Dec 21 2008
The ‘true conservatives’ have not only lost the Congress in 2006, and the Presidency in 2008, they are on a path to losing it all the way. They look at the loss of moderate McCain to (what now seems to be moderate) Obama and make the ridiculous claim that those evil moderates cannot win (while the true conservatives sat home in a snit). It is an interesting case of delusional denial, to blame moderates when a strong conservative couldn’t even make it through the Â primaries.
The near-rabid conservatives who I could once tolerate in common cause for some greater goods (pro-life, strong defense, limited government, personal responsibility, the shining city on the hill) have become so bitter and arrogant that I find it embarrassing to even be associated with these folks. If it were not for the common goods mentioned above, which are polar opposites to the liberal left’s directions, I would not be standing anywhere near the banners of Hannity, Levin, Crowley, etc. I keep thinking they will return to sanity, but so far after so many losses I don’t see any sign of it.
But why stop with a string of losses? Why not do what Governor Huckabee did on talk radio last week and refer to those moderate conservatives as ‘mushy’? Why not continue to insult the only potential voting block that would form a governing conservative alliance? Why not go from a string losses to total oblivion!
I am not alone. I support other strong conservatives like myself who are not moderate or mushy, but simply not part of the ‘extreme’ conservatism that has been failing the conservative movement for years now. I count in that group President George Bush and Sarah Palin, who fight hard to move the country a step at a time to the right.
By contrast extremists are the ones without the patience to build stepwise consensus. They are the ‘all or nothing’ crowd – which always walks away with nothing!Â In the end the measurement 0f success is what is produced or achieved. The extremists have produced nothing (from 2004-2006). But ‘nothing’ is not the worst result, they have also actually achieved a long string of defeats. By this measure the ‘true conservatives’ are the ones racking up the losses (and blaming the only voters who could turn it around!).
Michael Steele, another strong conservative outside the ‘extreme’ conservative cabal, addressed this situation recently:
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) said Monday that conservatives need to â€œwake upâ€ and realize they need moderate Republicans to help rebuild the party.Â
â€œWake up people. I mean what are you going to do? Are you going to kick these folks out of the party? I have watched this party self-disintegrate for the last four or five years. Iâ€™ve watched this party isolate itself from itself.â€Â
â€œWe have to elect moderates in the party,â€ he added.Â
Not only elect them, but stand by them. The GOP should have stood by George Bush, so that when it was time to select a successor the electorate would have still been proud of Bush and rallied around his cause. But the four years of Bush bashing by the extreme right gave the nation a green light to dump Bush and all like him. That is how we got President-elect Obama. It is ironic that the core of Bush’s remaining base is dead center – far from the extremes of left and right who demand ‘all or nothing’ from their opposing fringes.
For weeks now all I have heard is mindless babble from the ‘true conservatives’. For example:
- Who the hell cares that Obama’s middle name is “Hussein”? His father, who named him, was a Muslim and so it seems a bit obvious how the name thing happened. But no one is responsible for their name, given to them by their parents. Obama has shown a clear life history of being able to exist in the Muslim community, yet he remains tied to Christianity (in the case of Rev Wright a clearly somewhat bizarre version of christianity). This babble reminds me of the nativist bigotry of the Dubai Ports deal, where an allied nation was investing in our industry and our security. A nation that hosts one of the largest US Naval ports in the world. ‘Ay-rabs’ was all the simple minded could see. It was one of this nation’s lowest moments in history. Unless someone has something solid that links Obama to Osama, obsessing about the man’s middle name is simply childish.
- Forget about Obama’s Birth certificate. It a dumb diversion from real serious topics like Embryonic Stem Cell research. No one is going to be considered a national political player if they babble in tongues of the irrelevant.
- Stop crying “liberal wolf!” until Obama shows some extreme liberal positions. If he is smart he will do what Bush and Reagan did, he will move the country left through consensus built steps. He will make each step tolerable and acceptable, thus making those screaming ‘the end of the world is nigh’ look the fools. Obama is left of center. We don’t know how far left yet, but until he shows something concrete all the barbs sent his way actually are being taken in by his supporters – hardening their support for THEIR choice – who they see is suffering from unfair attacks from extreme zealots (that is how Obama voters view the conservative movement they dumped over the last 2 election cycles).
The problem is that the majority of the country gave Obama the nod, and those mired in irrelevant fantasies and open bigotry (not to mention animosity) are seen as ever more extreme. Unwilling to ‘come together’. Not coming together after an election or a national crisis is not seen as patriotic.
