Patterico's Pontifications

5/1/2009

The hollow howl of the RINOs

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:13 am

[Posted by Karl]

This week’s defection of Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democrats predictably set off another round of factional flame wars within the Republican party.  The mutual finger-pointing is well-known by now.  So-called “moderates” or “reformers” claim the GOP has drifted rightward, or that it is now dominated by a social conervativism toxic to the larger body politic.  Social conservatives respond that such critics are unprincipled, that the 2008 presidential nominee, Maverick-y reformer John McCain, was a big loser, and so on.  We have heard it all before.

The debate was clarified for me by an exchange at Instapundit.  Glenn Reynolds correctly noted that the social con agenda is, if anything, less strident than it was in the 1980s.  Reader Neil Sorens responded that “the change in perception is that with fiscal conservatism abandoned, the only distinguishing characteristic of the Republican Party is now social conservatism.” 

That perception may well be reflected in how voters saw the presidential candidates in 2008, placing Mike Huckabee as the most conservative candidate, despite his progressive-populist pitch on a number of economic issues.  Voters placed Huckabee right next to then-Pres. Bush, and rightly so.

After all, Bush was the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson, arguably even bigger, and the biggest since Nixon after excluding defense spending.  The No Child Left Behind act, the 2002 farm bill, the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit, the 2005 highway bill — the list of big spending bills goes on and on.  As Nick Gillespie summarized in January:

If increases in government spending matter, then Mr. Bush is worse than any president in recent history. During his first four years in office — a period during which his party controlled Congress — he added a whopping $345 billion (in constant dollars) to the federal budget. The only other presidential term that comes close? Mr. Bush’s second term. As of November 2008, he had added at least an additional $287 billion on top of that (and the months since then will add significantly to the bill). To put that in perspective, consider that the spendthrift LBJ added a mere $223 billion in total additional outlays in his one full term.

If spending under Mr. Bush was a disaster, regulation was even worse. The number of pages in the Federal Registry is a rough proxy for the swollen expanse of the regulatory state. In 2001, some 64,438 pages of regulations were added to it. In 2007, more than 78,000 new pages were added. Worse still, argues the Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy, Mr. Bush is the unparalleled master of “economically significant regulations” that cost the economy more than $100 million a year. Since 2001, he jacked that number by more than 70%. Since June 2008 alone, he introduced more than 100 economically significant regulations.

Specter was comfortable with all of this, as a true RINO; he voted for the trillion-dollar “stimulus” giveaway, just as he voted to water down the Bush tax cuts.  One of his chief defenders, Sen. Olympia Snowe, stabbed House GOP moderates in the back by voting for the stimulus.

However, beyond the stimulus, the fact remains that most of the big-government items of the Bush Administration had substantial support from a Republican House and a Republican (or evenly-split) Senate.

That mindset can be found outside Congress, too.  For example, “reformer” pundit David Frum — who called the Specter defection a “catastrophe” — also found the GOP opposition to the ginormous stimulus bill “brain dead.”  He thinks the biggest expansion of an entitlement program since Johnson was the key to Bush’s reelection in 2004, though Democrats regained their traditional advantages on Medicare and education not long after the drug benefit and No Child Left Behind.  He advocates a carbon tax that not even Democrats will openly advocate (hence their cap-and-trade boondoggle).  Frum’s books make clear that he has resigned himself to an ever-growing government, which renders him particularly ill-suited to influence those who would at least like to resist it.

Similarly, Christine Todd Whitman can pen an NYT op-ed preaching fiscal restraint and less government interference in our everyday lives — but where has she been on these issues in this century?  It’s a piece that could just as easily have been written by Rudy Giuliani, or any of the rest of the usual suspects.  The case of Kal-fohr-nya Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also comes to mind.

At root, the real problem the Snowes, Frums and Whitmans of the world have is that social cons actually advocate and vote their principles on social issues.  If the GOP is in danger of being seen as ideologically narrow and too identified with social issues, it is in no small part because its supposedly “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” wing generally has been socially liberal and not fiscally conservative.  Having abandoned the core principles on which Republicans are supposed to agree, they would like the social cons to dump the remainder of their principles as well.

It is one thing to be a moderate or a centrist or a reformer.  It is another thing to be a Republican In Name Only.  Such people have no standing to dictate where everyone else sits on the party bus, let alone drive it.

–Karl

207 Responses to “The hollow howl of the RINOs”

  1. It would also help if the social conservatives didn’t treat fiscal restraint or small government as mere buzzwords. George W Bush tore the coalition apart due to his profligate spending and tendency to use the levers of government to enforce social conservative values. Hucklebee is, if anything, worse.

    It isn’t that the fiscally conservative, small government wing opposes social conservatism — but they are far less likely to want to use government as their tool — that would be big government, not small. Something George W Bush missed entirely.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  2. Karl – Just a warning: Be careful about relying on Nick Gillespie for discussions of Bush and spending.

    And a suggestion: Try measuring spending as a percentage of the GDP. You’ll learn something if you do.

    Jim Miller (6c4f8c)

  3. Fiscally conservative/socially liberal politicians are a figment of the collective imagination.

    You may be one yourself. You may know others. But there are none such creatures in DC.

    Techie (9c008e)

  4. Question: Is the Republican Party mainly socially conservative, or fiscally conservative? If it had to be one or the other, which should it be?

    As a number of commentators have said lately, the supposed rightward drift of the party is nonsense. What has happened is that fiscally conservative policies have been abandoned, leaving only social conservatism and this just seems like a rightward drift. When in fact it has just been a narrowing.

    This is not to mean that the Democrats have grown; there is no case to believe that they will adopt fiscal conservatism any time soon. Either the Republican wings rejoin, on a better basis than the last 8 years, or the part will split until calmer heads prevail.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  5. Don’t be dissin’ Rudy, Karl.

    MayBee (0916b7)

  6. Techie: and the thing is, I’d be willing to vote for a fiscally conservative social liberal. But I’m *not* willing to vote for a social conservative who wants to use the state to encourage or enforce his social conservatism.

    So in many cases I end up voting for the Democrat because my opposition to social conservatism is stronger than my liking for fiscal conservatism.

    A *very large* percentage of the Silicon Valley vote falls the same way.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  7. Anonymous (f07e38)

  8. Everything went bad when DeLay forced Gingrich out.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  9. Kevin,

    I would argue the GOP should primarily be fiscally conservative and should not unduly emphasize social con issues. When the GOP is not fiscally conservative, you end up with that GWB/Huckabee look that neither of us prefer.

    Jim,

    I’m aware of the nuances of spending as a percentage of GDP. The average voter in the mushy middle is not. What I’m discussing is how the public perception of the GOP gets formed. GWB ran and governed as a “compassionate conservative” who expanded the government role in education, healthcare, etc. and ran up big deficits (though we ain’t seen nothin yet, apparently). That’s the picture of the GOP today on budgetary issues.

    MayBee,

    I like Rudy, but he’s misdiagnosing the GOP’s problem and trying to build himself up by tearing others down. If he spent as much time complaining about the GOP’s fiscal laxity, he could tap into that Tea Party sentiment and boost his own fortunes.

    aphrael,

    I think the GOP could get voters like you, as my impression is that many, perhaps most, social cons would be happy with a federalist approach to their issues. Silicon Valley is best governed by folks closer to Silicon Valley. But if fiscal conservativism is that unimportant to you, I would not expect the GOP to spend a lot of time trying to court you. You would be at the margin of the party’s appeal. I also suspect that you may be underestimating the import of fiscal conservativism to the entrepreneurial class in your region, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    Karl (f07e38)

  10. What aphrael said. In spades. I want government out of BOTH my private life and my pocketbook.

    Tully (c2f070)

  11. Aphrael,
    I’d be willing to vote for a fiscally conservative social liberal.

    You’ll find them right here.

    If I were to rejoin the Republican Party, this is the wing I’d hang out with.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (5de461)

  12. Karl, for some reason I skimmed your post the first time. You’re right, we basically agree.

    I cannot tell you how many times my liberal friends ribbed me on the fiscal issue with GWB, and I had a hard time responding.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  13. I suppose I should have considered this effort doomed to failure.

    The point (again) is not, “let’s all stamp our feet to assert our (my) ideal party platform.”

    In fact, I’ve written here about the fact that that all sorts of people can play all sorts of roles on the road back to a majority for the Right.

    Rather, the point is that after a big loss, the loser (here, the GOP) usually says they need to go through a period of self-examination/ soul-searching, etc.

    But what I see — from both moderates and social cons — is not self-examination, but blaming other people within the coalition. And most of it is moderates blaming the social cons. But if the social cons have changed at all since 1980, it has been in the direction of toning it down.

    Accordingly, I would suggest that those who are unhappy with the GOP’s image assert some leadership, rather than carp at people who are likely allies. Because there is really no reason to have two fiscally liberal, socially liberal parties. Those who want a fiscally conservative, socially big-tent party have the obligation to be fiscally conservative, to lead on fiscal issues and become the face of the GOP. And I would suggest that’s easier to do if they spend less time complaining about social cons and more time being fiscal cons.

    Karl (f07e38)

  14. [...] out this piece today at Patterico for more of what I’m getting at. Especially this part: At root, the real problem the Snowes, [...]

    What is a Republican? « True Sailing Is Dead (962ecf)

  15. It’s all politics. When Jim Jeffords switched parties, it was laughable when (predictably) the MSM and Jeffords swore it was because the GOP had gone too far to the right (I think Carl Bernstein has a trademark on that phrase). The obvious retort should have been, “so, you thought endorsing Ronald Reagan was okay, but not George Dubya medicare-prescription-drugs Bush because he’s too far to the right, eh?”

    Then, like meeting Andrew Sullivan, you slowly nod & back away….

    Cam Winston (2937d1)

  16. Karl, a few questions:

    1. Could you please give an intellectual explanation for the emotional appeal (if any) of “fiscal conservatism?”
    2. After you’ve given that intellectual explanation, can you please explain how Ronald Reagan allowed unchecked non-defense spending during his administration, despite inspirational (so to speak) speeches in supposed praise of “fiscal conservatism?”

    Your answers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  17. Tully – Amen to your comment…get the government out of my personal life and my pocketbook.

    fmfnavydoc (44994c)

  18. If spending under Mr. Bush was a disaster, regulation was even worse. The number of pages in the Federal Registry is a rough proxy for the swollen expanse of the regulatory state. In 2001, some 64,438 pages of regulations were added to it. In 2007, more than 78,000 new pages were added. Worse still, argues the Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy, Mr. Bush is the unparalleled master of “economically significant regulations” that cost the economy more than $100 million a year. Since 2001, he jacked that number by more than 70%. Since June 2008 alone, he introduced more than 100 economically significant regulations.

    and people were telling me that the economic crisis was caused by deregulation.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  19. Years ago I was more of a fiscally liberal social conservative like Gov. Casey.

