Thoughts on the Republican "Civil War"

This continues to be a major point of contention on blogs, with long threads bursting out whenever the topic is brought up.

I thought maybe I would try again to address this.

Sorry; I posted an unfinished version of this earlier, by accident. To be honest, it still isn't "finished;" it is merely abandoned, as they say. I give up in writing it.

First of all, allow me the use of the terms "maximalists" and "pragmatists" as the terms of discussion. Words like "Purist," and, on the other side "RINO" and "sell-out" aren't appreciated by anyone of the receiving end of them. I don't know if "maximalist" or "pragmatist" are also bad terms, but I'll assume provisionally they're okay. I'm just trying to find non-offensive words for this stuff.

I do not think these two camps are as far apart as their proponents seem to think. It is often the case that maximalists accuse, or suggest, that pragmatists aren't interested in electing more conservative candidates, or of supporting more conservative primary challengers to confirmed RINOs. And it often the case that pragmatists (including myself) seem to talk as if the maximalists are unaware that a Tom Coburn type candidate wouldn't fare so well in liberal New Jersey or arch-Democratic Maryland.

To the extent the positions of each respective side get parodized and turned into straw-men, let us have less of that. The maximalists have to stop, stop treating anyone who mentions a legitimate practical-world concern to a maximalist slate of candidates as some sort of sell-out "without principle" and "without integrity." (Having been on the receiving end of that sort of thing, I can tell you: Insults are not persuasive, and actually only harden one's position against you.)

And on the pragmatist side of things, we can stop with the bait-ish expressions like "fantasy world" and other statements that imply the maximalist is less than lucid.

More on that later, though: I do think that some of the maximalists are in fact simply dismissing electoral reality as an inconvenience easily ignored, and almost as easily overcome, and we do need to discuss that. But we need more constructive manners of expressing that, I guess, as "fantasy" is taken as offensive.

To get back to the "we are not so far apart thing:" There is hardly any question, in my mind, at least, that ideological conservatives, including myself, the cobloggers, and even a hated "RINO" like Allah (PS, he's not a RINO), agree with the maximalists that we should exert pressure, through dollars, agitation, and primary challengers, to push the GOP slate of candidates broadly to the right, and to try to enforce more conservative voting-discipline on them all.

I think in substance, we agree. We are talking, chiefly here, about tactics and strategy: The pragmatists, too, want to see a more conservative GOP. (Actual conservative pragmatists, I mean, as opposed to people like David Frum, who simply want a more left wing party.) What we are disagreeing on is how much is possible.

If I don't think it's possible, for example, that a 100% pro-life candidate can get elected in suburban New Jersey, I'm not being a sell-out or trying to actively thwart the pro-lifers. My belief is not an ideological one: I can root for the Giants, but when they play the Eagles, as they did yesterday, my strong hunch is that they're going to lose badly. (As they did.)

I think the maximalists are confusing two sets of people:

1. People like David Frum who make claims about what is or what is not electorally possible, because he wishes to push the party to the left. His claims about electoral viability are in fact pretext: He uses this excuse to push his own substantive liberal agenda, under the guise of "viability." But in fact, viability is an afterthought: He wants a more leftwing party because he's a more leftwing guy, and at the end of the day, he doesn't really care which is actually more electorally viable. He just wants a liberal Republican Party and he's using any argument at hand to achieve that.

2. People like me who really do want a more conservative GOP, but really are concerned that if you push this too far, if you push candidates that are too far out of sync with their districts, you're going to wind up with a more conservative slate of candidates, but a much more liberal government and much more liberal America, because a great candidate who's good on the issues but who loses an election gets no vote.

If the GOP were to lose further seats in the Senate, for example, health care would have already passed -- the problem the Democrats have is that they have a filibuster-proof majority in theory, but several of their members are wobbly. Add in five or six more Democratic Senators and I think you'd be able to cobble together a real filibuster proof majority, even with five defectors, with enough liberals to push anything through the Senate, and any Supreme Court nominee too.

I really think a major problem here is that the maximalists think the pragmatists are lying, that what we really crave is a more liberal GOP, and we are using this phony argument to contend for indirectly what we don't have the guts to contend for directly. That we want liberal Senators and Representatives, but we don't have the guts to say so, so we are conjuring up phony fears about losing elections.

I can only give you my word this isn't true. For one thing: Well, I'm not the the most ideological conservative guy, but I have demonstrated on most occasions I am in fact more ideologically conservative than the squishes in the GOP. I don't like the squishes. I say so on a daily basis. Why would I attempt to push for more of them?

For another thing, I have attacked David Frum and Ryan Sager for always dressing up their own policy preferences -- "global warming," gay marriage, etc. -- as necessary electoral strategies. Again and again I have pointed out that the traditional marriage position (anti-gay-marriage, I mean), for example, is either a net-vote-winner or a wash, and not, as David Frum and Ryan Sager contend, some sort of albatross dragging the party down.

So in that example I have specifically called out people that I think are dishonestly disguising their own political preferences as what is supposedly necessary for the good of the party, pretending that they're just telling us "the way it is" when in fact they're really trying to tell us "the way we would like it to be." And I guess that doesn't mean I'm immune from the charge that I'm doing it too, but... well, I think it sort of shows that I'm not. Maybe not conclusively, but it's certainly evidence of that.

I am not lying when I say I doubt that a pro-life candidate could ever be elected in most districts in New Jersey. Perhaps a couple of the more rural districts in the south and west of the state -- but the bulk of the state is urban and suburban, and gets its social mores from New York City and Philadelphia. (Most of populous New Jersey is in fact just suburbs of those big cities, of course.) It is not a con when I tell you, having grown up there, and having watched New Jersey turn from a gettable Republican state in 1992 to a deep blue Democratic state in 2008, New Jersey is mainly liberal, especially on social issues, and there is just no chance of getting a strongly pro-life candidate in most of the districts there. The best you can do is a pro-choice-with-restrictions kind of candidate... who doesn't even advertise those views very loudly, except (say) to point out his opponent's support of partial birth abortion.

There are opinions and there are facts. And there is ideology and then there is electoral reality. And these issues keep getting confused, together I think, by some (but not all) in the maximalist camp. I keep saying stuff like New Jersey can't elect more than one or two pro-life Representatives, max; and the odds of a pro-life Senator running statewide getting elected are either grim or none. This is purely a statement about electoral reality and strategy, not about the substance of the issue at all.

A lot of the time the response is about how, on the substance of the issue, abortion is a moral wrong that everyone should be against, and we need to just persuade people of that. Well, may be; but that doesn't address the point made. Most voters in New Jersey disagree with that proposition and are, in fact, as certain of their pro-choice stance as pro-lifers are of theirs. Given that, do we run a pro-choice-with-restrictions candidate or the pro-life one in liberal leaning but not impossible-to-win districts?

I just think that two distinct issues keep getting jumbled up as if there is no real distinction between them: politics, also known as "the art of the possible," and philosophy, also known as "the art of the truth." Philosophy obviously strongly influences politics, but the two things are distinct; politics is more than, and less than, philosophy. It's not just about what is ideal. It's about getting what is closest to the ideal, or, if that is impossible (check out our current president and Congress), what is at least tolerable.

What the maximalists don't seem to acknowledge is that pragmatists like myself are on their side, in the main, as regards philosophy. But I do in fact distinguish between the ideal, the merely good, the merely tolerable, and the absolutely intolerable, and I am worried that all this agitation in favor of the ideal is going to risk bringing us not even the "merely tolerable," but the absolutely intolerable.

That is my fear. I think the maximalists are talking up their hopes -- best-case scenarios -- while pragmastists are talking their fears -- worst-case scenarios. Personally, I'm in favor of trying for the best-case scenario most times it's within reach (see my previous support of Pat Toomey), but I do in fact fear the worst-case scenario that if you push too hard for your political ideal, make things a bit too ideological and too clear, voters will reject that for liberal candidates who talk in gauzy, feel-good platitudes that seem to eschew ideology... and then vote like liberal motherfuckers once in office.

Sound familiar? Sound like someone you know?

I restate the age-old imperative of politics: Do not make too many clear commitments, unless they're plainly popular ones commanding 60%+ support, because every time you do, you alienate another segment of the voting population. If you become too clear and too precise about your intentions and philosophy, and you will not be rewarded for it, but punished, because the guy with the vaguer, less honest platform will win the election. Vague platforms win elections, because they induce large numbers of people to think that that candidate agrees with them; he has been vague enough that many people are deceived into thinking he's on their side.

Very specific, very clear candidates tend to lose, because their honesty is actually a detriment: They announce loudly and clearly and forthrightly to a large number of people I disagree with you; I'm not going to con you here and pretend we share common ground on this issue: I flat-out, honestly, forthrightly disagree with you, and will vote against your preferences on these issues. They are upfront about it, and they are subsequently punished for their honesty.

Again: Barack Obama.

My fear is that there is a campaign afoot for what could be called "honest philosophy," with conservative candidates laying down iron-clad guarantees about where they are on each and every issue, and this is precisely contrary to sound politics -- which in fact tends to involve a great deal of dishonesty.

I don't want all these pledges and cast-iron guarantees on divisive issues. I want a little bit more flexibility for the candidate. Not necessarily because I want him to get into office and vote more liberally, but because I fear he cannot be voted into office at all if he vows a very specific, very honest conservative position on all divisive issues.

This is my fear: Some are pushing "integrity" and ideological soundness not only at the expense of electoral strategy, but sometimes without even considering the latter, almost dismissing such concerns not as frivolous, but as something close to immoral.

I say "immoral" because when I make this case I am often told I lack integrity and so on. So we seem to be having here a discussion not really about politics per se, but of political morality.

I don't think that is the way to win elections. Politics is fundamentally, at its heart, a dishonest game. It is. It always has been and it always will be, and I don't really think there's much point talking about whether it should be this way. It is this way. No should about it.

It is a game -- a game -- with big real-world consequences, but it still observes the rules of a game. And in a game, like poker, you don't go all-in every hand, and you don't put a lot of money on bad bets. That way lies bankruptcy and an early exit from the table. Resources are finite, some bets are good, while others are indifferent, or bad, or positively disastrous, sometimes taking a big romantic death-or-glory chance makes sense but often it doesn't.

But never in poker should you ever begin to think "I will make this big bet because I should win it; I have greater integrity in this game, and therefore I deserve win."

As Clint Eastwood said, "Deservin's got nothin' to do with it."


Posted by: Ace at 03:09 PM



Comments

1 Thoughts? Never heard of them.

Posted by: Charlie Gibson at November 03, 2009 01:54 PM (PLvLS)

2 Rather than use different words, why not stick with "conservatives" and "establishment sell-outs", or GOP liberal elite.
Maybe phrase it as those who want actual conservatives in Washington vs. those who will accept liberals as long as they agree to vote for whomever the GOP brass want as the Majority Leader? In reality, that is what it is all about. Dede could have done whatever she wanted, as long as she voted for John Boner (sp).

Posted by: Smarty at November 03, 2009 01:56 PM (v/j2M)

3

Posted by: snookered at November 03, 2009 01:56 PM (XRD6T)

4 I could just kiss you for this post.

Posted by: neoconblonde at November 03, 2009 01:57 PM (5HhWZ)

5 This piece feels like it ended fairly abruptly. I was expecting it to stretch at least a couple more pages, but it's almost like Ace decided to stop in mid article and go back to filming ewok bestiality porn or whatever he heck his real job is.

Posted by: Johnny at November 03, 2009 01:58 PM (xVKXy)

6 Thank you Ace, for smoothing over The Internet. Everyone was so spazzy, now they're all calm.
The only way you calm the internet down is you nuke it.
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
Now cry Havoc and let em slip.
For God, St. George and Harry!

Posted by: Entropy at November 03, 2009 01:58 PM (IsLT6)

7 I think the "maximalists" are just Democrats. I notice that they never think Democrats do anything wrong,and they're resolved to attack Republican nominees no matter who it is.

Posted by: JohnJ at November 03, 2009 01:58 PM (Vv2tS)

8 Sell-out!

Posted by: Courage at November 03, 2009 01:59 PM (1Y3Fy)

9 As time has progressed I am more and more sure that the small local GOP offices have been infiltrated by libtards. They control the local candidates, and we end up with a slate of candidates that are sub par, to say the least.


You know how to solve this? Closed primaries.

Close them now.

Posted by: Rickshaw Jack at November 03, 2009 01:59 PM (mcbkO)

10 You had it right theh other day. In this one case there's really nothing to disagree about. She really was as bad as the Democrat, so there was no reason for a conservative of any (maximalist or pragmatist, to use your labels) to vote for her.

I just wish we could get our $900,000 back. That should be written into a contract in the future - "we'll give you money for your campaign, but if you drop out and support the Democrat, you have to give it back."

Posted by: Ace's liver at November 03, 2009 02:00 PM (LtIsn)

11 Civil War? Don't you mean War Of RINO Aggression? You Yankee?

Posted by: Any One of My Southern Relatives at November 03, 2009 02:01 PM (RD7QR)

12
This piece feels like it ended fairly abruptly.

Since he said "several" and then listed 2, I'm going to have to agree with you there.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 03, 2009 02:01 PM (Be4xl)

13 Great post. This is the discussion we should be having. This is what blogs should be up to. Yeah, laughing at assholes in DC is good fun too, but this is where the future is.

Allahpundit is the best blogger on the internet. He is indispensable. Anyone who loves this country should be thankful for that dude. Even Sarah Palin. I don't care where you are on the spectrum or if you disagree with him on this or that, he's a hard working crucial blogger that takes so much flack from the people who need him that it needs to be said.

I'm a huge Palin fan, and I don't think AP has done anything more than keep the debate lively.

It's hard for me to accept Frum-style arguing. 'We have to accept we will be in the wilderness for a long, long, long time!' Why? It's 2009... attitudes change at the speed of light. Obama has created a disaster in many arenas, and it's time to move forward. Good grief. George W Bush was a good president. He was unpopular, but a lot of people accept that he was basically competent and decent, even if they disliked his works.

Frum acts like Bush was Nixon X 1000. I don't get that. What did the right do that is so unforgivable? Other than nominate Mccain.




Posted by: Nobel Peace Prize Committee at November 03, 2009 02:02 PM (3Okxb)

14 Ace:

Just because NY-23 is red doesn't mean it's conservative. Minor point.

To a larger point, I'll use my own district as an example. I have an incumbent RIN...er, "pragmatist" (can we come up with a better term? After reading Liberal Fascism, pragmatism probably isn't the best imagery) running against a carpetbagger Democrat for the state assembly. Their positions on the issues have but the most minor of nuance in differences. I'll also point out this district sits in Congressman Frank Wolf's district.
Part of the calculus has to be the independents and fed up GOPers like me. What's the point of voting (R) here if I'm going to get the same policies from the Pragmatist that I'll get from the liberal? I'd wager this is incenting a lot of people to just stay home instead of voting in a meaningless election, thus creating the illusion that the district just "NEEDS" a lefty Republican to be competitive.
In my state, Bob McDonnell is running 2-1 among independents. That's where we can make a great case for unabashed conservatism, instead of giving up the election before the vote is even taken. I'm optimistic that by speaking to the independents and making a coherent case for conservatism, this nonsense about having to run liberals as Republicans will stop.

Posted by: JohnTant at November 03, 2009 02:02 PM (tVWQB)

15 Well-put, Ace, well-put indeed.

Posted by: North Dallas Thirty at November 03, 2009 02:03 PM (TizM+)

16 Ace, when you need to run out to ValuRite in the middle of writing, hit "save as draft" not "post."

Posted by: Biblio Phile at November 03, 2009 02:04 PM (y5VNb)

17 Even dispicable RINOs like the hated Allah, for example, supported Hoffman's candidacy, for several reasons.

Yeah, but what about David "Wild Man" Frum? Does he support Hoffman's candidacy, and will he publicly excoriate Dede Scozzafava for taking the GOP's money and then defecting to the Dems?

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 03, 2009 02:04 PM (eR37w)

18 How about a word that describes people with strong conservative political philosophies who constantly agitate and work for the furtherance of conservative principles, but hold their noses and vote for whatever is the lesser of two evils; because not voting is the most moronic (no offense), fucked-up, ass-backward way of getting what you want in a republic!?

Posted by: NJconservative at November 03, 2009 02:04 PM (/Ywwg)

19 Insults are not persuasive

Yeah. Your equanimity is terrifying.

Your Party must accommodate the heehaws who were fooled into thinking the Republican establishment would defend your obscure cosmology of little government, homo-hate, Mexican-bashing, and rah-rah fetus, hollywood is evil blah blah.

And the more you include these retards, the smaller your Party shrinks.

Hallefuckinglujah!

Posted by: Huey Long at November 03, 2009 02:05 PM (xvR5P)

20 Ace:
"And on the pragmatist side of things, we can stop with the bait-ish
expressions like "fantasy world" and other statements that imply the
maximalist is less than lucid."

I think this lets them off the hook a bit too much. If maximalists have to stop calling them RINOs and sell-outs, it's only fair that they should have to stop implying that we are Talibanesque Bible thumpers who speak in tongues just because we don't want marriage redefined and think the wholesale killing of babies is bad for society.

Posted by: Kensington at November 03, 2009 02:05 PM (kSpSZ)

21 I'd like to see conservatives in "progressive districts" do a better job at expounding upon how the conservative ideology does a better job at advancing the district's interests. I find that this is particularly lacking in urban districts. The focus needs to be less on the divisive issues (such as abortion or illegal immigration) and more of issues of local importance that need to be deal with at the national level (such as reforming the CRA).

Too often, we let the dems set the terms of what's important in these districts, which is why squishy candidates are fielded. Why is that the GOP candidate must always be defined/eliminated due to their stance on gay marriage or abortion? There's no reason why these should always be the principal issues in urban districts that have zero economic growth, high unemployment, and abhorrent levels of violent crime.

Posted by: taylork at November 03, 2009 02:07 PM (4jZ56)

22 In a contest where the pragmatist will likely lose there is no penalty for running a maximalist so we should run maximalists in all the hard core democrat districts.

Posted by: scrubjay at November 03, 2009 02:07 PM (fKFPG)

23 I thought maybe I would try to smooth things over.

Damn you ewok! Some of us are trying to purge the party of anyone to the left of Bob Dornan and we don't want 'smooth'.

Posted by: John Galt at November 03, 2009 02:07 PM (F/4zf)

24 Until we run all the squishes out of the party and go on the gold standard, we're doomed.

Posted by: Purity Republican at November 03, 2009 02:07 PM (muUqs)

25 Funny, I always considered myself one of the "pragmatists". However, I have been bait-and-switched one too many times, and I am tired of so called "fiscal conservative social liberals" who are in fact BUDGET BUSTING BUTT PIRATES (and yes, there is something wrong with that when I am on the receiving end).

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 02:07 PM (ujg0T)

26 "How about a word that describes people with strong conservative
political philosophies who constantly agitate and work for the
furtherance of conservative principles, but hold their noses and vote
for whatever is the lesser of two evils; because not voting is the most
moronic (no offense), fucked-up, ass-backward way of getting what you
want in a republic!?"

NJ conservative,

That describes the vast majority of Mccain supporters. We were pragmatic, disgusted, and to a small extent, betrayed by the beltway. We must fix our primary system

Posted by: Nobel Peace Prize Committee at November 03, 2009 02:08 PM (3Okxb)

27 Couldn't we agree on a core set of principles --- opposition to taxes, support for limited government, strong national defense --- and have other issues where we are open to debate? Or would that make too much sense.

And am I wrong in thinking that the original, Reagan big tent was created by drawing values-voters in, not by throwing them out?

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at November 03, 2009 02:09 PM (PLvLS)

28 There are other problems with this debate: in some cases it is only some issues that are being discussed.
For example, this Hoffman guy is a complete illegal immagration / amnesty supporter, and he means business on that issue.
So, careful what you wish for.

Posted by: Brad at November 03, 2009 02:09 PM (2GsJg)

29 Yeah. Your equanimity is terrifying.

Your
Party must accommodate the heehaws who were fooled into thinking the
Republican establishment would defend your obscure cosmology of little
government, homo-hate, Mexican-bashing, and rah-rah fetus, hollywood is
evil blah blah.

And the more you include these retards, the smaller your Party shrinks.

Hallefuckinglujah!


Posted by: Huey Long at November 03, 2009 02:05 PM (xvR5P)

Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City "Sailor
wanna hump-hump" bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his
whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

Posted by: Melvin Udall at November 03, 2009 02:10 PM (OtQXp)

30 If republicans pull off some crushing defeats of Obamunists today , I'm good, "civil war" or no. If the democrats decide to stop being their own worst enemies, then we'll have to talk.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 03, 2009 02:10 PM (2vnBk)

31 I think your post got cut off.
Also, quit with the philosophising and bring teh funneh already.

Posted by: FUBAR at November 03, 2009 02:10 PM (J5Srq)

32 obscure cosmology of little government, homo-hate, Mexican-bashing, and rah-rah fetus, hollywood is evil blah blah.
As opposed to thecosmology of disease spreading, baby killing, America hating, and 5th column traitor breeding.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 02:10 PM (ujg0T)

33 "Thoughts", I've had a few, but then again to few to mention. I did what I had to do, I saw it thru with out exception. Much more than this, I did it my way.

Posted by: nevergiveup at November 03, 2009 02:11 PM (TfW4T)

34 scrubjay,

That might make sense in some places. I worry that a lot of places don't even give voters a choice. It's really 'who is the best liberal?' which is always the democrat, and never 'is conservative or liberal better?'

but ultimately, we just need to make sure the local republicans get to choose their nominee.

Posted by: Nobel Peace Prize Committee at November 03, 2009 02:11 PM (3Okxb)

35 it's only fair that they should have to stop implying that we are Talibanesque Bible thumpers who speak in tongues just because we don't want marriage redefined and think the wholesale killing of babies is bad for society.
I'm sure Ace is going to agree with that. His point is going to be that we do need eachother. And that the people on each side talking about purging the party of the other is going to do no one any good.
I think the big problem is that it seems like the ones currently in charge of the party seem to be the rino variety. That's frustrating a lot of the other segments.

Posted by: buzzion at November 03, 2009 02:11 PM (opdYb)

36 Yeah, that's a good point, Curmudgeon@25. Don't I count as a "pragmatist" after holding my nose to vote for McCain (and, indeed, campaigning door to door for him)?

Posted by: Kensington at November 03, 2009 02:12 PM (kSpSZ)

37 @13

No, fuck Allahpundit. He was probably the one holding up Meghaton's floppy fatbags for that picture that just made the rounds of the internet.

It's not just the fawning treatment of RINOs and the overarching desire to be included in the Beltway GOP intellectual "elite", it's the constant sneering and derision of conservatives that he doesn't deem worthy.

