Skip to comments.Compassionate Conservatism Redux [Was "Compassionate Conservatism" of Bush 43 Correct?]
Posted on 11/16/2012 11:10:43 AM PST by Steelfish
NOVEMBER 16 Compassionate Conservatism Redux Bush 43 was on to something important, and he got the votes to prove it.
Jonah Goldberg I think I owe an apology to George W. Bush.
William F. Buckley once noted that he was 19 when the Cold War began at the Yalta conference. The year the Berlin Wall came down, he became a senior citizen. In other words, he explained, anti-Communism was a defining feature of conservatism his entire adult life. Domestically, meanwhile, the Right was largely a leave me alone coalition: religious and traditional conservatives, overtaxed businessmen, Western libertarians, and others fed up with government social engineering and economic folly. The foreign-policy battle against tyrannical statism abroad only buttressed the domestic antagonism toward well-intentioned and occasionally democratic statism at home.
The end of Cold War gave way to what Charles Krauthammer dubbed the holiday from history of the 1990s and the war on terror in the 2000s. People forget that Bush was elected during the former and had the latter thrust upon him. But at the end of the 1990s, he was one of many voices on the right trying to craft a political rationale to deal with the changing electoral and demographic landscape. He campaigned on a humble foreign policy in 2000 and promised something very, very different than a leave me alone domestic policy.
He called his new approach to domestic policy compassionate conservatism.
For years, Ive criticized compassionate conservatism as an insult to traditional conservatism and an affront to all things libertarian.
Bush liked to say that he was a different kind of Republican, that he was a compassionate conservative.
I hated and still hate that formulation. Imagine if someone said, Im a different kind of Catholic (or Jew, or American, etc.): Im a compassionate Catholic. ...
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
GW was an open borders globalist led around by his liberal wife. He had already abandoned his conservative base by this time and the whole “compassionate conservativism” ruse was his gimmick to flood America with as many third worlders as possible.
What makes the Democrats successful?
The ability to of Govt to consistently spend well beyond its means via things such as robbing social security taxes to pay for present spending, and especially the FED money printing to cover $1 trillion deficits.
Promoting conservative values and winning elections will always be at a disadvantage to that. The disadvantage is sometimes big (2008), sometimes small or even winnable (2010) . BUT we will see the welfare state continue to grow while this situation is in place and that is always to the Dems advantage
Only when that present political economy of the USA changes, then you will see the politics of the USA change drastically as well.
Or is it better phrased, Was Bush 43 right?
I generally agree with his summation, especially with regard to the fact that it appears more and more people perceive themselves as vulnerable in the modern world. Give the opportunity, those people are going to vote for someone who at least promises to reduce their vulnerability.
Conservatives can recognize that fact and try to develop ideas for addressing their concerns. Or we can continue to focus on the “leave-me-alone” coalition as it (probably) continues to shrink in size and influence.
For instance, 40 years ago single women, especially with children, were a small part of the electorate. This year, they probably elected a president. Is a single woman with children vulnerable, especially at the lower end of the economic scale? You bet she is, and she will vote for those she thinks will help her.
Addressing these people’s legitimate concerns, BTW, does not necessarily mean increasing the size and power of government.
Kinder, gentler, compassionate, thousand points of light, love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name, occupy-the-world-in-perpetuity, Homeland Security, open borders, Margaret Sanger, welfare state, Religion of Peace, Urban Values hyphenated neoconservative.
There. That should do it. Now if only we can find a transgendered Scientologist Green for 2016. From a blue state of course.
You make a very compelling point. Unlike blacks and Hispanics, the single female demographic will be deciding the election of future presidents. Like it or not, this is the hard reality.
No. Not then, and not now.
It was needlessly giving ground to the Left which needed NO such consideration and of course it cost Conservatives. Why give Liberals a stick to beat us with, when they already wholly own the schools AND the MSM!??