    Then I learned a few things about the enduring successes (not) of liberal social programs.

    I originally thought “compassionate conservatism” meant conservatism explained to show how actual results were more compassionate than jargon- well that was a mistake.

    The one thing the repubs have in their defense is when they said, “If you think the spending is bad under Bush, the Democrats will be worse!” It didn’t win an election, but oh is it true.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  20. Karl,

    You are right on the money. Thank you.

    The ostensible purpose of big spending by pols is that it buys votes in the next election. That was the true objective of “Compassionate Conservatism.” The moral to the story of the Bush terms is that profligate fiscal policy bought the Republicans exactly NOTHING. Now when I read about or hear Karl Rove commenting on the current political situation, it is hard to put out of my mind that it was his brainchild that helped bring us to this crossroads. This outcome, that conservatives were not successfully bought off by expanded federal spending, shouldn’t have come as a surprise to any informed observer: wasn’t that a theme of the bestselling “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” I guess our elected leaders had forgotten that we’re the party that’s not for sale.

    I think it is unfair to try to hang the collapse of Republican support for fiscal conservatism on George Bush. He had his hands full with the Afghanistan, Iraq, and the war on terror. For most of his presidency, control of Congress was in Republican hands and Bush gave them free reign. At a time when the President needed as much support in the Congress as he could get, would it have been prudent for him to pick a fight with the Congress and its Republican leadership over budget padding?

    The curious thing about the Bush presidency is how my feelings toward the man and his agenda are quite positive. Although Bush got so many things terribly wrong, he couldn’t have been more right about the most important issues of the day: the war on terror, Iraq, and his Supreme Court nominees. In addition, George Bush was a truly decent man, which came as a great relief after having a truly indecent man in charge for the preceding eight years.

    If there is a problem for the Republican Party it is that we just aren’t producing candidates in the traditional conservative mold – not at the local level, not at the state level, not at the national level. At the beginning of the Bush presidency, there were close to 300 Republicans occupying House and Senate seats along with quite a few Blue Dog Democrats. That’s a heck of a lot of conservatives who seem to have forgotten their principles. I don’t know what to do about that problem.

    Yours truly,

    Neobuzz

    Neobuzz (04e70d)

  21. I usually describe myself as an economic conservative and as libertarian on social issues. That hasn’t fit with either of the two main parties, and the Libertarian party is run by kooks on national security issues. Government can stay out of my kitchen, my garage, my bedroom, my library and my nursery. As far as protection from “enemies, both foreign and domestic”is concerned, government can easily become the most dangerous predator of them all.

    barSinister (043982)

  22. Hey, MD in Philly is back!

    I dabbled in a couple of local elections, recently, and the issue was not spending, it was taxes. I was with the “spending” slate BTW but we did not make much headway with whether we needed one more detective for the police department or whether the village should continue to subsidize the Fourth of July parade and the soccer league. The “no more taxes” slate kicked our butts.

    nk (edb3d7)

  23. I agree with Karl’s take on the social cons, and I do my best not to spend time ripping them, as I don’t think it’s productive. They have certainly moderated since the Reagan Era, with its Phyllis Schlafly and televangelists.

    Many of the fiscally-conservative, socially liberal wing of the party went out of their way to skewer Sarah Palin during the election cycle. Renowned conservative Susan Eisenhower, for example. Governor Palin is a mostly-libertarian, fiscal conservative who is actually doing a good job as governor. Her socially-conservative views do not affect the people of Alaska one bit. So what was the point of tearing her down, other than to look cool on the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert show? How does that help the Republican party return to fiscally-conservative roots?

    carlitos (eeffbc)

  24. “I cannot tell you how many times my liberal friends ribbed me on the fiscal issue with GWB, and I had a hard time responding.”

    Says it all, doesn’t it? Too bad it’s not really the issues or the intellectual arguments anymore. And a lot of intellectual and “fiscal conservatives” are REALLY going to be PO’d when “intellectual cases” for all forms of conservatism get tossed in the trash these next few years, in favor of emotional appeals.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  25. NK: that’s where I differ from the California Republicans, at least, on fiscal conservatism.

    For me, the key point is that we must be responsible in our spending and that we must not borrow money for anything which isn’t a long-term investment.

    The California Republicans seem to view fiscal conservatism as meaning we must not raise taxes even if the result is borrowing money for short-term spending, and they seem to care more about spending less than they do about spending responsibly.

    The Democrats are worse, to be sure. But … if the state Republicans focus on social conservatism and have a fiscal conservatism which is based on a different definition of fiscal conservatism than the one I’m using, why would I support them? :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  26. I think the main problem with the GOP is that they have become another victim of a cultural shift. People have changed. The GOP thrived when folks allowed their religious leanings to affect their world view. But now, even the Dems have gotten religious. They have managed to move to the center, accomodating a litle more of conservative values while still holding unto their liberalism. They are now having it both ways. Now anyone can join the Democratic party without feeling like they are giving up their souls to the Devil. Hence, the movement to the left. What will save the Reps now is to adapt and become like the Dems. Mimic them while retaining their true beliefs. A little compromise here and there. Just to win over this generation who feel it is cool to be a liberal and out-dated to be conservative. It’s a different kind of war that needs a different strategy.

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  27. The California Republicans seem to view fiscal conservatism as meaning we must not raise taxes even if the result is borrowing money for short-term spending, and they seem to care more about spending less than they do about spending responsibly.

    I would suggest their stance on taxes is a proper way to think. (Not that the CA Republicans would ever stumble upon the real reason this way is correct.) The reason is simple: focus should be on growth and not on simply paying off the debt. Raising taxes tends to inhibit growth.

    If you hold spending growth to a rate slower than the GDP, eventually the revenues raised by taxes (which would be a fixed percentage of the GDP) will overtake the amount spent.

    So, the best way to retire debt is to get the economy to grow.

    Steverino (69d941)

  28. “The ostensible purpose of big spending by pols is that it buys votes in the next election. That was the true objective of “Compassionate Conservatism.” The moral to the story of the Bush terms is that profligate fiscal policy bought the Republicans exactly NOTHING.”

    Ok, Neobuzz, I offer you the same question I offered Karl: Can you please explain what the emotional appeal (if any) is to “fiscal conservatism?”

    Brad S (9f6740)

  29. Gingrich said, “Starve the Beast”. Clinton said, “It won’t starve but let’s see what happens when we make it hungry”. Doofus 43 proved Clinton right.

    nk (edb3d7)

  30. TheEmperor7 writes: “They [Democrats] have managed to move to the center…”

    What could possibly support that interpretation of the Democratic party’s positions? Obama won the presidency with a campaign that confused positions and gave people room to read their own fantasies onto his vague positions but did not actually move to the “center” of anything.

    SPQR (72771e)

  31. Brad–

    I cannot quite tell what you think you are arguing for, but Reagan had large Democrat majorities in the House all 8 years, and they would not pass the military buildup without getting their programs, too. In the end the fall of the USSR forgave all sins.

    I’d also point out that Reagan’s deficits over 8 years totaled about $1.3 trillion. Obama will beat that just this year ($1.85 trillion), and again next year ($1.4 trillion). And, if the CBO is accurate, Obama’s deficits will ALWAYS be at least double ANY prior year’s deficit.

    And for what?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  32. What could possibly support that interpretation…

    Ignorance. Not paying attention. Wishful thinking. Confusing the center with self. Lying-sack-of-s*it-itis. Lots of things.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  33. I was a Republican in Orange County who told County Board Chairman, William Steiner, to his face that you don’t tax the people more to lend money to Robert Citron to invest in the hope of having the interest to spend. It was a bad scheme, and I proved to be right. Unfortunately the proof was at the time the largest municipal bankruptcy in the US.

    Because OC was largely GOP, Democrats elsewhere try to make hay on that bankruptcy. I had to slap down a local liberal Rabbi who thought he could make political hay in the paper using the OC Bankruptcy. He couldn’t understand how a rich GOP run county went Bankrupt. He disappeared when told the only elected Democrat in the county invested the county’s money in reverse derivitives against all counsel and advice.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  34. SPQR, tell me, don’t you think that the Dems have evolved over the years? It’s the GOP that has resisted necessary changes. This is why they are losing members. Specter is just a tip of the iceberg. There will be more defections if things don’t change in the Rep party. They will go from the GOP to the TSP. The Shrinking party!

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  35. SPQR, tell me, don’t you think that the Dems have evolved over the years?

    They have.

    Dennis Prager explains it.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  36. The sky is falling for Republicans!

    For just the second time in more than five years of daily or weekly tracking, Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 41% would vote for their district’s Republican candidate while 38% would choose the Democrat. Thirty-one percent (31%) of conservative Democrats said they would vote for their district’s Republican candidate.

    The sky is falling for Republicans!

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  37. Brad -

    Re Reagan: National defense is one of the jobs properly allocated to the federal government. The constituency for libertarian-isolationism in the post-WWII environment is not a sizable enough base on which to base a party in a two-party system. Fighting — and laying the foundation for winning — the Cold War was an eminently wise investment. For that matter, proving that capitalism beats socialism was probably necessary to any long-term effort at conservative-libertarian government.

    Karl (f07e38)

  38. Brad -

    Re: emotional appeal.

    I don’t grant your premise. Why don’t you explain to the group why a political philosophy or a governing style needs an “emotional appeal.”

    Karl (f07e38)

  39. Emperor7, #35, your claim is disproven with a simple look at the party platform and the announced priorities of Democratic Congressional leadership and Obama. Those priorities are not “centrist”.

    SPQR (72771e)

  40. The hollow howl of the RINOs

    Yeah. Right. This should really be titled ‘the mournful march to extinction.’

    “We” have heard it all before. Apparently ‘we’ heard but haven’t listened very well. The sound you hear are the footsteps of tens of thousands of American voters leaving the GOP in droves for the 21st century while conservatives marinate and stew in the juices of the 1980s. Stick a fork in, y’all… you’re done. So tuck in! Try some more of that eye of Newt.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  41. I’m an Iowan who was active in our caucus during the Republican primary. I was originally interested in Huckabee per his claimed support of the Fair Tax, and his related alleged libertarian positions.

