Conservatives Want Republicans to Lose
The current Republican administration has turned off conservatives almost as much as liberals. Movement conservatives, that is, conservatives that take their political philosophy seriously, are so upset with the radical actions of Bush and his echo chambers in the House and Senate, that they are publicly advocating that conservatives should vote for Democrats in 2006!
The Washington Monthly published a series of articles on "Time for Us To Go - Conservatives on why the GOP should lose in 2006." I am taking the liberty of quoting a paragraph or two from the article of each of 7 prominent conservatives. These quotations show that there are very few people left in the country that approve of Bush and the current Republican Party.
CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY: This glum aperçu has been much with me as we move into the home stretch of the 2006 mid-term elections and shimmy into the starting gates of the 2008 presidential campaign. With heavy heart, as a once-proud—indeed, staunch— Republican, I here admit, behind enemy lines, to the guilty hope that my party loses; on both occasions.
BRUCE BARTLETT: As a conservative who’s interested in the long-term health of both my country and the Republican Party, I have a suggestion for the GOP in 2006: lose. Handing over at least one house of Congress to the other side of the aisle for the next two years would probably be good for everyone. It will improve governance in the country, and it will increase the chances of GOP gains in 2008.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: When The Washington Monthly reached me at my office recently, a voice on the other side of the line meekly asked if I would ever consider writing an article supporting the radical proposition that Republicans should get their brains beaten in this fall. “Count me in!” was my chipper response.
Scarborough, like the others, offered reasons - such as excessive spending:
But compare Clinton’s 3.4 percent growth rate to the spending orgy that has dominated Washington since Bush moved into town. With Republicans in charge of both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, spending growth has averaged 10.4 percent per year. And the GOP’s reckless record goes well beyond runaway defense costs. The federal education bureaucracy has exploded by 101 percent since Republicans started running Congress. Spending in the Justice Department over the same period has shot up 131 percent, the Commerce Department 82 percent, the Department of Health and Human Services 81 percent, the State Department 80 percent, the Department of Transportation 65 percent, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development 59 percent. Incredibly, the four bureaucracies once targeted for elimination by the GOP Congress—Commerce, Energy, Education, and Housing and Urban Development—have enjoyed spending increases of an average of 85 percent.
WILLIAM A. NISKANEN: For those of you with a partisan bent, I have some bad news. Our federal government may work better (well, less badly) when at least one house of Congress is controlled by the opposing party. Divided government is, curiously, less divisive. It’s also cheaper. The basic reason for this is simple: When one party proposes drastic or foolish measures, the other party can obstruct them. The United States prospers most when excesses are curbed, and, if the numbers from the past 50 years are any indication, divided government is what curbs them.
BRUCE FEIN: Democrats, for their part, likewise place party above the Constitution, but their party loyalty at least creates an incentive to frustrate Bush’s super-imperial presidency. This could help to restore checks and balances. For the foreseeable future, divided government is the best bet for preserving both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. If Democrats capture the House or Senate in November 2006, the danger created by Bush with a Republican-controlled Congress would be mitigated or eliminated.
JEFFREY HART: Successful government by either Democrats or Republicans has always been, above all, realistic. FDR, Eisenhower, and Reagan were all reelected by landslides and rank as great presidents who responded to the world as it is, not the world as they would have it. But ideological government deserves rejection, whatever its party affiliation. This November, the Republicans stand to face a tsunami of rejection. They’ve earned it.
RICHARD A. VIGUERIE: With their record over the past few years, the Big Government Republicans in Washington do not merit the support of conservatives. They have busted the federal budget for generations to come with the prescription-drug benefit and the creation and expansion of other programs. They have brought forth a limitless flow of pork for the sole, immoral purpose of holding onto office. They have expanded government regulation into every aspect of our lives and refused to deal seriously with mounting domestic problems such as illegal immigration. They have spent more time seeking the favors of K Street lobbyists than listening to the conservatives who brought them to power. And they have sunk us into the very sort of nation-building war that candidate George W. Bush promised to avoid, while ignoring rising threats such as communist China and the oil-rich “new Castro,” Hugo Chavez.
Amazing! These 7 influential conservatives seem to have arguments against Bush and the current Republicans similar to arguments liberals have been making for a long time.
Wow! We agree! Let's vote the radical Republicans out this November!
