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What is Conservatism?

I am blogging from the Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference in Raleigh, NC. I am currently sitting in an inmigration panel discussion, but wanted to report a few interesting things. First things first, though -- I got a hug from Michael Steele! I am sure that is not nearly as exciting to read as it was to experience, but I could not resist sharing. Okay, on to things that might be of interest to somebody other than me..

One of the topics of discussion that keeps popping up here is how conservatism is defined. Steele had an amusing illustration of how he defines conservatism. He told the joke about a conservative and a liberal walking down the street and coming upon a homeless man. The conservative hands him his business card invites him to come into his office to talk about a job, then he hands him twenty dollars. The liberal, not wanting to be outdone, points the man to the nearest welfare office and then hands him fifty dollars from the conservative's pocket.

There are some here who feel very strongly that Giuliani cannot be a conservative because of his positions on abortion, gay rights and gun control. Evidently there are enough here that do not think that is the case, though that in this conservative leadership group, Giuliani came in first in the straw poll. Interestingly, Fred Thompson came in a strong second. I will have more about those results later, but thought that was interesting considering how conservative this group is. To be fair, though, Giuliani was the only candidate that spoke to this group in person and I am sure that had something to do with his strong finish.

More later, but I expect we will be hearing a lot about who can and cannot be labeled conservative this primary season.

Update: Here is an article about the speech Rudy gave in Raleigh yesterday and some blogging from the conference can be found at Red Clay Citizen.

Update II: Dean Stephens posted a great rundown of the event, with lots of pictures, here and here.


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<a href="http://fredthompso... (Below threshold)
"One of the topics of di... (Below threshold)

"One of the topics of discussion that keeps popping up here is how conservatism is defined. Steele had an amusing illustration of how he defines conservatism. He told the joke about a conservative and a liberal walking down the street and coming upon a homeless man. The conservative hands him his business card invites him to come into his office to talk about a job, then he hands him twenty dollars. The liberal, not wanting to be outdone, points the man to the nearest welfare office and then hands him fifty dollars from the conservative's pocket."

It would appear from your definition, Lorie, that there is no definition of conservatism except as it relates to others. In your example a conservative is defined by the way they differ from a liberal. I think that's fitting. One of the definitions of conservatism that fits my view is that a conservative isn't really "for" anthing, so much as they are "against" certain things. Your post illustrates this -- that "there is no there, there" when it comes to conservatism.

The average conservative (using your example above) would be more prone to completely ignore the homeless man than the average liberal, don't you agree? In fact, the conservative would be much more likely to call the cops to have the homeless man removed from the sidewalk, don't you agree? The whole idea of a "compassionate conservative" has pretty much been debunked as nothing more than just another campaign lie.

I think I can guess what wa... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

I think I can guess what was on the business card:

"Pimp"

Lee,The reason that ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Lee,
The reason that a conservative might be more tempted to help the homeless man than to give him things like failed government programs is because conservatives believe in a person doing things for themselves. Liberals are collectivists that believe that things should be taken from the "well-off" members of a group and handed to the "less-fortunate" in said group. This is inherently unfair to the "well-off" individuals. a conservative would believe that the "well-off" individual has worked for what he has obtained while the straggler typically delved into drugs or alcohol. They may need help, but ultimately the freedom this country gives is the freedom to make good or bad decisions. A conservative believes in consequences for one's decisions. A liberal thinks there should be a social safety net so that any straggler or even to go as far as certain degenerates are given more help than the average person in order to make that person "equal" to everyone else.

The fact that conservatives don't try to help anyone is just, as Lee stated, "another campaign lie" perpetrated BY Liberals and people like Lee

"tempted to help an homeles... (Below threshold)
jeff:

"tempted to help an homeless man" Is it a sin to help those less fortunate?

oh, and i meant to mention ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

oh, and i meant to mention the class envy aspect of all this. Liberals want to punish big business and the "Evil Rich" for having things that not everyone has. They want to punish anyone who is successful and elevate anyone who is unsuccessful.

Look at how liberals try to limit speech and how liberals are trying to get rid of the 2nd amendment. Also look how liberals have a fevered support of the sick act of partial birth abortion.

If liberals really cared about people they would support ADULT stem cell research, since it is the only successful stem cell treatment at this point. Embryonic stem cells have actually shown to be worse for people in many studies. Liberals don't fight to help anyone. They fight political battles with the purpose of helping people as the underlying lie.
Look at the war in Iraq. They want to "Support the troops by bringing them home". In the ignorance of that statement they fail to realize that by bringing the troops home, they also will bring radical islamists home following our exit. In doing that, the democrats will have ensured the death of countless innocent civilians. Which is worse? fighting a battle over seas with troops in which the casualites by any measurable standard are miniscule? or would thousands more innocent civilians have to die so that the liberals can "Support the troops by bringing them home".

At best this is a pie in the sky statement that is so ignorant of the real world that anyone who utters shouldn't be in a position to make a decision more important than what shoes to wear for the day.

Lee , you belong in a wa... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Lee , you belong in a ward. Isn't it getting old yet? Whiny snot nosed liars calling everybody else a liar? Democrats are the party of fraud and lies , they own it free and clear. The Democrat Party owes its existense to their parroting Media and Immoral Hollywood. They survive only by lying through their teeth , corruption, false claims and accusations.

Oh almost forgot , they "BUY VOTES" too. Voter fraud , election fraud ......Is there anything that democrats actually do? work for ? earn by merit?

There all talk (LIES).

Democrats/Liberals want yo... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Democrats/Liberals want you to go to them everyday to beg for a fish. Americans/Conservatives/Republicans want to see to it that you have the means to go out and fish for as many fish as you want.


