Let’s get over it, and learn from it.

Republicans have been given a message; whether they listen to it will determine how long they struggle in the minority. What’s the message? Adopt some sound principles and apply them with integrity.

In the past few years Republicans have abandoned key principles in favor of opportunistic pandering. The party of smaller government and fiscal responsibility has spent wildly and grown government dramatically. The party of individual accountability, the party that selectively decries the "nanny state," has protected us from ourselves and the perils of internet gambling. The party that claims to support less intrusive government has worked to define marriage (a religious rite), tapped phones without court checks, and even tried to dictate the medical care of a comatose woman in Florida. In the name of security, the Republican administration has treated its POWs with an appalling double-standard, compromised its citizens' civil rights, and arguably not achieved the promised objectives of security.

Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution of the United States. Every oath of office has some variation of this pledge. How tough can that be? Democrats tend to turn to government for solutions to all of society's ills, shortcomings, and pet peeves. Republicans profess to trust the individual, to conservatively apply governmental power only as permitted by the Constitution, and to leave issues to states' discretion whenever possible. Unfortunately, there’s been a new kind of "conservative;" one who holds conservative cultural and personal beliefs, and freely exercises the power of government to impose those conservative views on others. Republicans need to find the integrity to reject this kind of false conservatism.

Republicans need to distinguish themselves from Democrats by what the Republican Party can do for America, and not just by bad-mouthing "liberals," or "tax and spenders," or other childish ad hominem attacks of the sort so popular on blowhard radio. Republicans need to rebuild their credibility on security by working constructively in the world, rather than antagonistically. Republicans need to rebuild their credibility on economic opportunity for all Americans by putting earning power back in the hands of working people, rather than providing advantage for the connected. Republicans need to curtail rampant government, but constructively - simply blocking Democrats is not adequate.

I believed there are fundamental issues of tax structure and the impact of deficit spending, civil liberties, and foreign policy that our "professional" politicians can hardly address for fear of alienating their funding base. We need to insist that our Party address these issues rather than spending time on the cultural distractions that have dominated recently. I'm running for President in an attempt to highlight these issues. I have no incumbency to defend, and no financial base to which I owe consideration. I'm realistically only focused on a localized campaign to gain just a symbolic delegate or two to prove my point at the 2008 Republican National Convention. I've outlined the priorities I envision and a variety of platform positions.

Whether you share my view on these specific issues, join me in an effort to renew the Republican Party. Hold the Party accountable for its principles and insist on meaningful debate. There's no point in resentment of this election. The message is a clear rejection of the status quo. Let's move the Party forward to 2008 and beyond.

Michael Smith

Posted by Michael Smith at November 8, 2006 2:05 AM
Comments
Comment #193922

hot damn. a true conservative. i was about to suggest that you run for office, ‘til i noticed that that’s your plan.

don’t know where you’re at, but you’ve got my vote.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 2:19 AM
Comment #193927

Michael, the voters said: We want results, solutions, and for politicians to tell their wealthy special interest campaign blackmailers and bribers to go to hell. Exit polls showed corruption and lack of ethics was the number one issue.

So, far, only Hillary Clinton and John McCain have said they hear the voters. Funny, they are both likely to run for President. Think any of the others took the voter’s lesson to heart? I doubt it. But, we’ll see.

Suddenly Pelosi is laying out the Democratic agenda. Given the Republican attack and smear machine, I have to say, it was pretty shrewd of Democrats to not outline their agenda before the election. But, that also means, voters did NOT vote for Democrat’s agenda, just against the Republican one.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2006 5:43 AM
Comment #193933

Amen Michael. You speak for many of us when you call for bringing the true conservative ideology back to the party. I’m sure we’ll be labeled negatively by the current crop of republicans and their supporters, but it is refreshing to see that conservatism is still alive.

Posted by: Dizzle at November 8, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #193939

Finally a conservative got hit with reality and open to honest self-examination.

Michael - I do not agree with all conservative views, but I welcome honest and civil discourse on issues with conservatives such as your self.

Posted by: Stefano at November 8, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #193943

Michael, good post I admire your honesty on the repubs, it has been missing in the red column for quite a while, its been denial and covering up for then Administration and the liars and crooks running the Congress and Senate.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 8, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #193944

Your voice is a breath of fresh air from the conservative side. My father is a dyed-in-the-wool, Reagan-delegate conservative Republican. Your vision is closer to what I have always understood a principled conservative stance to be. If both parties bargain from their own principles toward the common desired goal — a healthy, vibrant, and free society — for the right ways to achieve that goal, American will just get better and better.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at November 8, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #193948

Michael,

Well said.
I hope the Democrats listen to the real conservatives on issues this nation faces. I hope they have the ability to discern the GOP corrupt from the true conservative republicans, who are just as disgusted with the current GOP as the rest of us.

I hope we shed the divisive Red vs. Blue, Libs vs. Cons. crap and go back to being Americans.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 8, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #193949

The Dems won. They represent the people, as the Republicans did before. We should give them the benefit of the doubt and, as you say, work to improve and be better next time.

I agree that in two years we need to be more than NOT Democrats.

Dems will soon learn that it is easier to complain than to accomplish and that wanting something is often more satifiying that having it. We need to be there with a positive alternative when the great Democratic zeplin hits the wires.

Posted by: Jack at November 8, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #193952

Republicans need to distinguish themselves from Democrats by what the Republican Party can do for America, and not just by bad-mouthing ‘liberals,’ or ‘tax and spenders,’ or other childish ad hominem attacks of the sort so popular on blowhard radio.

Amen! Let’s start debating the issues. And when you say “what the Republican Party can do for America,” I hope Republicans will talk in specifics.

Posted by: Steve K at November 8, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #193953

This election is because of electronic media being the voice of America. We are the face of those that control TV and the Web…when comedians go unchecked night after night with their powerful antics and Web Browsers go unchecked and uncontested on their front pages, this is the result. The Democrats outsmarted the Republicans. Their voice went for a huge growing demographic…young adults, because they met them at where they could find them - electronic media.

Republicans depended mostly on radio and newspaper. Poor choice. They allowed it to happen and now they have lost what took so long to gain, their voice. Unfortunately it is probably forever on this rock…. Satan has won.

Posted by: m. player at November 8, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #193954

I’m not sorry Dewine and Chaffe lost. They were not team players and were merely wimps. I believe President Bush should allow any and all whacko bills passed by a Democrat Congress to become law, with or without his signature. I hope the Dems go after tax cuts, civil rights for terrorists and military spending. Maybe in 2 years the nation will open their eyes to what they have done.

Posted by: hunter brannon at November 8, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #193955

David R. Remer-
I don’t think it’s so clear cut. People didn’t vote for the Democrats utterly ignorant of what Democrats stood for. If you were to say it wasn’t the big selling point, I’d agree with you, but there’s a point I think I should make.

In art, the empty (or negative) space is as important in composition as the filled (or positive) space. It is important to realize that the negative space in a message, what is taken out, left out is as important as what is left there. Ultimately, what people oppose indicates what they are for, so there is an implicit mandate for the action we take. We know very well that our party has shifted more towards the center, so I doubt we’re going to take too many chances pushing a far-left agenda.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 8, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #193960

Micheal,

I hope you are not a minority, or worse, a minority woman. The last a minority “conservative” tried exercising integrity, credibility, individual accountability, and working constructively in the world. He was religated to a backseat sideline position in the cabinet by the “asses of evil” [Bush (aka total moronic idiot); Chenny (aka Chicanery); and Rumsfeld (aka Dumbsfeld)]. The dwarfing of the former secretary of state, Colin Powell, was definitely unfortunate but not at all surprising (at leas not me). In the end he traded his integrity in order to appease the “massa.” End result—thousands of American lives lost in Iraq—the eventual swift hanging of Sadam Husain will NEVER even come close the justifying the loss of single American soldier who volunteered to defend our nation against LEGITIMATE threats.

So Micheal, if the views you wrote of are sincere and if you are a minority, perhaps you should consider being an “independent.” If you are sincere and you are not a minority, then you will need to be able to BUY political power (just like Bush did—twice). And unless you are an accomplished liar and wretch like Dick Chenny or a total good ol’ boy idiot like the President, you don’t stand a chance! I do make room, however, for the possibility that God would intercede on your behalf with a miracle.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at November 8, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #193962

Michael,

Your moderate views are a welcome contribution to the red column, and I wish you the best of luck in your bid for the White House.