We're all on the same team? Why the constant Christian-bashing? Why the constant sneering at Palin, who is the only one carrying the banner of individual liberty and responsibility on the national stage right now?

Better flush out your headgear, new guy.

It wouldn't even be so bad except for one thing:

I remember when he used to have balls.

Here's a hint: It was back before he probably imagined he could make a living blogging. So if anyone deserves the handle of "sellout", it's Allahpundit.

Fuck Allahpundit and the horse he rode in on (who looks suspiciously like a naked Peggy Noonan with a saddle on her back and a ball gag in her mouth).

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at November 03, 2009 02:13 PM (xGIqT)

38 Since St. Reagan, your Party successfully constructed and then serially hoodwinked a 'base" of witless rubes. For 30 years!

The people who run your Party hate you.

It's sorta funny you only now finally figured it out.

But now it's too late.

Posted by: Huey Long at November 03, 2009 02:14 PM (xvR5P)

39 Couldn't you have waited for Thursday to smooth things over? We have a Flame War tomorrow. This is not helping.

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 02:14 PM (pUfK9)

40 Why vote for a party if that party doesn't stand for anything? What's the point in getting enough of them elected? What, exactly will they accomplish? A new drug entitlement? No Child Left Behind? Amnesty??
Screw that noise.
I understand that you want to keep the in-fighting violence on a low simmer but I believe that there needs to be some blackened eyes and some bloody lips on the "pragmatists" side or they won't learn anything. Either they run this playground or we do. To quote Rush Limbaugh, "Peace comes through victory not peace talks."
Peace out.

Posted by: Dewy at November 03, 2009 02:14 PM (//EnE)

41 You make a good point Ace. But I will point out that the last time I saw Allah post here it was a preachy "get over yourselves " screed to those who might oppose abortion. That kind of thing does not invite civil responses. Unless that was a sock.

Posted by: maddogg at November 03, 2009 02:14 PM (OlN4e)

42 If we can't say "RINO" how about "one horned wonder?"

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 03, 2009 02:15 PM (xxgag)

43 and the horse he rode in on (who looks suspiciously like a naked Peggy Noonan with a saddle on her back and a ball gag in her mouth).
How strangely appealing that image is. If anyone needs that, it's Peggy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 02:15 PM (ujg0T)

44 Couldn't we agree on a core set of principles

Focus. Neutering the Obamunist aganda at all costs should be THE primary objective. At this point in the nation's history, nothing is more important than defanging Obama nd the congress -- NOTHING.

What's the first thing you do when someone is in shock and bleeding out? STOP THE BLEEDING.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 03, 2009 02:15 PM (2vnBk)

45 Ace, a lot of this is the "Internet tough guy" scenario which makes people feel great about taking the most strident position possible. They don't really lose anything by behaving like an ass.

It's also people in places like Massachusetts, Maryland, Wyoming or Texas decrying "RINOs" when they don't have to make the difficult choices.

But for some, you hear this strange expression "He needs to earn my vote" as if the poster is some sort of ugly chick talking about her virginity. Your vote is your attempt to shape the government, not some sort of expression of your approval. It's not an internet vote for "Best politician" where you click a radio button.

It doesn't matter for whom you vote, it matters who takes office.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 03, 2009 02:15 PM (T0NGe)

46 That's the second worst post I've read in 40 years.

Posted by: Washington Post Editor at November 03, 2009 02:17 PM (DIYmd)

47 I can haz Falcons Cheerleader pic again?

Posted by: Navin R Johnson says that Falcons Cheerleader is hot! at November 03, 2009 02:17 PM (J7/Ud)

48 @Nobel Peace Prize,

Oh, I get it. I held my nose for so long I almost passed out. But my choices were not voting, which is pathetic and beneath contempt, or vote against the idiot, crowd-pleasing, democrat- loving McCain by voting for Obama. My head would have exploded and scared the children (I vote in an elementary school).

Posted by: NJconservative at November 03, 2009 02:18 PM (/Ywwg)

49 It would probably be best at this point for any GOP candidate to give a silent nod to conservative social issues, but to otherwise put them on the back burner. What we need is fiscal conservatism and strong foreign policy.

And honestly, the GOP might do well to throw a bone to libertarians on the issue of marijuana decriminalization. If we're all about personal liberty, it's time we were consistent about our laws regarding intoxicants. At the same time, we can steal the issue from the Democrats, because it has always been assumed that the Dems would be the ones to address the issue. It's also a tax that everyone can get behind, and we can use those kinds of taxes as replacement taxes for when we try to cut the corporate tax rate, the estate tax, and taxes on the middle class.

It's time we started to take an honest look at what we consider to be "liberty", because that seems to be a common grumbling point with the American public now.


Posted by: bjjfiter at November 03, 2009 02:18 PM (TdgA9)

50 I think it would be wrong to equate RINOs as "pragmatists". There seems to be a difference between being "moderate" on some ideas and being a total hypocrite once you get into office. It's like Lindsey f'ing Graham. He can talk the talk, but he never votes that way. It be one thing if they were consistent in words and actions, but rather we have a glut of a-holes in our party who talk of fiscal conservatism, yet throw it out the window as soon as it costs them a cocktail party invite.

Posted by: taylork at November 03, 2009 02:18 PM (4jZ56)

51 Your vote is your attempt to shape the government, not some sort of expression of your approval.

Democrats don't see it that way. That's why they love using the term "mandate".

Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 03, 2009 02:19 PM (2vnBk)

52 Allahpundit is a God-hating, Frum-loving, Ivory-tower living, communist, who maybe after our precious bodily fluids.

Posted by: Purity Republican at November 03, 2009 02:19 PM (muUqs)

53 Your euphemisms have ambiguous referents, Ace.

When you say "maximalists" and "pragmatists"... it's hard to know who you're talking about. Just say something like "maximalists = Palin" and "pragmatists = Newt" or something.

Posted by: DoDoGuRu at November 03, 2009 02:19 PM (Xdxf8)

54 Good post, Ace. Does this mean tomorrow's flame war is cancelled?

Posted by: Peaches at November 03, 2009 02:19 PM (9Wv2j)

55 46 That's the second worst post I've read in 40 years.
Posted by: Washington Post Editor at November 03, 2009 02:17 PM (DIYmd)
Stop being such a cokesacker.

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 02:20 PM (7AOgy)

56 I thought maybe I would try to smooth things over.

Well, that worked out well.

Posted by: Lebowski at November 03, 2009 02:20 PM (DIYmd)

57 Will somebody point the troll in the direction of the FAQ? He needs training wheels. Remember, you should crawl before you drool all over yourself.

Posted by: NJconservative at November 03, 2009 02:20 PM (/Ywwg)

58 Yo bjj,
I'm out dude. Can you hook me up w/ a 1/4?
Just kidding. (Not really)

Posted by: Navin R Johnson says listen to Sublime at November 03, 2009 02:21 PM (J7/Ud)

59 And honestly, the GOP might do well to throw a bone to libertarians on
the issue of marijuana decriminalization. If we're all about personal
liberty, it's time we were consistent about our laws regarding
intoxicants.

While I haven't gotten contact drunk lately from someone drinking next to me at a restaurant, I would point out that you can't smoke anytime anywhere, there is a push to ban smoking in cars (first if a child is in there, later a general ban because a child might be in there at some point) and in your own home (children again).

I'm all for legalizing drugs, just get rid of the welfare state. Druggies on the dole doesn't appeal to me.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 03, 2009 02:22 PM (T0NGe)

60 Nice post Ace.

fwiw Allah isn't a RINO, but he's not a conservative - which I think is what causes friction with readers. Most active people on blogs are conservatives, and he's more of a libertarian hawk then anything else. So no eye-eye.

Posted by: Amused Observer at November 03, 2009 02:22 PM (xGXz7)

61 ace basically echo's the msm's/obama talking points, that we're scaring away "independants"(in reality dumb-ass know-nothing idiots), but as rush eloquently states IF the republicans/conservatives win ANYTHING today that turns this talking point on its ear and all polls indicate that since we went further right in our message we have peeled away tons of these imbeciles, the only way to attract these dunderheads is by articulating a clear distinction from the alternate party, if that means we offend some RINOS and drive away "moderate"(hard-left) republicans so be it they were never on our side to begin with and it shows them we actually stand for something instead of the usual "go-along-get-along" squish incoherenc that abounds in the current GOP crowd..

Posted by: weewilly at November 03, 2009 02:23 PM (iBHcm)

62 Look, right now the last thing we need is political correctness. Obfuscation is the core problem here. Call an ewok an ewok and be done with it.
This "civil war" is a total media fabrication to distract voters from the massive shellacking Team Obama is gonna get tonight.

Posted by: Iblis at November 03, 2009 02:23 PM (9221z)

63 54 Good post, Ace. Does this mean tomorrow's flame war is cancelled?Posted by: Peaches at November 03, 2009 02:19 PM (9Wv2j)

Hell no! Tomorrow we flame. If it's your first time at Flamewar Club, you have to fight.

Posted by: Mætenloch at November 03, 2009 02:24 PM (z843g)

64 12 This piece feels like it ended fairly abruptly.
Since he said "several" and then listed 2, I'm going to have to agree with you there.
Next time, he should consider a gentle fiber laxative. Those harsher chemical ones can lead to blogpost abruptio.

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 02:24 PM (7AOgy)

65 I think that most conservatives understand that conservative candidates aren't likely to win in some left-leaning districts. The problem with the "pragmatists" is that they seem to believe that the strategy of nominating a "moderate" Republican in purple districts should be applied nationally, regardless of the district or office.
The pragmatists seem to come from two camps. There's arrogant imbeciles like Frum and Meggie McCain who think everything will be peachy if everyone elsewere exactkt like them.These peopleshould be ignored. Then there are those who mean well (Newt) but mistakenly believe that policy and political ideology is the primary factor in winning elections. They themselves are so caught up in politics and policy that they've lost sight of how the average voter makes a decision.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at November 03, 2009 02:25 PM (plsiE)

66 yes, I am all for electing "RINO/Moderates/Whatever" because they will help put Coburn or a conservative into a chairmanship. BUT, I just wish the RINOs would not cut us off at the knees with "Gang of 14" stuff or helping limp CapTrade or Porkulus across the finish line.

Posted by: eddiebear at November 03, 2009 02:25 PM (wnU1W)

67 There are other problems with this debate: in some cases it is only some issues that are being discussed.
For example, this Hoffman guy is a complete illegal immagration / amnesty supporter, and he means business on that issue.
This is where pragmatism kicks in. He's certainly a far cry better than Scossoflava the Hutt, even if he is a Wall Street Journal cheap labor greedhead.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 02:25 PM (ujg0T)

68 Limit Government. We can worry about criminilaizing abortions and legalizing pot later.

Posted by: California Red at November 03, 2009 02:25 PM (tW88P)

69 >>The pragmatists seem to come from two camps. There's arrogant
imbeciles like Frum and Meggie McCain who think everything will be
peachy if everyone elsewere exactkt like them.These
peopleshould be ignored. Then there are those who mean well (Newt)
but mistakenly believe that policy and political ideology is the
primary factor in winning elections. They themselves are so caught up
in politics and policy that they've lost sight of how the average voter
makes a decision.

Yes, that's a good point.

Posted by: Amused Observer at November 03, 2009 02:26 PM (xGXz7)

70 As long as we must accommodate those that think the levers of power are there to satisfy rent-seekers (and yes, I'm looking squarely at Karl Rove and that K Street stupidity here), then we are not in any way "conservatives." The train began to jump the tracks around 2000 when so many broke their term limit word after the win in 1994. And from there it only got worse. Dubya did many good things, but the prescription drug program and the creation of DHS sent so many bad signals that I don't even know where to begin.
Abig tent where pragmatism means agreeing with the Dems on 75% of issues is not a big tent--it's an annex to the unsustainable policy prescriptions that we so deride here. For all who think that some sort of national health care is a right and a necessity, I refer you to the beginnings of Medicare and Medicaid, which in their origins were viewed as options of a last resort and are now being touted by Republicans as being rights and necessities.
TARP is "temporary." The GM and Chrysler bailouts are "temporary." Really? In the entire span of human history, the contraction of government power is the rare exception. Its growth is such a constant that it should be considered jsut that in historical analysis--a constant. Anyone who believes this administration desires greater individual liberty and less government involvement in our daily lives is either hopelessly naive, an idiot or both.
From this moment on, the conservative message needs an underpinning offour positive principles: Energy independence, fiscal responsibility, economic liberty and strong national defense. The dividing line between the statist attitudes of the leftand real conservatism on these issues cannot be more clear and we should not be afraid of those differences in any way.

Posted by: Circa (Insert Year Here) at November 03, 2009 02:27 PM (B+qrE)

71 There's nothing like an RLT: RINO, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the RINO is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe. Mmmm.

Posted by: Miracle Maximalist at November 03, 2009 02:28 PM (5aa4z)

72 The Dems have no problem voting for someone like Pelosi or Kennedy that
call themselves good Catholics while supporting abortion, or pols that
"support the troops" and withhold troop funding, or those that decry a "culture of
corruption" while being, as a group, the most culpable. Conservatives
need to stand for something, speak clearly without the Orwellian obfuscation, and
demonstrate consistency of conviction matters most - or we offer no
alternative to the hypocrisy of the Dems.





Such is moral of the Dede Snozzafoopolus saga.

That, and giant pink pant suits are so unfabulous.

Posted by: FreakyBoy at November 03, 2009 02:28 PM (4s1it)

73 Lots of us are seeing conservative principles which, when articulated, garner mass agreement just left on the doorstep in order to present a more "moderate" candidate. The frustration comes from seeing the "package" oftentimes saddling a leftist republican candidate which comes along with whatever "key issue" the national leadership thinks will unlock the disctrict. So we get Olympia Snowe types with quickly disowned platitudes who end up being completely unreliable to us when the grit hits the shit.
The far-radicalization of the Democrat party has forced decently normal Democrat politicians to end up in our party - because at base we tend to agree on some principles across the spectrum that the Maoist/Stalinist/Ayerists that lead the Democrat party now cannot even recognize. It's like I said during the primaries for the presidential election - McCain is a decent Democrat and should have been their candidate first - and if he had won as one, I wouldn't have been too upset. He was an excellent Democrat, but he made a frustrating show as a Republican.
What we want is for the national leadership to recognize that conservative, bedrock Republican (Contitution-centric) principles don't need to be thrown away to match some polling point - they're tossing too much away to cinch down a win with a stereotype of a left-leaning candidate.
They (Republican national leadership) refuse to acknowledge that what they are calling "Moderate" is a gradient that's really huge, and currently they're including some way, way leftist members. They also seem to think that conservative principles are somehow difficult to "sell" and so they go with a package deal that weakens our total position on important national questions. You don't need to deal with a binary choice - there are more people out there that have mixed and nuanced positions - they've just not been approached by the party because the party is being run more and more by larger numbers of poli-sci and law school majors. These law school and poli-sci dorks have blinders on when it comes to who exists as a potential leader - they look in their own contact list and never talk to people with other positions/majors/professions. So they think there's only two people out there able to run, and only one holds the "right" key position. Bad news is that they're missing dozens of better candidates because they have a limited pool due to their own professions.

Posted by: Inspector Asshole at November 03, 2009 02:28 PM (g+0JJ)

74 Ace,
To be honest, I see nothing wrong with having a conservative Republican Party. As for the RINOs, I'll stop calling them sellouts when they actually get a backbone and start supporting the conservatives instead of running over to the other side of the aisles so they can toss salad some Pelosi/Reid Democrats.

Posted by: Mat at November 03, 2009 02:28 PM (d8AS2)

75 12 This piece feels like it ended fairly abruptly.
Postus interruptus

Posted by: Peaches at November 03, 2009 02:29 PM (9Wv2j)

76 65: Meggie Mccain should just go all in and become a member of The View.

Posted by: eddiebear at November 03, 2009 02:30 PM (wnU1W)

77 Most of the ill-will is generated from two sources:
(1) absolutists on both sides who abhor the other side, and want to run them out of the party (its OK if the other guys show up on election day, but otherwise: "stay the hell out of our party.") The"moderates" mutter about theembarrassment that those "right wingers" cause them with their non-Republican "moderate" friends, and yearn for a Big Tent that woulddraw innon- Republican moderates, thus rendering the conservatives unnecessary and exilable. Meanwhile, the "right wingers" mutter about the "moderates" who, they feel, are basically liberals who are overawed by the Democrats, are too easily conned into surrender, and who walk around the Capitol with a big "Kick Me, Democrats!" sign pasted on their hind ends. The right wingers'current term of art for moderates is "Stockholm Syndrome Republicans."
(2) liberal media troublemakers who are deliberately stirring the pot and gleefully siccing one side on the other. A recent example is the Politico hit piece attackiing Sarah Palin, managing to render recognizable some of their sources without specifically identifying them, thusensuring bad blood between the admirers of Palin and the Romney people, two of whom were"outed" by another blogger subsequent to the article appearing. Two more such articles have appeared in the last day or two in the MSM, with the same goal blatantly obvious to the discerning reader. Republicans of all flavors should keep reminding themselves that the MSM isnot doing political reporting, it is doing a sabotagejob for its fellow lefties.

Posted by: Minnie Rodent at November 03, 2009 02:30 PM (2Y+xz)

78 Ace, you're a glutton for punishment, aren't you?

Posted by: vai2112 at November 03, 2009 02:30 PM (pkOAj)

79 Just because NY-23 is red doesn't mean it's conservative.

[JohnTant at November 03, 2009 02:02 PM]
------------

That scenario is true, as an e-mail Goldberg posted at The Corner backed up. One has to look at the demographic makeup and voting history as well as trends to decide how red and what type of red the GOP puts up. Primaries are one guide, but that only addresses the Red side, and a better accounting would assess the probability of the Independent vote in the general election providing the successful push over the finish line.

This stuff can be difficult. I still find it hard to believe that NY-23 isn't more Conservative than Republican, though. As Ace points out McHugh had a NRLC of 100%. In addition to his lifetime ACU rating of 75%, it seems to me there's something wrong with the application of C and R terminology if you can't call it a tad bit more Conservative than Republican.

I'm thinking the main reason for the Scozzafava choice had more to do with a combination of laziness, risk avoidance, and with an eye towards saving a whole bunch of bucks in the county, state and fed campaign chests. IOW, why work hard when you can take the easy way out.

Posted by: Dusty at November 03, 2009 02:31 PM (fFk/c)

80 "I do not think these two camps are as far apart as their proponents seem to think."

Their not. But some like to stress differences to the exclusion of all else. Do I expect someone I elected to vote the way I want,100% of the time? No. Do I expect that person to vote the way I want, on what I believe are core values? Yes.

Republicans got in trouble last time, trying "to get along" with Democrats. That worked out real well, didn't it? Especially when it appeared they were "getting along" 100% of the time.

Posted by: GarandFan at November 03, 2009 02:31 PM (ZQBnQ)

81 So what are the "maximalists" supposed to have done wrong, exactly? Is it anything as cartoonishly bad as giving a million dollars to the most prominent backer of the Democratic candidate in NY-23?

Who are the "pragmatists", anyway. You seem to equate them with people who are also called "RINO" and "sellout", which would include Scozzafava, Noonan, Frum, T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, etc. Those people all deserve the doom they helped to inflict on the rest of us. I have as much contempt for them as their pal Kos has for Americans.

Posted by: bgates at November 03, 2009 02:32 PM (AKY4c)

82 Meghan McCain is a dirty whore, who is no conservative.

Posted by: Purity Republican at November 03, 2009 02:32 PM (muUqs)

83 Wasn't Maximalist the hero in Gladiator?

RCP has a link to a "Morning Joe" segment that stars Governor Tim Pawlenty. The Hero of Coleman's Hill was badgered repeatedly on whether the bona fides of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins met the minimum threshold of the GOP. For the record, I think the Governor did pretty well with his answers, although I thought it a bit strange that he didn't mention the words "primary" and "caucus".

What makes one candidate's campaign take off and another's sink is still a matter of alchemy. One Hoffman advisor said "I knew we had struck a vein of ore. I didn't know that it was El Dorado."

Posted by: mrp at November 03, 2009 02:33 PM (HjPtV)

84 The Right needs a statesman that can explain to the Maxi side that the best way preserve their social order is to restrain and limit Government with the support of fiscally conservative Pragmatists, and then explain to the Pragmatists that the best way to address their concerns about the Maxi's social order is to restrain and limit Government with the support of Maxi's dedicated to Federalism and a limited Judiciary.

Posted by: Jean at November 03, 2009 02:33 PM (5ddCw)

85 The funny thing is that the Left wants to paint the "Republican Civil War" solely in terms of Christian fundamentalists attempting to impose ideological purity on the GOP, when (as anyone familiar with the initials "LGF" is aware) the biggest push for an ideological purge seems to come from moderates who ostensibly want the GOP to be a clone of the Democratic Party but without any embarrassing extremists on either the Right or the Left.
I think that a political party should stand for a set of common principles and should welcome anyone in who agrees with the majority of those principles and can put up with the ones with which they don't agree. Anyone who can't put up with one or more of the party's principles is always welcome to vote for the party's candidates when they like them, but oughtn't feel entitled to rewrite the party platform to suit their tastes. And the party should craft appeals to those independent voters that don't entail abandoning or lying about the party's platform principles.

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 02:33 PM (7AOgy)

86 Governor Tim Pawlenty really bombed this morning in an appearance on "Morning Joe". He was peppered by Scarborough and Chuck Todd on what is an acceptable Republican to Tim Pawlenty.

Transcript and Video.
http://is.gd/4MdP7

Here's a real pro in Governor Haley Barbour in a full length interview giving the best answer.
http://is.gd/4MdWS

Republicans should work to elect candidates that Republicans nominate in their primaries.

Posted by: WTFCI at November 03, 2009 02:33 PM (GtYrq)

87 "Purist" and "RINO" have clearly understood meanings.

Why to urge to obfuscate?

Posted by: Dave at November 03, 2009 02:34 PM (Xm1aB)

88
Posted by: Jean at November 03, 2009 02:33 PM (5ddCw)
I don't think "Maxi" is really the image we want to project. Just sayin'

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at November 03, 2009 02:35 PM (5aa4z)

89 Posted by: Purple Avenger at November 03, 2009 02:15 PM (2vnBk)

I disagree.

Simple opposition is not a platform. A drive for reform gains no traction with a simple "I'm not him."

What does my candidate believe in? What principles does my candidate hold dear, and what lines will be drawn in the sand that I can depend on?

These need to be spelled out, or like as not, I simply won't pull the lever.

Yes, damn it. You need to earn my vote. I am sorry that many disagree with my estimation that a choice between left, and not quite so left, the only sure thing is that your result is somewhere to the left of where you started. I regret that many find my position strange and contemptible. I appreciate their position, and indeed once shared it, but I think it is one that has been proven false over the past few decades.

