November 7, 2008, - 4:20 pm

Weekend Read: “Compassionate Conservatism” Loses Elections & Elects Radicals

By Debbie Schlussel
A Congressman I once worked for used to say, “If you have two slobs, support your own slob.” He meant that Republicans should always support their own liberals as opposed to Democrat liberals running against them.
But, the thing is, our slobs lose elections, especially when the Slob-in-Chief is in the White House and another slob is the next candidate after eight years of fatigue over slop.
As I always say, voters always prefer the real slob (the liberal Democrat who isn’t afraid of what he/she is) versus the fake slob (the Republican who tries to pretend he/she is a moderate and votes like a tax-and-spend PC liberal).
Today, former Congressman Dick Armey has a great piece, “‘Compassionate’ Conservatism Was a Mistake.” As usual, he’s right on the money (as he is about the threat Islam poses to America). An excerpt:

dickarmey.jpgrepublicanelephantupsidedow.jpg

To Survive, GOP Must Take Dick Armey’s Advice

The liberal pundits who embraced the candidacy of Barack Obama are also eager to issue a death certificate for free market capitalism. They’re wrong, and they remind me of what the great Willie Nelson once said: “I’m ragged but I’m right.”
To be sure, the American people have handed power over to the Democrats. But today there is a categorical difference between what Republicans stand for and the principles of individual freedom. Parties are all about getting people elected to political office; and the practice of politics too often takes the form of professional juvenile delinquency: short-sighted and self-centered.
This was certainly true of the Bush presidency. Too often the policy agenda was determined by short-sighted political considerations and an abiding fear that the public simply would not understand limited government and expanded individual freedoms. How else do we explain “compassionate conservatism,” No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug benefit and the most dramatic growth in federal spending since LBJ’s Great Society?
John McCain has long suffered from philosophical confusions about free markets, and his presidential campaign reflected as much. Most striking was his inability to explain his own health-care proposal, or to defend his tax cuts and tax reform. Ultimately, it took a plumber from Ohio to identify the real nature of Barack Obama’s plan to “spread the wealth.”

Read the whole thing.

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13 Responses

There is no such thing as moderate conservatism. Either you believe in all the principles or you aren’t a conservative in the first place. The moment you start compromising on your principles is the moment you lose yourself. The American people haven’t turned their backs on conservatism. They turned their backs on a Republican Party that gave up its philosophy in the name of keeping power. As Dick Armey has often said: if its only about power, you lose. Fiscal restraint, freedom and strong moral values, which fiscal conservatives, libertarian conservatives and social conservatives embrace make up the different strands of the conservative
movement. What they all stand for will never go out of style.

NormanF on November 7, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Nice article. He did leave out one program under Bush that cost us money “No Illegal left Behind”.

californiascreaming on November 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

As the other commenters have said, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between compassionate conservatism & liberalism. Both parties were for the bailout & socialist redistribution of income otherwise known as the ‘stimulus package’. Really did a lot to stimulate the economy didn’t it?
Armey asks is this more like 1992 or like 1932? I’m afraid it’s more like 1932. As CS indicates, Armey’s article is a little too one-dimensional, I guess as befits a Ph.D. in economics. The reason that Clinton sustained a huge Congressional loss in 1994 was his overshooting in the 1992-1994 time period, not only the ridiculous health care fiasco, but gays in the military, ridiculous nominations such as that of Lani Guinier in 1993, the fiasco of nominating woman after woman for Attorney General, just to name a woman, and all of them seemed to have problems with illegal alien baby sitters.
Obama obviously is learning from these errors, and I don’t think Armey recognizes this sufficiently. Obama picked a key pragmatic Clinton staffer, Rahm Emanuel for his Chief of Staff, someone who knows as well as anyone, the disasters of the overshooting of Clinton’s first two years. Obama is extremely liberal, but he will advance his agenda more carefully, on a steath or semi-stealth basis, and will keep in mind the need to avoid a defeat such as Clinton’s in 1994. Obama is appointing the most experienced Democrats he can to economic positions, and when the economy turns around, as it is bound to, I am afraid he will get a lift that will keep his popularity at a very high level, and give him more leeway for pushing his extreme liberalism.
Meantime the Republicans are clueless, and just as in the campaign, they are bouncing around from theme to theme in a completely disjointed way. With civil war inside the party, this is unlikely to change in the near future. We are in for a rough 4-8 years.

c f on November 7, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Dick Armey is a good man from the great state of TEXAS. Too bad the 43rd President has been the polar opposite and is returning to the state in disgrace. There would be no Obamanation without George Bush.
Prior to running for Congress, Dick Armey was a professor at the University of North Texas in Denton. For the first two years, he actually slept on a cot in his office because he could not afford local housing. I am happy that Mr. Armey served this country honorably in Congress and is making a good living outside of government while keeping the message and hope alive. Term limits and more viable political parties are needed to get our country back on track and in line with the Constitution.
Government at all levels is too large, too expensive, woefully inefficient, arrogant, intrusive, and downright dangerous. Democratic and Republican politicians have created the status quo and do not intend to change it. George Bush was one of the worst offenders and his message rolled downhill to the career bureaucrats. Those who couldn’t do the job became managers and we will be paying the price for debacles like the Department of Homeland Stupidity for a long time.

