosophy simply means restraint in the use of government power and in the growth of government spending. So called “social conservatives” aren’t conservative – they’re quite keen on government power providing it is put to the uses they want.

    For the GOP to grow again, it will have to run the anti-abortion crowd out of the party. They are a distraction from the real issues, like deficit spending, national defense, deficit spending, laissez-faire economics, and (did I mention) deficit spending.

    Social conservatives need to join the (horribly-misnamed) “Constitution party” and leave the GOP.

    Comment by Trouble — October 16, 2008 @ 5:54 pm - October 16, 2008

  44. I am certain that I am not alone when I say that watching John McCain debate is an exercise in frustration. His problem? He just doesn’t drive his points home. Rather than emphasize or explain a vitally important point he moves on to another and another only to repeat the mistake he made on the first. The result is the dilution of each point and the issue floats off into the ether…

    more: http://www.endnote.blogspot.com

    Comment by Richard — October 16, 2008 @ 6:05 pm - October 16, 2008

  45. Start building support for Palin and Jindal now. We have two future stars of tremendous potential. No need to rush them for 2012, even (unless Obama is doing very poorly in office). 2016 is just fine (both will still be young by that time).

    I agree that social/religious conservatism has to be de-emphasized. In Canada, their election was held this week. The conservatives won (retaining power). Their platform was low taxes, spending cuts, and strong defense. Simple but effective, and it works every time. The socially conservative side is the one that is a liability.

    Bush declined after 2005, as he stopped being a defense hawk AND his lack of fiscal conservatism became more visible. He was still a social concervative, but what did that get him? Of the three pillars, be kept only the least desirable one. Had he done the reverse (stayed strong on defense and become fiscally conservative, while letting the social side slide), he would be better regarded.

    Comment by Toads — October 16, 2008 @ 6:08 pm - October 16, 2008

  46. That which never really lived, cannot be reborn.

    Comment by Seerak — October 16, 2008 @ 6:30 pm - October 16, 2008

  47. So called “social conservatives” aren’t conservative – they’re quite keen on government power providing it is put to the uses they want.

    Oh bullshit. Please cite specific examples including the names of people pushing such policy.

    For the GOP to grow again, it will have to run the anti-abortion crowd out of the party.

    That would be the quickest way to ensure conservatives never get elected again.

    And the “anti-abortion” crowd seems to know something about conservatism that you do not, that the courts exist to apply the law as it is written, not to write law from the bench. That the constitution means what it says and says what it means and if anyone wants to interpretively change it, they need to go through the constitutional amendment process, not dictate changes from on high.

    There is no more important or fundamentally conservative principle than protecting the concept of government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Conservatism needs them a lot more than it needs more Andrew Sullivan types.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 6:41 pm - October 16, 2008

  48. You’re forgetting that, once Obama is in power, he’ll start buying up failing newspapers ‘for the sake of preserving free speech’, denying license renewals to radio stations (for ‘violations of fairness doctrines’) and going after bloggers who ‘practice hate speech’ (i.e.: “I hate this president”).

    Comment by Mister Snitch — October 16, 2008 @ 6:46 pm - October 16, 2008

  49. Sir–
    I am reminded of E. Severeid, famous radio pundit, who, during the McCarthy days was told that there are but X number of Communists in the US and that 50% of them are FBI agents. His remark: the fewer there are, the better they are able to hide. You seem to live in this world that we are growing in strength the more voters reject us…

    The GOP consists (or did) of two large groups–fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. the fiscal types had an easy bumper sticker: Markets work. Govt does not. Now that is out the window, as the bailout shows.

    The GOP settled for a guy they thought would bring the two parts of the party together. McCain then moved to get the social conservatives and, rejecting his pal Joe L., took the baked Alaskan to made the social conservatives happy. She did. But the Hillary ladies, got a close glimpse at Palin and fled back to the Democratic corner.

    The party is in chaos. After the election, assuming a landslide for the Democrats (the GOP people in office waited too long to reject Bush the Destroyer), what will they do? Unite (ho ho) behind their new leader Palin? Or, as my mother said when finding mealworms in the open cereal box: throw it all out and start anew.

    Comment by fred lapides — October 16, 2008 @ 6:46 pm - October 16, 2008

  50. MadHatChemist,

    Bush is not unpopular because of any of his non-conservative positions, he is unpopular because he is inextricably tied to an unpopular war. He is unpopular because Democrats and the media convinced many Americans he lied to get us into war, despite even their own partisan reports conclusions that he didnt. He is unpopular because of Democrats lies about torture and non-existant Domestic eavesdropping. He is unpopular because he allowed Democrats and the media to nail him with the blame for kathleen blanco and ray nagins incompetence.

