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post #1 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Where all the conservatives gone ...

The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism
C. Bradley Thompson

In 1994, American voters elected Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time in forty years. This ascent to power gave Newt Gingrich and his colleagues the opportunity to launch their “Republican Revolution” with its signature “Contract with America” platform. The election was said to mark the end of an era—the era of big government liberalism that had dominated American political life since the New Deal. After struggling for almost half a century to gain political power, the conservative movement finally seemed to have reached the political promised land.

In theory, the “Republican Revolution” proposed to “relimit” the powers of the federal government and to restore some of the basic principles and institutions of free-market economy. The preamble to the “Contract with America” pledged to the American people that the GOP would put an end to “government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public’s money.”1 The political goals of the Gingrich “revolutionaries” were not revolutionary in any meaningful sense, but they did promise to begin some necessary reforms. As a rule, the Gingrich Congress preferred less to more government controls.

In practice, the Republicans began to whittle away at the welfare state. Their first post-election budget proposed to eliminate three cabinet agencies (the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Energy) and more than 200 federal programs. Within a year, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had reduced federal spending by almost $14 billion.2 Such early successes led even Bill Clinton to declare in his 1996 State of the Union address that the “era of big government is over.”3 A Republican Congress passed and Clinton signed far-reaching welfare reform legislation that promised to end “welfare as we know it.”4

By the end of the 1990s, America’s political fault line appeared to have moved considerably to the Right for the first time since the early 20th century. The advocates of limited government faced an historic opportunity to begin the process of dismantling the welfare state and deregulating the economy.

So how goes the Republican Revolution twelve years later? What is the state of the American political Right in 2006?

Judging by electoral results and political appearances, the Right is flourishing. For the first time since before the New Deal, the Republican Party controls all three branches of the federal government. There is a Republican in the White House surrounded by conservatives; Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Senate; and seven out of nine justices on the Supreme Court are appointees of Republican presidents. Republican grand strategist Karl Rove and several conservative pundits say that prospects look good for the GOP to become America’s “permanent majority.”

It is not just Republicans but conservative Republicans who are driving this train. As William Rusher, co-founder of the modern conservative movement, reports, the “conservative movement has come to dominate the Republican Party totally.”5 In other words, the Republican Party has finally purged itself of the moderate, non-ideological, country-club, Rockefeller Republicans that once dominated the party in the 1950s and ’60s. The conservative moment—the moment when conservative Republicans become America’s ruling class—has arrived.

For over forty years, ever since the Goldwater election debacle in 1964, conservatives have methodically pursued ideological control over the GOP. Now that they do control the Republican Party and all three branches of the federal government, what exactly have conservatives bequeathed to America?

Here are some hard facts. Government spending has increased faster under George Bush and his Republican Congress than it did under Bill Clinton, and more people work for the federal government today than at any time since the end of the Cold War. During Bush’s first term, total government spending skyrocketed from $1.86 trillion to $2.48 trillion, an increase of 33 percent (almost $23,000 per household, the highest level since World War II). The federal budget grew by $616.4 billion during Bush’s first term in office. If post 9/11 defense spending is taken off the table, domestic spending has ballooned by 23 percent since Bush took office. When Bill Clinton left office in 2000, federal spending equaled 18.5 percent of the gross domestic product, but by the end of the first Bush administration, government outlays had increased to 20.3 percent of the GDP. The annualized growth rate of non-defense and non-homeland-security outlays has more than doubled from 2.1 percent under Clinton to 4.8 percent under Bush.6

Increased spending inevitably means increased taxes. Thus, despite President Bush’s much vaunted tax cuts, Americans actually pay more in taxes today than they did during Bill Clinton’s last year in office. The 2006 annual report from Americans for Tax Reform, titled “Cost of Government Day,” sums up rather nicely the intrusive role played by Republican government in the lives of ordinary Americans. The report says that Americans had to work 86.5 days just to pay their federal taxes, as compared to 78.5 days in 2000 under Bill Clinton. In other words, the average American has worked 10.2 percent more for the federal government under George Bush than under Bill Clinton. When state and local taxes (controlled in the majority of places by Republicans) are added to federal taxes, Americans worked for the government eight hours a day, five days a week, from January 1 until July 12, meaning they worked full-time for the government for more than half the year. As Tom Feeney, a congressional Republican put it: “I remember growing up and reading in some school textbooks that if more than half your paycheck went to the government, then you were living in a socialist society.”7 Just so, Mr. Feeney.

Two generations ago, conservatives denounced the growth of government and called for a revolution to roll back the Leviathan State created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. In 1994, conservatives, with their Republican Revolution, rode into power on just such a platform of limited government. Yet today, the conservative intellectual movement and the Bush administration are engaged in a very different kind of revolution—a revolution for big-government conservatism.

What happened to the idea of limited-government conservatism? Have the conservatives been corrupted by power, or is there something in their basic philosophy that has led them to embrace big government? Why have conservatives moved to the port-side of liberalism?

More at: http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/...nservatism.asp
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post #2 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:09 PM
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Do the math and shed the tears

Fascism = fiscal liberal + social conservative

The current junta in power, through its own hubris, has steered its party and the nation in a direction no one would have agreed to had they known beforehand.

Within a two party state, conservatives (and liberals) are forced to work against their philosophical/ideological interests by playing within the system. The system is stifling progress along any one discernable ideological faultline. We're being held down by the man.

The man IS the system.

Down with the man!

