A candid word from liberal Mickey Kaus about a major effect of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama Generational Theft Act:
But the reference to liberalism isn’t irrelevant, because the now-undermined welfare reform was the key to rebuilding confidence in (liberal) affirmative government. As Bill Clinton recognized, voters may well have been willing to let government spend, but they didn’t trust old style liberals not to spend in actively destructive ways, like subsidizing an isolated underclass of non-working single mothers with a no-strings cash dole. It’s a 75-25 values issue. Work yes. Welfare no. Even if welfare spending was only a tiny portion of the liberals’ spending agenda, it poisoned the rest of it. Only when Clinton’s New Democrats put an ostentatious “time limit” on welfare and required work did they regain the public confidence necessary to increase other kinds of spending (on work-related poverty-fighting benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, day care and Social Security, for example.)
A reemerging “welfare” issue is a potential killer, in other words, for Obama’s big remaining plans, especially health care. If Dems seem determined to reinstate dependency–or at the least blind to the dangers of dependency–voters aren’t going to trust them to spend trillions on universal health insurance and fortified pensions. It’s hard to believe Obama doesn’t realize this.
Even Kaus gets that his side has overreached with this destructive bill, though for reasons less dramatic than I and millions of other Americans believe.
But if serious fiscal conservatives are serious about restoring a Republican majority, they will have to do much better than say: “If you return us to power, we’ll stop the Democrats! And behave better!” (It appears that, by this calculus, new RNC chairman Michael Steele already is moving the party back in the right direction, though it’s still early.)
So are Republicans going to not only keep an eye on political opportunities, but also use the time out of power wisely and productively? We’ll have to wait and see. While the Congressional Republican caucus look to continue exercising its newfound backbone, a lot of the hard work will be done by their counterparts at the state level. State legislators making rousing speeches at anti-“stimulus” rallies, like the one here in Denver on Tuesday, or governors just saying NO (H/T Gateway Pundit) to the bloated federal largesse: These are positive, healthy signs, but only the beginnings of restoring trust.
We not only watch carefully, but also work actively in support of those who show a true commitment to liberty, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.
S Jones says
But if serious fiscal conservatives are serious about restoring a Republican majority, they will have to do much better than say: â€œIf you return us to power, weâ€™ll stop the Democrats! And behave better!â€ (It appears that, by this calculus, new RNC chairman Michael Steele already is moving the party back in the right direction, though itâ€™s still early.)
Yes, well, what Steele MAY have given with the right hand he arguably takes away with the left:
That’s got the look of desperation, right there. I think it may very well be a case of “Turn out the lights; the party’s over.”
And I for one would say good riddance.
Following your link, I wanted to offer you the chance to clarify yourself: Are you implying that a return to fiscal conservative principles and reaching out to people of different races and ethnicities are mutually exclusive of one another?
On this point, I’d much rather be the party of Lincoln than the party of Alexander Stephens.
S Jones says
Are you implying that a return to fiscal conservative principles and reaching out to people of different races and ethnicities are mutually exclusive of one another?
Uh, no, I’m implying that seeking to salvage conservativism (or is it the GOP? I can never keep it straight.) by pandering to the â€œurban-suburban hip-hop” culture is at once hilarious and pitiful. What it will cost to win this crowd, Mr. DeGrow, is the further liberalization of the GOP, plain and simple. But that’s precisely what many movers and shakers in the party have explicitly said will be necessary for the party to survive. Is that really where the “center-right” wants to go? Further toward the “center” (= the left)?
