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Are Tea Partiers really conservative?
Daily Caller ^ | March 8, 2010 | John Feehery

Posted on 03/09/2010 1:39:29 PM PST by Ronbo1948

I hate it when David Brooks writes a column on a subject that I have been researching on and planning to write about for weeks. And he did it to me Friday morning, with a great column [1] about “The Wal-Mart Hippies.”

His central thesis is that the tea-party crowd is not really conservative at all. “Both the New Left and the Tea Party movement are radically anticonservative. Conservatism is built on the idea of original sin — on the assumption of human fallibility and uncertainty. To remedy our fallen condition, conservatives believe in civilization — in social structures, permanent institutions and just authorities, which embody the accumulated wisdom of the ages and structure individual longings. That idea was rejected in the 1960s by people who put their faith in unrestrained passion and zealotry. The New Left then, like the Tea Partiers now, had a legitimate point about the failure of the ruling class. But they ruined it through their own imprudence, self-righteousness and naïve radicalism. The Tea Partiers will not take over the G.O.P., but it seems as though the ’60s political style will always be with us — first on the left, now the right.”

I think that is spot-on, but I would also take it a step further.

True conservatives value one thing over any thing else: societal stability.

When so-called conservatives adopt tactics of the left—like Alinsky’s “Rule for Radicals”—they help further the cause of the left, which is social instability.

The dictionary definition of conservative is, “Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.” Russell Kirk, the iconic conservative thinker, considered conservatism “the negation of ideology.” Edmund Burke, considered by many the father of conservative thought because of his condemnation of the French Revolution, put it this way, “custom reconciles us to everything.”

But what do the Tea Partiers do?

They march with signs of Barack Obama in a clown face. They spend an inordinate time wondering if Obama was born in America. They attack institutions.

They use Alinsky’s rules against the left, but by doing so they create anarchy.

Dick Armey, the self-proclaimed father of the Tea Party movement, has been unapologetic in his use of these tactics. James O’Keefe, the right-wing provocateur, seems to enjoy channeling his inner Abby Hoffman.

Even the leading lights of so-called conservative talk radio, guys like Rush Limbaugh and especially Glen Beck, use many of these tactics to provoke, to entertain, and to shock the public.

But conservatives should think long and hard about by being right-wing left-wingers.

If conservatives decide to adopt the same tactics of the left, if they decide to be every bit as uncivil as the craziest radical, if they choose to be every bit as rude as the rudest hippy, if they choose to use language meant to abuse and destroy their opposition, who really wins and who really loses?

If we have an uncivil society, doesn’t that serve the interests of those who would prefer anarchy? If we treat the left like they treat us, doesn’t that mean that they win, because everybody loses?

Conservatives should be defending, not deriding, the democratic process. They should be insisting on civility in democratic discourse. They should practice basic politeness, and they should show respect for those who hold office.

It is altogether fun to bash the political class, and to make fun of all politicians. It must be therapeutic to call them all crooks and to march and protest, and read from Abby Hoffman’s playbook.

It is even more fun to follow Glen Beck’s conspiracy theories, to connect the dots in ways that were never meant to be connected, to speak darkly of the Trilateral Commission and to talk about succession and nullification.

And it must be a lot of fun for people to talk about how they are going to arm themselves and resist against the terrible federal government.

But, that isn’t what being a conservative is all about. Conservatives don’t look for ways to undermine civil society. Conservatives respect the Constitutional process as designed by our Founders, and modified on occasion by our forefathers. Conservatives appreciate the democratic process, and seek to make society better, not through revolution or radicalism, but through evolution and incrementalism.

Abby Hoffman once said that sacred cows make for a tasty hamburger. He also said that the first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.

A real conservative doesn’t play that game. A real conservative puts a high value on civil society, stability, and a social contract based on mutual respect and equal opportunity.

A real conservative doesn’t try to “get away with it.”

“The Rules For Radicals” was designed as a guide for the left to use to tear down civil society and build up something utopian in its place. It tactics are not applicable to those of us who value a stable, civil, and prosperous nation.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatives; opinion; politics; teaparty
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Radical Republicans? "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," said Barry Goldwater.
1 posted on 03/09/2010 1:39:30 PM PST by Ronbo1948
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To: Ronbo1948
Who is this moron? Sniffing David Brooks' farts is bad for one's mental state, apparently.

True conservatives value one thing over any thing else: societal stability.

WTF Is that?

