Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Real Rick Santorum

With the implosion of everyone else, Rick Santorum is now being given his turn to run as the anti-Romney. And many conservatives are jumping on Ricky’s bandwagon with the idea that he’s more conservative than Romney. Don’t believe it. Let’s talk about Ricky.

● “Conservative” Rick: Rick claims to be an all-around, genuine, dyed-in-the-wool conservative. But would a conservative do this?

● Rick voted to create the Medicare prescription drug benefit entitlement.
● Rick opposes even the voluntary use of eVerify, which would keep illegal aliens from getting jobs.
● Rick voted for Ted Kennedy’s No Child Left Behind.
● Rick voted to force states to let convicted felons vote.
● Rick voted to give $1 billion to bailout the steel industry.
● Rick voted for the ban on “assault weapons.”
● Rick voted to make it illegal to sell guns without a secure storage or safety device.
● Rick voted to fund anti-gun education programs in schools.
● Rick voted against the National Right To Work Act, which allows non-union shops.
● Rick twice voted against repealing the Davis-Bacon Act, which is how the federal government supports union labor through government contracts.
● Rick twice voted to make it easier for unions to unionize FedEx. This bill was created by UPS and the Teamsters, and is essentially what Obama has done to Boeing, except it was done at the behest of a competitor.
● Rick voted to fund the legal services corporation, which pursues left-wing litigation around the country, e.g. suing cities to increase benefits or suing landlords to stop evictions.
● Rick voted to make fuel price gouging a federal crime.
● Rick opposed creating an independent Board of Governors to investigate IRS abuses.
● Rick voted to require a union representative be placed on the IRS oversight board, and then voted to exempt the IRS union representative from criminal ethics laws.
● Rick opposed cutting funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
● Rick supported a large number of liberal nominees including Sonia Sotomayor to the Circuit Court, Richard Holbrooke to be UN Ambassador, and Alexis Herman to be Secretary of Labor.
● In 2004, Rick endorsed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey and cut an ad telling voters “Specter is with us on the votes that matter.”
● In 2006, Rick ran campaign ads playing up his bipartisan work with Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer: “Because it makes more sense to wrestle with America’s problems than with each other.”
● “Fiscal Conservative” Rick: Rick claims to be a fiscal conservative. Yet. . .
● Rick supported every budget during the Bush years, despite their then-record spending and then-record deficits.
● Rick now claims he opposes earmarks, but he previously said: “The idea that earmarks are the problem in Washington, D.C., is just ridiculous.” He also sought more than a billion dollars in earmarks, including such ridiculous things as $300,000 for a bilingual health care study, $250,000 for an “African-American cultural center” in Pittsburgh, $96 million to build a light rail system into Pittsburgh, $2 million to renovate the Vulcan Monument in Alabama, funding of museums in Nebraska and Seattle, the Stand Up for Animals Project in Rhode Island, etc.
● Rick voted for the Bridge to Nowhere.
● Rick voted for mandatory federal child care funding.
● Rick voted to increase funding for the Department of Education by $3.1 billion.
● Rick voted to provide $2 billion in home heating subsidies.
● Rick voted to increase social services block grants from $1 billion to $2 billion.
● Rick voted to give taxpayers $100 rebates on gas prices.
● Rick voted to create a $140 billion asbestos compensation fund, and voted against requiring uniform medical requirements to ensure claims were legitimate. Think “Pigford.”
● Rick voted to give $18 billion to the IMF.
● Rick opposed food stamp reform.
● Rick opposed Medicaid reform.
● Rick voted to divert gas taxes to pay for Amtrak.
● Rick voted to increase Amtrak funding by $550 million.
● Rick voted to increase spending on social programs by $7 billion.
● Rick voted to increase community development programs by $2 billion.

