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5/18/2009
REPORT FROM THE FRONT: PRAGMATISTS HAVE NO SOUL

Ideological definitions on the right are fluctuating so wildly lately I am almost afraid to see where I am being pegged today. Having been drummed out of the party for my suspect committment to Obama hatred as well as my lack of enthusiasm for Rush worship, it has become something of an entertainment to discover where my critics are placing me on the ideological spectrum at any given point in time. It really doesn’t matter, I suppose, because the spite generated in my direction is usually illogical and not based on what I write or think but rather what some nitwit divines of my intent. Some of them need to undergo a high colonic and get rid of all that constipated spite welling up in their bowels else they will explode and make a smelly mess - something they are quite adept at doing without the benefit of colon cleansing.

Scatological humor aside, I am constantly amazed at the shifting definitions of who or what is a “good conservative” from people who themselves haven’t a clue of first principles and are especially ignorant of politics and governing. When you hit your knees tonight, you may thank God that none of these jamokes were present at the founding. Can you picture some of these purists at the Constitutional Convention? Holy Jesus, we’d still be operating under the Articles of Confederation - or worse.

“No compromise with that reprobate Hamilton, by God! And tell Madison he’s nothing but a squishy FINO (Federalist in Name Only)! How dare they compromise with those lickspittles from New Jersey to reach an agreement. Why do they always ignore what the Federalist base wants? They’re nothing but a bunch of elitists (Note: They were.). Not one red cent to elect any of them until they put up true Federalists for office.”

My broadly exaggerated point is that there would have been no Constitution without compromising closely held beliefs on the part of both sides. In fact, there is no governance without compromise as the Democrats are amply demonstrating these days in spades. The GOP may be the party of “no,” but that is only because none of their concerns about legislation are being taken into consideration. And, quite rightly, some issues cut so deeply as far as conservative principles are concerned that no compromise is possible. But on issues like health insurance and climate change, Republicans don’t even have a dog in the hunt to recommend changes that would both address the problems and be true to conservative principles. And that goes for legislation likely to be addressed down the line on education, trade, basic research, and social programs.

But these issues won’t be addressed by Republicans because it is believed that anyone who tries to cooperate with the Democrats gets nothing but the back of their hand and besides, those aren’t “conservative” issues anyway. No self respecting man of the right thinks about education in any way except by shouting at the top of their voice “Vouchers! Vouchers! Vouchers!” This mindless adherence to shallowness and closed minded arrogance leaves the political impression that Republicans don’t care about the concerns of ordinary voters - the overwhelming majority of whom are not as conservative as they are and are worried about their families and their jobs.

Case in point is the celebration by some conservatives that Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is eschewing a run for president in 2012 by accepting President Obama’s invitation to serve as Ambassador to China.

Utah, if you are not familiar with the state, is the most Republican outpost in the nation, regularly racking up 65-70% majorities for GOP candidates in national races. Needless to say, no squishes need apply if you are going to run for statewide office in Utah.

But apparently, Huntsman just isn’t conservative enough for some on the right - especially those who have taken on the job of policing the Republican party and trying to marginalize or, if possible, destroy those they consider insufficiently wild eyed and committed to the “cause.”

To refer to Huntsman as anything but a conservative is an indication of just how far right conservative activists have lurched since the election. It’s as if the defeat at the hands of a radical liberal has driven the base mad and any deviation from their extraordinarily narrow definition of “conservative” is cause to cast the luckless perpetrator into the outer darkness.

Incredibly, many in the base have referred to Huntsman as a RINO. The governor of Utah - the most socially conservative state in the nation - has been branded an apostate because…well, he accepted stimulus monies from the federal government for one. And he supports civil unions for gays. And he has doubts that climate change is a crock. And most egregiously, he thinks that the GOP should stop pushing social issues front and center in every election. He doesn’t support gay marriage or abortion. His values are as right wing as any conservative’s outside of very right wing Utah.

Other than that, the guy is more conservative than Reagan (he’s a tiger as a tax cutter and spending hawk not to mention an innovator in shrinking the size of state government). But being a governor in a severe financial bind that threatens to disable government services in his state, he can’t afford to posture like House GOP members and make the easy call (easy politically) and refuse the monies. So he was grateful for the cash and despite his record and conservative bona fides, his pragmatism gets him called a RINO by many who obviously don’t even know what a conservative is if they think Huntsman isn’t good enough. (My guess is he is conservative enough for about 90% of the country - maybe more.)

