Something Wrong?

Is there something wrong with the Republican party and the conservative movement? The problem I see is - the Republican Party is not conservative, it is presently without conviction - there is nothing wrong with the conservative movement, it is just homeless.

Has the Republican party completely abandoned conservativism and will conservatives heed the Republican siren song, when voting time comes in November 06, and more importantly, 08? Can we conservatives survive without a national party for focus? If not, can the libertarian / independent middle be a home for Conservatism. My answers are yes, yes and no, no. See if you agree.

These two lines of political thought have diverged of late. The general aimless drift of the Republican party has evolved into a distinct turn to the left during this administration. This is epitomized by legions of Connecticut Republicans (and national Republican leaders) supporting Joe Lieberman’s independent run. I have discussed this situation in other places with other people, and it still bumfuzzles me. Frankly, the present state of the party does not give me a warm fuzzy for the future of conservatives nor their marriage of necessity with Republicans.

Saw an article in World Net Daily a couple of months ago by Iliana Mercer called Party of Traitors.
Here : http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50375

The article rang true to me. She says, quoting Sean Gibb, “All that is wrong with [American] conservatism is that it lacks a conservative party. The problem with the [Republican Party] and its associated media is that its function has been less to advance conservative interests than to neutralize conservative opinion" ....” Yes, absolutely.

Mulling things over, I have come to this. Despite my sincere gratitude to the President for his proactive pursuit of terrorism, the net effect of his two terms on the United States – the war and 2 conservative Supremes excepted – is much like a Democratic administration would have been. Certainly conservatives must now know they are taken for granted by a republican administration. A situation which we must finally acknowledge.

Of course, the Mercer article was written before Lieberman’s primary loss in Connecticut and resulting lemming like Republican support for this far left Democrat. The hook with Joe Lieberman is that he has been a supporter of the GWOT which is enough, many Republicans say, to support him – everyone ignores the fact that a Republican is in the race. Result? Despite all the Republican support, I see Lieberman touting his opposition to the President’s domestic agenda as part of the campaign. The final straw is? The Republican in the race is scoring single digits in polling when it could a pickup seat. I appreciate any support from the left for the GWOT, but here we sacrifice principle for, at best, a pyrrhic victory? As things stand now a hard left candidate will win this seat, an opportunity is gone and we have accomplished nothing.

Now I must admit that I continue to vacillate some over this Lieberman thing, but I ask you, is this not an instance where the tail wags the dog. Who is the tail? The RINOS and squishy centrists that have overrun republican politics. The dog? I always envision a Churchillian bulldog when describing conservatism. What is the bulldog to do? Don’t know what you think, but we should not need to keep getting whacked with a 2x4 to realize republicans are not conservative and, more importantly, will ignore conservatives and continue to take little mincing steps to the left.

Mercer said this concerning Republicans in her article: “ The Republican Quislings have contributed greatly to the convergence of left and right. What we have now is a cartel, the traditional ideological differences between the political parties having been permanently blurred....” She is right and I say we need to bite the republican leg and seek greener pastures – even though it does little good in my estimation.

Are those greener pastures independent/libertarian or do we need a totally fresh start? At the risk of balkanizing the conservative/true republican/libertarian majority, I believe we need a party which, at all cost, represents conservative principles. Does this concede the next election to the Democrats – yes and also the next, but unless we do, we will continue drifting left. What about elections to follow? Well, as always, there is a catch.

The catch ? Can a conservative platform ever attract a majority? Help me here, but I do not think so. The RINOS and probably “centrists” would join the left in that event. As it is, the left well outnumbers us – not in voters, but sheer numbers. The left will eventually scheme ways to vote all of their constituents; be they illegal alien, deceased or felon. In the circumstances we face into the future, it is safe to say that we producers will never again outnumber the takers. Once the power - congress and the Presidency (the judiciary and media never left them) - is back with the left they will not yield power again. Frankly we caught the left by surprise last time, taking the congress as we did – they learn from their mistakes.

In sum I want to avoid doom and gloom and hope for a future where conservativism holds sway. Unfortunately I am pessimistic in the present circumstance, and don’t see much except a dead end for us. Conservatives can go quietly, incrementally to the left, in step with present day Republicans; or can go quickly by splintering our slim majority. In either case, I fear conservatives are simply tilting against windmills; standing athwart history – yelling stop; etc., etc., etc.

Posted by Seminole 6 at August 28, 2006 1:02 PM
Comments
Comment #177826

As usual, I see a lot of strategizing about how to win without any thought about the fact that the conservative republican party no longer exists.

What do you do when your side wins and you find that it is no lnger your side? That’s what is going on. Reagan conservatism is dead along with him.

Another blogger, d.a.n., has been stumping the idea that the problem is incumbants. I think he’s right about that. We need a shift of power. We need to remove the incumbants and all the infrastructure of corruption they have assembled. The new ones we put in their place will necessarily be better since they will have fewer special interests to cow-tow to from long associations and contributions.

Posted by: RGF at August 28, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #177832

Seminole,
Could you, or anyone from the Red Column, please explain what you mean by “conservative,” and how it differs from the acts of Republicans now in power?

From what I can see, we are now seeing the logical results of implementing conservative policy. At times, conservative beliefs are contradictory; for example, support for business can contradict belief in small government; and when contradictions occur, one tenet trumps another. In this case, legislation favoring business sails through the Republican Congress and receives the signature of the president at taxpayer expense. Since conservative philosophy favors small government, no major legislation passes that would be favorable to most taxpayers. Instead, we see industry handouts like the energy bill, the bankruptcy bill, and so on; pork for big business at taxpayer expense, with no redeeming characteristics for the country as a whole. Spending skyrockets, yet no major legislation seems to have been enacted.

Tax breaks are enacted, but once again, contradiction within conservatism steer the breaks towards corporations and, most of all, the wealthiest 1% of the population. As a result, debts & deficits skyrocket, jobs are outsourced, job creation suffers, and wages for 80% of the population actually decrease after inflation, all as a natural result of the implementation of conservative philosophy.

It seems to me you are presenting a version of the idea that conservatism would work if only the Republicans instituted 100% of the doctrine; but since they only instituted 99% and it has failed dismally, the problem is not with doctrine, but party.

If you & others would state your definitions, or how your ideas differ from my perception, perhaps we could discuss the results and possible futures.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #177834

Watchblog-

When will spellcheck be incorperated into the comment box? As a professional, I was never given any real incentive to learn how to type properly, so I need help. I’m sure legions of doctors/lawyers/etc will agree.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #177835

This quote says it all: “The RINOS and squishy centrists that have overrun republican politics.”

Nice inclusion of AMERICA. The problem with the right wing is it has become elitist, dogmatic, and despotic. It has no tolerance of opposing views, either foreign or domestic, and has no interest in serving the people of our nation, only in serving its own ideology.

The current GOP is simply UNAmerican and needs to be voted out of office on all counts as a display of true patriotism.

Posted by: Dave1 at August 28, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #177838

I’m glad to see this kind of soul searching by the Republican party. I think you guys have been hijacked. I do disagree with you, though, that the Iraq invasion was a conservative action. I alos disagree with your characterization of what would have happened with a Democratic in the White House. Clinton was the only Demoncrat president in the last quarter century, and he was quite a bit more fiscally responsible than Bush.

I want the true conservatives back. You knew their principles; you could debate with them. The country needs its najor parties led by thoughtful people. Yes, that was a slam at the current Republican president. Why can’t you guys get a smart guy in office? It was Dole’s bad luck to run against the most gifted politician of this generation.

Posted by: Trent at August 28, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #177843

or, I could sound reasonable like Trent.
But it truely amazes me that so many republican types use disparaging acronyms against their fellow party memebers when the target of the venom simply disagrees with a platform element or some other “truth” held by the rabid loyalists… Where am I wrong on this?

Posted by: Dave1 at August 28, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #177848

Both American parties are coalitions of various groups. I and certain that my brand of conservative could never win a majority of the American people’s votes. But this is true of EVERY ideologogy that anyone holds. We compromise to get the things we want the most.

The Republican Party has not be behaving as I would always like. There are some individual Republicans I dislike. However, when I look at the other side and comtemplate the choice I have to make, I go with Republicans.

BTW - I have never encountered a third party that suites me much better. Libertarians sometimes come close, but I do believe in some proactive government.

We have a CHOICE between Dems and Republicans. Both are imperfect choices with particular strengths and weaknesses. It is always tempting and satisfying to the ego to be ideological pure, but there are two problems with living life w/o contradictions.