● Rick opposed the flat tax.
● Rick voted twice for internet taxes.
● Rick voted four times to raise tobacco taxes to fund Medicare prescription drugs, to pay $8 billion in child health insurance, to increase NIH funding, and to provide health insurance subsidies to small business.
● Rick voted to raise taxes by $9.4 billion to increase student loans.
● Rick opposed repealing Clinton’s gas tax increase.
● Super Hawk Rick: Rick claims everyone else is weak on defense and he specifically attacks Obama for not doing enough about terrorist states like Iran and Syria. So why did Rick do this?
● Rick voted for the Chemical Weapons Convention and then voted against forcing the President to certify that Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and China have joined before the CWC would become effective.
● Rick voted to allow the sale of supercomputers to China.
● Rick voted to give North Korea $25 million in foreign aid.
● Rick voted to ban landmines.
● Rick voted for the START II Treaty.
● Rick voted against requiring President Clinton to get Congress’s authorization for military action in Bosnia.
● Ricky the Lobbyist: While Rick claims to be an outsider, he served 16 years in the House and Senate. What’s more he is deeply immersed in lobbying culture and has traded influence:
● In 2006, Rick received the most contributions from lobbyists of any Senator.
● After Rick lost to Bob Casey in 2006, he became a lobbyist for multiple groups. One group was United Health Services. Rick sponsored two Medicare-reform bills while he was in the Senate which would have aided UHS. Rick also joined the board of directors of American Continental Group, a lobbying company. As a Senator, Rick got earmarks for many of ACG’s clients.
● Rick voted to require broadcasters to provide discounted broadcast rates to politicians.
Rick is not a fiscal conservative, not even close. In fact, he’s closer to Obama than Bush and Bush was anything but a fiscal conservative. Rick’s also no foreign policy conservative. Nor is he averse to influence peddling.

And when it comes to social policy, he’s either a moron or a cynic. He will often contradict himself on issues like gay marriage where he speaks in circles about states’ rights, and he’ll make vague pronouncements like his belief in “marriage,” which he treats as a policy but provides no details. Moreover, the things he does propose, like passing constitutional amendments, are non-starters because they simply can’t be passed. So what is he actually promising? It sounds like he’s more concerned with pandering than he is in achieving anything.

Moreover, his stridency about his social conservatism is a disaster waiting to happen. Of all the candidates left, Santorum is the only one who is guaranteed to attract 0.0% of the moderate vote. He will even turn off many conservatives as well because, to borrow a line from Ghostbusters II, “he scares the straights.”

Think twice before you decide this man is the conservative alternative to Romney.


** Don’t forget it’s Star Trek Tuesday at CommentaramaFilms!**

64 comments:

tryanmax said...

Pretty swishy.

I have to share the ridiculousness I heard on the morning news. The anchor and anchorette are bantering back and forth about how voters just won't stand for negative campaigning anymore. Then they go to the polls, where Mitt "PAC" Romney is enjoying his biggest lead so far.

Joel Farnham said...

What really bugs me is the establishment Republicans are winning.

CrisD said...

Being from Pennsylvania (Arlen Spector's district) I can tell you that it's Liberal Democrat vs. Liberal Republican.

Rick really believes he is conservative because he is a practicing Catholic and thinks homosexuality and abortion are wrong.

He is a relic of the past (I hope) because since the crash of '08 more people realize that we cannot concede with big spenders of any stripe. His recent bump perplexed me. Your list was astonishing regarding all the numb nuts who voted for this junk!

Tennessee Jed said...

damn it, Andrew- why do you always pull your punches when it comes to Rick?? Seriously, I do understand that at times, a person's record can appear distorted because of the way congress does it's business. That said, although I voted for him for senator -- I never found him to be "leading man" material. I am a fiscal conservative and pretty much libertarian on most social issues. I certainly would votefor him against most Democrats, but he has never come off as a leader capable of persuading a nation. Isn't that one of the very most important definitions of a leader. Create your vision, don't get bogged down in detail, and inspire/pursuade others to follow to make it happen. That is not Rick.

T-Rav said...

I got back to reality only to see you destroying another Not-Romney?! Arrgghhh....

In all seriousness, the only use I see for Santorum is as a spoiler candidate who might block Romney from winning outright and get us to a brokered convention or some other solution. For some of the points you've listed, I have seen plausible explanations for why he took those positions. Unfortunately, he has stood by earmarks, endorsed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey for Senate back in '04, and his social-conservative approach, while I'm sympathetic, is not going to fly with a lot of voters, at least not right now. Oh, and apparently he also supports SOPA.