And yet, here’s some reaction from the conservative base to his being named Ambassador to China and the fact that the job will cost him a shot in 2012:

With all the RINOs in the Republican Party, it’s good to see whenever one of them bails. Latest is Utah Governor Huntsman who’s takin the ambassadorship to China:

That’s why I’d prefer Obama to “take out” all the RINOs. If the ony people left are true conservatives–in the same genre as Ronald Reagan–then Obama may yet go the way of “Jimmy” Carter–out in 1 term.

Oba-mao shuttles another rino into a post where he can dictate to him. Another rino turns his back on the USA for perceived self-interest.

Governor Jon Huntsman, RINO-Utah, who earlier this year was introduced to South Carolina Republican leaders at a dinner hosted by Attorney General Henry McMaster, has won praise from the leading homosexual advocacy group, Human Rights Campaign, for his support of civil unions. The liberal, Mormon Governor, who is expected to be a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is a close associate of John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Lest ye think that this is not a representative sample of what the base thinks of Huntsman, I suggest you simply Google up “Jon Huntsman RINO” and tell me if that belief isn’t widespread.

This is nuts. I know that there are many in the base who do not agree with that assessment but when so many are so quick to condemn a conservative for…what? Being a responsible governor? Believing that when Americans say they are sick of the devisiveness that social issues bring to the fore that a politician should listen to them? Having a different opion about gays than many in the base?

The battle is not between conservatives and moderates but between ideologues and pragmatists. When I am told I am not a good conservative because I think waterboarding is torture, one has to marvel at the mind that posits that notion. Since when does a conservative litmus test rest on whether one believes that a strict definition of the law should be applied in torture cases? Or is it just that you can’t be a good conservative unless you believe that inflicting pain on another human being is more than alright, that you also must believe they deserve worse?

Can you be a good conservative and not be a Christian? To many, no. Can you be a good conservative and believe in a government that must function in a 21st century industrialized democracy of 300 milion people and not some pie in the sky, radical “small government” paradise that no one can precisely define? Can you be a good conservative and believe that there’s more to environmental protection than opposing climate change, condemning the EPA’s very existence, and believing that environmental legislation and regulations should be written by business interests?

I could go on and on. The point being, there are conservative alternatives to liberal overreach on every issue congress will address. But as I mentioned earlier, the conservativebase doesn’t even want to make an effort to address the issues because even thinking about them is verboten. It makes you a RINO, or a “moderate,” or a “centrist,” if you see government as a sometime solution to problems and that Washington has a role to play in many areas that the states have either abrogated responsibility or refuse to address.

This attitude is so pronounced on the right that by the time these folks are done, the Republican party will truly be so insignificant that we will be 50 years trying to make our way back:

Too often, labeling one’s self as “centrist” is just the moral shorthand of saying, “I don’t care.” When asked about abortion, candidate Obama stated that questions about the beginning of life were above his pay grade. Translation: “I don’t care.”

I’m not calling Obama a centrist, he’s clearly not, but centrist do share with him a lack of moral conviction. Centrists avoid the hard work of forming opinions, preferring to let the “cool kids” tell them what they believe. Back to the subject of abortion, centrists will often say that they are personally opposed to it, but they are just okey dokey with other people killing babies. Translation: “If I answer, they’ll make me sit at the dork’s table in the cafeteria.”

If centrists have any credo at all it is, “let’s sit back and see how it all shakes out.” RS McCain points out more clearly than I ever could why cozying up to centrists is a loser’s game. Broken down, you can’t shape opinion by relying on people who have no interest in holding an opinion.

I debunked this nonsense here. But the ignorance is so ingrained that I fear equating pragmatism with unprincipled politics will be part of rote conservative dogma for the foreseeable future. Presently, the idealogues in the party have the upper hand in that they will make or break a candidate’s chances on election day. Pragmatists have no such power as will probably be proved when the last of them is tossed out into the cold for some apostasy real or imagined.

Will the last moderate conservative who leavese the Repubican party please turn off the lights?

By: Rick Moran at 11:21 am
36 Responses to “REPORT FROM THE FRONT: PRAGMATISTS HAVE NO SOUL”
  1. 1
    BD57 Said:
    11:40 am 

    So if I read this correctly, it’s OK if Republicans are opposed to gay marriage & abortion in their hearts, they just shouldn’t ever do it in public.