    In short he is unpopular because Democrats have done nothing for the last 8 years but batter him with a ceaseless barrage of phony accusations, lies and misinformation on an almost daily basis. And he promised to bring a new tone to washington, and, right or wrong, he intends to keep that promise by at least holding up his end.

    Try not to re-wrte history.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 6:54 pm - October 16, 2008

  51. For me, American Elephant, I think Bush has been a lousy President because he wasn’t conservative enough, not because of what the Democrates pinned on him. I totally object to No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug plan, his stance on immigration, his refusal to use the veto pen to control spending, backing down with North Korea, not standing up to Putin, etc. He has done some good, fighting terrorism, Roberts and Alito, tax cuts, but he has really squandered some huge opportunities to tread a conservative path, and force the Republicans in Congress to go along with him. The Dems and the media didn’t cause that.

    Comment by Hunter — October 16, 2008 @ 7:07 pm - October 16, 2008

  52. Start building support for Palin and Jindal now…. I agree that social/religious conservatism has to be de-emphasized.

    I hate to burst your bubble, Toads, but Palin and Jindal are both big social conservatives.

    Like Trouble, you are projecting. Republicans defeat has nothing to do with social conservatism. In 2006 Republicans lost power in congress over setbacks in the war and perception of a “culture of corruption”.

    Our troubles this year, as I said above, are due mostly to a ceaseless propaganda campaign waged by Democrats and the media, unchallenged by Bush and Republicans, that is almost entirely based on lies.

    But nowhere (other than the gay community and left wingers in general) is anyone rejecting Bush or Republicans because of social conservatives,

    Indeed, if you remember correctly, Democrats started this campaign with great overtures to “values voters” and the first debate Barack Obama agreed to appear in was? The Rick Warren forum.

    Bush declined after 2005, as he stopped being a defense hawk AND his lack of fiscal conservatism became more visible. He was still a social concervative, but what did that get him? Of the three pillars, be kept only the least desirable one.

    You have it exactly backwards.

    All of Bush’s social conservatism, from “faith based initiatives” to ensuring we didnt start manufacturing embryos for destruction, to the marriage debate came in his first term. He has remained a defense hawk all along, and he has become MORE fiscally responsible in his second term, finally discovering he had a veto pen.

    You guys are re-writing history to fit your own agendas.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 7:14 pm - October 16, 2008

  53. Bush is not unpopular because of any of his non-conservative positions

    Oh, please! Bush is unpopular for many reasons, and among them are indeed his non-conservative positions, such as:

    - Massive increases in entitlements
    - Reckless non-entitlement spending
    - Absurd and harmful compromises with top liberals, like No Child Left Behind or his signature of McCain-Feingold.
    - Refusing to tell the truth on Iraq… in a totally different way than the lefties mean: Refusing to meet the lefties’ absurd charges head-on and crush them.
    - Failure to reform Social Security, while the Republicans still had majority control of Congress.
    - Ditto on his failure to reform Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (though he did try – a little bit – which is a little bit more than the Democrats), thereby causing our current economic and financial crisis.
    - Proposing hideously wrong, neo-socialist bailouts to solve the current crisis.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 7:17 pm - October 16, 2008

  54. Thats fine Hunter, but those are reasons why conservatives are upset with Bush, not why people are upset with conservatives, which is what I thought you were tying to explain. People in general overwhelmingly approve of the prescrition drug benefit.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 7:17 pm - October 16, 2008

  55. Again ILC, those are the reasons conservatives are upset with Bush. Not the reasons everyone else is. And who on Earth is angry with him for failing to reform Social Security? He used up every bit of political capitol he had left in that effort. If anything, you should be angry with congressional Republicans who, out of fear, sided with Democrats.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 7:20 pm - October 16, 2008

  56. Palin and Jindal are both big social conservatives

    …Who rightly downplay it, other than the issue of abortion / right to life.

    I’d never ask social conservatives to check their convictions or religions at the door, but it is definitely true that the economic conservatism and the national security conservatism are what bring the most people to the Republican tent, enabling the Republicans to win elections.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 7:21 pm - October 16, 2008

  57. Again ILC, those are the reasons conservatives are upset with Bush

    Yeah… such as, the Reagan conservatives who help the Republicans get to 50%.

    If Bush hadn’t pissed off so many liberty-loving conservatives and Independents / centrists with his unique combination of (a) failed attempts at good domestic policies and (b) downright bad domestic policies, his ratings would be in the 40s/50s…. not the low 30s / high 20s.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 7:24 pm - October 16, 2008

  58. The Obama Thugacracy Begins: City of Toledo moves to shut down Joe the Plumber.

    It’s a warning. Criticize the Obamessiah, and you will be punished!