2 posted on 03/09/2010 1:42:41 PM PST by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: Ronbo1948

He’s making an argument about tactics. I think that misses the point.

The issue that should concern conservatives is that the Tea Party movement is a populist movement. And populist movements are inherently unconservative.


3 posted on 03/09/2010 1:42:52 PM PST by MrRobertPlant2009
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To: Ronbo1948

When liberalism reigns, conservatism is revolutionary and stability is not the highest priority. The “status quo” as conservative dictionary-definition was debunked a long time ago.

The foremost conservative government in the history of the world — the American government — was instituted by revolution. Conservatism is not only about stability.

SnakeDoc


4 posted on 03/09/2010 1:43:04 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (The night is darkest just before the dawn, but [...] the dawn is coming. -- Harvey Dent)
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To: pissant

Moscow’s First Tea Party
http://www.infowars.com/moscows-first-tea-party


5 posted on 03/09/2010 1:44:07 PM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March (ONLINE TAX REVOLT 150,000 AND GROWING. http://www.onlinetaxrevolt.com)
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To: Ronbo1948

I think this “social stability” stuff is a caricature of wise conservatism. Often earthly shake-ups are good and necessary when we are concerned with conserving or restoring timeless good. Chaos for chaos’s sake is a lefty thing.


6 posted on 03/09/2010 1:46:04 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: pissant

I don’t know! I’m a conservative and I don’t have stability on my list!


7 posted on 03/09/2010 1:46:04 PM PST by tallyhoe
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To: Ronbo1948

As soon as I read the coined phrase “Wal-Mart Hippies” I knew this thing was nothing I’d be interested in.


8 posted on 03/09/2010 1:46:33 PM PST by Past Your Eyes (You don't have to be ignorant to be a Democrat...but if you are...so what?)
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To: SnakeDoctor
Conservatism is not only about stability.

How true. It is about conserving, or restoring if necessary, timeless things that are good.

9 posted on 03/09/2010 1:47:42 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Ronbo1948
I guess I'm not sure what the "Tea Party Movement" is. I've been to a couple of things that people associated with tea parties, and everyone I talked to seemed like they should be a FReeper if they weren't already.

ML/NJ

10 posted on 03/09/2010 1:48:32 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: Ronbo1948

FTA: ““The Rules For Radicals” was designed as a guide for the left to use to tear down civil society and build up something utopian in its place. It tactics are not applicable to those of us who value a stable, civil, and prosperous nation.”

My reading of Alinsy’s Rules is that it is about attacking organizational cohesiveness. As such it seems totally appropriate to turn their tactics back on them to achieve that effect and thereby advance conservative candidates. Stability and civility = RINO, IMO. Prosperity results from economic freedom and choice which is certainly not the status quo.


11 posted on 03/09/2010 1:48:58 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Ronbo1948
Silly article.
Has Soros just bought the Daily Caller, or he's owned it all along?
12 posted on 03/09/2010 1:49:27 PM PST by SmokingJoe
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To: Ronbo1948

“True conservatives value one thing over any thing else: societal stability.”

BS.

The USSR has “societal stability” at the cost of liberty and individual rights. “True” conservatives are not slaves to the state.


13 posted on 03/09/2010 1:49:29 PM PST by DB
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To: SnakeDoctor

One thing I like is the flexibility of the movement. It appears to be “round robin” and free spirited. I’m talking as an outsider, never having attended any. But when I joined the Online Tax Revolt, I chose to march with Joe the Plumber — he’s in the tea party.

I love the online march — easy and hassle free. Over 150,000 strong. Wish there was a healthcare march just like it.

You can view the march here:
http://www.onlinetaxrevolt.com/march


14 posted on 03/09/2010 1:49:39 PM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March (ONLINE TAX REVOLT 150,000 AND GROWING. http://www.onlinetaxrevolt.com)
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To: Ronbo1948

This piece has the ring of a thinking hard lefty trying to analyse the conservative movement when he really has no understanding of conservatism.


15 posted on 03/09/2010 1:49:53 PM PST by El Laton Caliente (NRA Life Member & www.Gunsnet.net Moderator)
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To: Ronbo1948

Having read this tripe I can understand why this guy idolizes David Brooks.


16 posted on 03/09/2010 1:49:59 PM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: Ronbo1948

When ‘stability’ equates to maintaining the ‘State’, and its massive bureaucracy; and being ‘radical’ means supporting and advocating the US Constitution — then ‘radical’ it is...