Posted by Paul Siegel at September 13, 2006 6:06 PM
I just found another conservative who wants Republicans to lose: RAMESH PONNURU:
“It would be worse for conservatives if Republicans actually gained seats. The Congressional wing of the party lost its reformist zeal years ago and has been trying to win elections based on pork and incumbency. An election victory would reward that strategy, leaving the congressmen even less interested in restraining spending, reforming government programs and revamping the tax code. Political incompetence and complacency, sporadic corruption and widespread cynicism: having paid a price for none of it, Republicans would indulge in more of the same.”
Read it at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/13/opinion/13ponnuru.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
You cheer on conservatives for wanting dems to win.
Handing over at least one house of Congress to the other side of the aisle for the next two years would probably be good for everyone. It will improve governance in the country, and it will increase the chances of GOP gains in 2008.
Note that the end goal of losing seats now is gaining more in a few years.
Nevertheless, I agree. Generally government controlled by 1 party is bad news-they have lots of power and the party without it gets angry and obstructs just about everything, even things that shouldn’t be obstructed. With two parties generally sharing control more compromise is necessary and things are less polarized. Huzzah for a Democratic Congress in 2006!
Maybe this article should have been titled, “Oddities in Politics”. You have the Bush team supporting Lieberman and Chaffee. Huh? What the f… is up with that?
I’ve been following comments regarding Olberman’s statements about the Bush & Co. response five years post 9-11. The self proclaimed “Libertarians” are defending Bush! What the hell is up with that?
The other day even David R. Remer somewhat assailed me for quite simply agreeing with what you said because it obviously doesn’t fit into the VOID context. Well, lets look at the facts:
I know of no “independent” that’s truly running as an independent. Lieberman is the “poster-boy” for independents. Most “independents” have a strong personal agenda. Never believe that Libertarian’s are “independents”. They’re “compassionate conservatives” that want to draw in a larger base by offering more personal freedom which also equates to greater personal responsibility.
It sounds good but it actually amounts to the end of, or privatization of, Social Security, unemployment insurance, all welfare including food stamps, and end to government meddling in environmental issues or work comp laws, etc. Sure, charity will fill in the gaps just like they did 70 to 100 years ago! They’re led by groups such as the CATO Institute that proudly depends on the advice of one of the “Chicago Boys” who helped privatize Chile’s “social security” programs.
That person is José Piñera: “Distinguished senior fellow José Piñera is co-chairman of Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice and chairman of Proyecto Chile 2010, a Chilean free-market think tank. Formerly Chile’s secretary of labor and Social Security, he was the architect of the country’s successful reform of its pension system.”
So if we want our elderly and disabled to live like those in Chile, hells bells, let’s go for it. We can join our rightful place as a third world nation.
Mr. Piñera has also been one of Bush’s primary advisers on Social Security reform. I’d ask one real simple f…ing question: If Jose fixed Chile so damn good, why did he move to the USA? Oops, I have a second question: how many Americans want to move to Chile?
Arrrgh, getting too long winded and must eat. I’ll be back later to explain the Republicant’s failed response to the attacks on 9-11. But I undependable. Maybe someone else could jump in.
The simple fact is that if you love America and believe we should retain our status as the worlds only “Super-Power” you will vote a straight Democratic ticket this November. We are your best and only chance.
As a registered and moderate Republican who has been ashamed of Bush’s far right words and actions, I agree that a modest Democratic turnover would actually be healthy for the Republican party because it would wash away this lunatic fascist fringe that Bush represents. We as moderate Republicans want nothing to do with the Neo-Cons extreme spending and hawkish positions.
The worst result of the present administration’s catastophic fumbling and bumbling would be that the Religious Right has all their prayers answered and we end up living in a bigoted, moralistic, and religiously stifled world. I say that as a Christian and a Republican. As in so many other areas, the Bush administration does not have the foresight to envision what the world would really be like if they realized their dreams (nightmares).
At first blush it is amazing but after you think about it why would a true conservative support the overspending radical party of Bush and Chaney? Maybe it’s time for conservatives to start their own party.
I’ve always said that conservatives aren’t crazy. While I disagree with many of their views, I can respect them, can talk with them, can often reach agreement with them. But this current crew in power — ye gods. This country needs the conservatives to take back their party.
Retiring Representative Jim Kolbe of District 8 in Arizona has announced he will NOT be supporting Randy Graf, the Republican who won the primary for the District yesterday…the national Republicans spent quite a few $$$ on Graf’s nearest competitor, Steve Huffman, but it backfired. Polls before election day have the Democratic candidate, Gabrielle Gifford, beating Randy Graf by over 10%…quite a coup for such a Republican state.