    Those ‘divisive’ social issues are brought front & center by a Democrat Party dedicated to abortion on demand, gay marriage, etc. - and the only ones at fault are Republicans who oppose them?

    I take it you want a Republican Party that is ‘economics’ and ’security’ only. Is that correct?

    If not, how are conservatives who care about the culture supposed to know the limits of the pen you want to put them in?

    Thank you for so brilliantly making my point for me. And no, you didn’t “read this correctly. Not even close. Even for a mouthbreathing, slackjawed yawper it’s pathetic.

    You read into what I wrote exactly what you wanted to see - not what the words actually said. That bespeaks an ignorance so profound as to disqualify you from commenting on anything political.

    If you can point out where I say I want a Republican party that is ‘economics’ and ’security’ only, I will give you my next month’s paycheck. If you can show me where I say ” it’s OK if Republicans are opposed to gay marriage and abortion in their hearts, they just shouldn’t ever do it in public,” I will give you my Vette. Don’t say, “That’s what I meant” because any boob with half a brain can read what I wrote and laugh at you for your utter stupidity in drawing those conclusions. The fact that there will be others on this thread who will agree with your assessment means that either there are a lot of psychics who can read what I write and then take an entirely off the wall summary of that and pass it off as “analysis” or the conservative base is made up of unthinking, shallow minded cretins with minnow sized brains.

    In your case, I’ll definitely take the latter.

    ed.

  2. 2
    michael reynolds Said:
    12:26 pm 

    You have a Vette? Damn, I want a Vette. When you have kids you can’t have a cool car because all the really cool cars have no back seat.

    Oh, and the rest of the post is great.

  3. 3
    mike farmer Said:
    1:52 pm 

    There’s also nothing wrong with holding opposing views and allowing the public to decide in the free market of ideas. Agreement is not always possible when two people hold opposing views.

    Compromise can be good in situations where a bartering type situation is occuring not based on important principles — when it’s a win-win deal and agreement is reached which brings a situation forward.

    But compromise also has another definition, as in compromising integrity. Compromising strongly held principles is the same as lacking integrity, and I’m not sure the principle holder ever gains from doing this except in extreme cases where the context would render the decision reasonable or moral — unusual circumsatnces like a life depending on it. In the case of abortion, for or against, I can’t see any compromise — you either allow abortion or you don’t. If you agree that abortion is necessary at times, then there can be compromise between that view and abortion on demand, unless the abortion on demand crowd holds to their principles. So compromise can go both ways, and it’s not always necessary or moral to compromise.

  4. 4
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    2:51 pm 

    Mike,

    I don’t think you understand compromise as well as you think you do.

  5. 5
    mike farmer Said:
    2:56 pm 

    Chuck,

    Probably not — educate me — I’m always open to learning.

  6. 6
    busboy33 Said:
    4:10 pm 

    @mike farmer:

    I respect the difference between horse trading and selling your soul, or compromising on issues and integrity.

    What tenets of the Republican Party do think fall into the former category? On what issues can the Reds sit down at the table? Abortion? Gay rights? Environmental protection? The size of government? Taxes? Free Markets? Defense Spending? Health Care?

    If everything is a position of principle, then what compromise is possible?

  7. 7
    c3 Said:
    4:53 pm 

    And to follow up on Busboy’s questions, how do you deal with an issues to seems to put two principles in conflict. For example (and its an attempt at the hypothetical so please argue the specific case details), what if encouraging democracy and free trade were too high principles. HOwever, you felt that open trade with China strengthens the central government and weakens democratic movements. Do you just stick to your “moral high ground” and not chose a path or what?

    Principles should inform policy decisions and influence political ones. They alone aren’t sufficient for the day-to-day operations of government.

