Conservatives Realize They Have To Lie About Conservatism To Be Elected

Jonah Goldberg (of Hillary Clinton = Hitler infamy) writes that he thinks he was wrong to dismiss George W. Bush and his “compassionate conservative” branding. Goldberg is essentially admitting here what some of us have pointed out for some time: Actual conservatism cannot sell in America.

Barry Goldwater was the first to realize this, as he was trounced from coast to coast for the sin of supporting absurdity. Ensuing Republicans either knew that they had to keep the crazies locked in the basement or had to just pretend like they didn’t exist. And no, don’t even bring up crazy tax-raising Ronald Reagan in this argument. He had to run for office as the real Reagan, not the gauzy, historically revisionist version of Ronald Reagan that conservatives hold up as an icon today.

By 2000, George W. Bush realized the only serious way for conservatives to be elected to the presidency was to pretend not to be conservatives. He put the crazies in the basement, then tried to out-compassion Al Gore. Even that was only good enough for an electoral college squeaker.

This year, we saw Romney shift to the hard right in an attempt to win the nomination, then in the first debate he tried to do a song and dance and disappear his severe conservatism. But he made the fatal flaw of actually standing in front of the cameras for those Republican debates. And America saw a true conservative, one who would do as much as possible to ban abortion, kill the safety net, and ask “how high” to the filthy rich and the corporations they operate.

It was rejected.

The only way for conservatism to win a national election in America is for conservatives to pretend to be centrist or even liberal on several key issues. Being against the actual safety net, as conservatives are, is electoral suicide. Being a totalitarian against a woman’s right to choose, is key to yet another double-digit loss among women voters. On issue after issue, the conservative position is in the fringe.

A Republican presidential candidate will only succeed in the future if he does as Bush did: hide his conservatism or disguise it in progressivism. It speaks volumes about just how hollow your ideology truly is if it can’t stand up in the light, but must instead hide in the darkness like a cockroach.

 

 

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  • M2

    But maybe, there is hope.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/allen-west-concedes_n_2163837.html

    If Allen West can concede to reality…

  • db

    Marco,

    “if any board wingnut said the sky is blue, I’d check.”

    Indeed, but if Farris were to say “The sky is red”; my response would be, “Why do you say that?” It doesn’t make sense to me. I think it’s wrong. But I want to understand where he’s coming from. It’s easy to dismiss him as, “Nucking Futz” but isn’t that hubris as well? Remember it was only a couple of years ago that we were picking pieces of Tea Party out of our teeth after an election. We dismiss & ignore them at our peril & the peril of the Country.

    • M2

      I get you. They just never come from anywhere remotely real – ever. The right wing traffics in pure, unadulterated bullshit, and shamelessly so.

      • Christopher Foxx

        And we should not apologize for saying so.

        Don’t ignore the child with a gun, sure. But don’t treat them as if they have something productive to add to the conversation either.

        It was “only a couple of years ago that we were picking pieces of Tea Party out of our teeth after an election”. And a large part of the Tea Party’s power came from folks treating them as if they had a legitimate view instead of standing up and pointing out they are “nucking futz”.

        • M2

          Amen.

          Frank and Dennis used to get in a snit (I say “used to” as it seems the two are unable to get over the butthurt of President Obama destroying their hopes and dreams of a Mittgasm and won’t be returning) when anyone would openly mock their posts. But, nine times out of ten, those posts were full of fucking ridiculous bullshit that deserved nothing but severe mocking.

          I began to type up a few examples here, but really there are too many to list. I mean, their latest fail of Benghazi-gate is so offensive in its stupidity and crassness, scorn is almost too good for the pushers of such nonsense.

        • db

          Christopher,

          “And a large part of the Tea Party’s power came from folks treating them as if they had a legitimate view ”

          You got substantiation?

          You are quite dismissive of the Tea Party. The problem is that they vote too. Unless you are copying Karl Roves 50%+1 strategy; you’re punting a proportion of the electorate from the start. If you are playing for 50%+1 then you’re continuing to polarize the electorate. Do you really want to see the US in two armed political camps? Even if “we” are the majority now?

