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Quin Hillyer is bang on in his assessment. In the late '90s some analysts were predicting a conservative meltdown due to the machinations of Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and paleoconservatives (the people who gave us the Clinton Presidency). George W. Bush was able to forestall that crisis by his extraordinary political victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004. The major political realignment that he and Karl Rove were working for seemed to be guaranteed. Sadly, some conservatives and the media’s token “conservatives” joined Democrats and their media goons in making President Bush and the GOP their targets. The resulting conservative crackup breathed new life into the Democrat corpse resulting in a resurgent Democrat party with momentum headed into 2008 despite the most radical and unqualified candidates in that party’s dysfunctional history.
Even if Ronald Reagan were a candidate in 2008 this group would be cutting his throat on issues like taxes (he raised them 7 times), immigration and borders (he laid the foundation for McCain Kennedy), federal spending and deficits (to defeat the Soviet Union he had the highest in modern history) and fighting terrorism (where he was marginally effective).p>Hillary, Barack and their admirers like George Soros and Osama bin Laden will owe this group a major thank you if Democrats take total control of the Federal government in 2009. As for the conservative movement it is destined for the political wilderness unless we return to the pragmatic and big tent conservatism of Ronald Reagan where the 11th Commandment is respected if not honored. br> — Michael Tomlinson br> Jacksonville, North Carolina /p>
I must comment on two nonsensical articles from today’s assortment of supposedly conservative thought pieces.
Quin Hillyer encourages us to “listen to Goldwater,” to “grow up” and support whatever fine nominee issues forth from the Republican selection process. As I can actually remember watching that convention on TV as a politically interested teenager, let me suggest that some context is being dropped here. Goldwater was urging Republican unity in support of Tricky Dick Nixon, who embodied the mainstream values of the party, as conservatives worked to move the party to the right (successfully, as it turned out). Since the Reagan years, the Republican Party as taken on reform of the abortion disaster. Opposition to the murder of children in the womb (at least in most circumstances) has rightly become a defining characteristic of the party. Willingness to support Rudy Giuliani is a betrayal of a core conservative value that his predecessors made a major feature of the Republican ascendancy. I consider the toleration of abortion in the late 20th, and now early 21st, century a social issue on par with the foul enslavement of people in our earlier history. As a thought experiment, what would we think about a pro-slavery candidate for President in 1860 nominated by a party established to oppose that “peculiar institution”? This is not an issue of “he agrees with us on so much (itself a question in my mind about this backer of Mario Cuomo) so we can go along on abortion.” Substitute slavery in 1860 for abortion and tell me that such a rationalization makes sense to you.
I also question whether Barry Goldwater could have held his nose for the John McCain of today. Here is an unreliable conservative on economic issues who has beat the drums for the greatest assault on political free speech since the Alien and Sedition Acts. The institutional advantages enjoyed by the left can only be overcome by grass roots opposition, opposition rendered far more difficult by the monstrosity of McCain-Feingold. Once the left closes the loop with the reintroduction of the “fairness doctrine,” conservatives’ ability to be heard will once again be restricted to its in-house media. Yeah, let’s reward John McCain with our support as he participates in returning our influence to pre-1960.
What really slays me is the willingness of credulous conservatives to sign on to a “lesser of evils” argument as these same geniuses criticize and undermine George W. Reality check, guys and gals! Bush II has governed reasonably conservatively, as I have noted in past letters. He certainly compares well with Bush I. Who among the current leading lights of the nomination process, with the possible exception of Fred Thompson, would govern to the right of Bush I? Answer: None of them! With these characters, better we spend our resources in reestablishing the Republican brand in Congress, awaiting a candidate who would actually represent the Republican mainstream.
Then there’s Michael Fumento’s apology for the nanny state, “Obesity Is Contagious.” I don’t mind admitting that I am one of those obese ones, although I don’t stuff my face with Twinkies or eat more than the normal three meals a day (it is true that I don’t exercise any part of my body other than my brain). Yeah, I don’t live a healthy lifestyle, which is my right.
To the extent my lifestyle increases health care costs, it is probably legit to increase my health care premiums —once the effects are actually measured in all their aspects (including the fact I probably won’t be using health care for as many years as others), and other lifestyle choices that are not mine are also factored into the premiums: smoking, drinking, living in dangerous urban areas, participation in dangerous hobbies like hiking and climbing in remote areas, homosexual activity, etc. etc. Yeah, I can hardly wait for the intrepid health fascist who suggests we charge gays more for their health insurance because of the costs imposed by an unhealthy lifestyle! Anyway, according to Michael, it is also my fault that those in my familial and social orbit are obese: it’s catching, don’t you know! Michael, do you suppose it is possible that obese people have obese friends because the non-obese don’t want to associate with one of the two remaining acceptable targets of discrimination (smokers and fat people)? I’m not complaining about social discrimination. If you don’t want to associate with me, that’s your loss — and frankly I have not really personally suffered this to any great extent. I do draw the line at being considered a public health menace.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?