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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Progressive Conservatism?

posted by on September 3 at 13:00 PM

One happy thing about the convention: Surprisingly little God-talk. The speeches last night were pretty much Jesus-free (Fred Thompson isn’t very religious, Lieberman’s Jewish, and Bush was too neutered to do anything except say hello and goodbye).

Palin, of course, is all Jesus-y—she signed a “Christian Heritage Week” into law last year. But McCain has a long and bitter history with the evangelicals—I’d hoped he’d mostly ignore them during his campaign and try to build a new Republican base.

“Yeah, and then he would’ve lost 25 percent of the vote,” Saul Farber, a young candidate for New York state assembly, told me last night in the convention hall. He thinks it’s too soon to jettison the religious right, but agreed that the base is changing. “I think in coming years you’ll see a move towards fiscal conservatism and away from some of the social conservatism,” he said.

He wouldn’t go on the record as being pro-legalization and pro-gay marriage per se, but said that he was for small government across the board, including what people do with their bodies and in their own homes. And he thinks that’s where the party as a whole is headed—call it progressive conservatism.

Tonight should be the high-water mark of the Jeebus-talk, with Romney, Huckabee, and Palin all on the speech list.

How much Bible-thumping the McCain camp allows (or encourages) from Palin will tell us how much stock McCain puts in the evangelical base.

Hopefully, it ain’t much.

RSS icon Comments


"Hopefully, not much" ??? Oh, Brother Kiley...

Mark my words -- she'll ride into the hall on the back of an ass (paging John Bailo), and palm fronds will be set down in her path by the worshipful delegates.

For, you see, she is not merely religious; she has reached the saintliness of intellectual shallowness so valued by those for whom "Pastor says..." is all the thinking that need be done. About anything. Ever.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | September 3, 2008 1:09 PM

Seriously, this morning they had some radical Red Bushie apologists show up on CNBC and piss off the conservative reporters there by not answering direct questions.

Fiscal discipline? Not gonna come from the Reds - and so the fiscal conservatives are writing the GOP off as a total loss.

Forty years in the wilderness - this is their fate.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 1:16 PM

I should've written "hopefully, not too much." She was chosen specifically for her evangelical cred, but I'm hoping it won't spin out of hand.

Of course, I'm prepared for my hopes to be dashed. And I plan to be at least mildly drunk by the time she starts talking.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | September 3, 2008 1:17 PM

Speaking of drunk, we haven't got our cable turned on yet; anywhere on the hill with a sweet tv gonna be showing the speeches tonight? They should be weird in comparison to last week's.

Posted by A | September 3, 2008 1:28 PM

Speaking of drunk, we haven't got our cable turned on yet; anywhere on the hill with a sweet tv gonna be showing the speeches tonight? They should be weird in comparison to last week's.

Posted by A | September 3, 2008 1:31 PM

Hopefully there will be lots of ether.

Posted by Dr.No | September 3, 2008 1:45 PM

I hope they say all kinds of retarded religious bullshit. Anything that hurts them is good by me. Play to the hate.

Posted by Jay | September 3, 2008 2:05 PM

Of course if you actually believe there's some redeemable ideology within the Republican party, I have a bridge to sell you.

Posted by Jay | September 3, 2008 2:06 PM

Is it a bridge to nowhere, Jay?

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 2:08 PM

All the nonbelievers, they get to eat dirt, and the believers get to spit on their graves.

Posted by Regina Spektor's Squeaky Larynx | September 3, 2008 2:23 PM

Funny that progressive conservatism is such a novelty to Brendan. "Don't change/expand things unless the circumstances truly warrant it, and try to minimize resources used in government," is a pretty sound political philosophy.

If the Republican party featured more of this thinking and less of the chicken hawking, economic caste and religious hypocrisy, I could get on board.

Posted by Gomez | September 3, 2008 2:31 PM

too bad not even fundamentalist christians are dumb or evil enough to buy libertarian bullshit.

Posted by poppy | September 3, 2008 2:53 PM

I may be wrong, but Sarah Palin smells more like "cynical opportunist" than "to-the-death fundie" to me. Yes, she's been Krazy Kristian up til now, but that's because it served her ambition to do so. I think the national stage is going to reveal a lot more grasping covetousness of power and a lot less Jeebus Talk. Hubby might not be too happy about that, but I get the feeling hubby doesn't get much to say on the subject. His job is to go play with his snowmobiles and fishing boats and Klan rallies and stuff.

Posted by Fnarf | September 3, 2008 2:58 PM

"Progressive Conservatism???"


That's like saying "Compassionate Rapist."

Posted by Original Andrew | September 3, 2008 3:36 PM

@13: Not thinking that Mr. Palin is going to many Klan events.

Tonight I plan to break out the special sake and yell at my TV with the wife.

Posted by Greg | September 3, 2008 3:47 PM

@14: When will the real hate-filled people(who love to call consevatives hate-filled, by the way) come to realize that conservation IS progressive? When will people stop this contrived labeling and name-calling, and begin to have intelligent political discourse? Why is it so hard to grasp that the middle way is the way to go? Get a clue.

Posted by mrs. lucky | September 3, 2008 5:16 PM

16. This is a wank blog for diehard liberals, and several of the discussion participants are complete closed-minded assholes. Intelligent, objective, two-way discourse isn't to be expected here, sadly.

Posted by Gomez | September 4, 2008 10:07 AM

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