Nick Gillespie in Time on "The Conservative Crisis"

I was asked to participate in a Time forum on the current state of conservative thinking and politics. Here's part of my answer:

The current crisis in the conservative movement is embodied in a GOP presidential primary season in which the two frontrunners used to support the health care mandate that is supposedly the ultimate sign of President Obama’s Third World socialist tendencies. Conservatives never really believed in shrinking the size and scope of government, at least not when they were running the show. That’s why we’re $15 trillion in debt as a country and poised to reelect a President whose stimulus was an utter failure by his own predictions, whose extrajudicial killings of American citizens are justified by Bush Administration dicta and whose health care plan has managed to increase premiums even before being put into practice, and whose bailout of GM has created the Terri Schiavo of car companies, a living corpse that will never again rise from its deathbed.

My whole entry, which also includes a quick list of what the next prez should do, is here.

And in case anyone is wondering whether GM has really turned the corner and is back (as President Obama said in his State of the Union address), check out the latest Treasury estimate on the losses on the GM and Chrysler bailouts.

The home page for the forum, which includes input from Grover Norquist, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Rich Lowry, Erick Erickson, and my upcoming debate partner Ann Coulter, and many others, is here.

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  • Bee Tagger||

    whose bailout of GM has created the Terri Schiavo of car companies, a living corpse that will never again rise from its deathbed.

    And to think, just last year I wrote in a Time forum on the current state of politics: "The topic of Terri Schiavo is now the Terri Schiavo of American politics, a living corpse that will never again rise from its deathbed."

    Nick and the moderators of Florida debates have proven me wrong, yet again.

  • invisible furry hand||

    I laughed, and then felt guilty. Kinda like when I heard the punchline on this

  • ||

    I couldn't understand what they were saying. What language was that?


    ...okay, I laughed and felt guilty, also.

  • bmp1701||

    "Thought you could use this."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvBKlBhfgPc

  • Rich||

    Gives me an excuse to post this (less violent, more understandable) scene. Bet you laugh!

  • Mensan||

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  • ||

    Yse! I am intrigued by your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Tobias Funke||

    I guess you could say I'm 'bi-curious'.

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  • KDN||

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  • shamalamadingdong||

    What if you just to buy sexual?

  • ||

    The comments are intelligent and thought-provoking.

    "A conservative wants to take our country back. A liberal wants to take our country forward."

    "A Conservative is fearful of federal government power which has a limited effect on your life, but has no fear of state or local government power which has a greater impact on your life than the federal government . . . . . . . ."

  • ||

    Just to clarify for all the progressives lurking around, "intelligent and thought-provoking" is Sarcasm Tongue for fucking retarded. This one's for you, Tony.

  • ||

    Progressives understand sarcasm, John Stewart taught it to them.

  • ||

    When progressives go around telling people that the GM bailout was a success, are they being sarcastic?

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    No, they're being fucking retarded.

  • Rahm Emanuel||

    HEY!!

  • ||

    No, they are being sarcastic when they mock anyone who doesn't believe in the obvious efficacy of the GM bailout.

    You know, with logic and stuff.

  • ||

    Are you under the impression that the American taxpayer hasn't lost a ton of money on GM?

    What logical basis are you using for that?

  • ||

    No Ken, I'm not even remotely under that impression. And you give a great summary of the idiocy of the GM bailout.

  • Restoras||

    Tony says they were a success so they must be, why would he lie? Oh, right, because he's a disingenous, closed-minded, statist Team Blue shill.

  • ||

    In regards to the losses at GM, it's important for people to realize, contrary to what the Obama Administration will tell you, that the losses we sustained on GM, et. al., were sustained the day Obama spent our money--not the day he finally sells the 60% of the company (or so) that the taxpayers currently own.

    So, for instance, if you buy a stock for $10 a share on Monday, and the stock falls to $5 a share on Wednesday, and you sell it for $5 a share on Friday, you didn't lose $5 a share on Friday. You lost that money on Monday, the day you bought the stock.

    There's no such thing as a "paper loss". If you're ever subject to a margin call, tell your broker you don't have to meet it because it's only a "paper loss", and see what they say!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....argin_call

    Why is that important to understand?

