Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2006

Conservative Oratory

Filed under: Government,Politics — Angry Clam @ 1:08 pm



[Posted by The Angry Clam]

Many conservatives, myself included, are angry that the GOP has lost its way and become in danger of being nearly as wasteful and idiotic with money as Democrats have been since the election of FDR.

I have been waiting for a political speech that speaks to me on a basic level for a long time. The last time I felt as truly excited about on was watching Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Republican National Convention speech, where he urged us onward with the declaration that “we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.”

It is nice enough to hear George W. Bush speak about the United States and American greatness after 9/11, but those were not (at least, should not have been) partisan, urging the faithful onward to victory over the opposition. Zell Miller’s 2004 Convention Speech might come close, but it doesn’t speak to the principles of conservatism as much as catalog the vast litany of the failures of the American left.

What is truly astounding, though, is that the opposition to conservatism is, increasingly, our supposed allies- the Republican Party. There has been plenty of grumbling and disquiet in the ranks, to be sure, but only recently have party officials begun to step forward and declare that the leftward direction the GOP is heading is wrong.

And, finally, I think that they’ve found their voice.

CONGRESSMAN MIKE PENCE 2006 CPAC CONVENTION ADDRESS

Two years ago, when I presented the keynote address here at CPAC 2004, I likened the state of the Republican movement to a tall ship at sea – a ship that had drifted off-course from essential conservative principles.

I said we had lost our way. But I believed we could get back on course – would get back on course. We could make the corrections. We needed only to keep our eye on True North – our core principles of limited government and traditional moral values.

I believed that we were off course not because we’d abandoned these principles, or forgotten the shining city on the hill. We’d simply made honest, but flawed calculations on how to get there.

I no longer believe that.

It’s one thing to drift off course…

It’s quite another thing to continue that course when half the crew and passengers are pointing out that nothing looks familiar … not to mention the tens of millions of Americans lining the shoreline screaming, “You’re going the wrong way!”

In short, we’re no longer adrift. We might’ve been when we started but now “off course” is the accepted course.

The evidence for this is overwhelming … while President Bush has called for increases in non-defense spending of 4 percent for the last five years, Congress has delivered budgets spending more than twice that each year … Congress has spent $380 billion more than the President requested under Republican control.

Whether it’s called “compassionate conservatism” or “big government republicanism,” after years of record increases in federal spending, more government is now the accepted Republican philosophy in Washington.

We are in danger of becoming the party of Big Government. And for the sake of our party and for the sake of the nation we must say, here and now, to all who would lead us in this new century, “the era of big Republican government is over!”

When I think of the state of our movement in Washington … it reminds me of a story:

There was this construction worker, Mac, who’d bring his neatly and lovingly packed lunch to work each day. Mac would sit down with his buddies, open the brown paper sack and pull out a cheeseburger, chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies. Without fail, he’d look at his fellow workers and complain, “I can’t believe it! A cheeseburger, cake and cookies again! How am I ever going to lose weight?!”

After about a month of hearing him complain about the burger, cake and cookies, one of his buddies finally said, “Come on Mac! If you’re so concerned about your weight, just ask your wife to send you off with something different.”

To which the Mac replied, “What you talkin’ about? I pack my own lunch!”

Remind you of anybody we know?

The key question to remember is: who’s in control here?

Congress might ask itself the same question. We control the spending and the process … and we wonder how the things got to such a state?

And it’s not like we haven’t made important course corrections in many significant areas. There can be no diminishing those accomplishments.

Think about it, under Republican control:

We’ve dismantled and scattered the network of terrorists within our United States.

We’ve liberated nations from oppressive, murderous regimes and the American soldier has brought the promise of democracy and freedom to millions who have never known it.

We’ve cut taxes again and again.

President Bush has put the brakes on leftist, activist courts with his sound appointments, including two strict constructionist justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.

We’ve stopped the horror of partial-birth abortions.

But what of those other promises central to our nation’s values and liberty? The promises that said, “We’ll cut spending. We’ll rein in big government. We’ll restore ethics and honesty to government.”

On these promises? All sizzle and no steak. The ship’s galley just keeps sending up giant pu-pu platters of pork, platitudes, promises and never-ending pleas for patience to the passengers on the deck.

“We’re working on it,” Congress tells them. “But in the meantime, we’ve got to get re-elected so that we can get this ship back on course to cut spending, rein in big government, and restore ethics and honesty. We can’t do it without a majority.”

Former Majority Leader Dick Armey said it best, “we do the things we ought not do, so we can be reelected to do the things we ought to do and never get around to doing”

We are not, as a party, bereft of ideas – we are bereft of will — the will to even consider ideas that might touch on the sacred cows of federal spending…

Too little discipline. Too many compromises. Too little resolve.

Americans have a right to be scratching their heads.

And for the past six years, we have had no excuse for the outrageous growth in the size and scope of government.

Six years is enough.

If we are still on the wrong course, it is because we choose to be-either because we truly do not see the urgency of course correction or we lack the will to bring it about.

And the American people get it. It’s the politicians who don’t.

The American people see a disconnect between what we’ve been saying and what we’ve been doing.

Far too many of those things we said we’d do if we got control remain undone.

There is no escaping the fact that many of the things we have done look more like the work of a Democrat majority. Like:

– The first new entitlement in 40 years;

– National testing and a 50 percent increase in the federal department of education;

– Record deficits, and;

– An $8 trillion national debt

Not to mention a pork barrel culture that saw more than 15,000 earmarks, including public funding for an indoor rainforest in Iowa, a weather center for Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, and, of course, a Bridge to Nowhere.

Our ship is running out of fuel, our crew is running out of patience, and we are running out of time.

Every day, we sail further into the dangerous waters of Big Government Republicanism … perilous straits for a society built on personal responsibility and freedom. We risk finding ourselves past the point of no return on the Road to Serfdom.

If we must look over our shoulder to see that shining city on a hill, we are sailing in the wrong direction.

And I know some of you want to abandon ship, head for the lifeboats and let the ship hit the unforgiving reef of the midterm elections.

But anyone who thinks that a Democrat Congress would do any better has (as we say in Indiana) “another think comin!”

In my five years in Congress, despite all their talk about deficits and the national debt, I have never seen the Democrats bring a bill to the floor that wasn’t a lot bigger and a lot more intrusive than what we Republicans were selling.

So the answer is not mutiny.

It’s not time to abandon ship.

It’s time for a major course correction!

We need to stop, set anchor, and reset our heading based on what we know to be true about the nature of government:

Conservatives know:

– That government that governs least, governs best;

– That as government expands, freedom contracts;

– That government should never do for a man what he can and should do for himself;

– That societies are judged by their treatment of the most vulnerable: the aged, the infirm, and the unborn.

But it’s not enough to know these truths. We need to choose to put them into practice.

Therefore, we have come to another time for choosing.

Our party and many of you — its rising generation of new leaders face an age-old choice:

A choice between the belief in limited government and tradition — and the siren song of the central planner, who says that big government is good government if it’s our government.

The conservative movement is at a crossroads. Are we committed to the ideals of limited government, fiscal discipline and traditional moral values or not?

If we are, we must act accordingly. It is why voters gave us a governing majority.

And make no mistake about it — the time for choosing is at the crossroads.

We once walked the path with heads held high — with energy, hope and determination.

Remember when America walked it together? Twenty-five years ago, when another son of the heartland came east with the ideals of our founders, we walked into our future of liberty, prosperity, security, and values.