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 7:30 pm - October 16, 2008

  59. People in general overwhelmingly approve of the prescrition drug benefit.

    Oh, please! Evidence?

    who on Earth is angry with [Bush] for failing to reform Social Security?

    People like Joe the Plumber, for starters. I just watched a video 45 minutes ago where Joe rightly said that Social Security is “a joke” and he deeply resents having to pay into it.

    If anything, you should be angry with congressional Republicans who, out of fear, sided with Democrats.

    Of course I am. But you see, AE, Presidents are supposed to exhibit this quality called… *leadership*. Bush spent his on the wrong issues – again, NCLB, insane new entitlements, etc.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 7:32 pm - October 16, 2008

  60. AE, those are my reasons for not liking Bush. People in general don’t like him because he’s in charge. There is some myth that the President in omnipotent. I don’t give the overall electorate much credit for looking any deeper than that. If there was a Democrat in White House right now, that party would be in the same predicament. The Rx program is a great example. They like the free drugs, but hate the huge deficits that programs like that create. I think you are assuming that people vote on issues. I’d argue that they say and think they do, but they don’t.

    Comment by Hunter — October 16, 2008 @ 7:33 pm - October 16, 2008

  61. Taking a more general view – There’s no getting around it: On domestic policy and on protecting his own reputation (as I noted), Bush has been a gigantic failure, as a communicator and as a leader.

    The one big issue that he’s gotten right in his Presidency is the War on Terror, including Iraq, the Surge (when others said all was lost), etc. That’s a big thing to get right, and I give Bush credit for it. Although, even there, he probably should have listened to folks like McCain and Lieberman and Petraeus a little sooner.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 7:36 pm - October 16, 2008

  62. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen with Palin. It has to be clear, even four years ahead of time, that there is a strong level of support for a Palin Presidency movement

    Oh great, so now so called conservatives are supporting FOUR YEAR presidential campaigning. So the next time a conservative dose win the White House, on inauguration day, the will have to start campaigning for office. Did we learn nothing from the 2 1/2 year model – they don’t produce the best candidates.

    Conservatism is truly dead.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 7:37 pm - October 16, 2008

  63. P.S. And the Bush tax cuts. Kudos there too. Just wish he’d listened to McCain on spending.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 7:39 pm - October 16, 2008

  64. ILC, I agree.

    The economic situation, recession, depression, whatever, will surely weigh on his legacy, but he will ultimately be judged by the results of the Iraqi conflict.

    Comment by sonicfrog — October 16, 2008 @ 7:39 pm - October 16, 2008

  65. Sorry ILC,

    Before the economic meltdown, the major sources of discontent in America were not No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefit. They were the war, and IMNSHO, the venemous political atmosphere.

    The war had become very unpopular, Republicans had because of it, and pretty much since public opinion turned against the war, everything else that Americans are unhappy about has been successfully pinned on the GOP.

    The reason McCain has done so well, even taking the lead in what is supposed to be a very bad year for Republicans is the same reasons his campaign has focused on his history of reaching across the aisle…

    because prior to the economic meltdown, aside from the war, the thing Americans are most upset about is the poisonous political atmosphere that has overflowed Washington and affected their daily lives and realtionships. People have stopped talking to friends and family members. And because of the unpopularity of the war, Democrats were able to convince Americans that the political nastiness is all Republicans fault.

    Doesnt have anything to do with prescription drug benefits, or NCLB.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 7:48 pm - October 16, 2008

  66. Bush spent his on the wrong issues – again, NCLB, insane new entitlements, etc

    You have apparently forgotten that education reform and prescription drug benefits were two of the campaign issues in 2000 that got Bush elected. Al Gore and Democrats were also proposing a Prescritption Drug Benefit. Bush didnt propose his own plan because the idea was unpopular but because it was very popular. Remember all the stories about seniors eating cat food so they could afford to pay for drugs? It wasnt a question of whether or not we were going ot have a prescription drug benefit for seniors, but a question of whether we were going to have a Republican plan or a Democrat plan:

    In poll after poll, expanding Medicare to cover prescription drug benefits for the nation’s elderly — a third of whom lack any drug coverage at all — ranks near the top of the voters’ agenda.

    How quickly people forget.

    People like Joe the Plumber, for starters. I just watched a video 45 minutes ago where Joe rightly said that Social Security is “a joke” and he deeply resents having to pay into it.

    And he said he blames Bush? I’d love for you to provide that quote. Seems blaming FDR would be more appropriate.