    Because the best thing to do with your money now is always the best thing to do with your money. If you refuse to sell your stock for no other reason than you're waiting for the price to come back up--so you don't take a loss? Then your money is stuck in a losing position that may never come back.

    And the chances of the price of GM stock coming up high enough for the U.S. taxpayer to break even on its investment in GM is practically nil. Even after GM has had the unexpected benefit of its Japanese competitors being hamstrung by the Fukushima disaster, even after the tens of billions of dollars of tax free revenue the government gave GM on all that windfall, there's no way the stock price is about to go high enough to recover the investment of the U.S. taxpayer.

    So the only reason the Obama Administration isn't selling its stake in GM is because if it did so, it would become painfully obvious to everyone--not just smart people--how much the American taxpayers lost on Obama's GM investment. Smart people, of course, already know that the taxpayers won't lose that money the day the U.S. government sells its GM stock; we already lost that money the day Barack Obama paid for GM stock in the first place.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "There's no such thing as a 'paper loss'."

    So you're saying that I can claim a capital loss for 2011 for any of my shares that were below their purchase price on 12/31/2011 without having to sell them to realize the loss? That's great news!

  • ||

    You're talking about the tax code.

    I'm talking about the real world.

    There's a big difference, you know?

    You lose your money when you spend it--regardless of how the IRS has you account for it.

    Do you imagine that people don't really lose money on their investments until they file their taxes on April 15?

    Do you imagine that people don't have to meet margin calls--if they haven't filed a form to the IRS showing a loss yet?

    Do you imagine that the taxpayers haven't lost a ton of money on GM--because Barack Obama hasn't filed any paperwork?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So when I bought stock in March for $X and it went to $X-1 in June I had lost money in March but when it went to $X+1 in August I made money in March but when I sold it for $X in December I broke even in March?

  • ||

    So when I bought stock in March for $X and it went to $X-1 in June I had lost money in March but when it went to $X+1 in August I made money in March but when I sold it for $X in December I broke even in March?

    Right now your investment is worth what it's worth right now. Things are worth what you can sell them for.

    If there's a compelling reason that makes you think your investment is going to be worth more in the future--and holding is the best use of your money in that investment right now--then you should probably hold onto that investment and not sell.

    That isn't the case with the GM investment. The last analysis I saw showed that GM's share price would have to basically double before we got close to breaking even.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/1...../index.htm

    And right now? The stock has been boosted by one time events like the Fukushima disaster that helped GM. Throw in some $40 billion in available tax credit subsidies that GM enjoyed as part of their bailout package? And why should I think the loss we took on GM is only temporary? The stock has come down since it was re-offered at $33 a share or so.

    Anyway, even with those short term HUGE advantages, GM's stock price isn't anywhere close to breaking the taxpayer even.

    If GM's stock needs to more than double, how long are you willing to wait for that? And it DOES need to more than double--because we're talking about a block trade here, right? If the stock is selling for $25 a share today? That would be the sale price of the first 100 shares we sold, not necessarily the last 100 shares. If the U.S. is going to flood the market by selling a supply of 60% of GM's shares, won't that put a lot of downward pressure on the sale price?

    Is that accounted for when they say the share price has to double? I don't think so.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If there's a compelling reason that makes you think your investment is going to be worth more in the future--and holding is the best use of your money in that investment right now--then you should probably hold onto that investment and not sell.

    That isn't the case with the GM investment. The last analysis I saw showed that GM's share price would have to basically double before we got close to breaking even.

    I completely agree with all of that, but that's a completely different issue from "paper losses." In the particular case of GM, I can agree that it's pretty safe to say that money was lost the moment it was spent on that disaster area and the only question is how much but, again, that's a different issue than your broad statement about paper losses.

  • ||

    I know that statement, "There's no such thing as a paper loss" isn't the conventional wisdom. Rather, it isn't the conventional wisdom with the general public. But it's a fundamental concept that makes a big difference between people who do well over the long run and people who don't.