As a conservative, I too am tired of this rep leader ship. BUT the democrats have nothing for me. Let me repeat nothing for me. I can’t think of a single issue that I agree with the current democrat leadership. To change for the sake of change won’t make anything better.
“Maybe it’s time for conservatives to start their own party.”
Huh? What? And split the party of God? Read this quote from a campaign memo from Kansas AG Phil Kline:
“The goal and objective — numbers. Please try to get me in front of the largest crowd as we move through the remainder of the campaign schedule. Also, please maximize my presence in a community. Where possible, get additional churches involved. Am able to preach at several different churches where service times are different.”
This is the goal of a very large faction of todays Republican Party. By pandering to the Religious Right they will maintain a majority. That majority is the “Moral Majority” that will dictate “bedroom ethics” to all Americans. make no mistake about it. This group of religious extremists are just as dangerous as the “Islamic Fascists” that Bush likes to preach about.
There is a name for this! It’s called Dominionist Theocracy! We’re inches away from that right now. Only the Democrats are working to hold this “disease” at bay. Democrats believe in religious freedom. Democrats don’t define any religion as a form of fascism.
Our true enemy is “militant extremism”! While followers of “extremist” Islam are our greatest problem today, many of our ancestors moved to the USA to escape the bonds of extremist religion and politics in Europe. To those that argue there is no seperation of “church and state” I’d throw in this passage from the Treaty with Tripoli:
“Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
But we broke many treaties with the American Indian’s didn’t we. Imagine how “we” appear to much older cultures. Does that mean we must surrender? NO! It does mean that we must begin to uphold the rule of international law even if our enemies don’t. If we become as bad as our enemy we’ve lost anyway!
We are the good guys aren’t we?
I would think a true conservative would not want government involvement in religion, as the want government to play as least a role as possible in just about anything. True conservatives, not neocons or religious fantatics pretending to be conservatives when they are really trying to radically alter the constitution and the freedom we are guaranteed by it. Therefore, since true conservatives have had their party hijacked by the neocons and radical religious fundimentalist, maybe they should start a new party, truely conservative. They could call the True Conservative Party.
I think we are quite a bit farther from theocracy than you think. I live in a superconservative religious area farther right than the Spanish Inquisition. Even here most would oppose a theocracy. The danger of a theocracy comes mostly from politically illiterate individuals who vote straight republican tickets because Reps believe in “traditional values.” These people would never be able to hold onto power if they ever got hold of it. Please trust me, I have to put up with them every day at school.
Mark and Silima,
I hear both of you. I live less than 100 miles from Fred Phelps. You know he’s the “all gays must die” and “all US troops must die because we let gays serve” guy. I’ve actually met a number of people that “agree with his opinion” but not his tactics. They’ve all been Republicans.
Just the fact that GW Bush was elected to the Presidency twice proves my point. I think you should read this report:
“What Is Divine Strake and Why Should We Care?”
The Christian Taliban
Many undisputable facts are stated there. Not things that “will happen” but things that “did happen”.
Everyone can decide on their own.
“Never believe that Libertarian’s are “independents”. They’re “compassionate conservatives””
Wow! I have NEVER been called compassionate before. Feels kind of weird in a way.
And there’s not really anything like a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage atheist conservative is there.
Very funny KDem!
“that want to draw in a larger base by offering more personal freedom which also equates to greater personal responsibility.”
How dare we want our personal freedoms back. And the idea of taking care of ourselves is just absurd.
“It sounds good but it actually amounts to the end of, or privatization of, Social Security, unemployment insurance, all welfare including food stamps, and end to government meddling in environmental issues or work comp laws, etc.”
Wow, an end to unConstitutional programs and behavior. How evil we must be.
And the idea that people have free choice is also crazy isn’t it. Why give people free choice and freedom when you can force them to do what you want at the end of a gun or imprisonment.
Conservatives want Republicans to lose? Who cares! The ONLY thing that will change is the partisans minds on what they now support and don’t support.
1996 or 2006, same country, same kind of reps and same kind of rights violations. The only thing different is the year.
I came across this article today.
I know it’s not a new issue, but one that Repulicans seem to keep avoiding. We ignore it at our own peril.
I just heard that Ann Richards (a former Texas governor defeated by GW Bush) has died. If she is remembered for nothing else, her famous “poor George, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth” line about GHW Bush always makes me smile.