My candidate doesn't need to agree with me on everything. That would be ridiculous. But there must be agreement on several core issues.

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 02:36 PM (mhdbo)

90 Walter Sobchak:
Fucking Germans. Nothing changes. Fucking Nazis.



Donny:
They were Nazis, Dude?



Walter Sobchak:
Oh, come on Donny, they were threatening castration! Are we gonna split hairs here? Am I wrong?

Posted by: Lebowski at November 03, 2009 02:36 PM (DIYmd)

91 We advocate apragmatic approach - let republicans stay republicans, and where republicanism is a tattered brand, run and win as independents.Within the Tea Party Movement, we have been working on a specific electoral goal, taking control of the House away from the Democrats. We are focused on 80-90 suburban/rural seats in the North and East. Our position is that the Republican Party has not been able to win in these districts, so we advocate recruiting Conservatives to run and win as Independents. We need to take 40 seats from Nancy, the Republicans may pick up 10-20 from Blue Dog Democrats. We are targeting Democrats ( 8 RINOs) to the left of the Blue Dogs in districts that are more conservative than their current representative. http://www.firefifty.com/phpwiki/index.php

Posted by: motionview at November 03, 2009 02:36 PM (DtSf1)

92 I have an incumbent RIN...er, "pragmatist" (can we come up with a
better term? After reading Liberal Fascism, pragmatism probably isn't
the best imagery) running against a carpetbagger Democrat for the state
assembly.

I think when we're talking about an elected official/public servant and his/her voting record, the pragmatist label doesn't make sense. As I understand it, the pragmatist label pertains to voters or perhaps party officials and advisors who factor in things like electability when deciding whom to support for office.

A Republican who votes with liberal democrats 75% of the time is not a pragmatist. S/he's a liberal Republican (or a Republican in name only if you prefer).

I am more of a pragmatist, particularly in general elections but even in primaries. For example, I was hoping to be able to vote for Fred Thompson, but after he dropped out, I voted for Romney... however, had Giuliani still been in the race at the time, I would've voted for him even though I'm pro-life.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 02:37 PM (sey23)

93 Stop being such a cokesacker.
We prefer the softer term "sacker of coke".

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 02:38 PM (V9SYy)

94 28For example, this Hoffman guy is a complete illegal immagration / amnesty supporter, and he means business on that issue.
I heard Hoffman on Beck' Radio showat around 8:15am PST yesterday. heflatly stated that he was oppesed to amnesty.Do you have anything to back up your claim?

Posted by: California Red at November 03, 2009 02:38 PM (tW88P)

95 Meghan McCain is a dirty whore, who is no conservative.
You see... this is the kinda rhetoric that will destroy our big tent. You extremist wingers are cannibalizing yourselves!! I'm telling Daddy!
MMMMbig eat tiny price....

Posted by: Meggy Megs at November 03, 2009 02:39 PM (1B81L)

96 60 fwiw Allah isn't a RINO, but he's not a conservative - which I think is what causes friction with readers. Most active people on blogs are conservatives, and he's more of a libertarian hawk then anything else. So no eye-eye.
He's also a fairly aggressive atheist, yes? Ironic that of late, there's a movement among atheists to recognize the social value of organized religion (a new book is out on that subject).

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 02:39 PM (7AOgy)

97 65: Meggie Mccain should just go all in come out and become a member of The View and let Joy Behar do her with a strap-on.
I had to fix that a bit.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 02:40 PM (ujg0T)

98

13 "Allahpundit is the best blogger on the internet."


Dude, it's val-u-rite, not valvoline. You might want to call a doctor. I think you've hurt yourself.

Posted by: right at November 03, 2009 02:40 PM (EquV1)

99 wtf is a maximalist?
i lost my aos thesaurus

Posted by: Cool Money Grip at November 03, 2009 02:40 PM (KOkrW)

100 Allahpundit is the best blogger on the internet. He is indispensable.
Anyone who loves this country should be thankful for that dude.

Sorry, but...ummm...., no.

Posted by: oLD gUY at November 03, 2009 02:40 PM (P/D33)

101 I'm just trying to find non-offensive words for this stuff.

The kinder, gentler AoS HQ. Sheesh.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at November 03, 2009 02:40 PM (554T5)

102 28
For example, this Hoffman guy is a complete illegal immagration / amnesty supporter, and he means business on that issue.
He is endorsed by Minutemen so he must have fooled them.

Posted by: VELVET AMBITION at November 03, 2009 02:41 PM (xLMtq)

103 Ace of Spades, Mmmmmmm, Mmmmmmmm. Mmmmm! Great post!
O/T but Rush is playing clips of Jeremiah Wright's latest speech. He called America "The land of the greed and Home of the slaves."

Posted by: John I served in Vietnam Kerry at November 03, 2009 02:41 PM (qP2BK)

104 Krakatoa, what are these core issues?

Limited government... an understanding that government is the problem... that's my core issue.

I want that value to be fought for hard enough that the other issues are controlled. Abortion? If the federal government was weak enough if would be a state level issue. Guns? None of the fed's business. Gays? Why would the federal government have anything to do with that?

I guess I've had to twist enough to like Rudy, the gun grabber, or Bush and Mccain. All I really want at this point is someone who will restrain government and let the people live their lives.

Posted by: Nobel Peace Prize Committee at November 03, 2009 02:41 PM (3Okxb)

105 Simple opposition is not a platform. A drive for reform gains no traction with a simple "I'm not him."

Does the plan for reform have to show up on day one of running as the minority opposition?

Posted by: WTFCI at November 03, 2009 02:42 PM (GtYrq)

106 I heard Hoffman on Beck' Radio showat around 8:15am PST yesterday.
heflatly stated that he was oppesed to amnesty.Do you have anything
to back up your claim?


Yeah...... he got that info from ME...... you gotta a problem with that..... or we gonna have issues????

Posted by: I read it on the Internet so it must be true..... at November 03, 2009 02:42 PM (J5Hcw)

107 First of all, allow me the use of the terms "maximalists" and "pragmatists" as the terms of discussion.
Why not use "conservatives" and "moderates"?
An awful lot of the "pragmatists" are just putting a nice spin on their moderatism and don't actually want a conservative GOP. I see no reason why this can't be admitted.

it often the case that pragmatists (including myself) seem to talk as if the maximalists are unaware that a Tom Coburn type candidate wouldn't fare so well in liberal New Jersey or arch-Democratic Maryland.
The states of Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, Missouri, North and South Dakota send nine of their twelve senators to DC as Democrats. This is a state of affairs which the national GOP displays zero interest in changing, even as they pour money into propping up the Specters and Chafes and Scozzofavas of the world.
This is not "pragmatism" in action. The people who run the GOP don't want it to be a conservative party, and they actively work to stopit becoming one even at the cost of seats and power.
There is no excuse for a GOP which honestly seeks power to have conceded sixty Senate seats to the Democrats. We have more states than they do - this should translate to at least fifty R senators ona permanent basis.
There really is a 'Republican Civil War". It's not merely a debate over tactics, it's an argument over goals.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 02:43 PM (LqslY)

108 I think we all realize that some districts are going to lean more liberal than we want to go, but that doesn't necessarily mean we run democrat candidates in republican clothings. Scossofuzza (sp?) is an an example of that. She was never a conservative nor a republican. The point is fielding candidates that won't just go all in for democrat policies, just cuz they find their conservative constituents "icky" -- See Snowe, Collins, Grahmnesty, McCain. There's something to be said about principles. I'm more libertarian than anything, and have gotten into fights with conservatives over my pro-choice stance, however I do realize it's a states-right issue and the federal government has NO business in that whatsoever, so usually we can find some mutual ground.

Oh, and the issue with Allah? If he would stop selling his brand of "smug" over at Hot Air, his critics just might chill. Trying to tell conservatives/libertarians "what's good for us and we'll take what we get and like it" attitude is what gets Allah in trouble over there more times than any. Plus the constant "I'm trying to be hip without being hip" schtick. It gets old. VERY OLD. (the beta male stuff too -- guh!)

my two cents if anybody cares. if you don't, just have some val-u-rite.

Posted by: vai2112 at November 03, 2009 02:43 PM (pkOAj)

109 and he's more of a libertarian hawk then anything else.
Oh.
That must be why he constantly references the Friedmans, Hayek, Mises, Nock and Nozick, and pays no attention to the anti-conservative concern trolling of Beltway Republicans (or their retarded heiresses).
Because he's a libertarian.

Posted by: oblig. at November 03, 2009 02:44 PM (BxbeY)

110 Ace,
I hope you don't think this is new problem?
See 1964, I suspect you were not born yet.
Goldwater Vs. Rockerfeller
After we took over the party then, why TF did we nominate Bush I as VP?
Stupid. It let the East Coast Rhinos back in. Reagans biggest mistake, Bush VP. Kemp would have made the difference! We knew this at the '80 convention and were not happy and we are still suffering for that mistake made 29 years ago.

Posted by: Kemp at November 03, 2009 02:44 PM (2+9Yx)

111 Yeah, and the implication that conservatism is not pragmatic is offensive as well.

What's with this post anyway? On a day that we should be celebrating the apparent repudiation of Obama?

Posted by: Dave at November 03, 2009 02:45 PM (Xm1aB)

112 There's arrogant
imbeciles like Frum and Meggie McCain who think everything will be
peachy if everyone elsewere exactly like them.

It should be noted that Frum's name change from New Majority to FrumForum is indicative. It wasn't about a majority at all. Frum wanted a big tent by kicking out conservatives. It would seem bigger anyway, for being so empty. He wanted to be the big fish in an ever-shrinking pond.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 03, 2009 02:45 PM (T0NGe)

113 I'm starting to get distracted and tired. Let's talk about breasts now.

Posted by: Inspector Asshole at November 03, 2009 02:45 PM (g+0JJ)

114 Old Guy, I understand that some people don't get why AP is such a big deal. Most of them however, are assuming too much about him, and think he's hell bent on destroying Palin or something like that.

He's handled a lot of issues really well. He's shaped discourse. There are enough real douchebags out there, from LGF to Huffpo to KOS, to be angry with. He's what he is, and is honest about it.

Posted by: Nobel Peace Prize Committee at November 03, 2009 02:46 PM (3Okxb)

115
Meghan John McCain is a dirty whore, who is no conservative.
FIFY

Posted by: Lebowski at November 03, 2009 02:46 PM (DIYmd)

116 I'm more or less a libertarian, so this really ain't my fight. But allow me to put in my two cents anyway.

For all the screeching and howling, there is one thing that has always struck me about the pissing match in the GOP. The "moderates" always seem to be the ones demanding that the conservatives go along with whatever they want, but refuse to back up the other side when they are in the stronger position. They'd rather kiss up to the Democrats instead.

Don't believe me? Well, then....how about George Will/Peggy Noonan/the country club crowd delivering some of the nastier attacks against Sarah Palin? I distinctly remember them whining about her "lack of experience", yet they seemed to have absolutely no problem with a presidential candidate with approximately the same tiny amount of experience. I dunno...silly ol' me thought you might like to have the FNG (F-----g New Guy) in an understudy capacity, not as the star. (But hey, I guess if you went to Hah-vahrd it's all good.)

Scuzzy is hardly alone when it comes to being a poor loser who then throws her support to the Democrats, either. 2008 brought Alabama 2's Harri Anne Smith throwing her support to Bobby Bright, Arizona 5's "moderate" Republican loser threw his support to Harry Mitchell, and in Maryland 1, Wayne Gilchrist threw his support to Frank Kratovil. All of those Democrats won their districts, and I'm sure that these "moderates" helped. Can't have an icky conservative squeaking out a win, now, can we?

Funny thing is....whenever the moderates try to get some of that Dem love back, it's AWOL. Yeah, the Dem establishment loved John McCain, said he was the one Republican they could bring themselves to vote for, and laughed at his jokes on SNL (admit it, guys and gals stuck on this RINO thing, he was pretty damn funny when he was on there, especially when he sang Streisand tunes.) But come election time, where were they? Obviously not voting for him, that's for sure. They were on the Hope Change Express...along with a lot of the moderates who just couldn't stand Palin for whatever reason.

And when McCain lost, who got blamed? McCain, for running a crappy campaign against a much nimbler opponent? McCain's brilliant campaign suspension during the financial crisis? Nasty sniping and harping from "moderate" pundits? Nah....it was that icky conservative dame who gets off on shooting moose and wolves, when she's not busy birthin' kids. Yep, those last few months she was on the ticket, she and she alone mucked up the whole thing. It was all going so well until then. Sure.....keep thinking those happy thoughts.

I agree with moderates who want the party to concern itself less with social issues. I really don't want any elected official telling me who I can marry, if I can light up with a big fatty (and I don't mean Meghan), or under what circumstances I can get an abortion. Unfortunately, the moderates who agree with me there also tend to want to spend money, lots of it, on social programs that cost much more than they are worth. Show me a true "fiscal conservative/socially liberal" moderate, and I'm interested. Haven't seen one yet running for office in my neck of the woods in many years. Do they even exist?
The moderates seem to be great at bipartisanship with the Democrats. Maybe if they could be a little "bipartisan" in their own party, some of this arguing wouldn't be so bitter.

Posted by: bigpinkfluffybunny at November 03, 2009 02:47 PM (KWhJd)

117 Dude! You are beating this drum pretty loudly lately. And your argument in my humble opinion continues to not to hold much water. Could there perhaps be a source of the fuel feeding this flame? (not accusing - just sayin') The argument seems pretty contrived, that's all.
Ideological discussions, even heated arguments within parties are not unusual.
"Compassionate conservatism", while noble sounding, proved to be so much crap and like all give aways, hurt more than it helped and cost too damn much. Fishing, as it was proved once again, is pretty effective, pretty compassionate and pretty cheap.
There are two parties (at least) out there and people can comfortably fit into either. If they don't, there are already some permanent as well as transient parties where they can fit.
The argument isn't purity (or the other terms you used), it's intellectual as well as ideological honesty. And that's not to much to ask.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 03, 2009 02:47 PM (RkRxq)

118 Point probably made already but...
Aren't the leftist doing the same with their blue dogs independentsasus nutty wingers doing to our rinos cinos??

Posted by: dananjcon at November 03, 2009 02:47 PM (1B81L)

119 O/T but Rush is playing clips of Jeremiah Wright's latest speech. He
called America "The land of the greed and Home of the slaves."

Yeah, that was good. Too bad Johnny Mac was too mavericky to go there.

Posted by: Peaches at November 03, 2009 02:47 PM (9Wv2j)

120 Hell no! Tomorrow we flame. If it's your first time at Flamewar Club, you have to fight.
Posted by: Mætenloch at November 03, 2009 02:24 PM (z843g)
Tomorrow is making me a little nervous. Why can't we all just get along?

Posted by: Rodney King at November 03, 2009 02:48 PM (qP2BK)

121
I'll wait until Jeff B chimes in.

Posted by: Tweet at November 03, 2009 02:48 PM (PaMcq)

122 bigpinkfluffybunny, I agree with you 100%

Posted by: Thursby at November 03, 2009 02:49 PM (0o7RP)

123 And don't worry about Allah. He's a big boy and can take the criticism. If not then he will go the way of LGB. I don't see that happening. However, if he starts banning people for correcting his assertion that the moon is actually made of banana pudding, well...

P.S. I think this in-party fight is a GOOD thing and I forgot the thank the one person who made all of this possible. B.H. Obama. Thank you O. Without you trying to cram as much lefty crap down Americas throat as fast asRoseanne Bar at a all-you-can-eat bacon bar, we would slowly still beapathetically drifting left for many decades to come. You are a TRUE hero. God bless you.

Posted by: Dewy at November 03, 2009 02:49 PM (//EnE)

124 Since St. Reagan, your Party successfully constructed and then serially hoodwinked a 'base" of witless rubes. For 30 years!The people who run your Party hate you.It's sorta funny you only now finally figured it out.But now it's too late.
Huey, if logic was gold you be the poorest cocksucker sucker of cock here. Wow, nothing in this post makes any sense. First, you start your mildy amusing rant with the premise that everyone who voted for Reagan was a rube. That is a lot of rubes. Not that it surprises me. Liberalism is built on the premise that a liberal is always the smartest person in the room, even though they are not smart enought to realize that the room is on fire and everyone else has left for their own safety. Then, you conclude that the people who run the Republican party hate us. Not sure how you get to that jump in logic, but, then again, I am sane. And you say its too late. Really, hey Huey, if its too late wanna bet a few hundred dollars on Virginia? Because if it is too late, Deeds should win tongiht.
I will await your idiotic reply.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 02:49 PM (V9SYy)

125 I feel really dumb, he lost me after "continue reading".

Posted by: jAYNE at November 03, 2009 02:50 PM (V0Zpk)

126 Hell no! Tomorrow we flame. If it's your first time at Flamewar Club, you have to fight.
We don't talk about Flamewar Club.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at November 03, 2009 02:50 PM (5aa4z)

127 13
Allahpundit is the best blogger on the internet.
I dunno about that. He seriously misunderstood the Onion News Network bit about Glenn Beck haters whining about "Beck tragically still alive." He thought that was a hate-Beck bit, when itseemed pretty obvious that it was poking fun at the hate-Beck zombies whose entire existence is centered on wishing Beck would disappear.
If he gets confused about simple stuff like that, he's probably confused about a lot of other stuff too.

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (7AOgy)

128 Tomorrow is making me a little nervous. Why can't we all just get along?

Posted by: Rodney King at November 03, 2009 02:48 PM (qP2BK)
Just do as we say and everything will be fine. Show up totally jacked on crack and it might be a different story.

Posted by: Editor the Flamer at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (pUfK9)

129 O/T but Rush is playing clips of Jeremiah Wright's latest speech. He
called America "The land of the greed and Home of the slaves."

Well, yes...now.

We have our corporatist president looking to make us subject to a nanny state regime.

Wealth is not a reliable measure of greed anyway. A woman who has a $300K job thanks to political corruption is greedier than the richest man on Wall Street. The ex-politician who pulls down a million in bonuses on a Fannie Mae board is greedier than the richest dot-com billionaire. The reverend who owns a house in a gated community bought with the donations of faithful people who thought that these donations would help alleviate poverty is the greediest of all.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (T0NGe)

130 114 I'm starting to get distracted and tired. Let's talk about breasts now
10-4 that, or guns?
And, we don't need no talking, we need pictures!

Posted by: Kemp at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (2+9Yx)

131 Hell no! Tomorrow we flame. If it's your first time at Flamewar Club, you have to fight.
Posted by: Mætenloch at November 03, 2009 02:24 PM (z843g)

Tomorrow night, I spice my meat with moron blood

Posted by: Cool Money Grip at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (KOkrW)

132 Purple Avenger: Neutering the Obamunist aganda at all costs should be THE primary objective. At this point in the nation's history, nothing is more important than defanging Obama nd the congress -- NOTHING.
I agree with that. The question is how do we get there from here? That is what this fight is about. For me, we need candidates that espouse positive conservative principle. The RINO mantra of "I'm not as bad as those other conservatives" does nothing to advance the cause.

Posted by: oLD gUY at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (P/D33)

133 117 Helluva post, bigpinkfluffybunny.

Posted by: Peaches at November 03, 2009 02:51 PM (9Wv2j)

134 Allah is not, and never has been a RINO. He's liberal on exactly one social issue that I can tell from his writing, and even then, not so much. It makes me laugh (and no doubt him too) when the Hot Air "anti-nuance brigade" get riled up on their anti-Allah jihads (I just loved typing that phrase)

I'm about as conservative as they come, on every issue, and having followed Allah since the p-shop days, I can confidently state that he's not a sell-out to the conservative cause.

Posted by: moron # 36551134 at November 03, 2009 02:52 PM (p1s9n)

135 anybody know what maximalist means?
I'm thinking it has something to do with jelly fish

Posted by: Cool Money Grip at November 03, 2009 02:52 PM (KOkrW)

136 I'm not part of any Republican Civil War because... I'm not a Republican and never have been. I might, this next year, register as one long enough to vote in the primaries, where I can hopefully help direct more conservative candidates to the general election, but the party does not represent me, does not deserve my membership, and does not receive my support.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at November 03, 2009 02:52 PM (PQY7w)

137 #114
Try this for a quick fix! scroll down!
http://tinyurl.com/6x3xrv

Posted by: Kemp at November 03, 2009 02:53 PM (2+9Yx)

138 ....for several reasons.

I don't think this word means what you think it means.

Posted by: Tami at November 03, 2009 02:53 PM (VuLos)

139 One of the big problems Republicans have in getting votes in blue states is what I call the cultural democrats. These are people while personally very conservative, always vote democrat because that's what umpteen generations before them did. Then they get pissed when politicians screw them over. But they never consider the Republican because "They're only for rich people". My mother-in-law came over from Europe, and was told to vote democrat, because they care about the immigrants. It took her until Obama to realize that the Democrats don't share her values. But she's still hesitant to vote Republican because the "Only for the Rich" propaganda has been internalized.

Posted by: Iblis at November 03, 2009 02:53 PM (9221z)

140 It would probably be best at this point for any GOP candidate to give a silent nod to conservative social issues, but to otherwise put them on the back burner. What we need is fiscal conservatism and strong foreign policy.
You can always find somebody to show up on these threads and trot out this line, completely ignoring the inconvienent fact that the social conservaive issues are far more popular than "fiscal conservatism and strong foreign policy", and are in fact far more popular than the Republican Party.
Somebody is dragging somebody down here,but you're rather confused as to who is the drag-er and who is the drag-ee.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 02:54 PM (LqslY)

141 I really hate that I find myself agreeing with flenser, yet again.

And I KNOW that he's going to make me regret it in the near future.

But for now, WE RIDE!!!!!

Posted by: Empire of Jeff, atop his racist steed, white robes a-flappin' at November 03, 2009 02:54 PM (xGIqT)

142 That must be why he constantly references the Friedmans, Hayek,
Mises, Nock and Nozick, and pays no attention to the anti-conservative
concern trolling of Beltway Republicans (or their retarded heiresses). Because he's a libertarian.


Well, they minimize social conservatives, so it's common ground. But he doesn't reference those above because he's not running a lib blog, he's running a news aggregate with commentary.

Posted by: Amused Observer at November 03, 2009 02:54 PM (xGXz7)

143 Thank you for the great post Ace. I am very skeptical of any politician that wants me to cast out another member of their party...in the D's or the Pubs...
I like being not of either party. The poops that start with this "She is not a real Republican."..shite, make me puke. Snowe represents her state...that is her job, got it? She might like to fall on a sword for her party but is not in her state's interest for her to do this. She and Collins are2 {TWO }senators that get elected in ME...would you be happier out there if those were more rabid D's for Obama to roll?? I wouldn't.
States are all different , and Collins and Snowe know their constituents.
PS .Ford in the USA forever.

