Skip to comments.Wake Up, Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservatives
Posted on 01/18/2013 6:13:36 AM PST by Kaslin
Dear Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservative Friend,
That's pretty toothy, so I'm going to call you Bob.
But whatever specific name you go by, Bob, you know who you are. You're the sort of person who says to his conservative friends or co-workers something like, "I would totally vote for Republicans if they could just give up on these crazy social issues."
When you explain your votes for Barack Obama, you talk about how Republicans used to be much more moderate and focused on important things such as low taxes, fiscal discipline and balanced budgets.
When Colin Powell was on "Meet the Press" the other day, you nodded along as he lamented how the GOP has lost its way since the days when it was all about fiscal responsibility.
And, Bob, you think Republicans are acting crazy-pants on the debt ceiling. You don't really follow all of the details, but you can just tell that the GOP is being "extreme," thanks to those wacky tea partiers.
So, Bob, as a "fiscal conservative," what was so outrageous about trying to cut pork -- Fisheries in Alaska! Massive subsidies for Amtrak! -- From the Sandy disaster-relief bill? What was so nuts about looking for offsets to pay for it?
Bob, I'm going to be straight with you. I never had much respect for your political acumen before, but you're a sucker.
You're still spouting this nonsense about being fiscally conservative while insisting the GOP is the problem. You buy into media's anti-Republican hysteria no matter what the facts are. Heck, you even believe it when Obama suggests he's like an Eisenhower Republican.
Well, let's talk about Eisenhower, your kind of Republican. Did you know that in his famous farewell address he warned about the debt? "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage," he said. "We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."
Bob, we are that insolvent phantom, you feckless, gormless clod. The year Eisenhower delivered that speech, U.S. debt was roughly half our GDP. But that was when we were still paying off WWII (not to mention things like the Marshall Plan), and the defense budget comprised more than half the U.S. budget (today it's a fifth and falling). Now, the debt is bigger than our GDP. Gross Domestic Product is barely $15 trillion. The national debt is over $16 trillion and climbing -- fast. The country isn't going broke Bob, it is broke.
When George W. Bush added nearly $5 trillion in national debt in two terms you were scandalized. When Obama added more than that in one term, you yawned. When, in 2006, then-Sen. Obama condemned Bush's failure of leadership and vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling, you thought him a statesman. Obama, who wants to borrow trillions more, now admits that was purely a "political vote."
Yet when Republicans actually have the courage of Obama's own convictions you condemn them.
You nodded sagely when Obama said we needed a "balanced approach" to cut the deficit. He said he couldn't rein in entitlements without also raising taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." Well, he won that fight. We raised taxes on millionaires and billionaires exactly as much as he wanted. We also raised the payroll tax on everyone.
Obama's response to getting the tax hikes he wanted? He says we still need a "balanced approach" -- i.e., even more tax hikes.
Anyone who calls himself a fiscal conservative understands we have a spending problem. Do the math. A two-earner couple that retired in 2011 after making $89,000 per year will pay about $114,000 into Medicare over their lifetimes but will receive $355,000. When will it dawn on you that Obama doesn't think we have a spending problem? I ask because when he said "we don't have a spending problem," it seemed to have no effect on you.
And yet you still think Paul Ryan's budget was "extreme." Do you know when it balanced the budget? 2040. What's a non-extreme date to balance the budget, Bob? 2113?
Look, Bob, I don't want to go spelunking in that cranium of yours. I don't know why you think you're a fiscal conservative. The simple fact is you're not. The green-eye-shaded Republicans you claim to miss would be scandalized by the mess we're in, largely thanks to voters like you, Bob. Eisenhower would take a flamethrower to today's Washington.
I don't expect you to vote Republican, never mind admit you're simply a liberal. But please stop preening about your fiscal conservatism particularly as you condemn the GOP for not being fiscal conservatives, even when they are the only fiscal conservatives in town.
Ironically I think the thing that is really going to sell politically in the near term is “Socially Conservative, Fiscally Liberal”.
A candidate on the right side of all the leading social issues, who will still “preserve and maintain” Social Security, while “going after those Grrrrreeeedy Eeeeeeevil Wall Street Bankers”. will clean-up electorally IMO.
For sure there are a whole lot of voters in my area who won’t vote for Dems because their social positions are anathema. But they are 110% on-board with Blue Model Economics. If the Dems were to flip to Social Conservatism they’d probably never lose an election here again.
I am sure there are countless pieces that have been written that are far worse than this one. I haven’t had a cup of coffee this morning (it is still brewing) so maybe my judgement is a bit clouded but it is really a struggle to think of anything written by anyone that is as bad as this one.
Years ago I actually enjoyed Jonah Goldberg’s stuff every now and then. This, however, is an absolute low. At least now I can look forward to Goldberg’s stuff in the future because it just cannot get any worse than this piece.
Not only does being socially liberal cost you your soul it also hits you and everyone else in the pocketbook.
If Bob voted for Obama he is not a conservative. Bob is a straw man.