          Equally, “Nucking Futz” is really in the eye of the beholder. What we agree is normal is perceived as dangerous & radical by the other side. And vice-versa. It is hardly apologizing to try to find the hopes, goals, and ideas of the others to trry to find areas of cooperation rather than constant conflict. See President Obama’s foreign tours which were derided by Fox “News” as his “apology tour”.

          You’re turning into the very thing you oppose.

          I do not know how to turn on the “spell-check” on this computer & I’m often rushed during the day. I make typo errors. Mock them as you choose.

          Marco,

          Allen West becomes a “Paid Fox Contributor” Over/Under three weeks?

          • Christopher Foxx

            db: You are quite dismissive of the Tea Party.

            Nope. I reiterated your point that “we were picking pieces of Tea Party out of our teeth” and noted that the kid with a gun can be dangerous.

            Here’s a thought. How about you actually respond to what I have said instead of repeatedly attributing some other attitude to me than what I’ve clearly expressed.

    • Christopher Foxx

      db: Indeed, but if Farris were to say “The sky is red”; my response would be, “Why do you say that?”

      And how many times would he have to say that the sky is red (when any person can see it’s blue) before you stop asking him why he insists it’s red? At what point do you stop treating him as if he has any credibility?

      • db

        Christopher,

        “And a large part of the Tea Party’s power came from folks treating them as if they had a legitimate view instead of standing up and pointing out they are “nucking futz”.”

        I see that as dismissive, don’t you?

        “And how many times would he have to say that the sky is red (when any person can see it’s blue) before you stop asking him why he insists it’s red?”

        I ask the first time. If the response is a mindless reiteration then I move on. I am not so certain of myself that I routinely dismiss opinions different than mine. But Farris, & Frank for that matter, can respond respectfully when the conversation doesn’t degenerate into mindless name-calling.

        • Christopher Foxx

          db: I see that as dismissive, don’t you?

          Clearly I don’t. It’s a comment on one of the reasons why the Tea Party wielded some power. That’s a far cry from saying they can be ignored.

          I ask the first time. If the response is a mindless reiteration then I move on.

          Then, I suggest, where Farris and the more widely known conservatives are concerned, it would be high time you moved on.

          But Farris, & Frank for that matter, can respond respectfully when the conversation doesn’t degenerate into mindless name-calling.

          Got substantiation?

          And it wasn’t the level of apparent respect that they may occasionally seem to give that I commented on, but the accuracy of what they say. It doesn’t matter how calmly and politely they may state their case when they’re arguing that, for example, the math in the Romney/Ryan tax plan worked.

      • enlightened liberal

        So freaking right. I am dismissive of these people because they are assholes who only come here to stir up shit and not engage in substantive debate. So I treat them like they deserve to be treated. Their “opinions” are based on lies and deserved not only to be dismissed, but mocked openly.

        Billy Martin I think it was had a saying. On a 25 man baseball team, 5 guys like you, 5 guys hate you, and the other 15 are something in between. Your job as manager is to keep the 5 guys that hate you away from the 15 that are in between.

        Our job as rational human beings is to keep the 27% who aren’t from getting credibility with the 73% who have (or may have) some sanity left. You don’t do that by saying both sides are bad.

        Frank is a piece of garbage who welched on a bet to a homeless shelter. A HOMELESS SHELTER. Farris is a proven liar who refuses to engage on any question. Up thread, he claimed to answer a question but answered with “I know you are but what am I.” The rest don’t even deserve comment.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Exactly.

        • db

          el,

          Back from the weekend & with something approaching the time to dedicate to this.

          Karl Rove believes in the 50%+1 strategy. That is you aim your campaign to get just enough votes to win.You trim your ideological purity only enough to win. I don’t like that strategy. First off, ’cause if the other side comes out a little more than you calculate or some of your own core find your Candidate less attractive, you can wind up with 50%-1 real easy. I like big tents & overwhelming votes.