    Once my wife and I learned he was much more the social conservative and not a fiscal conservative, we dropped our interest. We both voted for Romney. Huckabee came in fifth in our northern half of the county which is rural, voted 92% for Bush the second time around, and has a large farmer population.

    I have not seen a single indication that the party, especially through its representatives, has shifted to the right. That they are fiscally left of President Johnson and nipping the heels of FDR from the prescription drug excess, uncontrollable spending, etc., suggests that to be a “moderate” that retains Specter’s interest would require the institution of collectives and seizure of private property. Considering Specter’s a proponent of the latter with respect to our financial institutions and automakers, I think we can acknowledge that Leninist Specter has finally come out of the closet.

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  42. #42- If you cant see the GOP has shifted hard right since the days of Nixon and purged moderates and ‘Rockefeller’ Republicans, you need to get of Iowa more often. They don’t call it flyover country for nothing. Broaden your horizons. Huckabee is an affable creationist. A congenial nutbag.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  43. ““We” have heard it all before. Apparently ‘we’ heard but haven’t listened very well. The sound you hear are the footsteps of tens of thousands of American voters leaving the GOP in droves for the 21st century while conservatives marinate and stew in the juices of the 1980s. Stick a fork in, y’all… you’re done. So tuck in! Try some more of that eye of Newt.”

    - DCSCA

    What the fuck are you so happy about? It’s not like the Democrats give a shit about you anymore than the Republicans do…

    You keep talking about the Democrats being the Future. I would say that our system in its current state has no future.

    Leviticus (b8e67e)

  44. #38- Reagan has been out of office over 20 years. He has been dead for years. Hofziger, Regan, Weinberger… all dead. The Reagan era is over and thnakfully so. You wont get fresh blood into the party by propping up a conservative corpse.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  45. DCSCA,

    See #10. No one is touting Huckabee here. You’re arguing with yourself.

    Karl (f07e38)

  46. Comment by aphrael — 5/1/2009 @ 8:42 am

    And so, you end up with the worst of both worlds:
    Big Government, and Big Spending.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  47. They don’t call it flyover country for nothing.

    Nothing like a little snobbery to show your concern for the American public.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (5de461)

  48. You’ve got it all wrong, Karl. Social issues don’t matter at all.

    Or, more accurately, if you’re worried about social issues, you MUST support limited government.

    What happens to the abortion rate if we take away a few restrictions on abortion that the Supreme Court said was okay in Casey? Maybe it goes up a little.

    What happens to the abortion rate if we start running 1 trillion dollar deficits every year, and massively increase the scope of government? It goes up, a lot.

    What happens to straight marriage if we let cock-sucking faggots get married? Not much at all. What happens to straight marriage if we let big government get bigger, bigger, bigger, and provide more and more social services to unwed pregnant women? It withers and dies.

    What happens to work ethic if we let kids learn about evolution in school. Nothing. What happens to work ethic if we let big government raise taxes on the most productive citizens? It shrinks.

    Social cons who focus on social issues are FOOLS. They are misguided and MISLEAD. Hucksters like George W. Bush and Mike Huckabee–hucksters who know how to talk the talk of “family values”–are our worst enemy. They are the charlatans who talk about family values while increasing the scope of government, which is directly at odds with family.

    Whether you are a social conservative, or socially liberal (like me), you need to recognize that the ONLY important issue, aside from national defense, is limited government. We need to smash big government. We do not need, as Sen. McCain put it, a hatchet and a scalpel. We need a chainsaw and a flamethrower. We need to meet big government head on and destroy it. That is our only enemy.

    Anyone who claims to be a conservative but is in favor of big government–whether they call themselves “Rockefeller Republicans” or “National Greatness Neocons” or “George W. Bush” is the enemy. We need to purge the Republican Party of these people. Anyone who tries to make an issue out of teaching evolution in schools (from either direction) needs to be pushed out of the Republican Party. They are the problem.

    I’m talking about Charles Johnson (who is obsessed with evolution and religious people) and I’m talking about Mike Huckabee. If you’re standing up for Mike Huckabee at the expense of Mitt Romney, then you are part of the problem, too.

    Daryl Herbert (a32d30)

  49. Karl,

    You have to sell your positions to the electorate in general, and to your own base in particular. Anyone that has ever been in sales will tell you that emotion trumps reason every single time. You have to connect with people, and you have to get people to feel, in their heart and soul, that “fiscal conservatism” is the right thing to do.

    Let’s say you wanted to use an appeal to tradition to sell “fiscal conservatism,” for example. Most folks will hear the ways outlined in the Constitution and think “That’s nice, but what does that have to do with today?” Or worse, they’ll say “Gee, a bunch of old white men who held slaves telling me I should starve in the name of “principles.’”

    You have to have emotional appeals to answer to such responses.

    Brad S (5709e3)

  50. If you limit the size (spending) and scope (regulations) of government, then the social issues do not become an issue, for everyone is free to follow their conscience on these matters – that is the Goldwater/Reagan stance on the size of government, and what it should be doing, other than providing the National Defense.

    The next GOP President must make it a primary goal of his/her administration to drastically reduce the size of the Federal Register; for, only through that reduction, can the intrusion of the Federal Government into all aspects of life within the United States be scaled back, and allow Freedom to once again soar.

    A direct corallary is that the less the Federal Government attempts to do, the less money it needs to function. Plus, in the immediate future, we will need as much tax revenue as possible just to pay down the bloated debt that the BHO Administration is going to leave us with. This will require everyone to start living within their means. It will be time to end the National Welfare Program for the usual suspects:
    Farmers, the EduCracy, the ADM’s of the business world, etc. And, it is well past time to be in the business of GSE: Fannie and Freddie must be sold (or disbanded), along with the TVA and other GSE’s that are nothing but the repository of sincures for politcal hacks (something that GM will probably become).

    Perhaps we need a Constitutional Amendment that would restrict the Government (at all levels) from holding more than 1% of the common and/or preferred stock of any private entity, and forbidding government, at all levels, from any activity that would put them in competition with private enterprise?

    We have entered a time of great struggle, and how we emerge from it will determine whether or not the American Republic shall survive or continue.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  51. The sound you hear are the footsteps of tens of thousands of American voters leaving the GOP in droves for the 21st century while conservatives marinate and stew in the juices of the 1980s. Stick a fork in, y’all… you’re done. So tuck in! Try some more of that eye of Newt.

    That sounds a lot about what people were saying about the Republican Party in 1913.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  52. What emotional appeals existed for fiscal liberalism ?

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  53. Sirs, nice to find a civilized republican site. As a norwegian conservative I must say that I am shocked by the tone on most large republican blogs, especially those falling into what could be called the Fox family. As Brad S so precisely points out above, part of selling a message is how you are percieved, and currently the message the republican party seems to be selling is that of Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. And that is a message that does not resonate well in the USA today, it seems.

    Martin K (05a95b)

  54. You have to have emotional appeals to answer to such responses.

    Comment by Brad S — 5/1/2009 @ 12:55 pm
    Heck, Brad. That kind of reasoning is way too high for some folks here. They are right. You are dead wrong. Period.

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  55. #51- Sing along…

    “We’re the bright young men
    Who wanna go back to nineteen-ten
    We’re Barry’s boys
    We’re the kids with a cause
    Yes a government like grandmama’s
    We’re Barry’s boys
    We’re the new kind of youth at your Alma Mater
    Back to silver standards and solid Goldwater
    Back to when the poor were poor and rich were rich
    And you felt so damn secure just knowing which were which

    We’re the kids who agree
    To be social without security
    We’re Barry’s boys
    ‘Cause his hat’s in the ring
    Where Westbrook Pegler once was king
    Now he’s too left wing
    So if you don’t recognize any old Red China
    Or Canada, or Britain, or South Carolina
    You too can join the crew
    Tippecanoe and Nixon too
    Back to Barry
    Back to cash and carry
    Back with Barry’s boys

    Why did the chicken cross the road?
    To get from the left to the right

    Roses are red, violets are blue
    Walter Lippmann’s a pinko, too

    A-na-ka-nee, ka-nah, ka-nay
    Let’s investigate the PTA

    Barry, Barry, make your bid
    I love John Birch, but oh you kid

    Mother, mother, wear a grin
    And don’t complain, or we’ll turn you in

    Hold the presses, stop the mail
    The Pentagon’s having a one-cent sale

    What’s the latest news statistic?
    Hootenannies are socialistic

    Shut the door and lock and latch it
    Here comes Lizzie with a brand new hatchet

    Back with Barry’s boys

    We’re the kids full of nerve
    As long as it’s conservative, we’re Barry’s boys
    And we can’t comprehend
    Why our parents aren’t friendlier to Barry’s boys
    Why Dad once crusaded for Sacco/Vanzetti
    Now all we’re doing is doing the same for John Paul Getty
    Our parents emulated Roosevelt and Farley
    But we just want to grow up to be like Ev and Charley

    No college days with Socrates and Plato
    When you’re Barry’s boys
    You just organize parades for the abolishment of NATO
    And the rest
    The entire West
    So let’s go back to the days when men were men
    And start the First World War all over again
    That’s right you tell’em son
    Isolationism can be fun
    Back to Barry
    Back to cash and carry
    Back with Barry’s

    And remember, “An American first, and a politician second”
    Spoken like a true American politician

    Back with Barry
    Not with Lyndon, Ike or Harry
    Back with Barry’s boys”

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  56. “….As Brad S so precisely points out above, part of selling a message is how you are percieved….”

    Martin K, emotional appeals don’t necessarily have a good perception, at least right away. Besides, don’t you have Obama to praise and worship right now?

    Brad S (5709e3)

  57. forbidding government, at all levels, from any activity that would put them in competition with private enterprise

    POOF! there goes local police and fire service.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  58. Comment by Martin K — 5/1/2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Sock Puppet!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  59. #51- Sing along…
    DCSCA suddenly sounds a lot like David Ehrenstein . . .

    The Bill of Rights-Respecting Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (5de461)

  60. Aphrael, I have no idea how you deem local police and fire service as private enterprise. Sounds like a bait-and-switch to me.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  61. John: local police service competes with private security companies. local fire service could compete with private companies offering the same service.

