Skip to comments.Repost: "Enough With The Neocon And Paleocon Carping—I'll Stand With George W. Bush In 2004"
Posted on 08/10/2007 8:47:56 AM PDT by Reaganesque
Like most Toogood Reports readers, I observed this year's battles within the conservative ranks with profound discomfort. In my mind, there are far too many real enemies out there to waste time and print fighting one another.
It seems that the world of conservatism has been split up between the "conservatives" and the "paleo-conservatives" or between the "conservatives" and the "neo-conservatives." Both sides present themselves as the bona fide article and the other side as the one in need of a prefix.
Personally, I just want to spit up this strife the same way the bleachers of Wrigley Field do the opposition´s home run balls. This qualifies as a "which side are you on boys" issue. It is my goal to conserve America's wonderful, non-living Constitution, and to forever preserve the personal and economic freedoms that embody our way of life. If you agree with me about these basic propositions, then you're on my side and the rest of your views are of secondary concern. Simply revering the spirit of the Founding Fathers puts you in the top 50 percent of the population on the Chap-o-meter.
Not only is an inter-journalist, inter-intellectual, conservative civil war fruitless, it is also detrimental to the nation as a whole. The country needs all of our efforts just to have a chance of mitigating the damage the culture war has wrought.
Our daily resistance may be the biggest obstacle to the federal pacman swallowing up fifty percent of the economy. We cannot afford to bicker amongst ourselves. The odds are too great. Obsessing over who said what about Taki, Buchanan, Frum, Lowry or any of the other public figures who make up the American right is counter-productive.
The neocon/paleocon debate is as bewildering as it is petty and misguided. Sadly, some conservatives now feel more comfortable with leftists than they do their own kind [I know of one who astonished me by saying that he regards the American Enterprise Institute as "The Death Star"]. Certainly, internal disagreements are to be expected, but they are trivial in comparison to accepting the positions advocated by the other side of the political spectrum. Socialism, cultural Marxism, white guilt, and radical feminism are eternal obstacles to advancing society. Other conflicts pale in importance when compared to them.
I propose that we abandon slurs like paleo-con and neo-con. Instead we should all evolve into "Logicons." The Logicon refuses to slash at the brethren who march alongside him because maintaining some level of public harmony is the only logical way in which we will succeed. Logicons realize that our fighting strength should not be diluted by internecine combat.
Much of the controversy currently centers around President Bush and whether or not one approves of his job performance. I've written here and elsewhere how much I personally admire him, but I also acknowledge that certain criticisms have been valid. Those who label him a big spender are correct in their assessments. He has not used his veto to curb the size of government and has developed a habit of hugging Ted Kennedy's voluminous appropriations.
While this is unfortunate, to pretend that Bush is not the best bet for advancing the country's interests is shortsighted. There are many conservatives out there who could do a better job of slashing outlays, but it is highly unlikely that any of them could get elected by our emotive and squishy electorate. On our side, George W. Bush "feels their pain" better than anyone. He brings in moderate voters the way my old Erie Dearie lures used to bag walleyes .
The problem is one of perspective. We can spend time complaining about steel tariffs or the administration´s pathetic capitulation on affirmative action last summer. Yes, I would have been greatly pleased if he disseminated a Michigan Law brief of his own after the decision entitled O´Connor a Known Fruitcake, but the fact is that he didn't and there´s nothing we can do about it. However, we must keep our outlook global by remembering what the alternatives are.
What would Al Gore do with affirmative action? How about Howard Dean, the neurotic would-be-king, with Al Qaeda? Makes you shudder doesn´t it? After the election, Al Sharpton would take his standup around the world as our Secretary of State and we´d hear Patricia Ireland lambasting patriarchal textbooks in her role as Secretary of Education.
In actuality, my examples really aren´t all that farfetched. The radical left has been carrying the Democrat Party since 2001 and, now, if the Democrats win, bills will need to be paid.
Rather than fantasize about an ideal future, conservatives need to think about how things can, and will, get devastatingly worse, should Bush lose. Be it Dean or Kerry or whatever burrito they decide to roll out of the Taqueria next summer, the fate of the country will be in jeopardy. By this time in 2006, there will be a foreign policy coward in every pot and a benefit check in the hands of every college drop out. Think France, think Germany, and then be grateful we have a president who doesn't spit after saying "tax cuts."