Posted by: Burt at November 8, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #193970

Michael’s post doesn’t express the moderate wiew, it expresses the conservative one. It was the moderates who pandered to the left and abandoned conservative principles.
Anyone who thinks the Bush administration and the current Republican leadership are conservative hasn’t been paying attention. The ideological basis for neo-conservatism(an oxymoron) is Trotskyism.
They make a lot of noise about issues important to the conservative base but this is just a smokescreen. When you look at what they’ve actually been doing for the past 6 years, much of which has been glossed over or ignored by the MSM, it becomes painfully evident that they are to the left of the Clinton administration.
If the R’s want to regain the Congress they will have to boot out the neocons and rediscover conservatism.

Posted by: traveller at November 8, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #193971

If it can get more people like you appear to be, judging by this initial post, the GOP may again become a grand old party. Good luck in your campaign, and welcome to Watchblog.

Posted by: Jarin at November 8, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #193972

Stephen, that sure was a subtle and nuanced spin. Pelosi is just this morning announcing the Democratic Agenda. Yes, she spoke of a couple items before she went into hiding from the Republicans trying to use her name like a 4 letter word threatening the public with her Speakership. But, the bottom line is, most of the public did not know what the Democratic agenda was besides being anti-Bush and anti-Republican power.

I think it was a shrewd move on their part not put an agenda up for Republicans to try to tear down. But, the fact remains, the party line voters voted against Republicans, and Democrats provided a ballot option to perform that function.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #193976

traveller, there is the rub for Republicans. Even if they get off their devisive morality issues and return to true conservativism of smaller government, pay as you go, and strong checks and balances, their history of the last 6 years remains a severe hurdle to credibility. I am reminded of the boy who cried wolf once too often. In the name of Conservative philosophy, they rammed a non-conservative agenda into decades of future costs to Americans.

It will be hard for Republicans to erase from the public’s mind their 10 Trillion dollar national debt by 2009, or their failure to effectively address spiraling health care costs, or the exodus of good paying jobs and their lower paying replacements incentivized by a wink and a nod to corporate America, and a free pass on going multi-national without tax consequences.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #193977
Suddenly Pelosi is laying out the Democratic agenda. Given the Republican attack and smear machine, I have to say, it was pretty shrewd of Democrats to not outline their agenda before the election. But, that also means, voters did NOT vote for Democrat’s agenda, just against the Republican one.

David,

Pelosi’s 100 hours was common knowledge before the election. Even I could recite it back in July. I think MSM was too busy parroting GOP talking points - “Dems have no agenda” - to give it the attention it deserved.

The GOP and MSM refusing to acknowledge the Democratic legislative agenda was frustrating. If that helped win the election, so be it.

Posted by: CPAdams at November 8, 2006 10:25 AM
Comment #193994

The problem is NOT that WE have to learn from the election, the problem is that our POLITICIANS have to learn from it. We know what WE want and expect, it is the Republican Party that has become corrupt and arrogant, just as bad as the democrats and has disappointed us.

I’m holding the democratic party responsible for the following and the Republicans as well.

1. A balanced Budget. I want that from both parties, I want that from which ever party is in power.

2. A Real Fix for social security.

3. A real Fix for Medicare. These two issues are HUGE problems and DENIAL is not “protecting” them nor is it a real fix to their real problems.

4. An innovative national health care plan that delivers health care to the uninsured without destroying our present system or breaking our budget. Possibly one that simply pays for basic private company health insurance for those without.

5. Shut down the flow of Illegal immigration. Democrats and Republicans have both long been pro illegal-immigration parties and I am going to hold them responsible if they continue to support wide open boarders. We need the workers, we need them in the context of a secure boarder with Fences and a worker program that works.

6. End the present system of ear-marks in congress that supports corruption in the democratic and republican party.

7. Wage war on terrorists. Terrorists will continue to wage war on us, I’d better see democrats waging war on them…abroad (not here in our own streets).

8. Supporting American interests (economic and political) abroad instead of surrendering them (as the politically correct left would have us do) to “appease” the world.

9. Support freedom and human rights abroad.

The issues are large, they are real, and they remain constant and unresolved. Not bogus issues like calling low unemployment terrible during the election then declaring low unemployment is great and a result of their work the day after they are in office. Nor bogus issues like “stem cells”. Remember Clinton never supported stem cell research and democrats loved him. Bush was the first President to support stem cell research in anyway and democrats smeared him for this meaningless issue.

I want to see real answers to the real problems that threaten our nation, our economy, and our social net and as well problems that threaten human rights and freedom around the globe. I want America to stay competitive, not mired in a morass of “tax and spend” big government.

Going forward I intend to judge the party in power based on the list I’ve suggested. I suspect they will disappoint me by doing a lot of things that they feel make them look good but don’t solve the large issues. That is the history of both parties, that is what we need to oppose.

Posted by: Stephen at November 8, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #193997

Traveller’s point is important. I see it this way; I consider myself a traditional conservative, but I believe we need to conduct the debate in moderate tones. Too many voters have been turned off by the rhetoric from the extremities. Unfortunately, much of the money and enthusiasm in both parties comes from the extremes. Republicans need to focus on constructive alternatives anchored in the Constitution and relevant to the working class and middle class.

For Kim-Sue, my ethnicity shouldn’t be relevant, but I’m a forty-something white guy from a working class background. I have a full-time job working in a corporate cubicle, trying to keep up with my mortgage and two teenagers. I’ve served in the military, worked off hours while attending school and now have my hard-fought piece of the American Dream. I have a good enough education to understand the basics of our Constitution, and an over-developed sense that if you want something done, you sometimes have to do it yourself. I wasn’t seeing a political view presented that I could get behind, so I’ve decided to present it myself.

I’m too rational to expect a miracle, but I’m idealistic enough to hope for a break in the marketplace of ideas. I doubt that the big-money interests will flock to my campaign, but I do hope that good ideas can take on a life of their own. Wish me luck while I go tilting at the windmills.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 8, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #193998

Mike,

I consider myself an independent socially liberal, libertarian mostly, and conservative economically.

I liked your call for principled leadership, but we’ve heard that before. I’m curious about your rather grandiose aspirations. Why not run for some state offices before grabbing for the brass ring?

Posted by: gergle at November 8, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #193999

Michael,

Your vision of a party consisting of integrity, and honesty with an ability to recognize and serve the voters of this country is very refreshing. Your attitude is exactly the type of approach both parties need to take in order to once again obtain some credibility and admiration of our nation with the rest of the world.

Of course in order for your dream to work both parties will have to be willing to put aside all the hate, and loathing of the other, which has been created by the desire for, and power of, greed and wealth. They will have to understand that they work for the voters, not the corporations. They will have to understand that it takes negotiation and compromise, and the willingness to accept it for the good of all. And I think most of all they will need to realize and accept the fact that there is no one agenda that is perfect for all americans. They will have to be able to find a common ground which may not reflect the views of all americans, but will best serve us all.

Unfortunately I am not sure the republican party is getting it. I just saw Tom Reynolds on CNN stating that this anomaly was just the result of a 12 year trend in politics. I hope they have gotten the message and are just trying to save face. The trend will only be realized if voters in the coming months once again loose sight of our government employees and let them run wild with their personal agendas. Lets hope apathy, unearned trust and lack of political awareness does not once again overwhelm the voter.

Good luck with your agenda. I am looking forward to following your journey if indeed you are sincere.

Posted by: Ildem at November 8, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #194002

CPAdams, sounds like a very valid point.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #194016

Donald Rumsfeld just resigned.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 8, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #194021

Rumsfeld resigned? That is terrific news, and a good sign! Bush has about as much of an opportunity for a “do-over” as a president is likely to get. The Democrats have taken Congress with an attitude of taking care of business, rather than conducting an ideological coup. Pelosi (and probably Reid and Dean) give every indications of willingness to work with Bush. It is a chance for Democrats to “drain the swamp” & pass some modest legislation such as raising the minimum wage; but most importantly, it is a chance for actually working together to address the mess in Iraq. It probably will not end well. But maybe the foolishness of calling people “traitors” who side with the terrorists will be put to rest, once and for all, and positive steps will be taken…

I am usually first in line to criticize Bush, but I would love to see these next two years successful for Bush, and all of us.

Michael,
Great post.

Posted by: phx8 at November 8, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #194024

I pray this is true:

GOP says Rumsfeld is stepping down

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 8, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #194044

Yes it is. About time too.

Posted by: john doe at November 8, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #194051

Supposedly Rummey resigned prior to the elections, but stayed quiet because he and Bush didn’t want that to influence voters.

Nice try people…. I’ve got property on the moon I’ll sell you for 25 cents a foot…

Posted by: Linda H. at November 8, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #194057

Linda,

It appears the point of your post is that Bush lied. If you have any proof I think you might wind up on national TV as the first democrat to prove Bush lied. Perhaps you could share that proof here, with us, first?