Posted by: ford at November 03, 2009 02:55 PM (Ki7fm)

144 But she's still hesitant to vote Republican because the "Only for the Rich" propaganda has been internalized.

Yes, we're all monocled and well-heeled, except when we're all rednecky and low-class.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 03, 2009 02:55 PM (T0NGe)

145 Allah isn't a RINO (most likely because he's probably not registered as an R). He's just the biggest effing pessimistic Eeyore known to the 'sphere. That's all.


Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 02:56 PM (pUfK9)

146 "Aren't the leftist doing the same with their blue dogs independentsasus nutty wingers doing to our rinos cinos??"
Yes they are.
I don't really understand this pushing out of moderates in the Republican party. All it's really going to do is push moderates and independents towards the Dems, so you're only damaging your own goals.

Posted by: JEA at November 03, 2009 02:56 PM (WGbtD)

147 You... you Brooksite mollycoddler! You Frumist! You Scozzafavite! You practitioner of Noonanism with either hand!

Nope, sorry, that's both more fun and more productive. Ace, a moderately cleaned house is still a dirty house. Moderation when you're down means you stay down. Moderation has been the GOP leadership's mantra during years of steady decline.
Bugger moderation. Take a strong position and let people try to argue you off it, if they can.

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at November 03, 2009 02:57 PM (ALTtV)

148 bjjfiter: It would probably be best at this point for any GOP candidate to give a
silent nod to conservative social issues, but to otherwise put them on
the back burner. What we need is fiscal conservatism and strong
foreign policy.And honestly, the GOP might do well to throw a bone to libertarians on the issue of marijuana decriminalization.
So its really vital to ignore my issues and emphasize yours. That's what meeting in the middle means to you? Sorry, but the Legalize Weed guys make me giggle.

Posted by: oLD gUY at November 03, 2009 02:57 PM (P/D33)

149
allahpundit is not a RINO or a liberal.

He's a hand wringing Republican who will ditch his principles at the drop of a hat.

When the media brow-beaters turn up the heat on conservatives, Republicans like allahpundit are the first to jump ship.

Posted by: Tweet at November 03, 2009 02:57 PM (PaMcq)

150 I think Ace's names don't work, but I completely appreciate the need for some vocabulary work, liberal PCesque though that kind of thing is. "Maximalist" in particular is confusing. How about "Purists" and "Pragmatists" each has enough negative connotation to satisfy the opposition, but not sufficient teeth to make someone leave in a huff.
Primaries can and will settle this sort of thing, anyway. NY-23 would not have happened with a primary. (Incidentally, I'm not saying Hoffman would have beaten Scozzy in a primary. I'm not sure he would, but he would have been a non-factor had he been through a primary)
The lesson to be learned by the national party is to stay out of primaries, at least actively. By all means, recruit candidates. And run ads against the Dems front runners. But make sure that the party base in any race has had its say and has no one to blame but the electorate if the eventual nominee is outside on one orthodoxy or another.
RINOs can have their uses, folks. Just think on that every time you read an article on the Blue Dogs, and how much they really end up being tools of the Dem party leadership in the end....

Posted by: Musings at November 03, 2009 02:57 PM (6WjQu)

151 I'm about as conservative as they come, on every issue, and having followed Allah since the p-shop days, I can confidently state that he's not a sell-out to the conservative cause.
You're not following closely enough. AP is a 9/11 Republican, not that dissimilar to the Frogger. He came on board for the anti-Islamist cause, nothing else.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 02:58 PM (LqslY)

152 would you be happier out there if those were more rabid D's for Obama to roll?? I wouldn't.
.
I'm trying to figure out exactly what the difference would be if that happened.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at November 03, 2009 02:59 PM (PQY7w)

153
pragmatist= Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy
maximalist= John Wayne in True Grit

Posted by: Kyle Canyon at November 03, 2009 03:00 PM (Oxen1)

154
It would probably be best at this point for any GOP candidate to
give a silent nod to conservative social issues, but to otherwise put
them on the back burner. What we need is fiscal conservatism and
strong foreign policy.
You can always find somebody to show up on these threads and trot
out this line, completely ignoring the inconvienent fact that the
social conservaive issues are far more popular than "fiscal
conservatism and strong foreign policy",....

It doesn' need to be just a silent nod, but then again it doesn't always need to be the crux of the campaign either. A lot of urban voters feel that the GOP doesn't "speak" to them, i.e., they have seem to have no solutions for domestic issues that they find important.

You can win by having socially conservative ideals in your platform., but you can't win by only having socially conservative ideals.


Posted by: MSM at November 03, 2009 03:01 PM (4jZ56)

155 The problem with the NE Republicans is that they're just not supportive of most attempts at the state level to pass common sense, majority supported, acceptable regulation of social policy such as abortion. Then when you figure that you can't get them on board sensible conservative positions on social policy perhaps you can get them on board sensible conservative positions on fiscal policy. Then that falls through and you get to the point where you ask, "Aren't they Liberal Democrats?"

If you actually ask this question they think you're trying to purge the party.

Just accepting their views is how we get to more Souters.

Then ask if you get a Souter Republican elected anywhere other than New England. It's electoral doom. But it is also that way for BOTH parties. New Englanders can't get elected nationwide. They can be liked. But they can't be elected.

Posted by: WTFCI at November 03, 2009 03:02 PM (GtYrq)

156 JEA, what moderates are being pushed out of the GOP?

We just nominated Mccain, for God's sake. Palin is very moderate, except in the imagination of truthers and hippies. Bush was moderate.

Just because we kicked a radical, Scozzafava, out, doesn't mean we are excluding moderates.

Furthermore, what's our goal? I wonder if a third party, a socially liberal, fiscally conservative party, would be better for the long term political system. every argument always boils down to 'does it help the other party?!?!'. The two party system forces mediocre bullshit on us. If the political system had a strong third party, or forth party, and the legislature had to build coalitions to get new laws passed, the system would be much less corrupt, much slower, and probably more conservative. Presidents would have to be wishy washy broad moderates, of course, but then the president really shouldn't be that powerful.

Posted by: Nobel Peace Prize Committee at November 03, 2009 03:02 PM (3Okxb)

157 WTFCI:

Does the plan for reform have to show up on day one of running as the minority opposition?

If the plan for reform is set up before '10 starts, it'll provide a coherent and consistent set of talking points around which to base a campaign.

NPPC:

what are these core issues?

Your core issue is my biggest one. Limiting the size of government fixes a lot of ills. How about some specific achievable plans though, in support of that?

For instance, maybe support of an audit of the 10 largest government entitlement programs with a mandate to eliminate 50% of the fraud and waste, and with a moratorium of any new programs until that audit is complete.

Other issues:

No amnesty. If 70% (give or take, depending on the poll) are in agreement, it should be a no-brainer to put a nail in this issue's coffin.

Fidelity to the original intent of the Constitution. Certainly I have problems with some amendments, but I want to know that what I can read and understand in plain English is not going to be twisted by "penumbras" and other interpretative contortions.

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 03:02 PM (mhdbo)

158 If we're all about personal liberty, it's time we were consistent about our laws regarding intoxicants.

Our country is falling apart, we are drowning in debt, jihadiis want to nuke Isreal and you think getting a good buzz is what is really important? Something "we all" should get behind?

Making sure you can score some sweet, sweet ganja is not my highest priority right now. Defending my country and freedoms, feeding and protecting my family are.

Call us when you decide to become an adult.

Posted by: oLD gUY at November 03, 2009 03:02 PM (P/D33)

159
And this is why I have no use for libertarians.

They'll completely surrender on the fight to preserve traditional values but will fight for the all-important legalization of pot.

Our country, not to mention our civilization, is going down the shitter, but it's really important we legalize pot.


Posted by: Tweet at November 03, 2009 03:02 PM (PaMcq)

160 Why to urge to obfuscate?

Posted by: Dave

Assuming you're looking to have a worthwhile discussion, it's best to avoid antagonizing the other party.

When was the last time your mind was changed by someone yelling "cocksucker" at you?

Posted by: Iskandar at November 03, 2009 03:03 PM (u1pln)

161 The gist of the so-called "civil war" is that deep down inside, most lawmakers/politicians have conceded that America has essentially become a land of "takers". That sad situation was nurtured for years by the Dems, to a point where there may be no turning back. The misnomer "compassionate conservatism" was really a front for this concession. What they call the "dole" in Great Britain has materialized here, and squish/RINO Repubs are trying to soften the blow. It angers and saddens me, but the self-reliance that is the hallmark trait of classic conservatism is vanishing amongst the general population. I suppose the "big tent" that moderates espouse is really little more than polishing the turd that is the American welfare state.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at November 03, 2009 03:05 PM (554T5)

162 Huh. This post vanished. Did Ace realize something or did the shear amount of comments break the thread?

Posted by: Dewy at November 03, 2009 03:05 PM (//EnE)

163 Ace,
Your choice of new terms speaks volumes. Maximalists and Pragmatists?
So one wants everything but the other is just being pragmatic? BS.A Maxiimalist can be just as "pragmatic", IF it's required.. Maybe you and AP fit your definition but many of should be called Minimalists instead. It's really not a matter of position but philosophy. Maximalists would say you start with a conservative candidate and take away just enough to get across the finish line. Minimalists think if the candidate has 1 thing that can be called conservative then they are good to go. Maybe in a blue district, but the latter should never be the consideration in a Purple to Red one. The arguement going on on the right always seems to revolve around where we end up rather than where we start as it should be. A Red district should be a Conservative district whether it's in Alabama or Upstate New York.. Just the same as Blue Districts are Liberal. The Dems ran Lamont against a sitting senator over one stinking issue for God's sake but yet we are supposed to balk at primaries when the hand picked candidate in a red district's only conservative cred is they will make the Dems spend 10% less than they would have otherwise?

It would probably be best at this point for any GOP candidate to give a
silent nod to conservative social issues, but to otherwise put them on
the back burner. What we need is fiscal conservatism and strong
foreign policy.And honestly, the GOP might do well to throw a bone to libertarians on the issue of marijuana decriminalization.

This is a perfect example. I call it the RINO Creed. When have conservative social isssues ever been on the front burner for Republicans in day to day practice? A few executive policy positions?

All the things trotted out as driving people people away; Pot, DOMA and abortion restrictions defunding, have broad public support. These aren't devisive issues for anybody except polititians, liberals, and journalists. Bush 43 was grilled on social issues at every debate, held the conservative line every time and won along with a lot of Republicans. These issues are not the reason Repubs lose and Minimalists are full of crap to suggest they are.

Republicans win when they promise to cut spending AND do that.
Democrats win when they don't do it.
Those things have always overroad all issues in any except the most partisan districts or in wartime.

Posted by: Rocks at November 03, 2009 03:08 PM (Q1lie)

164 I'm sorry, but I really have to disagree with Ace on this one. People rally behind convictions, not platitudes, it's as simple as that. What has the "go along to get along" position of the GOP establishment gotten us? The game has changed now, we are not just fighting for the soul of conservatism, but the soul of the country itself. To win this battle we need warriors and statesmen, not RINO's and "compassionate conservatism". I believe what has made Sarah Palin such a force is that she has tapped into this sentiment, a sentiment which seems to be growing no matter how much the "pragmitists" wish it would not. It's time to make a stand, and declare with conviction, and without apology, our core values! To not allow the liberals to control our message anymore! The time has come to draw a line in the sand, and as G.W. said, "You are either with us or against us". Simple as that!

Posted by: God I hate F***ING liberals at November 03, 2009 03:23 PM (qyNJv)

165 The real way to define what and who a Republican is, is by evaluating the Republican platform and who adheres to it.
I for one, have never considered myself a Republican. I will never ever vote for a Democrat again, making me an ertzatz Republican of sorts. I consider myself a Conservative and I believe the following.
We need less government not more.We need less taxes not more. We cannot invest that which LIBTARDS take from us and give to those who have not earned it.
Abortion is wrong.
We need to support our military and do whatever is necessary to eradicate vermin like the Taliban and Al Qaeda
I believe that Democrats will say ANYTHING to get votes, all the while meaning very little of what they say.
I believe that Hope and Change is not a substitute for Character, Ability and Experience.
I believe Socialism in most of it's manifestations is wrong and counter productive. I believe Marxism is wrong and only a dimwit would practice it or force it on the people all while continuing an oppulent life style of steaks and limosines for the politicians.
I believe our Public schools are over funded and under productive, and that most of the reason is liberal policies of welfare, unaccountability and a failed social order brought on by Lyndon Johnson and continued until this day.
Lastly I believe most of our "institutions" have been co-opted by lazy liberal simple minded hacks. Govt.Bureaucracy, Educational institutions, and the media.
I believe most unions have outlived their usefulness and have become goon squads.

Which of my points did D.D.(D not R) Scozzfava agree with????
Anyone? Beuhler???

Posted by: gus at November 03, 2009 03:24 PM (Vqruj)

166 While these types of posts are informatively highbrow, I don't really like them when there's real events to talk about. Today, I'm on edge hoping for a liberal ass-whooping and I could fight at the drop of a hat.

Let us unite in rage and mockery of our enemies as we burn the media to the ground and eat their livers.

Posted by: toby928 at November 03, 2009 03:47 PM (PD1tk)

167 Where did this post go?

Posted by: neoconblonde at November 03, 2009 03:49 PM (5HhWZ)

168 test

Posted by: toby928 at November 03, 2009 03:52 PM (PD1tk)

169 That's the second worst post I've read in 40 years.
hee hee.

Posted by: dfbaskwill at November 03, 2009 04:12 PM (7Gs5S)

170 Hey... 294331! You're back!
Now- wtf is a maximalist?
I need the official aos definition so I can know if this post is full of navel gazing bullshit or not

Posted by: Cool Money Grip at November 03, 2009 04:12 PM (KOkrW)

171 Its Baaa-ack!

Posted by: Iblis at November 03, 2009 04:13 PM (9221z)

172 I'm glad I posted before he finished because I'm 44 and I don't think I will live long enough to finish reading that.

Posted by: Rocks at November 03, 2009 04:16 PM (Q1lie)

173 This post is waaaay to wonky for me. Any body see my Andy Warhol art book thing???

Posted by: Megs at November 03, 2009 04:17 PM (1B81L)

174 Now- wtf is a maximalist?

Either a guy with a large penis or a tampon. It hasn't been settled on yet.

Posted by: Rocks at November 03, 2009 04:17 PM (Q1lie)

175 I didn't read it the first time it was posted and I'm not reading it now, so is there anything different?

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 04:19 PM (pUfK9)

176 I'm not falling for this again!

Posted by: Tami at November 03, 2009 04:20 PM (VuLos)

177 the constant re-shuffling of posts displays a certain lack of ideological purity

Posted by: Cool Money Grip at November 03, 2009 04:20 PM (KOkrW)

178 162 When was the last time your mind was changed by someone yelling "cocksucker" at you?
Depends --is she trying to label me or just pointing out her own skill set?

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 04:21 PM (7AOgy)

179 I ain't gonna lie--
Reading thisgave me a Matthew legtrill or something equivalent in the female world.

Posted by: laceyunderalls at November 03, 2009 04:21 PM (pLTLS)

180 ACE,
That's alot of words for "vote the bums out".

Posted by: john at November 03, 2009 04:22 PM (8QYn1)

181 I didn't read it the first time it was posted and I'm not reading it now, so is there anything different?

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 04:19 PM (pUfK9)

Yes, it's new and improved with 70% more content and a Clint Eastwood quote!Now are you gonna read it....punk!?

Posted by: Rocks at November 03, 2009 04:23 PM (Q1lie)

182 close the grey tag please? My life is depressing enough as it is.

Posted by: Truman North at November 03, 2009 04:24 PM (e8YaH)

183 From NRO Campaign Spot:

One of my Virginia guys who's plugged in says he's
not surprised by Democratic reports of panic; the indicators and things
he's seen make him think it's justified.


Again, it's early; the after-work crowd could be much more
Democratic and make the overall picture look different. The Democrats
have a few more hours to try to make these delegate races look better
for themselves. But from everything we're hearing and seeing, it seems
safe to say the GOP had an excellent morning.


From "Blue Virginia: (Fun Liberal Panic Reading):
I'm a bit skeptical of this, so take it with as big a grain of salt as
you'd like, but it's from an excellent source. They got exit poll
results from a precinct in Arlington that went 60%+ for Kaine in '05.
With around 250 voters sampled over a 5-hour period this morning,
McDonnell is up 22 points on Creigh Deeds. WTF? I mean, if that's even
CLOSE to being true, it's horrible. Also, even if it gets better
through the day, we're talking about possible margins in Arlington of
less than 60% possible for Deeds. For comparison purposes, Tim Kaine
got 74% of the vote in Arlington in 2005.

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:25 PM (xNw7B)

184 whoa...deja vu.

Posted by: vai2112 at November 03, 2009 04:25 PM (pkOAj)

185 When was the last time your mind was changed by someone yelling "cocksucker" at you?

Posted by: Iskandar at November 03, 2009 03:03 PM (u1pln)
Actually I was confused about my sexuality when I was younger and inquired about what being gay entails and someone yelled that.It changed my mind right away.

Posted by: Rocks at November 03, 2009 04:26 PM (Q1lie)

186 Let's talk about breasts now
Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way, I new I'd be welcome here. Who Knew?

Posted by: maddow's middle finger at November 03, 2009 04:26 PM (1B81L)

187 Rocks - you need to clarify. Is a maximalist a tampon? Or is it a guy with a tampon?

And agree with your take. I think it is a disservice to "Maximalists" to imply they cannot be pragmatic.

The difference is in choosing when the "pragmatic" choice is necessary, and whether the "pragmatic" result is one that should be allowed any lasting power.

I would say, if you are going to continue to cede a seat to a squish, that seat needs to be turned over often enough to keep it from being one that has the power to influence the broader Conservative plank.

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 04:26 PM (mhdbo)

188 166
It's time to make a stand, and declare with conviction, and without apology, our core values!
Yep.
To not allow the liberals to control our message anymore!
Yep.
The time has come to draw a line in the sand, and as G.W. said, "You are either with us or against us". Simple as that!
I would only shade this a little. Draw the line in the sand and say, "Here is what we believe." And then offer the voters the choice:"If you believe all the same things, come fight on our side. If you believe most of the same things and are okay with the rest of our beliefs, support us. And if you agree with our candidate on more things than you do with the other candidate, vote for us."

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 04:27 PM (7AOgy)

189 I'm a pragmatist when it comes to NJ. Shamelesslessly filched from Hotair which pinched it from Jim Geraghty:
A trusted source tells me that as of noon, total turnout in the GOP the swing districts in NJ is significantly outpacing turnout in Democrat districts. The turnout ratio is not quite two to one, but it’s not that far from it.
Now, this should NOT be interpreted as ipso facto evidence that Chris Christie is going to win. Democratic districts may have more voters show up later in the day. This isn’t an exit poll, and we have no idea how the folks in any of these districts are voting; we just know that they’re showing up and voting.
Turnout appears low in Newark too. That’s big trouble for Jon Corzine if it continues. It also means that last-minute appeals to keep precincts open past normal poll-closing times won’t work, which should mean fewer shenanigans on the ground.
Keep your fingers and toes crossed, morons!

Posted by: runningrn at November 03, 2009 04:28 PM (qP2BK)

190
*pulls mask off thread

It was old man Ace, all along!

Posted by: the Scooby Gang at November 03, 2009 04:28 PM (UXddJ)

191 @70:
"From this moment on, the conservative message needs an underpinning offour positive principles: Energy independence, fiscal responsibility, economic liberty and strong national defense."
This is the problem, not the solution; these points are self-contradictory.
A strong defense demands massive government spending, and an enlargement of the government sector; remember that in WWII Roosevelt pretty much socialised most of the economy. This is why GWB and Reagan were NOT fiscal conservatives, but instead ran up (then) record deficits.
Even now- which "conservative" leader is proposing a balanced budget? Not one. Not a single one. Because in order to limit government spending, you have to limit government. And that doesn't allow for massive defense spending.
Note that my complaint about the Tea Party is not that it is "too conservative"; its that they don't really know what they want, or how to get there.
Ace's point about the maximalists and pragmatists ignores the fact as to why the former maximalists like Newt ended up being pragmatists- they had to actually make budget choices and hard decisions.

Posted by: Reason60 at November 03, 2009 04:28 PM (ogXbt)

192 Ace kinda lost me at the end. I do think our representatives should have integrity and should be forthright with their stances on issues. Honesty and integrity actually might be endearing to voters.

Posted by: Dr. Spank at November 03, 2009 04:29 PM (muUqs)

193 so is there anything different?

Yes, everything after the first paragraph at point #2 is new.

Anyway, Ace, I'm in agreement with you, fwiw.

I have no problem separating my ideological beliefs (and those I want to see in a candidate) with the strategies I think are most practical to persuade the rest of the country to come around to those views. But it seems as though some people do.

I also chafe at the notion of many of the definitions and litmus tests that are floated around as showing what "true conservative" is.

I'm sure most of the social cons who chose to sit out this past election rather than voting for "squishy" McCain think of themselves as "true conservatives." And, I'm equally certain those same folks would deny me my conservative ID card because I am opposed to prayer in schools. I'm convinced I will never persuade them otherwise. I'll leave that to smarter or more persistent folks than me.

Posted by: Y-not, pragmatic conservative at November 03, 2009 04:29 PM (sey23)

194 It's really not all that complicated.

Conservatives love this country and want it to remain a free democratic republic.

Liberals, or "progressives", hate America and everything it stands for. But what they hate most is Christianity.

If the Republican party just laid off of abortion and religion they would win in landslides nationwide.

Pretend you're all Founding Fathers. That first sentence of the Bill of Rights is the first sentence for a reason.

Posted by: Jaynie59 at November 03, 2009 04:30 PM (YjQWV)

195 Rocks - you need to clarify. Is a maximalist a tampon? Or is it a guy with a tampon?
Stupid wingers! A maximalist is a pad not a tampon! Pads are inherently sexist as they areakin towearing a mattress in your panties. You know what a mattress leads to--sex! Obviously maxi pads were created by an evil,misogynistic man who wanted to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

Posted by: Gloria Steinam at November 03, 2009 04:31 PM (qP2BK)

196 Ace, it has long been my contention that the only reason liberal districts are liberal at all is the gale force winds of media propaganda going back 60 years or more.
The entire entertainment industry is liberal, as are the colleges, and most anyone involved in the legal system.

If conservatives can get their message out, much more of the country would realize that it's far more conservative than it ever realized, but when all the voices they hear are mocking and distorting conservatives and their positions, the public is going to develop a skewed mindset about conservatism.