1. All greatness is based on contradiction
2. Pure ideology never wins an election.

So to both parties and all other, just make your CHOICE. Choose the person you think is best. Work to improve your party and government, but realize that you can never fully succeed.

Posted by: Jack at August 28, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #177850

I always vote for the lesser of two evils—in my lifetime, that has ALWAYS been the republicans.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 28, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #177851

“I want the true conservatives back. You knew their principles; you could debate with them.”

I think what we’re seeing here is not drift, but application of the general principle “power corrupts”. Republicans have control of all three branches of government, and once you control government, isn’t it tempting to sell off your legislation to the highest bidder? particularly in congress, where incumbents are almost always re-elected. The Red team rode to power with promises of term limits and reform, but now? they are masters of pork, and block even anemic efforts to limit the influence of lobbyists.

Posted by: William Cohen at August 28, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #177854

I always vote for the lesser of two evils—in my lifetime, that has ALWAYS been the republicans democrats.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at August 28, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #177857

Wow… the Left is complaining that the Democrats aren’t Left enough, the Right is complaining that the Republicans aren’t Right enough, and the Centrists (me) still feel unrepresented.

Politics - she is strange, no?

Seminole,

When you say “conservativism”, are you referring to economic, social, or both?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 28, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #177858
I always vote for the lesser of two evils—in my lifetime, that has ALWAYS been the republicans.
I always vote for the lesser of two evils—in my lifetime, that has ALWAYS been the republicans democrats.

I always refuse to vote for evil. Maybe the country would be a better place if you did, too.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 28, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #177860

good point Rob.

Posted by: Dave1 at August 28, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #177861

I am encouraged by the responses but saddened at the same time! It is easy to find fault, point fingers and jump on the bandwagon of dumping all incumbents or changing paties however, grass roots conservative activism in politics needs to make a comeback. How many of us simply sit in a chair behind a computer and complain about the current political atmosphere in the United States? Now consider this, how many does something about it? If we would hold to our own conservative values and quit voting for candidates that time and again spit in the face of our values it will send a message. We need to stand by, volunteer and do what we can to start electing people that is not afraid to be conservative! If those we do elect do not live up to our ideals then we send them packing and show that we, the backbone of the GOP are a force to be reckoned with on election day. My friends, it is not a crime to be fed up with current incumbents but we have only ourselves to blame if we keep sending them back into our courthouses, city halls, county chairs, state houses and Washington. I believe in the party of Lincoln and Reagan but it will be us, not the current party leaders that lead “our” grand old party back to it’s once solid and unbending conservative roots.

Posted by: Robert N. at August 28, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #177866

Robert N.,

I believe in the party of Lincoln and Reagan

For the record, those were two entirely different parties….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 28, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #177869

RGF - I don’t think I was intentionally strategizing but rather thinking out loud. Basically I agree that Repubs and Conservs are diverging - there aren’t many similarities left between them.

Agree that getting out encumbants may shake up some of the fence sitters, but we know that is usually pie in the sky - the present system protects the officeholder and not our country, as it should.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at August 28, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #177870

Hey Robert,

You just said a mouthful! Do you want to head up the new Grassroots movement?

Posted by: CathyJo at August 28, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #177871

phx8,

I will try to help you out in understanding the difference between conservatism vs republicanism. All of the examples you cite in your second paragraph illustrate the diffences between the two philosophies.

a conservative supports business by leaving it alone to conduct business honestly (but will crucify dishonesty). Conservatives would not give tax breaks and “incentives” to businesses or any other group exclusively.

Yes, conservatives are in favor of tax breaks, and would give them to everyone equally were that possible. However, since something like 80% of the tax burden is on the top 5% of the wage earners, any tax break will naturally “be for the rich” [Could anyone help out with the correct statistic here?]

Basically the reason we support small government is two-fold. First, it’s what the constitution actually says, despite the courts “interpretations” over the years. Second, we believe that free people will be the most productive and that with a bigger pie, there are more slices to go around, if you will excuse the metafore. More freedom = less poverty.

Another big example is the immigration issue. Conservatives are for border security and controlled legal immigration. Republicans are for open borders and “guest workers” who come here uninvited and take jobs from our poor and those just starting out in life (teenagers).

Hope that helps

Posted by: Martian at August 28, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #177874

My perspective is a liberal one, but from that point of view I see a Republican party consisting of two conservative groups: 1) corporatists, and 2) social.

When we think of conservative thought, most of us mean corporatist thought. This includes libertarians. This group represents a relatively small proportion of votes, but a larege proportion of money.

The second group, social conservatives, consist of the christian fundamentalists and their sympathizers. This group represents a large proportion of votes within the Republican party.

Almost without exception, we have seen corporatist conservative philosophy dominate the actions of the Bush administration, Republican Congress, and Supreme Court.

The social conservatives influence to a small extent, but even that can have large consequences. Their influence morphs curent foreign policy into a War against Islam. It manifests itself in a case like Terry Schiavo, to the acute embarrassment of the corporatists. Mostly, though, the corporatists mask their moves in order to placate social conservatives without actually delivering. For example, the Supreme Court justices Roberts & Alito are widely advertised as fulfillments of social conservative desires. In fact, Roberts and Alito are classic examples of corporate conservatives.

Corporate conservatives will sell Port Operations to the UAE, but suffer when their actions are exposed to the social conservatives. The same holds true for debacles such as dismantling Social Security. Even for groups as intensely committed to a leader/follower mentality as the social conservatives, there are issues such as dismantling Social Security which will not fly with them.

It is not a matter of incumbency. Until the system itself changes, incumbents will merely be replaced with new potential incumbents.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #177877

The problem, as I see it, isn’t in the fact that the REP & DEM parties simply don’t represent the conservative or liberal ideas we follow, it’s that the politicians in DC only follow their own interests. They do what fits their base (large donors & corp. backers) and they say whatever the hell they need to to get elected.

Does anyone here, ever for a second, think that these guys are sincere when they stump for re-election?

I (for the DEM side of DC) plan to knock all of the incumbents running in my district out of office. As treebeard (Lord of the Rings) said: I am on no one’s side because no one is on my side.

Posted by: tony at August 28, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #177879

Martian,
As an issue, immigration fits into the corporate/social dichotomy of the Republican Party which I just described.

On immigration, you identify the corporatists with the Republicans, & the conservatives with the social faction.

The same dichotomy can be extended towards outsourcing, and now that I think about it, most domestic economic issues.

McCain is a “moderate” social conservative. While I respect the man, as a politician he looks to me like he is playing the same game as Clinton and so many other corporatists-in-social clothing; placate the base, but when push come3s to shove, take care of the big money.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #177885

“I always vote for the lesser of two evils—in my lifetime, that has ALWAYS been the republicans.”

I never would have guessed. You? A straight ticket voter? No Way! [buried needle on sarcasm meter]

Seriously, nobody should ever be proud to be so one-sided in politics (an arena of constant change). It shows one thing and one thing only: willingness to believe anything you are told. The fact that you have never in your posts (not one time) given any reasons for your beliefs shows this quite clearly. The rest of us need reasons, not the party line to tow.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #177887

Martian,
One other item: the Constitution does not promote a corporatist/libertarian philosophy. The preamble includes the phrase “promote the general welfare.” American revolutionaries fought “taxation without representation,” not the concept of taxation itself, nor of government regulation. Also, their ire was to a great extent directed at the British corporation which then dominated trade. This was the point of the Boston Tea Party.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #177891

phx8,

Your posts show a confusion between free market and big business, which you obviously assume to be one and the same.

I am a free-market, small-government advocate who has abandoned the republican party precisely BECAUSE of the “corporate conservatism” that you try to lump libertarians into. Libertarians do not support what you call “support for business…at taxpayer expense.” Libertarians oppose all forms of corporate welfare by which big business (whose CEOs oppose the free market as much as any Soviet politburo member.)

The fact of the matter is that the corporate welfare you denounce is a left-wing concept that has now conquered the republican party. It was FDR and his Brain Trust who enacted the myth that the free market caused the great depression; and therefore the government had to scientifically manage the economy through selective regulation, taxes, jobs projects, etc. Even today it is liberals who demand a “national energy policy” that basically consists of handouts and tax breaks to corporations to “promote clean energy” that the free market supposedly cannot do.

It is the liberals who, during the Progressive Era, fought to give the federal government unlimited power to tax and spend, via the income tax amendment and FDR’s Supreme Court deletion the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment out of the Constitution. Unfortunately, rather than fighting this, the republican party of today has decided to take these powers and employ them for the benefit of it current constituents, big business and social conservatives/evangelicals.