Besides, the Bush Presidency has produced many hidden benefits. His appointees may well be our salvation even though he backs obese budgets. In the latest issue of The New Criterion, we see that his appointments to the National Endowment of the Arts have had a wonderful effect. Under Dana Gioia, the agency is sponsoring Macbeth for military bases and has resurrected traditional Shakespeare at the national level [Shakespearean plays are now staged as in the days of old which means brothels and bath house scenes are no longer mandatory].
I don´t care if you insult him or trade in Karl Rove conspiracy theories, but, in November of 2004, this particular rightist is going to stand by George W. Bush just as the bumper sticker on my car promises. Our hopes for a better tomorrow rest in the White House on his bed. We must support him because heady days await and also because his reelection keeps the Democrat Party headless. Let´s proudly stand by our man as he loudly subsumes the popular positions of the left while promoting many of ours in the shadows though his judges, appointees, and minions.
By Bernard Chapin
Read the comments from fellow Freepers.
When a party receives the conservative vote regardless of the candidate, do you think that makes it more or less likely that the party will run a genuine small government conservative?
>> That, my FRiend, is what pragmatism gets us. I find it unacceptable.
Over the past 27 years, pragmatism (or pragmatic conservatism) has given us Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush instead of Jimmy Carter (2nd term), Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry (reputed Vitenam veteran).
I still fail to see why “electablity” is a bad thing ... without it, you’ve got Pat Buchanan or Alan Keyes. Absolutely brilliant men (though Buchanan has some occasional weirdness) who sit at home between elections.
Maybe it's time to coin a new term for republican conservatism to lessen the confusion. I lean towards paleo myself.
Or at least strip the label of conservative from globalist republicans, possibly the neocons, who aren't necessarily for smaller government, but are more for the elimination of our borders, culture, Constitution and national sovereignty.
Yes, the globalists have been hiding behind the republican party label long enough.
Can't hardly tell the players without a scorecard anymore. Check Wiki's variety:
>> When a party receives the conservative vote regardless of the candidate, do you think that makes it more or less likely that the party will run a genuine small government conservative?
Less likely - though I do object to the premise that the Republican Party will recieve the conservative vote regardless of the candidate. For instance, if Ron Paul were the candidate, many conservatives, myself included, would be forced to find another candidate/ party to vote for.
I think a mainstream political party that is hell-bent on running a fringe political candidate will be an irrelevancy. In order to remain mainstream, you’ve got to appeal to more than the fringe of the party ... you’ve got to have appeal to capture 51% of the electoral college.
I believe a mainstream conservative - like Thompson, Romney, Hunter, Huckabee, and probably even Giuliani - will likely recieve the support of the conservative base, as well as a significant portion of the middle. A candidate who appeals ONLY to the base has no shot at victory, and, as such, would hurt the cause more than help it. I think Gingrich (not Paul) would be the best example here, because of the baggage from the Clinton years. Ron Paul doesn’t even appeal to most conservatives, he appeals to the dozens of loudmouthed libertarians throughout the country.
That’s the way a democracy (or democratic republic, in this case) works - you have to appeal to more than just the base. Otherwise you’re just Ralph Nader - a cute sideshow while the mainstream candidates campaign.
Self-identified conservatives don’t make up quite a majority in this country (though we’re closer to a majority than liberals), so compromises with moderates/ independents are the only way to make any progress at all.
Conservatives could take a lesson from liberals on the art of “incrementalism” ... they seem to have it down pretty well, chipping away at conservatism. We need to learn to chip back (like we’ve been doing on abortion, for instance). Politics isn’t an all-or-nothing game.
Ridiculous conclusions can easily be drawn when taking a comment out of context, can't they? :-)
I did not fail to notice that you didn’t answer my question (instead, opting to pose one of your own, which I answered). So, I’ll try again.
“I believe wed be coming up on the end of President Al Gores 2nd term now, had we chosen an unelectable candidate. How, exactly, would that be a step FORWARD for small government conservatives?”
I'm not running anyone off. It isn't in my power or will to do so. I am merely lamenting the fact that so many are shaking their pompoms for anyone with an (R) after their name.