Posted by: Stephen at November 8, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #194060

One of the best posts I’ve seen from the red side, Michael. A pity that it had to come after the elections, but welcome nonetheless. I truly hope that the next 2 years will be spent trying to unify this country instead of pulling it apart, as Bush & friends have done with rapacious regularity. (Makes me wonder how poor Rush Limbaugh is going to make it.)

What the red and blue sides can do together for America is exactly what is needed, and maybe - just maybe - this election will help steer us in that direction.

Posted by: Darth Independent at November 8, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #194062
If the R’s want to regain the Congress they will have to boot out the neocons and rediscover conservatism.

Never gonna happen. The problems for the republican party really got going back in the 70’s when the evanglicals setup base camp inside the republican party. They aren’t going to go anywhere else now (there’s no predominante alternate party willing to push their agenda), and lack the power to form a party of their own.

Plus the republicans have absolutely no remorse looking straight into the eyes of the American public, or their own base fringe groups, and lying. Hence, any attempts to shrug off the neo-cons or the religious right, is just another lie, both internal and external to the party.

The core of republican social policy is anti-gay, anti-aborition, anti-responsibility. As fantastic as it would be to see republicans embrace TRUE conservative values again, especially on social issues, it is now is the time for those that harbor those true values to find a new party.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But when something is broken as badly as the republican party, it’s wiser to toss it in the trash, and go get a new one.

Posted by: Taylor at November 8, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #194069

Taylor

It is interesting to read the comments from the left praising this article for being moderate and then commmenting on the right in a very immoderate fashion.

Posted by: Jack at November 8, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #194072

Michael,

Perhaps I am just too synical these days, but still, a nice thought regarding ideas rather than money coming to the forefront of politics. I don’t believe in “luck” but I do believe in miracles so my best wishes to you in your efforts, and may God bless you.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at November 8, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #194073

jack

as traveller stated, this is not a moderate post, but a conservative one.

get your facts straight. social conservatism (even extremist social conservatism) does not a conservative make. a true conservative does not want the government meddling in their every day life, even if only because that would necessitate a large, cumbersome, and inordinately expensive government.

and i quote,

“Unfortunately, there’s been a new kind of ‘conservative;’ one who holds conservative cultural and personal beliefs, and freely exercises the power of government to impose those conservative views on others. Republicans need to find the integrity to reject this kind of false conservatism.”

oh ‘false conservative,’ thy name is neocon.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #194075

taylor,

“…when something is broken as badly as the republican party, it’s wiser to toss it in the trash, and go get a new one.”

when there is room for a new (true) conservative party on the ballot, your advice might then be useful. until that time, your advice is merely an exercise in political suicide.

we will retake the GOP. the neocons have proven themselves incompetent and out of touch. if the republicans are not conservatives, then they are nothing… and it is not we who need them, but they who cannot survive without us.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #194097

Linda h
Your comment could be applied either way. That is to say if the President announced Rumsfeld stepping down before the election you would have replied in exactly the same words. That falls into the catagory of damn if you do and damn if you don’t and has no credability.

Posted by: tomh at November 8, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #194111

Diogenes, you clearly have no idea what a neocon is.

By definition, a neocon is NOT socially conservative, and neocons have no interest in “meddling” in anyones everyday life. You may be thinking here of the religious right, but the religious right and the neocons are never or almost never the same people.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 8, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #194118

neocon,

you clearly have no idea what a conservative is.
this administration is neocon. neocons are happy to use the religious right, conservatives, or anyone else when it serves their purpose.

as for your assertion that “neocons have no interest in ‘meddling’ in anyones everyday life,” the facts don’t bear out your naive belief. a conservative would recognize this.

wiretapping. dhs. patriot act. war of aggression. neocon. do you know what it is?

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #194129

Diogenes, I’m not even going to try to address such ignorance by explaining the entire history of the neoconservative movement to you.

All I can think is that you heard or read somewhere (a left wing blog?) that the administration was influenced by the neocons and then came to equate everything you don’t like about Republicans with “neocons.”

For your information, though, the administration is Republican, not neoconservative in the least. In fact, you don’t even have to be Republican to be a neocon. One of the most prominent neocons today is arguably Joseph Lieberman, and others include people like the quite socially liberal former New York City mayor Ed Koch.

Most of the people in the administration have been Republicans for a very long time and have at least called themselves “conservatives” their whole lives.

By definition, that means that there’s nothing “neo” in their conservatitism. “Neo” means new, in case you didn’t know that.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 8, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #194135

neocon,

i’m quite familiar with the movement, but thanks for your condescending tone. i applaud your post, i haven’t seen so many words saying so little anywhere outside of dc. perhaps you should run for office.

this administration has been pushing a neocon agenda this entire time. going to war to spread democracry - ah the heart of conservative ideology. spread your lies elsewhere.

yes, neo=new…

…and neocon is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #194137

Stephen

I agree with you. these are nine great points.
I would add only one.

Don’t raise Taxes.

Bad for the economy and would lower tax revenues over the long run by slowing economic growth.

I am sure if we redirected money from ear marks to your nine points we would not have to raise taxes.
and could balance the budget(one of your points).

Balance the budget and in 29 years no more national debt.
something that has not happened since Polk.

Posted by: Steven at November 8, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #194139

Stephen and tomh,
I guess neither of you was listening to the speech Mr. Bush gave this afternoon. Remember last week when he said that Cheney and Rumsfeld would be there until the end of his term? Well, apparently he ‘lied’ to reporters abut that so the election wouldn’t be influenced. I’m not condemning or condoning what he did, just that he did it. Thanks for the wrong assumption re: my party politics. I’m honored.

Just last week Bush told reporters that he expected Rumsfeld, 74, to remain until the end of the administration’s term. And although Bush said Wednesday that his decision to replace Rumsfeld was not based on politics, the announcement of a Pentagon shake-up came on the heels of Tuesday’s voting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061108/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/rumsfeld_resigns_26

The president said his denial to reporters last week that he would replace Rumseld was a deliberate effort to avoid injecting a major decision on the war during the final days of the campaign.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2006/2006-11-08-bush_x.htm?csp=34

Posted by: Linda H. at November 8, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #194146

Pilsner,

We had much the same debate over the popular perceptions of “neo-cons” versus the textbook definition back on October 10th.

Since it’s a moniker you wear proudly and defend vigorously, perhaps it’s more accurate for those of us who consider ourselves traditional conservatives to refer to the so-called conservatives of the culture wars as “pseudo-cons?”

Regardless of what they’re called, there’s a group of people using government to push their personal agenda while hiding behind the label “conservative.” True conservatism calls for less government, not more, no matter how righteous the underlying dogma. The Republican Party should reject these pseudo-cons and return to true conservatism.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 8, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #194151

the term neocon is inherently vague - like much of what comes out of their mouths. in fact, it plays to their advantage.

even the proponents of neoconservatism have a difficult time defining what it means to be a neocon. regardless, before you go making undue apologies, i would ask you to consider this;

Bush is a Neocon

according to Irving Kristol (a prominent neocon);

“Irving Kristol…gave Mr. Bush the neocon seal of approval. The author of “Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea,” credits the “current president and his administration” with reviving the faith. Under Mr. Bush it “began enjoying a second life,” says Kristol.”

many serving under this administration have been neocons. many still are. self-professed. please, if you don’t believe - look it up.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #194152

Michael Smith et al. Nice piece. It is my fervant wish that Reps find their soul again.That means recognizing that the corporate agenda is not the best agenda for America or Americans. Things like FAIR trade,not free trade. Ending reliance on fossil fuels with safe alternatives even if that bites into Exxons profits.Makeing sure that if people work full time they are not living in poverty. Teaching the poor to fish instead of giving them one,maybe even helping out with the bait and tackle at first.Who knows ,they might lay a couple of fillets on you later. Recognizing that what goes on in a womans body is not the business of politicians.Realizing that throwing money at the pentagon makes no more sense that throwing money at education. Niether makes sense without clear cut goals and standards. Ending corporate welfare, anyone?You all got your work cut out,good luck.

Posted by: BillS at November 8, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #194155

Not official but hot off the press, Democrats and Independents have taken the Senate.

Democrats won enough seats to take control of the U.S. Senate from President George W. Bush’s Republican Party and hold both houses of Congress for the first time in 12 years, according to media reports on Wednesday.

NBC Television and the Associated Press reported that Democrat James Webb defeated Republican Sen. George Allen (news, bio, voting record) in the closely contested Virginia Senate race.

Posted by: Chris2x at November 8, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #194158

Michael, I have no problem with your coining a new label like “pseudo-cons” if you feel like cultural conservatives aren’t “real” conservatives.

I feel like there is already a better way to express this, however, which is to simply draw a distinction between “socially conservatives” and other kinds, since social conservatives ARE conservative, just not always about the same things as economic or foreign policy conservatives.

