Skip to comments.BLANKLEY: Conservatism reborn (Me-Too Conservatives)
Posted on 10/22/2008 10:52:33 AM PDT by acsuc99
With the rise to enduring power of president Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in 1933, a new type of Republican emerged in reaction to FDR's attractive and overawing power - the-me-too Republican. Until the election of president Reagan five decades later, these me-too Republicans supported, rather than opposed, Democratic Party policies, but claimed they would administer them better. Of course this led to a half-century of Democratic dominance of American government and politics.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Thanks, I was looking for this. Rush is reading this now.
The first time I saw the “me too Republican” tag used was by Ayn Rand. She detested them and I’m pretty sure she would thoroughly detest this current crop of me too RINO’s.
NAILS IT BIG TIME!!!
NAILS IT BIG TIME!!!
Sure. tell that to Mike Steele. Rick Santorum. George Macaca. Aynone heard from them lately?
BUSH is a “me too” (liberal) Conservative!
I find it ironic "Joe the Plumber" was able to encapsulate the Conservative economic view in 5 or so words while the chattering classes spew their contempt and vanity. Oblige us Mr. and Mrs. Talking Head and take a hike.
The congressional races offered no hope of relief. Although I have lost track of the nuts and bolts analysis on a state-by-state basis, the overall trends are clear. Congressman Campbell California reports on Hugh Hewitt's show that the House races are looking much worse than he had anticipated. The losses will be severe. Michael Barone writes of the "likelihood" of a vetoproof Senate. When Michael Barone writes, I listen. We are all aware of the implications of a vetoproof Senate.
To anticipate the inevitable charges of defeatism I cite the innumerable posts going back two years in which I predicted a terrible electoral catastrophe. I will take no pleasure in seeing those forecasts vindicated. Instead of whining, I say it's time to start looking ahead to finding a way out of the wilderness into which we will be cast. Here is the analysis a part of which I have previously posted:
After the debate will come a time of agonizing reassessment for conservatives. We conservatives as early as immediately after the debate and certainly no later than after election eve will unavoidably come to grips with the desperate straits of the movement. The Republican Party at the end of this election cycle will be reduced to the citadel of the old Confederacy and a few Rocky Mountain states.
We will be virtually leaderless, President Bush has already been discredited in the public mind and John McCain will have been cast aside as an eccentric loser who is past his prime. Virtually the only national voice of any elected official which the party will be able to muster will be Sarah Palin and her qualities are not yet honed and perfected to the degree necessary to function independently as the popular leader of a great American party. She has the natural gifts which could make her a legendary politician in the years to come. I hope she spends the long Alaska winters working on and polishing her public persona so that she never again will be exposed as she was by Katie Couric. She has the purity of spirit and she has the courage. With a little bit of forensic training and a leavening of gravitas, Sarah Palin might emerge as a great Republican leader. The question is, will she also emerge as a great conservative leader?
That leaves Mitt Romney, Governor Huckabee, Mayor Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter and Newt Gingrich. Of this group, Duncan Hunter is thoroughly sound but he does not have the charisma necessary to play the role of national party leader. Fred Thompson is also sound enough doctrinally but he is aging and he failed to show the vigor necessary in his halfhearted run for the nomination.
Next in order of orthodoxy- accepting the candidates recent formulations of their own positions-comes Mit Romney. If one accepts his conversion on a few issues, especially abortion, he is doctrinally sound enough. Romney's problem, candidly, is his religion. He is a Mormon and there were enough bigots in the evangelical branch of the party to deny him the nomination. But the times like Republicans' fortunes have drastically changed and he might just be the man for this season, especiallyin view of his wonderful business biography during these times of financial stress . Romney would make an unmatched organizer and financier for the party. I think his interests lie more in running as a candidate than as a mechanic of party machinery. Nevertheless, he might be able to place in power some people with drive and business experience who can put the Republican house back in order after the neglect of the latter Bush years and the chaos of the McCain campaign. Romney will be running for the nomination the day after the election.
After Romney in order of conservative orthodoxy comes Mike Huckabee . He troubles many Republicans and conservatives because of his populist streak. Many conservatives find him unreliable on spending. However he is possessed of a very winning personality and would make a wonderful spokesman if placed in the right role for the party. I see Huckabee as a front man and a spokesman but not a knuckle cracking boss.