Outstanding article, Paul. The reasons why this current GOP administration/Congress must be shown the door are legion, yet too few on the red side of the aisle have been willing to listen - primarily because most of the anti-Bush noise has been created by Democrats (no surprise there). But what’s surprising, and salient, here is that the quotes you provided all come from thinking Republicans who are willing to call a spade a spade. Like most Dems, these Repubs love their country, yet can no longer stomach what is being done to it by those in charge. They cannot keep defending the indefensible, as so many other genetically engineered Republicans continue to do. Change indeed must happen to get this great country back on track. Fiscal responsibility and a smaller, less intrusive government - hallmarks of the Republican party - ironically can only be restored by Democrats, as this current GOP is both unwilling and incapable of doing so.
“It sounds good but it actually amounts to the end of, or privatization of, Social Security, unemployment insurance, all welfare including food stamps, and end to government meddling in environmental issues or work comp laws, etc.”
Wow, an end to unConstitutional programs and behavior
Actually there’s this thing called “providing for the general welfare.” I was under the impression that a government is supposed to take care of its poor and those affected by disasters.
“Wow! I have NEVER been called compassionate before.”
I don’t mean this as a personal slam, but I’m not surprised. I seem to remember our very first exchange involved your criticism of a “very fat lady” that was on welfare recieving medicaid for stomach stapling and I believe I asked how long you’d be willing to step over her body before you called the rendering service.
We’re just diametrically opposed on the issue of welfare. I once explained to Rhinehold that if welfare fraud were equivalent to 90% I’d still rather see that nine out of ten take advantage of the system than I would see the ONE that would otherwise starve have to suffer.
BTW, have you ever noticed that one of the major recruiting tools of groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas has been social welfare and medical care? When people are starving and dieing they care much more about survival than they do about politics.
I’m not avoiding the Electronic Voting Machine issue. When recently asked Bush was very confident that Republicans would maintain a majority in both the House and Senate. How can he be that confident?
That’s one of the reasons I keep ranting about the Theocratic nature of todays republican party. We’ve lost a lot of true independence and accountability. Even this little ‘podunk’ town of less than 2,000 people has now changed to electronic voting.
And I very much remember Bush saying that a dictatorship would be much easier. Of course he was just joking, wasn’t he?
“Providing for the general welfare” WTF????
PROMOTE the general welfare
You really should try reading the Constitution sometime. You won’t find any of the crap the liberals have tried to say is in there.
NOBODY ever starves to death in this Country!!!(Except for Terri Shiavo, thanks libs) There are food banks at virtually every church that give food to the poor every day and they do a heckuvalot better job than the vulgarly bloated federal government, who give people food stamps, which many of them sell for money to buy drugs and booze. How about those “starving” people actually get a job!! There are plenty out there since the tax cuts took effect. ;->
Duane-o, contrary to your beliefs there are people out there that do need the help that welfare gives. Oh don’t get me wrong, there are those receiving assistance that could be out there on the job market, that aren’t and are taking advantage of the system. But on the other hand there are those that get the help for a short term as it was originally intended for. But did you ever stop to think that along with the food stamps there are other programs that are attached along with them. Help with heat assistance for example, Those that are working, but only making minimum wage, could be having a hard time paying their bills and heating their house, due to the high cost of gas, propane, and heating oil. Medical care is also a part of it. There are some people that are sick and can’t afford health insurance. Does it burn my ass that these people go to the store and have 2 or 3 buggies full of food and junk food and I have to watch what I buy, yes it does, but then there have been times when I have been one of those people. My husband gets laid off every year in the winter. Sometimes he has side jobs lined up where we don’t need the help but other times he doesn’t. Have I used the help, hell yeah. Has it kept my kids from being hungry, hell yeah. Could I use it all the time, most definatly. Would it be easier for my to use the system, sure. I would at least be able to go to the doctor when I was sick instead of taking meds that weren’t finished by my kids. Rather than making sure that all Americans have a decent wage to live on and pay their bills, congress grants themselves pay raises on top of the cost of living raises they get every year. Most of us don’t get a raise or if we do, it doesn’t make up for the rise in inflation. I myself have made 2.83 an hour for the last 4 years. Yes I make tips, but there are times when the tips don’t equal out to minimum wage. Am I doing something about it, yes. Between grants, some student loans, and yes some help from my state (due to being partially unemployed) I went back to school. I want to be able to give back some of the help that I got. Is it hard, hell yeah. I’ve been out of school for 26 years. The point is sometimes people just need a little boost. Is there a need for welfare reform, yes. Those that have children of school age could go and get a job, does the funding have to stop, no. But it shouldn’t be the only source of income.