Sorry Beaker, you may be a nice guy, but a fiscally moderate/socially super-conservative candidate is probably the exact opposite of what people are looking for right now.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, As we said the other days, negative campaigning works. If pushed too far, it will blow up in your face, but it does work.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That bothers me too. But Rick is the establishment. In fact, there are dozens of quotes from various Senators both on and off the record to that effect. These are people who call him their friend.

The real problem is that we don't seem to get non-establishment candidates. And when we do it's a guy like Cain who gets destroyed.

FYI, the last two actual outsiders to win the White House were Clinton and Reagan. What does that tell you?

Patti said...

andrew: i love when you do these indepth looks. you always have info i don't. you flesh out my picture of the candidate. i appreciate your research and thank you for the post.

well done (on all of them), brother.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, I agree. I think Rick thinks he's a conservative, but he's just not. His record is that of a big spending country-clubber who happily voted to feed the federal government, to let liberal groups (e.g. unions) continue to live off the government, and to let Big Business use the government as a weapon. I think the attack onf FedEx is the perfect example of something which NO conservative should ever agree to.

What's more, when he speaks now, he really has no economic policy. He doesn't mention what cuts he really believes in. He doesn't talk about taxes or spending or regulations. And when he does it's all vague platitudes except that he favors manufacturing, which is picking winners and losers, i.e. socialist thinking.

And even if you support his same social conservative goals, he hasn't really promised anything useful.

Moreover, his social conservatism stops cold after gays and abortion. He seems to favor strong gun control and absolutely opposes any curbs on illegal immigrants.

And yet, he keeps claiming the oppose of all of this in debates.

This is not a man to be trusted.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Honestly, I'm not sure I would vote for Rick. He troubles me in many, many ways and I fear he would do the same kind of damage to the party brand that Bush did only worse because Santorum is Bush plus an obnoxious personality... at least Bush was a nice guy.

My fear, based on his record, is that we would be getting someone to the left of Bush and just barely to the right of Obama except on the issue of gays and abortion where he would be so strident that "conservatism" would soon be known as obsessed with those issues.

I also fear that he will grant amnesty. His history suggests that.

Also, this isn't just my thinking. Even his defenders are saying he's a "big government social conservative."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I hadn't heard about SOPA, but it doesn't surprise me -- it fits the pattern: some big business screams that they need a law and he jumps on it no matter what the harm.

Look at the FedEx unionization thing. That's an obscenity that a company's competitor can go to Congress and demand a change in the law to make their competitor more suspectible to being unionized. That's as bad as what Obama has done with Boeing. That's also SOPA.

And while some of these positions can be explained (perhaps), the vast number and consistent pattern can't. Nor can it be explained how he now claims to have been the exact opposite of this record.

Also, I think on the social conservatism.... here's the myth. The left claims the public won't support a social conservative. But they will. They thought Reagan and Bush II were social conservatives and they supported them. The key is that the public won't support someone who is obsessed with social conservatism (i.e. it's their only real issue) and they won't support someone who is nasty about the issue.

Santorum falls into the latter group and he does turn people off.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Patti. I think it's important for people to know these things because they need to know who they're voting for.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I wish there was another term besides “social-conservative” for Santorum. A social conservative, as you pointed out with Reagan and Bush, isn’t defined by it.

The reason Republicans like Santorum drive people away is that they are indistinguishable from Democrats. They are fiscally irresponsible and all they seem to care about is their social agenda. The only difference is that the GOP can’t get its social agenda enacted while the Dems do. (And I don’t just mean gay marriage and abortion; what are entitlements if not a social issue?)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It would be nice if there was another name for it because guys like Santorum hurt the cause. They make it harder for social conservatives and social moderates to co-exist.

I think the problem with guys like Santorum, and why they drive people away, is the anger in their positions, the obsession in their positions, and the sense that (like liberals) they want to use the government's power to impose their beliefs upon you.