    Knowing when to sell a loser is a really big deal. More important than knowing when to sell a winner, certainly. If the reasons I made an investment are still true, if the investment is still undervalued, it may be perfectly rational to weather my losses.

    But they're still losses--not "paper losses".

    If when I see my losses, I imagine they aren't really losses, I'm opening myself up to self-delusion. The reason we haven't gotten rid of GM is in large part due to that kind of self-delusion--because people think that if we sold at a real loss now, we'd lose money. But those losses are already on our account.

    If we could take what's left of our investment in GM and do something better than what we're doing in GM? We should do that. Because if we sit around and wait for people's irrational belief in "paper losses" to be assuaged, that productive capacity will sit there and rot, and the UAW and their cronies in Washington will keep gouging us until we finally smarten up.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If when I see my losses, I imagine they aren't really losses, I'm opening myself up to self-delusion.

    Which, yet again, is a separate issue.

    If you believe the losses will necessarily turn into gains, you are deluding yourself. Paper losses can certainly stay losses longer than you can stay solvent. But if you imagine that paper losses can never be recouped and that you must sell NOW, NOW, NOW to minimize your actual loss, you're opening yourself up to very poor return on your investment.

    Hell, during my accumulation stage, it was nice to see prices going down -- creating or increasing my paper losses -- so that I would make new investments at lower prices.

  • ||

    So, for instance, if you buy a stock for $10 a share on Monday, and the stock falls to $5 a share on Wednesday, and you sell it for $5 a share on Friday, you didn't lose $5 a share on Friday. You lost that money on Monday, the day you bought the stock.

    So I can deduct the entire value of my stock purchases from my taxes as a loss in the same year I buy the stock even if I still hold the stock on the grounds that the stock of every company will most likely have a zero value someday? Fucking awesome!

  • ||

    Bah, Night Elf Mohawk beat me to it. That'll teach me to get a cup of coffee before finishing my post. :-P

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What's great is that we both had the gratuitous sarcastic exclamations at the end.

  • ||

    Then see my response above.

    You're talking about the tax code.

    I'm talking about the real world.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You aren't talking about the real world, you're talking about some world in which you can omnisciently know the value at the time of sale and claim that the loss was always in place, we just didn't know it yet.

  • ||

    You aren't talking about the real world, you're talking about some world in which you can omnisciently know the value at the time of sale and claim that the loss was always in place, we just didn't know it yet.

    This is absurd.

    You were talking about investments as if reporting taxes on them were the only consideration.

    And you still haven't accounted for why brokerages give people margin calls.

    Here...

    You tell me how long you're willing to wait for GM's stock price to more than double, and then me why I or anyone else should think that GM's stock price is likely to more than double--within that period of time.

    Your move. Go ahead.

    P.S. Why taxpayers should be forced to participate in your GM investment, of course, is whole 'nother question entirely.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    And you still haven't accounted for why brokerages give people margin calls.

    Because, based on current market value, the investor needs more "collateral" to meet the margin account's contractual requirements.

    You tell me how long you're willing to wait for GM's stock price to more than double, and then me why I or anyone else should think that GM's stock price is likely to more than double--within that period of time.

    No one should believe that will happen. The purchase of GM was a sop to supporters, not an investment. That's a completely different issue from whether non-realized losses -- paper losses -- are the same as realized losses. They aren't.

  • ||

    P.S.

    If we've already lost all that money, then why sell GM stock now? One reason is so we can cut our losses to what we've already sustained. What's to stop GM from coming back to the taxpayer for more money under the argument that if we don't give them even more money, we're going to lose all of our original investment?

    Another reason is the cronyism--most of the balance of GM's stock is now owned by the UAW. Does that need to be repeated?

    Another reason is to allow for better management at GM. Holding management responsible to an independent board is important to establish accountability for budgeting and other management decisions, and holding that board accountable to real shareholders is a big part of what stock holding is all about.

    I guess it's hard for some people to believe that when management ultimately answers to the UAW and its cronies in Congress and the White House--that their results could be worse over the long haul than an independent board of directors answering to private investors.

    But that's not a problem for me.

  • ||

    GM was a small part of TARP. AIG is a bigger fiasco than GM but gets a pass from conservatives simply because they don't have an organized labor component.