17 posted on 03/09/2010 1:50:05 PM PST by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: Ronbo1948
They use Alinsky’s rules against the left, but by doing so they create anarchy.

The guy thinks conservatism means "lie back and enjoy it".

No. Sorry. He misunderstands the nature of American conservatism, which is not mere traditionalism and does not make a fetish of stability.

We're constitutionalists. The founders were revolutionaries who bought our system at the point of a gun. We believe in liberty, and we're not going to let the Obamists have their way just in the name of civil stability.

Liberty upturns applecarts on all sides just by its very nature. Constitutionalism defends your right to build and create and prosper or fail, which sets the stage for the most dynamic society on the face of the earth. Its the marxists who want to sink the earth into a feudal stasis, not us. Its the marxists who fear liberty and all the messiness that comes with it. Not us, thats the sea we swim in.

18 posted on 03/09/2010 1:50:47 PM PST by marron
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To: Ronbo1948

Well, David Brooks and John Feeherty could have saved themselves a lot of verbiage and not looked so totally foolish if they realized the “tea partiers” they speak of who are NOT conservative are the RonPaul et al lie-bertarians who have infiltrated and claimed the TPs for themselves and who are running in congressional and gubernatorial races as Republicans.

Anyone can look at this site and see what the lie-bertarians are up to: http://www.rlc.org/

There also is an area on Free Republic called the RLC Liberty Caucus, which bothers some posters.


19 posted on 03/09/2010 1:51:48 PM PST by La Enchiladita (wise gringa)
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To: DB

When timeless good is honored, society will tend to be more stable, but we cannot put the cart before the horse.


20 posted on 03/09/2010 1:53:25 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Ronbo1948
The New Left

Got their start as Red Diaper doper babies. Indoctrinated in Marxist ideals and the calls for revolution by their parents, instructors, and "comrades".

Those who come to conservativism probably point to one individual here or there who got them on the path (and then led them to more reading, etc).

The dominant media has browbeat the public for decades that to be "politically correct" is to be liberal. Anything else is satirized and demonized and wholly misrepresented. Even historical accounts are revised to serve the movement.

21 posted on 03/09/2010 1:53:57 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Chaos for chaos’s sake is a lefty thing.

And anarchy is a libertarian thing; no difference.

22 posted on 03/09/2010 1:54:33 PM PST by La Enchiladita (wise gringa)
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To: MrRobertPlant2009
The issue that should concern conservatives is that the Tea Party movement is a populist movement. And populist movements are inherently unconservative.

If a populist movement arises in a society which has a fairly free market, that is true. But if one arises in a society which is dominated by government, such as Poland in the late 1970s or America under Obama, it isn't true.

23 posted on 03/09/2010 1:55:04 PM PST by Brugmansian
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To: T-Bird45
As such it seems totally appropriate to turn their tactics back on them to achieve that effect and thereby advance conservative candidates

Correct.
When you are dealing with a dictatorial communist like 0bama, who uses no holds barred, hardball, destructive tactics to crush all who oppose him, you have no alternative but to his his own tactics against him. Always put yourself in the mind of your enemy, and figure out what they are going to do next, then use his own strengths and tactics against him.

24 posted on 03/09/2010 1:55:23 PM PST by SmokingJoe
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To: Ronbo1948
It is even more fun to follow Glen Beck’s conspiracy theories, to connect the dots in ways that were never meant to be connected

Thats funny, when you consider that the most dangerous thing he does is to roll the tape and let us hear them speak with their own words coming out of their own mouths.

25 posted on 03/09/2010 1:55:32 PM PST by marron
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To: MrRobertPlant2009

The issue that should concern conservatives is that the Tea Party movement is a populist movement. And populist movements are inherently unconservative.

Huh? You can’t have a populist movement in support of enumerated Constitutional rights (also known as republican form of government)? I think they chose the name Tea Party because it beckened back to another populist movement called the American Revolution.


26 posted on 03/09/2010 1:56:11 PM PST by equalitybeforethelaw
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To: La Enchiladita

There’s a broad spectrum of philosophies that go under the name of libertarian and not all believe in abolishing government.


27 posted on 03/09/2010 1:56:44 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Ronbo1948

“True Conservatives” by this guy’s definition would have loved Mussolini.


28 posted on 03/09/2010 1:56:56 PM PST by DManA
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To: Ronbo1948

When you have a Kenyan Muslim Communist in charge, determined to destroy the country with the help of corrupt idiots like Pelosi and Reid, then that’s hardly the time to sit back on your sofa and think about Original Sin.