Totally agree Bush II was a TOTAL catastrophy and nearly everything bad Obama has been able to do had its roots in the Bush administration. The only “good” thing he did was nominate Alitto to SCOTUS.
He and his entire Klan are to blame for Obama’s victory in 2008 and, indirectly, Obama’s foot on America’s throat for the next four years - if we aren’t lucky enough to impeach him first.
I hope NEVER to see another BUSH EVER in the White House - or a Clinton.
We have somehow drifted into a situation where there are only two alternative ways to address any problem:
1. Give the government more power and money.
2. Ignore it and hope it will get better.
Given those two alternatives, which seem to be implicitly accepted by both right and left, is it any surprise that those suffering from the problem vote for #1?
The decline and fall of the family, caused essentially by the sexual revolution, is what created these large numbers of insecure single women and mothers, and thus turned the election.
Could those who opposed the SR as likely to destroy our society possibly have been onto something?
You know of course the GHWB adopted Willie into the family, and Jorge has a new brother.
Hopefully we will one day understand that there exists a Them and an Us, and the Them includes both parties, the Us is made up of working taxpayers.
Didn’t know about him, did know about Jorge Tercero.
Totally agree with you about party elitists including the Bush Klan.
Addressing these peoples legitimate concerns, BTW, does not necessarily mean increasing the size and power of government.
But why are there more single women raising children now than 50 years ago? This is mostly due to the social engineering of the liberals, especially by rewarding fatherless families. They create the problem, then "solve" it in ways that keep them in power.
And really, an interesting question for society (and Republicans) is why, when we are wealthier than we have ever been in terms of technology, and the possibilities it creates, are we falling into such poverty and insecurity?
Yes in fact, it necessarily DOES.
The reason there is single mothers with children is directly due to liberalism - The advent of no-fault divorce and the acceptance of bastard children as an inevitability and thereby reasonable to allow for in society... These things, the very backbone of the liberal feminist movement, are the primary cause of the overweening welfare system... and the secondary cause is the progeny of said broken homes.
Shame on all of us who allow such things, which were not even considered just one generation ago. My father grew up in a generation where broken homes were a minute exception. Now it is getting to where there are more broken than not. Believe me. Our system only works for a good and moral people.
One cannot have both - there is not a single instance of a government powerful enough to 'help' and yet keep itself small, affordable, and merely with adequate power... A government big enough to 'care' is big enough to take away your liberty. AND IT WILL. It is the nature of the beast.
Liberty requires responsibility - every time the government relieves you of a responsibility, they are also removing your liberty in that same aspect. The two are tied inextricably together. Lose one, and you lose the other... until the government grows sufficiently, and then you lose all.
There was a time when Conservatives knew inherently that one who says, "I am from the government and I am here to help," was lying through his teeth.
Government is the problem... ALWAYS. It is not the solution.
Compassionate Conservatism, so called, was one of the biggest political blunders of the Twentieth Century, and ushered in the benighted Age if Clinton.
Odd that now, just a handful of years later, the moral reprobate, political hack Clinton, who seized upon Bush’s mistake to get elected, would begin to look like both a genius and an exemplar of morally upright behavior when compared to our sitting Chief Executive.
In American politics, the bar just gets lower and lower.
I quite agree. The decline of the family created by the sexual revolution is precisely the reason there are so many single women and mothers around now to feel (and be) vulnerable.
However, so what?
We quite literally cannot put time into reverse and go back and derail the sexual revolution and reinvigorate the family. We have to deal with the world a it is, not as we wish it were.
So are there ways to address the legitimate concerns of single women and mothers, and other vulnerable people, without inherently increasing the power and wealth of the state?
I believe there are. I just don’t know what they might be.
I do know that if you give people only two choice, as statist solution to their problems and no solution, they will vote for the statist solution.
I also know that even accurate explanations of why it’s the statists’ fault we’re in this mess are not going to be listened to.