  • ||

    Are you under the impression I thought TARP or AIG was a great idea?

    The Tea Party candidates make a minority of the Republicans in the House, Republicans who were not in control of the House at the time that Obama's half of the TARP program was approved by Congress.

    Here's the headline from February 15, 2009--after Obama had taken office.

    "TARP Vote: Obama Wins, Senate Effectively Approves $350 Billion"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....58292.html

    According to that article, if I'm doing the math properly, 35 of 41 Republicans in the Senate voted to block the release of Obama's half of $700 billion in TARP funds, which Obama promptly used to nationalize 2/3 of the American auto industry.

    I'm not here to say that the Republicans have given much attention to fiscal conservatism--especially during the Bush Administration, they spent with the best of them. But the idea that they're just as bad as Democrats on the issue is pure bullshit.

    There is no fiscally conservative minority in the Democratic Party in Congress, like the Tea Party candidates are within the Republican Party.

    There is next to nothing of a fiscally conservative presence in the Democratic Party's base constituency! ...but there is a sizable fiscally conservative presence in the Republican Party's base constituency.

    And as far as the Republicans giving GM a pass, if I'm counting correctly from that article I linked, I see that 35 of 41 Republicans voted to block the release of the TARP funds that Obama used to buy up all of that stock in GM.

    No reason to pretend otherwise.

  • ||

    I was referring to how Gillespie (and yourself) fixate on GM and not the rest of the Bush/Paulson led TARP program.

    It was all bad but the 90% plus of TARP you both ignore is indicative of your anti-labor bias.

    I don't believe for a moment that the GOP has suddenly learned fiscal restraint, by the way.

  • ||

    Neither Gillespie nor I are fixated on GM.

    I railed against all of it--under the Bush Administration--just as loud or louder than anybody. And I've consistently denounced everything about TARP since--week in, week out, right here at Hit & Run--for all the months and years since then.

    In an election year, though, we're seeing GM touted by Obama's supporters--as if it were somehow a great success! Go look at what Tonybot is writing up yonder.

    That's different from the response to the bailouts of Wall Street, isn't it? You're projecting. It isn't Gillespie and me that's treating GM differently; it's Obama's supporters who are treating the bailout of GM as if it were somehow better than the bailout of Wall Street.

    We're not fixated. If we see people defending GM but not Wall Street, then, yeah, why the hell wouldn't we respond to that?

  • cynical||

    Maybe it's because, as a traditional company that makes stuff, it's easier to look at the cost and quality of GM's output and what they pay their workers and say "umm, this company is fucked."

    Whereas financial stuff might as well be astrophysics to a lot of people.

  • Dekedin||

    Gotta admire the persistence of the race-baiting troll in the comment section. I wonder if he's related to WI?

  • Tim||

    At least now we can read Nick in the Dentist's waiting room...

  • ||

    I never got the idolization of Ronald Reagan either. He spend as much money as HIS idol FDR. Calvin Coolidge was a REAL small-government Conservative President. The last one we ever had. If I were a politician Coolidge's portrait would be in my office, not Reagan's.

  • The Ghost of Silent Cal||

    You lose.

  • Questions on THE RIGHT TO TAKE||

    • Is the right to take a negative or positive right?

    • Since it is any white person's right, is it an individual right or a collective right?

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  • NotSure||

    The right to take if the other party is willing to give it.

    You might have a point if people here take the words of Ayn Rand as gospel, probably 99% don't, she was not a libertarian, and on occasions was actually scathing against libertarians. What happened with the land grabs was a disgrace, the people who did these things are long, you cannot punish the children for the crimes of their parents, no matter who colour skin they have.

  • NotSure||

    are long gone

  • Wrong, Not Sure||

    Genocide was only the first aggression. Gambol Lockdown is maintained daily by agricultural city-Statist aggression.

    And you're part of that aggression.

  • ||

    Where can I buy a couple of these injun's? And can I play some screamo in the background as I "inspect" the female purchases with my monocle.

  • ||

    You're part of that aggression too then. Asshole.