It is as if Ronald Reagan’s 1975 address to CPAC was meant for us today. He said, “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.”

He said in that speech over 30 years ago, “I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”

President Reagan described the path that led to morning, the shining city on the hill and a national majority.

And it will still lead us there.

We will find our way to Morning in America. But first, we must go back to the future-back to doing the hard thing because it’s the right thing

And there are signs that we are doing just that … signs that our party is beginning to rekindle our commitment to limited government and reform.

Let me tell you how:

2005 will be remembered as a year of good intentions, bad disasters and promises kept. Congress, early last year, adopted the toughest budget since the Reagan years and under the leadership of the Appropriations Committee reported one bill after another on time and on budget.

And then came Katrina … 90,000 square miles of our Gulf Coast destroyed and $60 billion appropriated in just six days.

Now back in Indiana, when a tree falls on your house…first you tend to the wounded, then you start the cleanup, then you sit down and figure out how you are going to pay for it … but not in Washington D.C.!

After the storm, many in Congress thought that fiscal discipline was the last thing that Congress should be thinking about … preferring to raise taxes or increase the national debt instead of making tough choices.

But not House conservatives.

Seeing that a catastrophe of nature could become a catastrophe of debt, dozens of conservative leaders in Congress challenged our colleagues to offset the cost of Hurricane Katrina with budget cuts. We called it “Operation Offset” … And I will always believe that our efforts sparked a national debate that galvanized into fiscal discipline.

The American people wanted Washington to pay for Katrina with budget cuts, and Washington got the message.

In direct response to the call for cuts, Speaker Dennis Hastert unveiled a plan which would cut spending in every area of the federal budget.

And just last Wednesday, I joined the President at the White House as he signed the first Deficit Reduction Act since 1997, saving taxpayers nearly 40 billion dollars.

A real vote with real results.

Suddenly, we didn’t just say the hard things, but for the first time in a long time we did them … and it really wasn’t even all that hard.

You see, the conventional wisdom – which is a Washington term; back in Indiana they use the term “excuse” – the conventional wisdom is that these things are just so complex, just so involved, that nothing can simply “just get done.”

Yes, a lot of these issues are complex. Yes, they’re involved. But so is electricity. You don’t have to be Thomas Edison to turn out the light at night. Anyone with a lick of common sense and initiative can pull a plug.

And you don’t have to be a genius to turn out the lights on big government or to pull the plug on wasteful government spending!

This is just a start — a small step down the road toward fiscal discipline. But for Americans troubled by a rising tide of red ink here in Washington D.C., 2006 begins with reason for optimism, as this Congress begins to make tough choices in tough times to put our fiscal house in order.

There’s also reason for optimism as we see this Congress rekindle our commitment to honest and open government in Washington DC

The headlines announcing one scandal after another have eroded public confidence in our commitment to government of the highest moral caliber.

I am here to tell you that even as we speak, Congress is preparing to fight for ethics reform, not because such scandals hurt our party, but because they hurt the nation. The Bible says “Righteousness exalts a nation,” so the converse must also be true. The scandals, which have beset our national government in recent days have grieved the heart of the American people.

And while we must reform the rules, install more, tighten the process, understand this: such tinkering does not substitute for genuine restoration of honesty and integrity to our halls of leadership.

There is a legitimate role in deterrence.

But compelled ethics is an oxymoron and a poor substitute for real integrity.

True servants of the people do not need to be compelled to keep their hand out of the cookie jar.

For all others, we can only make it harder to play the system and easier to catch them.

But as we reform our rules of ethics, we will do so with the understanding that these are but symptoms of the core problem.

The real scandal in Washington D.C. is runaway government spending.

Fiscal integrity and moral integrity are inseparable issues. You can’t complain about the sharks while you’re holding a bucket of chum.

So it’s not enough to change the way lobbyists spend their money. We must change the way Congress spends the people’s money.

Only by marrying budget reform and ethical reform can we restore the confidence of the American people in the fiscal and moral integrity of our national government.

So on fiscal responsibility and reform, there are signs that our ship is turning.

And while fiscal and ethical renewal will not be easy, I’m puzzled by those who say it will take courage to make these changes.

Perhaps they confuse courage with will. It takes no courage to cast a vote or speak from the well of the House of Representatives. There are no grenade launchers or snipers in the visitors’ balcony.

Let me tell you about courage. Twice I had the privilege of visiting Iraq with our brave American soldiers – men and women who chose to leave the comforts of their home, put their lives on hold and on the line, in the fight for liberty.

Sadly, there are faces I was never privileged to see. Men and women from my district whose hands I will never have the honor of shaking on this side of eternity.

Let me tell you about one of them.

Raymond White grew up in Elwood Indiana, a small town in my district. This red-headed Boy Scout “always had a smile on his face,” was upbeat and a young man of faith … he carried pocket-sized King James Bible everywhere he went and had what his folks called an “others first” attitude from early on.

Ray was still in his teens when our nation was attacked on 9-11.

As the nation watched in horror the images on TV, and as smoke billowed from the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, there came for this 6’4″ Hoosier a personal time for choosing.

Ray told his father, “Dad, I have a higher calling, and I’ve got to go serve my country.” He joined the Army, and was eventually deployed to Baghdad.

Ray did have a higher calling.

On November 12, 2004, there came for Ray another time for choosing. His convoy came under fire in an ambush. There was no time to think. No time to weigh options. In an instant, in a single moment of decision, Ray chose life. Not his own, but his friends’.

Instead of taking cover, he provided it for his fellow soldiers to evacuate to the trenches. He stood at the gun turret mounted on his Humvee and returned fire, fending off the assault until everyone was safe. His Dad, Hank described it this way, “In the final few moments of his life, the best of him came out. He had a job to do and he did it to the very bitter end.”

Raymond White was 22 when the Lord called him home. Because of his heroism, there were no other casualties. “No greater love hath man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends.”

If it ever crosses my mind to think my job is hard … when I’m tired and weary of the battle on Capitol Hill, this is what sets me straight.

Most of our men and women in the armed forces are less than half the age of most members of Congress, yet possessed of a timeless wisdom, strength, and commitment to freedom that shall survive to inspire generations.

They fight and die for the cause of liberty. Surely we can muster the will to cast a vote for it.

Their courage is not shaken by the whine of a bullet. Shall Republicans cower at the whine of liberal democrats or special interests?

Surely we can face mere objection and bureaucracy in the cause of liberty. I believe we can … and I believe we will.

Plutarch said millennia ago, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people, is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

The destroyers of liberty, whether they are butchers and tyrants, or the false prophets of socialism, do not fall meekly. They cling to power as stubbornly as Saddam’s statue clung to its base in the square of Baghdad.

But I am confident, for they are no match for the spirit of liberty, for the will of the American people, and the resolve of millions with their eye on True North. People like you, here at CPAC, the future of our country, whose passion for freedom strengthens our will to right the course of our party’s wayward ship.

It is you who will steer our ship toward Morning in America and to that shining city on the hill.

If there were not cause for hope, you would not be here today. Each of you has chosen to stay and fight for this country’s future, its course, and its place in history, as a defender of freedom and a beacon to all nations.

You have chosen to stand against the defeatists and the preachers of inevitability. Each of you is armed with unique strengths, talents and skills, but most of all, conviction — the strength of knowing that our cause is just and our cause is right. And that the American cause is mankind’s cause for it is in the hearts of all people to be free.