  8. 8
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:37 pm 

    Well, I’m not a Republican, so I can’t speak from that perspective. I’m not real sure what principles the Republicans hold dearly as a party, because they seem to govern by compromise — their rhetoric notwithstanding — but as a libertarian I think gays should have the same rights as any other citizen with no compromise on this position — I think the size of government is less important than limiting the power of government, which should be restrictied to police, military and courts, although any compromise which would limit the power of government right now would be fine. There’s plenty of room in the area of environmental protection for an agreement to look at all the regulations now in place and determine if they are helping the environment or simply strangling business, with a long term goal of free market innovation solutions to reduce pollution — A compromise to abortion would be to allow states to decide with a long term goal of government removing itself from the issue and allowing society to work out the morality issues involved — regarding taxes, I would push for a compromise to find some sort of consumption tax plan which would allow the reduction or elimination of income taxes, or at least a flat tax solution, with spending cuts — I don’t I could compromise on healthcare, since I think government involvement is unnecessary and wasteful — but you get the point. I don’t think it does any good to insist on changing government overnight from statist to limited government, but in order for a libertarian to compromise, statists would have to show some sign of good faith that they’re willing to try free market solutions — most of what I see is statists claiming the death of capitalism and free markets and asking those who believe in a more limited government to give in as government becomes more powerful.

  9. 9
    Mark J. Goluskin Said:
    5:39 pm 

    Rick, here is a test for you.
    Defend Gov. Benedict Arnold.
    Is he your idea of a moderate conservative? Is he someone that you want to be the new face of the Republican party?
    While you are helping me along with that, I will surprise you on this.
    I do not think that Charlie Christ is all that bad. I think that he is a moderate conservative. His problem is that he is always looking for the next level to climb. Thus it is kind of hard to figure him out.
    BTW, I oppose the NRSC interfering in the Florida race. If Marco Rubio should win, then the NRSC should go all out for victory.
    I leave you with this.
    If you were in California would you vote for or against the six tax and robbery measures on tomorrow’s ballot?

  10. 10
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:47 pm 

    C3said — how would open trade with China strengthen the central government and weaken democratic movements?

  11. 11
    Mike Farmer Said:
    6:18 pm 

    On the other side of all this, if we ever did limit government to the point everyone is prospering and enjoying freedom, I, if I had influence, would not compromise my principles in order for statists to gain control again.

    So, I have to wonder, why would the Democrats compromise when they control the congress and the administration. They need Republicans to vote their way mainly for political cover — otherwise, they can push through pretty much anything they want. If you are saying the Republicans should compromise in order to look as if they are being helpful to the new administration so that they don’t look like obstructionists, then I’m sure what the goal of that strategy would be, except to make voters think they are like Democrats — but why would voters go to Republicans if they want Democrats and they are the real thing? What’s worng with presenting the public with two different views of governance and allowing the people to decide? Are moderate Republicans saying that Republican ideas are basically the same as Democrats on many issues, or are they saying the public doesn’t accept the Republican ideas, so in order to regain power, they must change their policies? I truly don’t know what’s the end game.

    Perhaps you are saying that many of the policies of the Democrats, or some of them, are acceptable and viable and Republicans shouldn’t voice opposition simply to oppose Democrats. But what if many of the Republicans do oppose the policies of the Democrats and they believe they are simply representing the constituency which elected them?

  12. 12
    yoyo Said:
    7:29 pm 

    I dont know why it is so hard for many of those commenting here to get what Rick has written. It should be obvious that if you become a party that is more like a theocracy every day (with an ever increasing list of orthodoxies that members have to hold) AND if those orthodoxies are out of step with many, if not most, voters in the community AND if you do not present alternative solutions to the voters you will disapear up your own fundamental (pun intended).

  13. 13
    Joe Said:
    7:40 pm 

    Great article Rick, you summed up perfectly whats wrong with Limbaugh conservatism.To me the conservative movement today is so narrow-minded its starting to resemble a cult. The cult of Rush, the cult of Hanitty, the cult of Beck. These men are destroying the gop and laughing all the way to the bank. And your right, their litmus test morphs so much you almost need a daily update. Yet the gop seems oblivious to whats happening. They seriously are in a death spiral.

  14. 14
    yoyo Said:
    7:56 pm 

    This is the equivalent from the religious point of view

    It was Notre Dame’s former president Ted Hesburgh who decried the bishops’ unyielding opposition to abortion, by noting that they were willing to see candidates for public office who agreed with the church’s social agenda 95 percent of the time lose to those who only agreed with us on abortion.

    These new “ultra” conservatives are going to keep rejecting representatives that are close to their own position but differ in one or two areas and the outcome will be apointing an unelectable representative and/or the opposing candidate who disagrees with the “ultra” conservative 99% of the time will win.