    A constitutional amendment which forbids government from *any* activity which would put them in competition with private enterprise could easily be interpreted to ban such government activities. Not to mention government-run schools (which compete with private schools) and possibly freeways (which compete in some areas with privately owned toll highways).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  62. Comment by aphrael — 5/1/2009 @ 1:26 pm

    Not neccessarily; but, there is a large argument going on right now across the U.S. re volunteer fire-fighters because of the escalating costs of full-time, UNIONIZED, f-f’s. Plus, historically, the advent of police departments is a relatively modern invention.
    I remember a snarky saying from my, really, anti-establishment youth,
    as how police departments were formed at that point of man’s advance into civilization where rules were formulated that so incroached upon the liberties and freedoms of individuals that it was neccessary to hire police to enforce them.

    But, No! The function of Law Enforcement and Fire Suppression would not normally be considered functions of Private Enterprise, but are an extension of the community organized for the common good. However, that doesn’t mean that these functions couldn’t be outsourced.

    The great crisis of government that is staring us in the face is the future cost of retirement and health benefits that have been granted to government employees at all levels of government.

    Again, we must start living within our means, and so must government start living within our means.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  63. Historically, the first methods of mass transportation in the country; ie, canals, roads, etc., were private.
    Any amendment forbidding government competition with the free market, could easily spell-out those exceptions.
    But, if we are to have privately-owned utilities, there must be some restraint placed upon publicly-owned utilities so that they may compete on a fair and equitable basis. The TVA is not a fair and equitable competitor.
    Also, I will think you will find that many areas do subscribe to private security, but these services do not have all of the police powers that reside in a P.D. or Sheriff’s Dept., and are an adjunct of the local CLEO, but not an extension of it.
    But, anyone who is concerned about the over-extension of the State should welcome private solutions to State Power.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  64. What I really dislike is disingenuous, intellectually dishonest crap said with a straight face as if it is true.

    For one thing, it makes me confused as to whether the person knows it is nonsense and is A) sociopathic enough to not care about spouting lies, or B) ignorant enough to believe it is true. If A, then the person also believes I’m stupid enough to believe what is said.

    Concerning Senator Specter, he switched parties because he knew he was going to lose the Republican primary. Since he wants to be re-elected, he talked with the powers that be in the Dems and switched over.

    And, as Lily Tomlin used to say years ago, “And that’s the truth!”

    (Locally, Mayor Nutter just informed me that he has no interest being the mayor of Philadelphia, just the mayor of those too partisan to recognize the truth.)

    Senator Specter was one of a few repubs to vote for the Stimulus Bill that wasn’t a stimulus bill. He was iffy on allowing workers to maintain a secret ballot for unionization. You don’t have to be “too far to the right” to disagree with those things. And this is after W. and Santorum vouched for him last time around. Add that to social issues and Specter looks like a Democrat who isn’t as vocal as Dodd and Schumer (sp?).

    Have the Repubs “drifted to the right”? Well, considering Nixon wanted nationalized health care, price controls, unconditional talks and free trade with countries hostile to us, Bill Clinton was a 1970-style Republican. Even on war and national defense, prior to 1968 it was the Dems who lead us into Vietnam, remember?

    And JFK was for lowering taxes, probably would have never pushed for abortion “rights”, was ok with clandestine military operations (Cuba), and opposed communist aggression (Berlin airlift, Vietnam).

    So, tell me who is “drifting”, who is “staying put” and who is “stagnant”? If you ask me, a lot is based more on the desire for power and getting elected more than any inherent political/ economic/ moral philosophy (at least in the recent past).

    Obama won because he campaigned on “Change” and people wanted change. What was meant by “change” largely didn’t matter. For whatever reasons you give for Obama being elected, one needs to account for the facts that he was unqualified by experience (a first term Senator in his first two years, a state senator who voted present before that, ignored bringing up the only executive experience he had), unelectable from political associates (long time associates who had been on the FBI’s most wanted list as domestic terrorists), and unelectable from personal associates (Rezco-sp), and somehow got elected anyway, and that over a “moderate” republican.

    There is no long standing tradition of what it means to be a “social conservative” or a “social liberal”. Abortion became the issue it did in the 1970′s after Roe v. Wade, homosexual rights didn’t really become an issue until the last few years (bringing it up had a harmful effect on the Dems in 2004). Stem cell research was made an issue in the last 10 years (it was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who put the moratorium on federal funding of research). And I bet the mortgage you will be hard-pressed to find 2 out of 10 who know even the most rudimentary issues involved (talking truth now, not unsubstantiated claims and talking points).

    (Thanks nk. I think I’m just dropping in, unfortunately. I was really wanting to see what ya’ll made of the magician’s act of keeping Chrysler out of bankruptcy long enough so when it happened somehow the UAW was the winner, not the loser.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  65. Anyone that has ever been in sales will tell you that emotion trumps reason every single time

    If you’re talking about selling to the consumer on a retail basis, then that makes sense. However, having spent the better part of two decades in national media sales, it’s clear that you’ve obviously never met a media buyer who constitutes her entire worth by measuring things like CPM, CPA and ROI. Yes, sometimes emotional appeals work if you’re on the border of a decision, but a blanket statement like that as it pertains to business to business transactions is not applicable. Politics is first and foremost a retail enterprise – that’s the demarcation point regarding your “emotional” argument.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  66. #43/DCSCA: You’re kidding, right? Who in the Senate isn’t a Rockefeller Trust-fund Protectorate Special Interest Pork Awarding Republican?

    Hatch, Grassley, Graham, McCain, you name it. They’re all useless country club moderates who out-spend Democrats. Honestly, many find them worse than Democrats because at least some of them have a cause and purpose when they’re seizing and redistributing other people’s money.

    Every single one of the Republicans in the Senate is pro-redistribution. They just use it for other causes, like the military and pork for their friends. They’re all about re-election, giving financial aid to the part of our population that is statistically at the peak of its asset accumulation (the seniors). So what if they blather on about being social conservatives? That’s just cheap talk that costs them nothing while they fleece us and loot the nation.

    Name me a true fiscal conservative in the Senate, please.

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  67. Well, considering Nixon wanted nationalized health care, price controls

    And of course he was granted his wish for those price controls with Connolly at the helm, with the expected disasterous results.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  68. Name me a true fiscal conservative in the Senate, please.

    John Boehner.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  69. Comment by Dmac — 5/1/2009 @ 2:34 pm
    Not a member of the Senate!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  70. Brad -

    Now I see what you’re getting at with the “emotional appeals.”

    To which I would say that you just had a self-organizing protest movement around these ideas involving hundreds of thousands of people. Seems like the notion of being saddled with debt and ever-higher taxes for generations to come has emotional appeal to a lot of people.

    Karl (f07e38)

  71. Brad -

    To which I would add that a lot of the Tea party stuff is motivated by the moral indignation that again, people who have “worked hard and played by the rules” are getting hosed to bail out those who screwed up.

    Karl (f07e38)

  72. Could you please give an intellectual explanation for the emotional appeal (if any) of “fiscal conservatism?”

    Obama is making the case for fiscal conservatism right now. People are looking at deficits as far as the eye can see. Once interest rates start to climb, I estimate next year before the mid-terms, you will see a lot of interest in fiscal conservatism.

    2. After you’ve given that intellectual explanation, can you please explain how Ronald Reagan allowed unchecked non-defense spending during his administration, despite inspirational (so to speak) speeches in supposed praise of “fiscal conservatism?”

    Someone has partly done this but it was my biggest disappointment in him. Some of it was Congress being in the Democrats’ hands and fighting one battle at a time. Some of it was a desire for a peaceful life. I think he missed being a real transformational president because of it. Had the USSR not collapsed soon after he left office, his reputation would be far less because of the deficits.

    Your answers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Comment by Brad S

    Dmac, Boehner is in the House. The fiscal conservative in the Senate is Coburn. I wish we could clone him.

    By the way, the California Republicans, with the exception of McClintock, have been outed as aiders and abettors of the Democrat spending and have NO credibility any more. They made a deal for safe seats and drew straws (actually decided who had the safest seats) to vote for the big spending budget this year. The guy who admitted that in public now has a recall vote petition running now.

    The initiatives to raise taxes (although the ballot argument does not mention this) are going down in three weeks and the state will be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. It is all lies. They didn’t not cut a single state job. California state government has doubled in the last decade and a lot of the services are provided for illegal residents who don’t pay taxes.

    Mike K (f94389)

  73. MD in Philly,

    Should you drop back by, I’ll note that I’ve written at least two things here recently pointing out that the Government Motors follies have been all about saving the UAW (and the CAW). Still not clear that will fly in court, however.

    Karl (f07e38)

  74. Also, a further note on Reagan’s spending: He looks darn good compared to virtually every other POTUS since Johnson.

    Karl (f07e38)

  75. RR…
    One thing that many forget is that every year upon the publication of RR’s Budget Request, the Dem’s in charge of Congress (House & Senate) would march up to the mike’s and proudly pronounce that it was DOA!;
    then, they would pass appropriations that gave him his Defense spending,
    but expanded non-Defense spending exponentially.
    RR’s problem is that much of this was done in Omnibus Legislation which bundled so much of the Government’s spending into just one or two bills, that it was politically impossible to veto it, though I do believe a few veto’s were cast, and Congress had to re-group.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  76. Unless the Chrysler case is appealed, it look like one valiant bankruptcy attorney is the only person standing up for the Constitution against White House strong arm tactics and socialism.

    Anon (8b9d41)

  77. Face it. The GOP is in trouble. They think they are “Precious” and constantly need their egos massaged. Problem is they forgot to wake up and smell the coffee. Change is in the air. You either run with it or be run over by it!

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  78. #68: Pro-Pork Boehner’s what you think of as fiscally conservative? If that’s the best the party has to offer, it’s no wonder we’re so screwed. I really have to give up on hoping for this party – it’s like Charlie Brown trying to kick the damn football.

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  79. lovey/mdm/usurper: go look at that link and shup, stoopit.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  80. I am impressed by yhe admission of Brad S that in his view what is required for political success is emotional appeal. It seems that is the only thing Obama ran on. His speeches consisted of endless platitudes and a paucity of details. If you get the liberal hive wound up enough emotionally they don’t give a shit about details, like how Obama was the least qualified Presidential candidate in history.

    The emotion of the moment carries them away. They emotionally deride Bush for the spending during his administration but find a way to ignore that the Messiah will be spending way more than Bush and racking up even bigger deficits. They emotionally support Obama’s spending plans and efforts to tranform America into a socialist paradise but ignore the details on his hyped models on how he plans to pay for it and what the impact on American behavior is likely to be as a result of his transformative efforts, all because it “feels good.”

    Brad S is all about emotion because he can’t make a good case for liberalism on facts and neither can DSCSA.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  81. “…They think they are “Precious” and constantly need their egos massaged…”

    Sounds exactly like every politician I have ever met – regardless of party.

