Sunday, April 22, 2007

Conservatives Must Rally

One of the worst decisions I ever made was after Bush 41 broke his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. Like millions of other outraged conservatives, I sat on my hands, gave Bush no money, and offered no help whatsoever in his campaign for reelection. Although he only got a minority of the votes cast, because of this and because of the entry of Perot, we got Clinton, a debased White House and 9/11.

Again in 2006, many conservatives stayed home or voted to send a message to Washington because of the failures of the Republican majority in Congress and the blunders and the agony of the Iraq sector of the war on terror. Now we have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running things - threatening another Vietnam disaster in Iraq, skipping around the world conducting their own foreign policy and preparing to inflict the greatest tax increase in history on us.

I say forget those areas of disappointment and disagreement and focus on the bigger picture. We must hold the White House and reelect a Republican Congress in 2008, and the only way to do this is to stick together, donate as much as you can possibly afford and as early as possible and get active in your own communities. The following essay (Excerpted) mirrors my thinking:

Conservatives Must Rally
By Quin Hillyer
The American Spectator
Published 4/18/2007 12:08:30 AM

“Fight back.

Conservatives need to fight back.

Fight back against the outrageous "mainstream" media bias. Fight back against the Leninists who run much of academia. Fight back against the baseless smears from two-bit cheap-shot artists masquerading as Democratic U.S. senators. Fight back against Hollywood's cultural rot.

More importantly, fight back against the foreign enemies of the United States, including those in western Europe who blame their own inadequacies on us. Fight back against the purveyors of an international bureaucratic state. Fight back against the carpers and critics who envy American power without appreciating American generosity and moral purpose. Fight back against those who still espouse Marxist ideologies. Fight back, most of all, against the jihadists and their enablers and fellow travelers.

But how? How to fight back? What to do?....

James Madison famously noted that men are not angels and are not governed by them. To "get real" is to recognize those times (which are most times) when the perfect is, in the short run, unattainable, and to therefore accept the imperfect-but-good when it is available. There's nothing wrong with doing some good now and then immediately starting to work for even greater good later. Incrementalism can work. And imperfect friends may well remain friends unless we choose to turn them into enemies.

That's just a start on the list of the essentials for fighting back. Rather than continue the list, let's leave theory behind and apply those lessons, especially that last one, to today's political and historical circumstances. Here's what's real: Conservatives' weak political position will be hard to turn around while a president whom the public firmly identifies as a conservative is unpopular and under siege. President George W. Bush has made more than his share of mistakes and has proved not to be conservative on a number of issues -- but conservatives cannot fly so long as Bush is grounded.

And the fact is that Bush has delivered tax cuts that have created what is quite arguably the strongest economy in the history of the world. Bush has chosen a host of good judges (even if he hasn't fought well enough for some of them), and has delivered two excellent Supreme Court judges. Bush led well in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Bush put his political capital on the line, with great success, to elect Republicans (all of them more right-leaning than their Democratic opponents) to the House and Senate in 2002 and 2004. Bush has strongly pursued the war against international terrorists and has done well at warding off any major attacks on our homeland since 9/11. And, ineffectually but bravely, Bush tried hard to deliver Social Security reform that included market-based personal accounts.

I think it was National Review which long promised to be fair-weather critics but foul-weather friends to those who would try to carry the conservative banner. The Bush administration is experiencing the foulest of weather right now. It's therefore time to be friends, to prop up what is still prop-up-able, to defend every single thing that is defensible, and to claim those successes (such as the economy) which should by rights be indubitable. "Getting real" means that it's time to recognize that foul weather affecting the president befouls the whole conservative movement as well, and that manning the oars and the bailing buckets and tightening the sails is now the best way forward.

As we accept that reality, let's offer hope. Recapture the spirit of Ronald Reagan's insistence that our best days lie ahead.

And then communicate that hope, and the worthiness of our cause, to the fullest extent of our abilities. Get real, offer hope, and communicate, all in the name first of fighting back, and then of absolutely prevailing -- not just for our own good, but for a good greater than ourselves.”

Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator.


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At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Conservative, I have to agree with him on this issue. Sure, I was down on Bush 41 for his "read my lips" promise of no new taxes, and just before he left office, he put a "user fee" on all boats to put money back into the coffers. Being a boater, this really got me burned up about him, and he hurt the boating industry in the process. Still, with the help of that wind bag, Ross Perot, we got stuck with Bill Clinton, and I may have even voted for him at the time, not knowing the destruction he was going to do to our country, our military, our security, and our Second Amendment Rights. So, I agree. We do have to stick together and make sure that we get a Republican in the White House in 08. Only, I wish that some of the Republicans would stick together and stop acting like wimps. The Democrats are always looking to knife them in the back with their silly fruitless investigations. Hey let's open up the investigation of Sandy Burger, and how about we prosecute Nancy Pelosi under the Logan Act for her violation, a violation that carries three years of incarceration? How about "Dingy Harry" Reid's, suspicious land dealings? Republicans could at the very least hold these issues over the Dems heads, but noooooo-- they worry about being branded a racist if they don't go along with Illegal Immigration. Why don't we just take the word "Illegal" out of "Immigration" so these wimps can feel a little better? We could call them something else. As for myself, I'm going to keep doing what I can with my PC to expose the Democrats for what they are. I can do more with my PC than I can with my wallet. As long as we have a Party composed with Rinos, they'll get no money from me, and I've already told them that when they called last week. The twenty dollars that I could have given them, has to go into my gas tank, or I won't be able to go anywhere, and who do I have to thank for that?

At 8:08 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Joe, I don't understand what the price of gas has to do with it. In 1975 you could buy a cheap Chevvy for $1500 and gas for $.35. Today a Chevvy is $15000 (10X) and gas is $2.85 - with most of the increase going to the state and federal governments. Gas is the best buy we have.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be true, Russ, but being retired and on a fixed income, I could use that gas money for something I may want to buy in a store. Now,--- this jerk that we have for a governor in Massachusetts, wants to tax gasoline. The gas companies are ripping us off and I don't see anybody from either party going after them about it. If I sell my pick up truck I won't have a vehicle to tow my boat with. Meanwhile, I go from month to month trying to save money for the things that I want making cuts where needed. I don't even go to a barbershop anymore. I cut my own hair. Then you read about jerks like John what's his face, the ambulance chaser that ran with Kerry, getting $400. haircuts. I'm wondering how many Republicans are living big like him. It's like I said, I can do more good for that party with my PC than my wallet, cause frankly I can afford to give my money away anymore.

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we got a little off track with the comments, but I think we should tax gas even more! Sure, it would hurt, but it would reduce consumption.

To the point of the post, I don't know how much money will help. The Republicans in office did an awful lot of damage. I can understand why people don't want to support them. They (and we) need to get our act together.


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