  15. 15
    BD57 Said:
    8:12 pm 

    lotta straw dogs being tossed around ….

    What hills are you “moderates” willing to die on?

    You want to ditch pro-life, you want to ditch social issues & you basically want to ditch social conservatives ….

    OK - what are you FOR?

    What’s your tax policy? Budget policy? Position on Obama’s spending priorities? Environmental policy?

    What are you offering voters that’s unique?

    At what point do you stop bitching about “conservatives” and oppose The One?

  16. 16
    Brad Said:
    8:14 pm 

    Rick,
    Another excellent piece. The adults just are not in charge of the GOP anymore. I think the only real way back is through someone like Gingrich. He can at least articulate both sides of a position and then persuade people why his approach is better.
    But… he’s been divorced I think.Never mind shun him to the forest while the mob screams Sarah!

  17. 17
    Brad Said:
    8:21 pm 

    “What hills are you “moderates” willing to die on?”

    How about the hill that we trust the instincts of the voters at the local and state level to have a better influence on moral/ethical issues such as abortion rather than making it a holy grail for the party platform?
    That’s the ironic thing about the far left and far right — each side wants to have their choice foisted on the people by the central government. Some nagging voice in their mind makes them worry that putting it to the states would not result in the ideological pure version of what only a true conservative or liberal “knows” is the right answer for 300 million citizens.

  18. 18
    funny man Said:
    10:15 pm 

    First of all Huntsman knows Mandarin, not bad when dealing with one or the most important trading partner. Could it be that he accepted the position for the good of our country? Just a thought.
    I thought this article was also of interest:
    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/may/18/00026/

    Ok, here is a question to the ‘hardcore’: the country has been (is) divided on abortion about 50/50 without any chance of outright victory for either side. So would you oppose a compromise that has a good chance of lowering abortions? My guess is that something along the line will come our way later this year. I also know ‘traitors’ will be shouted by the same ‘pie in the sky’ believers that wait for the day that never comes. I have my convictions too but I say to the purists ‘life happens and its not always pretty’. Do you want to wait another 50 years with nothing to show for but the conviction that you never wavered.

  19. 19
    c3 Said:
    10:41 pm 

    Mike;
    I was trying to create a hypothetical (i.e. necessarily based in reality) scenario where to principles were in conflict.

    Anyway…

  20. 20
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:14 am 

    “Mike;
    I was trying to create a hypothetical (i.e. necessarily based in reality) scenario where to principles were in conflict.

    Anyway…”

    Yes, but it’s a false choice — so just say that if people hold two opposing principles which both truly believe can’t be compromised. So? If it’s in politics, that’s what makes a horse race. If you don’t have opposing principles, then you may as well have one party — I mean that is what voting is about. If enough representatives hold the same principle regarding an issue, then they will win against the opposition — if a minority sticking with a principle against the majority can block a policy, then that’s their job is they are representing the minority. You don’t always have to compromise. What was the compromise with slavery? Just have some slaves?

  21. 21
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:16 am 

    is = if

  22. 22
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:40 am 

    Funny man,

    I don’t think the hardcore Democrats would compromise if a bill was presented which reduced the number of abortions significantly and restricted women from being able to get an abortion — historically, the left has resisted these efforts because they think it’s a slippery slope to overturning Roe v. Wade. I imagine the right would be more willing than the left to compromise if it came down to reducing abortion — the right would see it as a victory toward no abortions, and the hardcore left who support abortion on demand would see it as a defeat. I’m not taking sides here, just looking at what might happen.

  23. 23
    Commie Stooge Said:
    7:39 am 

    As a Democrat; watching the GOP self-destruct is better than watching a STAR TREK rerun. Or better yet; I’ll get the movie “Danton” about the French Revolution from the library (Didn’t Simon Schama write a book about the French Revolution?).
    The fact is the GOP coalition (like that of the New Deal) wasn’t going to last forever.
    In the 80s; when I was a committeeman; I was angered that the Dem Party didn’t react to changes in the polis; and it would take Bill Clinton & the Dem leadership Council to make the party more centrist.
    Barack Obama; like FDR; got elected because the polis changed. The Free Market doesn’t look so good when you have a sub-prime or alt-a mortagage that has doubled and you can’t afford anymore. Or the loan is worth more than your house. Or you’re unemployed.