    Of course I am. But you see, AE, Presidents are supposed to exhibit this quality called… *leadership*. Bush spent his on the wrong issues – again, NCLB, insane new entitlements, etc.

    wrong. Bush got re-elected after those efforts with more support than in 2000, not less. Again, re-writing history.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 8:16 pm - October 16, 2008

  67. Before the economic meltdown, the major sources of discontent in America were not No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefit

    And of course I never said they were. Now you’re using “straw man” tactics. You should know AE, from past encounters with me, how little patience I have for people who pull that stuff.

    prior to the economic meltdown, aside from the war, the thing Americans are [sic; were?] most upset about is the poisonous political atmosphere that has overflowed Washington

    Nope. Try again. Left-liberals have always been upset by Bush, period. (The concept of a pro-life, pro-America, pro-responsibility, Christian white male.) The rest of us have always been upset by his general lameness on many domestic issues. Oh, and in the 2006 cycle, upset by the looming prospect of failure in Iraq.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 8:19 pm - October 16, 2008

  68. spamfilter

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 8:20 pm - October 16, 2008

  69. And ILC, Bush has sacrificed his entire reputation in order to lead the country in a direction it no longer wanted to go. Not on NCLB or prescription drugs but on winning an unpopular but necessary war that the opposition party and media were simultaneously trying to undermine.

    It is precisely BECAUSE of his leadership that he is unpopular — not a lack of it. A quality shared by presidents Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 8:27 pm - October 16, 2008

  70. “So called “social conservatives” aren’t conservative – they’re quite keen on government power providing it is put to the uses they want.

    “‘Oh bullshit. Please cite specific examples including the names of people pushing such policy.’”

    OK:
    - Abstinence-only sex education (Bush, on behalf of James Dobson and co.).
    - Federal prosecution of medical marijuana users, irrespective of state law (John Ashcroft).
    - The ‘no-gay-marriage’ amendment (Bush, on behalf of James Dobson and co.).

    ————

    “‘And the “anti-abortion” crowd seems to know something about conservatism that you do not, that the courts exist to apply the law as it is written, not to write law from the bench. That the constitution means what it says and says what it means and if anyone wants to interpretively change it, they need to go through the constitutional amendment process, not dictate changes from on high.’”

    Which, of course, explains the GOP push back in 2005 for the Federal judiciary to intervene in the Terry Schiavo case, in spite of the fact that medical practice and probate matters are regulated at the state level – as per the 9th and 10th amendments.

    Comment by Trouble — October 16, 2008 @ 8:30 pm - October 16, 2008

  71. I’ve acknowledged Bush’s leadership on the GWOT. And, that he’s done a crappy job communicating about it and defending himself from the crazies.

    OK leader? Yes. The Harry Truman of the GWOT? Yes. A domestic success? Freaking no. Don’t deny the obvious. Yes, his domestic opponents have been lunatic A-holes. Again, part of leadership is communicating and overcoming that, at least to the extent that you manage to keep the 50% political center with you. On domestic issue after domestic issue, other than taxes, Bush has either made a pathetically lame attempt at a good policy, or foolishly spent major political capital on *wrong* policies.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 8:34 pm - October 16, 2008

  72. Before the economic meltdown, the major sources of discontent in America were not No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefitAnd of course I never said they were. Now you’re using “straw man” tactics. You should know AE, from past encounters with me, how little patience I have for people who pull that stuff.

    And I have even LESS patience for liars accusing me of lying. Here you are saying exactly that in your very own words:

    If Bush hadn’t pissed off so many liberty-loving conservatives and Independents / centrists with his unique combination of (a) failed attempts at good domestic policies and (b) downright bad domestic policies…

    …Of course I am. But you see, AE, Presidents are supposed to exhibit this quality called… *leadership*. Bush spent his on the wrong issues – again, NCLB, insane new entitlements, etc.

    So please dont pull that self-righteous, condescending shit with me. Its exactly what you said.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 8:38 pm - October 16, 2008

  73. AE: Does the phrase “etc.” mean anything to you?

    How about if I put it in bold, like this: *Etc.*

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 8:40 pm - October 16, 2008

  74. Now have fun with your straw-man tactics.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 8:41 pm - October 16, 2008

  75. (oh, and now your name-calling tactics, too)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 16, 2008 @ 8:45 pm - October 16, 2008

  76. With respect AE, ILC, and all you guys… you’re way off about what the American public is pi$$ed about. It’s not government programs, it’s not partisanship. You’re not even close.

    Americans are fed up because politicians are only out for themselves and their cronies. Wall Street guys get a huge bailout. The worthless deadbeats who treated their houses like ATM machines and won’t pay their mortgages… they get a bailout. Illegal immigrants get amnesty. People get their houses taken away by Eminent Domain and given away to well-connected developers. The political class in this country has become an interest group unto itself. And regular people are Fed Up!

