Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: What moderates have done for the U.S.’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@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.

Lindon, UT

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 in politics.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


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?

Durham, NC

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.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

Durham, NC

@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.

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