If you wish to trash the republican party, go ahead, but don’t lump libertarians into “corporate conservatism.” At the very least, go to lp.org and read the LP’s platform before saying what they stand for.

Posted by: Darren at August 28, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #177897

The Republican Party, as a majority coalition, is uncertain about its true identity. To remain in power, it has to appeal to people who are not committed Republicans, who may have been wedged from the other side by only a few sets of issues.

America, for the most part, has shifted leftwards in its moral position. Just look at Spike and FOX Channels. Consider how many Right Wing hosts apply electric guitars to their broadcasts. The culture war, if you define it by the content we see in the media, is well and truly lost. Still, they don’t want to be uncool…

After taking over for the Democrats, the Republicans not only saw no problem with continuing the pork and other problems, they institutionalized it They did not learn from their rival’s defeat, and instead took as spoils of victory the lucrative activities that doomed their counterparts.

Worse yet, they viewed their continued victories and majorities as signs of America’s rightward shift. Never mind that their majorities are thinner than the Democrats ever were, and that the margins of many of their political victories have been slim.

The trouble here is that nobody agrees with the two statements that the GOP seems to be making: That they are conservative, and that the rest of America is as well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 28, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #177900

As a conservative, I have more problems with Bush and the present Republican majority on domestic policy than on the GWOT. They are not conservative in their actions. I was pleased that Bush was a moderate Republican when he first entered office, because I thought the Democrats would work with him. (They were foolish not to.) Now I can see that the Democrats actually hurt the country by not working with Bush on domestic issues. If they had, Bush would not have won re-election. And we would (or could) be better off.
If they had cooperated, Dean and Kerry and Michael Moore would not have been in the limelight, but someone more moderate on the Democrat side.
In the end, the burden of Bush belongs to the Democrat party. They caused his second term. This shows how foolish the Democrat Party has been and continues to be. Instead of taking a couple steps to the right, they took a couple more steps to the left.
We gained nothing by electing a moderate president. True conservatives lost much.

Posted by: Don at August 28, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #177903

The late Senator Barry Goldwater, Mr. Conservative, himself, identified the problem years ago: the hijacking of the GOP by the religious right.


“On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.” ~Barry Goldwater

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at August 28, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #177906
RGF wrote: We need to remove the incumbents and all the infrastructure of corruption they have assembled.
Man, you got that right. Most have no idea how vast and entrenched that infrastructure is.
RGF wrote: The new ones we put in their place will necessarily be better since they will have fewer special interests to cow-tow to from long associations and contributions.
Yes, those ousted incumbents will not go unnoticed. And, if it does, the new incumbents should be voted out too (or recalled).

RGF,
Thanks! I know that would also make David R. Remer very happy to hear too.

I could spend hours and days of debate promoting the idea because and the numerous benefits and reasons, because it really is the one, most simple, logical, common-sense, no-brainer, safe, peaceful, non-partisan, fair, patriotic, inexpensive, honest, ethical, and responsible thing voters were supposed to do all along, always:

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.

  • Don’t Re-Elect Irresponsible, Bought-and-Paid-For, Incumbent Politicians !

But, it is easier said than done.
However, there is a built-in mechanism to eventually bring about reform.
When can things get better?
So, when will the corruption end?
Only when the corruption becomes too painful.

We’ve got a ways to go still.
Perhaps after the next great depression?

Posted by: d.a.n at August 28, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #177908

Darren,
Free markets result in control by big corporations because competition results in consolidation into oligopolies and monopolies.

Only one institution possesses the wherewithal to break up monopolies, engage in trust busting, and protect the formation and success of small businesses, and that is the federal government. Only federal government possesses the sized, span, financial clout, & ability to act with intent.

You may call it left-wing or even socialist. Without interference in so-called free markets, there would be no such thing as currency; after all, federal government prints it in the first place; and there would be no stock market today, since only federal intervention prevented computerized trading from driving the markets down to zero in the crash of 1987.

Only a mixture of capitalism and socialism has any hope of working. The libertarian philosophy has some attractive elements- we all like the idea of freedom and liberty from all controls exerted by a group- but in the final analysis, it does not work for the Republican corporatists, and it does not work for the rest of Americans either.

The freest, most democratic libertarian groups in the world are primitive tribes with less than thirty members.

On a larger scale, failed states with free markets should result in perfect libertarian societies. Unfortunately, “failed” continues to be the operative word for such states.

Finally, the British Raj enforced free market capitalism in India and southeast Asia during the last half of the 19th century. They thought they were exercising a perfect application of the theories of Adam Smith. Age old practices used by the locals to prevent famine, involving storage & warehouseing of grain, were prevented. This directly resulted in tens of millions of deaths due to starvation during the El Nino events of @ 1876 & @ 1898. One could quite plausibly argue that “free markets” killed more people than Mao, Stalin, or any other economic theory you would care to name.

Wandering from the topic, but it is difficult to do without more concise definitions of what it means to be Republican, or conservative.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #177917

phx8,

Ne’er so well expressed.

Posted by: Trent at August 28, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #177923

Phx8,

I agree with you on Sen. McCain. Would never vote for him, too Clintonian.

As for the “promote the general welfare” in the preamble, its just that…a preamble. It was not intended to have the force of law, only showing the direction the document was to go. And the phrase “general welfare” at that time meant the most good for the most people as opposed to good for the elite as most every other government of their day was organized. This was revolutionary in that day!

Shoving conservatives into corporatist vs. social conservative bags misses an important point. No true conservative is a “corporatist” by your definition. I’m certainly just as guilty about my perception of the left, as most of their world view is so foreign to me.

BTW, the state of knowledge of corporations is so poor these days, behaps a quick primer is in order…Corporations do not exist in reality, they are legal constructs that are designed to allow business to be conducted efficiently and wealth distributed properly in complex multi-party transactions. A corporation CANNOT pay taxes any more than your land can pay property taxes! When taxes are paid by a corporation, basically the following takes place; the owners (stockholders) pay the tax through lower profits, and/or the customers pay the tax through higher prices. The former will lower the supply and result in higher prices. The latter will raise the prices and result in lower demand. Either way, we’re moving the wrong way on the supply/demand curve. The morale of the story is: corporations are fictitious and taxes are always bad.

Posted by: Martian at August 28, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #177926

phx8
The federal government does not print the money. The Federal Reserve Board is in control of printing the money. The FRB is not a government entity.

For all:
Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, or whatever does not have the same definition as decades before. I personally consider myself as a constitutionalist. That is to say I believe the United States Constitution was written in a manner that pretty well covers all aspects of life. I do not believe it to be a “living” document as some say it is today. By having the federal government grow to enormous proportions, the federal government has usurped power and authority that the Constitution does not allow it to have. The old saying that “The best government is the one that governs the least” is a good model for all governments to follow. For an example. The Constitution does not give the federal government authority or power involving education, housing, agriculture, work safety and many more arenas they have stepped into. These are areas for the states to deal with and in some cases even at a more local level. The 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited it by the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
So you see, there are so many examples of federal intervention in areas where they should not be. If the Legislature, Executive and Judicial branches practiced Constitutionalism we would not see so much fraud, corruption and all kind of wrong doing at all levels of government.

Posted by: tomh at August 28, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #177929

I agree that Phx8 has overgeneralized in his catagorizing of people…par for the course in trying to come up with a simple summary. I don’t think that any true libertarian today would be happy about being lumped together with corporatist republicans. Things are just not simple these days. The issues are not so cut and dry any longer.

Social conservatives are turning activist and trying to control behavoir through prohibitions. Fiscal conservatives are trying at every step to create big wasteful government programs so they can appear to be compassionate, or as if they are working for the people. These trends reek of desperation to hold onto power. Mobilizing the base has resulted in a complete flip-flop in philosophy. Suddenly, government is the answer?

Conservative libertarians like me simply want government as a safety net (not welfare). For example, we must regulate securites if we want non-professionals to invest in equities. But only to the point where it remains efficient. Part of fiscal responsablity is also paying off debts. We must have laws to hold people accountable, but we can’t expect them to change behavior simply because there is a law. There must be a percieved need, otherwise there will be no respect for that law (ie drugs).

Taxes and government are not always bad either. Look at the CCC projects after the depression. The government can often be very instrumental in the economy in a positive way. Want to promote the economy in a specific area? Build something…make it really impressive. Then sit back and watch the employees spend all their money on food, shelter, cars, etc. A town will spring up around this activity. Then tourism will keep it alive. Business will then follow the buck. Soon you have a bustling city of taxpayers. Pretty damn efficient.

