Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Progressive Conservatives

Greetings all. I am delighted to see Bubba, Kathleen and company keeping up the Loyal Opposition.

I received a mail today from one Randy Piper introducing his blog for Progressive Conservatives, which hopes to unite those of us who are "fiscal conservatives, social moderates, international eagles."

Randy's blog is here and is a little florid and academic in its prose for my tastes, but that is like complaining that the beer is a touch too cold. Would you prefer no beer at all? I see a lot to agree with there and with time I am sure the message will tighten up.

Randy quotes from one of my favorite writers, David Gelernter, who says,

"Young people no longer discover the left and get excited; they are far more likely to get their intellectual kicks discovering and experimenting with conservatism."

If you look at many of the most exciting figures on the Right today, they fit the Pro-Con mold. Giuliani remains an A-list figure, and while Schwarzenegger's star has faded, it's because he botched the special election--tactics rather than strategy. Condi Rice strikes me as a member of the group, as surely is John McCain, even if I'm far from his biggest fan, and even Mitt Romney is probably one in his heart, even if he would deny it to secure the South Carolina primary vote. Newt Gingrich is slowly but surely coming in from the cold, and I still hold out hope for Bret Schundler , who has the honor of losing an election to a disgraced crook and a primary to an also-ran schnook.

I still feel that the "Republicans will lose the House" meme will go down as the "Dow 36000" of 2006. When it doesn't happen, I will laugh as all my loony-left neighbors in Boston gnash their teeth and rend their garments; and yet, I am beginning to wish it will happen because at this moment I think Trent Lott and the rest of the Pork Caucus are a bigger threat to the future of the country than Nancy and Harry. There is a part of me that believes that one should always vote against the incumbent, because the only good politician is an ex-politician.

I was starting my first year of college in 1994 and the Republican Revolution of that year was for me electrifying. Coming so close after the heartbreak of 1992, to see Clinton's liberal overreaching repudiated so historically was like being given my country back. It's the way Kerry voters would have felt had he won in 2004. But by 2002 it had become just another loveless marriage. I realized that what we had done was to replace one group of politicians with another group of politicians, and that their motivations as humans remained the same regardless of the color of their uniforms.

Since then I have come to identify more with the Founders, who sought first an above all to put in place a system of laws and practices that worked to inhibit the worst tendencies of government. It is why today, I believe the best thing we could do is to institute term limits. Incumbency has simply accrued too many powers, and attempts to limit these powers will have the same effect as swatting at a hornet with a sledgehammer, as we are slowly seeing with Campaign Finance Reform. I used to oppose term limits for all the right reasons but those ended with the 2005 federal budget.


Blogger Bubba said...

Glad to see you're still around!

I too think that the Republicans should be punished politically, but not if the result is letting the current batch of Democrats into power. If Lott's loss meant Lieberman's gain, that wouldn't all that bad. But giving the reins of the world's last superpower to people so beholden to the DailyKos crowd -- all while Iraq (like Vietnam) could be lost in D.C. regardless of what happens in the field, while Iran keeps chomping at the bit for a showdown, and while we simply cannot afford to treat terrorism as a criminal matter to be handled in the courts -- I just can't do it.

And while I like McCain's platform, I'm not sure of his character. It may be that he runs like a Reaganite and governs otherwise; George H.W. Bush did the same thing, with the "read my lips" pledge.

But anyway, as a brief administrative note, could we enable word verification for comments? I noticed an instance or two of blog spam.

8:27 AM  
Blogger The Contra Crunchy said...

The Democrats can get away with lots of feckless gesturing because it will never come to anything. For instance, they talk about impeachment, because there's no way it will ever happen. If they hold the House, then suddenly they have to think about wielding that power responsibly, or risk being punished by the public (with memories of '94 and '06 very close at hand to remind them).

The liberals might think that getting America out of Vietnam was their greatest victory, but when the helicopters were lifting off the roof in 1975, it engraved a message on the public mind that Democrats couldn't be trusted with national security. It's an image so engraved in the public consciousness that I remember it, and I was born in 1975. The Democrats *still* can't win an election when national security plays a leading role. Quite a turn considering that a decade earlier we had Kennedy and Johnson as two of the nation's leading anti-Communists.

The parallels to the present day will not go unspoken.

Not to mention that the Class of '94 helped re-elect Bill Clinton. Everyone remembers him as a social moderate/fiscal conservative today because he was pro-choice and spending stayed low during his term. The only reason he governed as a centrist was because he didn't have any choice.

1:15 PM  

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