Democrats & Liberals Archives

Where Are The Conservatives?

I was looking through the Democratic candidate’s healthcare plans and was pleasantly surprised by how market-based most of the ideas are. But looking at the Republican field, it turns out that of the, what, eleven? twelve? candidates now, only Romney is talking (very quietly) about the issue. On healthcare and an increasing number of other vital issues, conservatives are burying their heads in the sand and opting out of the debate.

Conservatives need to get back in the game. It's not enough anymore to just be against everything that liberals are for. This country does, in fact, need to be energy independent. Our country will, in fact, be affected by climate change. Forty-five million Americans are, in fact, without health care. Abortion and teenage pregnancy rates do, in fact, need to be lowered. The illegal immigrant labor force in this country does, in fact, need to be addressed. Our Iraq policy does, in fact, need to be part of a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy -- as does our foreign policy in general. And on, and on.

It's absolutely wrong for conservatives to say ALL government involvement in healthcare is wrong. That's a fringe position that most Americans do not buy into. It's dangerous to think the market will transition beyond Middle Eastern petroleum on a timeline or in a manner which will give us leverage in that region. It just won't happen. It's irresponsible to deny that man-made climate change will irreparably harm our nation or deny that we can do something about it. It will bite us, and it can be stopped. It's the height of idiocy to believe outlawing abortion will end that procedure. It won't. And on, and on.

When conservatives stop the knee-jerk denials and join the debate, America benefits. It turns out healthcare is a great example. When Senator Clinton talked about tax incentives for digitizing medical records and healthcare administration systems, Newt Gingrich greeted her proposal with, "Senator Clinton is exactly right," and "Hillary is so correct in the direction she laid out."

Surprised? You shouldn't be. Clinton's idea was thrown around by conservatives for decades. It's a good idea. But since the GOP still refuses to admit there actually is a healthcare problem in this country, it's left to Hillary and the other Democratic candidates to propose it.

When it comes time to talk about energy security, will conservatives join the debate or will they just insist on drilling the ANWR? Will conservatives present fresh ideas on globalization and our trade relations with China or will they just spew the free-market talking points?

Go look at the Republican candidate's issue pages. None of them address healthcare or energy or education or climate change -- or even Iraq and global terrorism in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner. Conservatives must join the debate or become irrelevant.

Posted by American Pundit at May 31, 2007 9:51 PM
Comments
Comment #221862

The republicans would rather avoid these serious issues. I am of the impression that they believe the longer they ignore an issue the quicker the public will lose interest and let it slip by the wayside. In this manner they can maintain a level of support for the special interest groups and their lobbyists who literally own them without offending these people. I do realize this may seem a bit provacative but it truly is the way I percieve them as going about business. I will not claim that the dems are a lot better in this respect. This degree of corruptive self serviant agenda imo is the biggest obstacle to a productive and respectable government today. For the repbublicans it is business as usual. At least the dems appear to be heading in the right direction with regards to removing these tendencies.

Posted by: ILdem at June 1, 2007 8:27 AM
Comment #221866

AP,

It’s funny how these questions keep coming up. I used the exact same title for an article on a different topic over two years ago.

Where are they?

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2007 8:58 AM
Comment #221876

AP
Here Here!Jack et al. Are you listening? We need you guys!Is the problem that the only logical response to these problems involve changes that are an anathema to your base,like single payer health care etc.? Lets get to work on solutions instead of jargon. What works?
When I say we need those guys I mean it. Lets face it. Us liberal/leftist can come up with bonehead solutions to almost any problem.In CA. production of fois grau is now illegal because it is mean to ducks.Silly. A conservative approach? Do not eat fois grau if you care about ducks. I can make that sacrifice without injuring agriculture,putting people out of business.

Posted by: BillS at June 1, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #221880

AP,

“Go look at the Republican candidate’s issue pages. None of them address healthcare or energy or education or climate change — or even Iraq and global terrorism in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner. Conservatives must join the debate or become irrelevant.”


Here’s one conservative! All you have to do is google the Republican Presidential Canidates and you’ll find their plans. By the way, some of you have nerve calling out conservatives for not coming up with plans; the dems haven’t come up with anything (“b/c they weren’t in the majority power”) for years and all they’ve done is oppose everything (“under the sun”) that the repubs have come up with. Oh and, just love how some of you try to take the “upper hand” with debates, when the dems wouldn’t even agree to debate on FNC; yet, the repubs debated on both NBC and FNC.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 1, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #221883

I think most of the Republicans have positions on Healthcare, it’s just they don’t believe socializing medicine is the answer.

Ron Paul, believes that creating a truly free national market for healthcare rather than the state to state restrictions and eliminating the legislation from the 70’s that tied healthcare to HMO’s (managed care, now) and employers.