The fact is the ‘true conservatives’ are out of ideas and exist only in full-pout frustration at having muffed their opportunities to lead and succeed:
In a frank and private memo sent today to Republican National Commitee members, the RNC chairman acknowledges that the GOP has grown too addicted to ideology, places politics before policy, and is bereft of ideas — and that it’s imperative that the party shift towards a genuine effort to develop concrete policy solutions to people’s problems in order to rescue itself.
“Republicans have grown accustomed to having our party recognized as the `Party of Ideas,’ but we must acknowledge that many Americans today believe the party is stale and does not deserve that label,” reads one of the memo’s starker assessments, adding that “we have not used our principles to provide solutions to the kitchen table concerns of middle-class America.”
I am a very strong conservative who is within a few moderating steps on the part of the Democrats from just dumping the GOP to the extremists.
I am pro-life. The idea of factories of embryos so we can tear their young ‘bodies’ apart to grab some stem cells and make spare parts for the rich is just grotesque to me. I can accept the decisions of mothers (and fathers) that have to deal with their children and their families. I can accept it ecause it is an individual decision (many times a very hard one and not so cut and dry as many make out).
I don’t like abortion and support education and options to avoid it, but individual decisions on one life is nothing compared to factories of young humans being slaughtered by corporations out to make profits. Yet the Embryonic Stem Cell ban Bush put in place is seen as a lesser achievement than banning the decision of mother’s to decide the fate of their children? How upside down is that! To some I am the devil incarnate.
I am for a strong defense and for winning the war against Islamo Fascist extremists on all fronts. I backed Bush on Iraq, McCain on Iraq, Petraeuse, etc. But I am sickened that the fight against Islamist terrorists has turned into a bigoted attack on Muslims in general. Dubai Ports and the “Hussein” crap are below the stature of the “shining city on the hill”. We can embrace peace loving people of all races, religions and cultures. And as we have seen in Iraq most peace loving Muslims simple need a powerful ally to fend off the cancer of the Islamo Fascists like al Qaeda. But we are Quislings and traitors for not being biased against all Muslims – and so the shining city on the hill turned into Abu Grhaib.
And I am really appalled when extremists try and connect long term illegal aliens here in this country to 9-11. Only a simpleton could miss the obvious distinctions. Yes, our wave of illegal immigrants is great cover for our enemies. But not all (or even most) illegal immigrants are terrorists. Since the extreme right tanked the only chances forÂ consensusÂ steps to tighter control of our borders I find their whining about the current situation ridiculous. We need to handle our immigrants, dump the violent ones back where they belong and make sure we can detect any terrorists trying to sneak through our processes. This doesn’t make me moderate or mushy. It means there are limits to what I will support in any legislation. I will not let the shining city on the hill become a gaited community of nativists. And neither will this nation.
We don’t need to be making bigoted jokes about hispanics and immigrants. This is a nation of immigrants who all have stories of crass arrogance from the earlier arrivals. Stories of how their religion or culture or race was unfairly denigrated and the alienation they felt. This nation has exposed the ugly side of America at each wave of new arrivals. No one is going to win allies bringing that uglyÂ specterÂ back into vogue.
I am all for lower taxes and focused, minimal government. I also saw the huge financial and personal benefit to adding a prescription benefit to our national health care safety-net programs. It lowered costs and gave people a better quality of life and was built on private sector competition. Contrary to the wailing from the right there never was any consensus to delete these national safety-net programs. Making them better was the only viable path. There was never going to be a plan to make them smaller or disappear. That is all delusional fantasy that really is just silly. We could make Medicare/Medicaid better, we were never going to eliminate tehm.
I could go on and on. Bush pushed the nation’s courts back to the center with a host of new judges and justices. The far right still moans it was all wrong. The far right still marks the destruction of a moderate USSC selection (Harriet Miers) as a victory instead of the first step towards the end of the governing conservative coalition. Without avenues to leadership positions the less extreme members of the coalition have no reason to be in the coalition. It’s got to be win-win or lose-lose. No one side gets all the wins.Â
If the ‘true conservatives’ are truly waiting for the left to screw up more than they are now they will be in for a long, long, long, wait. With them as the example of how not to govern. why would anyone not learn from their endless mistakes and do better to bridge differences and build alliances? The extreme right is opposed to moderation and alliances. They have ceded the country to any and all alliances which can garner larger numbers than the 20% or so which makes up the ‘true conservative’ pool.Â
I don’t see how, out of 80% of the population, you could not spend decades building consensus steps that look miles better than the ‘all or nothing’ positions of the extreme right.