Tag Archives: Conservatives

Politics … ‘Just the facts’ really do not seem to matter in the face of ‘truth’

Strangely most people want to believe the worst. Seldom do facts matter when you can tell a great story about an evil threat and how your group (whomever that group is) is the only thing standing between evil and the loss of ______.

BTW, please send money to help us in our fight.


Was reading a lament earlier today from someone that has been working their ass off to try to create a middle of the road group within the GOP: honest conservatives with a strong libertarian streak but not given over to hyperbole and appealing to emotion as the reason to do X, Y or Z.

Seems that the rug keeps getting pulled out from under them and/or they are finding a huge number of folks just seem to want to follow the ridiculous … facts are slung all over the place but seldom are the facts factual … and few seem to care.

How do you compete against that?

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On being ‘conservative’ in 2013 by Erick Erickson of RedState.com

On being ‘conservative’ in 2013 by Erick Erickson of RedState.com

Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher says: I often get called a ‘fake conservative’, a liberal claiming to be a conservative, or worse … Reality is that I believe that math has numbers which matter. Ideas should be open to criticism. And I believe that American conservatives themselves are largely responsible for President Obama being president for two terms … and I believe that conservative economics make no more sense than liberal economics. The numbers just don’t tally up and balance out.

Because I refuse to follow the talking points for being conservative it must be that I am not one. It can be lonely being a conservative that believes ‘maybe there are no best answers’ and ‘let’s experiment’.

My loneliness has at least one new voice added to it. One of the most popular conservative blogs, RedState.com, is also now taking fellow conservatives to task.

Erick Erickson of RedState.com:

What I am finding is that among conservatives there is too much outrage, piss, and vinegar. It makes our ideas less effective. We have become humorless, angry opponents of the President instead of happy warriors selling better ideas. We are not even selling ideas.

Conservatives, frankly, have become purveyors of outrage instead of preachers for a cause. Instead of showing how increasing government harms people, how free markets help people, and how conservative policies benefit all Americans, we scream “Benghazi” and “Fast & Furious.”

We’re off key and off message. We’ve become professional victims dialed up to 10 on the outrage meter.

You can read all of Erick’s comments at http://www.redstate.com/2013/01/20/the-loyal-opposition/

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Fiscal Cliff Negotiations – Why Obama and Boehner Won’t Agree Anytime Soon – Maybe Not At All

ABOUT that Fiscal Cliff — The Daily Beast has summed up nicely the chances of a deal:

“There is a growing sense among Republican policy wonks and senior lobbyists that the chances of getting any kind of meaningful deal on the deficit between now and the end of the year are drifting toward zero.” Daily Beast, Dec 4th.

Speaker Boehner held a press conference on Friday, December 7th, to discuss where negotiations are currently going, which you can watch below.

The real takeaway from this press conference is not that negotiations are going badly — although that is what the video portrays — but that there is little that can be put on the table to actually negotiate with.

At this point, Speaker Boehner is facing a challenge within the GOP to oust him for even talking seriously about some of the ideas on the table. Earlier this week he received a letter signed by more than 100 conservative activists that threatened to work against him and any other GOP member that supported any attempt to raise taxes and/or to curb tax deductions and such. Boehner is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

American Majority Action (AMA) launched a #FireBoehner campaign, and numerous other conservative and Tea Party groups have joined the effort to toss Boehner as House Speaker. For that to work requires that just 16 members of the Republican Party drop support for Boehner in January which will take away enough votes to prevent his return as the House Speaker, opening the way for a new Speaker.

So as you watch the press conference video above, please ignore Speaker Boehner blasting the president. The two of them could probably reach a deal quickly if left to work things out together. Boehner is just echoing talking points at this point as he tries to work out some deal acceptable to his own party.

There is also criticism that Obama is not responding seriously to Boehner’s proposals. This is undoubtedly true but also just rhetoric. There is no GOP plan with specifics or any plan that can get enough GOP votes to pass even if we were to adopt the Boehner’s GOP plan ‘as is’. So reality is that President Obama is really left to negotiate with himself because any deal made at the moment is not a viable deal at all.