Neoconservatives, by the way, are NOT social conservatives. It’s possible for a neocon to hold a socially conservative view, yes, but as something apart from their neocon philosophy.

Diogenes: As for neoconservatism, it is actually far less “vague” a label than most political labels go—it’s far more specific than say, simply “liberal,” or “conservative.”

If you want to get rid of political labels altogether, that’s fine, but those that exist do have at least some meaning which should prevent us from ascribing to them the exact opposite of what they mean.

You did this when you described a neocon as “one who holds conservative cultural and personal beliefs, and freely exercises the power of government to impose those conservative views on others.”

This is wildly off the mark: I might as well say that a conservative is somebody who admires Joseph Stalin and a liberal is someobody who wants to see child labor in coal mines. I’m not aware of a single neocon currently in the Bush administration, and I don’t care if the “WorldNetDaily” wants to call Bush a neocon.

I can call them a “disreputable purveyor of yellow journalism.” Does that make it true?

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 8, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #194160

kristol said it. a neocon. i know that you know who he is. try to avoid the spin. elections over.

since there has been only one neocon administration, i figure it is best to judge what they will do in office by what they have done in office - and there, my description fits perfectly. none of the things this administration has done holds true to *conservative* ideology.

if you are unaware of the affiliations of this administration, i would advise you not to make claims to the contrary. being unaware of the neocons in this administration is far different than claiming there aren’t any in it.

as i said, i am familiar with neoconservative ideology, and it is a failed one. it’s almost as if they took the worst aspects of liberalism and conservatism and merged them. maybe it’s time you did some checking up on this whole neocon thing… after all, according to Francis Fukuyama (another prominent albeit ex-neocon), ‘neoconservatism is dead.’

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #194164

Diogenes, I’d be very surprised to learn (considering your wildly innacurate earlier definition of “neocons”) that you were “familiar” with neoconservative thinking at all until I called you on it and you started Googling it like crazy, as you’ve obviously been doing. I’m glad, at least, to have contributed in this small way to your education.

Kristol merely said that the movement enjoyed a resurgence because of Bush—not that Bush was a “neocon,” which would make no sense.

Neoconservatism is an idea, not a political party, and the results of an election don’t spell the end of neoconservatism any more than they spell the end of conservatism or liberalism. In fact, a prominent neoconservative now heads the World Bank, and the only real neocon who stood for election yesterday (Lieberman) won very easily, and did so in one of the most liberal states in the country.

A neocon is simply a liberal who has been mugged by reality. And reality is always standing by to create more of us.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 8, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #194165

“Ira Chernus, a professor at the University of Colorado, argues that the deepest root of the neoconservative movement is its fear that the counterculture would undermine the authority of traditional values and moral norms. Because neoconservatives believe that human nature is innately selfish, they believe that a society with no commonly accepted values based on religion or ancient tradition will end up in a war of all against all. They also believe that the most important social value is strength, especially the strength to control natural impulses. The only alternative, they assume, is weakness that will let impulses run riot and lead to social chaos.[5]

According to Peter Steinfels, a historian of the movement, the neocons’ “emphasis on foreign affairs emerged after the New Left and the counterculture had dissolved as convincing foils for neoconservatism … The essential source of their anxiety is not military or geopolitical or to be found overseas at all; it is domestic and cultural and ideological.”[6] Neoconservative foreign policy parallels their domestic policy. They insist that the U.S. military must be strong enough to control the world, or else the world will descend into chaos.”

courtesy of wikipedia.

it would seem that there are at least some out there that would disagree with your assessment of what it means to be a neocon, notably, that it exists independently of social conservatism.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #194167

your mindless assumptions aside, i would suggest that perhaps *you* should try googling neocons “like crazy” to attempt to ascertain what it is you actually are.

your quote. kristol. yes, he gave bush the neocon seal of approval. maybe he isn’t a neocon? but his policies are. as well as several members of this administration.

the world bank appointment… who made that one again? yah. just checking.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #194168

David R. Remer-
Not quite spin. Really, the truth is, at one time or another, Democrats have been taking the views described by Nancy Pelosi. The only difference is their collection in one spot.

Additionally, you can define a policy by negation or opposition of another. Sometimes that leaves you more room to come up with a real plan. To say, no, I don’t want a nuclear exchange, so let’s come up with some options here. That, in and of itself can be more creative of an approach, as long as you’re willing to settle on some course of action in good time.

There are many Democrats who have put forward plans for Iraq, as a matter of fact. Kerry had one, spoke of it on his campaign. Murtha had one. Dean had one. There are no shortages of those kinds of plans.

But it’s rhetorically convenient for some to ignore these plans in favor of a dismissal by omission: accuse the person of having no plan, which make any attempt after the fact to explain otherwise sound like a Johnny-come-lately response.

The time has come to ditch the easy rhetorical tricks, and to actually talk about the issues. The dialogue on the war has been dominated by verbal jousting for too long.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 8, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #194175

Sure, Diogenes. Kristol gave Bush a “necon seal of approval” and that makes Bush a neocon.

I’m sure that you’ll also agree that because Hugo Chavez has given his seal of approval to the Democrats in the 06 elections that Democrats are a bunch of tin-pot third world socialists. I’m sure that’s your opinion. It would have to be, wouldn’t it? It’s called “logical consistency.” Google THAT and tell me what you’ve learned.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 8, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #194180

i refer you to the above quote.
again, even neocons can’t agree on what it means to be a neocon, so i hardly think that your opinion is the end all definition (or any other).

again, who nominated wolfowitz (the neocon)?
strangely silent.

how about this. my point - neocons have ruined the republican party.

your counter - while there may be plenty of neocons in this administration, and while this administration may be pursuing a solidly neocon agenda, and while bush has received the neocon seal of approval from one of your own favored neocons, BUSH HIMSELF IS NOT (as far as you know, which doesn’t appear to be very far) A NEOCON.

i’ve got it. are we done?

Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #194182

dear neocons,

You’re certainly sounding very sour now that you people are about to be pounding the pavement, especially now that Webb is in. If I were a bigger person I’d try to say something more concilitory than “At least you still have Betty Bowers

The real question is “Will there be more subpeonas issued than Signing Statements?”

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 8, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #194187

Sorry, that was link text

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 8, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #194190

reckon i’ll take that as a yes.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #194194

We neocons are like the Freemasons, actually. We have secret handshakes, passwords, funny hats, the works. And eventually we’re gonna take over the world and make the rest of you into our slaves.

Did you find all that in your Google searches, Diogenes?

The Neocons gave Bush their “seal of approval” on Iraq just like they gave their “seal of approval” to Clinton on Yugolslavia—you know who I’m talking about, right? That devilish neocon Clinton? The neocons do not exlusively belong to a specific party.

Neocons “don’t agree” about who we are and what we stand for to the extent that ANY political movement doesn’t. Do traditional liberals all agree? Do conservatives?

Nope. A lot of neocons now and in the future may not even call themselves such. But anywhere there’s a liberal who comes to feel that “the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world,” then you have a neocon.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 9, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #194198

in your opinion.

i have looked within the republican party, and there i found a pestilence. why will this republican government, i asked, not act like the conservatives they are supposed to be? because they are poor excuses for conservatives? possibly. because they aren’t conservatives? hmm… because the agenda they are pushing is that of the neocons? bingo.

all that neocons stand for is all, or at least much, of what is wrong with the republican party. can the democrats lay claim to neocons as well? i don’t give a flying f…..

for the last time - neocons are not conservatives. the republicans are the party of conservatives - not neoconservatives. if americans wanted a neolib in office, there would be enough citizens to form a party - they wouldn’t have to hijack someone else’s.

go back to the party from whence you sprang. see if they’ll tolerate the neocons, cuz i’ve got a good feeling that the republicans are done with you.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #194199

oh,

“if americans wanted a neolib in office…”

don’t bother googling it. neolib is functionally the same as neocon. class dismissed.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 12:33 AM
Comment #194200

OK Getting back to the original premise of the artical…Boy,you guys have a long way to go. Looks like another forty years of a Democratic congress to me.

Posted by: BillS at November 9, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #194203

this is, if i’m not mistaken, at least part of the premise of the original article.