And that's the problem with most of his thinking -- as seen above. He LOVES government power. He just doesn't want gays and liberals exercising it. But if he's in charge, then he's more than happy to give the government unlimited power and an unlimited budget.

That's scary thinking. And that ain't conservatism.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Maybe we could just call Santorum sexually conservative, and leave it at that. He is at best a big government Republican.

Individualist said...

Romney - Massachutsetts (Utah)
(Moderate)
Santorum - Pennsylvania
(Evidently a moderate)
Bachman - Minnesota
Paul - Texas (Usurped this year's version of Ross Perot Supporters)
Perry - Texas
Cain - Georgia (Washington)
Huntsman - Utah (Libertarian)

Just musing wonder what this means

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, I've been forced into the position of defending Santorum on Facebook, due to the left's determination to focus on the fact that he and his wife brought their dead newborn to the house and showed him to the other kids, which a couple of leftist moonbats have called weird and creepy and blah blah blah. Whatever you think of Santorum, that sort of thing is just off-limits, and it's not weird, either. Besides, with all his weaknesses as a candidate, THAT'S what they're focusing on?!

Individualist said...

People I'd Like

Jindal - Lousisianna
Cain - GA/DC
West - Florida
Rand Paul - Kentucky
Ryan - Wisconsin
Rubio - Florida

Interesting....

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, "Sexually conservative"! I love it. It fits perfectly.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I'm not sure I understand your list?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I've heard about that and I've heard others say the same thing -- I've been forced into defending him.

I agree with you. Grief and how people handle it is their own business and nobody else's unless they decide to make a public show of it -- then all bets are off.

This is what the left has become. Rather than attack a man's policies, ideas and record, they seek to destroy people personally now. And nothing is off limits once they start.

And finally, isn't it funny that people who claim they don't like conservatives because conservatives are judgmental and want to invade their private lives are themselves invading another's private life in the most judgmental way. Hypocrisy.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I'd got for anyone on that list in a heartbeat. Let me also add Jim Demint.


People I don't want (excluding the current crop):

Christie
Jeb Bush

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: I don't know if that list is in any kind of order of preference, but the name at the top of your list has been at the top of my list from the beginning. Alas, we won't get any of them.

T-Rav said...

Ugh. Seeing that list just makes me think about what might have been. If I don't start drinking before November, it'll be a miracle.

rlaWTX said...

what the MSM thinks of "negative" ads are [1] ads they don't like and [2] no where as nasty as the stuff that was said about candidates 150-200 years ago.

I figure that some of Saint Rick's votes are "go along to get along" votes, which supporters will defend with "everyone was doing it". And as much as I like W, we don't need another "compassionate" conservative ramping up gov't spending in their own little areas of interest - they never stay just in those areas!

Even though I am a social conservative, I am less "legislatively socially conservative" than others who use that moniker. When I am queen of the world, I can be sure that MY gov't is making the right nosy, interfering decisions in stupid people's lives. Until then, I don't trust bureaucrats to make those decisions - for or against. Even at the state level I am getting more wary.
All of that to say, I agree that he will be the scariest to moderates & independents. And scaring them with the R nominee could result in TOTUS through 2016, which terrifies me.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, If you don't start drinking before tonight it will be a miracle. That little town in New Hampshire has already voted their four vote:

Romney 2
Huntsman 2

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Well said and I agree.

We don't need another Republican increasing spending and government power.

And you're right, when you give the government power, it doesn't just get used for the purposes you intended -- it gets used by whoever gets a hold of it to do whatever they want as well. That's the risk. And I too don't want bureaucrats making decisions about my life.

On the legislatively aspect, I think the consensus in the country is a split. Thus, they want abortion to be legal, but with strong limits. They have no reason to stop gay marriage, but they don't want it imposed on churches. I'm not sure there is a consensus for more in either direction on either issue -- at least not now. Clearly the consensus can change (as it has on both issues), but right now I think that's where we are. And trying to force a change in either direction through legislation will generate a backlash. The consensus needs to be changed first.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent research Andrew!

I concur. Santorum isn't even much of a social conservative.
He just happens to be socially conservative on a few issues.