Thank you for your love of liberty, your love for this country and your evident love of our God who watches over this nation that He placed on these, our wilderness shores.

Our founders understood, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.”

Let us appeal to the Author and Finisher of our faith that He might grant us wisdom in the choices to come. And may He bless us with energy, optimism, hope and resolve as we once again set sail to a renewed era of limited government and liberty … as we set sail to morning in America.

May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.

We need more men like Congressman Pence in our party, and we need more members of it to wake up and demand conservative government from the currently center-left Republican administration, elected with our votes, our efforts, and our money.

– The Angry Clam

63 Responses to “Conservative Oratory”

  1. That convention speech is the biggest single reason why I am not a Republican and am very reluctant to vote for Republican candidates.

    aphrael (3bacf3)

  2. Columnist Molly Ivins said of that convention speech, “It probably sounded better in the original German.”

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  3. aphrael,

    Because you disagree with Congressman Pence (i.e., you’re are a liberal) or because you find his description of the common congressional Republican all too accurate (i.e., you’re a frustrated conservative)?

    Ben Pugh (1527b3)

  4. Clam, I remember that calumnied 1992 speech well. I still remember Buchanan saying that “we are locked in a battle for the soul of America”.

    What an interesting idea, I thought. Later I found out that the phrase was Edmund Burke’s. Not the America part, obviously, but anyway–good rhetoric, borrowed from the best rhetoric.

    See Dubya (f1f75d)

  5. I always thought the Buchanan speech was overrated in both directions: I didn’t find it to be the nifty encapsulation of conservatism that many (like the Angry Clam) did, but I also didn’t think it was worthy of all the hysteria that it caused among the left. Like Pence, I think that the best summary of conservatism can be found in the speeches and writings of Ronald Reagan.

    George W. Bush did not run as a fiscal conservative in 2000. As we all recall, most of us had a silly notion that the large surpluses of the late 90s would last forever, ignoring that they were as much as function of an out-of-control stock market as they were of any real fiscal discipline in Washington. Candidate Bush promised more money for education, a prescription drug entitlement, social security reform (which would cost money upfront, even if it led to long-term savings). I wasn’t particularly happy about this, but I preferred his approach to Candidate Gore, who promised even more money for education than Candidate Bush promised, a more lavish prescription drug program, and a social security “reform” that would have brought annual spending increases in the program for decades (remember Social Security Plus?).

    A big cause of the problems is obviously the Republican congress. Despite the great promise, too many members seemed to become jaded when the party “lost” to Bill Clinton and the Democrats in the Great Budget Showdown of 1995, and appeared to buy into the lesson that it wasn’t worth fighting for fiscal discipline, that you could just give the voter what they want now and worry about the principles of the prolificacy later. We are still living with the ramifications of that decision.

    I think also that even if President Bush had been a more devoted budget cutter, the War on Terror has convinced him to put it on the back burner. I have no tangible proof for this, but I always thought that in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, there seemed to be some unspoken agreement that the Administration and Congressional Majority would asceed to the Congressional Minority on spending, and the Minotity in turn would asceed to the Administration in conducting the War on Terror. If that is true, the Democrats have clearly broken their end of the bargain, so it’s high time the Republicans take a fresh new look at what we are spending, where we are spending it, and why it is being spent.

    I would LOVE to see President Bush veto one non-defense spending bill before all is said and done (and as much as it pains me to have to say it, it should be because the bill spends too much, not because it doesn’t spend enough). More so, however, I would like to see him not have to veto a spending bill, because Congress starts sending him pork-free bills that only commit money to matters that Congress ought to be addressing.

    Damn, that’s my longest post ever on this site (or any other, for that matter). Looks like the Angry Clam really struck a nerve on this topic.

    JVW (54c318)

  6. Ben – I have no problem with Congressman Pence’s speech. It’s *Robertson’s* convention speech, from 1992, that I continue to find objectionable.

    I’m a taoist gay man. I have no question in my mind that, when Mr. Robertson said “My friends, this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe. It is about what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side”, he was counting me as part of the other side. In a war. (The other side in a war is “the enemy”.)

    The crowd *cheered*. So, even today, when considering voting for a Republican, I wonder: did this candidate cheer when Pat Robertson proclaimed me to be the enemy in his cultural war?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  7. aphrael,

    Ah, I see. Well, I hope that you consider Pat Buchanan’s place in the Republican Party today – i.e., practically non-existent (he last ran as a Reform Party candidate) – when considering voting for Republicans. Moreover, that 1992 convention speech you find objectionable (and, for the record, I also found objectionable) was the primary reason for Buchanan’s de facto ouster from the GOP (that and his economic protectionism).

    Ben Pugh (1527b3)

  8. Granted, aphrael, that Robertson is a little bit off the deep end. I think that has been proven recently (I’ll spare Patterico’s readers the links to Robertson’s remarks about Ariel Sharon and his post-9/11 nonsense). It is a shame that he at one time had a prominent place in the GOP.

    Nowadays, however, the shoe is on the other foot. It’s the Democrats who seem determined to parade their most obnoxious fools to the world (see Howard Dean, the celebration of Michael Moore in 2004 cluminating in his high-visability at the Democrat Convention, the candicacy of Al Sharpton which was actually taken seriously, etc.). At the point when these people are routinely slapped down by the Democratic Party Leadership, the way the Bush Administration publicly criticized Robertson’s remarks, I’ll start to believe that the sane folks are once again in charge.

    JVW (54c318)

  9. Arnold’s “… then you are a Republican” speech in 2004 struck a responsive chord in me. “The GOP: Not as bad as the other guys” is hardly a compelling rallying cry for conservatives.

    How many Republican officeholders today pay more than lip service to the ideas that brought the GOP to majority status, the ideas of Goldwater, Reagan, Gingrich and Armey?

    Diffus (ead439)

  10. How many Republican officeholders today pay more than lip service to the ideas that brought the GOP to majority status, the ideas of Goldwater, Reagan, Gingrich and Armey?

    Not those who pledged term limits then reneged.
    Not those who promised to cut the budget then became masters of earmarks.
    Not those who promised to make Congress more open and accountable then cut deals in closed-door sessions.
    Not those who promised an end to corruption then cuddled up to K Street.

    JVW (54c318)

  11. JWV – whether the Democrats are obnoxious or not does not change the fact that many people who are influential Republicans today cheered when Pat Robertson declared me, and people like me, to be enemies. It may be a reason to dislike the Democrats; it does not provide a reason to like the Republicans.

    Ben Pugh’s observation that the result of the speech was the marginalization of Mr. Robertson is a more apt one. I recognize that, to some degree, the Republican party has implicitly disavowed his words. But that doesn’t mean that individual Republican officeholders have. Nor does it mean that the people who liked the speech have.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  12. Sorry, aphrael. The speech you attribute to Robertson was actually Buchanan’s 1992 Republican convention speech. “Religious war. . . for the soul of America” etc., was Buchanan.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  13. Aphrael–

    If you’ll follow the Clam’s link, you’ll see that Buchanan used that line, not Robertson. Robertson’s speech was about how feminists want to make our little girls become lesbians and practice witchcraft. It was memorably over-the-top.

    See Dubya (f1f75d)

  14. Frankfurter, CW: you are of course correct. My apologies for the confusion of identities.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  15. As I said, Aphrael, I understand your point. My larger point is that if you felt forever turned against the Republicans on account a speech in 1992, you have to understand that today there are likely lots and lots of folks who are turned against the Democrats for their extremism today. I’m also curious as to your belief that you have to have to feel welcome by every “individual office holder” in order to support a party. I am a Republican, but I know there are lots of GOP office holder whom I cannot stand and who would probably feel the same way about me.