    Why do you think people respond to Sarah Palin and Joel Wurzelbacher? People are desperate for real Americans to be back in charge of the country, not these political hacks, these much-vaunted “experts” who have gotten us in the mess we are in.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2008 @ 8:55 pm - October 16, 2008

  77. OK:
    - Abstinence-only sex education (Bush, on behalf of James Dobson and co.).
    - Federal prosecution of medical marijuana users, irrespective of state law (John Ashcroft).
    - The ‘no-gay-marriage’ amendment (Bush, on behalf of James Dobson and co.).

    1. I am unaware of any law mandating Abstinence only sex education. If there is, my local schools are violating it, as are Obamas schools in Chicago. Can you please provide me with the statute?

    2. I disagreed with that prosecution as well, but the Supreme Court did not. Moreover, the majority of Americans think pot should remain illegal — i have no idea how they feel about medical marijuana — but the point is thats a majority opinion, not just “social conservatives”

    3. What “no-gay marriage” amendment? Again, there was discussion of an amendment in case the courts overstepped their bounds or to prevent courts from over-stepping their bounds as several already had, but this idea of yours that it is wrong for the people to determine the laws and prevent activist courts from substituting their own policy preferences and claiming the constitution, which says nothing about it, mandates it, is hardly a conservative position.

    You appear to be a social libertarian or even social anarchist. That is not conservativism, thats libertarianism or anarchism. Conservatives believe there is a proper limited role for government in social issues.

    Which, of course, explains the GOP push back in 2005 for the Federal judiciary to intervene in the Terry Schiavo case, in spite of the fact that medical practice and probate matters are regulated at the state level – as per the 9th and 10th amendments

    they are, but the federal courts, not the state courts, have jurisdiction over constitutional issues such as due process. If you are incapacitated someday, in the care of one person whose claims about your wishes are contradicted by everyone else in your family, i hope someone will step in and determine if your best interests are indeed being represented.

    And you further misrepresent social conservatives. No one was using power to force an outcome they wanted. they were using power to make sure someones rights were being upheld in a disputed situation. Calling for review of someones constitutional rights may be an undue use of power in your mind, but its hardly an unconservative position, indeed, the constitution itself makes pretty clear that the role of government is to protect those rights, indeed that government cannot do anything that infringes upon them.

    By the way, scientists have since discovered that a whopping 40% of PVS diagnosed patients are misdiagnosed.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 9:15 pm - October 16, 2008

  78. Actually, I fervently hope that the current conservative strain comes to an end. Moreover, I hope conservatives spend the next four, or even eight, years in the political wilderness, nearly bereft of power and influence.

    Not because I wish them ill, mind you. Rather, I don’t think the current strain of conservatism can offer what is needed right now. I firmly believe that some time in the political wilderness will give conservatives the opportunity to re-evaluate their priorities and where they stand on any number of issues.

    Every political movement needs that time in the political wilderness. It’s only after losing power that the movement’s leaders can afford to look inward and re-evaluate.

    Comment by James H — October 16, 2008 @ 9:21 pm - October 16, 2008

  79. LOL. Wow, you really are dishonest arent you.

    Confronted with your own words stating very clearly that the reason Bush is so unpopular, indeed that he would be above 50% popularity if it werent for his “NCLB and insane entitlement programs” you try and pretend you never claimed any such thing because you included the word “etc”.

    Next you’ll be telling us it depends on what the meaning of is, is.

    Straw man my ass. Man up and quit lying.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 16, 2008 @ 9:28 pm - October 16, 2008

  80. Your basic premise is probably right, but it doesn’t address the problem that even four years of unadulterated liberal ascension will result in substantial damage that can’t feasibly be undone. Substantial moves toward socialism have never been successfully rolled back.

    Comment by ashowalt — October 17, 2008 @ 12:18 am - October 17, 2008

  81. I thought Karl Rove and George W. Bush had cemented a “permanant Republican majority” with their great policies?

    How come after only 6 years of unfettered Republican rule the GOP is on the verge of another disaster at the polls?

    How come the GOP isn’t running on social issues like telling young kids not to have sex, telling women to stay home and care for their children, telling adults not to cheat on their wives, telling men not to be house wives because it’s against God’s will, bemoaning the use of marijuana?

    You know, all of the things that Sarah Palin and her family do?

    The conservative movement has gone from all powerful to all parody.

    Things can’t get any more surreal

    -GSD

    Comment by GSD — October 17, 2008 @ 1:00 am - October 17, 2008

  82. “How come the GOP isn’t running on social issues like telling young kids not to have sex, telling women to stay home and care for their children, telling adults not to cheat on their wives, telling men not to be house wives because it’s against God’s will, bemoaning the use of marijuana?

    You know, all of the things that Sarah Palin and her family do?”