The Southern conservative R.L. Dabney offered a very prescient observation back in his day about the uselessness of Northern conservatism. I’d like you to take the time to read it, if you would, and consider whether or not it reminds you of anything you see concerning current trends in the GOP:
Re: Lincoln and Stephens – a most unfair comparison. Perhaps you should have quoted Lincoln on the issue of racial relations instead, just as you quoted his contemporary Stephens on the issue of slavery. But that would prove to be rather embarrassing to you, wouldn’t it? So, you conveniently refer to the “party of” Lincoln, as it has evolved to date, without recognizing what evolution in the South might have occurred there had Lincoln lost his war. Likely a political tradition that would have been called the “party of Lee”, as Lee almost surely would have become the next and likely the most beloved Confederate president. And we know what his sentiments on the issue of slavery were.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not throwing Stephens under the bus. He was one of the most brilliant statesmen of the Confederacy. He was right when he said the cause of the South is the cause of us all. So he was a defender of slavery. Most Northers, Lincoln included, were vile racists, even more hateful towards blacks than Southerners were, per Tocqueville. It rather reminds of one of Jim Webb’s quips about how Yankees don’t mind blacks being powerful as long as they don’t live close by, while Southerners don’t mind blacks living close by as long as they’re not too powerful.
As Dabney showed, at least the Confederates knew what conservatism is and what is necessary to “conserve” what needs to be conserved. That’s a claim you in the “party of Lincoln” clearly cannot make.
Glad to see you drop the dialect. It does tend to help one take you more seriously. Am I to understand you have no interest in reconciling your Southern conservative thinking with a Northerner like me? If so, then it makes me wonder why you spend so much time inveighing in my comment section. Clearly not to persuade the soul that cannot be saved. Perhaps just to hector and annoy. The Civil War is over. There is nothing ultimately unreconcilable about Northern & Southern conservative traditions. I tend to think of it along the lines of Americanism, or more broadly: Western civilization.
As to your patent characterization of Mr. Steele’s proposal as “pandering”, your presumption that anyone who doesn’t agree with you & R. L. Dabney & Lew Rockwell is less than conservative, your irrelevant and oversimplified characterization of Lincoln’s racial views, and your weak attempts to excuse the Southern system or race-based chattel slavery, I will let someone else with more time and patience deal with you. I am not going to be baited into a fever-pitched rhetorical battle by one who seems to have no intention other than to tear me down.
Sorry, it just isn’t worth it. If my political soul cannot be prayed for, cannot be converted, cannot be persuaded, please desist from the inane harassment. If it can, please present a more cogent case.
Snaggle-Tooth Jones says
You appear to show signs of wanting to detach from this exchange. It that’s so, tell me clearly to “desist”; that you are done with me. If you do, it will speak volumes about you, but I will nevertheless oblige.
Not sure if you’ve read the lengthy (and sure to be ongoing) debate at my blog with Richard Reeb, but I’d highly recommend it. There is more real political gravitas there than has been manifested in all of Colorado “conservative” blogdom’s post since it went online, because he and I are talking about the kind of First Principles that the lot of you are either ignorant of, have forgotten, or simply don’t care about.
When you have a minute, Ben, pass along my regards to your boss Dave Kopel. I have always regarded him as the kind of conservative that conservatism needs to regain its respectability here in America, with the result hopefully being some kind of American redemption. I only pray that he doesn’t become corrupted by the pseudocons.
I’m glad to know there’s hope for me yet. It sure seemed that we Yankees had no place in your narrow kingdom of southern neo-Confederate conservatism. There is no need to detach from this exchange. I just think you will have to adjust your expectations, your approach, and/or your attitude:
“There is more real political gravitas there than has been manifested in all of Colorado ‘conservative’ blogdomâ€™s post since it went online, because he and I are talking about the kind of First Principles that the lot of you are either ignorant of, have forgotten, or simply donâ€™t care about.”
If you are so full of yourself to believe that, so be it. And if the Colorado conservative blogosphere doesn’t meet your expectations, sorry. I can tell you right now you would greatly enhance your chances of successfully effecting an influence if you would change your attitude and your approach. Oh – and by the way – I do know, remember, and care about First Principles – what I’ve read and studied before, during, and since my time at my alma mater remains a part of me. That I engage issues on my blog the way I do does not indicate otherwise.