BTW, President Reagan wrote a pro-life book which was published before his second election and it didn't bother most folks.

Obviously, Reagan knew how to take a strong stand without sounding hysterical.

Besides his record, Santorum's biggest problem is he sounds hysterical, even to pro-life conservatives like me.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav said...
Ugh. Seeing that list just makes me think about what might have been. If I don't start drinking before November, it'll be a miracle."

If I stop drinking before November it'll be a miracle.

Not that I have a drinking problem per se.
I usually manage to not get it in my eyes.

T-Rav said...

Great. So it's a choice between Romney and the guy who thinks Romney is too conservative. Good Lord.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I agree rlaWTX .

Personally, I don't see how one could be socially conservative without being fiscally conservative.

I mean, most socons are Evangelicals and Catholics and God encouraging fiscal responsibility can be found throughout the Old and New Testament.

I reckon I don't trust anyone who claims to be a socon without a record to back it up and I don't mean just a pro-life record neither.

Also, the leftwing media always says that socons wanna meddle in everyone's business and private lives but they sure didn't go after Tipper Gore or Hillary Clinton when they wanted to ban violent video games and music.

Personally, I don't see how being pro-life is meddling since all we are saying is give life a chance (and that human life should have more rights than a convicted serial killer).

Thast's like calling our Founding Fathers meddlesome for supporting Life, Liberty and Property (pursuit of happiness).

And how is it meddlesome to not wanna change the definition of marriage?

I'm certainly not against civil unions or a new word that gays might want to make up that says the same thing as long as they don't get more rights than anyone else.

AndrewPrice said...

USS Ben, I think tone has a lot to do with it. Reagan had the ability to speak his mind in ways that either convinced people he was right or convinced them that his views were no threat to them personally. Santorum doesn't have that. At times, he almost seems maniacal when he speaks, and he leaves you with a sense that he really has a lot of anger about his views and has zero tolerance for other views. That scares people.

In effect, he plays into the leftist boogeyman image of religious conservatives and that doesn't help anyone but the left.


P.S. We may have to lift our "don't drink and vote" policy this time around! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Fortunately, that's only 4 votes and I am led to believe that New Hampshire has at least 8 more voters.

But yes, that does appear to be what sells in New Hampshire... Bland and Blander.

rlaWTX said...

excellent points, Ben! It's one of those hypocrisy things and altering the meaning of the word so when I do it it's ok, but when you do it's wrong.

and, yeah, what Andrew said: "In effect, he plays into the leftist boogeyman image of religious conservatives and that doesn't help anyone but the left."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

BTW, don't mean to get the discussion siderailed about social conservatism.

And I am aware that some social conservatives really are looney tunes (in a bad way), but most, yea verily, the vast majority of socons ain't nothing like what the media or left (but I repeat myself) would have us believe.

And yet, leftist politicians interfere in everyone's lives as a matter of course by taking our liberties (and propert/money) away.
In other words, it's in their job description to interfere and meddle.

rlaWTX said...

"drinking & voting" - similar to "holding your nose and voting"

T-Rav said...

Ben, I think if you look at how history played out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, you'll see that the people who tried to combine social conservatism with fiscal liberalism (the so-called "Social Gospel" movement, for example) eventually became social as well as fiscal liberals. Looking at it from the long term, there simply is no way to square this circle. In fact, I also don't think you can make fiscal conservatism mesh with social liberalism over the long run. The two sides are mutually supportive; if one goes, the other must as well in time.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I agree on all points.

Social conservatism is not interfering with people's lives, and it certainly is nothing like the meddling the left does.

Leftists are the ones who want to stop you smoking, drinking, eating fatty foods, owning guns, driving fast, and want to control how much money you can make, where you can live, how big your house is, where you can get healthcare, etc.

I think the reputation for meddling comes from three things: (1) the fight to ban contraceptives in the 1960s where social conservatives were trying to inject themselves in the bedroom, (2) the moral tone of many social conservatives who don't frame their arguments in terms of freedoms but in terms of "being moral" (this makes it sound like their goal is to legislate morality), and (3) leftist propaganda which always takes the things it does and then projects them onto others.