    Hey dumbass, just because your party imposes itself on the lives of private citizens doesn’t mean that the GOP, particularly Sarah Palin, ever intended to (or ever did).

    How many of your kool aid drinking friends were drafted, LBJ DEMOCRAT style, into this “illegal” war, which they so opposed?

    How many of your braindead friends were censored for going around saying idiotic and false things about “bushilter”, like your empty suit candidate does when the truth comes out about him, even before he’s won an election?

    Comment by kal — October 17, 2008 @ 1:45 am - October 17, 2008

  83. >I thought Karl Rove and George W. Bush had cemented a “permanant Republican majority” with their great policies?

    I was going to raise this issue… the grand pronouncements of one party or another’s eternal bliss… or eternal obliteration seem exaggerated to me.

    This talk of permanent vanquishing of the GOP will end up being just as true as the talk of permanent vanquishing of the Dems was in 04

    If it’s one thing people are good at, it’s failing to accurately predict the future.

    >How come after only 6 years of unfettered Republican rule the GOP is on the verge of another disaster at the polls?

    Because the media world is always against the GOP and so that requires the GOP to do the very thing it’s horrible at… promote itself, dispel myths that the media and Dems create, and be as ruthless as the Dems are.

    Thus when they fail, there is an entire apparatus ready to drill into the public’s mind every failure. This doesn’t happen when the Dems fail.

    >How come the GOP isn’t running on social issues like telling young kids not to have sex, telling women to stay home and care for their children, telling adults not to cheat on their wives, telling men not to be house wives because it’s against God’s will, bemoaning the use of marijuana?

    Because real world Republicans/conservatives are not the caricatures that idiot leftists construct in their paranoid “minds”

    Comment by Vince P — October 17, 2008 @ 1:56 am - October 17, 2008

  84. How come after only 6 years of unfettered Republican rule the GOP is on the verge of another disaster at the polls?

    Because the winning party becomes corrupt, and the opposition becomes insane.

    It has always been so. The problem isn’t with the party, it’s with the range of the Government’s power. The more control over its people, economy, and general domain, the poorer the results. Not to say there isn’t a minimum necessary, but there will never be a perfect party. It, like many leftist ideals, runs against the grain of human nature.

    Comment by bastiat — October 17, 2008 @ 1:57 am - October 17, 2008

  85. Actually GSD, Republicans had been running the show for 12 years before losing control of congress in 2006. And one of the major reasons Republicans are doing so poorly now is because many people erroneously believe Republicans are still running congress now that Democrats have killed the economy, the stock market, the banking industry and driven up the price of gas.

    But even if you look at just the 6 years in which Republicans controlled it all, thats still 3 times longer than the measly 2 years of unfettered Democrat control it took before Americans kicked their pathetic asses to the curb.

    Perhaps the creators of South Park summed it up best when they said, “we hate Republicans, but we really f*cking HATE Democrats”

    Two more years of what Democrats have accomplished so far, and Americans will be reaching for their torches and pitchforks.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 17, 2008 @ 2:01 am - October 17, 2008

  86. “Bush declined after 2005, as he stopped being a defense hawk AND his lack of fiscal conservatism became more visible. He was still a social concervative, but what did that get him?”

    Bush is not and never was a social conservative. Unless you think that Jimmy Carter was one also. Bush’s major domestic policy goal in his second term was amnesty/open borders. That’s about as opposed to social conservatism as you can get.

    Comment by JD — October 17, 2008 @ 3:03 am - October 17, 2008

  87. “Which, of course, explains the GOP push back in 2005 for the Federal judiciary to intervene in the Terry Schiavo case ..”

    I see that people are busy re-writing history. The push you speak of was bipartisan. A certain Senator from IL who is currently the leader of the Democratic Party favored that push.

    Comment by JD — October 17, 2008 @ 3:12 am - October 17, 2008

  88. Some people have an odd and inexplicable obsession over the Shiavo case.

    Comment by Vince P — October 17, 2008 @ 4:38 am - October 17, 2008

  89. V #76 – I have no problem with what you’re saying. Let me point out, though, that again it comes down to Bush’s lack of leadership on most domestic issues. On every one of the symptoms you cite, Bush has either (1) made pathetically lame attempts at good policies, or (2) had downright *wrong* policies. Accumulate numerous examples of that over 8 years, and you’ll have a bunch of ordinary Americans deeply pissed at the symptoms / results. That’s what I’ve been talking about.

    P.S. Thank you V for answering like a good guy – not calling me names, pulling straw-man bullsh*t, etc. ;-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 17, 2008 @ 9:53 am - October 17, 2008

  90. Sounds more like “retreating further into a right-wing echo chamber” than “renaissance.” But if you’re happy with the scenario you describe, well, enjoy the next four years!