But along with this comes accountability. People need to know their local issues. They need to stop worrying about picking the perfect local candidate every 4 years, and start worrying about picking several every 2 years. This leaves much more room for error, and manipulation will be less effective. It also allows much more opportunity to find the perfect strategy…50 times more at least. Nationalizing every issue has made for confused parties and ideologies as none of them give you the answer you truly feel is right every time. So we rely on experience…and spread the risk while maximizing the ability for tactical retreat.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #177931

Tomh-

Yes, but the constitution also does not explicity protect privacy either, part of which is family law. The commerce claus has also become a catch-all provision. If it were strictly interpreted, the constitution would leave no room for anything social conservatives have been pushing lately.

I say it is and must be a living document, or else we need to start amending it more often as the framers had intended us to do. It was never meant to be set in stone, but merely as the best they could do at the time.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #177936

A real Libertarian is nothing like a real Republican.
First of all, libertarians are for less government.
Republicans, based on the last six years, are for bloated government, growing to nightmare proportions. But, Democrats were almost as bad.
Libertarians understand the 1st Amendment.
Many Republicans seem to think proselytizing is OK (in fact, needed). They reject the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 28, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #177939

Rob Cottrell,
Different time yes, but Republicans none the less.

Posted by: Robert N. at August 28, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #177940
Kevin23 wrote: I could go on for days. I’ll spare you, but hopefully the idea has been put forth accurately.

No, don’t spare us. I’d like to read it. Here’s a list to start with.

If enough people don’t think that is a problem, then fine … they will learn, eventually.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 28, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #177942

CathyJo,
I would jump at the chance to try and bring Kansas back as a legitimate conservative red state!
Aside from that, I do go to the young Republicans meetings and I volunteer for candidates that share TRUE conservative values. It is nothing drastic but I am always looking for more ways to become involved. I like this forum and I think there are some very intellegent conversation but sadly it is all for not if we do not become involved!
Thanks,
R.

Posted by: Robert N. at August 28, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #177946

My Name Is Roger:

Dr. Poshek.

I voted for Barry Goldwater, and next to Ronald Reagon I think he is the best of the best that the Republican Party has ever had to offer [ in my lifetime ].

I got the feeling from your statement, about religious views, that MAYBE you were against them ONLY because they were reilgious views.

QUESTION: WHAT IF THEIR RELIGIOUS VIEWS ARE CORRECT?

CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG.

ROGER

Posted by: ROGER: at August 28, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #177955

Kev23,
No question, I am generalizing. Several people suggest Libertarians cannot be lumped together with the Republican corporatists. Fair enough. There is- or at least, there used to be- a strong strain of libertarianism in Republicn thinking. My earlier point is that the libertarian strain was subsumed by the “the business of America is business” strain of conservatism. The extension of the 14th amendment rights of a “person” to corporations makes the political result unavoidable. But that is wandering afield again.

It is interesting to me that no one defends the neoconservatives or the Bush administration.

It is also interesting to me that one thing Americans agree upon with near unanimity is the need to rein in spending.

Personally, I have no problem with spending if it achieves something. I would like to see universal health care. Typical liberal, right?But under the current, supposedly conservative, administration we have seen spending skyrocket; and worst of all, we have almost nothing to show for it except a powerful military unsuited to fight the kinds of conflicts we are most likely to face.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #177963

Don-
I find it very interesting that you’re blaming your vote on us. You folks are the ones who banded together to reelect him. You folks cooperated with the vilification of us, that drove us away from cooperation. Bush is your direct responsibility. You bought him with your vote, and now the price is too high.

By the way: if you had tried a less moderate president you would have never gotten him elected. Only the President’s broad appeal on terrorism saved him in the last election.

Martian-
A corporation may be a fictional legal entity, but nonetheless it does exist as a legal entity, which can pay taxes, sue and be sued, and can own property. As a legal person, a Corporation, while enjoying the rights and privileges of a legal individual, should also, by principle, enjoy the burdens and responsibilities of a person under the law. People should not be freed from legal responsiblities like taxation and regulation, simply because they get together in groups recognized as legal individuals.

As for taxes? Good heavens, man, the only alternative y’all have given us is greater debt. I may not like having to pay taxes, but it’s a hell of a lot better paying taxes than suffering under a greater debt load. Just ask Alan Greenspan.

tomh-
The government charters the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury manages it. Just look on your bills: there’s a signature of the Treasury Secretary on every one. Not a coincidence.

As for the constitution, take a good long look at it. It is vague. It doesn’t get into specifics. It constitutes (literally) just a few pages of text.

There’s a great deal of room for interpretation left by descriptors like Interstate Commerce, especialy in these days, where business commonly cross state lines. We have to consider that maybe in these times where people in states interact over distances that people in premodern times would have considered mind-boggling, it is only fitting that the balance of power in government be adjusted accordingly.

The world has fundamentally changed since the days of the Founding Fathers. Thankfully, they didn’t straitjacket us to their interepretation, but provide for a system that could change with the times, yet still impose limits on the nature of that change. I think Republicans are right to challenge the extension of the federal government into local issues, as Democrats are right to challenge the exclusion, as both see fit. This system wasn’t set up to kiss my ass or yours, it was set up to make sure that no one group would be able to arbitrarily dominate the others. The Republicans are finding out to their dismay that there is a price to be paid in a Democracy for artificially shifting government in any one ideological direction people don’t want.

Roger-
You have tempted fate, and I have been called upon to correct you. What if their religious views are correct? Then they should work by rational argument and persuasive rhetoric to convince others of them. You cannot force morality on people. They either live it and believe in it, or they don’t. What’s more, not everybody lives up to these professed moralities; the imposition of such morality has more to do with the impulse towards controlling others than it does towards teaching people to control themselves in such cases.

People rightfully balk at that. It’s much easier to take moral instruction from somebody who can admit that they are human and that you are too, than it is to take it from somebody who gets off on running your life, despite the troubles in their own. It’s not for nothing that Christ said for people to remove the log from their eye before removing the motes from other folks.

It is incredibly difficult to institute codes of morality without other people’s cooperation. You cannot reach a person’s heart and soul through dead books of the law.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 28, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #177972

Martian,
Then why do corporations have rights as if the were a person. It seems they shouldnt have it both ways, unfortunatley they do and this is why we are where we are today.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #177973

Phx8-

I have to admit, health care is one area where I’m more “liberal” than I am conservative. I think every member of a first world society, let alone the richest nation on earth, should have at least some access to health care. If costs get out of control, then restrict certain procedures, or refuse to pay for treatment of clearly self-inflicted diseases. Or require re-imbursement for care recieved in the last year of life. If there is an estate, then charge it. The kids can try to talk their parents out of treatment themselves. I’d love to hear that conversation: “Daddy, I need you money, so lets just forego this opperation.” I really don’t get this idea of a “right to inherit” at the expense of taxpayers. I didn’t read that in any law book as it doesn’t exist.

But as a society, we should really allow for basic care for all citizens…even those without money. BUT, they should be citizens.

Stephen-

On the morality-through-legislation issue: totally agree. I’ve never once consulted a law book during a moral dilemna. Instead, I relied on my upbringing and the values I’ve been observing in society my whole life. Informal control beats formal control every time. It is BASIC police science.

On the corporations-as-people issue: where do you stand on criminal/civil liability for corperate crimes?

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 28, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #177974

I have recently read the book Conservatives without Conscience by John Dean. I am not against the Republican party or the Democrat party, I am against both of these parties and this book illustrates why I have recently backed away from the Republican party.

The book goes into how the new Republican party is full authoritarians like Gw 43 and “Straight Shooter” Dick Cheney. The main point of the book is that the new Republican movement is completely contradictory to the original conservative ideology.

I suggest this book to anyone interested in this topic. But may I say about this topic, I have read many posts complaining about Democrats and then responses complaining about Republicans. Our country needs to look at the way things have developed and realize that our political environment is at a dead end. Many (not all) Republicans and Democrats in the government are backing bills and legislation with a partisan outlook and political agenda. This can not happen if we want a true democracy in this nation.

The Republican party has major problems, but so does the Democratic party. I agree with the Democratic party on why the current Republican in government are not doing a great job but I am also concerned that this is all the Democrats have. All they do is reject any theory that the Republicans have to offer, yes the Republicans are not showing alot of good ideas these days but at least they are trying to bring new ideas. The Democrats are not doing this, there will be a time when intelligent Americans will realize that the Democratic party is not offering anything but opposition to anything the Republican party stands for.

This country needs a new direction, a new movement, and new ideals…not constant bickering back and forth between parties.