    Your efforts are valuable to us, please try again.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  82. “constantly need their egos massaged”

    I’ve got something for you to massage Lovey.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  83. I think the GOP ‘problem’ is an interest in history, accuracy and independence… none of which are in vogue right now for Soros or the DNC. It’s easier to ignore facts and reinvent reality. That’s what brought us Obama, a totally impossible fable without the perverted cover-up job provided by the media. For them, American history works best when lessons are destroyed and reconstituted – first in the classroom, then on the street – by those who want only power. Rewrite history and govern accordingly. That’s Obama squared.

    Vermont Neighbor (539e49)

  84. Comment by daleyrocks — 5/1/2009 @ 3:44 pm
    When are you going to change?

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  85. Comment by The Emperor7 — 5/1/2009 @ 3:59 pm

    Please, the Progressive form of the question is:
    When are you going to Grow?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  86. “Rewrite history and govern accordingly.”

    VN – Exactly. Let’s resurrect tired old liberal plans that have never worked before, but hope people forget that, only this time let’s through a whole shitload more money down the drain on them.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  87. throw

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  88. You may, if that is your wish; I’ll just hurl!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  89. Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 5/1/2009 @ 4:16 pm
    People may stop growing. But they never stop changing.

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  90. The fiscal conservative in the Senate is Coburn.

    Mike’s right – that was the guy I was thinking of; and that being the case, the point still stands. He was out in front of both the Dems and his own party regarding the stimulus plan, and because he articulated the reasons why it was so terrible he rarely received any television time from the MSM.

    BTW, the guy I was thinking of in the House of Reps. was Weber from WI – he’s an economist by training, and he’s awesome on the stump. So there are your leaders on this issue, if their party would only allow them to lead. There is hope for the future, but the elder statesmen have to get out of the way in order for the transformation to begin.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  91. “Obama is making the case for fiscal conservatism right now. People are looking at deficits as far as the eye can see. Once interest rates start to climb, I estimate next year before the mid-terms, you will see a lot of interest in fiscal conservatism.”

    I hope you, as a “fiscal conservative,” are not reliant on your case being made because of the stumbles of a President who has it within his capability to correct his errors. Thinking that other people, by their stumbles and errors, can make your case for you is a fairly good reason why “fiscal conservatism” has never been anything more than a buzz phrase with a weak hold on the public.

    You know, I can make an emotional case for “fiscal conservatism,” if you’d like. But I get the impression you and some of your “liberal friends” would be embarrassed at the case I make.

    Brad S (5709e3)

  92. Karl (73)

    Thanks for the heads up. I was expecting to see a dedicated post the last few days with the Chrysler announcement. Maybe that’s what you meant and I just missed it. Between what you capsulized in your post and anon at 76, I think my basic understanding has been confirmed.

    What I don’t understand is this:

    A) If governmental take-over of businesses in a capitalist economy is fascism,
    and
    B) Putting the means of production under the ownership of the workers is communism

    What do you call it when the government takes over the business then hands it to organized labor?? (Other than unbelievable, that is.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  93. Oops, just saw Karl’s response after my last comments.

    Thank you, Karl, for addressing the emotional appeal of fiscal conservatism (no scare quotes this time!). Now, do everyone, especially us emotional, evangelical Republicans, a favor and start treating it on an emotional level.

    You see, one of the reasons why the GOP is currently out of favor is that for way too long, we couched our positions and our rhetoric solely in intellectual language. And this was done because so many in the conservative movement were held sway by the “A Choice, Not an Echo” maxim of Barry Goldwater and wanted to show the world they were “different” than those emotional Lefties. Unfortunately, this gave the impression to the general public that too many conservatives were too good to get down in the mud and defend themselves and their positions.

    We conservatives and Republicans are just as human as everyone else, Karl: We want to win, and we want people to love and respect us when we win, or even when we lose. Sometime in the future, I’ll outline what the next step in the growth and development of modern conservatism is. It’s going to be a step that is going to make a lot of intellectual conservatives feel ill at ease, and already is if David Frum is any indication.

    Brad S (5709e3)

  94. “one of the reasons why the GOP is currently out of favor”

    Brad S. Out of favor with who? What is your basic premise? What periods are you comparing? Are you only speaking about recent developments? Define your theory.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  95. Revisionist educators, revisionist MSM, revisionist Democrats wouldn’t have anything to do with anything, would they?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  96. whenever I see this kind of discussion I think what the hell, how does wanting to keep marriage as it is somehow impose my values on others? Because that’s mainly social conservatism has been mostly about lately. Very little action in the abortion issue, Schiavo far behind us. Right now it’s gays. The issue isn’t what we social cons do but what we think. We vote for an amendment to maintain the status quo, and that is “imposing” something on others. BS.

    But in all honesty, the GOP has been pushing all the social con buttons in its calling campaigns since the 2004 elections. I took part in the Victory 2006 (LOL) calling, and we had usually 5 questions: 1. some bogus issue about the 10 Commandments (2) something about abortion (3) something about 2nd amendment (4) MAYBE a property tax question. God, guns, babies. Then based on their answers, figure their party ID (we don’t have registration by party in my state) and figure out their hot buttons and enter them in the database. There was no real focus on fiscal questions. At all. People were already painfully conscious of the Rx bill cost so why bring up money?

    This voter ID routine was based on Karl Rove’s Ohio strategy in 2004 and lemme tell you, 90% of the time those questions turned off the people we called and we made more enemies that friends once they figured out what party was behind it.

    cassandra (39ef93)

  97. I just have to wonder what they pundits will be saying in 2013 when Romney takes the oath. Probably much the same about the Democrats, and just as wrong.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  98. And then with stuff like this

    The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself.

    one has to wonder if it means anything at all.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  99. #68: Name me a true fiscal conservative in the Senate, please.

    John Boehner. Comment by Dmac — 5/1/2009 @ 2:34 pm

    Boehner is a member of the House of Representatives, not a Senator from Ohio. But then, a Buckeyes are useless nuts in the Senate or the House… arent they.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  100. People may stop growing. But they never stop changing.

    That makes me think of the following quote, which through the years has been attributed to Winston Churchill when it actually appears to be based on a quote of a French politician of the 18th Century.

    Far more important than the who or what of such a phrase is observing the behavior of many people through the years, and becoming quite convinced of the phoniness of a liberal mentality. A mentality often wedded to naivete, foolishness, immaturity, brattiness, idiocy, false compassion, irresponsibility, flakiness, lazy self-entitlement, and an inability to judge character — and good and bad in general — accurately. IOW, most of the characteristics of adolescence, of spoiled teenagers, of half-assed, self-deluded college kids.

    “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 40, you have no head.”

    Mark (411533)

  101. #99- Conservatives excel at ‘Bunker Mentality.’ Archie Bunker, that is.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  102. Comment by DCSCA — 5/1/2009 @ 8:46 pm

    Timely as usual scrunt. Way to keep up!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  103. Comment by DCSCA — 5/1/2009 @ 9:02 pm

    Non Sequiturs – R – U

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  104. After the 50th or 60th time my teen sat plopped in my favorite chair, even after I politely asking him to move several times, I gained a more complete appreciation of Archie Bunker. At least he never let Meathead sit in his chair. King of his castle.

    carlitos (eeffbc)

  105. #101/#102- more elephantine moans from the tarpits. Don’t fight it, mammoth. Extinction has s positive side. We need the oil.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  106. I have another serious question:

    Why do the likes of DCSCA, cassandra, emperor 7 timb, Brad S, et al, keep posting here?

    I mean, I like the responses they bring. But what is the point from their perspective?

    As I’ve said before, they have everything they’ve ever wanted: Dem-controlled White House, Senate and House. But they keep patrolling.

    I think I have an idea why, but I would be interested in what others think before I post my thoughts.

    Ag80 (b19e67)

  107. #105- Same reason we laugh at Wyle E. Coyote… and Stephen Colbert.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  108. Thanks for the intelligent response. Your mac’n’cheese is ready. You may not have heard from the basement.

    Ag80 (b19e67)

  109. #107- Actually, it is. Don’t trip over the anvil.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  110. Don’t trip over your hubris. Punk.

    Ag80 (b19e67)

  111. #109- Yes, Boss Limbaugh and the Dittoheads are punkers fer sure. Some of their biggest hits: ‘The Parkinson’s Jig’… ‘The 100 Days Rag’… and the unforgetable ‘Fail To The Chief.’

    Rock-efeller on, conservatives.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  112. I just have to wonder what they pundits will be saying in 2013 when Romney takes the oath. Probably much the same about the Democrats, and just as wrong.

    Romney has all the slick appeal of a floor salesman at a Chrysler dealership.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  113. #26- The California Republicans seem to view fiscal conservatism as meaning we must not raise taxes even if the result is borrowing money for short-term spending, and they seem to care more about spending less than they do about spending responsibly. Or they just dont pay them. Unpaid property taxes in that bastion of conservatism, San Diego County, are soaring.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  114. Romney has all the slick appeal of a floor salesman at a Chrysler dealership.

    At least the salesman doesn’t need a teleprompter to make his pitch.

    Unpaid property taxes in that bastion of conservatism, San Diego County, are soaring.

    Uh-huh. I would LOVE to see the list of people who aren’t paying those taxes compared to the party registration lists.

    But hey, why SHOULD we pay taxes? Hell, the guy in charge of collecting my taxes doesn’t even pay his taxes.

    It’s like they don’t even TRY to fake giving a damn anymore…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  115. #9– Gingrich resigned from the House and the Speaker position in disgrace after the election cycle he helmed was a disaster for the GOP. He had legal matters pending against him at the time as well. Or maybe he just wanted to spend ‘more time with his family’… his second or third mistress/wife. Family values just aint worth what the use to be, eh Master Newtie.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  116. Family values just aint worth what the use to be, eh Master Newtie.

    Dunno. Ask Bill. He can tell us…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  117. #78- Face it. The GOP is in trouble. They think they are “Precious” and constantly need their egos massaged. Problem is they forgot to wake up and smell the coffee. Change is in the air. You either run with it or be run over by it! Change to conservatives is something you leave a waitress.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  118. Gingrich did not leave in disgrace. The GOP term was highly successful. All those “legal matters” were spurious Dem accusation after spurious Dem accusation after spurious Dem accusation. And none of them stuck because they were all spurious and baseless and just false attacks because the Dems had nothing real.

    Try again, revisionist ACRAP.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  119. Which is why conservative always come out as the more generous to charities, and liberals end up being rather stingy…

    Were you going to make a point at some point, or were you just going to throw insults around?