Consider this massive increase in spending the next time you want to bash the Republicans for putting people out on the streets, or taking away food from the hungry, or keeping medicine away from the sick or any of the many other malicious things that might crop up in your mind to describe Republicans as inhumane. It’s time to ask not what our country can do for you (I think you may know the rest of this quote).
From 1990 to 1999 our federal government spending went from 1.253 trillion dollars to 1.702 trillion, a 35% increase, while our population grew only 13.1%. All the inhumane blah, blah, blah that Democrats were spewing about Republicans still rings in my ears. Unfortunately too many of todays elected Republicans can’t get past all the blah, blah and stick to conservatism. It will hurt them in the elections.
My questions are this… What will Democrats do when they can’t spend anymore money? Will they call Republicans names to pressure them into more spending?? When will someone (anyone, who can get elected) say STOP, NO MORE???.
The more we spend as a government, the less freedom we have as a people.
And for those religious fanatics out there on both sides try to remember this: The final and unavoidable outcome of a secular government infiltrating any aspect our lives is the removal of religion from those aspects. Not religious freedom, but religion. The answer lies not in getting religion into government, but getting government out of our lives.
It is a sad day in Texas with the passing of Ann Richards!
I wish there were more like her.
I like my “numbers” better:
“After more than 40 years of nearly linear increase the pattern changed at the start of the Clinton administration. During this time, spending per person actually decreased! Under Clinton, Federal spending decreased roughly $18 per year per citizen. Tax payers were saving $166 per (man, woman, and child) over the spending before he started.”
“Under GW Bush that pattern reversed, leading to the fastest increase in spending since the beginning of W.W.II. Now federal spending is increasing by over $250 per year per citizen. Recall that the typical American family is 3 people. That means, under GW Bush, the average family’s taxes are increasing by over $750 per year.”
“I don’t mean this as a personal slam, but I’m not surprised. I seem to remember…….I asked how long you’d be willing to step over her body before you called the rendering service.”
I know we have talked about this before but I really don’t remember that question KDem, sorry.
“We’re just diametrically opposed on the issue of welfare. I once explained to Rhinehold that if welfare fraud were equivalent to 90% I’d still rather see that nine out of ten take advantage of the system than I would see the ONE that would otherwise starve have to suffer.”
I could NEVER speak for or as well as Rhinehold, but for me, it is NOT that I am opposed to welfare, I am opposed to our govt taking away freedom of choice and FORCING the minority to accept the majority’s views or vice versa.
IF somebody really believes in helping others, then they should be allowed to and if somebody believes their family comes first, they should be allowed to make that determination.
Its not about not caring, its about freedom and having the right to choose.
“BTW, have you ever noticed that one of the major recruiting tools of groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas has been social welfare and medical care?”
Yes I have. But socialism is a failed idea and it is not what this country was founded on. It is what has helped divide this country.
“When people are starving and dieing they care much more about survival than they do about politics.”
And thanks to special interest groups, nosy people and politicians pandering for votes, the American people now believe their survival is dependent on their govt to provide and in the process, they have willingly given up their rights as “free” Americans.
The comments at the beginning of this stream of consciousness supports a democratic house and republic senate.
I believe the National Socialist agenda supported by the right wing of the Republic Party of America would benefit from this kind of government by pulling further away from the mainstream. This would be a perfect set-up for the next presidential election; where, religion, gay marriage, and other divisive tools could be brought into play.
National Socialist agenda? I’m sorry but wasn’t it your party that purged the Jew out of his senate seat? But, then again, the Communists never had a good track record with anti-semitism either. Go back to promoting your Stalinist Socialism in the Democrack party.
A better plan of action for conservatives would be to vote for candidates that they agree with regardless of their party affaliation. Many third party candidates or democrats support conservative ideals. Many republicans have records that do not support conservative ideals. The goal of voting is not to have your party in power, but your ideals and opinions represented.
Somehow I had missed this article when I posted mine today enjoining Moderate Republicans and Independents to vote Democratic to correct the ship. Great collection of sources that you dug up for this one. Almost gives me hope - I mean how can those Republicans even have a chance if they’re abandoned by conservatives, moderate Republicans, and independents - heh, heh. ;-) We’ll see what Rove comes up with. Anyway our articles make nice bookends on this column for the moment.