Posted by: Matt Quirin at August 28, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #177979

Stephen wrote -
“I find it very interesting that you’re blaming your vote on us. You folks are the ones who banded together to reelect him. You folks cooperated with the vilification of us, that drove us away from cooperation.” in response to:

“I was pleased that Bush was a moderate Republican when he first entered office, because I thought the Democrats would work with him. (They were foolish not to.) Now I can see that the Democrats actually hurt the country by not working with Bush on domestic issues. If they had, Bush would not have won re-election.”

The truth is that the Dems immediately began to oppose Bush from the beginning of his FIRST term. They filibustered. They antagonized. They VILIFIED Bush. Bush came in promising to work with the Democrats. He would have. He did in Texas. It didn’t have to be his way only for them to get along. But the Dems refused to play nice. This drove the Nation and the Bush administration to a big divide. He began to do things only his way, only because he could get NO cooperation from the other side of the aisle (with a very few exceptions).

My point (which you refused to acknowlege) was that the bad nature of the Dems during Bush’s first term both encouraged the extreme left and motivated the extreme right. The extreme left sounded so shrill that the extreme right came to the fight (and unfortunately won). If the Dems had not taken such a hard line, the extreme right wouldn’t have come out in such numbers. IN TRUTH, IT IS PRIMARILY THE FAULT OF THE DEMS THAT BUSH WAS ELECTED FOR A SECOND TERM.

There is a lesson here.

Posted by: Don at August 28, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #177986

Don, I dont seem to remember it happening quite the way you say. After Bush being inaugurated, the first thing I recall is the pre-emptive stike policy he felt was necessary if he was to govern. The republican congress had its own agenda and if you will recall Delay and crew were as arrogent then as they were leaving office. I heard Bush telling everyone he was the uniter but it was only on his terms. The arrogance of Bush and Cheney was apparent very early on. He and Delay alienated the Dems. It went down hill from there. With that in mind, Bush’s “mandate” term was on the repubs IMHO. With that being said do you have any specifics that would cause me to change my opinion?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #177988

That’s how I remember it, too, j2t2. The Republicans were atrocious in their behavior toward Clinton; they simply hated his guts. I always presumed it was because he was so damn effective and popular and stole their issues. At any rate, I don’t remember anything quite so abominable on the Dems’ part. What was Bush’s agenda, anyway? Chief was cutting taxes, of course, in an attempt to cure the surplus and later the deficit. After that, what? No Child Left Behind? Then 9/11 and it was all rah-rah-rah.

Posted by: Trent at August 28, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #177989
Has the Republican party completely abandoned conservativism

?

I think you mean conservatism and, if so, the answer is yes, a resounding yes. I would love to be a Republican but the Republicans won’t let me. I want less government intrusion but the Repugs want to outlaw abortion and jail people for using drugs. I want less government spending but the Repugs spend more than the Dems. I want a balanced budget but the Repugs have broken all the records on deficit spending. I want free markets but the Repugs insist on subsidizing defense contractors and farmers. I want this country to stick to its own knitting and butt out of foreign countries’ pronblems but the Repugs think they can police and fix every problem in every tinpot dictatorship in every continent, on my dime.

What a shame. The Repugs deserve to get their a-ses kicked in this election cycle. But since they control Diebold, the leading electronic voting system provider, I doubt it will happen.

Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at August 28, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #177993

phx8 — Excellent Posts! In my opinion you really nailed it here. Indeed, whenever you’re around, you cover so much territory and do it so effortlessly, I find I don’t feel any need to comment myself.
Thanks! ;^)

William Cohen, Stephen Daughtery, well done also.

Dr. Poshek, good quote. IMO, Republicans have truly forgotten everything that Barry Goldwater ever said. In fact, a lot of Republicans that I know personally have given me a blank stare the few times I’ve brought him up in conversation — they really know nothing about the amazing influence he once had on their party.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 28, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #177994

Trent -

Haven’t you read the news? Bush would have won if the recount was completed. He did win. The will of the people was accomplished because the will of the people is to elect the president legally. Since he was legally elected, you have no argument.

j2t2 -

I remember that the Dems began, even before Bush was sworn into office in 2001, to oppose his presidency. They almost refused to accept him as president. They began even before the inauguration to attack. I don’t remember that level of animosity toward any president elect prior to George Bush.

I don’t say this to defend Bush, I point out what you (on the Dem side) still refuse to acknowlege… YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS RE-ELECTION. The level of President-bashing from the Dems in the first 4 years of his presidency outstrips any before (including Clinton). You may think Clinton had it bad, but the Dems in Bush’s first term took it to new lows. The result was Bush’s re-election.

As I said before, take a lesson.

Posted by: Don at August 28, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #177997
Is there something wrong with the Republican party and the conservative movement?

Plenty wrong with the Republican Party.
Nothing wrong with the Conservative Movement.

Has the Republican party completely abandoned conservativism…

YES!!!!!!

….and will conservatives heed the Republican siren song, when voting time comes in November 06, and more importantly, 08?

Sure hope not.

Can we conservatives survive without a national party for focus?

I’ve been doing it for 34 years.


The Republican Party has been Liberal for more years than most y’all think. It’s been liberal for at least 40 years. Maybe more. But it has just recently gotten as liberal as the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 28, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #177998

Don,
The contest between Bush & Gore was remarkable for being so boring. Gore & Lieberman waged a lackluster campaign, and with the country in such good shape, issues such as “character” and what to do with the surplus dominated politics.

The election turned out to be one of the closest in American history. Four out of seven recount methods showed Gore winning. Vote recounts were stopped, and the Supreme Court awarded Bush the presidency on a 5-4 partisan decision.

After the election, the Bush administration toddled along until 9/11. The country united behind Bush, and as late as July 2002 Bush enjoyed 70% approval ratings.

Take a lesson, indeed.

That is a fact, Don, a cold, hard statitistical fact. 70%. That is a remarkably high rating. July, 2002. 70% So Don, please drop the revisionist history. July, 2002. 70%.

The wheels came off with Iraq.

Posted by: phx8 at August 28, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #178003

Don, I know the story very well. The ballots were a disaster, very confusing, and that type since banned in Florida. Pat Buchanan even said all the votes cast for him were obviously mistakes. Tens of thousands of eligible voters who would have presumably favored Gore were purged from the rolls. There were many more “irregulaties” that favored Bush. This is all a matter of public record, but here’s a decent summary of the issues, anyway. No objective person can claim the result represented the intent of the people.

What argument? I’m simply pointing out the facts.

Blame the Democrats for Bush’s re-election all you want. I do too, but not for your reasons.

Posted by: Trent at August 29, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #178007

Don,
I remember Gore graciously conceding defeat. What I dont remember is a special prosecutor being appointed for most of Bush’s time in office. Which as you know is exactly what the repubs did to Clinton. Much money spent not much in the way of broken laws found. Didnt Susan McDougall spend more time in jail than anyone? Total watse of Taxpayer dollars as I recall.

Ron Brown,
Your hurting me Ron, the repubs are not liberal get over it. What you are seeing is conservatism at is most refined. What! did you think it was all gods guns and gays? Lot more to conserevatism than that. Attacking soverign nations isnt liberal, ask any body on the blog, Intentionally running up huge deficits in an attempt to shrink the federal government isnt liberal, its the epitomy of modern conservatism. Talking about our liberties then abusing them, that is conservative to the core, Ron. Just because you dont like this current bunch doesnt mean they are all of a sudden liberal. Conservatism is their ideology. Call it for what it is. Dont call em liberals.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 29, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #178010

Kevini23
Define for me what a living constitution is. This phrase has only been brought up recently for those who don’t see the constitution as the document prepared by our founding fathers. There have been many descriptions of a living constitution. I just want to hear what your definition of a living constitution is.

On the money issue; the Federal Reserve controls all the money, the interest and so on. Sure there are signatures on the paper, but those people do not control the flow.

Posted by: tomh at August 29, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #178011

Don-
Bush started off on the wrong foot. He started off by unapologetically using strong arm tactics. Instead of respectfully keeping his distance, we had such fun-loving highlights as the Brooks Brothers Riot, and our favorite UN Ambassador, John Bolton marching into a counting area and loudly proclaiming the count was over. It might have been forgiveable had Bush spent time after his election mending fences, but instead, he treated less than fifty percent of the vote and a win by one state and a court decision like it was a mandate.

9/11 gave him a second chance. Many immature politicians have bloomed under such adverse conditions, and it seemed for a while that he might do so.

