@wingman..... if I understand your comments, what you are saying is that if
people don't agree with you, they are unprincipled. Really? And you
don't find this to be an elitist attitude? I think you did an
excellent job of proving an example of elitism.
Very thought-provoking column. Robert Bennett is in a good position to offer
these views considering how his own political career ended when he was
challenged for not being conservative enough. I always saw Bennett as a solid
conservative. Orrin Hatch faced a similar challenge which he managed to survive.
It wasn't just Utah. It was happening in other states across the country.
It makes one wonder if Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt would be ablt to
recognize the Republican Party of today.I guess Republcans never got
over the anti-establishment era of the 1960s. Something had gone terribly wrong
with America and the Left was to blame. The only remedy was restitution to get
us back on course.Maybe that's too simple. But it's the
only explanation that makes sense to me for how and why the Republican Party
became so hardened along rigid ideological lines.
I read Jack47's comments.... and I wonder what the heck the definition of a
"conservative" really is. Reagan was open and willing to
compromise.... compared to today's definition of a conservative, he would
absolutely fall into the RINO column. He was willing to work on immigration,
and was hardly worried about the national debt as it ballooned under his
administration. George Bush II was hardly a hard core conservative.
He never once tried to balance the budget. In fact he lowered taxes, all the
while needing to do two stimulus rounds.... government checks actually sent to
people... except people like me who made too much. If that isn't a
conservatives definition of redistribution of wealth.... I don't know what
is.There never has been this mythical conservative president. There
is no such thing as this "conservative" politician.... each and everyone
makes exceptions to the dogma in one way or another. The problem is there is
the group of people who actually believe someone can fit into their nicely
defined box... and we have all these politicians trying to fill this role as the
second coming of conservatism... but it is completely unrealistic.
Wingman, So conservatives are never elitist?Disagreeing
with conservatives does not get one labeled as stupid?I thought
there was a book that taught conservatives how to argue with (one would assume)
liberal idiots. Is that not true?If I assume another is stupid or
an idiot just because they disagree with me, would that make me elitist?Cannot moderation, consensus, and civility be principles of
governance?Is consensus (hence some degree of moderation) always
wrong in politics?
Moderates and liberals have at least one thing in common; They are elitists. If you disagree with them you are just stupid. You do not have to be
very smart to be in the middle politically, but you do have to eliminate almost
any position based on principle. Principles, both of the left and the right,
cannot be negotiated away without weakening the core principle involved in any
given debate. For example, a liberal cannot disagree with a
"Woman's right to choose", in a debate about partial birth
abortion, without erosion to its core principle - "A fetus is not
life".A conservative cannot agree with losing the right to bear
arms, even "assault rifles" (especially so) without the same slippery
slope because "the right to bear arms, without infringement" is required
to protect against tyrannical government. Much better to have an assault rifle
(a machine gun would be even better) for this purpose than a pistol.In the case of the former, moderation causes one to accept, in some form, that
fetuses are "life". In the latter, moderation causes one to defend gun
ownership for hunting.Moderation is wise with vice, but unprincipled
@DougS “If moderates deal in compromise, where is the democratic party
compromising when it comes to spending and taxation? I think there may be a time
for compromise, but not now...”Where have you been since 2010?
Obama was agreeing to 3-1 and even 4-1 spending cuts to tax increases in order
to get a grand bargain debt reduction deal. The Republicans not only (insanely!)
refused that deal, but when all their candidates were asked about it during the
primary debates (the question was even asked with respect to a 10-1 deal) every
one of them said “no way.”America rightly saw them as
nut jobs and so now we’re stuck with not only divided government but a
much weaker Republican party because they continue to let the perfect be the
enemy of the good.
The last moderate Republican to win two terms as president was Richard Nixon.1. Every moderate Republican candidate since Nixon has lost (Gerald Ford, Bob
Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney) except for George Bush Sr.-- who rode on the
coat tails of Reagan for a single term then lost re-election.2. Both
conservative Republican candidates since Nixon won two terms (Ronald Reagan and
George W. Bush) -- but Bush governed as a moderate in his 2nd term with
disastrous consequences for the Republican party.If the American public
has to choose between progressive vs. progressive-lite (like John McCain) then
they will choose the real thing every time.
Bennett is wrong about Ike. He didn't change the country, he let it slide.
His lack of courage on civil rights led to the problems of the 1960s. It was JFK
and LBJ who showed the courage to change America. I was there, too, Bob, and I
remember it as well as you do.
History is complicated so it's hard to put Eisenhower or Reagan or even
Clinton in a box. It is safe to say all three are right of Obama, and left of
W. Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex and opposed
the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. But he lived in the real world and
developed nuclear energy and fully engaged in the space race. He supported
France in Vietnam. He supported many aspects of Civil Rights sending in troops
to Arkansas to integrate the high school there and went toe-to-toe with
segregationists, yet he wasn't too keen on illegal immigration or amnesty.
He was probably conservative on other social issues. Reagan was a
conservative economically but would drive the tea-partiers nuts on many levels.
He was an interventionist and gave amnesty to illegal aliens. Clinton worked to the center and like many southern Democrats is more
conservative than the CA, New England types. He knew how to build bridges in
leading between the two parties, probably a skill he learned by leading a
conservative state as a Democrat. He is much more pragmatic than Obama.
Obama should have stopped it.So, then are we acknowledging by
omission, that Obama is the moderate?While some claim he is to
extreme?You can claim one.But not both, at the same
Eisenhower deported illegal aliens by the boat full (literally). I doubt the
liberals would call him moderate. And Jane Wyman and Reagan were liberals. After
his divorce, Nancy's family convinced him to become a Republican.