  • Questions on THE RIGHT TO TAKE||

    I'm not taking her words "as gospel." She's just being honest how so-called "free market" capitalism works -- by aggression.

    While libertards say it doesn't, the aggression continues. Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

    You're doing the same enforcement, NotSure: Gambol Lockdown. It took genocide to establish, and daily aggression to maintain.

  • Bill||

    Had nothing to do with free market capitalism really.

    Had to do with nomadic tribes (for the most part) being pushed to new areas when settlers (backed by a CENTRAL GOV'T) claimed land that they would gambol over now and then to hunt, fish, farm, etc.

    Was ok until land got scarce.

    Then you had the CENTRAL GOV'T lie and break contracts with the Indian tribes. That was the real travesty. Free market is about respecting contracts (treaties). But you know that.

  • Bill's whitewash doesn't wash||

    Central government is the creation of agricultural capitalist interests.

    Agriculture creates government. ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p.73

  • Confusius Say...||

    Vegetarian: Indian word, means lousy hunter.
    Look! Your pic in margin illustration! --->

  • Cytotoxic||

    How much of the land was 'grabbed'? That is to ask, how much did the natives really properly own? I mean private ownership not just 'hunting/foraging' bullshit. I don't totally agree with AR here but her premise is pretty good.

  • Zeb||

    Fuck Ayn Rand if that's what she said. Also what NotSure said.

  • Fuck Capitalism & Civilization||

    Now you're talkin'

  • Confusius Say...||

    Live by tomahawk. Die by tomahawk. Too bad.

  • Fuck Confuzus||

  • Zeb||

    Oh no, not this again.

  • ||

    Conservatives never really believed in shrinking the size and scope of government

    Now I've got the Chuck Berry version of You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover stuck in my head.

  • SIV||

    That's a Bo Diddley song (written by Willie Dixon). I don't think Chuck ever recorded it.

  • SIV||

  • Rich||

    Ever hear this version?

  • SIV||

    To read the entire article, you must be a TIME subscriber.

  • Tim||

    I'd rather dip my money in melted butter and feed it to rats.

  • ||

    But there aren't any of those.
    What happens to those never-read words?
    Do they become the orphans of the ether?
    Embers, dying in the summer night.

  • Newsweek||

    I have sexier covers.

  • The next president||

    The next president needs to provide stability in an unstable world by actually authoring and pushing through a budget that betrays at least a passing acquaintanceship with reality.

    ** fingers in ears **

    La la la la!!

  • Tim||

    Nick Gillespie appearing in TIME is like Batman teaming up with Jugghead in an issue of Archie Comics.

  • Dekedin||

    Hey, Archie Meets the Punisher was a great comic.

  • Rich||

    Tim, you're on a roll this AM! 8-)

  • jacob||

    the Terri Schiavo of car companies, a living corpse that will never again rise from its deathbed

    BOOM!

  • ||

    I don't think Chuck ever recorded it.

    I'm pretty sure it's on one of my Chuck Berry cds, but...

  • ||

    According to Wikipedia it is a Willie Dixon song that was covered by Bo Diddly and the Monkeys of all people. No mention of Chuck.

  • ||

    It is not just conservative politicians who didn't believe in shrinking government, it is the American people. Reagan in his first two years tried to close cabinet departments and was excoriated for it. The 1994 Congress wanted to do the same thing and were laughed out of the room. And when they forced a shutdown they got killed in the polls.

    I don't buy this theory of the brave conservative America shot in the back by evil politicians. The fact is that a majority of this country likes big government and has never come to terms with the fact that we can't pay for it. Politicians are going to do what it takes to stay in power. And if cutting government were the way to stay in power, that is what they would be doing.

    Whose fault is that? Some of it lies with the media and the Democrats who absolutely refuse to have an honest debate about the subject. Every debate about government is always framed in terms of those who care and want to solve America's problems (those who want big government) and those who don't care and want to make the problems worse. The real failure of conservatives is that they lost the culture and the media in the post war period and lost the ability to shape the language and scope of the debate.

  • Rich||

    Very well said, John.