The GOPe defines fiscally conservative as agreeing to any tax rates that cover liberal spending. 90% tax rates are fine, just balance the budget.
Hmmm....this sounds like a plan that could work!
Exactly. What Jonah means when he describes a “Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservative: is a libertarian.
Libertarians (in spite of all their many faults) do not vote for Obama.
Actually, I think this is the first good thing he has written in a long time. He is right in describing the social conservatives I know, who vote democrat, but claim to be Christians. He could not have marked them better. They vote democrat because they believe the lie that the democrats actually try to help people and the republicans are too stingy, will take all the “benefits they enjoy” away like a Scrooge. I rarely read this guy any more, but happened to read this one because of the title. If he gets one good article once in a while, then good for him. But I DO have to agree with him...he has hit the mark on the people that I know. I’ve tried to argue with these people, who call themselves a Christian, but who vote democrat, even though the democrats support abortion from day one through the end of and even after the birth of a live baby. That does not seem to phase them, they still consider themselves more compassionate voting democrat than republican. Alinsky sold his wares very well. There is no convincing them otherwise. I don’t think Jesus could sell them a better proposal, to be honest. Their minds are made up.
A non-Christian friend of mine, who I send a lot of articles to, recently said, “______, why am I agreeing with you on this? I was pleased that she was seeing things finally from a Christian perspective and realizing it was the Truth, and not ashamed to say it. We had some good emails during the election cycle. This Truth used to be commonly held by all Americans, regardless of political party. Alinsky saw to it, with the likes of Obama and many others (Frank Marshall Davis, etc.) that the left would NEVER entertain Truth as their standard again. So, those so-called Christians who vote democrat really have blood on their hands and have sold out their beliefs, if they truly held any, to their own gods of political power.
We have a GDP of 15 Trillion and our debt is 16 trillion. We aren’t really broke. That is like saying to someone who makes 50 thousand but has 53 thousand in debt that he is broke. No he just has to pay off that 53,000 dollars in debt. The debt is large but as long as the 50K person pays their monthly bills they are fine.
Mike Huckabee? I know I'm in the minority here, but I'd support him in a heartbeat. I did in '08.
I don’t know any people like ‘Bob’
I know plenty of people who were mad as hell about the reckelss spending of Bush and Obama and the endless bailouts and ‘stimulus’, the loss of rights under the Patriot Act, SOPA, NDAA etc ... but who had NO ONE TO VOTE FOR in this past election because the Republican party honchos chose a total WUS who gave ZERO indication that he was going to do anything substantive about fiscal matters, Constitutional protections (or social issues for that matter)
Goldbergs article is a total strawman.
Go tilt at your strawman ‘Bob’
Meanwhile others of us will work to get rid of the Republican WUSSES R US party.
I think the term “socially liberal” hinges on two issues - abortion and gay marriage.
As I consider myself to be libertarian, which makes me conservative, I don’t understand how a libertarian can be other than for the rights of the unborn. As for gay marriage - what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is not the business of the government. But changing the definition of marriage beyond one man and one woman opens doors I would rather not see opened - like that fast food commercial.
Show me someonw who claims to be socially liberal, but fiscally conservative and I will show you someone who will wimp on fiscal matters too, because they have no faith in individual responsibility - (Chris Christie, for one), and are terrified of being branded as extremists.
We are broke and you are confusing macro economics with micro economics.
In micro economics, you can work more and bring your budget into balance (as long as everyone else keeps their behavior the same).
In macro economics, if you (and everyone else) works more, you get an oversupply situation and prices crash and everyone goes bankrupt.
Example: one farmer decides to grow twice as many crops and doubles his income. But all the farmers decide to grow twice as much, everyone goes bankrupt.
I agree with you that every STATE should outlaw abortion and no STATE should redefine the parameters of marriage.
Beyond that, I am PERSONALLY socially conservative but I see no role for government at any level imposing my values on anyone else. I’ve never seen a label that covers me.
A true fiscal conservative is also a ‘social’ conservative. And national defense conservative. Or they should be.
Let me sum up this article.
“Yes, but the Democrats are worse.”
Well, no kidding, Jonah. We all know that. Even the dreaded SoLibFisCons know that. The vast majority of them actually do vote GOP, but raise these concerns as a warning as to why the GOP can’t pull new members.
There’s a vast number of non-voters in this country that are turned off by both parties. For the GOP, they’d be winnable, were it not for the Rick Santorum/Akin/Mourdock factor.
You can wail and gnash your teeth against this unhappy truth all day long, but many people who are open to the idea of smaller, fiscally responsible government simply can’t get over their dislike of heavy handed religious themes in politics. It strikes them as hypocritical, and they won’t bite.
The GOP underestimates the social damage done to the brand by quote pro-rape anti-evolution unquote leaders at their peril.
“Ive never seen a label that covers me.”
Actually, me too, but I use some that imperfectly cover me for convenience. It saves me the trouble of listing my positions on all issues.