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View Diary: David Frum savages the Romney campaign (266 comments)

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  •  I am curious to know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hooper

    what you feel is valuable about conservatism?

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:23:43 AM PDT

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    •  I read it as not as "valuable" but as "defensible" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      It's possible to imagine a loyal opposition that respects the field of play, that regards it as honorable to represent the people and follow an approach to governing that is not all scorched earth and wait for the rapture.  It's possible to imagine a conservative opposition that believes in a social safety net, the power of traditional capitalism and the magic of compound interest, and a somewhat less warm and fuzzy human side than the Dem's big tent.

      It's possible to imagine, but I don't see it anywhere on the actual horizon.  And as a commenter upthread said, it might resemble the former Canadian Conservative party, before they adopted the crazy underpinnings of the current GOP.

      •  There ya go (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, dotdash2u, Calamity Jean

        Take single-payer health insurance. It is possible to sell that idea to a classic conservative by proving the bottom line costs less overall than the status quo. Now that might be a hard sell to classic conservatives but in 2012 the data exists to close that sale.

        We on our side know that system would save the nation money and would free our businesses from having to be in the health insurance game too. The numbers are strong in support of our side.

        But to the radicals now in control of the GOP no set of numbers will move their opinion. That is the difference between conservatives and radicals. Here in America we've forgotten what a conservative looks like.

    •  Conservatives (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, dotdash2u, Calamity Jean

      Slower to change and slower still to spend money. A society is well-served by having differences of opinion and approach. A fine ship needs both a sleek hull and weighty ballast.

      What you are used to seeing these past 30 years is not "conservatism" in the classic sense or in the sense it is understood overseas. The GOP has subverted that term. I suggest using it in its classic sense.

      There are still classic conservatives in the GOP. I would prefer classic conservatism drive the GOP than what has been driving it the past thirty years: radicalism and organized looting of the treasury. A conservative does not support the massive debts caused by Reaganomics. So let's call a spade a spade: down with Reaganomics.

      •  I guess what I am asking for is a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund

        working definition of a "classic conservative," in terms of specific policies. I get the idea of a loyal opposition that respects the field of play, but I need to know, in practical terms, what that looks like.

        Here's my thing- reality is always changing and social conditions are always evolving. The progressive philosophy is oriented towards riding the continual wave of change that occurs to meet new conditions as they arise. Conservatism, OTOH, always appears oriented towards a mythical representation of an ideal past which it is always seeking to recreate. The "liberal bias of reality" is a result of the fact that history and social change rarely goes backwards, except in times of dire duress. In my view conservatism is always a failure because it is resistant to change, and change is always present, and in our times the pace of change is far faster than at most any time in history.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 11:29:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think a 'classic conservative' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          would support Romneycare/Obamacare, would bail out the banks at the expense of the people and hope it trickled, would not care overmuch about whistleblowers, would not focus on making cases against previous administration's overreach in terms of illegal wars and torture, would be anti-union and pro-wealth, and would increase the use of drone warfare.

          I think my failure to easy envision a worthwhile conservatism is often because I try to look to my right to see it. But I'm a fish in water.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 11:35:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you are talking about trickling (0+ / 0-)

            then you are talking about Reaganomics, not conservatism

          •  But prior to Reagan the Repubs blocked Health Care (0+ / 0-)

            too.    

            I don't think it's just Reaganomics, though that was the introduction of "supply-side economics" in our lifetimes.

            It's the Right, imo.  They suck always, in every country, in every time.  They have no legitimacy.  They rule via fear.  They are xenophobic and despise the "other."  They represent the haves vs the have-nots.  They have rigid moralities.  And on & on.

            The word conservative is just spin.  They are the owners.  What they want to conserve is their money, their position, their race, their privilege, their black-and-white religions, their power.

            Not fond of "classic conservatives" either, I guess.

        •  Until Reaganomics, this nation taxed what it spent (0+ / 0-)

          So for 30 years the US has had Reaganomics. She has had Conservatives much longer than that. A true conservative would not allow this radical debt imbalance last so long, because the true conservative knows that is cost him money.

          You or I might not agree with a traditional pre-Reagan conservative on every issue or even on many issues. Nut there would be areas of agreement. And science would be valued. Pre-Reagan, even with a long history of conservatives in government, that nation did not run up its credit card.

          Reaganomics is a big scam from which only a small percentage benefit. Rank-and-file Republicans identify themselves as conservatives and they have been told to believe Reaganomics = conservatism. In my mind one of these is a general descriptor (conservative) and the other is a specific unwise financial policy (Reaganomics).

          A country will always have 'conservatives' but it needn't always have Reaganomics. So to my way of thinking the best route forward is to discredit the term Reaganomics and rehabilitate the term conservative. This gives the rank-and-file a way to accept change while maintaining a sense of dignity. Sort of a carrot and a stick.

          "Conservatism didn't fail. Conservatives were led down the wrong path under a false banner." That is substantially true after all. And if conservatives themselves no long consider Reaganomics to be a conservative concept, then that will be a tremendous advance for progressives.

          Hope this makes sense even if you don't quite agree.

          •  It sounds like you're speaking of an idealized (0+ / 0-)

            conservatism.  

            We could imagine all sorts of "good" conservatisms, that actually conserved something other than power & priviledge.  Bio-conservatism.  Diversity conservatism.  Balanced budget conservatism that taxed to enhance the common good.

            But these are not them.  Historically the Right (of either party) has always tried to block progress.  There was no golden age of good conservatism, at least as I can recall.

            Rather, we had the Civil War, the Robber Barons, anti-unionism, attempts at blocking SS and Medicare and minimum wages and workers' protections.  Segregation.  

            I agree that Reaganomics was a particularly evil version of this.  Just not that they were ok before that.    

      •  And BTW (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund

        I appreciate having an intelligent conversation about this, thank you.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 11:30:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My pleasure and same back at you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          US Blues

          I recall running across one of your comments only minutes after coming up with this song. (As sung by Mitt after his European trip.)

          You know the melody.
          (Those who don't, open this link in a new window..)

          Red and white, blue tarmac
          Businessman, you didn't build that
          Gimme five, I'm back alive
          Just my luck, all Europe sucks

          Climate change? 'No', says me
          Stays seventy-two, not F that's C
          Wave that flag, fag means fag
          Light the sky, no eel pie!

          Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
          Culture's why, Is-rael won't die oh my

          Now Uncle Sam, I'm a big fan
          I'm pointin' out, scams the Democrats plan
          Take the word that took the word
          Of Andrew Breitbart and Sean the Han

          Shine my shoes, Right's your Muse
          Warch me
          ...abuse, that ol' U.S. news
          ...bankrupt your health
          ...steal your wealth
          ...run your life
          ...war your wife

          Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
          This site's ho-ly, so kiss my thigh oh my

          Nertz to gay. Chick-Fil-A
          Gun control? Better buy grenades
          Got you confused, paid my dues.
          You can call this song the Angry Red States Blues

          Wave that flag, wave with love and joy
          Kenya is, in, Africa, boy oh, boy

          Boy, boy boy boy, boy, oh, boy oh boy
          Freedom time done, come and gone, boy oh, boy

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