I won't bore you with some allegorical story about icebergs and Hawaii. I'll give you a real life story. I doubt that it'll curl your toes or change your so called pragmatism, but it's true nonetheless.
I worked on a mayoral campaign in a suburb around here. It is a very conservative suburb, and the guy running for mayor was my former boss. He ran as a Republican, so naturally I thought from personal experience and the fact that he ran as a Republican he would behave like Republican while in office.
So I did it all. I rallied the groundpounders, I attended and documented his speeches and rallies, and attended his victory party. My guy won, and I had a hand in it. A major role in it, actually.
Well, once in office the truth came out. The only reason he ran as a Republican was because ONLY a Republican could win in that suburb. He ran the city like a liberal would... from smoking bans to tax increases, the whole liberal portfolio was at his disposal and he used it with impunity. A populist Republican.
Yes, I felt completely suckerpunched by this guy, but I got over it quickly. However, I did come away with a valuable political lesson, one that so many "pragmatists" and "Anyone But Hillarys" have yet to learn.
Naming a child "Jesus" won't make him a savior, naming a child "Mohammed" won't make him a prophet, and putting an (R) after your name won't make you a Republican.
Get it yet?
We live in a time where the most extreme views from either side, even when they are right (that is only us by the way) seem distasteful to the masses. To paraphrase Mark Twain, Ifin’ I were God, I would have a only those voters that agree with me vote. Alas this is not going to happen. 70% of those that vote spend about 30 second figuring it out. In the confines of that, to be blunt, like Reagan himself said, I’ll take 70 or 80% over nothing...
How was it out of context? It was almost verbatim from your last sentence.
“When a party receives the conservative vote regardless of the candidate, do you think that makes it more or less likely that the party will run a genuine small government conservative?”
I’m assuming your goal is to have a conservative small government candidate run AND WIN, not simply run.
IF that party gets elected and if conservatives within that party work to shift it more towards conservatism ... Yes
IF that party does not get elected, or you decide to abandon working within it, you have NO chance of reaching your goal.
>> The only reason he ran as a Republican was because ONLY a Republican could win in that suburb. He ran the city like a liberal would.
>> “... I did come away with a valuable political lesson, one that so many “pragmatists” and “Anyone But Hillarys” have yet to learn ... putting an (R) after your name won’t make you a Republican.”
You seem to be mistaking pragmatism for supporting selling-out conservatism. I dare say that NO ONE on this board would support the Mayor in your example, or would call him a “pragmatist”. He was a liberal - plain and simple.
On immigration, Lindsay Graham wasn’t pragmatic, he was liberal. He wasn’t compromising on his conservative beliefs ... he was ADVOCATING liberal ones. There is a difference between occasionally compromising conservative principles where necessary for progress, and actively campaigning for liberal principles.
There is a distinction between a pragmatic conservative like George W. Bush (retarded immigration bill notwithstanding), and an outright liberal Republican like Olympia Snowe (for instance), or Lincoln Chafee pre-switch.
Your mayor was a liberal. He didn’t compromise his conservatism due to pragmatism ... he never held the conservative beliefs to begin with.
Yes, it was an accurate quote. The context of the quote has to do with everything surrounding the quote. In this case, the context of that sentence is the rest of my comments, as well as the thread, which is the discussion of which candidate deserves my vote. The context clearly indicates my conservative politics.
So, to answer your question, no. In context, my comments about Reagan would not justify a vote for a Democrat. I wrote what I wrote to indicate that the best Republican president in recent memory, perhaps ever, was not a 100%'er, as some seem to be waiting for. By his own account, Reagan compromised in order to make progress toward the goal.
Support the guy who is a great leader, could win the election and who fits your ideals as much as possible.
There is a big difference between playing at being a conservative and being a conservative trying to stake out as much of a conservative position on any given topic as they can in the prevailing environment.
This damning the reachable good for the sake of the unreachable great is pure folly.
Not sure your point ...
Do you NOT agree with the statement that “anyone but Hillery” should be elected ?
For example, if your ex-boss were running against Hillery next year, which would you prefer to become President ?
Depends on who you ask, but the reality is, political leanings fall along a spectrum. Too far right or left, and you get a kook. Everyone falls somewhere in between the extremes.