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  120. That was, of course, directed at DCSCA…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  121. #118- Let’s ask the family values crowd of the Reagans, Doles, McCains and Master Newtie and their 9 wives and assorted mistresses. Bill has just the one. Secretary of State.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  122. #120- Better review your history, psycho. He bailed in disgrace, resigned after losses and with looming legal problems just after the election cycle. Master Newtie is old, old news.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  123. Bill got disbarred for suborning perjury surrounding his zipper problems, kiddo.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  124. #121- Imagine that. Wealthy people have more money to give away, especially as tax write offs. Reality is an insult to conservatism these days. 1+1=2, not 11. Yep, that’s insultive alright. GOP to 15% by November, 2009.

    Listen to Meghan McCain.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  125. #125- Jealousy, psycho, is most unbecoming. As if the GOP leadership dont dip their wicks. See Master Newtie, Bobby Dole, Johnny McCain and Ronnie ‘I knocked up Nancy and had to marry her’ Reagan for details.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  126. One simply cannot be both socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Social liberalism requires “compassion” which requires expensive social programs. ( I put compassion in quotes because its use here is not the English word but Demspeak for “spending other people’s money so I can feel good about myself without having to spend my own”. )

    Unless Republicans realize that fiscally conservative “moderate” Republicans will cave in to the far left every time rather than face being called names by the lapdog media, the Party will cease to be a meaningful force in American politics. I have no idea what will replace the GOP if it commits suicide, but something will.

    Ken Hahn (4d419b)

  127. Imagine that. Wealthy people have more money to give away, especially as tax write offs.

    Wait, conservatives are wealthy? I thought the current liberal schtick was that conservatives were all supposed to be angry Wal-Mart proles. Better check your Change.gov cheat sheet again. Can’t tell the cheap lefty talking points without a scorecard!

    Oh, and John Kerry and Joe Biden are pretty wealthy. You might want to check out their charitable contributions. If you can find any, that is.

    Mars vs Hollywood (788077)

  128. There’s no reason to respond to DCSCA’s not-so-clever insults and warped view of conservatives. Wait until it makes a sensible comment.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  129. Boehner is a member of the House of Representatives, not a Senator from Ohio

    I already corrected myself earlier, numbnuts.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  130. If Newt and everyone is old news and no longer relevant, why does the lying crapweasel still keep bringing them up. It is as though it runs out of HuffPo talking points, and defaults to grade school name calling.

    JD (abe6ab)

  131. The GOP making itself over (again). What a joke. Isn’t this just like the politician, who having been caught with a teenager or with a pocket full of dope, gets in front of the cameras to tell us he’s going into rehab? It’s nothing more than a dodge of the real problem:the GOP has been usurped by a cabaal of would-be fascists (yes, it has and there’s no denying it). They’ll crank off some absurd new propaganda program, but nothing will change. They will appeal to the most base instincts of our least educated and politically engaged citizens. Perhaps they won’t be as sneering and exhibit the level of hubris that has come to define the GOP since 1994, but I cannot see the GOP changing their ideology without something just short of a Stalinist purge of the party. The neo-cons in control of the GOP will not willingly cede power. Closet dictators never do.

    Reality (7c5dd5)

  132. Didn’t someone previously beeyotch slap this numbskull in re. political control of San Diego, the criminal Dem cause of their financial problems, etc … ?

    JD (abe6ab)

  133. FASCISTS !!!! You forgot RACISTS you sniveling poofter.

    JD (abe6ab)

  134. One simply cannot be both socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

    Nonsense. One can certainly be, for example, perfectly comfortable with atheism and paganism, supportive of gay marriage, a believer in legal abortion and drug legalization, and a pacifist … and still believe in reducing government expenditure and balancing the budget.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  135. It doesn’t help that the Republicans all sound like they’re reading from the same script; Hitler’s last bitter days in the bunker – hateful, bitter and reminiscent of a monstrous old man suffering from the last stages of syphilitic brain paresis.

    In short, they sound mean spirited and insane. Sort of like a paranoid schizophrenic. That’s not an appealing touch at all.

    Dolmance (d4dba1)

  136. Karl,

    It’s interesting that you’re running into the same “commons” problem here that was apparent at Goldstein’s. I hope you have better luck here with enclosure than you had there but it’s a faint hope. I know he’ll fence out people who call Chicago gutter trash what they are but I’m pretty sure he’ll leave the sycophant followers of the gutter trash to rant forever. He’s just that “principled”.

    Rick Ballard (c95933)

  137. Hey, look at that. A drive-by Godwin.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  138. Their clay-footed Obamessiah is stumbling, and are rightfully worried that Republicans will make a comeback. So their masters tell them to step up the drive-bys.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  139. The California Republicans seem to view fiscal conservatism as meaning we must not raise taxes even if the result is borrowing money for short-term spending, and they seem to care more about spending less than they do about spending responsibly

    Aphrael hints at the real problem lurking behind fiscal conservatism, which is the incapacity of activists to understand what happens when you treat an ok principle as an ideological proving ground – which is, you act in obviously self-destructive ways.

    No pragmatist thinks it would have been a net positive to eliminate the CA public school system with one penstroke, or the prison system. No one thinks that making one million pensions dissapear would have been other than political suicide and massive financial pain. But with a budget hole of CA’s size and a deathlock on not raising taxes, your options were starve the beast or massively borrow, compounding the problems.

    There’s no respectable empirical case that either just spending cuts, just borrowing or any combo of the two would actually have been good for the CA economy. So a few Repubs closed their eyes and said goodbye to their careers and did the right thing, letting some tax hikes pass. They were excommunicated. And CA moderates, as demonstrated by aphrael, thinks that the CA Repub “fiscal conservatism” is alarming and immune to pragmatic consideration. He’s right.

    Because it’s not philsophically conservative. It’s radicalism with a new name.

    The problem on the national level is identical. Legit economists have varying degrees of concern about rising debt, but go ask Greg Mankiw if the collapse of all the major banks (the “no-bailout” preffered route for conservative activists) would have helped the US get out of recession. There’s a reason why Bush passed it – admittedly, the crappiest version of it imaginable – the alternative was suicidal. In real life, there’s no way in h*ll the loss of GDP following the disappearance of banking in America was smaller than whatever we spend on interest payments. We handed over $700 billion to save $4 trillion.

    The exact same argument applies for the stimulus bill, which is again why real economists have to make complex, abstract cases like “the long-run cost of the added debt outweighs the short-term GDP gain.” That’s why the CBO estimates that people like to crow about had all that GDP gain in the first place.

    As were hear about regularly, even on here, if Obama fails to turn the economy around, it’s on him. There’s no debate whatsoever among legit economists that the stim bill outcome in the short run is positive. The long run effects are debated, but long run reffers to 10-15 years, not 4. If Obama wants to get re-elected, and that’s based on the economy, his best way to lose is to listen to people like you. If he adopted fiscal conservatism right now, the economy would tank much deeper, harder, and longer, and whether or not “fiscal conservative” activists voted for him, he’d get creamed in 2012.

    glasnost (6306bc)

  140. It’s interesting that you’re running into the same “commons” problem here that was apparent at Goldstein’s

    I’m sure the free market will sort out this “commons” problem you speak of, whatever that is, in short order. Any day now.

    glasnost (6306bc)

  141. Like clockwork, Bradley. And many of them sure sound alike. They may be different posters, but they have the same script. What was the “get in their face” recommendation from Dear Leader?

    Eric Blair (33cc23)

  142. There’s no debate whatsoever among legit economists that the stim bill outcome in the short run is positive.

    A lie countlessly repeated is still a lie, “glasnost”.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  143. Harvard economist Robert Barro on the so-called “stimulus” bill:

    This is probably the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s. I don’t know what to say. I mean it’s wasting a tremendous amount of money. It has some simplistic theory that I don’t think will work, so I don’t think the expenditure stuff is going to have the intended effect. I don’t think it will expand the economy. And the tax cutting isn’t really geared toward incentives. It’s not really geared to lowering tax rates; it’s more along the lines of throwing money at people. On both sides I think it’s garbage. So in terms of balance between the two it doesn’t really matter that much.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  144. I think carlitos has given a lengthy list of people who think that our current economic plan is…ah…doo doo (to quote Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein”).

    Eric Blair (33cc23)

  145. He only gave a list of 350 extremist fringe economists from all sorts of fringe universities, like Ohio State and stuff.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  146. Here it is:

    http://patterico.com/2009/04/28/100-days-what-obama-does-not-want-you-to-read/#comment-491042

    Funny how the poster who sneered about who didn’t support the Obama plan hasn’t had a lot to say since.

    Again, carlitos, great job…

    Eric Blair (33cc23)

  147. the GOP has been usurped by a cabaal of would-be fascists (yes, it has and there’s no denying it)

    Man, that’s some surefire real substantative statement, eh? “The GOP are Stalinist Poopy Pants because I said so!” Hilarious.

    if Obama fails to turn the economy around, it’s on him. There’s no debate whatsoever among legit economists that the stim bill outcome in the short run is positive.

    Ass, meet head. Head, meet ass. Now go kiss yourselves.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  148. Question: Just which national-scene politicians are Socially Liberal & Economically Conservative?

    Does having the attitude of:
    I don’t care what you do, I’m not going to pay for it; count as SL/EC?

    AD - RtR/OS! (0f5224)

  149. Does having the attitude of:
    I don’t care what you do, I’m not going to pay for it; count as SL/EC?

    You got it.
    SL/EC could also be another name for libertarianism. It means maximum personal choice — but also maximum personal responsibility. You get to live your own life the way you want to, but not at the expense of someone else.

    Those Republicans who like libertarian thought but don’t want to join the Libertarian Party should check out the Republican Liberty Caucus. This is the home for Republicans who put fiscal conservatism first, and are willing to agree to disagree on social issues.

    Elected officials the RLC has endorsed.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  150. The strange thing is, this is the philosophy of Barry Goldwater as espoused in his earliest writings,
    and has been my personal philosophy since my teen years when I first was exposed to his thoughts.
    All this time I just thought I was a Small Government Conservative in the manner of Thomas Jefferson.
    Who knew I would be so “cutting edge”?

