Comments about ‘Michael Gerson: Conservative success and the recovery of a conservative temperament’

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Published: Thursday, July 10 2014 6:25 p.m. MDT

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99352, WA

"They will be either impressed or frightened by what they see."

As long as Fox News keeps giving them a platform for their crazy, I'm going to go with frightened.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

How can conservatives have any success in light of Obamacare success? The success of the ACA is the demise of the right that opposed it with everything all the time.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

The current left wing administration has utterly failed in its effort to turn this Country into just another European-style post-Christian state.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

As I always say I'm an Eisenhower Republican which makes me a Democrat in our current political climate. Ike embodied all of the conservative virtues highlighted in this piece, and if Republicans were ever to return to the spirit of Ike, Nixon, Ford, and Bush Sr. I would happily vote Republican again. I just don't see it happening.

Orem, UT

Granted, Sarah Palin can say some pretty strong stuff that appeals to the far right wing of the party. But I have heard plenty of rhetoric that is just as radical from the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Howard Dean.

Somehow progressive commentators like this one never seem to point to those examples as proof that the Democratic Party is shifting to the far left or is becoming more "radical" or "crazy".

Hmmm..... Can anyone say "Double Standard"?

SomewhereIn, UT

Some people simply do not want conservative values. They can move to Washington (state).

Sandy, UT

Remember, twenty years ago, when faced with a push for true nationalized healthcare, Republicans proposed an alternative rooted in the private sector. "Conservative temperament," one might say.

It didn't go anywhere nationally, but under a Republican governor, it became the basis for one of the greatest health care success stories of recent memory. There were a few hiccups at the beginning, but Massachusetts achieved some of the highest and most affordable coverage rates in the nation.

However, after a Democratic president adopted the same strategy, it somehow tranformed from a conservative alternative into a Communist revolution. An attack on cherished religious freedoms (which, curiously, nobody was all that worried about two decades ago). And a reason for a Republican governor-turned-presidential-candidate to turn his back on his signature achievement.


If the GOP wants to return to an honest, intelligent conservatism, I can think of one place to start.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Gun waving, bearded rebels, wraps on their heads, scream GOD, forced morals, one religion, ranch stand off, and out ragious threats?

We are not talking about the Middle East we are talking about the Tea Party and hard right Conservatives.

seattle, WA

I could almost label myself a Republican by the Gerson standard. Humility, intelligent reform, respect for institutions, etc. Don't buy the social stuff, but everything else is reasonable.

He had me till he made his comments about the current President. Obama is no radical left-winger. He does have progressive tendencies toward social issues, but his overall message and policy is one in the American center. Economically, he has not pursued anything close to leftist reforms and policies. He still pursues a muscular foreign policy. The financial industry is still coddled. He even pursued Republican plans to change health care rather than the Democrats hope for universal coverage ala the rest of the civilized western democracies. And he got demonized for it!

The unvarnished truth as pointed out by Gerson is that the Republican/Tea Party has moved so far to the right they can not even see the center of politics in America. Cast blame where you will, but it is still so. All we get out of the Republican/Tea Party are silly allegations, witch hunts and aspersions. No policy, no good government reform and certainly no humility.

T. Party
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Gerson "The authors describe the attributes of the conservative temperament — humility, an appreciation for what is worthy in our society, a preference for incremental reform, a distrust of abstraction...."

Conspicuously absent from this list is "fiscal restraint." Progressives such as Michael Gerson always seem to leave this out. It gets in the way of their activist agenda. However, he will not begin to convince tea partiers of anything without addressing it.

Our nation owes $17,500,000,000,000 to its creditors. Any talk of federal expansion is ridiculous if we don't have the will to pay for it. It is common sense to spend only what you take in. But expect it of your government, and it somehow turns you into a radical.

Springville, UT

First, I would argue that President Obama has not been all that "progressive". In fact, in many respects, he has been pretty darn conservative. He's been middle of the road overall. But here is the kicker. I can't think of a single advancement in society that has been brought to us by conservatives. It is by being progressive, shaking up the status quo, that we have seen advances in our society. By definition, conservativism is about staying the same or going back to the past. I can't wait to see how the reactionary conservatives will flip out over this concept. They have a hard time admitting this reality.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

"Conservative values" is a ubiquitous term for policies that are so-called pro life, on the other hand they strongly oppose health care reform that would give life extending benefits to millions of their fellow citizens.