Things don’t get negotiated from the center. If I were Obama, I would ignore any ‘plan’ that didn’t have specifics and a guarantee of X votes to go with that plan. Speaker Boehner really needs to negotiate the Fiscal Cliff within his own party before he can expect the president to make a deal that the GOP won’t honor.

Speaker Boehner is an honorable man. Life must seem crazy for him at the moment. I wish him well and hope that he can strike a deal which really does cut national expenses and find ways to pay for whatever else remains as obligated debt. The Constitution gives that challenge to the Congress not to the president — so before we make any progress it is the Congress that has to come to terms first, and Republicans pretty much own the House which is where it all starts.

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Politics / Do Conservatives Preach Diversity of Thought Without Practicing It?

(the Atlantic) Ideological openness is even less present in right-leaning institutions than in their mainstream analogs, especially in media, or so says Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at the Atlantic.

Friedersdorf explores the thought that:

“For decades, conservatives have complained about liberal control over academia and media, often with good reason. Diversity of thought is essential for any institution intent on informing an audience. Students and news consumers deserve better than any information bubble can deliver. Urging these center-left institutions to diversify and guard against bias remains valid. … There is no longer a leftist monopoly in higher learning or media. The right has successfully built alternatives in both areas. Do these right-leaning entities strive for intellectual diversity? They do not.”

Read the Atlantic article.

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Pragmatic Conservatives Exist? How I see 2012.

Question – a reader in a discussion group on Facebook asked: “William – just for a matter of perspective, my understanding is that you consider yourself a conservative, is that correct?”

Hmmm… could be a trap.

The author had not really identified their own perspective. Earlier in the day I had gotten a broadside from another Facebooker when I posted the picture below.

Election 2012 - Republicans for Obama

The broadside writer wanted to know: “Why do you post crap like this? There are no real “Republicans for Obama” – only pretend Republicans trying to give an extremist legitimacy.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

My purpose wasn’t to support either Obama or to support these Republicans.

There seems to be no discussion these days that isn’t a bit dangerous to one’s reputation.

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Back to the question:

“William – just for a matter of perspective, my understanding is that you consider yourself a conservative, is that correct?”

Yes. I do consider myself a conservative.

What passes for conservatism these days is mostly a reactionary push back against a world that has changed and some folks know that their days are numbered. Their days are numbered because they have chosen to embrace a political ideology that is at the same time just as much exclusionary as it is generational. Except for Ron Paul’s fans, the Republican Party is older, overwhelmingly a party of caucasian America, and seemingly tone deaf as to how others see America.

I myself am a caucasian so the issue is not with that as a cause. The cause of the numbering of the GOP’s days is that Republicans have played so long to themes embraced by those that have enjoyed white privilege that its tone deafness just feels normal for it. What? Problems? No, the average GOPer sees the rest of the world as having problems but not it. Maybe not. Except for RINOs. RINOs see things in a multitude of colors – ergo they have got to go too. They are a cancer in the Republican Party. You either see things as black and white, good or bad, evil or our way.

Election 2012 - "The Plan"

Election 2012 - "The Plan"

Until 2009 I considered myself a Republican. I considered myself a conservative Republican.

I was active in the Tea Party at the very beginning. Met many fine people. Met many strange ones, too. Most of the strange ones are still there but the pragmatic conservatives have moved on.

The Tea Party very quickly attracted a different sort of conservative: those full of anger. There are those that say such a depiction is full of bull droppings. But it is not. Perhaps they were mad at themselves — hopefully they were because they had won almost total control of U.S. national government and they botched it. They did such  a poor job that conservatives like myself no longer wanted to be associated with the party.

Reality is that you don’t have to be Republican to be a conservative. It is a good thing too as many conservatives in the Republican Party are what I consider wingers: they’ll do and say whatever they believe it takes to get the party back into power.

There is no real home for pragmatic conservatives at this time. Most still cling to calling themselves ‘Republicans’ but I don’t think that such will survive the election of 2012.

In 2010 it appeared that the conservatives surged back to power. What I saw was that our country was still very much in the depths of economic downturn. There was no good news with Obama’s name on it, and a very angry 24/7 campaign to attack Obama and to demonize Democrats paid off. (It didn’t hurt that most Democrats jumped at seeing their own shadow. That was extremely helpful to the 2010 GOP election efforts).

