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The split in the Republican Party used to be between 'mainstream' Republicans (we used to call them 'Rockefeller Republicans') and 'conservative' Republicans like Goldwater and Buckley.  Then along came Reagan and the mainstreamers eventually disappeared.

But in the wake of the election a new split has appeared between the loony conservatives (the Pauls, Santorum, Bachmann, et. al.) and what I call the responsible conservatives.  The loonies basically argue amonst themselves, trying to figure out when Armageddon's going to occur.  The responsible conservatives recognize that they have to live in the real world, a world that really does have global warming, immigrants, people of color, etc.  So they are willing to accept some compromises as long as they don't stray from 'core' conservative beliefs.

 Want an example of how full of shit they are?  Read below the squig.


Here's the latest nonsense from a responsible conservative, John Podhoretz, wriring in a responsible conservative rag called Commentary.  Like everyone else who voted for Romney and then discovered that a won had become a loss, Podhoretz defines the Bomber's victory as a well-managed campaign that targeted  specific groups (women, students, young voters) and promised each group this and that in order to win their vote.  

Add all of these targeted appeals together, and toss in Obama’s extraordinarily harsh and biting attacks on Mitt Romney over the course of the summer of 2012 as a heartless and vicious vulture capitalist hiding the dreadful extent of his wealth in tax returns he refused to release—$100 million was spent on this message in Ohio alone—and you have what may have been the smartest and most effective political campaign of our lifetime.

 Now I happen to think that the attacks on Romney's Bain record were, in fact, pretty mild, but that's beside the point.  The Republicans all believe that this is what did Romney in.  After all, everyone knows that the Democrats hate capitalism, right? But let me get back to my main point.

So what should the Republicans do to rebuild their party?  They should, according to Podhoretz, remind everyone that
for decades, conservative thinkers have been making powerful and effective arguments in relation to domestic policy about how to reduce perverse incentives in every aspect of American life.

Now I don't know about anyone else, but I have been reading conservative thinkers for forty years, starting with Podhoretz's father Norman  and Bill Kristol's father Irving, and I have yet to come across a single powerful or effective argument from any of them.  In the 50s, their notion of a domestic agenda was built on a defense of McCarthyism.  In the 60s, they ranted against the anti-War movement.  In the 70s they trotted out Podhoretz's wife Midge Decter to go after feminism, In the 80s they threw up all over themselves thanking God for Ronald Reagan.  In the 90s they celebrated the triumph of capitalism and the collapse of the Soviet Union.  And they ushered in the new century by whooping for joy when they Israelis kicked the shit out of the Palestinians and we tried to kick the shit out of the Iraquis.

And don't think, by the way, that the arrogance and full of shitness of these responsible conservatives is limited to their reading of the past.  Here's Podhoretz's parting shot about the role that responsible conservatives will play in the future:
Conservatism has the means and the arguments and the vision to discuss the future of America and the world in terms that speak to the needs of everyday Americans.
If this is the best, most cogent statement that a responsible conservative can make about the future of Amrican politics, then we're in for a long, liberal ride.  Go 2014.
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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't understand them either. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    I've been watching them for 50+ years and I'm sorry I just don't get it. I used to enjoy Buckley, I found him clever. But his argument was that he was conservative because he was worried that society was changing too quickly. Now that's reasonable. Then Reagan comes along with his new supply side theories and his Laffer curves and this was going to change everything and Buckley's right on board. WTF? I don't get it.

    Actually I do get it. Their real intention is to subvert democracy. And I get that. As Winnie C. said "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." I understand that. Democracy can fall into a "mob rule" mentality. People do tend to vote for more government services and less taxes.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:04:17 AM PST

    •  We need true conservatives like Buckley pretended (0+ / 0-)

      to be. When everybody is running around talking about the latest cool idea, there needs to be some old fart asking "What could go wrong?". It is irritating as hell and frequently incorrect, but somebody needs to do it.

      The Catholic Church appoints a Devil's Advocate whenever they are thinking about making someone a saint. The job of the DA is to carp and complain and bring up all of the problems with the potential saint. It is better to air all the dirty laundry beforehand.

      The main conservative movements now have nothing to do with the Republicans. Environmentalists are mostly conservatives, people in favor of regulating bankers are mostly conservatives, anti-war groups are mostly conservatives.

    •  Reply to PowWow (0+ / 0-)

      When only White men voted there was no reason to subvert democracy.  But once you let everyone in, the Blacks, the women and God knows who else, what's the point of maintaing the system?  And that's the reason they call themselves 'strict constitutionalists.'  Kind of like "severe conservative," right?  

  •  I wonder if we'll ever hear them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LongRider, Dave1845, JerryNA
    Conservatism has the means and the arguments and the vision to discuss the future of America and the world in terms that speak to the needs of everyday Americans.
    I'm waiting....

    tax breaks for the ultra rich?

    slash the safety net, it creates dependency!

    freedom! from regulations on the "job creators"

    crush the unions! power to the CEOs!

    crush the workers! tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, massive profits for capitalists who close down factories or slash benefits and wages.

    subsidies for Too Big Too Fail Banks and Oil Corporations, but not for homeowners facing foreclosure because they can't pay because they got laid off because we caused a recession by gambling on Wall St. (no regulations! Yay Freedom) or because of their lowered wages (no unions. Yay Freedom) or they got conned into loans that weren't regulated (yay Freedom!)

    obstruct any and all government actions to address the dire economic situation we created on purely political grounds and blatant contempt for the intelligence of the american people. (if they can't get anything done we'll get power back! yay stupid americans!)

    religious freedom means we get to force our religious beliefs on everyone, no contraception! (yay Freedom! yay God!)

    rape induced pregnancies are a Gift From God! No Abortions! (yay God!)

    college and public education is for snobs! No Education funding! (yay stupid americans)  um

    Blacks are lazy! They want handouts! Cut them off! End Welfare! (yay self determination and personal responsibility! oh and, no We're NOT racists.)

    Hispanics are invading our Real America and having Anchor Babies and trying to get a chance at OUR  American Dream. Keep them out. Use guns and fences! (Yay white people! I mean Yay Real Americans! We're not racists!)

    Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Corps. need those huge profits, especially the CEOs. You don't need to have the coverage you paid for, or premiums you can afford to pay, or medicine priced less that 100x what it costs (Freedom for business!)

    what else you got?

    no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

    by srfRantz on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:08:14 AM PST

  •  Yup, yup, yup (0+ / 0-)

    (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

    by a2nite on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:28:11 AM PST

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