Mayor Giuliani is disqualified by virtue of his doctrinal unorthodoxy and his personal biography from any elected national position with one exception: he would make an excellent chairman of the Republican National Committee. He can make a hell of a speech and he can debate. He's a tiger and God knows we will need a tiger fighting for the party. We will need especially someone who can get press attention and hold the public's attention. More, we need someone who can kick ass and take names There's only one other figure who can match Giuliani in this regard.
And that figure is Newt Gingrich. However, he too has disqualified himself by virtue of his personal biography and he cannot get support of the rank and file for elected office. But he is a font of ideas at a time when the Republican Party is fresh out of any new ideas. We desperately need his intellectual energy. Do not forget that of all of the potential leaders of the party mentioned so far only one has demonstrated the capacity to organize a guerrilla against entrenched Democrat majorities and lead the party to victory and into majority status. Do not fail to remember that he did that in the teeth of resistance from the Rockefeller wing of the party. Gingrich can make a speech and he can marshal arguments and he can skewer Democrats without raising a sweat. Gingrich could also head the national party but I think there would be ill considered but widespread resistance to any move he might make in that direction. We must not be foolish and fail to somehow take advantage of Gingrich's political genius.
So we will be leaderless for a time while we get this sorted out but we need not be rudderless for long because we have several men who can take the tiller in steady hand and guide the ship out of these shoals and into blue waters. There will be finger-pointing and acrimony but that is necessary and good. We must rediscover our soul and that cannot be done without bloodletting.
Speaking of bloodletting, it is absolutely vital that the conservative wing of the party come to a final victory over the moderates or we conservatives simply must leave the party. There will be no better time, we will never have less to lose. We will be in control of most of the elected offices and we will be in solid red states, few though they may be. The moderates will be geographically scattered in occasional congressional seats with some odds and ends in statehouses. They will have their voices in the media and some access to money. Many of them will defect to the Democrat party. Some might become libertarians. But conservatives must get lean and mean and come to a clear understanding of who they are and what they stand for. Moderates can come along but only after capitulation. There is no sense taking stragglers and mutineers along into the wilderness.
Not less important than finding our soul, conservatives must ruthlessly enforce party discipline. That can only come after moderates are reconciled to conservative leadership or have gone their own way. There can be no doctrinal accommodation with moderates. There is nothing more to be gained by compromising principle for a few more votes in the caucus because the caucus will have no power anyway. Conservative power will come from the moral strength of ideas. Eventually, if Obama only perverts and does not subvert the constitutional system, the public will realize the moral corruption of the liberal regime.
I believe that the big battle in the party will not be between conservatives and moderates but between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives who are primarily libertarian. Both flavors of conservatives find common ground in strong defense. Fiscal conservatives are generally not as enthusiastic about Second Amendment rights, but the issue is not a dealbreaker. Social conservatives are almost universally fiscal conservatives but not all fiscal conservatives share social conservatives concerns about abortion and the ancillary issue of the morning after pill, education, religion in the public square, homosexual union, stem cell research, and pornography, marital fidelity as a prerequisite to public service, and evolution.
I consider myself to be a social conservative with a pesky libertarian reflex. In other words I am ferociously opposed to abortion but I am less exercised about what homosexuals are doing to each other in private. I am very concerned about the war being waged against Christians by our own governments but I'm not very exercised about adult pornography. I recite all of this because I think the way I resolved my apparent dilemma is the way everybody should do it: look for the victim and protect him. The classic arguments in support of legalizing alcohol, drugs, prostitution and gambling all point to the "absence" of a victim so the traditional conservative bias towards individual liberty weighs very heavily. But I sure see a victim in partial-birth abortion so I don't give a damn about the mother's convenience. Indeed, I see no reason to grant exceptions to prohibitions against abortion for incest or rape because those circumstances do not justify victimizing innocents, that is, to kill babies. Life of the mother exception, to the contrary, makes sense to me because one can identify the mother now as a victim. So if all conservatives would only just do as I do, (you know, be as reasonable as Henry Higgins and I) which is to weigh the balance in behalf of an identifiable victim but otherwise to respect individual liberty, we would find much overlapping common ground upon which to build long-lasting compromise.
