didn‘t offend you, this shouldn‘t either.)
It is funny that some call what others like me stand for to be political purity, once it was known as principle.
Political purity is what I call principle when it becomes divorced from reality. It also describes a mindset in which you condemn as unworthy of your support anyone who does not agree with you 100%. It may give you mental satisfaction, and in some cases a Sumnerian ego, but it serves no other good. NO other good. All virtues become vices or weaknesses when exaggerated.
I guess now we subscribe more to the Lindsey Graham theory of principled compromise, a catchy phrase that really means nothing.
Principled compromise often is the only way to make progress. This is something that the Democrats understand far better than many of us do. President Reagan understood that. Faced with a Democrat Congress, he realized that he could not his tax cuts through in one year, although he knew the positive effect of the cuts would have arrived faster if they were implemented immediately. So he got them phased in over three years. That is to say, he made a principled compromise. Was he wrong? If you think so, then tell me what you think he should have done.
(By the way, I checked Lindsey Graham’s career ACU rating, and it’s over 80%, which was surprising. Apparently he votes more intelligently than he speaks.)
I have no problem with more moderate republicans in liberal or more moderate states, but they should not run the party.
What if they win the leadership fair and square? Wouldn’t it make more sense to exert yourself to help reform the leadership, rather than sitting in your tent again, unarmored and unarmed? I have written to the Republican National Committee, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the head of the my home state’s Republican Committee. Have you ever contacted these bodies with your concerns and opinions? If so, how do you expect to influence them in time to help save our country this fall? Sitting at home helps our country’s deadliest foes, the Democratic Socialists.
John McCain won the nomination fairly. We did not unite on a conservative alternative the way the moderates united on the Senator from Arizona. Are they to blame for our failure? If we had nominated a "true-blue conservative", would the moderates have been justified in not voting for him, the way many of you refused to vote for McCain despite the horrifying alternative the Democrats offered? You would be resentful, would you not?
Now personally, I think we should get rid of winner-takes-all primaries, and assign delegates according to the percentage of the votes they received. If you agree, let the Republican officials know, at both the state and local levels. I'm not sure you (we, actually, since I haven't written them on this yet, either) have a legitimate right to complain about the rule or its results until you (we) do.
I am sure you believe yourself to be a patriot, and I do not doubt you on this. However, I remind you now that the first duty of the patriot is to defend his country from harm. I fail to see how sitting at home to punish your party for nominating a candidate you do not agree with is a patriotic action if you allow your country to be destroyed.
People can point to the lack of electoral success the Dems have had the past 20-30 years, but the political success they have made is enormous. 30 years ago would we have even been discussing gay marriage? Heck we were arguing civil unions only 15 years ago.
You may not realize it, but you’re making my case. The Democrats are cleverer than we have been, or at least they were until recently. They saw the value of having the White House, no matter which of their candidates they elected. That gave them the power to appoint judges, and perhaps even more importantly gave them the right to appoint the bureaucracy. Why do you think they fight so hard over the appointment of judges and justices? They know where the long-term power lies.
How about socialized medicine? Bush brought us a bit closer, did he not?
Actually, there is some sense in the prescription drug program, although I did not realize it until this week. Medicare and Medicaid are meant to help the elderly and the poor obtain health care, including most importantly surgical care. As medicine has advanced, conditions that formerly required surgery are no treated with prescription drugs. The paradoxical result is that as medical care has improved in this area, the people on these programs found themselves losing ground. Therefore, whether this situation was the reason for adding the prescription benefit or not, there is logic to it.
Of course, it was not the ideal solution. The government should make the FDA’s approval process more efficient and less expensive. Not long ago I read that getting a drug approved by the risk-averse bureaucrats at the FDA cost on average twelve million dollars, and took about ten years. This twelve million dollars is an additional cost for the drug companies, who already had to pay years of research costs just to bring the drug to the point where it could be submitted for approval. If the whole process didn’t cost so much, drug companies wouldn’t have to charge so much for new drugs in order to try to recoup their expenses. Quick question -- which of the major parties is more likely to make government processes more efficient? The party who takes advice from the Heritage Foundation, or the one that takes advice from the SEIU?
I remember how Reagan wanted to do away with Carter's Department of Education. Today we have major legislation that came from Republicans (No Child Left Behind). The funny part about this is that it was Teddy's dream child and yet the GOP takes lumps for it.
Actually, No Child Left Behind wasn’t a bad idea, but as usual it got perverted as soon as the permanent bureaucracy (see above) got hold of it. The idea of standards was largely gutted by the teacher’s unions, and which party do they support again?
The GOP never seems to learn that when they try to act moderate or liberal they eventually get blame for their actions from the very people they thought they could court with it.
True, but I ask again, what have you done to point this out to them? Have you considered joining your local Republican Committee, so as to push your ideas in an effective way? Have you considered running in a primary yourself? You’re younger than I am, and you’re more intelligent than the politicians you complain about, so why not exert a little force on those whom you wish someone would “straighten out”?
When does the right have this problem when they stick to their principles?