"Conservative values" aren't pro-life, they are pro birth.

"Conservative values" protect an unborn fetus over that of infant recently birthed who is in need of medical care that his/her parents can't afford.

"Conservative values" embrace the selfish values of John Galt ("Atlas Shrugged") and not those of Jesus.

"Conservative values" are those that value only certain kinds of families and not all families.

"Conservative values are those that think corporations actually have religious values that they can impose on their employees, regardless of the health consequences for those employees.

"Conservative values" are those that think that corporations are people, but real people need voter ID's to stop non existent voter fraud.

"Conservative values" are those that think might makes right and military intervention should be done with your sons and daughters lives, not their own.

Orem, UT

Esquire: '...President Obama has not been all that "progressive". In fact, in many respects, he has been pretty darn conservative.'

That is very funny!! That is like me saying "Sarah Palin has not been all that conservative, in fact she has been pretty darn liberal". See how funny that sounds now?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

T. Party said "Conspicuously absent from this list is "fiscal restraint." Progressives such as Michael Gerson always seem to leave this out. It gets in the way of their activist agenda. However, he will not begin to convince tea partiers of anything without addressing it. Our nation owes $17,500,000,000,000 to its creditors. "

So what would you do Tea Party, and I mean actual solutions not bumper sticker simpelton nonsense?

Much like Sarah Palin's Moronic speeches, I hear little solutions from the tea party.

Provo, UT

As long as conservatives pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist and remain addicted to the Koch bro's money errr free speech, the GOP will be a mess.

Virginia Beach, VA

"This advice is timely. Precisely because President Obama's progressivism is exhausted and increasingly discredited, Americans will give the GOP another look."

LOL. . . . If wishes were fishes, Republicans would have a LOT of fish, wouldn't they Mr Gerson?

Unfortunately for them, the nation and world is no longer willing to submit to Republican wishes.

Mr Gerson has been known to place a lot of hope in hopeless Right Wing goals. As a member of the GW Bush administration, he argued long and hard in favor of the various ridiculous Bush initiatives that embroiled our nation in two wars and imperiled the very financial foundation of our nation.

And now here he is referring to that same right-wing agenda to which he has shown his allegiance as an oiiii"empirically grounded and practical conservatism.”

The United States and the world does not need or want this so-called “practical conservatism,” because the words have been rendered meaningless by actual “Conservative” practice.

For far too long, high sounding words spoken by “Conservatives” like Gerson have been backed up by nothing but pretense.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

In theology one gets credit for intentions. Politics is not theology. Liberal intentions that hurt the poor are not liberal. Stupidity is not a replacement for socialism.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Calling for impeachment is the latest political attention getter. It Gins-up the base, and it gets you in the news.

If getting in the news, and ginning up the base is what you're about... it's fine (and apparently that's what Sarah Palin is about now days). But before you totally trash her... at least be consistent. How many DEMOCRATS called for Impeachment of President BUSH?

Google "Efforts to impeach George W. Bush"...

There's a LONG list of things DEMOCRATS tried to impeach Bush for.. even over Katrina (article 31)!
-Valarie Plame (article 14)
-2004 Election (articles 28 & 29)
-NSA surveillance (gimme a break hypocrites)
-Global Warming (Yes, Democrats wanted to IMPEACH him over Global Warming) article 32
-9/11 (articles 33-35)
-Signing Statements (article 26) even though Clinton issued more signing statements than Bush did.
-Medicare - For QUOTE "Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare"

Many DEMOCRATS called our President's impeachment (some big names in the Democrat party today).... They were doing EXACTLY what Palin is doing.

So as long as you're consistent in condemnation... go for it....

Provo, UT

Apparently Mr. Gerson believes that we were better off in 2008 than right now.

I don't think many Americans outside of Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh believe that.

In other words, Gerson is wrong... Dead wrong

Springville, UT

@ JustGordon, what a great comment you made.

@ JoeCapitalist2, your mocking doesn't change the facts. Many liberals are not happy with the President because he hasn't been more liberal or assertive. I tend to agree with them on some issues. Obama's record is pretty moderate, but because the right wing has swung so far to the extreme, even many rational Republicans are accused of being liberal or RINOs. If the President was an extreme liberal, I doubt Wall Street would be flourishing in such an unprecedented way. You can throw stones, but a little substance from you would be quite nice.

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