Down with the system!
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post #3 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:11 PM
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It's all quite simple: George Bush blew it. The guy just made the whole country crazy. But now everyone knows he's crazy. Now he's a the crazy uncle we have to live with for the next two years before we can have him hauled to the funny farm. He ruined conservatism for a generation. No fiscal disicipline. A foreign policy that is basically nuts, where we negotiate with no one and use war first instead of last, and outlaw the UN. Where government spies on us and lies as a matter of policy, where there is no oversight. Conservatism died in this last election. People like their Social Security. People like their 19 year old sons. People are scared by a government that is going massively into debt. People are scared by a government that spies on us without permission of the courts. The Democrats, like the Iranians in Iraq, stepped into a power vacuum created by Bush. The man is his worst enemy, the arrogant son of a bitch.

The thing I find exciting is we are seeing an emergence of a new kind of Democratic Party, where populism is replacing liberalism. Let's see if the Republicans can do the same, and replace nutcase religiosity and stupid politics over symbols like 10 commandment monuments, dead bitches with feeding tubes feeding their dead brains, and other stupid shit, and replace it with good old fashioned fiscal conservatism - they are losing the West and gaining the Southeast - trading the fiscals for Benny Hinn's fans. The next big domino that will fall is Texas, the cornerstone of their electoral votes, the counter-balance to California. If it falls, the Democrats will rule this country for a generation. Wish me and my friends luck in making it happen!

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 12-03-2006 at 08:17 PM.
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post #4 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:19 PM
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I can't tell you how offensive I find the preaching of quasi-fascism under the guise of conservatism. Who's fault is it? The religious right, whose political impotence would be of great benefit to our nation, and the horde of idiots who give greater weight to words than deeds.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #5 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:21 PM
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^^^^^ ( one up)

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post #6 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:22 PM
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The article Botnst posted seems to have a very strange paragraph in it. I hate it when no date is included in a piece of literture about politcs:

"So how goes the Republican Revolution twelve years later? What is the state of the American political Right in 2006?

Judging by electoral results and political appearances, the Right is flourishing. For the first time since before the New Deal, the Republican Party controls all three branches of the federal government. There is a Republican in the White House surrounded by conservatives; Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Senate; and seven out of nine justices on the Supreme Court are appointees of Republican presidents. Republican grand strategist Karl Rove and several conservative pundits say that prospects look good for the GOP to become America’s “permanent majority."

I am assuming this was written before the election?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:24 PM
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The conservatives who took control in 1994 – and continued to be elected for the rest of the decade – were (are) social conservatives. They have no connection whatsoever to the classic conservative tradition of personal freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government intrusion into one’s personal life.

There has not been a change in the basic philosophy but a change in the agenda. Indeed, in order to peruse the social conservative agenda the government must be made larger and become more intrusive to fight liberals in the Culture Wars, impose religious doctrine and dogma upon the general population, and achieve the ultimate goal of the agenda: overturn Roe.
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post #8 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar
I can't tell you how offensive I find the preaching of quasi-fascism under the guise of conservatism. Who's fault is it? The religious right whose political impotence would be of great benefit to our nation, and the horde of idiots who give greater weight to words than deeds.
Well, they are always the fascistic element in American politics. We know them well in Texas, and Bush was a shameless opportunist who became their leader, but these fascists who controlled him, the men Rove sold his soul too, were always calling the shots in the background. Dobson, the gay bashing fascist fuck nut, especially. Bo Pilgrim, a religious fanatic and Texas chicken billionaire, who raped East Texas for billions and in return gave them the lowest paying jobs in the country and saddled the local middle class with the costs of taking care of his illegals in the county hospital and schoolhouse, built no museums, endowed no schools, offered nothing to culture, but he did build them a "prayer tower" - it was an entire cabal of men like this behind him. Swiftboaters, crooks, sex perverts, it was all a sick, twisted machine and the thing that made it all work was fear. But as time went on, the public finally saw that we had more to fear from them then we do the terrorists.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #9 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:31 PM
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why overturn roe?
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post #10 of 95 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jdc1244a
The conservatives who took control in 1994 – and continued to be elected for the rest of the decade – were (are) social conservatives. They have no connection whatsoever to the classic conservative tradition of personal freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government intrusion into one’s personal life.

There has not been a change in the basic philosophy but a change in the agenda. Indeed, in order to peruse the social conservative agenda the government must be made larger and become more intrusive to fight liberals in the Culture Wars, impose religious doctrine and dogma upon the general population, and achieve the ultimate goal of the agenda: overturn Roe.
Very well said. I think I will repeat what my grandfather, a dyed in the wool Goldwater Republican told me - a true conservative is a man who wants the Republicans out of his bedroom and the Democrats out of his wallet. He always feared the religious kooks more than the democrats - money is hard to come by, but losing personal freedom or living with government intrusion in your private life, well that's not money, its something more precious. Americans saw that and kicked the GOP out. Their religous kooky shit got downright frightening, and the Benny Hinn cheering section for every government intrusion in spying on us or trying to tell us how to care for our dying family members, that got really unsettling for a lot of people.

This is true: my granddad or Goldwater for that matter, would have been the first person to say a man has a natural, constitutional right to take an oath on his own holy book. How is Dennis Pragar, talk show fascist who wants the government to force people to swear over HIS bible, a "conservative"? That is a perfect example. He's not a conservative, he's a fascist. "Fascist" was a forbidden word at the beginning of this discussion, and I was ridiculed for using it. If I were the Republicans, I'd take a damn hard look at that word.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 12-03-2006 at 08:43 PM.
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