    If a party’s behavior at one point in history were to forver disqualify it from earning support from certain quarters, no African-Americans would vote for Democrats and no rural folks would vote for the GOP.

    JVW (54c318)

  16. Patrick Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 convention might have been a stem-winder, but it ought to be remembered that the Republican candidate lost that election.

    JVW put it very well:

    How many Republican officeholders today pay more than lip service to the ideas that brought the GOP to majority status, the ideas of Goldwater, Reagan, Gingrich and Armey?

    Not those who pledged term limits then reneged.
    Not those who promised to cut the budget then became masters of earmarks.
    Not those who promised to make Congress more open and accountable then cut deals in closed-door sessions.
    Not those who promised an end to corruption then cuddled up to K Street.

    He’s right, and it makes one wish that there were another choice. The trouble is that the other choice is much, much worse.

    There are, of course, third parties. I’d be very attracted to the Libertarian Party, except, of course, that they don’t have even the remotest of chances.

    I voted for Jim Clymer, the Constitution Party candidate, in the 2004 Senate race in Pennsylvania — but only because I knew that Arlen Specter was going to win. Had far-left Joe Hoeffel (the Democrat) actually had a chance, I’d have had to have voted for Senator Specter.

    The Specter rallying cry: he ain’t as bad as Joe Hoeffel!

    Dana (71415b)

  17. Ronald Reagan said it best, in his 1975 address to CPAC: (see above)

    A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  18. The last time I felt as truly excited about on was watching Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Republican National Convention speech, where he urged us onward with the declaration that “we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.”

    Its funny you so like the speech that freaked out the whole country.

    actus (6234ee)

  19. Interesting post, AC. Now maybe you are beginning to understand what Bush is all about.

    You mention Conservative values and, I subscribe to many of them. Of course, many will doubt that because in today’s crackpot society the definition of a liberal is “anyone who opposes George Bush in anyway shape or form” and you can only be a Conservative if you believe everything he says. Conservatism is just Bush worship and liberal hate to many.

    Now you may not believe this but I subscribe to many magazines including The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan’s magazine.

    Check the Feb 13th edition where Buchanan tells an all-too–familiar story in which he and his magazine were attacked by the Weekly Standard as “unpatriotic” and “harboring a secret desire for a US defeat in Iraq”. The Standard went on to say Pat and crew “hated America and hated President Bush” Check it out on page two. All this was due to Buchanan’s opposition to the war in Iraq. Its typical of the rhetoric used against anyone who dares oppose this criminal administration. Rest assured you will hear it directed against you should you continue your criticisms. No dissent is allowed! Just ask Andrew Sullivan or Bob Barr.

    You talk about fiscal discipline. I agree. There is a need for a budget at least somewhat balanced. There was a time when conservatives actually pushed for an amendment to the Constitution demanding that. Do you believe we will really half the deficit as Bush assures us, especially when expenditures for war in Iraq and Afghanistan are not even included in budget estimates? I am furious right now as I have just read when several billion more money is being requested for this war which is now costing 400 Billion dollars and no end in sight and all financed by selling bonds overseas much of it to our enemies!! Now the President cuts taxes even more and refuses to ask anyone, except for our troops, to sacrifice even the least bit. Charge it now, let the grandkids pay later! Its politics at its worst. Is this even close to Conservative values?

    So now we are in a war our military strained to the brink and our treasure being drained. What for? Where are the WMDs? Where is the connection to Al Quida? Can you honestly tell me Bush tried to avoid war and did not “Cherry pick” the evidence and use it as a cheap political way of gaining votes in the 2002 election? Did he really try to avoid war or was that the secret agenda of the neo cons that they openly stated years earlier? The answer is clear to all who are not blinded by the campaign of fear and smear and misinformation wrapped in a flag and sanctioned by God Himself. In any sane society, which this one is not, he would be impeached and possibly imprisoned. But hatred is easy to create and God knows they know how to use it. So much for being a unifier. So much for making us stronger. Osama bin Ladins dream come true. Remember how the Soviet Union spent itself into oblivion? These folks apparently think those economic laws dont apply to us.

    And what of all this talk about spreading freedom at the point of a gun? So they can elect a crackpot in Iran, have a government in Iraq allied with Iran? Elect Hamas in Palestine? You really think freedom is spreading in Saudi Arabia and Egypt? What about Conservative values of avoiding foreign entanglements? Went the way of the balanced budget? Could have divided the 400 billion and given God knows how much to each and made them all happy!!! and without a single US soldiers death. But then our fearless leader could not have proclaimed himself “A wartime President!! and done that carrier stunt.

    There was a time when Conservatives feared the growth of the Imperial Presidency. Here’s a laugh. I went to an old posting on a right wing website called Free Republic and there were articles and postings about the dangers in Clintons establishment of the FISA court. They sounded the alarm about all the dangers inherent in domestic spying. One even suggested Clinton would use the Oklahoma City bombing as an excuse to vastly increase the power of the Federal Government to spy on us. How ironic he or she should say that! Now these folks not only wiretap but ignore the court and lie about it. I support wiretapping if that is what is takes to track down terrorists but what ever happened to the old checks and balances? Too much trouble? What kind of Conservative would have said its ok for the Federal Government to whisk people away and hold them indefinitely without charges being placed against them? Who would ever think that would be ok in America?

    Everywhere you look you see the enlargement of the Federal government, vast pork barrel spending, deliberate policies of fear and smear, massive deficits, endless wars, threats to our liberties, lies deceit and deception on an incredible scale. All their talk about fiscal discipline was a lie. Their actions are not motivated by Conservative principles. They are motivated by power and greed. They are pigs at the trough with a Chimp at the top.

    Why have Conservatives changed so much? Maybe they have not changed but others claiming to be Conservatives have hijacked the movement. These are not Conservatives. These are fascists and they are only beginning.
    Ya, Clam you’re angry and so am I..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  20. JVW wrote, “…today there are likely lots and lots of folks who are turned against the Democrats for their extremism today…

    JVW, would you mind elaborating on what you view as ‘extremism’ of the Democrats? As a liberal Democrat, I don’t see it, but rather often muse on my sense of the extremism of the right. Let’s trade (feel free to be as overly-simplistic as I).

    Republican extremism:
    All taxation is bad and must be killed, no matter how many schools must go underfunded or insane asylums must be closed.
    The threat of terrorism takes precedence over the Bill of Rights.
    States need to be able to criminalize certain sex acts between consenting adults (two men or two women, specifically). Of course, we’d never do that–it’s just in case.
    The environment here and world at large exists for the sole purpose of me being able to turn a profit–and has no use beyond my lifetime anyway.
    The second amendment protects everybody’s right to bear AK-47s, grenades, and armor-piercing weaponry.
    Any governmental regulation of Big Business is bad, because businesses only act on behalf of the greater good of society.

    Get the idea? (Note my gently-ironic tone–no need to rip my head off. I’ve had a long day teaching.) At any rate, this should be amusing.

    Tom (15e81e)

  21. As the current Democratic Party speeds leftward, you will see more and more people drifting from the Dems. into the Republican Party. This is why the conservatives are becoming a faction of the party instead of the bulk of the party. For the next 20 years or so the G.O.P. will be encompassing an electorate that ranges from the Spector view to the Helms wing.
    The true conservatives will have to stay vocal. Obviously they have a ways to go, when you have “teachers” like Tom misconstruing the party position with outlandish statements like that.