          Equally, I’m inclined to believe that an Independent is just a Republican who’s ashamed to admit it. So I’m counting that we Democrats have only about 35%-40% of the vote with us from the get-go.

          Now go back to my first post about the EC/SC split in the Republican Party. Now Christopher would dismiss all of them as Nucking Futz & you skirt the issue by denying them any sanity. I’m trying to figure out how to break off some of the SC/Tea Partiers from the Republicans. Preferably permanently. What issues can we agree on? How can we work together to solve some of America’s problems? How can they be reached by our arguments or campaigns? Can I reach them by pointing out that their goals have absolutely no place in an EC concept of “small government”? Are they sick & tired of US jobs being shipped overseas? Can we find an answer we’re all happy with? My personal favorite was Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan where he simultaneously tried to argue that it was a good idea & we wouldn’t have it affect current Seniors. Sc’s aren’t dumb. They can see when they are being used.

          So with Farris, I’ll admit that the “What went Wrong?” question was really just my curiosity. I’m not going to give up on Farris just ’cause I haven’t found the way to turn him from the Dark Side.

  • Christopher Foxx

    It speaks volumes about just how hollow your ideology truly is if it can’t stand up in the light, but must instead hide in the darkness like a cockroach.

    A questions I’ve asked a number of “conservatives” and have never gotten an answer to: If you’re so certain your position is right, then why do you have to support it with lies?

    I doubt any of the “conservatives” here will have an answer either.

    • db

      ‘Cmon Chris,

      Ask farris if he’s quit beating his wife.

      Clearly the Conservatives don’t think they’re lying. So the questions ought to be about how & why we view reality differently.

      • Christopher Foxx

        a) It’s not an unfair question if Farris has been beating his wife.

        b) Making the question “why do we view reality differently” presupposes that their view is one of reality. Which it is not. And folks should stop treating them as if their view is as legitimate as one based in reality.

        The best moment in the VP debate was here. Biden shouldn’t have stopped half a syllable short. They are liars. They should be called liars.

        • db

          Really Chris,

          Humility has never been your long suit.

          “A questions I’ve asked a number of “conservatives” and have never gotten an answer to: If you’re so certain your position is right, then why do you have to support it with lies?”

          You’re surprised you’re not getting answers? When you question per-supposes that the Conservative has lied already?

          Tact?

          A Conservative’s opinion is valid. It’s the opinion he chooses to hold. He gets a vote, just like you & me. He has the right to his opinion. I want to see what differs in our respective views of reality. What induces the choices he makes. Where did he get the idea that the stinkingly wealthy are “job creators”? Why does he hold his view in the face of statistical evidence?

          • M2

            “You’re surprised you’re not getting answers? When you question per-supposes that the Conservative has lied already?”

            Really, if any board wingnut said the sky is blue, I’d check. It’s not the rational person’s fault they’re irrational and downright fucking crazy.

          • Christopher Foxx

            I really prefer “Christopher”, db.

            You’re surprised you’re not getting answers? When you question per-supposes that the Conservative has lied already?
            No, not surprised in the slightest. As I indicated, I doubted any conservative would have an answer. But don’t let what I actually said stop you from suggesting I believed the opposite so you could then criticize me for what I didn’t say.

            A Conservative’s opinion is valid. It’s the opinion he chooses to hold. … He has the right to his opinion.

            No, it isn’t valid. Not if it has no basis other than “But it’s what I want to believe.” Any opinion I would have on what course of medical treatment a patient should receive, on how the electrical system should be re-wired, on what should be done about the situation in East Erehwon would be invalid because I have no medical training, understanding of circuits or familiarity with what’s going on over there.

            People may “have a right to their opinion” but if their going to put it forward as something others should consider valid it has to be an informed opinion. Treating every idiot’s opinion as valid when clearly they are not is harmful.

            I want to see what differs in our respective views of reality. What induces the choices he makes. Where did he get the idea that the stinkingly wealthy are “job creators”? Why does he hold his view in the face of statistical evidence?