    Comment by Nathan — October 17, 2008 @ 10:50 am - October 17, 2008

  91. I agree. Maybe once each generation we need to be cured of the foolish utopian dream that socialism promises. No one is more perfectly positioned to ignite this blowback than “spread the wealth around” Obama.

    We have had a major terror attack and a GOP president who spent like a drunken Democrat. I renounced my Dem party membership after 9/11; I will not register Republican until they return to the fiscal and federal conservatism that the Founders enumerated. I listen to Rush and read Hayek. And I’m waiting.

    Comment by Patricia — October 17, 2008 @ 11:27 am - October 17, 2008

  92. AE, first off, as someone who knows ILC personally, I will vouch for his integrity. I disagree with him too on several points, but he’s an honest and fair guy.

    Both of you are great people and add an enormous amount to the conversation on here. It bugs me to see you at each other’s throats.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 17, 2008 @ 12:42 pm - October 17, 2008

  93. NDT, wow, thank you for the kind words. All I ask is that challengers answer my points… rather than calling me names, or presenting other intellectually lazy distortions of me. While far from perfect, I will do my best to treat them the same way. Until I can see they’re not trying… at which point, they bore me.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 17, 2008 @ 2:02 pm - October 17, 2008

  94. “I’d never ask social conservatives to check their convictions or religions at the door, but it is definitely true that the economic conservatism and the national security conservatism are what bring the most people to the Republican tent, enabling the Republicans to win elections.”

    Unfortunately, with only economic conservates and national security conservatives on board, you get 1964. The difference between Goldwater ’64 & Reagan ’80 was the third leg of the triad. Defining “social conservative” narrowly defined as the religious right (because broadly defined it would additionally include immigration, RKBA, toughness on crime, opposition to race-based preferences, etc…), then I agree that their issues are a distraction from things that I personally find much more important. I will also agree that they scare away a certain number of libertarians and right/libertarian-leaning moderates. Unfortunately, they bring more votes (and energy as campaign volunteers, and money, and organization) to the table than they scare away. So, I don’t see a viable path to electoral success without them on the team.

    Comment by Barnacle Bill — October 17, 2008 @ 2:19 pm - October 17, 2008

  95. Bill, I agree. The economic and national security conservatives need the social conservatives… and vice versa. Reagan had ‘em both and that got him to 51% in 1980 and 58% in 1984.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 17, 2008 @ 9:02 pm - October 17, 2008

  96. NDT,

    Sorry, but the proof is all there. I’ve quoted ILC above, saying exactly what he claims he never said. And caught red handed, he pulls some Clintonian BS and pretends that the word “etc” somehow negated the rest of his statement.

    That’s not integrity. That’s not honest. That’s blatant lying. That’s not being able to admit when you’re wrong — the opposite of integrity.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 19, 2008 @ 4:33 am - October 19, 2008

  97. ILC,

    You’re simply a liar.

    Anyone who cares to can scroll up and see for themselves.

    “etc” for your information, does not mean, “I didnt just say what i just said”

    All the integrity of Bill Clinton. Seriously, get bent. I have less than zero respect for you now.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 19, 2008 @ 4:37 am - October 19, 2008

  98. filtered

    Comment by American Elephant — October 19, 2008 @ 4:42 am - October 19, 2008

  99. It is a drag to have to correct the record in the face of continued nonsense, but here it is.

    [AE:] I’ve quoted ILC above, saying exactly what he claims he never said.

    Not at all. You framed and misinterpreted my words to make them fit your inventions.

    As you suggest, anyone can read the thread for themselves. Why don’t we do that now? Here is what I said:

    #53 – Bush is unpopular for *many* reasons, and among them are indeed his non-conservative positions, such as:
    - Massive increases in entitlements
    - Reckless non-entitlement spending
    - Absurd and harmful compromises with top liberals, like No Child Left Behind or his signature of *McCain-Feingold*.
    [...]
    - Failure to reform Social Security, while the Republicans still had majority control of Congress.
    - Ditto on his failure to reform Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac… thereby causing our current economic and financial crisis.
    - Proposing hideously wrong, neo-socialist bailouts to solve the current crisis.

    Emphasis added. I described *seven* distinct items, and left an implication that one could add to the list. (Which V the K later did in effect, citing immigration policy.) I noted a lengthy series of Bush leadership failures on domestic issues, with the obvious and intentional implication that the accumulation of *many* such failures over eight years have led to the bad results that he, and we, are now experiencing.

    I quickly made my point more explicit:

    #57 – If Bush hadn’t pissed off so many liberty-loving conservatives and Independents / centrists with his unique combination of (a) failed attempts at good domestic policies and (b) downright bad domestic policies, his ratings would be in the 40s/50s…. not the low 30s / high 20s.