  • Bill||

    Excellent points. We have become a country of slogans and sound bites or maybe we always were but it takes time to undermine the constitution and move from a tiny central gov't to what we have now. Always some resistance to change but as soon as you have Soc. Sec. it becomes easier to have Medicare, then Medicaid, etc.

  • Reagan = Largest Tax Increase||

    Not that facts have any meaning to FundieJohn.

  • Cytotoxic||

    LOLWUT?

  • ||

    The important thing is, "conservatives" are a bunch of mendacious shit-eating weasels.

  • ||

    As oppose to the Libertarians who are more holy than the Saints and Pope. Good thing it is only red team and blue team who practice tribal politics. And I am still amazed that the voters haven't embraced Libertarianism given Libertarians abiding respect and love for said voters.

  • Bill||

    Part of the problem is that Conservatism is a strange philosophy without a good theoretical grounding.

    I've tried to read some of the conservative "bibles" (Russell Kirk and the like and it makes no sense).

    They just pick this thing and that thing that are important and then totally contradict themselves in other areas. They're for freedom and bill of rights except when they want to force religious beliefs on everyone. And part of their creed is that once something is part of the social fabric (not that I disagree entirely) then you don't want to tear it down. So eventually things they were once dead set against are now sacred. It's goofy and that's why there are so many different flavors of "conservatism" and why the Republican party has to change.

  • Randy||

    Too true.

  • Mensan||

    The reason that voters haven't embraced libertarianism has nothing to do with libertarians' respect or love. It is simply because the overwhelming majority of voters are incredibly uninformed, misinformed, and/or stupid. The majority of voters are not even aware that libertarianism exists.

  • Unfortunately,||

    THIS.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No he's right John. Conservatism is basically bullshit. It's an impossibly convoluted relativist heap of...whatever you want it to be. That kind of crap works for the left; no right or wrong just do what you want. The Right has been trying it in the form of conservatism and the result is decades of failure. Conservatism must die.

  • MNG||

    It's worse than that. In many areas conservatives quite enjoy more government. We see that in the contrast in states where the GOP has recently taken over vs. blue states. Alabama's immigration laws, Virginia's recent paternalistic abortion restrictions, etc., certainly don't demonstrate even a rhetorical committment to smaller, less intrusive government...

  • ||

    That is just sophistry. You can believe the government has a role in some areas but shouldn't be in most areas that it is in and should be smaller than what it is today.

    That is nothing but a cheap rhetorical trick that is used by liberals against Libertarians and Conservatives both. Saying that conservatives are really for big government because they think the government ought to enforce its citizenship laws is no different than calling libertarians hypocrites because they drive on public roads. It puts the small government side in the false dilemma of choosing anarchy or totalitarian socialism.

  • MNG||

    If by sophistry you mean exactly on point, yes. Look, convervatives don't have some reluctance to use state power, they just have different areas where they would use it. And you see that when they take over. In some areas they advocate less government, in others more.

  • ||

    Thanks for restating the false dilemma.

    In some areas they advocate less government, in others more.

    Since that is true of anyone who advocates any form of government power at all, you present a false dilemma of anarchy or socialism. Just exactly what, short of anarchy, could a conservative advocate for and not be called out under this standard? Nothing. And that is the point and that is why is it sophistry.

    I think you have been making these sorts of arguments for so long, you either never realized or have forgotten how bogus they are.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why is The Jacket wearing a person?

  • ||

    +100

  • ||

    Why did The Jacket pick a host that has to prune his unibrow with a chainsaw?

  • NotSure||

    It would be nice if it could be clarified what a US is conservative is defined as. Strictly speaking a conservative is someone who more or less wants to protect the status quo.

    A conservative in China today would be a communist who opposes the opening up of the economy. A conservative in Iran adheres to Muslim scriptures. A conservative in the old USSR would have wanted to retain the old style Stalinist control.

    Since America has swung completely leftwards, it would mean that a conservative wants to keep the big nanny and war state (if you want use the proper definition of conservative).

  • Confusius Say...||

    Precisely. A conservative is a sailor who keeps his drogue in the water.