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  22. Well, here’s some Democrat extremism (in simplistic form, of course):

    1) Anyone who sacrifices any insignificant piece of liberty for any security, no matter how great, deserves neither.
    2) Point 1) shall not be construed to prevent restrictions of speech we find offensive to our favorite groups, or speech about politics given by certain media agencies of our choosing. Let’s not be silly; liberty has its limits.
    3) The earth is simultaneously getting warmer, colder, producing more hurricanes, more earthquakes, and there may be a bird flu pandemic. HALIBURTON!!!
    4) Only the Democratic Party can be trusted to choose judges who will protect all the rights we hold dear. Trust us. You’ll see.
    5) Well, we’re really not too keen on property rights, but those are really contrary to the good of the collective whole and would have prevented implementation of the next five year plan anyway. Um…Look! George Bush is listening to terrorists’ phone calls! FASCISM!
    6) It’s not our fault that all of our policy preferences just happen to be in the Constitution.
    7) Government disribution of spoils based on race = good idea.

    Matto Ichiban (ab0734)

  23. #10 & #16

    Very well said. I agree with both of you. Unfortunately, there is no real alternative to the GOP. A vote for the Libertarian Party or other minor party is in effect a vote for the Democrats–a far, far worse alternative than the most unpricipled Republican.

    Stu707 (18fdc8)

  24. Gassp. Oh, no a vote for a democrat. Someone might get a blow job and LIE about it. What a tragedy that would be. Lying about starting wars, is nothin though.

    blubonnet (dc52ec)

  25. OK, sorry to have stepped away for a while.

    Tom (comment #20), let me use your own construction to answer you.

    Democratic extremism:
    All money earned by those who work really belongs to the government, and should be spent by those who purport to act in “the best interests of society” or, even more obnoxiously, “for our children.”
    It is much better to be attacked by terrorists than to inconvenience anybody, especially a member of a favored minority group with a strong lobbying organization.
    Anything goes between two (or more) consenting adults. Not only that, but society is obligated to acknowledge and celebrate any sort of sexual combination that can be thought of.
    The environment can never be altered, utilized, or affected, even by those who would benefit society by providing jobs or recreational outlets. Hysterical claims of impending doom should always be deferred to, even if they turn out to be absolutely wrong or don’t even make sense to begin with.
    The Second Admendment doesn’t really mean what it says, so rather than having to go through the cumbersome process of a Constitutional amendment we will just ignore the parts of the Bill of Rights that we find inconvenient. The amendments that we like, though, are sacrosanct, and if there is something that we think is good for society, such as free health care, we can claim that it is a “Constitutional Right” even if it can’t be found in the actual document.

    I trust I matched you in simplicity.

    blubonnet, we have already seen the cut of your jib, so I won’t spend too much time reminscing on campaign finance irregularities, allegations of sexual assualt, inattention to terror attacks (even those on American soil), the selling of Presidential pardons, the indictment (and in some cases conviction) of cronies, and all the other fun times that took place from 1993-2000.

    JVW (54c318)

  26. Blu wrote:

    Gassp. Oh, no a vote for a democrat. Someone might get a blow job and LIE about it. What a tragedy that would be. Lying about starting wars, is nothin though.

    Well, Blu, although some of us (including me) would like to see more real conservatism from our elected Republicans than we are getting, we know that, sadly, seeing Socialists Democrats win elections means something far worse. If the Republicans have spent too much money, the Democrats would steal tax away more of our money and spend even more.

    If y’all would just proclaim me Tsar of All the Americas, we’d have lower taxes, much lower government spending (and what spending there was would be done at the appropriate levels), a completely color-blind society, freedom for everyone, and a society in which the individual determined his own future by his own actions.

    Dana (3e4784)

  27. The objections of the left validate what Congressman Pence has said. Anything that Molly Ivins favors should immediately be suspect, and her ridiculous statement is a strong indicator that Congressman Pence has hit the mark. We can have confidence that we’re doing the right thing only when those among us who are always wrong about important issues complain (one reason why high approval ratings should never be considered a mark of good leadership — such ratings likely mean that too many of the wrong people are pleased). And the left, including Molly Ivins, has been consistently wrong about everything important, from tax policy, to welfare, to quagmires, to national security. The louder she and her cohorts complain, the more validation they provide.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  28. We are in a culture war, as Buchanen stated, and it is more and more evident to those of us on the right, both fiscal and social conservatives.

    The Left has used the issue of civil rights for blacks as the nose under the tent to claim special rights for all “victims” (whose numbers grow with each decade). These rights require greater confiscation of assets of families and reduction in the constitution freedoms of individuals.

    The Left has gained control of the education establishment for the propagandizing and dumbing down of upcoming generations, hence teacher union control of school boards across the nation beginning in the 1970s. It is here that our children are taught the secular religion of “environmentalism” and the sexual mores that guarantee that they will mess up their personal lives and need to depend on government for help.

    The Left has pushed for the diminuation of the vote of entitled voters by voter fraud and pressure to allow sloppy registration and voting practices — most practices occuring in Democrat led urban areas, how surprising!

    We have seen the corruption of the media (TV owned by large corporations run by Leftist CEOs) so that important stories are suppressed while celebrity gossip and tragedy TV become the fodder for public discussion.

    Yes, we are in a culture war and the Homosexual Lobby is in the forefront of the struggle to undermine society’s main institution, the family. So, if you are not just homosexual, but part of the Gay Lobby, you are my enemy.

    Funny, too, how all the “change agent” groups also oppose every effort of the Bush administration to protect us from Islamic Jihadists. How willfully blind do you have to be to not realize that the Left in this country is not a friend to the average American?

    Margaret (71415b)

  29. The last time I felt as truly excited about on was watching Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Republican National Convention speech, where he urged us onward with the declaration that “we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.”

    Hear, hear. I loved that speech. I owe my career to that speech.

    Bill Clinton (2ec28a)

  30. On PBS this evening on NOW, the topic of pork was the issue, and since the Republicans took hold of Congress about 10 years ago, the pork spending has incrased tenfold. Yes, times 10.

    Would Bill Clinton really be posting here? I guess it is possible. More likely, someone is being funny. (?) Hey, Bill, what’s with your new pal, GHW Bush? How is he with the job his son is doing? The snow job on America.

    blubonnet (39808b)

  31. 28/Margaret, you cannot be sincere. This post is just too funny and reads like a bad leftist parody the far-right’s most delusional fears and imagined battles.

    A couple of basic points of refutation. If fiscal conservatives were to take a place in you’re ‘culture war,’ they would certainly be appalled at our current state of fiscal dysfunction. We’re running a federal debt of $3 billion every day; 50% of our paper is is scooped up by Asian countries (most notably, China.) So, under a Rep. presidenta dh congress, we’re mortgaging our furture to foreigners. The fed budget has never been greater, and pork spending is at the very highest levels ever.

    What family assets are being taken by the rise of Civil Rights? What individual rights are being lost by families? Slave owners lost their humal property a long time ago. What poperty or rights have been lost, how has this damaged the society, and how does insuring civil rights contribute to your culture war?

    Large media corportations are predominantly led by right-leanning executive teams. GE, Walt Disney, Time Warner, and News Corp. are all demonstrably neutral to right-leaning at the C-suite level. Not a complete list, but those are most of the biggies.