“In the past few years Republicans have abandoned key principles…”

these are the key principles which i mourn. these are the key principles to which we must return.

if i have misconstrued mr. smith’s meaning, then i certainly apologize for hijacking his thread. he did not explicitly state to which ‘false conservatives’ he was referring; however, the neocons fit the description to a tee.

i have also been waiting for some time for other conservatives to come to this realization, so please forgive my brazen attitude.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #194204

So what is the difference between a neo con and a fascist? Do the neocons just want to be the worlds bully by government alone or do they include their corporate buddies?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 9, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #194208

the difference? umm… in name only? swastikas? i give up. what’s the difference?

the neocons want to give the corporations free reign (globalization and utterly unregulated free trade) the corporations in turn want to fund the neocons’ efforts. it’s a natural symbiotic relationship.

i think, in the end, the corporations actually become the government.

i’m no expert though. perhaps i should google it like crazy ;)

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 1:15 AM
Comment #194209

Diogenes, Pilsner, j2t2,

We had much the same debate over the popular perceptions of “neo-cons” versus the textbook definition back on October 10th… perhaps it’s more accurate for those of us who consider ourselves traditional conservatives to refer to the so-called conservatives of the culture wars as “pseudo-cons?”

Perhaps it would be better to simply stop labeling people (and ourselves) so we can focus on ideas rather than name-calling?

I don’t give a shit whether Bush is a neo-con or whether the dems are liberal. The laws they want to make are what should be discused.

Posted by: TheTraveler at November 9, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #194210

…and i think it’s mnc’s specifically…not necessarily all corporations. don’t know for sure, though.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #194213

ok. legislating morality only pisses people off.
states’ rights (remember federalism?)

unregulated ‘free’ trade disadvantages the third world and all but the very rich (those who own stock in mnc’s) in the free world.

allowing illegal immigrants to enter america drives down wages, creating “jobs that americans don’t want,” merely because americans refuse to work for slave wages. protect small business and the middle class.

end corporate welfare. i mean, seriously, this is a perverted idea. rather than give handouts to those in need (which i oppose), they want to give handouts to those least in need… mnc’s. cuz they aren’t crazy rich enough already.

…see, for instance, almost every policy pursued by bush.

did you have any particular law or policy in mind?

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #194218

allow me to restate that in terms of the policies that we *should* pursue.

regulate multi-nationals. heavily. the money they make in america should stay in america, by and large. the jobs they ship overseas should cost them.

enforce the immigration laws that are on the books. it is the law, and few people have the nerve to openly endorse breaking the law. build the fence - if it doesn’t work, try something else (though i don’t hear to many other good ideas coming out). guest worker program? i think we have are share of workers. pay a living wage and they’ll take the job, joyfully. fewer illegals and we won’t even have to increase the min. wage, companies will increase it themselves in the competition for decent employees (as it should be).

leave social concerns to states and localities. if they don’t want abortion, or do want gay marriage, so be it. i would suggest repealing roe v. wade, but the uproar would almost certainly not be worth it. states are laboratories of democracy. trust in our great federal system of government. the superior policies will eventually win out.

let’s get back to the conservative basics, and build up our policies off of that. the constitution is, after all, not just a gd piece of paper - but rather, the rock on which our great nation was founded.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 1:57 AM
Comment #194219

Well, I was wrong. I predicted that the Dems would take the House, but not the Senate. It looks like the Senate has gone to the Dems, too.

Now we will SEE and the agenda that the Dems hid from voters. Many voters bought into the “get rid of those evil Republicans” rhetoric without thinking of what the Dems would do once in office. Americans wanted change, they got it.

On the other hand, it is not unusual for congress to change hands at the midterm election of a president’s second term. So, this appears to be less a mandate-setting change than it would be if this was the president’s first term.

Some predictions:

I don’t expect the Dems to back away from hate-based rhetoric just because they won. After all, that is what helped them to win this election AND they have a presidential election to look forward to. Therefore, BLAME will be the name of the game. If you think there were too many leaks to the media before, it may be worse in the coming year.

The House Reps will be meek, afraid that they will lose even more seats in two years.

In the Senate, Lieberman will cave to the demands of the Democrat leadership, even though they abandoned him in his bid for re-election.

Posted by: Don at November 9, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #194220

forgive all the typos. you know what i mean. the hour grows late, and i weary.

‘night.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 9, 2006 1:59 AM
Comment #194221

Michael: Good post. As Democrat with a libertarian streak, you and I won’t always agree. However, I can agree with much you propose and could seriously consider voting for you.

You have a serious challenge: how do you disengage the GOP from the grips of the religious right? Since the 1980 election, GOP election success has depended upon the religious right. Note, 2006 suggests that the power of abortion and gay bashing as issues may not be what they used to be. The problem: how to replace the religious right in the GOP coalition in order to be competitive electorally.

I think you might find the answer in the 2006 results. I’d look to the middle where economic conservatism, social libertarianism, and religious moderation (namely, a concern for human rights, social and economic justice) reigns. Such a coalition would mean you have to be principalled rather than dogmatic or ideological. And it would mean welcoming the views and participation of those who do not always agree with you in a politically pragmatic process of debating the “how” rather than the “what,” and the formulation of a broad national consensus. The former U.S. senator from Missouri, John Danforth, would be an apt model.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at November 9, 2006 3:42 AM
Comment #194224


MICHAEL:

What do you mean bt [ CULTURAL DISTRACTIONS THAT HAVE DOMINATED ]?

Roger A Conservative Christian Rupublican

Posted by: ROGER at November 9, 2006 6:24 AM
Comment #194226

B O G U S

When I was a little kid I saw a movie called Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

Michael you are not him!

You are a Liberal Democrat, trying to pass yourself of as a Conservative Rupublican.

I took a look at your statement of priorities and you platform postions, and they look like they were written by the Democratic National Party.

Like I said before, BOUGUS.

Your are a Democrat passing yourself off as a Rupublican.

Posted by: Charlie George at November 9, 2006 6:45 AM
Comment #194230

Stephen:

I would make the following changes to your list

1. AN HONEST AND OPEN balanced Budget. I want that from both parties, I want that from which ever party is in power.

2. A Realistic Fix for social security.

3. A realistic Fix for Medicare.

6. End ANY ear-marks in congress.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 9, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #194235

Don, the hate based rhetoric is not something the dems should back away from, the rightwingers having been perpetrating that rhetoric for so long the dems finally stood up against it, and it paid off for them. I beleive they should continue to stand up to this hatful rhetoric they endure daily at the hands of the righties.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 9, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #194242

Republican or Democrat?

In my mind Democrats look to government for solutions, Republicans look to people for solutions and government should exist only as safeguard of the people’s rights.

Read “I am a Republican Because…” then ponder some of the Republican Party’s recent actions.

Another way to view basic philosophy is through a concept I once learned in a sociology class; locus of control. Some people have an external locus of control. They see fate, or God, or government as directing all outcomes. If something goes wrong they tend to blame others, look for others to fix it, and they turn to government to fix everything from leaky roofs to hangnails.

Others have an internal locus of control. They take control of their own destiny. (e.g. The Lord helps those who help themselves.) When something goes wrong they show a little Yankee ingenuity and fix it. They want government to protect their rights to live life as an individual, accountable and free.

The Republican Party professes smaller government, individual accountability, and personal liberty. Yet among the “cultural distractions,” they want to define marriage, protect the flag from crazed flag-burners, outlaw even medically needed control of a woman’s own uterus, protect us from internet gambling, hang the Ten Commandments in every classroom, and generally shove morality down our throats. It runs contrary to their professed principles, lacks integrity, and violates the spirit, and in many cases the letter, of our Constitution.

I stand behind my integrity as a Republican. A Republican in the company of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater. Not the Party of Pat Robertson or the pandering cultural warriors who would use government to impose their morality on America.

I don’t expect many votes from that contingent.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 9, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #194249

Michael,

Well said. It reflects my entry into and departure from the GOP so many years ago…What do you think of “It’s my party too”?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 9, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #194273

I like “It’s My Party Too,” except that I got frustrated that they weren’t actively updating their blog, so I haven’t been there in a while. Maybe it’s improved since then.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 9, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #194277
Republicans profess to trust the individual, to conservatively apply governmental power only as permitted by the Constitution, and to leave issues to states’ discretion whenever possible. Unfortunately, there’s been a new kind of “conservative;” one who holds conservative cultural and personal beliefs, and freely exercises the power of government to impose those conservative views on others. Republicans need to find the integrity to reject this kind of false conservatism.

It’s that kind of false conservatism that has cost the Republican party the support of a lot of true conservatives.

We need to insist that our Party address these issues rather than spending time on the cultural distractions that have dominated recently.

We need to insist that EVERYONE in DC regardless of political party adress the issues and problems facing this country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 9, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #194326

Russell Kirk is acknowledged as the present day father of conservatism.

True conservatives believe that the first order of business is preservation of the moral order.

True conservatives are guardians of political power.

We are indebted to those before us. That debt is to preserve the moral and constitutional order of things.

When the true conservatives adopt this premise, we will then move back to responsible government.

Mike Pence is running for minority whip in the House of Representatives.