In summary, it's not the candidates are too conservative, or the constituencies are too liberal, it's that the media coverage distorts reality in favor of liberals. Untwist the message, and people will endorse it.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 03, 2009 04:31 PM (EOnG1)

197 It was old man Ace, all along!
Posted by: the Scooby Gang at November 03, 2009 04:28 PM (UXddJ)
LOL!

Posted by: Gloria Steinam at November 03, 2009 04:32 PM (qP2BK)

198 When was the last time your mind was changed by someone yelling "cocksucker" at you?
I awways tought it was an offuh!

Posted by: Barney Frank at November 03, 2009 04:32 PM (e8YaH)

199
Question: Did Cree Deeds campaign in lockstep with the Obama admin? In other words, are their positions on all issues identical?

Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:33 PM (UXddJ)

200 @196
I was wondering when somebody was going to show up to try to throw social conservatives under me. Thanks!

Posted by: The Bus at November 03, 2009 04:33 PM (TpXEI)

201 The media are force multipliers for liberal causes and issues.

Take out the force multipliers and the results will quit getting skewed.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 03, 2009 04:33 PM (EOnG1)

202 You're not following closely enough. AP is a 9/11 Republican, not that dissimilar to the Frogger. He came on board for the anti-Islamist cause, nothing else.
Flenser: We all start out foolish and then something happens that makes us wise up. Honestly, I prefer the former liberals who got the 9/11 wake-up call to the "libertarians" who seem to have no deeper cause than "Legalize Pot, Maaaan..."
AP is still light-years ahead of CJ, who is recreating a leftist coccoon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 04:33 PM (ujg0T)

203 Just saw Ace's post wanted to add my support to his words of inclusion.

I'd like to remind everyone my endorsement of Doug Hoffman should carry the day today.

Stop bynewt.org to check out my official Newt products. We just got in new golf tees and mugs with my picture on them.

Posted by: Newt at November 03, 2009 04:33 PM (XoUUl)

204

New York Morons - whats the word on 23?

Posted by: Dang Straights at November 03, 2009 04:35 PM (Haq+B)

205 Another poster summed up my perception of social vs. economic issues.



"every issue is a social issue

every issue is a fiscal issue

every issue is a defense issue

they have only been seperated in order to seperate us.


Posted by: shoey at November 01, 2009 07:07 PM (RxUMK)"





Posted by: Diogenes at November 03, 2009 04:35 PM (EOnG1)

206
If the Republican party just laid off of abortion and religion they would win in landslides nationwide.

hahahaha!


And this is why we lose at the polls.

Great strategy, there, genius! Real brave of you.

Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:36 PM (UXddJ)

207 I am going to try to boil down Ace's post into a time worn, old cliche my father left me: Pick your battles wisely.
NY -23. Made sense. the Republican's in charge did a horrible job. The cost to wage an ideological fight were little (Bad news: if Hoffman wins tomorrow, Nancy Pelosi is still Speaker). Dede was completely unacceptable.
Now, in other places, the cost of the battle may be too much. I will use my own home state of Illinois as an example. Mark Kirk is running for Senate. He was one of 7 Republican House membes to vote for cap and trade. Horrible decision. He is pro-abortion rights. But, he voted against the Stimulus and opposes Obamacare.
If I was a pure ideological conservative, he would not be my choice. But, the option - a Democrat who will vote for Cap and Trade, and Obamacare, and pretty much whatever else Obama wants. And will probably hold the seat until I am dead.
In other words: pick your battle's wisely.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 04:36 PM (V9SYy)

208 This is down low in the comments so probably no one will read it, but it has to be said:

When do we maximalists get anything out of this? What's the point of participating in politics if I have no chance of ever getting what I want? Yes, I understand that there are liberals in this world who have as much right to vote and be activistic as I do, but there should be some area, some segment of the political world where that means absolutely nothing because of who's right. Where deserving means everything and power and pragmatism are for fools.

My problem is that idealism is a conservative issue. It is we who believe in a nation of laws, not men. It is we who believe in the constitution as the supreme law of the land.

I refuse to give up my ideals, even in defense of those ideals. There needs to be an ivory tower in this world.

Posted by: Paul at November 03, 2009 04:37 PM (IBGz6)

209 Ace's commentary on NJ pretty much fits California, with a few adjustments.

The reason Babs Boxer is still sitting in the Senate is that too much of the GOP in this state won't accept one reality - I don't care how much you play with your beads, a candidate running on a pro-life platform isn't going to win a statewide election here, now or at any time in the foreseeable future.

Personally, do I think abortion is an evil? Yes. Do I think it's a greater evil than the exertion of Federal authority necessary to prevent it? No, I do not. And many in the center, and on the fiscal-con/libertarian/Reagan-republican right, simply do not want their noses rubbed in the issue year after year.




Posted by: mrkwong at November 03, 2009 04:37 PM (G8Eo0)

210 Stop bynewt.org to check out my official Newt products. We just got in new golf tees and mugs with my picture on them.

And if you sign up for a Sooper-Dooper Up Yer Hoo-HooPlatinumMembership, you can watch Lis Wiel pooping during the commercials!

Posted by: O'Reilly at November 03, 2009 04:38 PM (e8YaH)

211 Get Rid of Obama/Pelosi that is the main thing. After that we can sort it all out. Until they are gone nothing else matters. Do whatever it takes to get them out.

Posted by: 2010orBust at November 03, 2009 04:38 PM (C/exG)

212
Really, that's great advice.

Yes, let's be intolerant of those who feel strongly about killing unborn babies and those who hold Christian beliefs.

We'll be winning elections in no time!

Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:39 PM (UXddJ)

213 If the Republican party just laid off of abortion and religion they would win in landslides nationwide.

have you lost your mind?

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:41 PM (xNw7B)

214 The reason Babs Boxer is still sitting in the Senate is that too much of the GOP in this state won't accept one reality - I don't care how much you play with your beads, a candidate running on a pro-life platform isn't going to win a statewide election here, now or at any time in the foreseeable future.
The one candidate who came closest to beating that Commie Cunt Soviet Slut Bolshevik Bitch Boxer was Bruce Hershensohn in 1992, an ardent pro-lifer.
Matt Fong (199 and Bill Jones (2004) flopped despite being pro-choice.
I grant you that pro-life is NOT a winner in Cali, but there is more to it than just *that*.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 04:41 PM (ujg0T)

215 First of all, allow me the use of the terms "maximalists" and "pragmatists" as the terms of discussion.
I haven't read the thread, so this might have been mentioned earlier;
I am not offended by the term "maximalist" but it is inaccurate. What you have to realize is that there are some deal-breaker issues - not too many, but some very important issues. For instance, shamnesty is one. Anyone who wants to legalize illegals (which is a position that would have to ignore all sorts of law, law-breaking, a rejection of the fundamental notion of sovereignty, ...) is taking, for me, a deal-breaker position. Those who go further and want to give these illegals citizenship (as if they don't already have at least one citizenship and a home country to return to) have, in my mind, moved to the area of aiding and abetting an invasion, along with issuing a call to the rest of the world to just come and flood our land. In the issue of illegal aliens nothing really matter but interior enforcement, since we have tens of millions of foreigners legally coming through our nation every year and it would be very easy for a few million to just stay, any time they want, so there will always be an issue of our ability to deport a large number of illegals who stay here and refuse to leave. For me, and many others, this issue is a deal-breaker.
There are a few other domestic issues like this, mostly revolving about the limits on the federal government as laid out in the Constitution, but that is about it. I don't care if someone disagrees with me on 50% of their votes, so long as they don't violate any of these fundamental issues which are deal breakers. The Porkulus, TARP (as it was done - though I have no problem with the federal government doing what needs to be done to save our monetary system .. but that was not what TARP was), national health care in any way, whatsoever, etc.
You can call me "maximalist" on these particular issues, but I don't think that it is an accurate label to call me "maximalist" in general.I want adherence to the limits of the Constitution (which should be a deal-breaker for everyone, frankly, unless they are proposing amendments) and respect for the fact that the American government is made to serve Americans, and no one else. We invite aliens to temporarily reside here (and might offer them citizenship at some point) and we extend them some rights that we want to, but the idea that the US government works for anyone but US citizens is quite odd. I understand that we have had many courts who have ruled that "person" is anyone standing on US soil, but that is clearly ridiculous. I will respect precedent only so far as it is in line with the Constitution, but the courts have not the power to amend by ruling. Bad decisions are bad decisions and should have no effect on future rulings.

Posted by: progressoverpeace at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (A46hP)

216 For me, the most enlightening example of national-level political tests is Abraham Lincoln's 1858-1861 campaign (and it's helpful, for me anyway, to combine his US Senate and presidential bids) and his first two years in office. Among his many gifts, his sense of the issues and, more importantly, his sense of the impact of those issues on the voters - combined with his impeccable timing - saved our country. Lincoln waited for the issue(s) to develop, he did not act until matters were self-evident to the majority of the voters.

The late Bill Safire wrote a historical novel titled "Freedom" that covers the events from the opening bell at Fort Sumter to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Accepting the organic problem of mixing fiction with historical fact, Safire's insight into the political realities of wartime DC and Lincoln's politcal brilliance makes for a compelling read.

Posted by: mrp at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (HjPtV)

217 1998 that is. Why that smiley thing, ugh.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (ujg0T)

218 @203

I hesitated before characterizing the non-voting conservatives in that way, but I went ahead because leading up to and after the election it was the self-identified social cons who were most vocal in stating their intent to not vote for McCain. Also, the social cons, tend to self-identify as a voting bloc.

But I don't have a poll handy to show how many social cons or evangelicals (tends to be an overlapping group) stayed home. I only know that many, particular the folks who comment at Hot Air, crowed loudly about the GOP learning a lesson by failing to address their concerns.

BTW, I am hard-core anti-abortion and opposed to gay marriage, but I don't qualify as a social con because of my other positions.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (sey23)

219 Anyone thought about going to a parliamentary system? We could have, like 30 parties, and they'd be forced to compromise amonst themselves, leaving voters out in the cold! AWESOME!

Posted by: Truman North at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (e8YaH)

220
This is down low in the comments so probably no one will read it, but it has to be said:


I read it.

9 out of 10 stars

Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (UXddJ)

221 We live in a new era. There is a growing roar from the people that they do not trust their politicians. Gov. is too big and out of control. The same type of movement happened in the 70s, but then it was because crime, inflation, oil security, and war were overburdening peoples lives and they wanted change. DC was off playing with hookers and bugging hotels, and first Carter got elected (oops) as a fiscal conservative and a businessman and an outsider and a moral man. Then Regan got elected as all the things Carter claimed, but also strong on defense and not a Democrat.
I sense a similar uprising today and we should not just see this in terms of maxis vs. minis. or rinos vs. idealist. There is a wave of resentment against DC and profligacy and borrowing money from our grandchildren. There is real fear of external threats and China rising and energy insecurity and what will the future hold. And DC is out of touch.

The Repubs have to catch this wave and ride it

Posted by: jcp at November 03, 2009 04:43 PM (DHNp4)

222 Maximalists? Can I be Optimus Primal?

Posted by: fiatboomer at November 03, 2009 04:43 PM (0Wf6c)

223 Stop bynewt.org to check out my official Newt products. We just got in new golf tees and mugs with my picture on them.

and look at those comments blasting Newt's endorsement of Dede!

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:43 PM (xNw7B)

224 polynikes, like I said....this ain't my fight. Neither side is full of angels. A pox on both your houses, and all that. I'm an outsider looking in, and either way, I don't feel what I want is ever gonna be represented by Republicans or Democrats.

If you wanna keep digging up stuff for a never-ending "well...he said this" and "she said that", hope you enjoy your Dem majority, and keep polishing those bipartisan skills. To the rest of us, your party looks like it has serious internal issues that it refuses to face. I'd rather that Obama had an effective and loyal opposition to keep him in check, but if you'd rather have intramural "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin"-type catfights instead, well.....

Posted by: bigpinkfluffybunny at November 03, 2009 04:43 PM (KWhJd)

225 Our country is falling apart, we are drowning in debt, jihadiis
want to nuke Isreal and you think getting a good buzz is what is really
important? Something "we all" should get behind? Making sure
you can score some sweet, sweet ganja is not my highest priority right
now. Defending my country and freedoms, feeding and protecting my
family are.Call us when you decide to become an adult.

A year ago, I would have agreed with this, hell, I would have written it. Now I have grown sick to death of the constant march of law into somewhat minor areas of life. It's time to draw the line. No more seat-belt nazis. No more child safety seat nannies. Stop spending tax dollars on PSAs that everyone has already heard.
I have never done any illegal drug. If legalized tomorrow, I won't start. I regularly mock potheads. And I am for expanding freedom. If legalizing pot can help roll back the intrusion on personal decisions of adults, I will support it.

Posted by: kidney at November 03, 2009 04:43 PM (kaYV3)

226
Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:39 PM (UXddJ)
I agree, we lose in 04 w/ that thinking

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:44 PM (xNw7B)

227 This is down low in the comments so probably no one will read it, but it has to be said:
I think part of the problem is that we have a governmental structure that is more suited for incremental change than over night remaking. This is one lesson the Obama administration failed to grasp. Part of their problem, for example, with healthcare is that Obama could have had a deal back in May to estalish a quasi-public option (in the guise of coops) which would have created a foundation for evolution into a "robust public option" in 12 -16 years. But he got greedy, and now he is (thankfully) in trouble.
So, to answer your question: when does a maxamist get theirs - over the long haul. Reagan did not appear one day in 1979 and say here I am, lets go. It started in 1964. It takes time, effort, a good argument, and yea, a good messenger.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 04:45 PM (V9SYy)

228 Where is this super special elections day coverage DiT (or one of the co-morons) promised?

This better not be it, because if so this will go down as worse hype-n-underdeliver than the Segway.

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 04:45 PM (pUfK9)

229 Why is my box gray?
Anyhow, I read the entire post but what need now is the elevator pitch.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at November 03, 2009 04:46 PM (RZ8pf)

230 two points before the resident democrat puts in his two cents
1. you republicans are idiots with all this rino/purist/big money words ace used, it comes down to this, are you a liberal or conservative
2. tommorrow i own all of you little biotches in the flame war
for the most part i agree with PA, look at the candidates and see which one hits your core values the best, ex. taxes, government size, gun control, etc, etc.
look at your party, now aren't there some blue dog democrats out there who are more conserative than some congress critters with an (R) after their name? vote for who is the best conserative because they will be best for the country. not too many years ago the democrats were the conservative party and it would be great if it could happen again (cubs will win the world series before that happen)
for the republicans to ever come back, close your damn primaries and get out there and get people to vote. if you get an e-mail that shows a liberal fucking up, sent it to everyone you know.
sarah is waiting in 2012 but we need 2010 to fix some of the shit happening now. remember that congress is getting ready to make many many democrat voters soon with amnesty, if it happens, liberals will destroy this country for decades
rant done, and once again, i own all of you tommorrow

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 03, 2009 04:47 PM (FVOLQ)

231 Let's consider the distinction between leadership and followership. I think that Republican leadership requires someone to be able to convincingly make the case for Republican platform positions. The Republican party exists to...

If you can't finish that sentence, you shouldn't be running the Republican party. And if you finish that sentence in the wrong way, you should be disqualified from being a credible voice of the Republican party. For instance, you might say, "The Republican party exists to supply rubes who'll lap up what I write that's not as liberal as Maureen Dowd." (Hi, Peggy.) David Brooks', Arlen Specter's and Dede Scozaafava's response are left as an exercise to the reader.

Now, if you think the country is better off with Republican X in power, you belong in the Party. If Republican X can articulate why s/he's in the party and why his/her platform positions are good for the country, then you'll have a mandate for your specific policies you ran on after you get elected.

All this business of sizing tents is mere identity politics. To debate on those terms is to give too much power to the enemies of Republican ideals.

Posted by: Steve Poling at November 03, 2009 04:48 PM (hnq5i)

232 I wrote out a long comment and the blog ate it and gave me a snarky "you really should try to type something" message.

That's the second time today I've tried to have a civil discussion on this blog and had it disappear what I wrote. Other times, it's taken me several tries to get a thread to appear. Either something is wrong with both my computers, or it's the blog. Either way, I give up.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 03, 2009 04:48 PM (Be4xl)

233
Posted by: mrp at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM (HjPtV)
Lincoln was actually pretty unpopular after about 2 years in his 1st term even predicted losing his re-election bid in 1864, but w/ a month to go the North started it's streak towards victory and Lincoln used the good War News to ride a wave towards a pretty decently easy victory of 56% and by his 2nd Inauguration he was extremely popular

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:48 PM (xNw7B)

234 It takes a real fool to think that opposing abortion is costing the GOP offices. Abortion didn't even come up in the last two elections. The Republicans lost because they were corrupt, stupid, and arrogant, they lost because they stopped being Republicans and ignored their constituency. They lost because the press highlighted everything bad about them and ignored everything bad about the Democrats, then tied it into a nice bow with lies about Katrina and the Iraq war.


Social conservatism had absolutely nothing to do with it at any conceivable level. People railing against it here have only one reason: they personally don't like it and want to pretend what they believe is shared by the entire nation.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at November 03, 2009 04:48 PM (PQY7w)

235 Anyone thought about going to a parliamentary system? We could have, like 30 parties, and they'd be forced to compromise amonst themselves, leaving voters out in the cold! AWESOME!
You only reach THAT level of Weimar Republic political lunacy when you have a proportional voting system and get rid of districts. Otherwise, a parlimentary system gives you something like the rest of the Anglosphere, which is still worse than what we have now.
Seriously, foolish romantics who believe in multiparty systems have never seen the nations that actually have them. Multiparty governments *suck*.
History quiz:
1. The one multiparty election the USA had was in 1860. What came after that?
2. What were the social conditions at home like during elections where strong 3rd parties showed up? (Hint: 1968 isa good example)

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 04:49 PM (ujg0T)

236 Herr Morgenholz at 88, I just could not force my self to type Ace's newly created jargon.

Posted by: Jean at November 03, 2009 04:49 PM (6Njk9)

237 . tommorrow i own all of you little biotches in the flame war
Hahahahahaahahahaahahaha...................
Oh crap, your serious
Hahahahahaahahahaah

Posted by: Everyone else at AOSHQ at November 03, 2009 04:50 PM (V9SYy)

238 Ace, I agree that you are different from the Frum fellow traveller types. But the exact reason a pro-life candidate can't win in Jersey or whereever is because the Democrats have done the exact opposite of what you propose over the last thirty years. They have made litmus tests, and forced out of contention anyone who believes different. Hell Al Gore was a staunch Pro Lifer. He was forced to recant to survive.

Why exactly are we different than they, that they can win at it and we must fail in setting standards? Or at least get a concession from the candidate that in exchange for a squishy on policy X, you get rock-ribbed support on Y. This is the Rudi Guiliani, pro life but hard on national security vibe.

Too often I get the sense from these calls that we concede the left's premises, that there is something wrong with our beliefs that we have to explain away, or give away everything in exchange for nothing. And if we concede the point and lose, its never the policy's fault. And if we win, we get someone who won't actually deliver votes, because the party won't enforce its discipline on anyone.

Posted by: Oldcat at November 03, 2009 04:50 PM (z1N6a)

239 When do we maximalists get anything out of this? What's the point of
participating in politics if I have no chance of ever getting what I
want?
I don't expect to get "what I want."

We're on a big boat - a trireme. All individual citizens are doing is pulling on one of many oars. Our political leaders are steering the ship by instructing us how hard and when to pull. Even then, if the instructions are bad or unrealistic (see Obama, B.), the ship goes in circles... or no where.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 04:50 PM (sey23)

240 I simply disagree with the contention that obsfucation of one's principles is preferable, as far-too-often, we end up with politicians who are predictably unpredictable in the advancement of Conservatism.

Again, you simply cannot dispute that as a country, were are far to the left of where we were 30 years ago.

Sometimes, you must simply sack up, roll with the punch, and come out swinging from the floor. Because the punches will always come, sooner or later, and later is almost always harder in this fight.


As Clint Eastwood also said: "We all got it comin' to us, kid."

The best way for Conservatism to win is if it is apparent just how bad the alternative is. I think you'd be hard-pressed to not gain seats in '10 running solid Conservatives in most races, as more and more people come to realize what the modern Liberal stands for.

Yes, sometimes it really does have to get worse before it can get better. Can, not will.

The only way it will get better is if we don't elect the same big-spending squishes we did prior to our fall.

So yes, I get that you are on the same team, with most of the same goals. I don't think you are retarded or a leftist in sheep's wool. I would never say "get out of my party".

But I think that you still buy into the Rovian strategy of "electability", which, while it saw amazing short-term successes, burned out in horrible long-term failure.

And I don't subscribe to that anymore. I'm for honesty. Which is why I could accept the short-term "failure" of losing seats to Liberals. Frankly, I think the strategy has a real chance at paying off much faster and much more decisively than I anticipated.

I expected the Dem mask to slip on their Socialist souls. I didn't expect them to treat their masks like bras in the '60s. They have shocked a lot of people who enjoy a face full of titties as much as the next guy, but would just as soon not have a face full of ass.

Let us take full advantage of this. We don't need to gain a majority in '10. Especially if that means solidifying the Conservative credentials of what seats we do gain.



Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 04:51 PM (mhdbo)

241 Why is my box gray?


Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at November 03, 2009 04:46 PM (RZ8pf)
Just remember, you asked for it. (drum roll)Lack of use?

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 04:51 PM (pUfK9)

242
Why is it that, whenever I vote pragmatically, the person I vote for ends up being more of a liberal than a conservative?

Therein lies the problem with Ace's well-reasoned argument.

I'm all for pragmatism ... if it works in our favor. But too often it doesn't. When I vote pragmatically I get what is, functionally, a liberal. When I vote as a maximalist, I get ... a liberal.

I'm not sure Ace's philosophy adequately addresses this problem. Ace?

Posted by: Roughcoat at November 03, 2009 04:52 PM (28MmA)

243 @221
I consider myself a social con, and I supported McCain wholeheartedly. I think we would be better off with him as president. He isn't perfect, but I still to this day think he's a man of honor and that he loves the United States. To me, a social conservative takes those kinds of things into account. I think social conservatives who behaved that way ultimately are like theindie rock listenerswho want to be so cutting edge that they hate the band if it makes any money. I don't believe this was most social conservatives; I think this was a minority about the size of the PUMA group for the dems.
What I dislike are people who say, 'screw the social cons, we just need to lower taxes and everybody will love us' (which was what 196 was saying). If we start kicking out the legs of this three-legged cat, it's going to fall over, and not in the humorous Youtube video way, but in the heartbreaking, "Oh no, Mister PuffinPants will never be the same" kind of way.

Posted by: Zuggs at November 03, 2009 04:52 PM (TpXEI)

244 OK
I'll buy the above BUT
can we have some MINIMUMS like
You shouldn't have supported spendulus...
You shouldn't support cap and tax
You shouldn't support socialized medicine?

