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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Soul Searching

posted by on November 28 at 15:41 PM

Looking for a way out of the night that set on Nov 7, a senior editor of National Review, Jeffrey Hart, makes the bold claim that G. W. Bush is not a conservative. The strange syllogism that produces this strange truth:

(Major premise) Conservatives are realists.
(Minor premise) Bush is not a realist.
(Conclusion) Bush is not a conservative.

Out of all Hart has to say and stress, this is the only passage worth pointing out:

Richard Cheney:

Once you get to Baghdad, it’s not clear what you do with it. It’s not clear what kind of government you put in place of the one that’s currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime, a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that going to have if it’s set up by the American military there? How long does the United States military have to stay there to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens once we leave?

Smart man, that Cheney. The only problem is that he said that back in 1991 during the first Gulf War when he was secretary of defense in the administration of George H.W. Bush.

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When I think of conservatives, I think of my grandfather wearing a engineery suit, sitting at a desk with a calculator, telling me how things were possible because they were too expensive, too difficult to accomplish, or too idealistic to be done in reality.
Where did those guys go? What happened to those "Eisenhower conservatives"? They ruined all the fun, but they had a necessary place in keeping things on track, just like the liberals had a place in making the world a better place.

Posted by Andrew | November 28, 2006 3:54 PM

whoops, I meant "impossible", not "possible"

Posted by Andrew | November 28, 2006 3:55 PM

That kind of conservativism is gone. Or at least in serious remission. They sold themselves out to the religious kooks, and let the think-tank boys like Wolfowitz take over the brainwork. Result: disaster.

What we have now is conservatives of every description fighting like mad to stake out a plausible post-Bush position. Rats off a sinking ship, is what it is. There's a lot of finger-pointing going on: "YOUR kind of conservative is to blame here". Currently in the ascendancy (but not necessarily destined to stay there): the Goldwater/small-l libertarian conservative, at the expense of the religious "values" conservative and the neo-con "let's spread democracy" conservative.

Posted by Fnarf | November 28, 2006 4:15 PM

sorta like the old school communists who say "communism never failed because it's never really been tried."

sorry, conservabots, W is your boy.

Posted by bing | November 28, 2006 4:19 PM

The kind of conservatives they speak of fled the red commie GOP years ago.

They probably only exist in the Bigger Tent Dems nowadays.

So, what calls itself Conservatives nowadays is the ilk that W is.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 28, 2006 4:48 PM

Most people who call themselves conservatives these days lack the mental capacity to really know what a conservative is.

It's the "movement" for the xenophobes, for the haters, for the suspicious. It has no intelecutal creds, no real-world validity. It's downward spiral started when they sold their soul to the devil, via that moronic "B" actor who, in turn was an amoral shill for the corportocracy.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | November 28, 2006 5:21 PM

Catalina, there are pleeeeeeeenty of xenophobe dems. Your boy Webb ran on an anti-illegal platform, as did Chris Carney and Patrick Murphy. Sherrod Brown's entire campaign was an anti-china, anti-mexico rant. These guys are anti-immigrant, anti-free trade, anti-globalization. Put together, these are are basically the international half of economic liberalism (in the Austrian sense) that Bill Clinton was so keen on.
There were plenty other xenophobe dems, so you shouldn't rail on Repub xenophobes when our own party's xenophobes are what won our side control of the house and senate.

Posted by Andrew | November 28, 2006 5:47 PM

Yeah, what Bush and the neo-cons have turned the GOP into... that's not conservative politics. That's religious fascism.

True conservatives have simpler values, like minimizing government spending and size, and keeping taxpayer burden low. Religious values had nothing to do with it.

Posted by Gomez | November 28, 2006 5:50 PM

Andrew, was I talking about Democrats or Republicans? No. I was talking about conservatives - or, rather, the deluded mouth breathers who call themselves conservatives, but don't know what it means. Don't try to confuse the issue by dragging in party affiliations.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | November 29, 2006 2:31 PM

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