            When I’ve asked a person why they have to lie to support their view it has always been in the midst of a conversation where the falseness of their assertions has been established. I don’t just ask it out of the blue. It follows after they’ve answered questions very much like those you ask, when the inconsistencies and falsehoods in their answers have already been shown. When their lying is already established. So, yes, when I’ve asked the question it doesn’t “per-supposes [sic] that the Conservative has lied already”. It’s been established that they have.

          • Christopher Foxx

            m2: Really, if any board wingnut said the sky is blue, I’d check.

            Exactly. From their own comments it’s already been well established that a wingnut doesn’t base their opinion on anything based in reality. Yet db would have us treat their view with deferential respect because “everyone is entitled to an opinion” and heaven forbid we suggest the Emperor is naked.

  • db

    Farris,

    Two weeks ago didn’t turn out as you expected. Why was that? I’m not trying to be a smart-alec; I’d really like to know. Did you believe that all the non-Rasmussen polls were skewed? Was it too much Fox? I’d like to explore why you & Frank & Dennis were so certain President Obama was doomed.

    Marco,

    Ryan, as previous VP, has the inside track, if I were betting. He’s got charisma issues but Fox can fix that pretty quickly. I don’t think Santorum is as much of a write-off as you do. He had Romney going in the primaries & is much more compassionate a Candidate.

    West? Maybe. Depends on his funding. I’m not sure the RW will put serious money behind him. After all he makes Herman Cain look rational.

    • M2

      I think Santorum is a write-off only to the American electorate at large. He has nothing better to do than run again and I am sure he will. Ryan, I dunno, I just do see him reentering the melee. I don’t know why. Your reasons for his running are all very valid. I just don’t see it for some reason.

      Nutters West is a done deal because we all know our GOP will not be learning any lessons from their trouncing. 2020? Maybe they’ll have a clue. Maybe.

      • db

        Marco,

        We can put some money on the issue in a couple of years. I think both of us are guessing right now. It really depends on how the EC/SC split I described plays out. A number of EC have little use for the SC right now. I think they’ll get over it & if anything go harder SC next time around. “Moderate Mitt” just didn’t cut it.

        Equally the big RW money is none too happy now. Who will they get behind? In the world of “Citizens United” the amount of money needed to run is MUCH greater.

        West & Rubio are both potential candidates as they fit the mould. “All X are the same, dontcha know & one X guy is as good as any other.” I always thought that is why Michael Steele won the RNC Chairmanship.

        • M2

          Michael Steele was to be the one who brought in minorities to the GOP. Didn’t work out so well for them, did it? Speaking of RNC chairman, I can’t believe they’d stay with Priebus but I haven’t heard of anyone running against him or anyone in the GOP contesting his return, for the matter.

    • SaveFarris

      A fair question deserves a fair response.

      You’d probably be surprised to discover that, outside of Election Night itself, I haven’t watched FNC since … 2007 or so? (And I wouldn’t have watched FNC on Election night if I hadn’t been on the road and had limited viewing options.) If I watch anything, it’s typically MSNBC just because I like arguing with the TV (and they tend towards unprofessionalism that makes their freak-outs schadenfreude-eriffic).

      Why did it not turn out as expected? If I may, I’ll steal liberally from Ace of Spades:

      The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in a very close Super Bowl this past year, in a game most people thought was a toss-up. A game which most people thought would come down to execution and the last few plays (and it did).

      Are the people who thought the Patriots would win crazy? Anti-science? Too Jesusy to understand football?

      Were those who predicted a Giants win geniuses? Their heads Full of Math?

      No. It was a tossup game, and some people guessed one thing, and some people guessed another. There was evidence to support the idea that the Patriots were a stronger team (they performed better all during the season, had a better W-L record) and there was evidence to support the idea that the Giants would win (they had suddenly come alive late in the season and made people sit up and wonder Where the hell has that team been all season? had the Smell of Destiny about them).

      Kind of like the 2012 election, no?

      But if anyone seriously attempted to turn his correct guess into a general proof of his Complete Interdisciplinary Mastery of All Fields, we’d call him an idiot and a fool. And if the tried to claim an incorrect guess was proof that Patriots fans were all stupid and anti-science, we’d call him a lunatic.