But if you want to volunteer at the Independence Institute or come over and help rear my children for awhile — well, I’d actually have to know who you were first — then I might begin to imagine having the time it would take to engage you at the level of depth you desire. Or if you want to come out into the real world and meet the people at Liberty on the Rocks (or start one in your area), get energized, get active, and make a greater difference than just agitating on behalf of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, there’s an option for you, too.
So if you take this all as a sign that I want to disengage, and “it speaks volumes to you” – consider it an act of presumption on your part. I am not concerned with what an anonymous person such as yourself thinks. Feel free to go your own way, practice your own approach, and live peaceably with your own conscience – as I will with mine.
By the way, Dave Kopel is not my boss, though I respect him greatly and consider him one of my intellectual mentors. I’m glad to send him your regards – if I knew from whom the regards were really coming.
Since you truly seem to have too much time on your hands, have you listened to the most recent episode of Rocky Mountain Alliance Blog Talk Radio? If you don’t have time for the full 90 minutes, try the last 40 or so.
Snaggle-Tooth Jones says
Sorry, no dice. There’s no future in the kind of “conservatism” being defended by these blogs, the Independence Institute, or “conservative” talk radio in Colorado. They have all completely lost their way.
Ad Fontes. Learn its meaning.
Oh, all-wise font of purest conservative thought preserved from the ancient texts of the Confederate States of America, I wouldn’t want you to contaminate yourself. If there is no future with us the unwashed masses, I remain entirely befuddled why you have wasted a moment of time leaving comments here. But your wisdom appears to be far beyond mine.
/Sarcasm off/ You distort and frequently ignore what I write, take things selectively out of context and hector me for no apparent reason. I’m still trying to figure it out. And now you’re starting to contradict yourself. In one remark, David Kopel is a heroic icon of yours – in the next, the Independence Institute has no future. So you believe your hero is wasting his time?
On second thought that makes sense, judging by how much time you seemingly have chosen to waste here. Our conversation is going in circles – trying to discern whether there is any hope for redemption or not, or is, or not. I am left to question why I have wasted so much time.
No, I have no interest in pursuing any further discussion on these terms. You may think that “speaks volumes” of me, but you have already pre-judged me in an unfavorable light, you remain hidden behind a pseudonymous identity, you exhibit far more stubbornness and arrogance than open-mindedness and humility, and you practice online antisocial behavior. That “speaks volumes” to me. At least you’ve ditched the phony dialect: that’s a plus.
Anyway, ta-ta. Enjoy yourself.
A Conservative listener calls a Progressive TV show to discuss the Stimulus Bill, hilarity ensues:
S Jones says
At least youâ€™ve ditched the phony dialect: thatâ€™s a plus.
Ohnly whin I feel like it.
That thar wuz a nice raint, tho, Ben. Seems you have a particlar talent fir it, but ye shud really heed St. John Cassian’s warnin’ ’bout how anger dulls th’ intellect.
But ohn th’ ad fontes thang: all ye neocon ‘n “movemint conservatives” over yonder keep-a-sqawkin’ ’bout how conservatism needs ta “git back t’ the basics.” Problem is, ye never really wanna discuss wut them basics really is, ‘n why. Cuz, if’n ye did, folks wud see that y’all’re really liberal ‘n modernist sorta folk, ‘n not true conservatives. Why ye of all people cain’t discuss-iss matter rationally with me, I find truly mystifyin’.
But maybe I shudn’t.
I know what ad fontes means. But we’re getting nowhere. Especially now that you’ve regressed to the “hee-haw” dialect. You continue to repeat yourself, stubbornly ignore what I say (as well as your own inconsistencies), and now presume–incorrectly–my state of mind. It appears you have decided this conversation is over. I am glad to concur.
Enjoy your tiny cadre of “true conservatives”. When you show legitimate evidence of wanting to have a genuine dialogue, please consider returning.
S Jones says
When you show legitimate evidence of wanting to have a genuine dialogue, please consider returning.
OK, having given the matter serious consideration, I have repented and have accordingly decided that I DO, AFTER ALL, want to have a genuine dialogue. And so I am back.
You start. 😉