Where the Right gets in trouble is when they allow their leaders to be dragged down on false charges. Remember Tom DeLay? Funny how the indictments that were brought against him never seem to get to trial. It’s because the corrupt DA who brought them, Steven Earle, knows that he cannot get a conviction on any of them. It also gets into trouble when its carping right-wing critics refuse to make themselves heard when a good conservative (DeLay, Elliott Abrams, Casper Weinberger) is under attack. As Ann Coulter pointed out, it makes it very hard to get good leadership, if the leadership is unsupported when attacked. Why take the slings and arrows?
And when they do stick to their principles and it fails they cave immediately, never to bring it up again. (ie Social Security Privatization).
Here you’re wrong. In fact, the idea has been brought up several times over the years. President Bush also warned of the oncoming housing crash several times before it hit. Just one of the many things that he never gets credit for from critics like you, who seemingly will never forgive him for not being a perfect conservative.
Does the left do this? No. They continue to fight and eventually they get some incremental move towards their goal which ultimately becomes fulfilled.
My point exactly, as mentioned earlier. The Democrats know what political parties are for, and how to win slowly. We need to learn some of their plays, if we’re not going to keep being defeated by them.
Yes, there is a difference between the two parties, especially in rhetoric, but it quickly evaporates when it comes to governing. Are they more moderate than the Dems? Again yes, but only slightly so. Their version is more incremental in its stride towards leftist policies than that of the Dems.
Tut, tut, Achilles. A man like you shouldn’t say such things -- you will lose your reputation as a thinking man. Let’s look at a few matters of policy. There are a few facts that you may not be aware of.
President Reagan cut tax rates across the board, and wisely slashed the highest rates to a level that encouraged investment and growth. (It is worth noting that he passed his first tax cuts with a Democratic-majority House. Ronald Reagan had great political gifts. If you haven’t read Dinesh D’Souza’s Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader, I recommend it.) President Bush the Elder raised rates, although not cripplingly so, and was promptly beaten for re-election. President Clinton then came in and pushed through the largest tax increase to that date in American history, without one Republican vote. This was a wise move by the Pachyderm Party, as even a sourpuss critic like you should acknowledge. Largely due to this tax cut and the failed attempt to pass Hillary care (!), the Democrats suffered a massacre at the ballot box in 1994. With the Republicans in control of both Houses, President Billy Jeff was forced toward the center, and there were no more tax hikes. (I believe I’m right on this.) Then came President Bush, and more tax cuts in 2002. So it seems that there is a difference in tax policy between the major parties.
Upon taking office, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have proposed a government takeover of the entire health care system of this country. How many Republican leaders have ever proposed this in the short or long term?
Since taking office, Barack Obama essentially nationalized two of the three major car companies in the country. Name a Republican who has ever endorsed such an action.
Even at the end of his second term, during his disastrous last year, George Bush’s government spending was 20.7% of GDP, a hair under the average of the previous forty years (21%). Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the next year calls for spending 24.7% of GDP. That’s without the health care hostile takeover.
George Bush’s largest budget deficit was approx. 500 billion dollars. It’s not common knowledge that the deficit was largely fueled by a sudden drop in tax receipts into the Treasury. Far too high, I agree, but BO immediately tripled the deficit (and that’s if you accept their numbers), and shows no signs that he’s even honestly considering reducing the deficit at any time in his Presidency. He’s now planning on inflicting massive tax hikes on the already staggering economy. You, me, and Arthur Laffer know what this will do. Hello, two trillion dollar deficit. The currency may become as valuable as those Weimar Marks you’re sending me. How long would it take a Republican President with a Republican Congress to do this much damage? I submit to you that they would never do it.
Remember the Harriet Myers nomination? How about the illegal immigration amnesty bill supported by George W. Bush and John McCain? In both of these cases, the American people (mostly American conservatives) rose in rebellion, and the Republican office-holders backed down. Now compare that to the Democrats’ treatment of majority opinion on issues like cap-and-trade, health care “reform”, and the nominations of radicals like Dawn Johnson (to say nothing of Kevin Jennings as “Safe-Schools Czar”). You don’t see a difference?
I could go on, but I wish to keep this letter down to a manageable length. I do want to point out one or two more items.
In the election of 2008, the Democrats nominated Senator Barack Obama (lifetime ACU rating 10). The Republicans nominated Senator John McCain (lifetime ACU rating 82). How could any honest man among conservatives not see a clear, nay an imperitive choice?
Admittedly, by 2008 McCain’s rating was down to 63, but Obama’s ACU rating was down to 4! No difference? Nothing for a conservative to vote for? Nothing to vote against?
I wish you would understand that the purpose of political parties is to advance the interests of groups of people of similar interests. You can’t demand all-along-the-line compliance, or perfect strategy and tactics. In the former case your party will be too small to survive, and to council the latter is to council the humanly impossible. Great political leaders can shepherd many people of differing but largely similar viewpoints toward a common goal. Ronald Reagan did it. Franklin D. Roosevelt did it during World War II. Abraham Lincoln did it during the Civil War. We may not find a leader of this caliber. However, if we keep our wits about us, and the good of our beloved country always in mind, we won’t need a Moses to lead us to the promised land.
How’s that for Reaganite optimism?