      We’d say he was a sad troll trying to turn something trivial — a guess about the outcome of a close toss-up contest — into evidence of something large. Like the fat loser at the bar who still wants to talk about the time he won Trivia Night six years ago.

      400,000 votes spread over a couple of states and we’re having a different conversation. Republicans still need to have “the Conversation” (because let’s be honest: this election shouldn’t have been close to begin with), but they’re not an election away from Whig status as some in the media are trying to sell.

      • Zython

        The problem with the oh so brilliant Ace of Spade’s commentary is that the election happens over a much larger period of time than simply election day. Yes, election day is where it all counts, but the whole cycle shapes the outcome. A better analogy would be the Patriots fans predicting a 75 – 12 blowout in their favor, when the Giants are up 12 – 35 in the last quarter.

        (because let’s be honest: this election shouldn’t have been close to begin with)

        True. Romney, the chronic liar, shouldn’t have been a serious political contender to begin with.

        but they’re not an election away from Whig status as some in the media are trying to sell.

        That would depend on Republicans admitting they were wrong to begin with. Right now, odds of that are slim.

        • Wilbur

          Take it easy on him, Zython, it took him two whole weeks to come up with that rationalization.

      • db

        Farris,

        Thank you for your response. I’ve been mired in “likley voter” indicia with the R supportive polls being more restrictive with who is “likely” to vote. Driving me “batty”

        I’m not sure I agree that the election is like a football game. A lot more people (voters) have a hand in the outcome for example as well as Zython’s commnents. That said, Romney, Ryan, & it seems the entire Republican “Establishment” was truly surprised by the outcome. Frank was supremely confident in Romney 300 EV.

        I can dismiss the Fox Pundits as pushing their product. I can assert that the MSM polls have an interest in promoting the “horse race” analogy & so are always going to show a “close” race”. What I don’t understand is the assertion that the polls were “skewed” when the results show that they weren’t.

        I agree with you that the Republicans are no where near Whig status. The Whigs were torn apart by the slavery issue. I don’t see anything nearly as divisive today, though I do see strong fissures in the Republicans, the EC/SC division that I first posted. Do you see it differently?

  • db

    First off Marco,

    Thank you. I was beginning to feel lonely here.

    The EC have lots of issues, “Limited Government”, “Less Regulation”, “Drill, Baby, Drill”, “Tax Cuts” as Ms. Cole states above. Are they successful issues? I don’t remember a lot of SC topics raised in 1980; but that was a while ago. Do you see it differently? The whole 47% “taker class” is an EC position.

    Can they do without the SC or will the SC splinter off? Or will the SC suck it up & go along. Don’t know & wish we had the trolls to ask. I have trouble seeing the SC going along with nothing to be gained when the Republicans down-play SC issues.

    You’re right though; it’s fun to watch the Republican Pundits suggest “appeal to Latinos” as if there’s a “Latino” button they can push for Latino support.

    • M2

      Someone must have pushed “Latino.” Rubio hot Iowa this past weekend.

      • db

        Rubio’s running for President. Already scoping out the Iowa Caucas.

        Watch for trips to NH.

        Rubio, Ryan, Santorum, who else?

        • M2

          You think Ryan will run? I thought so months ago and believe his reasoning for running with Mitt was to position himself for 2016, but Paul was such a non-issue in the race. A big, fat nothing.

          Santorum returning would be a godsend for Democrats and comedy. I bet we’ll see Alan West give it a shot since he continues to lose the election he already lost on November 6th.

  • SaveFarris

    And liberals are so unafraid of espousing their core beliefs that they … have refused to pass a budget the past 3 years and won’t even commit to passing one during the next Congress either. A party that is “winning on the issues” wouldn’t be so terrified to put their beliefs in writing as are Elected Democrats.

    • db

      Farris!

      Welcome back.

      Still changing the subject. Glad to see that some things don’t change.

      Try getting an acceptable budget through the Republican House.