Then you had the 2002 election season, and Bush’s failure to catch or kill Bin Laden. When you say the right words, the right actions have to follow. The 2002 elections were followed by the 2003 War in Iraq. This is where the villification of the last year bore its bitter fruit. You see, if Bush had been right, he could have silenced us right then and there. We would have more calmly accepted his judgment, his leadership.

But his actions the year before became less forgiveable in light of what we learned later. He used our willingness to restrain our partisan interests for the sake of the nation’s security as a bludgeon to both elect more Republicans and undertake his war, and for that we got a mismanaged, badly justified war. We paid for our submission by being deceived and manipulated.

We did our damage, because we believed that the President had badly failed his duties and would use his reelection as a license to continue his screw-ups. Having paid the price for our past cooperation, we were unwilling to pay further.

You conservatives miss the meaningful significance of Dean’s initial denouncement of Bush’s war in Iraq. He was no far left politicians. He was just savvy to something about the rank and file Democrats that many of the politicians on the right and left had insufficient grasp of: your average Democrat was pissed off about how things had turned out.

The degree of this sea change in Democratic and Liberal circles should be indicated by the drop in Bush’s ratings from 90’s all the way down to fifty percent. he had our support, but he squandered it on partisan gains and mismanaged policies and agendas, often rubbing our faces in it. He refused to see his wider constituency as President. Is it not fair that we thereafter decide not to work with him?

Bush didn’t go partisan out of necessity. He did so out of inclination, and then used his considerable cult of personality among the Republicans to galvanize voters in an even more vitriolic, terror-baiting, belligerent campaign, featuring such low-lights as the SwiftVets and the vicious rhetoric of Zell Miller. He knew that otherwise, the momentum would be against him.

And you folks cooperated with that. You dismissed one warning sign after another, and turned out in record numbers to back him, just as we did to back Kerry. You praised him for being such a great conservative, despite deficits and medicare programs, despite a war that could only be called neoconservative, because no real conservative would be so adventurous in military affairs.

You elected him. You’re responsible. The question here is why these things all became problems now, when you can do nothing about them, rather than before, when you had a vote you could cast, and primaries that your people could put candidates into. You folks had your choices. You just didn’t want to be wrong. Unfortunately, whether we’re right or not has nothing to do with whether we want to be right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #178014

Look at what Stephen Daugherty wrote…You folks had your choices…..look at what we have become, we are calling fellow Americans “you people”, does anyone else see the absolute absurdity in these comments.

Our country is in a state of turmoil, we are at each other’s neck about every issue and it all has to do with partisan outlook and political agendas. Our country is at a dead end, we cannot be the true America that promotes true democracy with the bickering and mudslinging that our country has resorted to.

Posted by: Matt Quirin at August 29, 2006 1:40 AM
Comment #178023

Tomh-

In constitutional law, a living constitution is theoretically directly at odds with the idea of textualism. That is to say, to be a living document is to not be bound by the literal interpretation of the writing on the document itself. It has some extended meaning, derived through interpretation. Judicial activism, which peaked in the 1970’s, was coined in regards to federal judges who found inherent rights through a comination of case-law, legislative history, or some other qualified source. But the newfound right is not explicitly written in the constitution. Examples: Miranda rights (nowhere in the 4th amendment does it say police have to tell you your rights…its interpreted that way); Right to privacy (raise children a certain way, identity protection, etc.); right to an education. Abortion is one some people abhor…stems to privacy rights (a woman’s body).

Anyways, the list is extensive. But conservatives have tried their hand as well, through criminalizing drugs, prosecuting the mob, and using the commerce claus as a catch all to regulate everything.

Recently, under this administration, federal judges and the justice dept. in particular have become quite activist in interpreting the establishment clause for example (they believe freedom of religion to mean freedom of a religios group from government intervention…opposite of common legal theory). Another huge example would be their insistance on a unitary executive. They believe in inherent rights of the executive to rule over all things non-domestic in nature, as well as all those express powers such as war powers to be vested in the executive. For details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_Executive_theory

So both parties have seen the need for interpreting differently depending on the need. Both have abused, and both have rebelled. However, most judges still claim to have a stong leaning one way.

Does this explain well enough?

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 3:14 AM
Comment #178025

In third paragraph, let me clarify (and spell correctly) the point about religion. Historically, the establishment clause has been used in court as a means to stop government from placing any restrictions upon the practice of any religion, as well as to prevent government from actively endorsing any one religion over the others. Currently, the justice dept. is arguing that religious endorsement is allowed. In 2004 they argued that a state was required to subsidize religious instruction whenever it subsidizes non-religious instruction (Locke v. Davey, 124 S. Ct. 1307 (2004)). This is a radical departure. This is yet another example of the unprecedented legal tactics being employed by this administration. Maybe you can call it: “liberal” means to a “conservative” end.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 3:42 AM
Comment #178088

Matt Quirin-
This guy is telling me that my party is responsible for his party electing George Bush. I’m simply telling him that it was his vote, his choice, his candidate. Neither I, nor any other Democrat forced him to vote for Bush. Bush is the consequence of years of partisan fear-mongering about Democrats, about our willingness to defend this country. I find it sad to be so underestimate, so villified despite the seriousness with which other Democrats and myself take issues of defense. It is the Jealous hold on power which the right exercises that has made partisanship the order of the day.

I do believe, though, we do need to cut out the partisanship on issues wherever we can. Ultimately, real life runs neither blue nor red. It does not care whether a solution is conservative or liberal. If a solution works, it works, if it doesn’t…

The time has come to focus on the realities of our situation. That has been what folks like myself have wanted all along.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #178091

I always love the “small government” proponents, especially those who propose it in regards to business.
Someone actually was in denial enough to write (in regards to business regulation) “More freedom = less poverty”
ROTFLOL!!!!!!!!
What turnip truck do you think we all just fell off of???
Every time “deregulation” is tried (at least in THIS century — past centuries were actually “pre-regulation”) we get corruption, scams, and billion dollar ripoffs of individuals as well as taxpayers (by loss of tax revenues due to these cheats)
and then we get a new round of regulations to clean up the “abuses”
It is often forgotten that the only reason regulations were originally initiated is because human nature (i.e. greed) ALWAYS rears it’s ugly head when such a vacuum as “deregulation” occurs
Preregulation we had “Robber Barons” — why exactly do you think they were called that?
Because of their Robin Hood type demeanor????
Give me a break
Pre-enviornmental regulations we had the Ohio River on Fire, Clear Cuts silting up Salmon Streams, the loss of the Passenger Pigeon and other species, the Dust Bowl, etc etc etc
Yea, gov’t should just be hands off and we would all be living in Eden, if only it weren’t for the big bad Gov’t screwing it up.
Tell that to the people in Wyoming and Montana that are having their ranches ruined because business have been given free access to the minerals underground by our “minimalist” administration.

Another little nugget
We orginally allowed the design and mfg of aircraft without regulation
and people could fly airplanes without licenses (even passengers)
UNTIL PEOPLE STARTED DYING

SO STOP WITH ALL THE GOVT IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL BS
THERE NEEDS TO BE BALANCE, AGAIN IF ANY ONE SEGMENT ATTAINS UNDISPUTED POWER, THEN ABUSES BEGIN —WHETHER IT BE THE GOV’T SIDE OR BUSINESS SIDE
CHECKS AND BALANCES
NOW KNOCK IT OFF, THE CURRENT PARTY OF POWER HAS GONE NUTZO AND IS ABUSING OUR SYSTEM, OUR COUNTRY AND OUR FREEDOMS, — JUST WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT????

Posted by: Russ at August 29, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #178095

Kevini23
Define for me what a living constitution is. This phrase has only been brought up recently for those who don’t see the constitution as the document prepared by our founding fathers. There have been many descriptions of a living constitution. I just want to hear what your definition of a living constitution is.

On the money issue; the Federal Reserve controls all the money, the interest and so on. Sure there are signatures on the paper, but those people do not control the flow.

Posted by: tomh at August 29, 2006 01:21 AM

———————————
The Constitution is a living document in that it can be amended to rectify omissions or mistakes. If not, we’d still have that 3/5ths of a person thing hanging over our heads. The amendment process, while thankfully difficult is there to make sure we can adapt as required.

Posted by: Dennis at August 29, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #178099

Dennis-

While true, your statement is not regarding the idea of it being a “living document”. Being amendable does not give it life. However the two are related. It was as a result of the amendment process being so stringent and difficult (ie ERA) that judges needed a way to make it more applicable to current life without going through the long road to amending it first. It began with Marbury v. Madison and McClintock v. Maryland, etc. The constitution is a living document anytime words that literally mean something a bit different are used in a different context to solve issues not pondered in our very short constitutional document.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #178105

Stephen,

The alternative to taxes is not debt. It is to stop spending!