Look at the gay marriage issue. I firmly believe libertarians should be opposed to gay marriage because it increases government power by allowing a group to use the government to demand special privileges of those who don't share their morality. But that argument has been lost because social conservatives have instead gone with "gays are immoral and allowing gay marriage will destroy the country." That's not an argument that will work. And thus, they've set up a dynamic where the people demanding government power are seen as the people demanding freedom and those who should be demanding "choice" and less power are seen as "imposing their moral view on others."

It's twisted, but it's because of the arguments the social conservatives promoted. They basically set themselves up for failure.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think some people may need more than just holding their noses to vote this time.... so I think we should authorize drinking and voting just in case. ;)


I really do think that is the problem with a guy like Santorum. He gives the left exactly what they need to keep their fake narrative going.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Excellent point! I think that's right. It seems that the people who put their faith in big government will eventually lose their moral compass.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, that's an interesting point about casting the social conservative argument in terms of rights. The one time I can remember unequivocally beating a liberal in a face-to-face argument was when I got into it with a friend of mine about abortion. He trotted out the old line--"why do you want to control women's reproductive rights?", blah blah blah--expecting me to reply with a Biblical or moralizing argument. Instead, I pointed out that it was a biological fact that the "fetus" was in fact a separate and unique human being. Therefore, the inalienable right to life guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence applied to it as well, making abortion not only immoral but implicitly unconstitutional. I didn't convert him to a pro-life position, but he didn't see a way out of that and just dropped the subject.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav: Good point!

The problem with those socons is twofold.

As Andrew said they don't concentrate on freedoms.

And they seek to impose their will upon others.

Firstly, all of our laws are based on morality to some extent. The question is where do we draw the line?
I believe our Constitution covers this well or at least gives the best principles to draw that line.

Ironically, a small but significant number of socons wanna take away God given free will by imposing what they think is right on everyone and this never works.

Only in the case of liberty should laws be enacted, such as the liberty of the unborn for example.

This is also where a small but significant number of libertarians get it wrong because they would like to see, in effect, licentiousness instead of liberty.

The difference is that responsibility comes with liberty whereas mere freedom to do anything doesn't.

I understand there will always be some gray areas in this regard but for the most part if we follow our Constitution and keep in mind the self evident truth's our Founders were talking about it shouldn't be that difficult.

Socons that wanna impose and force folks to be good should consider this: if God doesn't violate free will than what makes them think they know better? :^)

CrispyRice said...

Yikes... thanks for doing all this research for us, Andrew.

'Course, it begs the question....


WHO THE HECK IS LEFT TO VOTE FOR???

Excuse me while I go rip my hair out.

T-Rav said...

Crispy, I'm this close to being permanently bald. :-(

Individualist said...

Andrew and Lawhawk

I was looking at the list and examining the level of "moderateness" of the candidate and the state or section of the country from which they hail.

The only "southern" candidates appear to be from Texas. Perry is a George Bush close, the compassionate conservative type. The rest are yankees.

Cain appears on both lists because I like him and he was at one point running. He now works in the VA/DC area I think but he is a Georgian originally. Huntsman is from Utah so he is the only exception. Romney is from Utah as well but is tinged by Massachutsetts northern liberalism.

When I look at the list of people I really like they seem to hail from southern states or Florida. Florida is a combination of Northern Cuba, a cosmopolitan internal area in the sense of Casa Blanca, and southern Georgia. It has an influx of yankees but they are mostly older, retired or retiring and many left to escape the socialist republics of New England for moere capalist and tax friendly waters.

I find it interesting that the establishment is not just applying a passing grade to the litmus test of electability to moderates but possibly by region as well. Texas being so large a state I guess that they have to include them in the club.

I don't know if it means anything at all. Correlation does not prove causation but I do find it intriguing.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Nice argument! I think focusing on rights would help social conservatives a lot. When they start screaming "it's immoral" they instantly lose half the audience and pretty much lose the debate.

Take the gay marriage issue. When the argument is taken from a moral perspective, it becomes this:

Conservative: I am a believer in a moral code. That moral code says what you are doing is wrong. I want to impose my code on you.