I'm not asking for purity, I'll even put in a bye for the bailouts I hated so much, but this selling out on HUGE philosophical issues of government responsibility and control should be a no-no. (I'm looking at you Snowe)

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at November 03, 2009 04:53 PM (0q2P7)

245 238

I am always amazed when someone characterizes abortion as a social issue. It simply isn't. It's a human rights issue.

Either that or murder is a social issue.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 04:53 PM (sey23)

246 Why is my box gray?
Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at November 03, 2009 04:46 PM (RZ8pf)
Just remember, you asked for it. (drum roll)
Lack of use?
Owww. That's gonna leave a mark.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (V9SYy)

247 111 Goldwater Vs. Rockerfeller
After we took over the party then, why TF did we nominate Bush I as VP?

Reagan's people urged the decision in order to bring in more moderates. He agreed.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (zmiSr)

248 61 ace basically echo's the msm's/obama talking points, that we're scaring away "independants"(in reality dumb-ass know-nothing idiots), -
Speaking as a dumb-ass know-nothing idiot - I'll put how my views match up with the constitution up against anyone who thinks all independants are squishies. I switched my registration when I became sick and tired of how far to the left the GOPwas allowing this country to go/taking it.

Posted by: teej at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (QdUKm)

249 I think we can all pretty much agree that if a candidate is a true fiscal conservative, wants smaller government, a strong military, is a free market capitalist, and believes in personal property and gun rights, they're the kind of Republican we want elected.

That's not a huge list and is easy to explain in terms of the Constitution. We're the party that wants to play by the rules of the game. The Dims aren't.

As far as abortion(which yes, is important) and other issues go, we can't do anything about them unless we have power. In abortion's case, that means packing the Supreme Court to reverse Roe vs Wade. Can't do that without the President and a strong majority in Congress. So, we need to be pragmatic.

I, for one, would've rather had Rudy in the White House than the jug-eared jackass we've got now.

Posted by: naturalfake at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (ao5cQ)

250 But I don't have a poll handy to show how many social cons or evangelicals (tends to be an overlapping group) stayed home.

That is a misconception, plain and simple. I consider myself a social con, and I am in no way an evangelical. Many in my social circles are likewise.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (554T5)

251 241 mallamutt on special list......check
next?

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (FVOLQ)

252 Can't we all just get along?

Posted by: Rodney at November 03, 2009 04:54 PM (tW88P)

253 In 1980, when Roe v. Wade as relatively new and there was a real possibility that a pro-lifer could make a difference and possibly outlaw abortion again, Regan won NJ with a 13.5% margin against pro-choice Carter.

Do you really think anyone except a hard core democrat would even consider voting against a candidate on that issue alone? now, when air travel is cheap and easy, Roe v.. Wade is tested and settled, and the most a pro-life candidate could hope to accomplish is to shore up the Hyde amendment for another term?

Posted by: jcp at November 03, 2009 04:55 PM (DHNp4)

254 Our country, not to mention our civilization, is going down the shitter, but it's really important we legalize pot.

Nah, tweet, it's important that we concentrate on important things like getting the guvmint off our asses, and maybe trying to win in Afghanistan, instead of busting a guy with a joint on a felony charge.

I just don't understand why filling up our prisons with guys smoking weed (not harming anyone, but still a felony in my home state of AZ, YMMV) is the way to go, when I could literally beat the living crap out of someone and only face a misdemeanor. I'd get serious time for the former, might be able to plead down to probation and a fine on the latter....even if I've been busted for it several times already.

If you could explain the logic of this to me, I'd sure appreciate it. Because as a dumb libertarian, I'd rather have the prison bed be available a bit longer for the killers, thieves and kiddie molesters instead of some Bob Marley fan.

Posted by: bigpinkfluffybunny at November 03, 2009 04:56 PM (KWhJd)

255 Pat Cadell on FOX now talking about NJ's corruption, he believes the GOp is set for a blowout the next couple elections even said Dede is farther to the left then he is!

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:56 PM (xNw7B)

256 241 mallamutt on special list......check
next?
make sure on that list you have "wear extra thickasbestos suit".

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 04:56 PM (V9SYy)

257
Don't forget, Bush I had a great resume.

He was an asset on the ticket, not a debit. Reagan recognized that.

Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:56 PM (UXddJ)

258 Curmudgeon: Again, my sarcasm capacitor seems to be malfunctioning. No effing way do I want parliamentarianism here. If we had it now, he'd have Prime Minister Pelosi! Eyyyugh

Posted by: Truman North at November 03, 2009 04:57 PM (e8YaH)

259
Pat Cadell is my favorite Democrat.

In fact, he's the only Democrat I like. He's always honest; never bullshits.

Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:58 PM (UXddJ)

260 That is a misconception, plain and simple.

We can quibble about this, but it seems to me it depends on how you draw the Venn diagram... and how you define social con.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 04:59 PM (sey23)

261
Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 04:58 PM (UXddJ)
Doug Schoen's not too bad either, he's been attacking dems too talking about a GOP comeback

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 04:59 PM (xNw7B)

262 I don't understand why it matters if a candidate is pro-life. Why would that turn moderates or anyone off? I think most of America, even democrats,would be against their tax dollarspaying for or promoting abortions. It's not like a pro-life candidate could actuallymake abortion illegal. A candidate being pro-choice is different though, because to a person who's pro-life, it means you're willing toignore thishorrific thing being done to helpless, innocents.

Posted by: estee at November 03, 2009 05:00 PM (ZYXcw)

263 I can help you with your grays.

Posted by: just for men at November 03, 2009 05:00 PM (1B81L)

264 I am always amazed when someone characterizes abortion as a social issue. It simply isn't. It's a human rights issue. Either that or murder is a social issue.
OK, while I ardently oppose the Frum Frumpy / Megan McFatass nonsense about writing pro-lifers out of the GOP, I also understand that there *are* states where thumping pro-life credentials gets you nowhere. I live in one. It is the largest (most populous) state and (for now) the one with the largest economy.
So I guess in that sense I *am* a pragmatist, in that I would work for parental notification laws, which we can't get passed here (notification, let alone consent!)
What drives me crazy about the RINO squishes is that they have forgotten the most important message any GOP candidate must repeat to himself or herself: "They're only going to hate me anyway..."
Be a squish on border security because the Reconquista traitors will call you a racist otherwise? As if those traitors would support you anyway?
Be a squish on Affirmative Racism because the Jesse Jacksons will mau-mau you otherwise? Like Jesse wouldn't do that anyway?
Go along with more welfare because the Commiecrats will call you heartless? Like they won't anyway?
Everybody who is with the GOP, repeat after me: "THEY'RE ONLY GOING TO SLANDER AND HATE ME ANYWAY..."
Then go do the Right thing....

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 05:00 PM (ujg0T)

265 Glenn should be talking Election Day not SEIU, the news of the day is the fact there's Elections today!

Posted by: YRM at November 03, 2009 05:01 PM (xNw7B)

266
bigpinkfluffybunny, are you telling me that the prisons are full of guys who caught with a bag of weed?


Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 05:01 PM (UXddJ)

267 Excellent post. I agree. Dishonesty is essential.

Posted by: David Scum at November 03, 2009 05:01 PM (ADbI4)

268 You know what? I actually think we need the Frums of the world. Put down the pistols. He is the guy who did the investigative work on ACORN.

Posted by: Locus Ceruleus at November 03, 2009 05:02 PM (tzcjs)

269 (1) I'm a social con, I voted for Sarah. Voting is a duty.

(2) Let's go beat Obama his communist ilk

(3) This is an excellent post.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 03, 2009 05:02 PM (zmiSr)

270 Fiscal Conservatism vs Social Conservatism

Libertarian Conservatism.... it is the heart of the Republican party. But right now the head of the GOP are some RINO Elites that love big government and follow the progressive agenda.

To those RINOs. Like Grahm, Snowe, McCain.... etc... Just fricking join the democratic party.

GOP needs an enema. We are the party of SMALLER government, lower taxes, strong national security. We don't want stupid cap and trade and a stupid energy policy. How about drill for oil off our shores and not Brazil. How about nuclear energy? We are for small business. We are for education. Good education that is, not the way the progressives brainwash our kids. We are not about Race, Color, Rich or Poor. We are Americans. We only see a person's character and want to give everyone the same chance to succeed on their own. We are about helping our friends in need, just let us do it.

Now abortion, gay rights, religion shouldn't even be involved. Those are national issues not democrat or republican. They are moral issues for our country. What dumb ass decided to make it a D or R thing?

Posted by: blindgoose at November 03, 2009 05:03 PM (hZOQ8)

271 The major problem with Ace's analysis is that it ignores what happens after we conservatives support the more electable, but less conservative candidate, and he wins.

Ideology is about more than just philosophy. That very word makes it sounds like conservatives are unconcerned with the real world. But those who believe in certain conservative political ideas believe in them precisely because we think they are best for the country -- i.e., that is they were ever implemented, our country would be the better for it. Conservatism is ultimately about a way of governing.

Many conservatives think that by accepting a more liberal candidate, we are accepting less than what is best for our country. What's worse, we close off better future options for ourselves because we are now married to the more liberal candidate in such a way that we are blamed for his failures even if those failures have nothing to do with conservatism.

Example? George W. Bush. He wasn't a conservative. As Jonah Goldberg puts it ... "Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was promoted as an alternative to traditional conservatism. Bush promised to be a "different kind of Republican," and he kept that promise. He advocated government activism, and he put our money where his mouth was. He federalized education with No Child Left Behind -- coauthored by Teddy Kennedy -- and oversaw the biggest increase in education spending (58%) in history, according to the Heritage Foundation, while doing next to nothing to advance the conservative idea known as school choice.'

"With the prescription drug benefit, he created the biggest new entitlement since the Great Society (Obama is poised to topple that record). He increased spending on the National Institutes of Health by 36% and international aid by 74%, according to Heritage. He oversaw the largest, most porktacular farm bills ever. He signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a massive new regulation of Wall Street. His administration defended affirmative action before the Supreme Court. He pushed amnesty for immigrants, raised steel tariffs, supported Title IX and signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation.'

"Oh, and he, not Obama, initiated the first bailouts and TARP."

But none of this prevents conservatives from suffering now. We are still blamed for George Bush's failures.

Most of moderate Republicans' pragmatism is nothing more than an intellectual laziness. They don't want to be bothered with making a case. That's hard work! And most of them are into promoting themselves and not anything beyond themselves. Get me elected, they sometimes seem to argue, and I'll make sure we only go to hell half as quickly as we would with that other guy.

I'm sorry, but that's not a philosophy we conservatives can hang our hats on. Not any longer.

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:03 PM (vVwC5)

272 Ok ace, I'm pretty much a maximalist, but I'll admit some pragmatism leanings on some issues.

I'm a libertarian-hawk more than a Repub; so that directs my concerns. I'm not a big worries about abortion, gay marriage, etc; but the Government is way too big and interfering... that sums up "me" nicely.

But at the "left" edge of the country; I'm not sure the fight is worth fighting in a "pragmatist" manner.

If the choice is a Democrat voting for stupid budget-busting idiocy and signing on to liberal dreams, or a Republican voting for stupid budget-busting idiocy and signing on to liberal dreams... I'll take the Democrat, just to avoid needless splatter damage. Do you need allies that are stupid, counter-productive, and attacking your core principles?

If the district will only elect someone who believes the Government should care for them from cradle to grave; do we gain anything meaningful by having that person be "on our side"? I'm positing that there's a point at which its detrimental to have that person on our side; and at that point the pragmatist is doing more harm than good working for a majority above all else.

Say if John McCain were enough of a squish to try to limit political speech in violation of the First Amendment along with Senator Feingold and pass a McCain-Feingold bill to limit poltiical speech (or something equally stupid and detrimental)... once he does that; it is difficult to claim that the Republican party cares more about the Constitution than Democrats do.

If McCain's place were taken by another Democrat; and this unConstitutional crap were plastered only on their door; it would be a much better issue to push, wouldn't it? Or do we gain by having crap sloshed on our side by our own when we encourage squishes with minimal conservatism in some manner that I'm missing?

As it stands I don't see much differnece between working to get (to pick an example) Arlen Specter elected or working to get a Democrat elected.

Posted by: Gekkobear at November 03, 2009 05:04 PM (X0NX1)

273 I don't know how many times this point has been made, if at all, but I remember the wars here back in '06 and '08 about whether it is better to vote for a less desirable (or pragmatist, as you are calling him here) candidate for the right just to make sure that a much less desirable candidate on the left does not get in.

Since that increasingly seems to be the option conservative republicans face, doesn't it seem to be unworkable on its face?

I mean, when was the last time a truly conservative republican got in a position nationally anyway? After Reagan, there has been no republican candidate that could reasonably be regarded as conservative. Indeed most who won the slot have been largely compromisers, such as HW, W and Dole.

Posted by: flashbazzbo, s.o. at November 03, 2009 05:05 PM (VzKkh)

274 krakatoa makes an excellent point in 244
let me put this out there to test the waters:
say i'm running for office against what you would be calling a squish, btw, it would be as a democrat.
i'm hard core conservative with one big exception, i'm pro-choice, andtwo minor, i think the feds should assist families with welfare as long as the family continuously seeks education or a job and i'm pro-union unless the union is a criminal enterprise like some of the larger ones are now. my number one issue would be to get rid of the dept. of education and give all those resourses back to the states to help the kids.
who would you votes for, me (the democrat) or the squish with the (R)?

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 03, 2009 05:06 PM (FVOLQ)

275 Hey everyone - I'm still alive.

Just wanted to bring you up to speed after that last "gray box" comment.

Still breathing.

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 05:06 PM (pUfK9)

276 Oh ha ha Editor. I wasn't going to participate in DeathFlame2000 tomorrow night but you've just changed my mind.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at November 03, 2009 05:06 PM (RZ8pf)

277 @196

I agree that religion really should have no place as an issue in the election of ANY elected representitive. However, I disagree strongly that Conservatives should abandon abortion as an issue. I will admit that maybe the WAY we have gone about framing the issue has been wrong. People have a visceral reaction about being told what to do when it comes to their own bodies. I do think the GOP has come at the issue from the wrong direction, Re: making it illegal. Realistically this is an unattainable goal, so to keep pounding that drum is fruitless and allows liberals to paint us as some sort of dictorial overlords who decide what you can and cannot do in regards to a decision about your own personal affairs. The better way to frame the argument would be to push for pre-abortion counseling, or what they call in the medical field, informed consent. Who can rationally argue against women receiving mandatory counseling before abortion? I'd love to see the liberals come up with a defense for not doing this. I promise that at least 8 out of 10 women who are shown a sonogram of an abortion would immediately change their mind about getting one themselves.

Posted by: God I hate F***ING liberals at November 03, 2009 05:07 PM (qyNJv)

278 Moderates have been driving the GOP bus for more than a decade. And they have drove us right into a ditch. It's time they got to the back of the bus and let the conservatives drive for a while.

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:07 PM (vVwC5)

279 Agree with you, Ace.

Posted by: Darcy at November 03, 2009 05:09 PM (+Z6FM)

280 278 Who would you votes for, me (the democrat) or the squish with the (R)?

The Democrat. Who cares if they have an R or a D after their name? I vote according to issues, not to party.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 03, 2009 05:09 PM (zmiSr)

281 Miss 80's Baby ))))))))))))

Posted by: Truman North at November 03, 2009 05:09 PM (e8YaH)

282 It wouldn't be the same without you, PGiS.

(Still breathing. Heart seems to be beating, too. Brainwaves still to report.)

Posted by: Editor at November 03, 2009 05:10 PM (pUfK9)

283 >>>Ace kinda lost me at the end. I do think our representatives should have integrity and should be forthright with their stances on issues. Honesty and integrity actually might be endearing to voters.

Not too much. This is less about in your face, true dishonesty and more about tactical ambiguity. A 100% pro-lifer who is honest and forthright about that will alienate those voters who are uncomfortable with abortion, and would support cosmetic restrictions (while recoiling at restricting accss to abortion beyond a small degree), and may drive them to the pro-choice Democrat.

That same 100% pro-lifer who speaks mainly about the restrictionist agenda -- and doesn't talk up the outlaw-it agenda he actually wants-- will get all the pro-lifers AND the restrictionists too.

Posted by: ace at November 03, 2009 05:10 PM (40emf)

284 This is the problem, not the solution; these points are self-contradictory.
A strong defense demands massive government spending, and an enlargement of the government sector; remember that in WWII Roosevelt pretty much socialised most of the economy. This is why GWB and Reagan were NOT fiscal conservatives, but instead ran up (then) record deficits.
Excuse me for getting ahead of the flame war, but--horseshit.
Pick a target for defense--4% of GDP? 5%? That's still way below the 1950s peak--even with theReagan buildup. Technology can lower reliance on foreign bases, especially for air and naval ops. So we can look at a much lower baseline. New generation aircraft carriers and surface shipswill lower manpower requirements.
And do you really think you are breaking news with the stunner that GWB was not a fiscal conservative? Really?

Posted by: Circa (Insert Year Here) at November 03, 2009 05:10 PM (B+qrE)

285 Look, abortion became an issue only because the God Damn Warren Court made it one by proclaiming abortion a Constitutional right.

Conservatives are right to argue, and should continue to argue, that this legal assumption needs to be overturned.

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (vVwC5)

286 So our strategy should be to get "pledges and cast-iron guarantees on divisive issues" from Democrats. They've certainly been doing a good job of pretending to be conservatives who demand such from Republicans. Let's force democrats to alienate voting segments by focusing laser-like on their wedge issues.

I'll start: "I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I'm afraid that Obama's divisiveness and unpopularity is going to cause us to lose elections. I think we should consider nominating someone else."

And: "I feel so betrayed by Obama on the marriage issue. I thought he'd work harder to open marriage to everyone. I'm only going to vote for candidates who promise to support gay marriage from now on."

Challenging their abortion stance should be pretty easy, too.

Posted by: JohnJ at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (Vv2tS)

287 The thing I think is being missed is the inherent assumption that "Conservatives" are always "anti-" whatever.
We're not. We're "pro-liberty."
I live in Texas. I don't care if people in Mass. have abortion on demand (well, okay, I do, but that's a different discussion)- it's not my business. I don't care if Oregon, or Mass, or Cali want to have socialized medicine- it's not my business.
But, since it isn't my business, my wallet shouldn't be on the line for it either. I think that is the one stance that all Concervatives can get behind and will pull in all the so-called Moderates. Call it "Federalism" or "Leave-me-the-f-alone-ism" or whatever, but I think that is the message that will ring true with most Americans and, if adopted as the message of the "maximalists" would pretty well end the debate on the Right- since its where we all agree.
Anyone who doesn't agree with that position is, by definition, a Big Government Liberal.

Posted by: Allen G at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (hH7n9)

288 This is not "pragmatism" in action. The people who run the GOP don't want it to be a conservative party, and they actively work to stopit becoming one even at the cost of seats and power. -
The entire comment was well said flenser, especially that which I've highlighted in red. Now folks just need to look at who benifits the most. Who benifits the most from having big govt. that has to "borrow lots of money"? That is who is "running these people".

Posted by: teej (AoS's token tin foil hat guy at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (QdUKm)

289 Not too much. This is less about in your face, true dishonesty and more about tactical ambiguity. A 100% pro-lifer who is honest and forthright about that will alienate those voters who are uncomfortable with abortion, and would support cosmetic restrictions (while recoiling at restricting accss to abortion beyond a small degree), and may drive them to the pro-choice Democrat. That same 100% pro-lifer who speaks mainly about the restrictionist agenda -- and doesn't talk up the outlaw-it agenda he actually wants-- will get all the pro-lifers AND the restrictionists too.
Ace for the win. You can almost sail into the wind if you "tack" your sails.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (ujg0T)

290 Since we keep coming back to the the Founding Fathers:
They didn't really have to worry about certain moral issues, because said issues were already settled in the minds of the populace. So, while I can see the need to keep referencing those times, it's not the same world.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (zmiSr)

291 266
I don't understand why it matters if a candidate is pro-life. Why would that turn moderates or anyone off?

If they support someone who espouses an anti-abortion viewpoint, they are in some way having to confront the possibility that they, or someone they know, did something wrong. Moral relativism, baby!

I would have compassion for someone who had an abortion, but I would never pat her on the head and tell her she wasn't in the wrong.

It's why Sarah and Trigg Palin were hated so much. Trigg is a reminder that carrying a less than perfect child to term is the right thing to do.

Like an earlier commenter, I live in California. I know abortion is an evil act, like murder, but I do not think that it would be possible to enforce a federal anti-abortion law if it was passed tomorrow in this state, or frankly, in most states. We all (?) agree murder is wrong but we haven't eliminated that yet. Yes, we keep trying, but I believe the murder rate in this country is significantly less than the abortion rate.

In order to stop abortion, we need to persuade people to stop being selfish, confront reality, and give a shit about the most defenseless members of our society.

Looking at places like Oregon, which seems prepared to kill off grandma, I'm not too optimistic.

So I think we should try to elect people with principled positions on life, but I would settle for people who would make abortion a state's rights issue - for now - even though I believe the right to life is fundamental and transcends state's rights.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 05:12 PM (sey23)

292 found that fuckin open tag.


sorry, that's my contribution.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at November 03, 2009 05:14 PM (WvXvd)

293 Just voted for Christie, maximalist that I am.
I'm somewhat optimistic that he'll win this, which is a rare sentment for me to have in NJ.

Posted by: Max Flenser at November 03, 2009 05:15 PM (76pIi)

294 who would you votes for, me (the democrat) or the squish with the (R)?

I'd likely vote for you, navycopjoe, assuming no other issues arise.

I'm voting my principles, not my party. If you renege on your campaign pledges, the door is open for someone to compete on those grounds, and run to the right of your record.

If you keep your pledges, your next (non-primary) opponent will likely run to your right as well.

All that said, I don't know that I've ever seen a Democrat with those values.

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 05:16 PM (mhdbo)

295 >>>If the choice is a Democrat voting for stupid budget-busting idiocy and signing on to liberal dreams, or a Republican voting for stupid budget-busting idiocy and signing on to liberal dreams... I'll take the Democrat, just to avoid needless splatter damage.

I must say this is not the choice you usually get, and this seems parodized to me, to make it seem like no choice at all.

It is true that Republicans will buy votes with stupid fucking spending. I know it, you know it, the American people know it, Bob Dole knows it.

But you keep avoiding the fact that there is difference in degree here: Republicans -- all those squishes we have *now* -- are united against ObamaCare, for example.

Now, if we/they defeat ObamaCare, they will be expected to join some new process to craft some more acceptable policy.

And I admit: At that point, we are going to be again talking about subsidies for the poor to get insurance and all sorts of crap that you don't like and I don't like.

But if we are talking about the difference between the near federal take over of the health care sector, and some $40 billion a year program that gives the IMPRESSION we're covering everyone and so satisfies the Soccer Moms, and thus we save the basically private nature of health care by giving a sop (an expensive one, but a sop, relatively) the the Soccer Moms... well, I find that guys like you tend to say "And there's no difference between them, and it's just a matter of socialism slowly or socialism quickly."