Yes, there is original sin. And there’s also actual sin. And there’s evil. And I’m sorry to say that evil people have taken over our country. Corrupt, greedy, power-drunk, heartless. The kind of people who like to kill babies and smile while they do it.


29 posted on 03/09/2010 1:57:29 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Ronbo1948

The term “conservative” in our country usually applies to individuals that believe the constitution should be followed as written and do not believe it is a living document unless the amendment process is followed.

But non-conservatives sometimes forget that that same constitution was written by revolutionaries. If the constitution has become ignored and irrelevant over time that revolutionary spirit will return. The term Tea Partier fits that feeling very well.


30 posted on 03/09/2010 1:57:50 PM PST by toast
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To: Ronbo1948
Wow, what an idiot.

A civil society does not pass on trillions of dollars of debt to children not yet born.

A civil society does not force its citizens into an inferior health care system while providing the political class with a superior system just for themselves.

A civil society does not seek to destroy law-abiding businesses with destructive regulations and fees to battle an imaginary crisis.

A civil society does not confiscate the wealth of the nation and dole out the spoils out to its political comrades.

A marxist society is NOT a civil society.

And to compare the Tea Party to the radicals of the sixties is idiotic in the extreme. How many inner cities have the Tea Partiers burned down? How many cops have they killed? How many soldiers have they spit on? How many god-awful folk singers have they unleashed?

31 posted on 03/09/2010 1:58:19 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: SmokingJoe

Sometimes, just letting the dictator flame out without any help is sufficient. That’s the tack the GOP is taking in the Bummercare fiasco.


32 posted on 03/09/2010 1:58:22 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: T-Bird45

Alisky’s rules are Stalinist by nature. Say one thing to tear down the opposition. Use one argument to pass some legislation. Hypocrisy is not an issue. “By any means necessary” is.

They lie like Stalinists and do not have any moral feelings that this is “wrong”.


33 posted on 03/09/2010 1:58:42 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Ronbo1948
and they should show respect for those who hold office.

AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

34 posted on 03/09/2010 1:59:39 PM PST by rocksblues (Obama, the biggest liar in the history of American politics!)
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To: Ronbo1948
"The dictionary definition of conservative is, 'Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.' Russell Kirk, the iconic conservative thinker, considered conservatism 'the negation of ideology. Edmund Burke, considered by many the father of conservative thought because of his condemnation of the French Revolution, put it this way, 'custom reconciles us to everything.'"

All who have read and absorbed Edmund Burke's "Speech on Conciliation . . . ." or any who knew Dr. Russell Kirk or his extensive writings will immediately recognize that this writer neither knows nor understands either of these two great thinkers. What a shallow summation of both!

So much for his "analysis" of Tea Partiers and/or conservatives!

One fact is certain: those who are involved in Tea Parties must not let either the Far Left or radical elements in the society define them. The problem with labels, such as "conservative," is that they mean one thing to one person and another to another.

The future of liberty in the world is at stake right now, and those who truly wish to preserve (conserve) the principles and ideas of liberty underlying our Declaration of Independence and Constitution must define themselves as just that--preservers of liberty!

35 posted on 03/09/2010 2:00:41 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Ronbo1948
True conservatives value one thing over any thing else: societal stability.

Really, not Freedom, not Liberty? The problem with a statement like "societal stability" is that it allows others to define what creates the stability and/or creates limiting factors to create said stability. "Societal stability" is a result, it isn't a finish line.

36 posted on 03/09/2010 2:01:12 PM PST by mnehring
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To: Ronbo1948

Could John Feehery and David Brooks possibly be more clueless? I think not. Even when armed with a dictionary definition of conservatism, they still manage to get it wrong.


37 posted on 03/09/2010 2:02:23 PM PST by revo evom
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To: Ronbo1948

This is confused gobbeldegook.


38 posted on 03/09/2010 2:04:47 PM PST by RoadTest (Wealth isn't obscene. Poverty is obscene. - Thomas (man of few but dynamite words) Sowell)
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To: Ronbo1948
He lumps too much stuff together under the tea party label. There would be "birthers" without tea parties and a lot of the tea partiers aren't "birthers."

The things he attacks -- Rush, conspiracy theories, incivility -- were around before the tea parties and don't really make a single cohesive package.