Liberal: I believe everyone has a right to their own beliefs, something you have yourself claimed. Since that implies that you cannot force your beliefs on me, then I reject your moral code and reject your right to force it upon me.

That's a loser for the conservative. And it's also an incorrect statement of what is really going on. What is really going on (as seen through a more accurate statement of who is seeking government power here) is:

Liberal: I believe there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, so the government should force everyone to accept it.

Conservative: I have a right to my own beliefs and you have no right to force me to act in violation of my beliefs. Your attempt to use the government to force gay marriage upon me violates my right to my own beliefs.

That's a winner with the public, and that's also consistent with what is really going on in terms of rights.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I am frustrated by many libertarian positions. Too often they don't think through which side they should be on because, as you say, they mistake licentiousness with liberty.

The drug issue is a perfect example. While it sounds great to say "freedom says I should have the right to take drugs," the reality is there's more to that equation. You don't have the right to hurt others, and people who get high hurt other people. That's where I think libertarianism fails -- when it fails to recognize that others have rights too. There must be a balancing of rights.

A classic example of this is the guy who screams "I should be able to do anything I want with my land." Well, no. You should have that right except to the extent it hurts another. Thus, I should not be able to tear down my house and put up a radioactive pit on my land because it will hurt others. Libertarians don't get that because they are only looking at one set of rights.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That's the problem. In one of the best elections in my life to get a conservative elected, we've really been kicked in the teeth by our own side.

Good luck with the hair, you and T-Rav both. :(

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav and Andrew:
Those are excellent examples of effective socon arguments that are grounded in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence!

This is what I would like to see more of our representatives and presidential candidates do.

I'm not a good public speaker but most of this should be simple for anyone to say, particularly politicians.

I would also like to see our candidates pushing school choice.
We simply have to get rid of or neuter the Dept. of Leftist Propaganda, I mean "education."

This fight is crucial to our future as a representative Republic.

tryanmax said...

RE: outsiders Clinton and Reagan. What does that tell me? It tells me that both parties have amped up their resistance to outsiders.

LawHawk, “sexually conservative” sounds just derisive enough to work.

T-Rav, I see libtards attack Republicans as “crazy” all the time. It’s never about actual issues. Apparently crazy is all they understand. So you get things like “Perry wants Texas to secede.” Even Newt’s crazy ideas are contorted to seem crazier than they are. But more often, they take reasonable positions and twist them until they are crazy. Or they simply regard sensible ideas as crazy by default (i.e. a fetus is a human being? That’s kuh-ŖΔ¥-zee!)

Ben, RE: socon v fiscon. I think the reason a lot are able to ignore the fiscal side of things is because the churches don’t emphasize that as much as the social stuff (if they even emphasize that).

RE: moral arguments. Very good illustration of how to argue the rights angle over the morality angle. Many socons fail to recognize is that morals are best served when rights are upheld, so they can’t think of those arguments. Some socons actually believe in faulty notions like, if drugs are legal, everyone will be an addict, or if everyone had a gun, there’d be Wild West shootouts everywhere. Toss in the “social gospel” and you have a perfect picture of the socon as the opposite of the libertarian.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't think it's a coincidence. Different regions of the country definitely give people different views about life and politics. Colorado, for example, growing up was very libertarian. It's not today, but it was at the time. And everywhere I've lived has been different -- the South is socially conservative, the Northeast is liberal, DC is elitist, WV is stuck in 1933....

So it doesn't surprise me that different regions turn out different kinds of people.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I wish our side got better at selling their ideas as well. I don't know why they aren't good at this? It's not that hard.

Ending the liberal monopoly on education is crucial to this country's future. Not only are they brainwashing kids into a government-dependent mindset, but they are not preparing kids to make it on their own.

rlaWTX said...

Earlier I was going to comment about the socon/fiscon (love those!) thing and couldn't get it concise enough and consistent, so I went back to work instead. While I was working, Andrew, T-Rav, and Ben wrote what I was thinking!! Thanks!!!!!!

T-Rav said...

