Skip to comments.How the conservatives crumble
Posted on 10/28/2005 3:55:27 PM PDT by Crackingham
William F. Buckley, American conservatism's gray eminence, was recently asked by a writer for The New Yorker what he thought about the state of the movement he helped found 50 years ago. Said Mr. Buckley, "I'm not happy about it." More and more of us on the right feel his pain.
Conservatism, said Buckley, is "to a considerable extent, the acknowledgment of realities. And this is surreal."
He was talking about President Bush's grandiose wish to frog-march liberal democracy around the globe, but he could have been speaking of any number of unconservative things foisted upon the country by an ostensibly conservative president and a compliant Republican Congress.
American conservatism is in crisis at the moment because the bizarre Harriet Miers nomination imposed a surreality check on the right, forcing us to consider just how much nonsense we had gone along with for the sake of party discipline.
Where to start? With the LBJ-level spending? The signing of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, which candidate Bush had denounced as unconstitutional? The race-preferences sellout in the University of Michigan cases?
There was also the cynical use of the federal marriage amendment, which the administration dropped after turning out the social conservative vote in 2004. And grass-roots conservatives cite the president's intent to liberalize immigration policy with Mexico.
Then there is the Iraq quagmire, which, even if initially a worthy cause, has become a rolling disaster.
On top of this came the Katrina debacle, which further damaged conservatism's claim to competent governance.
Conservatives, consciously or not, looked the other way for far too long, mostly because we felt it important to back the president in wartime and because nothing was more important to the various tribes of Red State Nation than recapturing the Supreme Court.
(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...
Dreher has taken on a very nose-in-the-air tone in the last year or so. Tiresome.
Absolutely! We have too many on our side that are ALL OR NOTHING conservatives. That is, if our elected leaders compromise or don't deliver everything we want in one term, some on our side are ready to walk away.
I think this comes from those new to conservatism that do not understand that politics must be played for the long-term and must be played forever. Conservatism's gains over the past 30 years came from good candidates educating the electorate about why we believe what we believe. It is why we want a fight for the Supreme Court, to continue that education.
The liberals did not get their way overnight. They used incrementalism. We must be mindful that quick solutions are not the answer, but slow, deliberate continuous change.
He does make some good points, though. Seriously, if Bush shuts down the border and appoints a Janice Rodgers Brown, his approval rating is going to be taking a big upswing.
Honestly, the border issue would pull a lot of moderates into the Republican camp. I'm still not sure how it's viewed by the Latino population in this country, but that really shouldn't be the first concern.
Perhaps, but there are valid points to be made.
I tend to think conservatives tend to be more honest in our assessments and critique of our own party. That is a strength, not a weakness.
While I support the President, two examples I'll give are the increased spending and the illegal immigrant issue. He is wrong on these, in my opinion.
Incrementalism? Was that what the 60s were?
But I agree with you. It just amazes me how dreadfully that decade messed up so many aspects of our lives that are still lingering today.
I disagree with President Bush on some major points, too, including the ones you mention. I was just commenting on the journalistic qualities, which, in my opinion, have come to obscure the value of just about anything Mr. Dreher has to say.
This is so overwrought.
Come back down to earth, Roddy Boy.
Wake up, GW. The coffee's brewed, and it's strong, hot and black.
His approval rating is directly related to the price of gasoline and the job market.
Eighty percent of the voters don't know a single name of member of the surpreme court. They can tell you the price of gasoline and what their job prospects are. People who are concerned with issues always thing most people are. only a handful care about any of the issues that don't directly effect their lives. Prices, jobs and earnings are what determine presidential approval ratings.
If the price of gasoline drops Bush's approval rating will rise.. if the economy stays good his approval rating will rise.
You know something? What the Miers incident proved is that compromise gets you nothing. We compromised and compromised as George W. Bush morphed into Lyndon Johnson. Then we took a stand, and all of a sudden, not only will we get what we want in a new nominee, but there are also spending reductions and border control measures being advanced.
Being an ALL OR NOTHING conservative works. Being a compromising "compassionate conservative" is little different from simply agreeing with the liberals.
When I see some compromise on the other side of the aisle then this policy might be worth revisiting. Until then it is imperative that we produce at least as much pressure from the right as the Left does with its 24/7 attack machine, or the Left will get its way.
His nose may be in the air, but his feet are firmly planted on reality (unlike some "conservatives").
You can think that.
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