Just because an entity can be sued doesn’t mean it can pay the fine. If a corp is fined (or taxed), the owners (stockholders) pay the fine. If an individual within a corporation has committed wrongdoing (can anyone say Ken Lay?) Then that individual is at fault. A corp cannot commit a crime, only people do. Corporate officers should NOT be allowed to hide anonymously behind the “corporate vail” that the courts has constructed. If a group within a corp commits wrongdoing, there is the additional crime of conspiracy. If everyone in a corp is doing wrong, it is a criminal organization that should be abolished!

j2t2,

I agree. Corporations shouldn’t have it both ways. Way too many rights & priveledges have been bestowed upon corporations, mostly by the courts, but also by congress & the IRS over the years. All 3 branches are at fault.

Comments in general:

I do not believe the constitution is a “living and breathing document”. If you don’t like something or feel it needs changing, get an amendment passed. It has been done before! At least once it was changed and then changed back. That brings the debate out into the open and allows the public to affect the outcome. Doing by judicial, legislative or executive decree is just wrong, even when I agree with the direction of the decision!

Posted by: Martian at August 29, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #178110

Martian-

I don’t completely disagree. I would just say that strict textualism often yields different results as well. People are just people after all. If we had to pass an amendment every time we needed clarification, we’d be in a constant state of amending.

And people are not constitutional experts, especially not congressmen (lately it is worst than ever in this regard). Most don’t understand it at all (it was written over 200 years ago by people who could pen old english). I think it makes a lot of sense to allow those who know how to read and understand the constitution to interpret it. I’m not saying give them the widest possible latitude to create legal rights where they didn’t previously exist, but I am saying that it cannot be read literally and be expected to have any meaning most of the time.

The framers knew this as well. When Marshall proclaimed the judiciary to have the ultimate right of interpretation around 1800, the framers were alive and well. In fact, there are some great supporting arguments for it.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #178112

j2t2
Do you know what TRUE Conservatism really is?
It sure ain’t about attacking sovereign nations unprovoked, big Government, astronomical national debt, invading the privacy and infringing on the rights of citizens, acting like your above the law, spending more than that’s taken in, or any of the other liberal things I’ve seen the Republican Party doing over the last 40 years.
TRUE Conservatism is about small Government, physical conservatism, social conservatism, respect for everyone even if they disagree with you, freedom and equality for everyone regardless of sex, religion, race, creed, color, national origin, economic status, political affiliation, or other.
It’s about preserving the Constitution of this great Nation, a strong military for defense of this Country, and the sanctity of life in all stages.
Show me anytime in the last 40 years that the Republicans have stood for all this. The closet you can come is Ronald Reagen. And even he didn’t believe in all of it.
And before you get on the partisan bandwagon. The Democrats ain’t never stood for any of this in my life time.
Your right though. The Republicans haven’t all of a sudden become liberal. They’ve been sliding that way at least sense 1960. This bunch is only the most liberal of any of them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 29, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #178125

Martian-
When I see an actual net decrease in spending, then we can talk about not using taxes to make up the shortfall.

It might be your opinion that corporations can’t be fined, taxed or whatever, but it doesn’t obscure the fact that the law treats them just in such a way. A corporation may not be able to commit a crime, in your estimation, but the law still acts like it can. You say it shouldn’t be able to be taxed, but nonetheless it is.

As for the Constitution, it was always meant to be the basis for lawmaking, with flexibility and restraints alike built into the system. Because laws do not deal with a clean world where interactions are simple and easy to delineate, interpretation, and the living aspect of the constitution is necessary. Otherwise, our government wouldn’t have the flexibility to follow the wishes of the people.

The balance between structure and flexibility is a necessity. The world is neither so neat nor so random that just any approach will do. Neither the past nor the future should reign in tyranny over the present.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #178159

well, just call me a teddy Roosevelt or ike eisenhower kind of conservative i even liked mr Reagan. But any sign of the true conservatism passed with him. As far as presidents go. even mr clinton showed way more fiscal Restraint than the two Bushes, ever did. and that is the truth .and true conservatism started to go with Reagan . someone said goldwater yeesh don’t Throw that kook in the same pot come on! that would be like comparing carter to Clinton NOT Fair!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at August 29, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #178177

Kevin,

You don’t see a danger in allowing 9 judges to at will change the definitions of words and press their judgements upon the rest of the nation?

How would that be different from a dictatorship (judicial oligarchy in this case)?

If we abandon the simple meaning of words in the Constitution then the Constitution becomes a worthless piece of paper.

Posted by: Steve S at August 29, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #178179

Steve S-
What matters is not the words, but the principle behind them. Words are meant to stand for something, not merely for themselves.

As for pressing their judgments on the rest of the nation? I’m sorry, but that’s their jobs! They are the highest court in the land. We have the chance to select them by the proxy of congress, and by the choices of our president. We keep them accountable, it’s more likely we will see competent judges in charge.

They are also supposed to be somewhat separate from outside influence. The Founding fathers had them appointed for life, basically insulating them from the pressures of elective office, allowing them to decide law without the fear of political reprisals.

We need some part of the government that’s forced to think long term by its very nature.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #178182

Steve S-

“You don’t see a danger in allowing 9 judges to at will change the definitions of words and press their judgements upon the rest of the nation?”

Who said anything like that? Nice spin, but I don’t think that is worth dignifying with a response seeing as how their not my words.

“How would that be different from a dictatorship (judicial oligarchy in this case)”

There is judicial accountability … the senate can impeach and remove any judge. Can’t say that about a dictator now can you? That’s one GLARING difference.

“If we abandon the simple meaning of words in the Constitution then the Constitution becomes a worthless piece of paper.”

Abandoning? Jesus man, you’ve sup out of control. You’re now in your own little world, talking to yourself.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #178184

For all the unthinking reactionaries, I gave a very impartial analysis and defined the term as I was asked to do. It is a FACT that the literal meaning of the words in the constitution do not cover most issues that arise in current constitutional law. So I’ll repeat for those who obviously don’t read carefully:

“…it is and must be a living document, or else we need to start amending it more often as the framers had intended us to do. It was never meant to be set in stone, but merely as the best they could do at the time”

This is fact…look it up for yourself.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #178202

Martin,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood#History_of_corporate_personhood

“Thomas Jefferson said, “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”


The Supreme Court found in 1886;

http://www.ratical.org/corporations/SCvSPR1886.html

“In 1886, … in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a private corporation is a person and entitled to the legal rights and protections the Constitutions affords to any person. Because the Constitution makes no mention of corporations, it is a fairly clear case of the Court’s taking it upon itself to rewrite the Constitution.
Far more remarkable, however, is that the doctrine of corporate personhood, which subsequently became a cornerstone of corporate law, was introduced into this 1886 decision without argument. According to the official case record, Supreme Court Justice Morrison Remick Waite simply pronounced before the beginning of arguement in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company that;

“The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does.”

If a corporation enjoys equal protection under the law it also should face the consequences.

Also;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood#Twenty-first_century_developments

“In 2004, a federal district court ordered the substantive consolidation of the different corporations that operate under the Owens-Cornings name for purposes of re-organization. This is still a hotly disputed matter, and that order was overturned on appeal, but it may prove a landmark in the willingness of courts to pierce the corporate veil.”

Corporations are given tax breaks because they create jobs. Dividends are only a by-product, and should be treated as such.

Posted by: Rocky at August 29, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #178210

Ron Brown,
You comments remind me of a good republican- Abraham Lincoln. I remember a specific saying of his that rings so true of your comments. The saying ended something like “just cause you call the dogs tail a leg dont mean its a leg, The dog only has 4 legs”.
Seems to me what you are doing is insulting liberals everywhere, by associating the current crop of repubs with liberals. They ran on a conservative platform, conservatives voted for’em and they proudly called themselves conservatives, yet you want to insult the liberals with foolishness. I just dont know how an apple became an orange.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 29, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #178220

j2t2
Republicans voted for Republicans. I can’t think of a true Conservative that would have anything to do with this bunch.
They called their platform conservative and tried to talk like Conservatives. But they missed the mark. True Conservatives saw right through it.
Besides it ain’t what they say to get elected that makes someone Conservative or Liberal. It’s what they actually do after they get in office.
Abraham Lincoln was most likely the only truly conservative President the Republican Party ever had. His reaction to the South’s succession was the best way to handle it. The South would have rejoined the Union on it’s own after a bit.
The blame for the war rest squarely on the shoulders of the hot heads on both sides. And after the shooting started he had no choice but to take the course he did.