    Naming homos as your enemies means that many Republicans in Congress, and many prominent Republicans, are your enemy. Meaning that many of your erstwhile comrades are actually enemy combatants in your fantasy culture war.

    You left out the war on Christmas. Any comments on that front on your culture war?

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  32. Patterico’s favorite commenterm jmaharry, wrote:

    A couple of basic points of refutation. If fiscal conservatives were to take a place in you’re ‘culture war,’ they would certainly be appalled at our current state of fiscal dysfunction. We’re running a federal debt of $3 billion every day; 50% of our paper is is scooped up by Asian countries (most notably, China.) So, under a Rep. presidenta dh congress, we’re mortgaging our furture to foreigners. The fed budget has never been greater, and pork spending is at the very highest levels ever.

    You’re absolutely right, Mr Harry: we are spending way too much. Were this fiscal conservative, we’d be spending a lot less money — but I suspect that we’d be spending a lot less money on the things of which you approve.

    What family assets are being taken by the rise of Civil Rights? What individual rights are being lost by families? Slave owners lost their humal property a long time ago. What poperty or rights have been lost, how has this damaged the society, and how does insuring civil rights contribute to your culture war?

    Margaret referred to the unfortunate case of Kelo v City of New London, in which the Supreme Court ruled that cities could use eminent domain to take private property to give to a private developer.

    Large media corportations are predominantly led by right-leanning executive teams. GE, Walt Disney, Time Warner, and News Corp. are all demonstrably neutral to right-leaning at the C-suite level. Not a complete list, but those are most of the biggies.

    Right-leaning? If by “right-leaning” you mean that they are concerned with making a profit, yup, they sure are. But in their public media presentation, “right-leaning” sure isn’t the case with GE, Time-Warner or Disney.

    Naming homos as your enemies means that many Republicans in Congress, and many prominent Republicans, are your enemy. Meaning that many of your erstwhile comrades are actually enemy combatants in your fantasy culture war.

    No one is out to throw homosexuals in jail, Mr Harry. A lot of people don’t believe that society ought to accept homosexual relationships as preferred structures that are the equal of heterosexual marriage.

    Dana (9f37aa)

  33. I typoed:

    Patterico’s favorite commenterm jmaharry.

    While I obviously meant “commenter,” “Cominterm” just might be appropriate as well. :)

    Dana (9f37aa)

  34. This jmaharry just makes it up as he goes along. For example, his statement above:

    “We’re running a federal debt
    of $3 billion every day; 50%
    of our paper is is scooped up
    by Asian countries (most notably,
    China.)

    . . . is a blend of fantasy, sloppiness, and distortion.

    First of all, the annual gap between federal outlays and federal income is called a deficit, not a debt. Next, the current federal deficit is not $3 billion per day, but less than one-third of that figure.

    Finally, Red China is not “most notably” one of the Asian nations which hold our federal debt, because it is not even close to being the largest Asian nation that holds some our
    debt. The largest (and therefore the most notable) Asian nation that holds our debt is Japan. The Japanese hold about 31% of all US debt; the Red Chinese hold about 11%; Taiwan and South Korea hold 3% apiece.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  35. That’s “largest nation” in the sense of being the largest creditor, of course.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  36. FINAL DRAFT:

    This jmaharry just makes it up as he goes along. For example, his statement above:

    “We’re running a federal debt
    of $3 billion every day; 50%
    of our paper is is scooped up
    by Asian countries (most notably,
    China.) ”

    . . . is a blend of fantasy, sloppiness, and distortion.

    First of all, the annual gap between federal outlays and federal income is called a deficit, not a debt. Next, the current federal deficit is not $3 billion per day, but less than one-third of that figure.

    Finally, Red China is not “most notably” one of the Asian nations which hold our federal debt, because it is not even close to being the Asian nation that holds the largest amount of our debt. The Asian nation that holds the largest amount of US debt (and is therefore “most notable”) is Japan. The Japanese hold about 31% of all US debt; the Red Chinese hold about 11%; Taiwan and South Korea hold about 3% apiece.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  37. 32. Thanks for the props, Dana.

    First, you said I’m “absolutely right” in my first point. Thanks. Your remark on what I’d approve of in terms of federal budgeting is spurious, as you don’t know what my beliefs are, or how I’d better manage tax receipts.

    Next, eminent domain doesn’t have much to do with civil rights. It’s actually the right of the government to seize property for public use. The rise of civil rights and individual freedoms would actually work against eminent domain, I’d think.

    By right-leaning I do mean exactly what I wrote. That the executive teams in these conglomerates are overwhelming right-leaning. Which refutes Margarets delusion that “TV (is) owned by large corporations run by Leftist CEOs.” I know most of you here hold as an article of faith the big media is liberal. Margaret was not talking about that.

    Finally, Maragaret said homosexuals are her enemy. I just pointed out that makes a lot of right wingers her enemy. And that pokes a lot of holes along the front line of her culture war. I didn’t say anything about jailing gays or queer relationships (again, how do you know my thoughts on gay issues?). I pointed out the absurdity of her position.

    Finally (33), the word is comintern. Not ‘cominterm.” Make a note for all your future ad hominem accusations. (Your double typo effort in trying to demean me, meanwhile, is hilarious.)

    As for 34/35/36, Frankfurter.

    Debt & deficit are used interchangeably. For example, the US Dept. of Treasury calls it a debt, (http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/) — in fact, it has a Bureau of the Public Debt. The Library of Economics calls it both a debt or deficit (http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FederalDebt.html).

    Here is a another lesson: “most notably” does not mean “largest.” The phrase refers to something especially interesting. I think it’s interesting to “note” that China, hardly a strong ally, and a country that in the future may prove to be a troubling adversary and competitor, holds over $300 billion (and growing) in US treasury securities. Also “notable” is that China holds the second largest total in Treasuries, more than even England. (figures: US Treasury.)

    I mistakenly overstated the daily deficit total. Looks like we’re clipping along at a $1.5 billion pace, which is nearly 50%, not “less than one-third” as Frankfurter maintained in his correction. I was referring to a source that added Federal deficit and trade imbalance.

    That doesn’t change my original refutation of maragaret’s post. Fiscal conservatives would be appalled at these numbers. In her fictional culture war, they would stand againt the administration and, by extension, it’s legions of bible-thumpers and culturally conservative sycophants.

    I wish you’d try to restrict your comments and replies to what I actually write; not what, in your pervervid imaginations, you wish I was writing.

    Finally, how do you know that I am a “he?”

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  38. No, jmaharry, the words debt and deficit have precise meanings. The United States national debt is the accumulated debt that the Federal government has because of the annual Federal deficits. All told, you’re trying to gloss over your blatant error– but it’s not surprising you would make such an error. I’ve heard many Democrats and Leftists use the word debt when deficit is really correct, because they’re trying to fool people that the national debt of $8 trillion was just run up in the past year, or in the past 5 years of the Bush administration. Since Clinton didn’t preside over a deficit (at least, according to his projections) in the last of his 8 years in office, and since Bush has had a deficit every one of those 5 years, liberals imply that the whole debt was caused by Bush, instead of five years’ worth of deficits.

    Since you are still confused, it’s you, not me, who needs a lesson. I addressed your post (such as it was) carefully, and didn’t make anything up. And, yes, “most notably” is different from “largest,” and that was precisely my point. A careless reader wouldn’t have noticed that. You were trying to make it sound that Red China, a much larger nation than Japan, also held more of our debt than Japan. But they don’t.