GO BIG MIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: tomh at November 9, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #194363

Zeig Heil,
Zeig Heil
Zieg Heil
Big Mike.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 9, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #194385

the values michael smith espouses are those of a true conservative - not as charlie george so ignorantly suggests, those of a liberal democrat.

neocons are not conservatives, people. recognize the difference. small government. local government. remember?

Posted by: Diogenes at November 10, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #194399

Michael said: “In my mind Democrats look to government for solutions”

Michael, the fallacy in your mind is that government is not people. The government is nothing more than people the voters elected to represent their interests. The dichotomy of Democrats looking to government and Republicans looking to people for solutions is a false dichotomy. The Government is the people’s choice. Nothing could be clearer from a read of our Constitution.

Michael, you should never forget these words:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The government is the people, elected by the people, to represent all of the people. Yes, Democrats look to government for solutions which the people individually cannot solve themselves. And so have Republicans. The record of their agenda transformed into legislation and policy makes that abundantly clear.

The difference between effective, accountable, and responsible government and bad government is the agenda of those in office who make the decisions. If the people want better government they must vote for it, and vote against incumbents whose actions reflect agendas that do not represent that of the people.

This election was a good beginning toward holding politicians accountable to the people’s agenda of solving the nation’s big problems, the problems individuals cannot solve for themselves, like Iraq, deficits and debt, salvaging the people’s safety nets, and halting the flood of illegal competitors for American jobs, among a host of others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2006 2:52 AM
Comment #194400

semantics.

a false dichotomy perhaps, but the meaning is clear. conservatives believe that local concerns should be remedied by local government, not the overarching, out of touch fed, as liberals stereotypically support.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 10, 2006 2:56 AM
Comment #194401

Diogenes, that is pure bullpucky. You’re trying to tell me the states can’t define for themselves what marriage is? The people can’t decide for themselves whether or not to have an abortion? The people cannot decide for themselves whether, or not, to acquire assistance in dying. The people can’t decide for themselves on abstinence vs. contraceptives? These are all Republican agendas which Republicans tried to force federal answers to upon its citizens.

Don’t preach such hypocrisy that Democrats seek federal solutions to local and personal issues. I am no Democrat, but, I find some of their positions on these issues to be what you say Republicans are about. Democrats leave abortion to the people to decide. Democrats leave abstinence or contraception to the individual and family to decide as with assisted suicide. It was Republicans who were spending federal dollars to try to take such choices away from the people.

Conversely, Democrats tried to take gun ownership decisions away from responsible law abiding citizens. This cuts both ways, Diogenes. Deeply, both ways.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2006 3:10 AM
Comment #194405

slow down….

forgive me, perhaps you misunderstood me?
what you suggest is *exactly* what a true conservative would endorse, and thusly, what i advocate.

let the states decide. the neocons were (to me, obviously) dead wrong. you may disagree that it was the neocons who were responsible for these dire mistakes on behalf of the republicans, but that is a different discussion.

regardless, these (yours) are the (conservative) views which i (and i believe mr. smith) support… at least in that we oppose federal intervention. federalism.

let the states decide.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 10, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #194408

Diogenes, sorry, I was responded to your view on the difference you expressed between the parties.

There still exists however, a large and very vocal wing of the Republican Party which insists on imposing federal solutions to everything from immoral behavior to free and virtually unregulated monopolies. The parties are the actions which they take on behalf of their most powerful voices within.

That is going to be the devil within which both parties are going to have to wrestle with.

A minimalist government suits and works for a relatively small nation whose economy is based primarily on agriculture and raw natural resources. It will not work for a multi-faceted complex nation such as ours. Let me give you one example.

Education. Education is relegated largely to the province of local and state governments. With 50 states, and many, many thousands of independent school districts, such a multi-faceted and unstandardized educational system has clearly failed to provide the qualified worker base our future global competitive context requires.

The U.S. is already seeing a shortage of the kind of brains, education, and cutting edge creators which it used to import with ease. The two reasons are simple. First, the internet allows foreign competitors to compete for those brains and education by offering competitive compensation for work which never requires the employee to leave their home country. America is not embracing internet commute to work, like other nations are. And second, with rising quality of life conditions in China, India and a host of other emerging economies, the idea of leaving one’s own country to find work is far less appealing, and thus getting brains to immigrate to the U.S. is getting more difficult.

The answer: a national effort and standard for education that permits our educational system to forge its way back to being the best in the world. That cannot, and will not, be accomplished by local and state governments.

Republicans kept arguing money would not improve education. But they were measuring money at the local level on isolated individual school programs. Investment by both the private corporate sector and federal government (to avoid unfunded mandates), and state and local educational bodies, will pay enormous long term benefits and gains for our economy. But a huge restructuring of our educational system would have to take place covering doing away with the agriculturally based 9 month school year, to 9 or more hour school days depending on whether a student does their quality homework at home or, failing that, are required to do the homework at school before leaving.

You can imagine the huge backlash against such ideas by very vocal minorities of varying kinds across the nation. It is a huge undertaking, one which our future depends upon. Are the Democratic and Republican Parties capable of producing the kind of legislative leaders and Presidents capable of such a huge undertaking? I don’t see it yet.

But, if voters, in growing numbers over these next couple of elections, continue to toss incumbents in response to failure to address such issues, we will see the day arrive when politicians will tackle the big issues which our future directly depends upon.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2006 4:22 AM
Comment #194413

j2t2
That is absoulutely sick!!

Posted by: tomh at November 10, 2006 7:04 AM
Comment #194440

Stephen and tomh,

It appears the point of your post is that Bush lied. If you have any proof I think you might wind up on national TV as the first democrat to prove Bush lied. Perhaps you could share that proof here, with us, first?

No, tomh, I will not post your comment as I felt it said nothing…

Hummm…. I found it interesting that you jumped all over me when I stated that Bush had lied about Rumsfelds. Funny how once I prove it neither of you has a thing to say.

Actually I imagine that if they’d annouced his resignation earlier the Republicans just might have has a chance of holding some seats. Not much, but a chance. After all it has been Ronsfeld’s resignation that several Republicans Senators have beeen have been seeking, as well many of the American people.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Linda H. at November 10, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #194447

Linda H
I have never accused Bush of lying. So put something else in your pipe and smoke it.

Posted by: tomh at November 10, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #194458

David,

You win the point on government = people, but there’s still something to the underlying dichotomy between groups that looks to collective solutions versus individual solutions. And even when collective solutions are appropriate, should they be national or local?

Frankly, I’m quite likely to vote a very Democratic-looking ballot on local issues. This last week I supported the local school bond, and voted against the state spending cap initiative. But at a federal level? I’ll almost always support the notion that less is more.

I would rephrase the old adage “the government that governs best, governs least” to say “the government that governs best, governs most locally.” Closer to home there’s better accountability to the electorate, better understanding of the specific issues, and better efficiency in delivery of value. Government has very few economies of scale. Other than the few things specified in the Constitution like defense, coinage, or interstate commerce, there are very few things that shouldn’t be decided at the state level.

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 10, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #194469

Michael said: “Closer to home there’s better accountability to the electorate, better understanding of the specific issues, and better efficiency in delivery of value.”

That is spoken as a universal truth. It isn’t. It is valid for some issues, most issues that have little negative bearing on the nation’s future and efficacy. But, when I look at the number of voters in any district in this country who show up for local ballot issues or bond elections not tied to a Presidential race, ranging from 15% to 30% turnout, it tells me your statement is flat wrong about “better understanding of the specific issues, and better efficiency in delivery of value”. What you often get at the local level is rule of the minority, which permits many aberrant views, perspectives, and values to dominate the decision process of local issues.

This is in fact, how racial discrimination in housing in the South remains a very real daily occurrence, but subtle enough to avoid federal enforcement burdened with bigger issues to deal with.

Do you really believe that America can afford to continue losing ground on the educational front as a result of 1000’s of different standards and local approaches, in an ever greater competitive global environment for brain and education power? I am not advocating a national school system run by federal bureaucrats. But, it seems clear we need federal legislation that will either lure school districts to the national standard, or mandate national standards in exchange for economic incentives for those states.

Local officials and elected boards will still be responsible to local constituents, both for meeting or failing to meet national standards giving students in other communities clear competitive advantages. They will also remain the deciders on how to best meet those standards for their constituents.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #194489

i do not think that anyone is proposing that all government be exclusively local. merely that local government is preferable, and *generally* more responsive and efficient.

there are obviously a number of things which must be dealt with at the federal level. you mention education. this sounds reasonable (your view of it, at least). don’t know that i agree, but it is worth debating. illegal immigration is another.

regardless, i believe what mr. smith is suggesting is a general return to conservative values, particularly within the republican party. there will always be some things which necessitate federal involvement.

i do not intend to put words in your mouth mr. smith, so to speak - so please, correct me if i’m wrong.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 10, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #194495

tomh, Yeah it is, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind whilst reading your post. I find it strange how people try to “out conservative” one another and only they are the “true conservative”, reminds me of tales I’ve heard of Nazi Germany in the 30”s.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 10, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #194496

tomh BTW sorry if I offended you with the Zieg Heil thing, I’ll try to avoid it in the future.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 10, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #194545

tomh,
Pardon me, I assumed you were in agreement with Stephen’s comment, as I honestly could not understand your statement.