That's the thing. Liberals like to paint conservatives as these wild-eyed zealots who want to control everything. Nothing could be further from the truth. And when we come at them from the direction of constitutionality, small government, rule of law, etc., it undercuts a lot of their argument. That's what we need to be focusing on.

Also, Andrew, 1933 just emailed me to express its outrage that you would associate it with West Virginia.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think the problem is that many people just don't want to think things through. It's easier to see things in broad strokes -- all or nothing, black or white.

I also think it's particularly difficult to be a conservative, because being a conservative requires you to accept that others have the right to NOT do as you say. That's a hard concept for people to accept because there is a part of human nature that wants to stop people from doing stupid things.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Glad we could be of service! :)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think that's right. That's why liberals had such a hard time with Reagan -- because he was all about giving people freedom. The only thing they have left to argue was "but people can't be trusted with freedom" and that was a total loser.

Conservatism can always be expressed as granting more freedom (because that's what it does), and that's how it should be expressed. That's the conservatism that wins 60% of the electorate.

Individualist said...

Andrew

While the south is supposed to "socially" conservative the one's concentrating on the so con values come from the establishment states that now represent our current choices for POTUS on the GOP side.

The ones I like, I like for their economic viewpoints and especially their seeming adherence to limiting fiscal spending. Yet none of these are in the race or were sidelined.

Ryan, West, Rand Paul, Cain, Rubio, they are all solidly pro life and very conservative in their positions but I think it generates as you state from the freedom side of the argument. This ends up I think being a by product of their belief in free markets.

The natural inclination of the true conservative regarding any issue is to ask the question "Why does the government need to be involved in this?"

The candidates that I think adher to this philosophy the best as I have listed seem to come from southern states with the exception of Texas. The only exception being Ryan in Wisconsin.

I don't think it is simply the conservatism of the bible belt at work. I don't know. I am floundering around because I think there is a point that I am missing.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I think you're right that the first question a conservative should always ask is "why does the government need to be involved in this?"

I like the same list of people and I think they've all internalized the idea that the conservatism is about protecting the individual from the government.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Individualist:

I believe you pretty much made the point already. Most folks in the southern states LIVE conservatism.

They are self reliant but also quick to give a hand up (not a handout) to folks in need.

When a disaster or tragedy strikes conservatives band together and do what needs to be done. They don't wait for the govt. to help them.

And conservatives never accept a victim mentality. We don't envy others or covet what they have.

In short, conservatives don't give up. If we fall we get right back up and keep fightin'.

There are remnants of conservatives in every state, even California.
We cherish our liberty and we know the price that was paid and is being paid to keep this precious gift and God given right.

Conservatives tend to wanna do their jobs well, help and protect their families, friends and neighbors and don't have a lot of time to protest.

But protest and get involved in politics we must do, for our children and future generations to have the same gift of liberty we have enjoyed, and to teach them why it is so important.

I'm optimistic that the next presidential election we will have many seasoned conservatives to choose from.

In the mean time we must play the hand we're dealt and do our best to stop the out of control govt. from expanding and reign in spending as well as maintain the best military in the world.

I believe we can do it. As long as patriots remain we will never stop protecting life and liberty. :^)

Our Founding Fathers faced a much more bleak situation.
On paper it was impossible for them to win but they did.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

rlaWTX,

Thank you for getting the ball rolling on a great conversation!

I enjoy all the ideas everyone here expresses. Gets my mind in gear, lol.

rlaWTX said...

why, you are most welcome, Andrew!

Individualist said...

USS Ben

Thank you for your comments.

I agree with you 100%. I guess the problem is that either

1) The MSM still holds a great amount of sway with the electorate that the GOP establishment fears them

or

2) the GOP establishment is so enamored with the old way of doingt things that they are just going along.

I find it ironic that the side that is always talking about my personal freedom is always the side that ends up telling me what the government should allow me to do and/or make me do in order to exercise that freedom.

I guess I should have known the fight would take much longer. In the end though I have confidence that our side will prevail for one reason. Conservatism and democratic capitalism work.

Tnaks for your words og encouragement.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi and Ben, I too have confidence that capitalism and conservatism will prevail because both work and they make sense.

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