Eisenhower had nothing to do with it. Twisting facts to arrive at your opinion,
questions your motive, are you still mad at the tea party?A little
more than half of the money going for hurricane Sandy made it to those people.
The rest went to congressmens pet projects. With the shape this country is in,
Obama should have stopped it. Instead it was the Republicans who tried, but gave
in with people in need.In the past few days Reid and Obama have told
us "my way or the highway". I think you are talking about the wrong
party. Obama needs to compromise, something he seems incapable of doing.
The Republican House has voted to pass the LEAST amount of legislation than any
in American history.3%.Again, I ask, if I wanted a
Moderate, why would I vote Republican?
To DougS 10:26 a.m. Jan. 21, 2013If moderates deal in
compromise, where is the democratic party compromising when it comes to spending
and taxation? I think there may be a time for compromise, but not now...-------------------------They tried -- remember their offer
of a $10 cut in spending for every $1 of increased revenue. They tried but the
far right Republicans refused to comprmise. Put the blame whre it belongs -- on
the far right Republicans who would rather play party games than work for the
benefit of the country.
@Mik.... unfrotunately 200 years of US history doesn't share your view on
the Constitution. There is precedent after precedent that contradicts your
point of view. No where in the constitution was the Louisiana purchase
enumerated..... and yet it was done and was the foundation of this nations
future growth and greatness. Much of the this countries agriculture was kept
alive through the TVA which extended a life line to small town America. The
railroads west were largely funded through land grants. Huge sections of the
middle of this country were settled via the homestead act... again the authority
of doing such never once enumerated in the constitution. The list goes on and
on and on. Purchase of Alaska. So lets stop with the revisionist
interpretation of the Constitution or US history.
Didn't Ezra Taft Benson believe Eisenhower was a closet communist even
though he served as Eisenhower's secretary of agriculture?
@Truthseeker: You are correct, spending under Reagan averaged 22.4% of GDP. The
projection for federal spending this year is 22.9% of GDP. So the difference in
spending between Reagan and Obama is 1/2 of 1 percent of GDP. Yet Republicans
consider Reagan the champion of free market capitalism, while Obama is a
socialist/communist/stalinist. Who know that 1/2 of one percent could be
responsible for so much.
Eisenhower would be considered a radical liberal Democrat by Republicans today.
The top marginal tax rate was 91%, and he resisted numerous calls to lower it.
Corporate taxes brought in 25% of federal revenue compared to 6% today. He
thought that taxes had to bring in the a same amount of revenue as what was
being spent, that was what fiscal conservatism meant to him.He said that anyone
wanting to roll back the New Deal was "stupid". He resisted
all calls to enter new wars, of which there were many. As soon as he ended the
Korean War, not one single U.S. serviceman lost his life in combat. He actually
tried hard to keep defense spending under control. He said future presidents who
didn't have his military experience would get steamrolled by the Pentagon
into buying all kinds of unneeded weapons systems. All these things
and more would make Ike totally unelectable in today's Republican party. I
always say I'm an Eisenhower Republican, and that sometimes makes me seem
like a liberal Democrat in today's political climate.
If moderates deal in compromise, where is the democratic party compromising when
it comes to spending and taxation? I think there may be a time for compromise,
but not now...
Re:higvThe Democrats controlled the House 6 out of the 8 yrs Reagan
was President. "Reagan signed off on Social Security reform
legislation that, among other things, accelerated an increase in the payroll tax
rate, required that higher-income beneficiaries pay income tax on part of their
benefits, and required the self-employed to pay the full payroll tax rate,
rather than just the portion normally paid by employees.The tax
reform of 1986, meanwhile, wasn't designed to increase federal tax revenue.
But that didn't mean that no one's taxes went up. Because the reform
bill eliminated or reduced many tax breaks and shelters, high-income tax filers
who previously paid little ended up with bigger tax bills.All told,
the tax increases Reagan approved ended up canceling out much of the reduction
in tax revenue that resulted from his 1981 legislation.Thanks in
part to the increases in defense spending during his administration, Reagan also
didn't really reduce the size of government. Annual spending averaged 22.4%
of GDP on his watch, which is above today's 40-year average of 20.7%, and
above the 20.8% average under Carter."(CNN money)
Thank you Senator Bennett. Good counsel.
Give me a moderate any (every) day and I will vote for them. We need more
moderates. I am, at heart, an old fashioned Republican. I long for the days of
Republican rationality. I think the Democratic party, right now, is closer to
that ideal than the Republican party, so for now, I'm a Democrat.
Perhaps Mr. Bennett could remind us of the debate about the Interstate Highway
system. Perhaps he could remind us how Ike pondered whether the Federal
Government had the authority to undertake that project. Perhaps he could remind
us that it was determined that the Interstate was built to facilitate military
transportation during the cold war when Russia had the capability to destroy
every airport in America.We sometimes look at "great
projects" and then demand that the government undertake other great projects
without regard to the authority used by Ike and other Presidents who loved and
abided by the Constitution. He took his oath of office seriously.Perhaps Obama would learn much by studying Ike.
This article, once again, proves that Utah and the Utited States are much poorer
because Utah's voters lacked the wisdom to re-elect Bennett (a rational and
principled conservative) as its Senator and instead inflicted Mike Lee (a
radical far right extremist . . . not a true conservative) on the country.
Hopefully we will be more wise when Lee comes up for another vote, and send him
packing by putting someone more like Bennett into office.
Bill Clinton won because of Ross Perot. Reagan was no moderate. Hot or Cold
get more done than moderates. All moderates do is alieanate there party base
and few people know were they stand.
The Republican house has voted over 30+ times to repeal Healthcare reform.Filibustered any legislation or budget until literally HOURS before
default.And offer zero alternatives.You want a Moderate?
Then why would one vote for a Republican?