When conservatives state their objections to (fill in the blank), after a while, you begin to realize you're hearing the same talking points over and over again. And there's a reason for that. They mostly ARE talking points they've memorized - because:
A) they've been field-tested to invoke unthinking responses in conditioned audiences
B) they sound superficially plausible
C) they camouflage the real motivations behind their objections
D) they fit the narrative they've crafted to frame an issue
E) they are actually an honest expression of their beliefs
Any or all of these categories may apply to a given objection, depending on the issue, the situation, or the speaker. What makes them even trickier to deal with is that the person spouting them may be completely sincere - or they may be a cynical SOB engaging in manipulation for their own reasons. Follow me below the Orange Omnilepticon, for further discussion.
Okay, off the top of my head, here's a list in no particular order of knee-jerk conservative objections to anything that challenges their agenda*.
1) It would be too expensive.
2) It would raise taxes.
3) It would impose burdensome regulations.
4) It would make government bigger.
5) It would kill jobs.
6) It would destroy traditional values/the family/the American way of life.
7) It's illegal - read the Constitution.
8) It's immoral - read the Bible.
9) It would interfere with the free markets and cripple business.
10) It has never worked.
11) It's racist, sexist, or whatever other vice can be projected on to it.
12) It's unfair.
13) It would create dependency.
14) It contradicts the will of the Founding Fathers/God/Ronald Reagan/Ayn Rand etc.
15) It's a lie!
16) It's not conservative enough!
17) It would make America look weak.
18) It would be rewarding bad behavior (the Moral Hazard argument.)
19) It would be like writing a blank check.
20) It would be liberalism/socialism/communism/totalitarianism/fascism/tyranny/sharia law - or all of those things.
* The principle purpose - indeed some would say the only purpose - of conservatism is to justify selfishness.
Okay, there's the list, an even score. Did I miss any? Feel free to suggest additional objections in comments. This is just the quick check off sheet. Each of those objections can be expanded into a commentary of its own; again feel free to do so in comments. Think about A) what is the real underlying motive beneath, and B) what kind of counters can be offered against them.
Take #1 for example: "It would be too expensive." This is a polite way of saying "There's no way in Hell you'll get any of my money for that!" Or, "I don't care how good an idea it is, there's no way I'm going pay for it because I don't want or need or believe in it." And so on. Possible counter arguments are: "Expensive compared to what?" "What is the cost of doing nothing?" "How much would it be if shared equitably over what period of time?" "How much have we already lost by not doing anything about it?" "How much more is it going to cost if we keep 'kicking the can' down the road?" You get the idea. Framing counter arguments as questions turns the objection back on the objector and forces them to come up with answers or keep dodging the issue. And that's just one tactic.
The point of coming up with a list like this is simple. The next time you hear one of these offered up, you should already have a response ready, ideally a short devastating sound bite. If you can knock down the reflex rhetoric right up front, you can put them on the defensive - or rather more on the defensive, because the conservative world view is essentially paranoid and authoritarian in any case. They use these arguments all the time - it's a matter of being prepared.
And if you want to employ some sarcasm, you can start with "There you go again…"
UPDATE: Whoa! I posted this last night, shortly before weather took out my internet service, and hadn't checked back in till late this afternoon. Thanks for getting this republished and spotlighted.
I had an additional idea about this list. I was thinking it could be used for a drinking game (you know, hear one of the above, take a drink) but it would quickly destroy too many brain cells if you listened to a conservative for any length of time. Instead, turn it into a BINGO game. (h/t to esquimaux) Make up a grid using the numbers 1-20 at least 5 columns across and as many rows as you want (you can use numbers more than once). A quick web search turns up several BINGO card generators online, so find one that looks like it would work, and have at it.
You can then play BINGO while listening to hate talk radio. (You may need to drink after all…) You can play it while listening to a debate between candidates. Make up special rules if you want, and play with friends. If you want to go to some extra effort, pick a conservative candidate and develop a list of their particular talking points. Hand out cards at their next public appearance, and see how long it takes before somebody wins.