    Ever since I started working in 1980 I’ve sounded like a Financial Cassandra: Pay your debts! Buy a car; pay it off; and keep it 10 years. Don’t take extravagent vacations. Save for a rainy day.

    Today the average Joe has multiple credit cards; a first & second mortgage; thousands in debt. And is one step away from bankruptcy.

    In this weeks NYT Magazine I suggest the article “My Personal Credit Crisis” by Times reporter Edmund L Andrews. It shows just how easily someone can get trapped into debt. Even intelligent; educated folks!

  24. 24
    BD57 Said:
    7:47 am 

    Brad:

    “Federalism” - good principle.

    Of course, you’re describing where we were before Roe v. Wade - there was no “constitutional right” to abortion, the decision was left to the individual states to resolve through the political process. And then the Supreme Court threw the “federalism” approach out the window; now, nothing can be done without the blessing of the high priests in the black robes.

    The same-sex marriage advocates are pursuing the same strategy. Your approach, if pursued, is practically guaranteed to result in same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.

    If you don’t have a problem with that, that’s fine - say so.

    BTW: Mike Farmer is right.

    You can get the overwhelming majority of Republicans to support measures which reduce the number of abortions even though some stalwarts will say “it’s not enough.”

  25. 25
    David R. Block Said:
    9:45 am 

    A few of the high points from where I sit. Which is somewhere in Texas.

    Remove the gay marriage and abortion issues from the table, and you will have some defectors. The Constitution Party awaits, and they may finally get enough support to land on the ballot here. Will these defectors be more than what is lost by having those positions out there? I don’t know.

    Sorry, I apparently also support the smaller government that no one can define, except for repeated calls to dismantle the Department of Education and send the money to the state and local governments, where the people actually are that care about the education of their children. I’m also for the repeal of the Patriot Act, and, after the Homeland security SNAFUs on that “right-wing extremists” memo, I’m not real fond of them, either (hey, Homeland Security, the WTC attack wasn’t done by a bunch of backwoods hicks with too many rifles and too much time on their hands).

    Abortion and same sex marriage should be left to the states. There is hope for the latter, and no hope for the former, although the number of “dead enders” on abortion is great.

    Some atheist Republicans have called for the expulsion of the religious from the Republican party. Do that, and the Constitution Party will gladly take them in.

    And thinking about issues is not “verboten.” (Nice German tie in, trying to associate conservates with Nazis, Rick? That’s real low. Subtle. Nuance. Thanks for preemptively “Godwining” the post.) I’ve seen the Global Warming religionist sites and the skeptics sites and the skeptics have approached things with more reason than the “We’re all gonna die!!!” alarmists.

    So no more domestic energy production from this administration, higher fuel mileage standards and lighter less-safe cars. It seems that this administration is trying to destroy the country.

    What would Obama do differently if he REALLY WAS trying to destroy the country?

    And thinking about issues is not “verboten.” (Nice German tie in, trying to associate conservates with Nazis, Rick? That’s real low. Subtle. Nuance. Thanks for preemptively “Godwining” the post.)

    That’s pretty good. I never thought of it, of course. But then you can point that out and get your little dig in. The only problem is you think I’m calling myself a Nazi? Or those more conservative than me? You give me far too much credit for subtlty.

    ed.

  26. 26
    busboy33 Said:
    10:36 am 

    @mike farmer:
    I didn’t realize you’re Libertarian and not Red. Because of that, mquestion to you was unfair and inappropriate . . . but thank you for answering it nonetheless.

  27. 27
    mike farmer Said:
    11:42 am 

    No problem — as far as labels go, I’d say I’m classic liberal libertarian, or a nutcase with opinions.

  28. 28
    DoorHold Said:
    2:20 pm 

    I’ve no clue how to “revive” conservative ideals so I’ll leave that for ya’ll to hash out, but, Rick, why are you wasting time on the latest meme: RINO? If it were intelligently applied I can see the need for debate, but it’s already to the point where EVERYBODY’S a RINO. Bush is Hitler, Rice is some-thing-or-other because of her skin color, Cheney’s the Evil Lord, and now we’re ALL RINOs. A simple, “You’ve mis-applied the term, do you have a point?,” is all that’s needed.