However, a recent study of policy positions rated Obama THE most moderate president of any Democrat since FDR’s day. His positions (except for health care) are scarcely different that President Bush’s. There are conservatives and libertarians that realize that. (Outside of the party we conservatives don’t think in talking points.) Add in just a tad of good economic news and people will come to  stop and to think about that. People think much clearer when their homes aren’t being repossessed.

So as a pragmatic conservative I spend much of my time battling to save what little good remains of the ‘conservative’ bumper sticker.

Liberals aren’t evil. Neither are philosophical conservatives that believe that we are all in this together.

My prediction for 2012 — although it is still early in the game: Obama wins reelection courtesy of the GOP and many of the angry nutters that have the loudest voices. Democrats retain the Senate. And as for the House of Representatives … the Dems get it back by 10 seats.

Yes, I am conservative. But that doesn’t make me blind and tone deaf. Although, you just never know.

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Zen – Just as I was about to cross the street, along came …

The problem with liberals is that they are right half of the time.

And conservatives  often have a point that doing nothing is sometimes perhaps better than doing something.

Our challenge is to not get run over by stupid.

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A Centrist Is … A Believer In The Greater Good

A centrist is a state of mind, not a political belief.

A centrist can be left, right, statist, libertarian or even a menshevik (but probably not a bolshevik).

Centrists believe that we are all in this together and we can find a solution if we work together.

I consider myself a conservative — a progressive conservative even: open to new ideas and ways of doing things.

Progressive should mean that you see something that needs a solution and you put your mind to find a way to achieve a positive outcome.

There can be contradictions. I am often contradictory.

— I believe Social Security would have been found unconstitutional if Roosevelt hadn’t threatened political stacking of the deck by changing the Supreme Court’s structure. Yet I also believe that Social Security is a great idea, an appropriate policy for any nation with a modern, non-agrarian workforce that really doesn’t have the means to finance their eventual retirement.

— I believe that the individual mandate of the Affordable Health Care Act, aka ObamaCare, is unconstitutional but I am all for a national healthcare plan and universal coverage. We could have creatively worked out a solution that covered more without mandating coverage of all.

A Centrist can be contradictory in what they believe and in what they are willing to accept. I am an American first and a conservative second.

It bothers me to no end the occasional chatter about something being unconstitutional or not what our founders intended. In both cases such folks seldom have a clue what they are talking about — and obviously know little of our founders; whereas Madison drafted most of the Constitution he couldn’t sell it and it took a strong federalist like Alexander Hamilton, who strongly disagreed with Madison (and Jefferson) on many things, to convince the several states (including Virginia which was among the very last) to ratify the Constitution. It took a Centrist that believed in the greater good and willing to trade some of his own priorities in order to get passage of a founding document which had numerous objectionable aspects to him.

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There is not a lot of competition for the center.

And let’s not confuse being centrist with being moderate, although there are commonalities.

I consider myself first and foremost a conservative. It bothers me greatly however that conservatism really has very little meaning today in relationship with being a principled conservative that is not seen as cold hearted, mean and often spiteful.

There are those that are trying to rewrite the principles of conservatism. Here is a case in point: http://tinyurl.com/43xdqlg — the author perverts a number of traditional conservative principles in a very Ayn Randian way.

Here is a conservative Q&A website that shows perverted conservatism in action. This website poses a series of indoctrinal questions about what conservatism means and how conservatives should think about the situation or issue: http://tinyurl.com/3jc6k8f

One of my (dis)favorites is:

>> Q: WHY DON’T CONSERVATIVES CARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POOR, WEAK, DISCOURAGED, AND OUTCAST?

>> A: “Conservatives do care about what happens to such people. That’s why they oppose government programs that multiply the poor, weak, discouraged, and outcast by undermining and disrupting the network of habits and social relations that enable people to carry on their lives without depending on government bureaucracy.”

I guess there was no problem the day before the government got involved, eh?

I am very much for minimal government. Yet government does have a role to play … and blaming the government for being inefficient at dealing with the failure of our society to successfully deal with issues on our own is a very poor criticism in my book.

So if all of that seems contradictory … well, at least you can’t convict me of being dogmatic.

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