ParaLyzer on November 7, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Conservatism is on life support. Face it.
It’s not that there are not any legitimate conservatives out there. The problem is that we are fighting against a tide of liberalism drummed into the population at large from kindergarten to post grad level college.
We live in a dumbed-down nation–gone comfortably numb in under the spell of relativism. We teach the young people to evaluate things “among themselves” and according to popular opinion and polls. The idea that Obama said publicly that he thinks the US Constitution is badly flawed–and very few people even blinked–tells you–we are in big trouble.
Would to G-d, that a Ronald Reagan type clear thinker and great communicator would arise to combat the lies. Rush Limbaugh is such a man, but he is not the man–not wanting to pay the price he would pay to be a candidate.
Let’s face it, whoever stands for old fashioned American values is going to be the arch enemy #1 of the MSM and with their relentless lies, it will be hard to ever break through. We don’t have many of the WW2 generation left who understand the price of freedom. No, we have the generation of American Idol and “a gallup poll said today…….”
We’s in a mess.

BB on November 7, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Debbie, I also think we’re in a cultural and demographic decline. I think if I could have maybe 20 sons I could turn this b- around, but unfortunately making anonymous comments to myself on blogs doesn’t get it done.

Anonymous1 on November 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Face it Deb—Y’all had troubles winning the REDneck states…so the writing’s on the wall—the GOP is about to become EXTINCT:)

EminemsRevenge on November 8, 2008 at 12:22 am

    As McLaughlin would say on SNL, Eminem—‘El WRRRRRRONGGGGGGGO!

    Occam's Tool on December 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm

When eminem’s revenge’s BOY gets done screwing up the US government, if we are not under foreign rule by then, conservatism, and what you call “rednecks” will be back with a vengence! People are going to be unhappy with the economy getting even worse, the humiliations we will recieve in foreign policy and military matters, screwed up health care,even worse energy problems, higher crime rates, loss of constitional liberties and whatever else and will be looking for someone to take it out on. Guess who? ( His name isn’t Bush)

Ron Taylor on November 8, 2008 at 1:14 am

But even racists voted for Obama – that’s how far conservatism has fallen.
What would be great is if the Republicans convince themselves that it’s all the media’s fault that they lost – or better still, that they weren’t conservative enough.
Then they would swing even further to the right, and become even more isolated from the bulk of the electorate.
The Democrats wet-dream must be that Sarah ‘failin’ Palin would win the 2012 Republican nomination. Conservatives who have dug themselves into a hard-right hole would then have elected the leader of the “let’s keep on digging” Club to get them out of it. That would pretty much guarantee the Democrats power for a generation to come.

No Pasaran! on November 8, 2008 at 5:08 am

“The problem is that we are fighting against a tide of liberalism drummed into the population at large from kindergarten to post grad level college.”
Sad but true. I work at a college and it is an indoctrination factory. No one even questions big whether government is good any more. They just question why Mr. Big gives one group the dough and not the other.
Before Hitler took power, the centralized government played one special interest group against each other (sound familiar?) until people were in a permanent state of rage (sound familiar?) and poverty. In comes Hitler to save the day. The rest is history.

PJ on November 8, 2008 at 11:35 am

Old-fashioned Conservatism was Palin. Debbie doesn’t like Palin because she didn’t answer Katie Couric’s questions properly.
That, and Title IX.
If you want traditional Conservatives, then you have to stop attacking them when they show up.
But, by all means go ahead and ding someone for switching schools, Title IX, stupid interview questions, wardrobe, and all the other nonsense ……
Mark my words, you’ll be begging for Title IX once Card Check, The Fairness Doctrine, and Sharia Banking make their entrance.
—Then we can talk about what an “airhead” Palin was.
[MW: I DON’T LIKE PALIN BECAUSE SHE’S A FRICKING IGNORAMUS, NOT A CONSERVATIVE. IF THAT’S “OLD FASHIONED”–TO BE A DUMMY-THEN YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT DEFINITION THAN MOST. SORRY, BUT TRADITIONAL CONSERVATISM IS ABOUT BEING KNOWLEDGEABLE, NOT IGNORANT, AND IT’S CERTAINLY NOT ABOUT PRAISING PEOPLE’S KIDS BECAUSE THEY BECAME PREGNANT OUT OF WEDLOCK OR BECAUSE THEIR HUSBANDS ARE MR. MOM. THIS IDIOTETTE DIDN’T KNOW THE BAILOUT WAS ABOUT MORTGAGES, NOT HEALTHCARE AND JOBS, COULDN’T NAME A SINGLE NEWSPAPER SHE READ (B/C IT DOESN’T SEEM SHE READS ANY), AND DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY WAS, ETC. SHE’S JUST VAPID. AN EMPTY VESSEL WITH AMBITION. ANYONE WHO LIKES HER AND SIMULTANEOUSLY LAMENTS THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA IS A HYPOCRITE. DS]

Maxine Weiss on November 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Stupid people elect stupid leaders to do their thinking. There is no conservative leader on the scene at present. It is gonna take more than just mouthing to change this country from it’s ruinous destination. Now that the federal treasury has been opened to the pigs, expect an all-out demand for everyone to get theirs. This country wasn’t founded on plausible platitudes but by men (and women) with determination and fortitude to make a great nation. It has now become a cesspool of everyone wanting and no one wanting to give. A mellofahess!!!

arejaymack on November 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm

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