Well, between those two, let me speak out in favor of socialism slowly. And less socialism.

I would say it's like a football game: Look, we are going to give up some points, here. There is no avoiding that. Our team is simply not so much better than their team -- indeed, it often seems frankly inferior, as they have all the refs (the media) on their side -- that we can expect to get a score of 58 - 0 in our favor.

I don't think you are appreciating, as you certainly would in war, the wisdom of the occasional tactical retreat, giving up one hill to fight for some higher, more important one.

Fight for every hill and every foxhole is a bad strategy and we'll end up routed.

Posted by: ace at November 03, 2009 05:17 PM (40emf)

296 I haven't read all the posts, so forgive me if I repeat anything said more eloquently up above.

First of all, I agree with your point, Ace, so I am not writing to argue.

Second, I think what a lot of the "maximalists" are saying that seems not to be acknowledged by the "pragmatists" is that you either go in with confidence that conservative policy prescriptions are best for all Americans, or you don't. You may have to adjust your message for differing constituencies, and you may have to accept candidates who will not articulate parts of your message, but you never accept candidates who denigrate your message.

I am not saying that any "pragmatist" here is proposing this; I am merely setting down my boundary as to how pragmatic I am willing to be.

Posted by: Otis Criblecoblis at November 03, 2009 05:17 PM (tPZUr)

297 I actually think we need the Frums of the world. Put down the pistols. He is the guy who did the investigative work on ACORN.

Eh? I thought most of the ACORN research and the publicizing thereof was done by Glenn Beck.

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 03, 2009 05:18 PM (eR37w)

298 I think you're overemphasizing the maximalists' suspicions of bad faith. It's more their judgment of who is electable.
"I don't question your patriotism, I question your judgment."
And I would have said you were maximalist in your beliefs, and pragmatist in your electoral strategy. As I like to think I am.

Posted by: FUBAR at November 03, 2009 05:18 PM (J5Srq)

299 I thought most of the ACORN research and the publicizing thereof was done by Glenn Beck.
Also, you don't hear lefties howling about David Frum. Just Glenn Beck.

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 03, 2009 05:19 PM (eR37w)

300 #242

I learned a lesson with New Jersey and "pro-life". "Pro-life" always loses in New Jersey. I was transferred there in late '89 from a low-cost no income tax state and got a cost of living increase in my paycheck. Then I learned I would have to shell out over 4% of my income to the state. So there went the cola. (It's a virtually gross income taxation state. ) WTF is this? I naively asked. I started reading and asking people what happened and found this out: Jim Florio was elected governor just before I moved there and got laws passed that taxed everything that moved. He was elected because his opponent was the pro-life Jim Courter. He won because of the abortion issue. So here is the choice in the northeast: you get hosed by high-taxing pro-abortion liberals, or if you're lucky you might elect a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican to do a partial rollback of the taxes.

Posted by: jane at November 03, 2009 05:19 PM (wvPFD)

301 The reason Babs Boxer is still sitting in the Senate is that too much of the GOP in this state won't accept one reality - I don't care how much you play with your beads, a candidate running on a pro-life platform isn't going to win a statewide election here, now or at any time in the foreseeable future.

California is not going to elect fiscal conservatives, regardless of their stance on abortion. The fiscal conservatives need to face the fact that their agenda is not as popular as they, and we, might like.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 05:20 PM (76pIi)

302 When it comes to politics - no matter what side of the aisle you are on - another Eastwood quote comes to mind:
We all got it comin', kid
Politics is an ugly game and for the most part, the average Joe loses.

Posted by: Blogluddite at November 03, 2009 05:20 PM (fDWFP)

303 I think what a lot of the "maximalists" are saying that seems not to be
acknowledged by the "pragmatists" is that you either go in with
confidence that conservative policy prescriptions are best for all
Americans, or you don't. You may have to adjust your message for
differing constituencies, and you may have to accept candidates who
will not articulate parts of your message, but you never accept
candidates who denigrate your message.

This is well-stated. I agree that the first part is clearly embraced by the 'maximalists' ('principled conservatives'?), but I have not detected a strong whiff of agreement with the second part. Unfortunately.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 05:21 PM (sey23)

304 Andrew Breitbart is the man who did most of the investigatory work on ACORN. Glenn Beck publicized it, and David Frum mostly ignored it because he was too busy attacking conservatives to pay it much heed.

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:21 PM (vVwC5)

305 i own all of you little biotches in the flame war

Since your both a swabbie and a cop, I'm sure your profanity will be epic, as well as drunkenly misspelled.


Posted by: toby928 at November 03, 2009 05:22 PM (PD1tk)

306 I'm voting my principles, not my party. If you renege on your campaign
pledges, the door is open for someone to compete on those grounds, and
run to the right of your record.

I agree with this and that is how I vote. However, I think we here tend to be more thoughtful about voting and making our choices. I do not think the general public is that thoughtful. I think most people vote party line and when in doubt, vote Democrat. I think this is especially obvious in blue states. In comes down to the fact that the Dems give away "free" stuff and Republicans want to cut taxes - which is regarded as a bad thing to most because then come the scare ads about cutting police and fire.

I think if people were more thoughtful and took the time to educate themselves about everything, politics would be in a better shape. That's of course an ideal belief and it'll never happen.

Posted by: wherestherum at November 03, 2009 05:23 PM (GZnia)

307 By Ace's calculation, the 1980 election of Reagan should never have happened. Candidate Reagan was very clear about his intentions and the implication of his presidency: there would be a huge increase in defense spending, he would confront the U.S.S.R, and would cut income taxes.

Nor would the GOP congressional revolution of 1994. I mean, Contract with America? Can you get any more explicit than that?

More vagueness and moderation! That's what the GOP needs right now!

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:24 PM (vVwC5)

308 198 diogenes

totally agree, I had no idea what the hexx was going on until blogs

Posted by: ginaswo/MiM at November 03, 2009 05:24 PM (BP8ea)

309 All that said, I don't know that I've ever seen a Democrat with those values.
i must admit i'm a rarity
i'm from chicago so democrat is in my blood but my parents were both immigrants and between them and catholic schools they taught us kids ethics and values. also being retired navy starting in the reagan years and playing cop makes for an interesting personal belief system.
i wish politics was less about making money and power than serving your country.
we need more michelle bachmans i think (i adore that lady)

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 03, 2009 05:24 PM (FVOLQ)

310 @305California is not going to elect fiscal conservatives, regardless of their stance on abortion.

I think California may be ready to elect a "pro-business" governor. The key would be finding someone who campaigns on that message, but who also plans to try to rein in spending.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 05:24 PM (sey23)

311
Personally, do I think abortion is an evil?
Yes. Do I think it's a greater evil than the exertion of Federal
authority necessary to prevent it? No, I do not. And many in the
center, and on the fiscal-con/libertarian/Reagan-republican right,
simply do not want their noses rubbed in the issue year after year.






Posted by: mrkwong at November 03, 2009 04:37 PM (G8Eo0)

The way it's supposed to work is this. The Federal Government doesn't prevent or support abortion. The individual states make up their own laws to ban it or tolerate it. That is the way it was before Roe v. Wade, and that is the way it should be when Roe v. Wade is overturned.




Posted by: Diogenes at November 03, 2009 05:24 PM (EOnG1)

312 Y-not at 308: Thanks for your response, and yes, I should have broken the first and second parts you cite into separate paragraphs, because the second part is what I think, not necessarily what I've seen here from "maximalists" (not liking this term especially).

Posted by: Otis Criblecoblis at November 03, 2009 05:26 PM (tPZUr)

313 ace:

That same 100% pro-lifer who speaks mainly about the restrictionist
agenda -- and doesn't talk up the outlaw-it agenda he actually wants--
will get all the pro-lifers AND the restrictionists too.


I agree, but let's be honest. What are the chances we get candidates that are facile enough to structure and consistently maintain that argument?

So if we are going to talk hypotheticals, lacking the superstar you describe, who should we support?

A: the "electable" candidate who is pro ("moderate" agenda item) and hard to pin down on many Conservative issues.

B: the candidate who isn't the sharpest tack in the box, but is steadfastly anti ("moderate" agenda item) and fully supportive of many Conservative issues.

I'm supporting B, regardless of my stance on the "moderate" agenda item.


Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 05:26 PM (mhdbo)

314 I think that Ace is wrong with his idea that these two camps aren't that far apart. What Ace and others like Drew M don't seem to get is that this argument is more than electoral strategy. It's about what the fight is for.

I don't care whether or not my representative has an R or D beside his or her name. What I care about is whether that representative pushes my agenda. It's my ideology of limited government and fiscal restraint that I want to see fought for and not just paid the usual lip service.

Ace is right in that there are many places where an actual conservative won't win. I have to say that I don't care whether a conservative can win in those places. This country did not shift to the left overnight and it definitely wont move back to the right anytime soon. This is going to be a long fight and individual elections don't mean much because in the long term it's not so much about winning or losing elections but of actually challenging the ideas of the left. Refusing to put up a candidate in those places who challenges the left wing ideology is forfeiting the battle of ideas to the left.

What do we as conservatives win when we help help elect these moderate republicans to power? What can we win when we cede the battle of ideology to the left? What principles does the party hold when it will jettison those principles to win another seat?

What we win is our government moving further to the left and a political party that stands for nothing but getting elected.

Posted by: GhostShip at November 03, 2009 05:26 PM (oJebf)

315
Yeah, but Frum did excellent work exposing the Green Czar, Van Jones.


Posted by: Tweet beats dead horses at November 03, 2009 05:27 PM (UXddJ)

316 @317
LOL. I'm amazed you read it with that formatting glitch!

Have I mentioned lately that AoSHQ needs a "preview" button?

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 05:27 PM (sey23)

317 Yeah, but Frum did excellent work exposing the Green Czar, Van Jones.
Okay, so maybe we'll hang him with a new rope.

Posted by: Otis Criblecoblis at November 03, 2009 05:29 PM (tPZUr)

318 Good post, Ace. I am probably one of those "maximalists" to which you referred. I just don't see any evidence of First Principles benefitting from past experience with the big-tent, all-kinds-of-Republicans-are-welcome approach. I do wish the party could more clearly articulate its message, though. It seems to me that government and liberty truly compete for the same space. As government occupies more of that space, liberty necessarily occupies less. So sticking to smaller government and lower taxes is a winning position as far as I'm concerned.

Abortion is important to me, but maybe not for the classical reason. I do see abortion as morally wrong (in fact, murder virtually all instances) but that is not the reason I actually squirm about it. My problem is that it was wrought upon the country through judicial fiat and given the status of a "right."

Now, to my way of thinking, there is no way something can be a "right" unless it can be enjoyed or exercised by everybody. What it really is is a preference, as is affirmative action, etc...

I have no problem with abortion going back to the states and letting the people in the states decide the issue with their own legislatures. So when I hear a Republican is "Pro-choice" this is what comes to mind...what other judicial fiats are they also comfortable with?

Posted by: Steve H in AZ at November 03, 2009 05:29 PM (2mqge)

319 i'm hard core conservative with one big exception, i'm pro-choice, and two minor, i think the feds should assist families with welfare as long as the family continuously seeks education or a job and i'm pro-union unless the union is a criminal enterprise like some of the larger ones are now. my number one issue would be to get rid of the dept. of education and give all those resourses back to the states to help the kids.

Such a tenderly naive freshman Congressman would find himself with a size fourteen cornhole after one month on Capitol Hill. Those positions are chock-full of "Sure, you can just put the tip in!"

Speaking of rum, buggery, and well... more buggery, I see navycopjoe has painted a bullseye on his ass.

Or really, just retouching the bullseye on his ass that he was issued when he joined the Navy.

And that's just a TASTE, bitch. See you in the flame thread.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at November 03, 2009 05:30 PM (xGIqT)

320 mallamutt on special list......check
toby928 on special list........check
next?

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 03, 2009 05:30 PM (FVOLQ)

321 mallamutt on special list......check
toby928 on special list........check
empire of jeff on special list....check
next?

Posted by: navycopjoe at November 03, 2009 05:32 PM (FVOLQ)

322 I think California may be ready to elect a "pro-business" governor.
The key would be finding someone who campaigns on that message, but who
also plans to try to rein in spending.

They need a pro-business governor for sure. We thought we had that in Arnold but he fell apart after the lefties took him down. The legislature is probably 90% of California's problem. Good luck getting those jerk offs out of office. The Repubs make back deals with the Dems while telling their R constituents they're still going to lower taxes and whatnot. The GOP in CA is weak and doesn't support any of it's viable candidates or anyone who runs against Boxer or Feinstein. I'm done with the CA GOP. They can eff off.

That said, people are leaving CA in droves and all that's going to be left are illegals and Democrats paying for the illegals. Boeing is moving out of Long Beach and taking the jobs with them. Until CA can return to being a tax friendly state, all you're going to have are the people on the welfare rolls and the poor slops stuck paying for them (like my parents).

Posted by: wherestherum at November 03, 2009 05:33 PM (GZnia)

323 That said, people are leaving CA in droves and all that's going to be left are illegals and Democrats paying for the illegals.
Sadly, that probably is the case. The CA GOP is too afraid to tell the truth about this issue, no thanks to Wall Street Journal Greedheads and Bushyrovie Immigration Romantics. The last real GOP Governor we had, Pete Wilson, got it, but he was taken down.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 05:37 PM (ujg0T)

324 I have read a bunch of paragraphs and I still do not see any definition of Pragmatist or Maximalist. I think they are interchangable so your whole thing is just confusing.
Look, when you invent new terms then you should define them. After seven paragraphs I am conpletelty confused. What the hell do your terms define to you?
I am going stop reading the undefined thing that you are unwilling to finish and make understandable.

Posted by: Steve In Tulsa at November 03, 2009 05:39 PM (lv+sJ)

325 Thanks.. and you hit the nail on the head..
"What the maximalists don't seem to acknowledge is that pragmatists like
myself are on their side, in the main, as regards philosophy. But I do
in fact distinguish between the ideal, the merely good, the merely
tolerable, and the absolutely intolerable, and I am worried that all
this agitation in favor of the ideal is going to risk bringing us not
even the "merely tolerable," but the absolutely intolerable."

I tried having this argument over at redstate the other day and was attacked as a sellout liberal, when nothing is further from the truth. They do, in fact, think we are lying. They just don't see how they will alienate so many people with their purist (maximalist) agenda that we will end up with the "absolutely intolerable" as a result.

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at November 03, 2009 05:40 PM (f9c2L)

326 California doesn't need a pro-business governor; it needs a pro-middle class governor and an anti-government governor.

Arnie was a pro-business governor, but he also was a pro-government governor. It caused him to fight for less taxes, but more spending. And look where that has gotten us.

The three main problems in California right now are

1) government employees sucking up wealth through bloated benefits and pensions.

2) illegal aliens.

3) environmental regulations driving up costs.

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:40 PM (vVwC5)

327 ace:

Well, between those two, let me speak out in favor of socialism slowly. And less socialism.

That right there is the significant difference between you (and AllahP and many others), and me.

I am speaking out in favor of (the threat of) Socialism faster. You are working on the assumption that it is reversible by blurring the line between Socialists and non-Socialists.

I am working on the assumption that it is only reversible by clarifying that line while enough of the electorate is still cognizant of the costs of Socialism evidenced in the 20th century. I believe that if you let enough generations become indoctrinated in an ever-lefter Public Education system, they will become intellectually incapable of reversing the tide peaceably.

I believe that way leads to bloodshed of a like that would make the real civil war pale in comparison, and not just in America, but world-wide.

So yes, please, more, faster now.


Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 05:40 PM (mhdbo)

328 @288
No need for a flame war-
Here are the facts:
in FY 2009, the government will spend 3.5 Trillion;
Debt service and entitlements (SS and Medicare) about 2.1 Trillion;
Defense about 900 Billion;
EVERYTHING ELSE the government does, about 500 Billion;
This adds up to 3.5 Trillion; revenues were 2.1 Trillion; leaving a deficit of 1.4 Trillion.
So where would a conservative cut? Even if you eliminated the entire government except for SS, Medicare and Defense, you would still not have a balanced budget.
There is no way to balance the budget without cutting defense. There is no such thing as a pro-war fiscal conservative.
If you think I am wrong, don't get mad, just show me a better set of numbers.

Posted by: Reason60 at November 03, 2009 05:41 PM (ogXbt)

329 Actually you have framed the argument all wrong. Let's put it like this. You want a beer, a really good beer. So you go to the local market and get a nice Newcastle Ale. You go home, mow the lawn, get really sweaty and thirstyand all the while thinking, I got a nice cold one waiting for me. You can just taste it...
You race to the refrigerator, you quickly open it and down a huge slug. It's strawberry milk. HORRORS. (Nothing against strawberry milkif that's what you intended to buy.) You look at the label - shriek - it says "Newcastle". You have five more. Is that beer or milk? Now a pragmatist would say drink it and shut up, you need to lay off the ale. But, Honey, I'm here to tell you, a maximalist will drive you back to the store, get your money back and buy you some beer - and you'd trust him because you know what - to him labels matter.
Right now the ones who care about the brand R are not in control. How do we know? Look at the shape it's in. We the shareholders have said 'we're watching you' and that makes them nervous.
And it should. Because the incompetent ones are about to lose their jobs.

Posted by: Carmelita at November 03, 2009 05:45 PM (gq1Fx)

330 So where would a conservative cut? Even if you eliminated the entire
government except for SS, Medicare and Defense, you would still not
have a balanced budget.
There is no way to balance the budget without cutting defense. There is no such thing as a pro-war fiscal conservative.
But defense is something the government is supposed to be in charge of. It's something actually enumerated in the Constitution, unlike Medicare and SS. So there's at least justification for spending lots of money on defense. And I think most conservatives are okay with money being spent on national security.

Posted by: wherestherum at November 03, 2009 05:46 PM (GZnia)

331 Another really great post.
I am fascinated by this whole thing. Especially the idea that you have to trash the country in order to save it. (Got to through Obama to get to zombie-Goldwater so better to just get the bankruptcy and humiliation over with to bring on the savior on the white horse who agrees with every last detail coming out of the echo chambers and will fix it all without anyone having to get off their ass.)
It has been my observation that the people who are calling for the purges and purity at all costs (even if it means irrelevancy) the loudest are doing it because it fulfills some emotional need that is independent of reason. Some like to judge others and find them lacking. ("fucken RINO's like everyone that ever ran for anything") Some need to seek approval from a peer group by hopping on the bandwagon. Others just like to chest thump.
Disagreeing or not buying into the "fantasy world" is therefore a perceived as a challenge to the "maximalist's" identity, the one that they are trying to shore up in the first place. Things can get pretty visceral when someone "feels" that you are out to diminish them personally by pointing out that it is absolutely fucking retarded to the point of needing a feeding tube to think that the way to political power is to lose elections if you don't get 100% of everything you want... Even if you put it in nicer terms than "absolutely fucking retarded". (Which is difficult when your nephew, in the most nonchalant way he can muster mentions that he is got into 5 fire fights a week in Afghanastan because they are short on people and in case something happens there are letters to his mother locked in the glove compartment of his car. Then cut to people are saying over and over that there was no difference between McCain and Obama because they have subcontracted their thinking to Glenn Beck or whomever.... Well, "fantasy world" is a big wet smooch on the cheek compared to what springs to my mind.)
This is my fear: Some are pushing "integrity" and ideological soundness
not only at the expense of electoral strategy, but sometimes without
even considering the latter, almost dismissing such concerns not as
frivolous, but as something close to immoral.
I absolutely agree. This country is too important to chose the worst or let the worst happen to it. Sometimes a fighting chance is the best you are going to get. I think that's probably always the case.

Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 05:46 PM (9fjyr)

332 These are times of fiscal crisis. Our national debt is becoming insurmountable and the viability of our nation is threatened by economic mismangement of the government. I am desperate to vote for candidates that understand this and want to limit the size and scope of the government.
At this point, I don't really care about abortion, gay marriage, legalized pot, or anything much other than stopping the spending and stopping the govenment expansion and control into every part of our lives. We are losing our freedoms. The debate between maximalist and pragmatist has to stop. We need to coalesce around what we have in common rather than fight about unimportant differences. I suggest that if a candidate is a genuine fiscal conservative he or she will do well in these times.

Posted by: California Red at November 03, 2009 05:50 PM (tW88P)

333 Okay, I'll take a swing: a maximalist is one who believes that the GOP must always advocate, and must only support candidates who support, a broad and fairly uniform platform of positions nationwide (and I suspect that most would include a somewhat activist social-conservative agenda in this.)

A pragmatist is one who believes that there's a small set of core Republican principles - fiscal conservatism and pro-growth tax and regulatory policies, robust foreign policy - and a number of other issues on which reasonable GOPers can agree to disagree.

I pretty much fall into the latter camp, though I generally vote strongly anti-environmentalist and regard a candidate's position on climate fraud as pretty much a litmus test.

Posted by: mrkwong at November 03, 2009 05:55 PM (G8Eo0)

334 You are a conservative, or you are not.

It is rather fascinating to watch them follow the Liberal book of PCness to a tee, whilst declaring their raging Conservatism.

Among other things, Liberals favor the demonizing of the individual. So to fight that, Ace, Drew, and AP, declare you a "Birther" (and therefore invalid -HT to Alinsky) if you want to see Obama's personal records - yes, the dreaded BC included. The Liberals have said that to want to see these things is a losing strategy, so who listens, and agrees...? Yup, A, D, AP...

Liberals have also advised Conservatives (Thanks, guys!) of just what they have to say and do to "win" elections. Election "wins" which will place more and more Democrat voting "Republicans" in office. So who listens...? Yup, A, D, AP...

It's great. Your enemy tells you just what to do to defeat him, and you listen? And actually follow his rules??

And then you get in a snit when it's pointed out that, hey, you're just like the enemy?

And then you....what? Say ok, ok. We won't call you a Purist, if you stop calling us what we are actually acting like? (You know what? Purist ain't all that bad...)

No deal.

Conservatives are waking up to the PC RINO's out there. They are calling them out. ALL of them. They are not at all interested in the ridiculous "explanations" and denials.

You're not a RINO because you say so??

You lose

Posted by: JS at November 03, 2009 05:58 PM (Yzk1j)

335 Reason60.

Don't need to balance it the first year.

You just need to aim for balance. Take fiscally responsible measures like freezing spending increases and cutting taxes to stimulate the economy.

Audit the 10 largest Gov't programs and target cutting fraud and waste by 50% within 12 months of the audit completion.

Freeze spending increases until revenues catch up with expenditures. At the very least, peg the increases to growth.

Completely cease all earmarks and pork barrel spending. Our national leaders should not be wasting time on local pork. At the very most, let them argue how much of that savings should be returned to their State coffers.