Politics have always been rough and tumble, and if you make stability or institutional continuity or some vision of "social stability" your touchstone you lose out to those who are willing to mobilize masses and passions. If only in self-defense, you can't simply speak softly and celebrate the status quo.

But he does have a valid point: movement politics do tend to get out of control and sometimes people do come to relish polarization more than the actual goals they strive for. Enmity or animosity can become an end in itself when passions get too strong.

39 posted on 03/09/2010 2:05:38 PM PST by x
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To: Ronbo1948

One of Alinsky’s key tactics is to try to use your own values against you. That is the primary thing this article does. It fails, because like most non-conservatives he doesn’t understand the nature of American conservatism, which has nothing at all to do with traditionalism and does not place order as its supreme value.

For us its constitutionalism. Rule of law. Personal responsibility. Liberty.


40 posted on 03/09/2010 2:07:26 PM PST by marron
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To: pissant; tallyhoe
True conservatives value one thing over any thing else: societal stability.

That one jumped out at me as well. It It's not my definition either but it could fit quite a few here. I'd say Rush would agree with this definition but Hannity would not.

41 posted on 03/09/2010 2:07:30 PM PST by byteback
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To: Ronbo1948

Some are. Some are Libertarians. Some are Populists.

What should make the Democrat and ‘Pubbies wonder is: “What is pulling all these different types of people together?”


42 posted on 03/09/2010 2:10:35 PM PST by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: ml/nj

I’ve been to a couple of things that people associated with tea parties, and everyone I talked to seemed like they should be a FReeper if they weren’t already.


Ditto with the TEA party I attended.


43 posted on 03/09/2010 2:11:17 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first.)
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To: marron

Of course the dots were never meant to be “connected” - doing so exposes the commies, marxists and radicals in Zero’s inner circle.

Bigger question is why the media, so big on that “free press” mantra didn’t connect them, and left it up to a TV show pundit.


44 posted on 03/09/2010 2:11:22 PM PST by Right Cal Gal (Ronald Reagan: "our liberal friends....know so much that isn't so...")
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To: MrRobertPlant2009

“And populist movements are inherently unconservative.”

Unless you are a Southerner. Down here, conservatism is mixed with a good dose of anti-Wall Street, anti-Big Business, and anti-Big Money isms.

This is why George Wallace did so well with blue-collar Democrats. You don’t pick Curtis “Bomb them back to the Stone Age” LeMay for your running mate, and the guy one heartbeat away from the presidency, if you’re a liberal.

parsy, who grew up on SAC bases, and the warm comforting sound of eight huge engines revving up on the flightlines.


45 posted on 03/09/2010 2:11:55 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: Ronbo1948
IMHO, about half of the Tea party movement started when seniors found out that $500 billion is cut out of Medicare. If the money was restored, probably about a third of those would love Obama again. The hard core Tea Party person is mortified at the size of the numbers in the budgets and debts. I think the party endures because they finally see that Obama is a communist and will not make a deal, back off, or change his mind. This is a coup, not an election. The Dems that remain in the Tea Party are just upset that their bennies will be cut, as they must be cut at some point to save the country. IMHO, these are the same minions that flew off the handle when Bush wanted to fix Social Security.
46 posted on 03/09/2010 2:24:01 PM PST by chuckles
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To: Past Your Eyes

I hear that. im a tea partier an I aint no wal mart hippie


47 posted on 03/09/2010 2:24:35 PM PST by joshjones
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To: Ronbo1948

The above text is nothing but dribble meant to get conservatives to stop pushing for power and just allow the leftists to have the field.

The article is a piece of trash not worth the bandwidth it is wasting.


48 posted on 03/09/2010 2:30:06 PM PST by stockpirate (Hey Beck, Thomas Jefferson was a birther!)
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To: chuckles

I’m two years away from SS and think it should be cut 10% immediately. People within 20 years of retirement should be grandfathered in or have the choice of personal retirement accounts. All others should be forced into personal retirement accounts set up so as to preclude the government from having access to the funds.


49 posted on 03/09/2010 2:34:07 PM PST by ontap
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To: revo evom
I don't have a clue who John Feehery is, but it has been my opinion for a very long time that David Brooks is one very compromised fellow. It is risible that he is what the NYT believes is conservative; and predictable that those who read his paper follow the Pied Paper like good little mesmerized robots. We are finding out that our Congress is full of compromised and blackmail-ready officials. It is time to look at those in the news industry and find out what sort of strings are attached to them.
50 posted on 03/09/2010 2:35:36 PM PST by madinmadtown
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