If social conservatives would accept formulations of public morality the organizing principle of which is the protection of an identifiable victim rather than the vindication of a moral precept, fiscal conservatives and libertarians would be much more comfortable in the party. Fiscal conservatives, for their part, must go to bat for Christians when they are embattled by the secularists who would rob them of their faith through the arm of government. Fiscal conservatives owe Christian conservatives one more consideration, they must stop their smug condescension and their eye rolling whenever Christians express their faith in public. Consider for example the execrable figure of the son of William F. Buckley Jr. abandoning the McCain/Palin ticket for ill disguised abhorrence of Palin's faith. This is probably the last kind of bigotry that is socially acceptable in America but it must no longer be acceptable among conservatives. Buckley claims that he is a "small government conservative" but I claim that no matter how small his government, he is no conservative at all but something quite alien to us.
If the conservative movement is to be salvaged, this dichotomy will have to be resolved either along lines that I suggest or some other way. The alternative is a further splintering of the party and that would be very, very unfortunate.
Conservatives face one other dilemma where the choice is ultimately a moral one and no matter which side of the argument prevails, the cost is inevitably great. The Republic is obviously embarking on a accelerated venture into socialism which implies deprivation of fiscal as well as First Amendment and other traditional liberties. When this happened during the Great Depression the Supreme Court for a while upheld the Constitution against the tidal wave of public opinion demanding action. That all ended with a court packing scheme which did not succeed in packing the court but did succeed in forcing the court to turn its face from the Constitution. The nation is probably embarking on a parallel course under Obama in response to this financial crisis. There is really no hope that the Constitution can be invoked to protect property to stop that process. Conservatism will have to rationalize this radical departure from the Constitution and find new ground to oppose the nationalization of everything. This will be both an intellectual and a public-relations challenge. The temptation will be to do as John McCain has done, try to moderate rather than resist entirely the usurpation of our liberty and our property.
How conservatives contrived to come out of the wilderness or whether they can come out at all cannot now be foreseen. Much depends on whether Obama merely perverts our institutions and traditional liberties or succeeds in subverting the Constitution à la Hugo Chavez. Obama has many tools short of violence and few institutional obstacles stand in his way. He has the overwhelming justification of the financial crisis which might well become a depression. He will pack the court. He will use the treaty making power to detour around our constitutional liberties. The propaganda machine will be overwhelming. The bright side, if it can be counted as such, is that all will not be well on the left. Hillary will exercise her ambitions, inevitably at the expense of Obama. Every special-interest group will be calling in their IOUs. In the long run, an extreme leftist coalition cannot hold together unless it moves beyond our constitutional government toward some sort of repressive regime. I look for Stalin versus Trotsky wars on the left with the potential for these internicine battles to spin out of control. Who knows where that will lead? Much depends on whether the left stays within the model of a representative democracy or seeks to extend its power with subversion of our historical liberties.
I don’t think you can call those who he cites-such Noonan as “conservatives” or even “pseudo conservatives”. They are Republicans, actually “country club Republicans”
I’ve been saying for the last 20 years that Ds are socialist, and Rs are socialist light-they’re going to take the country to the same place-which is a nanny state-its just that the Ds are going to take us there faster.
Once the American people start to realize that osamaobama, pelosi and reid can’t deliver the utopia they promise there’s going to be a lot of unhappy people in this country-A LOT.
Take for example the “free healthcare” everyone thinks they’re going to get. The first problem will be the long lead times for getting doctors appointments-because doctors aren’t going to want to take these patients. The doctors will then be forced by law, to take them. Doctors will then start to cut back on their workloads or go into other professions.
You’ll have a large part of the union population-like the UAW that will then find out (after the burden of legacy costs are shifted from the automakers to the govt) that they no longer will be able to see a doctor in a timely manner everytime the have gas or get a case of the sniffles.
And what happens when, now that the govt will be the health car provider, the disgruntled patient and their ambulence chasing lawyer will be forced to sue Uncle Sucker to redress their greivances-when they don’t agree with how they are being handled.
Yes, the government has done such a great job at running and administering social security, medicare, the post office, infrastructure construction and maintenance, I just can’t wait for them to take over the other 50% of my life.