Putting the consumers in control of purchasing healthcare is the best way to lower cost.

Posted by: barneygoogle at June 1, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #221884

Thanks for that link to Romney’s views on Iraq. Where in there does he talk about the long list vital issues I put forth? You make my point.

But I love that article, rah. I like the part where Romney makes the blanket (and very arguable) claim that “walking away now or dividing Iraq up into parts and walking away later would present grave risks to the United States and the world,” without providing any explanation of why — and then he says “we need an honest debate.” LOL!

It’s good to see even the left wing of the Republican Party still likes to present fantasy as fact. What is Romney’s doom and gloom statement based on? We don’t know, because Romney won’t address the issue.

So, thanks for making my point, rah. You presented us with one single not-so-conservative conservative’s simplistic viewpoint on the single issue of Iraq. Yay. Where’s the beef?

Posted by: American Pundit at June 1, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #221887
I think most of the Republicans have positions on Healthcare

Wat are they? I haven’t seen them.

Over the last couple election cycles, Democrats put forward a very coherent position on healthcare. Hillary and Obama’s plans are basically the same thing Kerry offered last time: A package of market-based initiatives for expanding coverage and bringing down costs for individuals (which would also take the burden off of business).

Ron Paul’s plan, as you describe it, is to do nothing. In fact, if Paul got the chance he’d do less than nothing and kill off Medicaid and Medicare as well.

Fortunately, Ron Paul is only a lone voice with a fringe agenda. The Democratic Party’s official healthcare agenda is embodied in the Kerry/Clinton/Obama plans. What is the official Republican plan?

Judging by the responses so far, nobody knows.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 1, 2007 12:46 PM
Comment #221895

AP,

Releasing healthcare from the monopolistic grip of the non competitive market it now is in is doing nothing?

Well, with that kind of circular argument, no one can ever do anything that satisfies you.

Removing healthcare from it’s restrictive state confines, separation from it’s clients, and allowing the consumers to vote with their hard earned dollars as to who provides the best healthcare is not nothing, in my view.

As to abolishing Medicaid and Medicare, surely your not saying that this is the most efficient way to allocate this resource? This uncontained pig trough is hardly anything but welfare for corporate hospitals and insurance providers. Ron Paul has not advocated throwing indigent people into the street without healthcare, inspite of your smear, but transitioning to a private system. If fact, he has a voting record against such nonsense.

Ron Paul doesn’t ascribe to Republican or Democratic plans, he suggests sensible ideas. If that makes him fringe….then I like fringe and tassles, too.

Posted by: barneygoogle at June 1, 2007 2:52 PM
Comment #221896
“Where in there does he talk about the long list vital issues I put forth? You make my point.”

That article listed that (already)! Oh well, I guess some libbies need to have everything spoon-fed to them. Here you go:

Change will require sacrifice from the American people. But I believe America is ready for the challenge. To meet it, we need to focus on four key pillars of action.

BUILDING U.S. MILITARY AND ECONOMIC STRENGTH
”First, we need to increase our investment in national defense. This means adding at least 100,000 troops and making a long-overdue investment in equipment, armament, weapons systems, and strategic defense. ..After President George H. W. Bush left office, in 1993, the Clinton administration began to dismantle the military, taking advantage of what has been called a “peace dividend” from the end of the Cold War. It took a dividend, but we did not get the peace. It seems that our leaders had come to believe that war and security threats were gone forever; as Charles Krauthammer observed, we took a holiday from history. Meanwhile, we lost about 500,000 military personnel and about $50 billion a year in military spending. The U.S. Army lost four active divisions and two reserve divisions. The U.S. Navy lost almost 80 ships. The U.S. Air Force saw its active personnel decrease by 30 percent. The Marines’ personnel dropped by 22,000…The Bush administration has proposed an increase in defense spending for next year. This is an important first step, but we are going to need at least an additional $30-$40 billion annually over the next several years to modernize our military, fill gaps in troop levels, ease the strain on our National Guard and Reserves, and support our wounded soldiers.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
“Second, the United States must become energy independent. This does not mean no longer importing or using oil. .. We use about 25 percent of the world’s oil supply to power our economy, but according to the Department of Energy, we possess only 1.7 percent of the world’s crude oil reserves. Our military and economic strength depend on our becoming energy independent — moving past symbolic measures to actually produce as much energy as we use. This could take 20 years or more; and, of course, we would continue to purchase fuel after that time. Yet we would end our strategic vulnerability to oil shutoffs by nations such as Iran, Russia, and Venezuela and stop sending almost $1 billion a day to other oil-producing nations, some of which use the money against us. At the same time, we may well be able to rein in our greenhouse gas emissions. Energy independence will require technology that allows us to use energy more efficiently in our cars, homes, and businesses. It will also mean increasing our domestic energy production with more drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more nuclear power, more renewable energy sources, more ethanol, more biodiesel, more solar and wind power, and a fuller exploitation of coal. Shared investments or incentives may be required to develop additional and alternative sources of energy…Moreover, even as scientists still debate how much human activity impacts the environment, we can all agree that alternative energy sources will be good for the planet. For any and all of these reasons, the time for energy independence has come.”