    AD - RtR/OS! (0f5224)

  151. #130- Meghan McCain is warped, eh. Keep eating your young. What a gift. 12% GOP by February, 2010.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  152. #133- Yeah, and stealing from ‘liberal Hollywood’ as well. Back To The Future, starring Newtie Gingrich and Jebbie Bush. Special guest star, Boss Limbaugh and the Dittoheads performing ‘The Parkinson’s Jig.’ Spielberg and M.J. Fox outta sue.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  153. #133, Reality wrote: “They [the GOP] will appeal to the most base instincts of our least educated and politically engaged citizens.”

    Why would the GOP make an appeal to Democrats?

    “I cannot see the GOP changing their ideology without something just short of a Stalinist purge of the party. The neo-cons in control of the GOP will not willingly cede power.”

    The neo-cons will be ceding power whether they like it or not. As your superior education evidently failed to inform you, this is not the USSR and we do not have a one-party system. The GOP will adapt to what the voters demand or it will die…and big-government conservatism is definitely not selling these days.

    Just out of curiosity, do you even know what a neo-con is? You seem to suggest that neo-cons are ultraconservatives or hard right wingers, when exactly the opposite is the case. The neo-conservatives are the champions of highly centralized, consolidated federal power. They are the Bushite “big government conservatives.” The original neo-cons were anti-Communist liberals who jumped parties in the seventies and eighties. They truth is that they represent the right wing of liberalism, which cherishes at its core, regardless of Party, an authoritarian, activist federal government. They have little to do with authentic (my word) or extremist right-wing nutjob (your word) conservatism, other than in the area of foreign policy past, where both camps were anti-Communist and favored confrontation with and resistance to the evil of Communism. Today, they share a similar attitude toward Islamic terrorism, but that is about the extent of their agreement on things. The Iraq war, for instance, and American “meddling” overseas in general are major sticking points between cons and neo-cons.

    danebramage (700c93)

  154. #137- It doesn’t help that the Republicans all sound like they’re reading from the same script; Hitler’s last bitter days in the bunker – hateful, bitter and reminiscent of a monstrous old man suffering from the last stages of syphilitic brain paresis. Bunker mentality for sure. Archie Bunker.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  155. Once Upon A time, a George Allen was your future, too.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  156. Someone needs to be reminded that “Bull” Conner was a Democrat!

    AD - RtR/OS! (0f5224)

  157. 12% GOP by February, 2010.

    Von Braun did not approve this message.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  158. …but Ken Lay did.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  159. Karl,

    There is much to admire in your post, however, the conclusions that its a Republican Problem is incorrect.

    Also spending is only one side of a fiscal evaluation of an administration – the other is the taxing of the people

    TO wit, please examine this article carefully researched by a noteable organization

    http://www.heritage.org/research/taxes/bg2001.cfm

    Also Karl, Bush spent less per GDP than any other president in modern times – for most of his tenure, its only when the Dems assumed control in late 2005 that his administrations budgets soared for the last two years under democrat leadership.

    2002 taxes were 12.9% of GDP the second lowest year since 1944

    2002 outlays were 16.0% of GDP, except for the Republican led Clinton years – the Lowest since Nixon

    2003 Taxes were 11.6% the lowest of any American President – since 1942

    2003 outlays were 16.6% of GDP reflecting the slowdown in the economy due to 9/11

    2004 taxes were 11.7% again the lowest of any American President – since 1942

    2004 outlays were 16.9% – without subtracting the cost of 9/11 and two wars and the florida hurricanes (4 of them) even without subtracting this was better than Reagan, LBJ, Nixon, and truman and was about where Eisenhower and Bush I were in spending

    2005 saw democrats in the senate force the repeal of some taxes 12.9% were collected – however 12.9% of GDP is still better than Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, LBJ, Kennedy, Eisenhower and FDR

    Outlays in 2005 were still under 17% despite Katrina and 2 wars Better than Reagan, the Democrat Clinton years

    2006 Saw Harry Reid take control of the Seante from the Minority – with the Focus on a national election taxes were repealed and rose to 13.8% still significantly better than Clinton almost as good as most years of Reagan, better than Carter, Nixon, Lby, Kennedy, and Truman

    2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 averaged 16.9% of GDP

    so the last 4 years of Bush were better than these years, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1976, 1975, 1959(tied) 1954, 1953, 1952

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/USbudget/fy08/hist.html

    I don’t know how and where you are drawing conclusions about fiscal conservatism, I think its more from MSM emotionalisms and less from actual facts

    EricPWJohnson (808059)

  160. Unpaid property taxes in that bastion of conservatism, San Diego County, are soaring.

    Considering that it’s the entrenched leftists in Sacramento that have been the ones largely responsible for CA’s profligate spending, can’t say I blame them.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (1641e7)

  161. When glasnost, ASPCA, and the rest read the title of this post, it must have translated to “National Prove You’re An Ignoranus Day”.

    JD (c1b316)

  162. Meghan McCain is warped, eh. Keep eating your young. What a gift. 12% GOP by February, 2010.

    You repeating that does not make it so.

    The problem on the national level is identical. Legit economists have varying degrees of concern about rising debt, but go ask Greg Mankiw if the collapse of all the major banks (the “no-bailout” preffered route for conservative activists) would have helped the US get out of recession.

    All major banks?

    Funny, Chase did not go under.

    In fact, some banks are trying to return the TARP funds.

    One can certainly be, for example, perfectly comfortable with atheism and paganism, supportive of gay marriage, a believer in legal abortion and drug legalization, and a pacifist … and still believe in reducing government expenditure and balancing the budget.

    Which elected official fits this mold?

    See Master Newtie, Bobby Dole, Johnny McCain and Ronnie ‘I knocked up Nancy and had to marry her’ Reagan for details.

    None of them ever committed perjury over it.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  163. You said that Bush was the biggest spending president since LBJ, that is not true. In terms of deficits as a percentage of GDP, Bush actually lagged a little behind Reagan. For years I have heard Reagan held up as a paragon of fiscal conservatism, but he wasn’t. He spent a lot of money and government expanded considerably while he was in office.

    I am tired of listening to people who call themselves conservatives constantly trash Bush. One of the reasons that Republicans are not doing better is that they are always ready to stab each other in the back. That is what Democrats are for and we do not need to be making their job easier.

    Terrye (a7c3fb)

  164. GW’s one great fault is that he never vetoed a spending bill in his first term, if ever.
    He acceeded to Congressional spending as long as they would fund the battle against AQ.
    He had the best of the argument, yet he refused to make it; just as he refused to defend himself and his Administration against some of the most scurilous, personal, attacks in modern political history.
    Too much Noblesse Oblige, and not enough Whup-Ass.

    AD - RtR/OS! (0f5224)

  165. Spot on, AD – he never reined in his spend, spend and spend some more GOP congresscritters, not once; and this administration’s communication efforts (or lack thereof) will go down as one of the absolute worst in history.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  166. I am tired of listening to people who call themselves conservatives constantly trash Bush. One of the reasons that Republicans are not doing better is that they are always ready to stab each other in the back. That is what Democrats are for and we do not need to be making their job easier.

    The electorate in general, does not mind increased government spending as long as the good times are rolling.

    The budget deficit was a big deal in 1992 due to the perception that the economy was bad. (It was growing at the time.)

    In 2003, the War on Terror drew attention away from the deficit, and the economy was growing at the time.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  167. Michael:

    I never said I did not mind increasing budget deficits, and I think most Americans don’t much like them either. My point was a simple one. Bush was not the biggest spender since LBJ, not if you take Reagan into account. In fact compared to Obama Bush is downright stingy. That is what we need to remember, Obama wants to double the national debt in one term. That is insane.

    Terrye (c67320)

  168. AD:

    Bush had to deal with two wars, the 9/11 attack, the recession he inherited from the dot com collapse at the end of the Clinton years, not to mention natural disasters. In spite of that when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 the budget deficit had declined from its levels of 2004 to $160 billion. Compare that the 3.9 trillion budget we see today.

    Terrye (c67320)

  169. Terrye…you’re not telling me something that I don’t already know. I have defended GW against some of the scurrilous attacks that I decry, but I will not whitewash him.
    On National Security, I cannot fault him, other than his reluctance to defend himself, and the members of his administration.
    On domestic spending, his lack of backbone, and/or his compassion, is the thing that has gotten us in to this mess because it opened the gates for Pelosi/Reid in ’06, and BHO in ’08.
    He screwed up, plain and simple!

    AD - RtR/OS! (0f5224)

  170. AD:

    Lack of backbone? Bush is far from perfect but the man does not lack courage. As for spending, Bush had to deal with 2 wars, a recession he inherited when the dot com bubble burst, natural disasters and a lot of other things that he did not help make happen. Events have a lot to do with things like spending, and it just so happened there was a lot to deal with.

    But Bush is not responsible for Pelosi etc, the truth is Republicans turned on each other after they won in 2004 and began a lot infighting over all sorts of things that did not even figure into the 2008 campaign. That was the biggest help Pelosi could have gotten. Add to that people like Foley and Cunningham and there was a lot more going on than Bush and domestic spending.

    Terrye (f2b2b3)

  171. AD:

    Bush was not responsible for Foley and Cunningham and the crooks in Congress that hurt the Republicans, not to mention the back stabbing inter party fighting. That hurt Republicans a lot more than spending money on domestic programs.

    Terrye (f2b2b3)

  172. I don’t know why my post keep disappearing.

    Terrye (f2b2b3)

  173. #174 Terrye:

    I don’t know why my post keep disappearing.

    I suspect that the Hilton/DCMA thread is attracting a fair amount of traffic, causing the servers to serve cached pages…that aren’t always up to the minute up to date.

    EW1(SG) (5766f7)

  174. EW:

    I thought I was just messing up. Would not be the first time. That was why I repeated myself. I would post and would not see it and so I did it again.Sort of.

    Terrye (f2b2b3)

  175. He had the best of the argument, yet he refused to make it; just as he refused to defend himself and his Administration against some of the most scurilous, personal, attacks in modern political history.

    I noticed that myself. It’s just like what happens when acts of terror go unanswered; not fighting back only invites more attacks.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (1641e7)

  176. I’m still hoping to hear aphrael’s response to #141.

    glasnost (6306bc)

  177. Not surprising at this blog, but you think that maybe, just maybe, waging for supposed reasons that real people don’t really care about anyway had something to do with teh GOPs fall?

    horace (dcc326)

  178. “Fiscal Conservative / Social Liberal”

    Libertarians would say you’re talking about them. Which should give you an idea of how many votes there REALLY are for those positions.

    The problem is “social liberal” (in practice) won’t tolerate fiscal conservatism. To remain fiscally conservative, the “social liberal” would have to withhold spending even though that ‘allows ‘suffering to continue.’ Not gonna happen.

