One Thing We Can Agree On

March 3rd, 2009 at 11:53 am | 7 Comments |

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Any effort to remake the GOP, ampoule whether making it more tech savvy, sale youthful, sales or even hip hop, may be mooted by events. One of the keenest conservative aphorisms is “if it is not necessary to change it is necessary not to change.” The Democrats may make it unnecessary to change. There is no part of the Republican coalition happy with the present spending bill. It attacks Burke’s “little platoons” by reducing the incentive to charitable giving. The President has also engaged in friendly fire, as the colleges and universities that so fervently support him rely on huge bequests by rich alumni. The liberal fat cats of Wall Street and Hollywood who did not mind high taxes in the abstract find it less pleasant in reality. During the election a tart rejoinder to any spending concern by Obama detractors was “they can’t be worse than Bush and the Republicans.” That, it turns out, was a good bet to take.

On ethics, the tax cheat cabinet is ripe for ridicule, especially as policy blunders accumulate. The Congressional Democrats seem almost to relish keeping ethically challenged individuals in sensitive positions. Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and John Murtha have been in Washington for a combined 100 years. They are not going to change now. This issue is most salient with weak Republicans and swing voters. It will hurt the Democrats at the worst time, with the voters they can least afford to lose. It will also depress activists in the party and thus turnout. I am absolutely amazed that a party that prospered on Republican corruption has done nothing to get rid of bad apples in its own midst. Newt Gingrich’s Republicans issued term limits for chairmen and reformed the House Bank that had so aided their rise. The Democrats have eliminated term limits, limited minority rights and elevated the worst (at least I hope they are the worst) malefactors in their ranks to chairmanships and other high positions.

Some problems are like the proverbial cloud no larger than a man’s hand, but threaten to grow very quickly. President Obama is the least concerned with human rights and of the survival of liberty abroad of any President in living memory. He has appointed a supporter of the Saudi Royal Family and apologist for the Chinese Communists to be a gatekeeper of what national security information gets to the President, upsetting his strongest supporters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just went to China and refused to bring up Peking’s human rights record. Students of Brent Scowcroft and Zbig Brzezinski are running policy now.

President Ford, Jimmy Carter and the first President Bush were all damaged by a refusal to challenge our adversaries on human rights. All of them were advised by either Brent Scowcroft or Zbig Brzezinski into the blunders that nearly cost Ford the nomination and helped oust the other two from the Presidency. The American people support Israel against the despotisms that surround it. A foreign policy that consistently engages in moral equivalency between Tel Aviv and Tehran will not long retain their support. Trading with China does not require abandoning the people of Tibet, or the would-be mothers of China.

President Obama has, in one month, enraged the low tax, pro-growth wing of the Republican party.   Multi-trillion dollar deficits have shocked the balanced budget Democrats and Republicans. He has reneged on his anti-lobbyist/transparency agenda.   He has embarked on a foreign policy so devoid of morality as to make Talleyrand blush. He is assembling a coalition greater than 51% against him without the Republican Party having to figure out what it thinks, or even whether it needs to twitter more.  

Recent Posts by John Vecchione

7 Comments so far ↓

  • Rhampton

    What does change, continuously, is “The People.” As the years go by older generations fade away and new ones are born. And every generation sees things differently than the one before. Today, we can see this happening in the views of young, conservative Christians. They seek to broaden their mission to social and economic causes beyondy marriage and lower taxes. They are very interested in reducing CO2 emissions, helping the poor, and providing medical care to those in need. This has caused a fair amount of tension in the Southern Baptist Convention and in the Colorado strongholds of Evangelicals. Just this past week, Focus on the Family admitted that Dr. Dobson’s replacement will be someone who can connect with a younger audience on the radio. So if the GOP is set on Conservative Christians as being the base, then Republicans will have no choice but to change with them.

  • sinz54

    I don’t agree with you that the conservative movement doesn’t have to make major changes. And I also don’t agree that the attacks on Geithner’s tax cheating are going to have any traction with the electorate. But I do agree that better opportunities to score with the electorate will occur in the future. Right now, with Obama having a 68% approval rating, with the Dems trusted on the economy by much higher poll margins than the Repubs, the Repubs are just making things worse for themselves with their frantic and bitter, often personal, attacks on Obama. They would be better served to bide their time. Obama just got inaugurated less than 2 months ago. He’s still in his honeymoon phase. But honeymoons don’t last forever.

  • jjv

    sinz54, I don’t really disagree it would be better for the Republican Party and the movement to make changes. I’m just pointing out that if we are united by a universal fear and opposition to Obama, and just 10% of those in the middle join us we won’t have to change.

    Also, it is incumbant on the opposition to explain now why Obama’s plans are bad. We cant’ wait and then say “oh you were wrong” like the Dems did on the war after voting for it. We have to use first principals to explain their error and then follow-up later when, as they must, the socialist-lite plans come a cropper.

  • Realist

    vecchione: “The liberal fat cats of Wall Street…”. john, do you actually believe americans view financial and banking elites as liberals? good grief.

  • sinz54

    jjv: That’s simply not true. The demographics are against us and getting worse just about every day. New voters–primarily youth and Hispanics–broke overwhelmingly for Obama, and the GOP hasn’t figured out any way to win them over yet. “Those who are united by fear and loathing of Obama” are a steadily shrinking percentage of the electorate, perhaps now down to 30% of the electorate. (And I’m not one of them; I disagree with Obama’s policies, but I don’t “loathe” him personally.) Even a quarter of *Republicans* approve of what Obama is doing, according to the polls. It’s a long, winding road to get from 30% to a majority. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the then nascent conservative movement knew how to think and plan long-term. They didn’t expect much conservatism out of Nixon or Ford. They knew their time would come someday. We need to start planning for the long-term too. Otherwise, no matter what happens in 2010 and 2012, Obama will have ushered in a period of general Democratic dominance, just as the period of Democratic dominance from 1932 to 1980 had some Repub presidents but they didn’t change the general course of the nation.

  • bloodstar

    Wow. I’m not even sure where to start. So lets start with the most basic statement: The Fiscal Hawks have been burned one too many times by the Republican party. They won’t vote Republican for at least a Decade.

    Do you really want to discuss how any foreign policy hawk would ever consider the Republican party to be anything but discredited after the debacle of targeting the wrong country? Meanwhile the Taliban continues to putter along, and finally the people responsible for the attacks on America are being fought. So, Really that kinda kills the Foreign Policy Wonks.

    As far as your thoughts on Human rights? I’m sure glad Bush performed an amazing job in Burma.

    New Majority? you want the same old trainwreck that the Republican party has become.

    Hell, I’ll take my chances with Obama if what you’re offering is the only alternative.

  • Rhampton

    NRO posted some interesting stats from CPAC: * 64% of the 1,757 attendeespolled were 25 or younger. * 45% of those polledlisted libertarian concerns asmost important to them(reducing the size of the federal government andreducing spending and taxes). * 18% listed social concerns as most important(doing away with abortion, promoting traditional values, and illegal immigration). * Mitt Romney is the clear favorite for 2012 with Ron Paul and Sarah Palin tied for third at 13%