REVITALIZING AND STRENGTHENING ALLIANCES
“In the changing world we face, our alliances and engagement must change, too. Clearly, the United Nations has not been able to fulfill its founding purpose of providing collective security against aggression and genocide. Thus, we need to continue to push for reform of the organization… If elected, one of my first acts as president would be to call for a summit of nations to address these issues. In addition to the United States, the countries convened would include other leading developed nations and moderate Muslim states. The objective of the summit would be to create a worldwide strategy to support moderate Muslims in their effort to defeat radical and violent Islam.”

You can read the rest yourself…

Posted by: rahdigly at June 1, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #221904
allowing the consumers to vote with their hard earned dollars as to who provides the best healthcare

barney, I’m not a doctor. I’m not qualified to rate treatments, procedures and competence. All I can do is blindly trust my healthcare and hope what little federal regulation exists will shield me from the worst of the healthcare industry’s depredations.

Healthcare is not a market, and it doesn’t make any sense to talk about it in those terms.

As for Medicare and Medicaid. Thank you for admitting that any true conservative want to completely dismantle them. I sincerely hope Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination so the country can finally see what hard-core conservativism is all about.

That being said, I think you’ll acknowledge that Paul’s approach to healthcare is not the consensus conservative view. What is the consensus conservative view of healthcare? Where do the top-tier Republican candidates stand on this and all the other vital domestic agendas?

Posted by: American Pundit at June 1, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #221905

rah, thank you for posting Romney’s article. I enjoyed reading it the first time from the link you provided earlier. Upon re-reading it, I find nothing that refutes or modifies my previous response.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 1, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #221907

AP,
If the information is public as to their costs/ outcomes, etc., there will arise many evaluation arenas. The market will sort it out.

Paul actually doesn’t advocate abolition of medicare and medicaid…just the federal aspects of it. He wants to allow it to be state run and opening up the healthcare markets nationally to allow real national competition, rather than a piece meal state by state agency. Let a Delaware company compete for the Texas markets, etc.

Saying that the public is too dumb to judge healthcare providers is nonsense. Paul voted to allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada. The FDA says this is dangerous. Do you really think so? The State of Illinois doesn’t.

He also advocates allowing consumers to form associations to competitively bid on healthcare plans nationally. These large consumer groups would become the arbitors of healthcare rather than the special interest and bureaucrats that have failed us.

I frankly don’t know what the other candidates plans are, because they have failed to address so many of the other problems. The leading party candidates are simply pandering and hedging, as usual. They are do-nothing candidates in my opinion.

Posted by: barneygoogle at June 1, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #221909

AP, (well) if you don’t see it, then you just don’t see it; it’s (certainly) there, though. Maybe somebody else can point that out to you (at some point). Good luck.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 1, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #221917

Rah
Interesting read. Romnet is clearly the smartest on the Rep bench. Problem is the Reps NEVER nominate the smartest. They usually go for the dumbest at least since Nixon.

Posted by: BillS at June 1, 2007 7:53 PM
Comment #221919

Rah
Excuse.Romney

Posted by: BillS at June 1, 2007 7:55 PM
Comment #221929

Bill S.,

While it’s early, I think Mitt has a strong chance at the Rep. primary. Sorry to say it, but when I read that link of Rahdigly’s, it sounds like blah, blah, blah…how’s my hair?.

It’s appealing to the masses and sounds great, but less filling.

We’ve heard this before, and got Bush. We need something different.


Posted by: barneygoogle at June 1, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #221932

Jeez Bill, If Romney is their smartest it sure doesnt bode well for the rest of us. His plan is Build the military, Use up our oil reserves ASAP, Buddy up with the dictators that will help us against the dreaded Islamo whatevers. If thats the best they can do I think AP is right.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 1, 2007 9:06 PM
Comment #221941

Romney would be in a much better position if he stuck with the positions he adopted in Massachusetts. I can tell you first had that he was a fantastic governor. I can’t believe he is not touting his accomplishments as governor such as the Universal Health care law for the Commonwealth that will begin in July. When he first announced his candidacy I was genuinely interested in him given my experience with him him Massachusetts, but nowadays articles like Rahdigly’s have made me change my mind.

Posted by: Warren P at June 1, 2007 9:46 PM
Comment #221952

The Reps will also not nominate anyone with two first names.

Posted by: BillS at June 1, 2007 11:52 PM
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