    IMO, a major part of the “fiscal conservative / social liberal” conceit is the ego of the person claiming that ideology. So much of the liberal project is sold as “We care, they don’t”; actually helping people improve their lives doesn’t matter (even in the face of evidence that the program does more harm than good, the liberal’s support continues), being able to say “We cared, we did something (i.e., ‘at least we tried’)” is what counts. In short, the focus of their personal ideology is feeling good about themselves.

    BD57 (0e4cce)

  179. I won’t presume to speak for aphrael, but I’ll give you some feedback glasnost.

    Comment by glasnost — 5/2/2009 @ 8:55 am
    No pragmatist thinks it would have been a net positive to eliminate the CA public school system with one penstroke, or the prison system. No one thinks that making one million pensions dissapear would have been other than political suicide and massive financial pain. But with a budget hole of CA’s size and a deathlock on not raising taxes, your options were starve the beast or massively borrow, compounding the problems.

    The school and prison systems are not the only social programs available for cutting. There are plenty of fiscally conservative measures available that are being ignored. You don’t dig out of a hole by digging further. Putting the beast on a diet is different than starving it, addressing the problem rather than compounding it.

    We handed over $700 billion to save $4 trillion.

    Which President Obama considers a budget-savings available for immediate spending.

    The exact same argument applies for the stimulus bill, which is again why real economists have to make complex, abstract cases like “the long-run cost of the added debt outweighs the short-term GDP gain.” That’s why the CBO estimates that people like to crow about had all that GDP gain in the first place.

    If the exact same argument applies, wouldn’t you expect the exact same results? Massive debt and continued increasing deficits in California as a positive model for the national economy is crazy.

    As were hear about regularly, even on here, if Obama fails to turn the economy around, it’s on him. There’s no debate whatsoever among legit economists that the stim bill outcome in the short run is positive.

    There’s no debate as long as you get to define “legit economists” as those you like. Otherwise, there’s plenty of debate as carlitos showed.

    The long run effects are debated, but long run reffers to 10-15 years, not 4. If Obama wants to get re-elected, and that’s based on the economy, his best way to lose is to listen to people like you. If he adopted fiscal conservatism right now, the economy would tank much deeper, harder, and longer, and whether or not “fiscal conservative” activists voted for him, he’d get creamed in 2012.

    If President Obama gets creamed in 2012, it will be because he has continued his current economic policies and because he will not have kept America safe and strong. Fortunately, his ability to disown his promises are leading him to continue the policies President Bush implemented and I expect he will continue more and more as the realities of office become clearer. If he can manage to become fiscally responsible and conscious of national security, he may get another term. The 2010 elections are going to be a good indicator of where we’re heading.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  180. All I know is the President ran on this platform

    1. We need fiscal responsibilty

    2. I am bringing our troops home – 1st thing

    3. I am going to repair Americas Reputation in the world

    4. I am going to reach across the isle to enact meaningful legislation

    And the people all 53% were of a glad heart when they staggered out of the I hate Bush Booth in November

    Now what he’s done is….

    EricPWJohnson (808059)

  181. test

    EricPWJohnson (808059)

  182. #182- He encountered the ‘Party of No,’ for starts. 51 votes out of 100 is a true majority, not 60. The Senate should truly go with majority rule and crush conservatives once and for all now that the House is in check. The country wants it. He has the GOP Bush-Bush-Reagan wreckage to clear away,

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  183. I bet that this howling moonbat has not been honest in more than 5 comments here, ever. It is as thought it is constitutionally incapable of honesty. For someone that wails about the death knell of conservatism, it does not feel very confident in same. And it obviously is not confident in Barcky, or it would not have its Tourrette’s style rants about Reagan and the Bushes.

    JD (c15e00)

  184. I’m a lifelong independent, wouldn’t vote for Nixon was proud to vote for Proxmire.

    If the GOP thinks they can offer up a Romney and get my vote next time over the worst Prez in history they are insane.

    Ketchup does nothing for a crap burger.

    gary gulrud (13437e)

  185. Wow, with the Democrats in control of the House and Senate and with a Democrat President, it’s still the Republicans’ fault.

    Steverino (69d941)

  186. Events have a lot to do with things like spending, and it just so happened there was a lot to deal with

    There is no way that explanation excuses the huge expansion of Medicare that occured under Bush’s watch. That action was emblematic of his fiscal policy – he seemed unaware of the resistance within his own party to such a program.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  187. Wow, with the Democrats in control of the House and Senate and with a Democrat President, it’s still the Republicans’ fault.

    Just 100 days into The One’s reign, and its acolytes are scared to death. So I’m personally glad to see minions like DCSCA publicly discussing their desire to crush the opposition. They own the government now, so they’ll also own the failures.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  188. I’ve been off-line for a few days so forgive me if this has been said but there is no guarantee that Specter will win the Dems nomination. I expect a Lamont-like challenge from the left and can only wish it well. Tom Ridge is now making noises about running. I still like Toomey.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  189. Ridge is the best GOP candidate for Penn – Toomey’s too far right.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  190. I’m not conversant with Toomey’s social views. I saw him speak and met him and his young family. My understanding is that his “far right” views are all economic. Maybe you can point us to social views that are “far right.”

    Mike K (2cf494)

  191. The Dr. Capt.’s opinion of Toomey is supported by the Republican Liberty Caucus, which in 2004 endorsed Toomey against Specter.

    Rep. Toomey is challenging incumbent Arlen Specter for the Republican US Senate nomination.
    The state primary is April 27th.
    The RLC has endorsed Toomey, who has had consistently high (libertarian) ratings on the RLC Liberty Index in the House , contrasted with Specter’s poor (centrist) ratings in the Senate.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  192. “#182- He encountered the ‘Party of No,’ for starts. ”

    ROFLMAO… gosh these Obama minions have a fictionalized view of the world.

    Sure the GOP said ‘no’ – all but 3 Republicans said “NO!” in unison against the Stimulus pork spending bill. It passed by majority vote in the House and Senate.

    While the GOP minority opposes Obama’s fiscal foolishness, Obama is getting EVERYTHING HE WANTS out of this Democrat majority Congress. The Republicans are totally powerless, down to 60-40 minority in the Senate, the LOWEST GOP LEVEL IN 30 YEARS.

    If Obama has to use Republicans as an excuse for failing to get what he wants, then he is a bigger incompetent than Carter was.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  193. #141 – “Aphrael hints at the real problem lurking behind fiscal conservatism, which is the incapacity of activists to understand what happens when you treat an ok principle as an ideological proving ground – which is, you act in obviously self-destructive ways.”

    ON the contrary, what has happened is the destruction of the California economy at the hands of tax-and-borrow-and-spend liberals, mostly Dems but a few RINO enablers.

    Fiscal conservatives in positions of responsibility are being given Hobson’s choices of giving the spendaholics a bit more ‘hair of the dog that bit you’ in exchange for some sacrifices. Yet since every ‘compromise’ ends up being like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the ball, they decide not to play any more.

    You cant blame them. The California Democrats and Arnie S. made this bed. Let them sleep in it. And if that’s not good enough, here’s a cure – GIVE THE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES A MAJORITY IN THE LEGISLATURE. UNTIL YOU DO, QUIT BLAMING THEM FOR THE FAILURES OF THE LIBERAL BIG SPENDERS.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  194. Toomey’s positions are not “far right.”
    His positions are “just right.”
    Toomey will make a great candidate.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  195. Wow, with the Democrats in control of the House and Senate and with a Democrat President, it’s still the Republicans’ fault.

    Conservative Republicans and Conservative Democrats… yes.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  196. With apologies to to the late Patrick McGoohan & Dr. Syn:

    RIN-O! RIN-O! THE VOTERS ON THE RIGHT FEAR HIS NAME. RIN-O!

    ON THE SOUTHERN COAST OF TEXAS,
    THERE’S A LEGEND PEOPLE TELL;
    OF DAYS LONG AGO WHEN THE GREAT RINO
    WOULD VOTE WITH THE LEFT AND YELL,
    “HARD RIGHT, YOU CAN GO TO HELL!”

    FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF PA,
    ON AN AMTRAK TRAIN HE’D RIDE,
    WITH THE LEFT, VOTE YEA, TO THE RIGHT SAY NAY,
    DEFYING LIMBAUGH’S LINE;
    THEN HE’D LAUGH, AS CHANGED HIS SIDE.

    IN THE CLOAKROOM HE WOULD CHATTER,
    ‘BOUT HOW WRONG THE RIGHT CAN BE;
    THEN DEFEND AGAIN HE WAS RIGHT BACK WHEN,
    ‘BOUT THE SINGLE BULLET THEORY;
    THEN LAUGH, AS HE CHANGED HIS SIDE.

    RIN-O! RIN-O!
    THE PARTY OF THE RIGHT FEAR HIS NAME. RINO!, RINO!
    THE LEFT AND CENTRISTS LOVE HIM ALL THE SAME.

    EVEN AMISH FOLK WILL BACK HIM;
    A MAJORITY TO MAKE;
    WITH REASONING AND A VERBAL ZING,
    HE’D DISMISSED THE RIGHT WING MIND,
    AND HE’D LAUGH, AS HE CHANGED HIS SIDE.

    RIN-O!….. RIN-O!….. RIN-O!…

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  197. Comment by DCSCA — 5/3/2009 @ 7:44 pm

    Worthless Whingeing of a Pusillanimous Progressive

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  198. When are you going to produce that vid of the man and his son screaming “fascist!” during the tea party protest in Chicago?

    I’m not conversant with Toomey’s social views. I saw him speak and met him and his young family. My understanding is that his “far right” views are all economic. Maybe you can point us to social views that are

    I didn’t say anything regarding his social views, and I agree wholly with his fiscal policies. But Ridge is a known moderate in a state not known for electing conservative candidates on a statewide level. Hence, my preference for Ridge.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  199. “The Republican Party is intellectually dead.”– Joe Scarborough, former GOP Congressman & conservative squawker, MSNBC. 6:03 AM EDT, 5/4/09

    Memo to Newtie, with friends like that, who needs enemies.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  200. There is apparently a shortage of Lithium somewhere.

    JD (42a8c3)


  201. There is apparently a shortage of Lithium somewhere.

    Comment by JD — 5/4/2009 @ 4:48 am

    For the first time am a bit worried about DCSCA’s state of mind. Hmmmm….when the all-caps makes its appearance with the faux song lyrics you have to wonder what’s playing in someone’s head.

    no one you know (65b7aa)

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