  29. 29
    c3 Said:
    2:33 pm 

    Mike;
    “? If it’s in politics, that’s what makes a horse race. If you don’t have opposing principles, then you may as well have one party — ”

    this assumes that conflicts over principles only occur between parties. How about this one: smaller government and strong national defense, two traditional Republican principles. So to what degree do you push a stronger national defense at the expense of the principle of smaller government?

  30. 30
    Veritas Said:
    2:37 pm 

    Huntsman had a shot at the 2012 nomination all right just as did that noted conservative Ropn Paul in 2008.

    Huntsman a conservative, yeah just the same way Warner a long time GOP senator from a conservative state was a conservative.

    Have you considered selling time share properties?

    Anyone who believes Huntsman is anything BUT a conservative is stupid enough to buy a time share property in Death Valley.

    ed.

  31. 31
    RWA Said:
    4:16 pm 

    Huntsman also vetoed a bill which would have permitted the teaching of so-called “intelligent design” in science classes. He is the face of true conservatism, not the sort of impulsive reactionary populism that people mistake for the real thing.

    Before Huntsman became ambassador, I was pushing for a Huntsman/Cantor ticket. Placing a Mormon and an observant Jew on the same ballot would have exorcised the fringe lunatics for good. With Huntsman in China, I say we push for a Cantor/Sununu ticket. Imagine what it would say to the world if we had a Jewish-American and Arab-American as running mates.

  32. 32
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:57 pm 

    C3Said — actually it should be a limted government, not necessarily smaller — the government should be limited to specific responsibilities and the size should be equal to the task, whatever size that may be — so you can have a limited government and a strong national defense.

  33. 33
    BD57 Said:
    6:22 pm 

    Mr. Moran:

    Congrats - you reacted exactly as I PREDICTED.

    I asked you questions. Maybe they were pointed - someone with more intellect and less arrogance would’ve welcomed the opportunity to answer them and flesh out his so called “moderate conservatism.”

    You chose to throw a tantrum. And insult a voter. For a guy who supposedly wants to win people to his banner, that’s a twofer. Congrats.

    In your case, Pat Buchanan (hard to believe, I know) had it right: the insults begin when intellect is exhausted.

    I now realize how quickly you tire.

    Toodles.

  34. 34
    FSMster Chemist Said:
    12:36 am 

    @ David Black
    I’ve seen the Global Warming religionist sites and the skeptics sites and the skeptics have approached things with more reason than the “We’re all gonna die!!!” alarmists.

    The problem with the “skeptics” (and intelligent design folks) is that they are not truly looking at the evidence. Even the skeptics own scientists were telling them that they were wrong, they conveniently ignored it. (Much like smoking isn’t harmful.) The global warming deniers are tight up there with the hardcore religious right in driving people from the party, especially educated science majors.

  35. 35
    George Said:
    8:47 am 

    I am a conservative, and I have left the party, largely because of the lack of pragmatism within the party, but also because of the dire lack of leadership. What we truly need, as you allude to, is pragmatic a Conservative who is not afraid to confront the base. Right now, it seems any potential leaders are so afraid of offending Rush (who I love as an entertainer) that they will not step forward. A party of cowards will not attain power, but rather will hunker down in the dark and scramble for crumbs.

  36. 36
    David R. Block Said:
    4:00 pm 

    Ed–Yes, a little dig. Being of German ancestry gets one a little sensitive to the issue, even if the relatives all came over between 1876-1900. Naturally referring to those more conservative than yourself. I really don’t think that anyone goes around deliberately calling his/her self a Nazi.

    Far too much credit for subtlety? Thought it was all about the nuance. Sorry.

    #34-It’s BLOCK, not BLACK, but that’s just a minor annoyance. Put up with it all through elementary school. I guess that they could not read my mother’s writing on the registration papers.

    I really have a hard time with that, since there are some problems with the data in the original premise.

    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-03-04-1.html
    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-04-29-1.html

    NASA’s James Hansen’s methodology and data have been frequently called into question, and he has been forced to make revisions with the result that the warmest year was back in the 1930s, not 1998 as previously advertised. I don’t really want to copy and paste 245,000 links from Google into Rick’s comments (you’re welcome, Rick), but the point is, I think that multiple AGW voices have shrieked “WOLF” for so long (like since the data from 1998 was in), that I simply do not trust them any more.

    That happens when AGW religion overrides science.

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