I never accused either of you of saying Bush lied. I said Bush lied about Rumsfeld’s resignation, and proved it. Your comment made no sense to me, so I did not adddress it.

It was who Stephen ‘challenged’ (to be polite) me to prove my sarcastic statement re: “Nice try….” i.e. Bush knowing before the election that Rummey was going to resigned.

I proved it.

Posted by: Linda H. at November 10, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #194577

Diogenes, I should think returning to the idea of smaller government when and where appropriate as a guiding principle would be healthy for the Republican Party. But, a return to conservative ideology is what cost Republicans the elections.

Ideology is inflexible, it is a one rule fits all situations thinking which leads to unintended consequences in application across the board. The Republican Party needs to return to its general principles, but guard against such principles ever becoming rigid ideology again, mandating inappropriate solutions to changing circumstances. Principles allow for flexibility, since they guide the decision process. Ideology mandates a given solution be applied even when it will not work.

That is one of the key lessons for Republicans to absorb from this election, as I see it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2006 3:30 AM
Comment #194603

“…a return to conservative ideology is what cost Republicans the elections…”

how so? this administration has done nothing conservatively (social issues aside). they abandoned the conservative ideals for which they were elected. the people recognized this. that is why they lost - alongside rampant corruption, that is.

…though i agree that rigidity can certainly be a hindrance…

Posted by: Diogenes at November 11, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #194614

Linda,

After looking into the matter more deeply I may have to concede at least part of your point. I though you were just dishing up some more dishonest Bush hate and smear (Bush lied) crap similar to calling Bush a liar over WMD but saying Clinton was misled by the CIA about the same issue when he was in office. Somehow crediting Bush with “knowing” the truth and lying while protecting Clinton as someone who merely believed the CIA.

I see in fact that Bush has put out some confusing language and has confused me. He now apparently is saying that he knew Rumsfeld was leaving but didn’t want to let it out before the election.

As far as whoever asked if I’m willing to be taxed MORE in order that we can all have a wonderful life…the answer is NO. I’m 50. I saw 40 years of the democratic party wanting more, and more and more and more so that we could “all” do better. It’s not the job of the federal government to stip my bare so that those less inclined to work can be ok. At some point it has to stop. I’m taxed TOO MUCH already.

Let me as you this, are you willing to do with a SMALLER GOVERNMENT so the poor can have more? Lets cut spending instead of raising taxes. Lets stop spending all that money on anything anyone can dream of. Lets stop farm subsidies for instance and let them make it or break it in the real world. Lets stop all sorts of subsidies to businesses and just let them go under if they can’t compete. Lets stop building bridgets to no where. Lets stop congressmen like Harry Reid from getting 1 million dollar checks from mob related vegas lawyers to peddle his name. Lets really get rid of the corruption on both sides of the isle.

Lets not run anyone who has lied to America….like Hillary lying about Travel-gate, Hillary lying about the billing records that were “discovered” in the Whitehouse AFTER the statute of limitations ran out on her crime.

So lets cut the spending, lets cut the corruption. Lets go after what’s important. Getting back to the original post. It’s not the voters that need to learn from this, it’s the politicians who need to learn what the voters want.

1. Balance the Budget.
2. Fix Social Security
3. Fix Medicare.
4. Provide a National Health Care system for those without that does not break our current system and does not bust our budget. That means among other things litigation rules must be changed so that ambulance chasers like Edwards don’t get rich robing the peoples health care dollars.
5. Do away with Ear-Marks in congress.
6. Do not tax us to death, the people do not want to pay higher taxes.
7.Wage war against the terrorists who ARE waging war against us. Support human rights and freedom, not dictators and terrorists.
9 Support American economic and political interests abroad..as all other nations do.
10. Secure our boarders…do not refuse to provide the future funding needed to install and finish the fence.

These are the things I’m holding both parties responsible for. Will the democrats walk in the door with a new budget for 07 and vote it in? Will they walk in and create a new budget? Or will they coast on the present budget and do nothing? I’m going to be judging them on the important issues…not “stem cells” for superman or minimum wage or how much they cry about the children and the need to raise my taxes for “the poor”.

Posted by: Stephen at November 11, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #194622

I used to be a moderate republican, until this generation of “Neo-conservatives” decided that if you were not on their Theocratic bandwagon, you are un-American. I have voted Democrat every since. You guys have to win people like me back. I recognize that the “Great Society” democrat programs are not entirely successful, but at least the Democrats tried. What have you guys done for us lately?

Posted by: Richard at November 11, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #194670

Stephen, Why wasnt you holding the repubs to this same standard the last 6 years? If neither political party can run someone who has not lied… well who exactly do you think would run? Certainly no politician at the national level. Why cant you just get over the anti Hillary thing especially after the repub crap we have had to endure the last 6 years.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #194682

Stephen, civilzation, law and order, and a general welfare of a nation’s people especially in a wealthy nation, costs tax dollars. It was true of ancient Rome and Egypt and is still true today.

How much taxes is it worth to you to prevent stepping over dead orphans on the streets? How much taxes is it worth to you feel relatively safe commuting to work and home again? How much is it worth to you to halt an illegal immigration invasion that threatens your job, wages, and security?

For those who rail against taxes, I have to ask these questions. And one more. If it is worth paying taxes to avoid the items listed above, and if we have not yet eliminated children dying of malnutrition or lack of medical care, have not yet made it safe to commute from home to work and back without being robbed, killed, or carjacked, if we have not yet halted the threat of illegal immigration in the millions, then is cutting taxes and undermining efforts to address these issues really the course you wish to choose?

Civilization costs money. If we haven’t yet achieved the level of civilized living and security you wish, does cutting taxes make sense?

Does cutting your income while charging up your credit card and mortgage debt make sense to you? If not, then why should it make sense for your country?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #194717

I suppose I may accept your almost apology.

I see in fact that Bush has put out some confusing language? (Huh, he was pretty clear to me)and has confused me.(How?) He now apparently is saying that he knew Rumsfeld was leaving but didn’t want to let it out before the election. (If my kids were to say that, I’d say they lied to me…

Posted by: Linda H. at November 12, 2006 5:11 AM
Comment #194718

Here’s a possible solution to some of our internal governmental problems. I realize there are many major flaws in this plan. I submit it only as a way to brainstorm, a jumping off spot if you will.

I would love to have a smaller government. “Too many cooks spoil the soup” - or in this case our government. It is next to impossible for anyone to know what the other folks are doing, especially when it comes to using the American Tax dollar.

Personally I wish we could do an Complete Audit of the White House’s, Congress’, and Pentagon’s expensive’s.

I believe we might not only be able to lower our deficit, but possibly gain some of the trust back from our American Citizens.

I would like to remove all riders from proposed bills.

I would also seriously consider sending all of Congress home, back to their home state, for no less than 8 months our of the year.

Before anyone panics, let me explain how this would work.

1. Each Congressional member,top staff members would receive an extremely well equipped computer, cell phone, beeper, and land line with the conference call features on them.

2. An small office could be rented for in their local town for less than they pay for their Washington homes.

3. Every Monday and Friday, from 2-6 PM, using one fixed time zone, everyone goes to their computers, turns them on and have has conference calls with their staff employees concerning the needed business concerns.

On Wednesdays, they conference with their committees. And on and on, until they eventually have to meet face-to-face, to vote on new appointments, bills, and hearings. This time might take perhaps 90 days total a year. I suspect the Tax Payers would not object to putting them up in a modest hotel - $150-$300 or so a night - Not one of the fancy-dancey ones that run in the thousands for one night.

By limiting the time they are together several things would happen. In no particular order of importance:

A. Their costs of living would drop dramatically. They would no longer have to move families to Washington for indefinite amounts of time. They wouldn’t constantly need to give themselves salary increases, because there wouldn’t be a need for ooutrageous salaries. They could work in their jeans and a T-shirt if they wanted to etc. It would cut down on the parting, meetings, ‘balls’, wining and dinning strangers and all the staff personal that go with the flounting of American Tax Money. Who knows, maybe some of them might even be sober when they decide how to vote.

B. It would cut down on their overhead. They would only need one or three aides, and a secretary.

C. It would make lobbyists at least have to really work for their salaries. They most likely would not be able to hit everyone of the Congressional Members re: a bill they want to lobby about.