      There’s a difference between “refused” & “unable”.

      • SaveFarris

        Still changing the subject

        The subject was Oliver’s opinion that Conservatives have to “hide their beliefs” in order to win elections. Just pointing out that liberals themselves haven’t exactly been forthcoming about their vision of government either.

        Try getting an acceptable budget through the Republican House.

        Try getting ANY budget through the Democratic Senate. Something beats nothing everyday and for the past 3 years, Democratics have proposed nothing. It’s a budget measure which means you only need 50 votes (plus Biden) to pass and there’s no filibusters allowed. Surely Democrats can scrounge up enough votes that support such a popular movement!

        Or maybe Democrats don’t want to officially admit that their ideas don’t come close to adding up and they figure by ignoring the issue, the problems we face will just go away and they won’t have to stand behind any unpopular measures.

    • M2

      Looksie! One finally escaped his spider hole. And with the same lame attacks he lost an election with.

      Yaaay!!!!!!

      • M2

        But I do commend your return, in all honesty, SF.

    • enlightened liberal

      Where were you the past 2 weeks? Vacation? What happened in the election, did Romney win?

      Oh, I see now. The voting public over sampled Democrats.

      Who said this only 2 1/2 weeks ago? You did farris, you did!

      Your understanding is incorrect. The issue isn’t that they’re polling more Democrats than Republicans. The issue is that they’re polling more Democrats than actually voted in 2008, the largest “Blue” turnout in an generation. There’s noone in their right mind who thinks that Democrats are MORE fired up than 2008 while Republicans are simultaneously LESS fired up. There’s simply no data whatsoever to justify that. And yet, even though 2008 had a D+5 turnout, we see polls using a sample of D+7, D+9, D+15(!).”

      • M2

        The medicine is harsh, but the patient needs it. It may also cure him of his willful ignorance of how a budget gets passed.

  • M2

    I’ve been laughing at the GOP’s circular advice firing squad of late. Seems every few days one of them recommends their party lay off social issues. What? That’s 99% of their core. If it’s your bedroom, your womb, your church – it’s their business. What else is left or what’s the one percent? Smaller government (which they say they want until you cut one service they need) and defense, which they’ve proven they suck at.

  • db

    Ms. Cole (above the fold) describes my definition of the EC branch of the Republicans. She’s got little use for the SC; asserting the SC cost the Republicans votes.

    The question is whether they cost more votes than they bring in. Ms. Cole has her opinion.

  • db

    Oliver,

    You really get tied up in your definitions of Conservatism. Is “Compassionate Conservatism” not Conservatism? Were Bush, Sr. of Jr. not Conservatives? If you adopt the Tea Party definition; then you’re probably right. But you can define any political movement to alienate the vast majority of Americans. And yes, the left has their crazies too.

    But more than a definitional problem; I think you’re looking at a split in the Conservative movement. In broad strokes you have the Social Conservatives & the Economic Conservatives. They do not necessarily agree on the main policies to be adopted by the Government.

    The SC are what you might call the Religious Right. Abortion, Pledge of Allegiance, Traditional Families, Immigration, those are their issues. They are not necessarily fans of “small government”, “wall street bailouts” or the “war du jour”. They can even get downright Progressive in care for the needy.

    The EC are the “Small Government” crowd. Cutting taxes, cutting services, State’s Rights, are the issues. But they aren’t particularly interested the the SC issues; which is why so few SC issues are pushed during EC Republican Administrations. If you recall the Bush Immigration Plan turned out to be too liberal for the SC in his Party.

    There may be a third branch which I may call the “war mongers” whose focus is the military-industrial complex.

    It’s not as much lying about Conservatism as trying to paper over the chasms that separate the branches of the Republican Party in an effort to create the 50%+1 that Karl Rove (accurately) points out is needed to win elections. Your response that that in itself is an EC position is conceded.

    Frank DiSalle has welched on his bet. I hope he is proud of stiffing the Homeless Shelter of the $25 he owed them.

    And yes, the Democrats have crazies too. Anything can be taken too far.