    So, the bottom line is: you screwed up three times, and you got caught every time.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  39. jmaharry wrote:

    Finally, how do you know that I am a “he?”

    In the English language, properly understood, the masculine subsumes the feminine. Thus, if a person of unspecified or unknown gender is to be referred to with a pronoun, the masculine is proper. To use the feminine pronouns means that the person to whom the pronoun refers is known to be female.

    So, the use of “he” in reference to you is absolutely correct, regardless of your sex. Whenever you see someone using the abominable phrase “he or she,” you know that you are seeing someone ignorant of proper grammar.

    Dana (dd8e7e)

  40. Debt and deficit are synonyms. Care to argue that fact? You can find it in countless reference works.

    I referred to the daily deficit we’re ringing up, and I said it represents a lot of money. Care to argue that?

    I stated that many fiscal conservatives are appalled by the figures. Care to argue that?

    What evidence do you have for your goofy theory that I’m trying to confuse accumulated debt vs. yearly deficit? Esp. when I spoke specifically about the size of our yearly deficit, and when I allowed that your source on the actual size of the yearly deficit was closer to being right?

    Finally, you define “most notably” as meaning largest when you write:”Red China is not “most notably” one of the Asian nations which hold our federal debt, because it is not even close to being the Asian nation that holds the largest amount of our debt.” In this statement, you’re saying most notably = largest. Would you feel better if I took away the word “most”?

    Perhaps you don’t think it’s notable that Red China is holding a ton of our paper. Or that, sometime soon, we may be competing with that country for resources and markets. And that they may be able to use hundreds of billions of debt as leverage against us on the world stage. Would you like to argue that?

    You sound like a typical spittle-spraying conservative hack. Not saying that you are, but these posts have all the hallmarks: arguing minutiae, fabricating your opponent’s (my) arguments and intent, spinning specious arguments – and, ultimately, ignoring fundamental truth.

    If you can prove that your aren’t just another mini-Rush by stringing together a reasonable argument that actually addresses my point – that fiscal conservatives are on the whole very unhappy with our deficit. – I’ll be happy to discuss this with you further.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  41. No, Mr Harry, debt and deficit are not synonymous. You can have a debt without a deficit, and you can have a deficit without incurring a debt. The definitions are below:

    Main Entry: debt Pronunciation: ‘detFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English dette, debte, from Old French dette something owed, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin debita, from Latin, plural of debitum debt, from neuter of debitus, past participle of debere to owe, from de- + habere to have — more at GIVE 1 : SIN, TRESPASS
    2 : something owed : OBLIGATION
    3 : a state of owing
    4 : the common-law action for the recovery of
    money held to be due

    Main Entry: def·i·cit Pronunciation: ‘de-f&-s&t, British also di-‘fis-&t or ‘de-f&-s&tFunction: nounEtymology: French déficit, from Latin deficit it is wanting, 3d singular present indicative of deficere
    1 a (1) : deficiency in amount or quality (2) : a lack or impairment in a functional capacity b : DISADVANTAGE
    2 a : an excess of expenditure over revenue b : a loss in business operationsPronunciation Key
    – debt·less /-l&s/ adjective Pronunciation Key

    Dana (a90377)

  42. Tiresome.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  43. According to the latest rage of the lefty blogosphere — Glenn Greenwald — conservatives will immediately pounce on Congressman Pence and call him a liberal because he ventured the slightest criticism of Bush: “Now, in order to be considered a ‘liberal,’ only one thing is required – a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush. The minute one criticizes him is the minute that one becomes a ‘liberal,’ regardless of the ground on which the criticism is based.”

    JE Meyer (e6ad61)

  44. What’s tiresome, Mr Harry? Always being wrong?

    Dana (a90377)

  45. “Conservatives know:

    – That government that governs least, governs best;

    – That as government expands, freedom contracts;

    – That government should never do for a man what he can and should do for himself;

    – That societies are judged by their treatment of the most vulnerable: the aged, the infirm, and the unborn.

    But it’s not enough to know these truths. We need to choose to put them into practice.”

    In general, I find that many of the current Republican party choices are incredibly detestable.

    1. Policy makers seem to make blind decisions- ignoring the wide-ranging ramifications of the decisions they make. It is time for policy makers to sit down and think more about the big picture and how their choices will affect everyone.

    For regardless of party affiliation, the elected party officials are responsible for making choices that will serve the good of their constituents.

    2. I believe that change is in order. But this change should not be limited to the Republican party; anyone elected to public office has the responsibility to make wise and responsible decisions.

    3. The more I learn about the choices being made in Washington, the less faith I have in the ability of our governing bodies to make appropriate choices.

    4. Do you know about the planned sale of MORE National Park land to fund rural schools?
    (article reprinted on a democratic website)
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0210-04.htm

    Does that seem responsible?

    5. And is it responsible to make fiscal policy choices that put more burden on those less able to bear that burden?

    6. Finally, regardless of whether a politician is republican or democrat, “independent” or reformist, or green party, etc., I believe greater honesty and accountability is necessary for our nation to continue to be a democracy.

    7. Until our leaders are more responsible, our nation will continue to flounder and head further into the depths of economic and moral decline.

    LM (023f52)

  46. Oh boy, here is what’s tiresome: Your futile attempt to prove two words are not synonyms by pointing out they have different definitions. Synonyms can have the same or nearly the same meaning. Or, a synonym can be a word or expression that frequently serves as a substitute for another word.

    Deficit and debt are not the same thing; what I did say, and which is factually true, is that they are listed as synonyms in many reference works.

    Additionally tiresome: how all you low-grade, cut-rate Rovians have such poor reading comprehension skills; that, and your tendency to wander off topic and argue minutia.

    What is right is that you’re wrong in saying I am always wrong.

    [Free advice: give up this argument, jmaharry. You’re digging a deep, deep hole here. — Patterico]

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  47. Clam, thanks for posting congressman Pence’s comments. Unfortunately, the republicans have become what they replaced, and possibly then some. Their lack of fiscal discipline is profound; their avarice astounding. Pence has it exactly right in every respect. Personally, I’m so completely disappointed as to consider just staying home this November.

    Harry Arthur (fe8afb)

  48. The determined Mr Harry wrote:

    Oh boy, here is what’s tiresome: Your futile attempt to prove two words are not synonyms by pointing out they have different definitions. Synonyms can have the same or nearly the same meaning. Or, a synonym can be a word or expression that frequently serves as a substitute for another word.

    That’s a pretty good definition of a synonym, certainly enough, but while some people certainly do use “debt” and “deficit” as synonyms, they do so incorrectly. They do not mean the same thing, nor does one imply that the other must exist.

    I can have a deficit, without having a debt (if I have preexisting savings), or I can have a debt without running a deficit, as most homeowners do.

    Dana (3e4784)

  49. A guy in the movies once said:

    If you can not say what you mean, you can never mean what you say.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  50. I’m talking about the dangers inherent in piling up exorbitant, possibly crippling debt to potential US enemies, and you guys are caught up in arguing about synonyms.

    That’s about par for this course.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  51. Debt, deficit – is the difference between the definitions really that germane to the original argument?

    Good quote there, Black Jack (in 49). One of my favorites is, “An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.”

    BTW, what’s another word for “synonym”?