    In keeping with the intellectually and morally correct tradition of *citing examples* for one’s points, and of continuing to try to make one’s point clear to people who just don’t seem able or willing to get it, I made yet another attempt, saying:

    #59 – Joe [the Plumber] rightly said that *Social Security* is “a joke” and he deeply resents having to pay into it…
    *Presidents are supposed to exhibit this quality called… leadership. Bush spent his on the wrong issues – again, NCLB, insane new entitlements, *etc.*

    #61 – Taking a more *general* view – There’s no getting around it: On domestic policy and on protecting his own reputation (as I noted), Bush has been a gigantic failure, as a communicator and as a leader.

    Emphasis added. My point is or should be obvious. I spelled it out several times. It was, again, that Bush’s *cumulative lack* of leadership on *many* domestic issues – BOTH his making only lame efforts at good and necessary policies, AND his making powerful efforts at many different bad and unnecessary policies – has led to the bad results we are now seeing, that has pissed off Bush’s natural supporters. After after providing MANY examples – not just two – and after carefully acknowledging one of Bush’s domestic successes, i.e., tax policy, I made my point explicit yet again:

    #89 – again it comes down to Bush’s lack of leadership on most domestic issues. On every one of the symptoms [V the K] cites, Bush has either (1) made pathetically lame attempts at good policies, or (2) had downright *wrong* policies. Accumulate numerous examples of that over 8 years, and you’ll have a bunch of ordinary Americans deeply pissed at the symptoms / results. That’s what I’ve been talking about.

    But by the time I said that, AE had already long since warped and twisted my words into his own convenient invention, namely, that somehow my point had been merely that “the major sources of discontent in America were… No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefit.”

    *Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong answer.*

    Let those with eyes to see, see now. And, this is my last reply here.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 20, 2008 @ 1:49 am - October 20, 2008

  100. Funny how you forgot to mention the money quote:

    Before the economic meltdown, the major sources of discontent in America were not No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefit

    And of course I never said they were. Now you’re using “straw man” tactics. You should know AE, from past encounters with me, how little patience I have for people who pull that stuff.

    But as you noted above, you most certainly did say they were among them. In fact, according to you they were the number one and number three reasons:

    #53 – Bush is unpopular for *many* reasons, and among them are indeed his non-conservative positions, such as:
    - Massive increases in entitlements [what other massive increases in entitlements are there other than the prescription drug benefit?]
    - Reckless non-entitlement spending
    - Absurd and harmful compromises with top liberals, like No Child Left Behind or his signature of *McCain-Feingold*

    Number one and number three according to you! Number two is too vague to specify.

    And yet “you never said any such thing” and *I’m raising a “straw man” by quoting your own reasons back to you.

    Sorry, you’re full of it. That’s not a straw man, ILC, that’s a quote. Its not a misrepresentation, its a refutation. Learn the difference, get over yourself, and learn how to admit when you’re wrong. But of course, that would take integrity.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 20, 2008 @ 6:52 am - October 20, 2008

  101. Number one and number three

    And now dashes carry numeric meaning? Wow. I guess you get to assign any meaning you want to people’s words. What a great tactic. How attractive it makes you.

    Funny how you forgot to mention the money quote

    You seriously wish I had re-quoted even more of my words? Fine, I’ll oblige you. First your words as the setup:

    [AE:] Before the economic meltdown, the major sources of discontent in America were not No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug benefit.

    OK, here is the re-quote for you, AE, with emphasis added: *****Of course I never said they were.*****.

    Get it? I’ll do it again, if it pleases you: *****Of course I never said they were.*****. *****Of course I never said they were.*****. *****Of course I never said they were.*****. *****Of course I never said they were.*****. *****Of course I never said they were.*****. *****Of course I never said they were.*****.

    Saying that my major point was that NCLB and presciption drugs were the major source of discontent in America, AE, is your sad invention.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 20, 2008 @ 9:50 am - October 20, 2008

  102. You are a child. Seriously. Yes, when you create a list, the first thing you put down is usually referred to as “the first” and the second is usually referred to as “the second”, thats the way lists work. Do grow up. Your arguments are growing increasingly pathetic.

    The fact remains I was quoting your own examples, that I only used two as examples instead of citing all four doesnt make it a straw man. it makes it a partial quote. Believe me, your argument isnt any stronger if I quote you in your intirety, engraved in 24k gold plate.

    You know whats unattractive? Is a full grown man lying and acting like a complete child because he made bad arguments and got slammed. I’m done with you.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 21, 2008 @ 5:03 am - October 21, 2008

  103. entirety*

    Comment by American Elephant — October 21, 2008 @ 5:04 am - October 21, 2008

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