Not nearly radical enough, but it would be a start.

If I were King, I'd get rid of the NEA (both of them). One is a vanity, and the other is an abject failure. Obviously in the real world, the best I could do is completely freeze increases.

I'd cut federal salaries from top to damn near the bottom. Nobody in "public service" should ever make much more than a small multiple of per capita GDP.

I'd get rid of the Federal pension plan (if the average citizen has to depend on the performance of the economy to grow their retirement, those whose job it is to stimulate the economy should have the incentive to do so).

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 06:00 PM (mhdbo)

336 335 wherestherum
"But defense is something the government is supposed to be in charge of. It's something actually enumerated in the Constitution, unlike Medicare and SS. So there's at least justification for spending lots of money on defense. And I think most conservatives are okay with money being spent on national security."
OK, a good argument; but then you are saying we shouldn't have SS or Medicare?

Posted by: Reason60 at November 03, 2009 06:03 PM (ogXbt)

337 Krakatoa-
Again, I agree with your proposals; but even slashing all non-defense, non SS and Medicare spending by 10% would not even come close to balancing the budget, EVER.
Thats how out of whack it is!
So by treating SS, Medicare and defense as untouchable, we have locked ourselves into a death spiral of spending.
Something sacred has to be cut.
Ideologically pure positions are an enemy of budget balancing; budgeting is always about making hard choices, between bad and worse, not between good and bad.
So,by treating defense as a sacred cowironically, the Tea Party is the unwitting enemy of fiscal conservatism.

Posted by: Reason60 at November 03, 2009 06:10 PM (ogXbt)

338 Reason60: OK, where in defense do you want to cut? And are you ready to deal with the foreign policy ramifications, may of which will be *far* more costly than the money you ostensibly save?
I can think of only one easy cut: Getting out of the Balkans. Euro-Trash have to grow up and start policing their own damn backyard.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 06:13 PM (ujg0T)

339 parodized

Parodized? parodized? parodized?? Please not to be makink up words!

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at November 03, 2009 06:14 PM (1hM1d)

340 #336

Instead of insulting those people who have a different opinion why don't you argue how electing a leftist republican over a leftist democrat advances a conservative agenda?

How does ceding the ideological battleground to the left win anything? One must stand for something or the fight is meaningless.

Posted by: GhostShip at November 03, 2009 06:17 PM (oJebf)

341 We don't talk about Flamewar Club.


Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at November 03, 2009 02:50 PM (5aa4z)

I could how having a hairlip would make it difficult for you. (It's wednesday somewhere)

Posted by: Unclefacts, Meteor Summoner, Lover of Bacons at November 03, 2009 06:19 PM (erIg9)

342 As I said Reason, you must start somewhere.

Let's not forget that much military spending is tied up in Iraq (spending that will cease in the next several years).

And let's not forget the effect a growing economy has on revenues. Clinton balanced the budget almost purely on increased revenues, albeit with a bubble economy.

Steady economic growth coupled with the pursuit implementation of higher efficiencies will ultimately balance the budget.

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 06:21 PM (mhdbo)

343 And let's not forget the effect a growing economy has on revenues. Clinton balanced the budget almost purely on increased revenues, albeit with a bubble economy.
In a similar vein, it should be noted that in the days of Uncle Ron, government as a % of GDP declined, this in spite of huge defense spending increases, because the economy grew so well.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at November 03, 2009 06:24 PM (ujg0T)

344 287
That same 100% pro-lifer who speaks mainly about the restrictionist agenda -- and doesn't talk up the outlaw-it agenda he actually wants-- will get all the pro-lifers AND the restrictionists too.
OK, so the pro-lifer gets elected by pretending not to demand a total abortion ban. Then the opportunity arises to vote for a total abortion ban: does this representative of the peoplevote her conscience (to ban abortion) or her constitutents (against the ban) because they trusted her not to be a liar?

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 06:32 PM (7AOgy)

345 IMHO, the real problem for the GOP and conservatives is related to the general lack of understanding and concensus by conservatives and other factions within the GOP about the role the various social marketplaces play in our politics.

Conservatives like to say 'smaller government' is their objective. That's like saying one wants to be slim and trim, which is all fine and good, but doesn't say anything at all about how to achieve that goal, especially in respect to the various social marketplaces. Contrast this with the Democrat's, who have an excellent understanding of the social marketplace's role in society AND politics -- you have to grant them one thing -- they get the connection. Their entire platform and vision is based upon it. Big government is the direct result of their collectivist vision for social marketplace design and function.

The core problem for conservatives is to clearly and publically adopt various individually driven models for the various social marketplaces that also provide logical and compassionate social marketplaces for those of limited means so they can get quality health care, education, affordable energy, housing, media access, etc, etc. Properly functioning, individually driven social marketplaces will by their very nature define a compassionate society AND smaller government. However, a small government, by itself, may or may not provide functional individually driven social marketplaces. This is the Achilles heal in political discourse for contemporary 'small government' conservatives is they are wide open for attack by collectivist social marketplace RINOs and/or Democrats of virtually every shade for their lack of any commonly recognized vision for how various key social marketplaces should operate. Hence the constant parade towards bigger and bigger government...

Posted by: drfredc at November 03, 2009 06:34 PM (ljMiA)

346 Let's reframe this slightly. I don't think it is a "purge." I think it is more of a dispensation of polite fiction. Someone earlier mentioned picking your fights with care. That is true. As previously mentioned, several broad planks could pull a fairly large coalition together. What is currently happening is people are NOT buying walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, acts like a duck, but is actually a dog because the party grand poobahs say so. Let's use NY-23 as an example. ACORN, yes that ACORN, endorsed the Republican over the Democrat. When does that happen??? How many Republicans (of any stripe) running for office would beproud to be supported by the folks who support exploitation of underage hookers (not that it doesn't rank up there with hobo hunting and Valu-Rite)? The poobahs were holding a duck and trying to convince us idiots that it was really a dog and that we were stupid for not seeing the dog. When it is pointed out that it's really a duck, there's much nashing of teeth that we are prejudiced against dogs. No, you weren't holding a dog, you were holding a duck. If you were holding a french poodle, you might have had a point. But you weren't, so you don't. In the end, if you want to argue poodles are really dogs, fine. If you want to argue ducks are dogs, then you have bigger issues.

Posted by: GrimJack at November 03, 2009 06:34 PM (iTA1p)

347 There is no end to this discussion. It's going to go on forever, and we should accept that without getting angry. This is the ugly side of democracy that really is simply a less bad system than tyranny.

We ALL get some of what we want when the government's reach and power are limited. Even liberals should like the idea of each state having their own ways of life. Your state politicians are more accountable to you. If one state wants to permit ACORN fraud and abortion and gun control, the federal government should stay out of it. I know guns and votes are essential human rights, but using a federal government to handle such things has led to terrible results such as sending DOJ lawyers to prevent voter ID requirements.

Let's make an amendment that puts teeth on the tenth amendment, guts the commerce clause ENTIRELY, and caps the federal government's taxation, spending, employees, etc, pretty drastically. There would be negative effects of that. States could have their own rules and even currencies. Blue states would be disasters for a little while.

So what?

Posted by: The Nobel Peace Prize Committee (NPPC) at November 03, 2009 06:35 PM (3Okxb)

348 Hey now!
I'm counting present!
. I do like thethought that politics as poker game with big stakes consequences. But, ah.. there ACE, politics is war without immediate bloodshed.It is that simple.

Posted by: 4ican at November 03, 2009 06:36 PM (dcUad)

349 @344
Curmudgeon asked, where would I cut?
I am glad you asked!
The theme here is "painful choices"; not easy answers.
1. Raise the SS/ Medicare age to 70; this will cut billions from entitlements;
2. Remove all troops from Europe and Japan;
3. Close as many of our 1,000 military bases as possible.
4. Get out of the nation-building business. This is just liberal social engineering on steroids. We don't need to be the world's policeman in order to defend ourselves.
And yes, a growing economy will raise revenues; but without a sense of budget limitations, spending rises faster yet.
And no, government spending as a percent of GDP did NOT reduce during Reagan; when he came in, the debt was 30% of GDP; when he left, it was 70%.
Sorry- he broke my heart, too.

Posted by: Reason60 at November 03, 2009 06:42 PM (ogXbt)

350 OK, a good argument; but then you are saying we shouldn't have SS or Medicare?

Simply, yes.

Posted by: wherestherum at November 03, 2009 06:45 PM (GZnia)

351 @335
Exactly, rum. In addition, there is a heck of a lot of economic benefit to building and manning a high tech defense force. The RD flows into the non-defense private sector. Better economy.

Posted by: Y-not at November 03, 2009 06:45 PM (sey23)

352 There is a reason that voters sometimes do elect people who have integrity, who tell them what they really believe -- and why voters sometimes vote out liars, who made a set of promises on the campaign trail and then turned around and voted the opposite way once in office.
People don't like being lied to. And they especially don't like it when they've been convinced by those lies to put their trust in someone who then reveals that he was lying to them all along -- it makes them feel foolish and stupid.
There's a reason that the Left fears Sarah Palin: she doesn't appear to be a liar. She didn't lie about her teenage daughter being pregnant out of wedlock, she didn't lie about her agenda on being elected as mayor of Wasilla and as Governor of Alaska. And being unable to tar her as a liar, they're desperately trying to smear her as a quitter (as though the highest and best quality to be desiredin a politician is an unwavering willingness to do anything to cling to office).
His first nine months in office have convinced a lot of independent voters, Republicans and even a fair number of Democrats that Barack Obama is a liar on a scale unseen since the original Baron von Munchausen. That's one factor in the faltering of Democrats in this handful of elections today: people don't trust Obama when he endorses them, and his endorsement makes the Democrats seem untrustworthy to a lot of voters.

Posted by: stuiec at November 03, 2009 06:45 PM (7AOgy)

353 This will forever be known as the "Lazarus post".

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at November 03, 2009 06:49 PM (6YnAG)

354 I don't think it's deep enough yet, guys. Send more shovels.

Posted by: Ace Shoveling Company at November 03, 2009 06:55 PM (2qU2d)

355 359
This will forever be known as the "Lazarus post"

I reject your label.
/s

Posted by: Y-not, the pragmatic pro-life pro-defense non-soc-con conservative who hates labels at November 03, 2009 07:01 PM (sey23)

356 Hell, I'm a total equal-opportunity curmudgeon. I want every incumbent politician fired ...state, federal, whatever. Let 'em all get real jobs. And term limit the effin' bureaucracy too, while we're about it (save for law enforcement, intelligence and the military). I don't give much creedence to any lying sob in politics to be about anything other than self-enrichment. The point is to not let them become entrenched.
Fire.Them.All.

Posted by: davis,br at November 03, 2009 07:23 PM (uCShA)

357 There ya go.Mischief managed.

Posted by: 4ican at November 03, 2009 07:27 PM (dcUad)

358 Oh, no. Someone's shitting on my babe again.
8=^(

Posted by: allahpundit 1-900-fat-chick at November 03, 2009 07:32 PM (2qU2d)

359 >>>"I don't think you are appreciating, as you certainly would in war, the
wisdom of the occasional tactical retreat, giving up one hill to fight
for some higher, more important one.





Fight for every hill and every foxhole is a bad strategy and we'll end up routed."

Don't look now, Sundance, but that cliff's getting mighty big in the rearview mirror. You can afford to retreat and give ground when you've got strategic depth on your side. When you're backed up against the edge, you either break out or surrender. Breaking out runs the risk of being slaughtered where you stand. Looks like you guys would rather surrender.

25 years ago this week, Ronald Reagan won the electoral votes of 49 of 50 states, including the entire Northeast and California. If you folks still living in the Northeast and California managed to squander that coalition over the past 25 years, why in the heck should the rest of us listen to you when you try to tell us how to win elections? Do the spadework and legwork necessary to take back your neck of the woods before you start preaching strategy to the rest of us. Then you'll have some credibility.

Maximalist == principled.
Pragmatist == unprincipled.

Seems simple to me.

Posted by: trfogey at November 03, 2009 07:32 PM (9zyH6)

360 Really simple test.

Above all (#1.): Does this candidate support a restoration of the Constitution and tight fiscal policy? (And I'm not talking about the utter nonsense the Republican Party's been getting away with for decades - I'm talking about serious reversal of momentum, not just holding the line at the New Deal/Great Society plus some.)

A sane non-Globocop/progressive foreign policy, is a bonus, but far second to the domestic agenda.

If they don't fit #1, they've got my active hostility, regardless of parties. In fact, if it is a liberal masquerading as a 'Conservative', I'll actively oppose him even more strongly than I would otherwise.

Third parties welcome, regardless of how they split the vote - to hell with propping up deadwood in the GOP.

Posted by: MlR at November 03, 2009 07:55 PM (op9m5)

361 346
#336
"Instead
of insulting those people who have a different opinion "

There is a lot at steak here. I happen to think that if you think it is OK to lose a war or bankrupt the country for partisan political gain then you are a traitor. Whether you are Harry Reid doing it on the left or GhostShip on the right. (I can only imply that was what you meant when you wrote that I was insulting people.) "Conservatives" who think it's better to have someone like Al Frankin than Norm Coleman because it's better to have a liberal destroying the country in order to teach the electorate a lesson about purity are just helping further a liberal agenda. More importantly, at the momemt they are creating more immediate problems like getting our Marines killed because of their complete incompetence or allowing government to steal a gigantic portion of the private economy (Which will just put them in a better position to to keep themselves in power, now that hey have other peoples money to spend and people are dependent on them for jobs.) and simultaneously bankrupt us.
If you are one of those people who believe that it is a good idea to allow the left to ruin what is the greatest country, built on the greatest concepts and aspirations in human history then according to Ace anyone with a triple digit IQ is going to have to at least grit their teeth and refrain from using the phrase "fantasy world". I think the idea of enabling those who are wrecking the country so you can have more of a say over the rubble that they leave behind is treason and anyone who has that idea rattling around inside their head is an idiot. If you are not one of those people then there is no need to feel insulted. If you are, go wreck someplace else.
why don't you
argue how electing a leftist republican over a leftist democrat
advances a conservative agenda?

I don't think electing a leftist republican will advance a conservative agenda. Your paradigm is that the only thing you can do to effect government is to vote and once that you cast your vote your obligation to the country is over. It disallows the idea of keeping at them when in office. Further, you might recognize that if the leftist republican got the most vote in the primaries in a fair fight with a rock-ribbed conservative republican then that is what the people of wherever chose to represent them. Who is to blame? The GOP or democracy itself?
How does ceding the ideological battleground to the left win anything?

It doesn't. Not at all.






Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 08:01 PM (9fjyr)

362 He won because of the abortion issue. So here is the choice in the northeast: you get hosed by high-taxing pro-abortion liberals, or if you're lucky you might elect a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican to do a partial rollback of the taxes.

Fiscally conservative, socially liberal Repubicans are like albino African-Americans. Don't bet the farm on coming across one.
If the people ofthe north-eastwould rather be bankrupt than admit any restrictions on abortion, then they really deserve to be bankrupt.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 08:05 PM (xWnUn)

363 I happen to think that if you think it is OK to lose a war or bankrupt the country for partisan political gain then you are a traitor.
This has to rank right down there with the chicken-hawk argument for sheer obnoxious stupidity.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 08:07 PM (xWnUn)

364 Should read: More importantly, at the moment they are creating more immediate
problems like getting our Marines Soldiers killed because of their the Obama administrations complete
incompetence.

Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 08:07 PM (9fjyr)

365 Okay, I'll take a swing: a maximalist is one who believes that the GOP must always advocate, and must only support candidates who support, a broad and fairly uniform platform of positions nationwide (and I suspect that most would include a somewhat activist social-conservative agenda in this.) A pragmatist is one who believes that there's a small set of core Republican principles - fiscal conservatism and pro-growth tax and regulatory policies, robust foreign policy - and a number of other issues on which reasonable GOPers can agree to disagree.
Strike one!
The socially liberal position is the activist one, and the one which requires the larger government.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 08:12 PM (xWnUn)

366 369
I happen to think that if you think it is OK to lose a war or
bankrupt the country for partisan political gain then you are a
traitor.
This has to rank right down there with the chicken-hawk argument for sheer obnoxious stupidity.Gee, surprisingly enough that wasn't a rebuttal. You are a leftist at heart flenser, stupid yet smug about it.

Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 08:13 PM (9fjyr)

367 You would not understand a rebuttal if one was shot into your thick skull with a 120mm cannon, "Hidden Imam".
Or is it Bill Grant?

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 08:19 PM (xWnUn)

368 373


A "120mm Cannon"... and you object somehow to being called a chicken hawk.

Bill Grant?

I wrote: "I happen to think that if you think it is OK to lose a war or
bankrupt the country for partisan political gain then you are a
traitor."

And you single it out as something you have a problem with. Care to elaborate or do you just want to continue to publicly mentally masturbate for everyone by proclaiming how true to your principals you are?*

Aren't you concerned that you might come across as a bit insecure by constantly asserting yourself?

Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 08:42 PM (9fjyr)

369 And you single it out as something you have a problem with. Care to elaborate
I think I already said all I need to, Bill. I have no expectation that you'd understand anything more complicated.
Butyou might want to reconsider your well-worn tactic of accusing everybody who disagrees with you of being guilty of treason against the United States of America.
I give you this advice secure in the knowledge that you'll never take it.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 08:59 PM (xWnUn)

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Posted by: jason at November 03, 2009 09:01 PM (kaVxu)

371
Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 08:42 PM (9fjyr)
I hid my imam in a page today.

Posted by: Barney Frank (C-MA) at November 03, 2009 09:02 PM (6YnAG)

372 For the liberal media the question keeps coming back to abortion. The pragmatist must confront this question, while the "maximamilist" does not. The maximalist has already taken a side and there's no more debate.

I'm about three clicks to the right of Rush, but abortion is not an issue for me. It is an abhorrent practice, but it is a choice that women can make whether it's legal or not.

A child must be raised in a nurturing and supportive two-parent family. If that baby will be condemned to foster care or an orphanage, leading directly to the criminal justice system, I can't even complete this sentence. Pragmatists are straddling the question: Abortion is wrong, unless it leads to a democrat being elected.

It is an issue that must be decided by each state's citizens, and should never even have been heard by the SCOTUS. What I will say is that liberals don't give a damn about those babies other that they grow up to be wards of the state.

Posted by: RTH615 at November 03, 2009 09:06 PM (0KuJp)

373 It's idiotic to pretend that abortion is an issue. The GOP is not and has not been running Alan Keyes clones for seats in NY, NJ and CT. It has been running exactly the sort of "socally liberal, fiscally moderate" canddates which the people in these states supposedly like. And those candidates lose with great regularity.
It takes a huge leap of imagination to think that abortion is the deal-breaker here.
Most of the north-eastern Republicans were wiped out in the 2006 and 2008 elections. The decisive issue in these losses was the war, not abortion.

Posted by: flenser at November 03, 2009 09:14 PM (xWnUn)

374 I think I already said all I need to, Bill [?]. I have no expectation that you'd understand anything more complicated.
So that's a "no" on the rebuttal. Funny how you can claim that someone wouldn't understand an argument that you are incapable of presenting.

"Butyou might want to reconsider your well-worn tactic of accusing
everybody who disagrees with you of being guilty of treason against the
United States of America."

Again with the strawmen. Not everybody who disagrees with me wants to harm the USA. Most democrats vote for Obama because they believe he will be good for the country I would imagine. However, wanting to do harm or knowingly allowing harm to come to the USA is treasonous.

I'm not a bit sorry if stating that fact interferes with the self-congratulatory rationalizations that you want to pretend pass for "principals".

Posted by: Hidden Imam at November 03, 2009 09:24 PM (9fjyr)

375 Perhaps abortion is just one of many issues where pragmatists say it's wrong unless it leads to a democrat win.

Spending. Entitlements. Defense cuts.

Would you vote for a RINO just because he might win, if winning undermines your own personal values? If so, you are a pragmatist. Or Newt Gingrich.

Posted by: RTH615 at November 03, 2009 09:33 PM (0KuJp)

376 Thanks, Ace, for shedding more light than heat on a subject that desperately needs light.
BTW, I tend to be a "maximalist"--so it is good for me to get these reality checks every once in a while! We do have to try to understand what is, not just what should be. We must try to change the "is" by educating people, persuading them of the "should." (e.g., pro-life convictions, economic sanity) But when it comes to elections--we must all be pragmatists.

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at November 03, 2009 09:43 PM (e1c3Z)

377 Democrats are willing to compromise as long as it moves the ball down the field. The RINOs compromise where it results in the democrats moving the ball down the field. We never seem to be able to push the liberals back.

THEY control the universities and schools, They control the courts. They control the bureaucracy of government. They are even taking over corporate America, our last redoubt.

Revolution is a horrible option, but as long as "pragmatists" keep ceding ground, we are painting ourselves into a corner.

Posted by: RTH615 at November 03, 2009 10:00 PM (0KuJp)

378 At what time does a "moderate" Republican cross the line and become a "moderate" Democrat?
It's not about purity. It's about identification. It's about giving the voter a difference between the two parties, about giving them a reason to vote for an R instead of a D.
If the R is going to behave just like a D, what's the point? If you have to run a liberal R to defeat a D, but the liberal R is going to vote with the Ds anyway, what have you gained? (Besides giving the D's cover for crappy legislation by being able to say "See, it's bipartisan!")
There should be a certain unalterable set of values that you have to adhere to in order to call yourself a Republican, or for that matter a Democrat. If you will ignore those values, and blur the lines, what is the point in having two parties at all? You can just have one, call them Redemocrans, and have a "liberal" wing and a "conservative" wing.
That seems to be the way it already is, why not just end the farce and admit it?

Posted by: GreenGasEmissions at November 03, 2009 11:02 PM (xa1/W)

379 #367 Hidden Imam

As to why I said you were insulting those who disagree with you I'll refer to your post #336 in you said, "... it fulfills some emotional need that is independent of reason." in describing those who hold the view that ideological battle is more important than the partisan one.

As I said in my post #319

"Ace is right in that there are many places where an actual conservative
won't win. I have to say that I don't care whether a conservative can
win in those places. This country did not shift to the left overnight
and it definitely wont move back to the right anytime soon. This is
going to be a long fight and individual elections don't mean much
because in the long term it's not so much about winning or losing
elections but of actually challenging the ideas of the left. Refusing
to put up a candidate in those places who challenges the left wing
ideology is forfeiting the battle of ideas to the left."

It's amazing that we're having this argument since you agreed with the point of that statement in your post.

"How does ceding the ideological battleground to the left win anything?It doesn't. Not at all. "

Posted by: GhostShip at November 03, 2009 11:10 PM (oJebf)

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I say we focus on hitting the other guys in the nads. You can win a game that way.

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