    It's more about trying to slow change than find a destination.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    "Since America has swung completely leftwards, it would mean that a conservative wants to keep the big nanny and war state (if you want use the proper definition of conservative)."

    This^^

  • ¢||

    I don't buy this theory of the brave conservative America shot in the back by evil politicians.

    It's both true and not.

    Voters who identify as conservative certainly aren't as anti-government as conservative rhetoric (often) is. So yeah, fuck them.

    At the same time, somewhere in the neighborhood of a third of Americans are conservatives of the libertarian-about-all-but-two-or-three-things variety. It would probably be the largest single ideological bloc, if it were one. Yet it's unrepresented by any politicians, except arguably (but not really) the Pauls.

    I mean, the actual American political "center"—the right-to-left midpoint of its opinions—is a place visible from Palin's house. But the "center" of acceptably non-"extreme" discourse is over in the gated community where Obama and Romney live.

    Someone does that. And evil politicians are among those who do.

  • ||

    Liberals believe in the words of Jesus: "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me." Many conservatives must have been out of the room when that part of the Bible was being taught.

    This has been going around lately. Has Maddow been spouting it or something?

  • invisible furry hand||

    Which they interpret as "Whatsoever you force another to do for the least of my brothers you do for me."

  • NotSure||

    It would be nice if liberals could one day figure out that being charitable with other peoples money is not actually charity.

    The key word of: "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me", is "you", I don't see the word government in there.

  • ||

    ^^This^^ Jesus didn't tell his followers to go take over the Roman Empire and establish a socialist state. He told them to take up the cross themselves.

  • Randy||

    Progressive politicians sold voters on the notion of government taking over charitable activities some decades ago. Naive voters didn't see any harm, thinking that if chartity is good, then government chartiy is even better as it makes doing good the law. It was an easy sell.

    I get bemused by conservative Christians railing about the current entitlement state, yet it was their fellow Christians of the last 2-3 generations that blessed the creation of the entitlement state as the Christian thing to do. Oh well.

  • Bam!||

    FDR and LBJ wrapped their rhetoric in Christianity? Since when?

  • ||

    Has Maddow been spouting it or something?

    Is it some kind of gotcha response to Romnoid's latest foot-in-mouth episode?

    Apparently he hates poor people.

  • Zeb||

    I think it is funny that every time Romney gets a lot of flack for saying something, it is one of the rare occasions when I more or less agree with him. "I like to be able to fire people" seems reasonable. "Corporations are people", check. "I'm not worried about the poor" sounds a bit cold, but his point is valid: there is a safety net and nobody has to starve in the US. He even said he woudl fix the safety net, which I would think should be a plus for Democrats.

  • Jumbie||

    I agree.

    Also, you'd have to be a dumbass to hear the context of what Romney said, i.e. his full statement, and think that the essence of it was "I don't care about poor people."

    Yet that's what reporters who have access to the full statement are culling and presenting. That's dishonesty.

    The effect after that is lots of people who only hear the snippet the reporters chose to advertise in their headlines just parroting that line to each other in indignation.

  • toddb||

    The vast majority of Republicans (in my experience) are socons and chest-thumping neocons who have zero interest in smaller government but plenty of interest in not being taxed for the big government that they support.

    My biggest problem with them is that they use small govt/free market/libertarianish rhetoric and become walking strawmen for attacks against those ideas.

    They have co-opted important concepts of liberty and free markets and nullified them.

    I have worse things to say about Democrats...

  • Randy||

    Go on.... about the Democrats I mean. LOL

  • ||

    Man some people are just cool like that. Wow.
    www.surfing-anon.tk

  • Joe M||

    From Ann Coulter's reply:

    Q: What are the three most important action items for the next President?

    1) Repeal ObamaCare and replace with tax-free health savings accounts....

    3) Take a buzz saw to the federal Leviathan, say, by putting Ron Paul in charge of domestic policy.

    Not bad at all.

  • ||

    Oh, it'll be "nuke Iran" next week.

    And "Strengthen the Patriot Act" the week after that.

    It's all on a Magic 8 Ball with her.

  • Richard ||

    Great minds think alike--Over at National Review Online today, Big-Government Republicans

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