Modern Day Whigs and the rise of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan.
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In a microcosm, Rove’s tale of No Child Left Behind is precisely how Americans now find themselves almost $17 trillion in debt, headed down the road to Greece. There are very few areas of the massive federal leviathan that did not begin with some version of Rove’s tale: President X wanted to use the federal government to do Y. It was a wonderful cause, or even a lousy political cause. But whatever the original reason President X got his way and Y program…decades later…is still there. Now deemed essential. Untouchable. And oh so woefully underfunded.
The question is obvious. What kind of “conservative victory” is that?
Reagan’s idea? Abolish the Department of Education. Yes, he failed. The education lobby in Washington is extremely powerful. But he had the right idea.
Rove depicts the idea of adding to the education bureaucracy as politically potent, specifically saying this helped Bush win in 2000. Let’s remember. In 2000 George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore and needed the Supreme Court to get him over the top. With Rove as “The Architect” Bush won by a mere 100,000 votes in Ohio against John Kerry four years later.
In fact, when Reagan campaigned in favor of abolishing the Department of Education? He carried 44 states in 1980. Even failing at the task, voters knew Reagan’s principles and re-elected him in a 49-state sweep. A far cry from Bush’s second term win.
The point? If one forgets the critical constitutional and moral flaws with Big Government and the Cotton Conservative argument and only focuses on the politics? The Reagan approach wins hands downs. As it were, “Cotton Conservatives” named Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain, and Romney were the GOP nominees from 1992-2012. While Bush 41 won big in 1988 — he won running as Reagan’s heir. From 1992 forward? The Cotton Conservative view lost the popular vote five out of six elections.
Politically speaking, Cotton Conservatism is a dead duck. And major GOP donors want to fund this?
The Big Government issue is viewed by Conscience Conservatives as a fight for liberty and freedom, the principles at the core of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself. And that’s before the issue of becoming another Greece.
The divide between Conscience Conservatives and Cotton Conservatives is growing rapidly.
Not for nothing was Barry Goldwater and Brent Bozell’s 1960’s bestselling classic titled The Conscience of a Conservative. (Note: Yes, that Brent Bozell was the father of the Brent Bozell of today’s Media Research Center and Hannity Media Mash appearances.)
No small thing.
In this February season, two men remind America of the values of the original Conscience Whig and today’s Conscience Conservative.
Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
Reagan’s birthday is February 6th. Lincoln’s , February 12th — although now mixed in with the generic “President’s Day” later in the month.
There is an interesting phenomenon abroad in the land that testifies to the intuitive understanding millions of Americans have about the two men. A phenomenon that should serve as a warning flag to Mr. Rove.
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?