BTW, I don’t believe that any true Liberal would want much to do with the Democrat Party either. It’s been hijacked just like the Republican Party.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 30, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #178375

Ron Brown-
Ideological orthodoxy and a low level of awareness of the dealings of people in one’s own party are not mutually exclusive. It’s also possible for conservatives to pick the lesser of two evils or to opt for electibility in the place of absolute orthodoxy in the candidate.

True conservatives may play along with it, looking to get the optimum amount of conservatism in an imperfect world.

This applies with Liberals, who might vote for a more centrist candidate in hopes of winning, or moderates of either stripe, who might vote for candidates closer to the right or left fringe (or whatever) when they feel it’s appropriate.

This is a complicated world, where our knowledge and choices are imperfect. Those hoping for perfection may be better off being careful what they wish for, since people often get into trouble when they get it.

What the Conservatives got was an all-around conservative majority, technically speaking. The price of that was, though, that many of these people had to satisfy more moderate and apolitical constituents who couldn’t care less about the state of modern conservatism.

The Democrats can be comfortable with not being pure Roosevelt Liberals, with being spread out over a wider range of interests. The Republicans, though, are haunted by the Ghost of Goldwater, and by their incessant insistence that everything’s gone Red State, and done so for good.

We don’t have to pretend the country belongs to us. We know we’re just hired help. We take pride in it, in fact. We’re not the messianic leaders. We’re the guys who know how to get things done, the ones who study the problem.

You say the Democrats have become hijacked. I believe the people of our party are simply reasserting their dominance, provoked into doing so by six years of hell under Bush.

As for Lincoln? I don’t know what you mean by conservative in his context, because today’s conservative might point to state’s rights and minimal intrusion of the federal government into local affairs. Scratch some conservatives and you might find disaffected Southern Democrats beneath.

If you’re confused, truth is, politics is a confusion of interests, and only in our minds do the lines between parties and factions get drawn straight.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #178454


STEPHEN…………………………………….

Is there anybody that you agree with but yourself?

I take a quick look at the comments people make on this web sight everyday… and I can not remember you agreeing with anybody about anything at any time.

Posted by: Charlie George at August 31, 2006 6:16 AM
Comment #178528

Stephen
The Democrat party has been hijacked. It’s been hijacked by folks that make FDR look somewhere right of Attila the Hun. And the Republican party has been hijacked by folks that make FDR look Conservative.
If you check you history book you’ll find that Lincoln wasn’t going to do anything about slavery. When the South succeeded from the Union he wasn’t going to do anything to force it back in. He believed that it would rejoin on it’s own.
It was only after the war started that he took the actions he did. And even then he didn’t believe that punishing the South was the way to welcome it back after the war. That was Andrew Johnson’s doings.
So if you want to look at it in terms of states rights Lincoln was conservative.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 31, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #178546

Since the main theme of this thread is “Democrats are Idiots”, I’d like to point out that the main theme for 4 of the last 5 threads in the Red column are also “Democrats are Idiots”. Only one of the 5 (Thank you Seminole 6) sparked any intellectual thought. Since the 25th the number topics in Green (10) and Blue (8), dealt primarily with specific candidates, congress as a whole, and the current executive administration.

I think what you’ll find is, as the Red column finds little else but pointless slander to offer, the Green and Blue, continue discussing real issues, and that the majority of time and attention is spent on those threads that are actually debating, rather than playing in the mud.

Just something I noticed that I thought was interesting.

Carry on.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #178548

Sorry, that was not meant to be posted on this thread. Again. Seminole 6, Thanks for the spark of wisdom.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #178834

Something Wrong ?

Uuummmmmmm … Yeah !

Third Party, Independent, Democrat, and Republcian challengers (in all parties) should jump at this infrequent opportunity to finally get a voice in government.

Get on the ballots A.S.A.P. !

I for one, a former Republican for 28 years until about 18 months ago, will be voting for challengers regardless of party (but with a preference for non-Republicans challengers, since they have the current majority and no longer deserve it), because:

  • long time incumbents have enjoyed a 90% re-election rate for a long time, and they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt how corrupt and incompetent they are.

  • incumbent politicians resist any common-sense, no-brainer reforms if it might even remotely diminish their power or opportunities for self-gain, or the security of their cu$hy, coveted seats of abused power.

  • incumbent politicians refuse to pass many badly needed, common-sense, no-brainer, constructive reforms (e.g. campaign finance reform, election reform, one-purpose-per-bill amendment, balanced budget-amendment, tax reform, etc.), and newcomers, who would like to pass reforms, can’t because the incumbents won’t let them. Newcomers are always outnumbered by incumbent politicians, who like things just the way they have perverted them.

  • incumbent politicians have created many unfair perk$ for themselves, and even perverted the system so that their raises are now automatic.

  • most (if not all) incubment politicians they are FOR-SALE. Let me count the ways … see for yourself at Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org). Then there’s the Abramoff thing, which is probably just the tip of the iceberg; just what we know a little about.

  • incumbent politicians’ seem to almost always come down with some sort of disease shortly have being elected. Their brains seem to turn to jelly after taking office? They forget their campaign promises (e.g. “read my lips”, “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building”, “”

  • incumbent politicians’ rhetoric bear no resemblence to their votes. They say one thing and then vote the completely opposite.

  • when incumbent politicians aren’t out-right lying, they lie by omission. Sort of like Ted Stevens recent “secret hold” on BILL (S. 2590), and no other congress persons would reveal who it was.

  • incumbent politicians can’t control spending. While troops were without body armor, congress is spending and voting on pork-barrel ($24 to 28 billion per year since 2002)

  • are fiscally irresponsible.

  • incumbent politicians are bought-and-paid-for, too beholding to their big-money-donors, and refuse to tackle tough issues for fear of risking re-election, or defying their big-money-donors.

  • incumbent politicians fuel the partisan warfare, and seduce voters into a circular pattern that distracts the voters from more substantive issues.

  • incumbent politicians continue to grow government, borrowing, and print money like crazy (M3 Money suppy increased by $721 billion in 2005), and grow the national debt to nightmare proportions, which is threatening the future and security of the nation.

  • incumbent politicians pressure and seduce newcomers into Congress to conform to the status quo, look the other way, or be shunned and isolated.

  • incumbent politicians spend a great deal of time and tax-payers’ money (via allowances) trolling for money for their campaign war-chests.

  • incumbent politicians somehow (mainly via partisan warfare) still convince many voters to empower the incumbents that use and abuse the voters .

It is not as important who you vote for as it is that who you vote for understands that they too will not be re-elected (or recalled) if they are irresponsible too.

The problem is not one of human intelligence or talent.
It’s mostly a problem of accountability, and irresponsible incumbent politicians will not be responsible and accountable as long as voters keep re-electing them.

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.
  • Don’t Re-Elect Irresponsible, Bought-and-Paid-for Incumbent Politicians !
Posted by: d.a.n at September 1, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #178900

Ron Brown-
Hijacked? That’s a patronizing way of putting it. It implies that the party is out of the control of the mainstream constituency. Look at the people we’re running, though. If you look at Lamont’s positions, he’s not that different from Lieberman, save for the support of Bush that Joe has cursed himself with. Go look at George Allen’s opponent: Jim Webb, a guy who served under Reagan. Hell, look at Howard Dean. Dean isn’t a far left liberal. He actually rates towards the center. He’s anti-gun control, for crying out loud. Murtha is pro-life, consistently pro-military, and is almost the prototypical Reagan Democrat.

Why do you folks think we’ve been hijacked by the far left? Because you assume that you have to be a radical leftist to oppose Bush. I can personally attest, as a centrist Democrat, to the generalized opposition to the president in my party.

As for Lincoln, he originally wasn’t going to free the slaves, true enough. But he didn’t stick to that. He changed over time. Conservatism is a rather recent political philsophy as we know it now, a reaction to the growth in government, which the Republicans themselves participated in. The focus on states rights in particular was not on Lincoln’s agenda. That was a Southern Democrat focus in the 1860s, and part of the whole justification for Secession. If you take State’s Rights to it ultimate conclusion, secession from the union waits at that end.

So what was State’s rights about then? protecting and fostering the institution of slavery, and later maintaining discriminatory laws. The reason why it became part of the Republican outlook has much to do with opposing enlarged government, but also much to do with appealing to the voters that the Democrat’s Civil Right’s laws alienated. It’s not for nothing that many of the Dixiecrats jumped ship from my party to the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2006 7:58 AM
Post a comment