D. It would take government out of Washington and put it back where it belongs - in the hands of the people. Constituents would have ready access to their leaders. Their leaders might even find out how the real world works.

E. Since they would have to spend less time together, maybe, just maybe the ‘good Ole Boys’ Club would be gone forever.

F. Most of all it would be a way of cutting costs massively, without hurting the poor.

Hopefully it would cut the cost of campaign elections, as well. I would change how long they would need to comapign, how expives it would be, and candiates would be forced to make a stand on the issues, not party lines, or no plans at all. Afterall the votes would actually have the opportunity to KNOW them.

It would also leave the President alone in Washington, having to actually use a brain, and maybe decide to join his colleagues at his home as well.

Posted by: Linda H. at November 12, 2006 5:34 AM
Comment #194719

Please pardon the errors in my submission. I am tired and forgot to run the spell checker on the next to last paragraph.

Posted by: Linda H. at November 12, 2006 5:42 AM
Comment #194724

Linda, add to this, forcing Congress in session for let’s say 300 days solving America’s problems, instead of this part time schedule for 3 times full-time pay, of 100 days this year. Imagine them paying themselves a year’s salary for 100 days in Congressional session. Chaps my heine, that one does.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 12, 2006 8:16 AM
Comment #194812

David,
I have a business administration degree and am 50 years old. What’s with this “civilization costs money” line. Did you just have a moment where it dawned on you what taxes are used for? A never ending spiral of raising taxes is WRONG, it’s BAD, I am OPPOSED.

I’m paying ENOUGH. I’m paying TOO MUCH. GET IT? TOO MUCH IS TOO MUCH. We are ALL PAYING TOO MUCH. Cut government. Cut waste. Stop the spending….get it! Reid shoves a million in his back pocket on a land deal which is thinly veiled influence peddling and gets away with it. Hillary takes 100K bribes and never goes to jail let alone court. And they just keep taxing me more. It’s time to stop with the high taxes. There is an END TO CIVILIZATION when you over tax it. There is a point where taxes destroy your economy and then there’s nothing for the poor, nothing for the “little children” etc etc.

The democrats only have one line when they run congress….”we need you to pay higher taxes so we can do more”. I heard that line for 40 years the last time democrats had power. They kept coming at us again and again with higher and higher taxes and kept lecturing us on all they good they would do with the money I earned. And here they go again. And here you are, spreading your enlightened brilliance: “it takes money to run civilization”. God. Not as much money as they are TAKING from us it doesn’t!

But it does take that much to build bridges to no where, to run a screwed up social security, a screwed up Medicare, a screwed up education system, and to pass out all that dough on all those thousands and thousands of pork spending ear-marks to all those democrats and republicans.

Lets go back to the original post here and get off your brilliant plan to put us into an eternal spiral of higher and higher taxes.

The idea that it is the Voters that must learn from this experience. I say it’s not the voters. It’s the Republican politicians that need to learn.

If they had kept up the Newt Gingrich balanced budgets, if they had rejected Ear-Marks, if they had come forward with a social security fix, if they had come forward with a Medicare fix, if they had sealed the boarder years ago, if they would have hit all the major issues that most people really are worried about…they would still be in power. Even if the democrats continued to obstruct real fixes, they would be in power because the democrats would have been punished by the voters for their obstruction. Instead the Republicans avoided the tough stuff, and become more or less just like the democrats in spending and corruption and lost their base.

You want to lecture me about why I should pay higher and higher and ever higher taxes. I’ve sat through 40 years of that crap with democrats and thought we had voted those losers out for good. But they’re back….telling us they need to jack up taxes higher and higher so they can do more and more. Please, go over to the democrat side where you have big government socialists who support you on that one. Me, I’ll take a smaller government, zero pork, and lower taxes.

And I ask you:

Where is the democratic parties balanced budget plan? Will they submit it in the first 100 hours?

Where is the democratic parties Social security fix, will they submit it in the first 100 hours? Social security once had 41 payers for each recepiant. Now I believe there are around 3 payers and we are gradually moving toward 2. It’s BROKEN. It’s going to take a painful (for many) fix. The sooner we fix it the less pain for all.

Where is the democratic parties Medicare fix (not drug negotiation) where is their fix for the plan that is terribly gone wrong. Its worse off than Social security. Democrats denounced a social security fix claiming it was really medicare that was seriously broken. Will they submit a comprehensive fix in the first 100 hours? Or will they toss a meaningless patch on it and declare a fix?

Where is the democratic parties Iraq plan? I hear they have none. Will they submit it in the first 100 hours?

Where is the democratic parties plan to eliminate Ear Marks? Or will they keep on submitting those pork bills as ear marks for their district so they can buy those votes with tax payer dollars?

I say the democrats will wimp out on the big issue and do a bunch of easy lame brain stuff. Raise minimum wage, find ways to give more money to students, etc etc. They are going to try to BUY the 08 election but they aren’t going to sit down, and fix any of the hard stuff.

Lets all write Nancy and ask her to fix the hard stuff….do you think she would listen? I don’t.

Posted by: Stephen at November 12, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #194851

Stephen, you may want to consider seeking a refund for your business education degree.

First of all, nothing I said reflected never ending spiral of increasing taxes. Balancing the costs of the nation’s government as determined by the voters and their representatives, with the revenues collected equaling that cost, is called a balanced budget. Nothing infinite about it.

We are all paying too much because there is too much waste, fraud, abuse, pandering and use of tax dollars to bribe votes by our representatives. Let’s work on ending those. We made a good start by removing a bunch of incumbents this election.

Let us continue in that path, and we may get to the point where the nation receives the government it pays for, and the government it pays for is providing the majority of Americans what they believe they need for government to accomplish, in terms of peace, prosperity, security, opportunity, and liberty.

But, peace, prosperity, security, liberty, and opportunity comes neither free nor cheap. If you don’t believe in taxes at all, there is a tribe in the Amazon rain forest that pays none, that might interest you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 13, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #194892

Dav, have you abandoned your sermon about why I need to pay higher taxes? Seems to me you are spewing it out both sides there Dave. One minute it’s the condescending lecture on why I need an ever increasingly expensive government and the next minute you are a cost cutter in denial about pushing for higher taxes. Maybe you should stop flip flopping and just admit you want higher and higher taxes for more and more social welfare projects.
—————————————————
Dems are looking to push through the pork before it’s officially on their watch! Laugh. Oh yeah, we are going to see “change” all right. More spending, more pork! Bring on the pork, the democrats want all their pork and they want it NOW! So many good things to do and so much more tax dollars needed to do it!
—————————————————————
From AP:

“Democrats would like to complete the spending bills this year, rather than having them on their early agenda in 2007.

But that would require assembling one $450 billion-plus bill loaded with special-interest “pork-barrel” projects “

Posted by: Stephen at November 13, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #194893

A “good start” Dave in my book would have more to do with what is done rather than with who is in power.

A “good start” might be for the Democratic party to stop trying to ram pork projects through congress and start working on a balanced budget.

A good start might be for the Democratic party to admit Social Security and Medicare have huge problems and it’s going to take a major bi-partisan effort to get beyond the band-aid faze and get a fix going.

A good start would be for the democratic party to agree to seal the boarder down and come up with a workable way to get workers into the country legally.

A good start would be for the democratic party to agree to eliminate Ear-Marks, add on bills, and all such pork spending tools. But what’s that? AP tells us the dems want to ram a ton of pork through and they want to do it now!

So much for balanced budgets and no pork. So much for a ‘good start’.

The voters know what they want, they just can’t get their politicians to do it. Solve the hard problems. Deal with the issues they ought to be dealing with. Stop passing out money like candy looking to buy votes and start dealing with the major issues which if unconfronted will destroy our economy. Issues like 2 payers for each recipient in social security. When we get there…it’s all over.

No Dave, I don’t need a new business degree. I need politicians that will stop peddling crap and start doing what they ought to do. I”m tired of the crap Dave and it sounds to me as if that’s all you really expect from the democrats. Instead of telling me they will deal with these issues you are making excuses about why the aren’t quite ready to deal with the important stuff.

Posted by: Stephen at November 13, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #194952

Stephen, where ya been the last 6 years? Now the dems regain a little control and its do it all at once. Meanwhile the repubs can do no wrong. every issue in your rant is old news that could have been resolved the past 6 years except the repubs were to busy diagnosing medical problems from the floor of the senate (wrongfully I might add)and offering up flag burning amendments. Where were you then?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 14, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #195002

j2t2-

Good points. It is a bit funny that prior to the democrats even taking power, some republicans are already mirroring the frustration that it took democrats years to legitimately build up.

I would just remind Stephen of what happened when the boy cried “wolf” once too often.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 14, 2006 12:51 PM
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