    Psyberian (4aee78)

  52. When the government issues debt, its notes and bonds are freely transferable, so they will end up in the hands of the highest bidder (the person willing to accept the lowest yield on the debt). That may or may not be someone who is considered an “enemy.” It doesn’t matter, of course, as long as the government’s credit is good (if an enemy calls the debt it holds, the government could simply issue debt to refinance the original notes, selling those replacement notes to, again the successful bidders). The principal amount of the debt, while of course important to the financial health of the nation, has less to do with whether there is a “deficit” than government spending (on the things other than interest) and interest rates.

    Sometimes deficit spending is a good short-term strategy — it certainly was following 9/11. If the federal government had then attempted to limit current spending to current revenues, we would still be in the recession that corrected the dot.com bubble of the 90s. Deficit spending and smart monetary policy helped turn that contraction into growth, by, among other things, controlling inflation and keeping borrowing costs low. If interest rates remain low, growth remains positive and government spending is brought under control (which is possible as long as the Democrats aren’t given control of the government and the opportunity to raise taxes), deficits will be reduced and eventually reversed. So, jmaharry, debt and deficit aren’t the same thing — not even close.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  53. Mr Harry wrote:

    I’m talking about the dangers inherent in piling up exorbitant, possibly crippling debt to potential US enemies, and you guys are caught up in arguing about synonyms.

    No one here has disagreed with your point that we are spending too much money. Were we all together on Black Jack’s redwood deck, discussing what ought to be done about that spending, I’d guess that we’d come to very different conclusions.

    Me? If I were Tsar of All the Americas, I could have the budget balanced in a month — but a whole bunch of people would hate my guts.

    Dana (3e4784)

  54. TNugent,

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for acknowledgment. Overly inflated egos of the size we see displayed here don’t entertain even the remote possibility of error, and if in an occasional instant of clarity some minor error was revealed, the malignant ego simply ducks, dodges, denies, and makes excuses. Wait and see.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  55. I never said they are the same thing.

    I said they are often used interchangeably. Incorrect, perhaps. Yet it’s still a fact.

    I said they are synonyms. Again, a fact. At least according published reference works.

    And again, please read and try to understaind what I actually write; not what, in your frothing imaginations, you hope I’m writing.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  56. Dana,

    If I were Tsar of All the Americas, I could have the budget balanced in a month — but a whole bunch of people would hate my guts.

    That does provide some insight into why we have an institutional tendency to bloat – you need friends to get re-elected, and money makes friends.

    so Black Jack,

    when’s your talk show coming out?

    biwah (f5ca22)

  57. TNuget, a deficit creates debt anyway, so there is no huge difference to me – at least in the long run. And it makes sense: you spend more

    than you’re taking in, and of course debt ensues.

    A government deficit leads to increased government debt (often confusingly called the “national debt” or the “public debt”). In the U.S., the government borrows by selling bonds (T-bills, etc.) rather than getting loans from banks.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deficit_spending

    Psyberian (4aee78)

  58. Apologies – Blockqoute error by the person at the keyboard.

    Psyberian (4aee78)

  59. 52, Nugent
    I understand we’d issue new debt in the scenario you outline; but that would be at a higher interest rate. Correct? We’re already spending about $350 bil. to service the accumulated debt, so that figure would soar. Seems like there are far-reaching, deleterious consequences to issuing new paper to cover our debts. (Caused by our deficits). As a fiscal conservative,

    54, B.J.
    Looks like he had to wait about 20 minutes for my acknowledgement. So you’re wrong there.

    (Although that would have been an uncomfortably long time to hold your breath. In fact, you would have incurred some kind of brain damage — hey! maybe that’s explains your — er, never mind.)

    And, I admitted error earlier in overstating the defecit measured on a daily basis. So you’re wrong twice in two sentences. Will you be rushing back to post your apology, or admit your errors in fact and judgement?

    I’ve pointed out many errors of definition and fact on this blog. They’re never acknowledged. Doesn’t bother me.

    By the way, in which sense of the word “malignant” is my ego malignant?

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  60. Clam, speaking of the GOP being “wasteful and idiotic with money,” maybe the tide is starting to turn. Actually, I’m with you on that and wish that the Democrats would have picked up that ball and run with it. Anyway, according to this post by Arianna Huffington, the is becoming a bipartisan issue.

    And this remains for me the most interesting thing about the moves to slice the pork: the way they cut across party lines. Among the competing anti-pork legislation currently jockeying for position in Congress is a Senate bill proposed by John McCain and Tom Coburn and cosponsored by Russ Feingold and Evan Bayh, another introduced by Trent Lott and Diane Feinstein, and a House bill cosponsored by Republican Jeff Flake and Democrat Harold Ford.

    The bills vary in scope, strictness and the degree of transparency they require, but they all recognize that something needs to be done to derail the corporate welfare gravy train.
    You know something interesting is afoot when Tom Coburn and Barack Obama — and in the blogosphere, TruthLaidBear and Instapundit — are all pushing the same issue.
    (from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/cutting-pork-another-gli_b_16045.html )

    Psyberian (4aee78)

  61. Do us a favor Angry clam..dont tell us anyone who dies in Iraq is “doing the Lords work” unless you think Bush is Lord, which would not surprise me..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  62. A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
    by Larry Beinhart
    The vice president shoots you in the heart and in the face. Then you apologize for all the trouble it’s caused him. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    Despite almost hysterical warnings the president stays asleep at the wheel. He does nothing about terrorism and 9/11 happens. He responds by running away to Nebraska. Three days later he makes a supposedly impromptu speech with a bull horn on the rubble of the World Trade Center. He is universally cheered as a hero. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    The president puts together false claims to go to war with the wrong country. His party universally supports him. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    The administration mismanages the war in Iraq so that it creates chaos, a breeding ground for terrorists and political opportunities for Islamic fundamentalists. Along the way, the reasons for going to war are exposed as false. The president runs on national security as his main issue. He is re-elected. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    The president cheerfully gives away the surplus to the richest people in the country. Then he runs up record debts, just to throw more money their way. He claims it has helped America’s economy. People act like they believe him. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    The administration continues it’s magnificent tradition of going to sleep when it is warned of disaster. It does nothing when Katrina is coming. It continues its record of doing nothing when disaster arrives. As New Orleans was lost, just as when the World Trade Center was lost, the president got as far away as possible. But he can’t be blamed for what nature did. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    The president orders wiretaps without warrants, a straightforward violation of the constitution. When the Attorney General is called to testify, the head of the Judiciary Committee insists that his testimony not be under oath. The head of the intelligence committee suggests that the law be changed, now, to make it legal after the fact. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    Alberto Gonzales helped come up with the program that rejected the Geneva Conventions, that permits torture, that says that the president is above the law and that “I was only following orders” should be a defense against a charge of war crimes. Ah, if only the Nazi war criminals who were hung at Nuremberg had Gonzales there to defend them. The president nominates Gonzales to be his new Attorney General. He is confirmed with little debate and no outrage. That’s what it means to be a Republican.
    This needs to be understood.
    What it implies is that Republicans can’t be dealt with as if reason and facts will sway them. Because it won’t. It’s hard for reality-based people, regular Democrats and Liberals, to understand that.
    What it lets us know is that reality-based people — Democrats, Liberals, real Conservatives, old-fashioned Republicans and non-profit Christians — have to take more vigorous and rigorous stands. Or reality and real American values and the American landscape will disappear, not just temporarily, but forever.
    A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION

    Charlie (8ea405)


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