And that fish the Dims give you , it's not free. You owe them your vote or else.


Conservatism is threefold: ... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Conservatism is threefold: Federal conservatives generally want a smaller federal government. Fiscal conservatives want either less money to be spent or for it to be better-spent (ie, it's OK to spend money so long as the returns are greater). Social conservatives prefer traditional social morales.

They may overlap but not necessarily always work together.

The whole idea of ... (Below threshold)
The whole idea of a "compassionate conservative" has pretty much been debunked
"Debunked" by who, Lee? And when? And by what criteria?

Because if we use charitable giving as a measure, conservatives outshineliberals leftists everytime.

Leftists never want to put their own money where their mouth is.

Also look how liberals h... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Also look how liberals have a fevered support of the sick act of partial birth abortion.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also opposes the ban. Who is more qualified to comment on a medical procedure: Congress or doctors?

If liberals really cared about people they would support ADULT stem cell research, since it is the only successful stem cell treatment at this point.

Name a liberal who opposes adult stem cell research. Nice try. Liberals support ALL stem cell research because you can't know in advance which types are going to yield results. If adult stem cells prove useful and all others prove worthless, the research "market" will focus all future research on adult cells, and all other research will cease. Don't conservatives oppose artificial constraints on a free market?

Look at the war in Iraq. They want to "Support the troops by bringing them home".

It's not supporting the troops to want them alive and with their families rather than dying in an Iraqi civil war in which the likely winner is an ally with Iran? Your definition of supporting the troops is keeping them in a war zone in which their tours of duty are repeatedly extended in direct contradiction to what they and the American people were told. And then putting them in Walter Reed when they do come home. Nice "support".

In the ignorance of that statement they fail to realize that by bringing the troops home, they also will bring radical islamists home following our exit.

Irrational scare tactic. No reasoned person could ever defend that position.

At best this is a pie in the sky statement that is so ignorant of the real world that anyone who utters shouldn't be in a position to make a decision more important than what shoes to wear for the day.

Hmm, you must be referring to statements like "weeks, not months", "greeted as liberators", "last throes", etc. Those are the people who should no longer be in a position to make decisions. Talk about "people so ignorant of th real world"!

"Debunked" by who, Lee? ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Debunked" by who, Lee? And when? And by what criteria?

Start here.

In the modern cont... (Below threshold)
In the modern context, the term also suggests acceptance of government responsibility--since private charity has never been sufficient to relieve social distress.
And there's the tell. A leftist publication making an assertion based solely on its own leftist definition of "authentic" compassion.

No no... private charity, volunteerism, neighbors helping neighbors doesn't count. Only how much the GOVERNMENT gives counts.

Thanks for proving my point, Brian.

Leftists are all about giving, with someone else's money.

For some, its just moral confusion..they see "need" trumping "rights".

But for others, it is just a means to an end... to make a much more compliant populace to Left cultism by making them dependant on the government instead of themselves.

No wonder the apologia from the Left about fundie Islamists... the Left has a certain amount of authoritarianism-envy when viewing those hostile to Western values.

Irrational scare t... (Below threshold)
Irrational scare tactic
Really? So what about Spain, who fled Iraq after the terrorist bombing in Madrid in order to appease al Queda who demanded Spanish surrender. That's worked out well, eh?

The US should expect less?

Lee, No I don't agre... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Lee,
No I don't agree with anything you said. Not even a little bit. Actually I wanted to say it was the stupidest thing I have ever read, but didn't want to be impolite. Re-read it. Several times if you have to. How you could get that the conservative is less likely to help the homeless man from my post is beyond comprehension. In a very widely read un-PC book that you have surely heard of there is a story about giving a man a fish and teaching a man to fish. Surely you have heard that one.

The man in Steele's story gave the homeless man some money, to help him in the short term, but more importantly invited him to interview for a job to help him stand on his own. You could not have been talking about the example Steele cited, but were rather perpetuating a stereotype, which, if you look at the amount of money conservatives vs. liberals give to charity, will find to be an incorrect stereotype. Conservatives believe that individuals, the private market and private charities (some of them even, gasp, faith-based) are better at helping the disadvantaged than government programs. It is actually a pretty simple concept to grasp. At least I thought it was before I read your comment.

As for conservatism being against everything and no "there there" etc., puhleeze. You know what conservatives are for -- lower taxes, greater personal responsibility, etc. I was referring more to the social conservative/fiscal/defense conservative dynamic. Some social conservatives say if you are not conservative on social issues then you can't be called a conservative. That is what I was referring to.

Why is Lee posting here? He... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Why is Lee posting here? He now has WizbangBlue to spread his collectivist ideas.

Conservative today means do... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Conservative today means do as I say not as I do.

Have "family values" but get "massages" from escort services or seek out Congressional pages for flesh time.

Give welfare to the rich and call it tax cuts.

Support the troops by giving them inadequate protective armor and moldy rat infested medical facilities.

Strip those who come from families whose mothers or fathers are either too young or too uneducated to understand the responsibility of procreating and blame them for their irresponsibility compunded by society's shunning from any mental health assistance. Also make sure all women are made to feel inadequate if they don't breed thus encouraging the continuance of dependent dsyfunctional children and adults.

Kick the person who is down so they might disappear from the radar of the more fortunate. Medical bills, job loss, war trauma, death or depression, are not considered viable reasons for not pulling oneself up by ones bootstraps. One can be medicated legally with prescription drugs particulalrly since the poor can afford doctors and drugs to pull oneself up or according to Mother Bush they probably are happier where they are.

So hey. let's all get behind this form of new conservatism. Let's make sure the 10% win the class struggle and those conservatives in the other 90% who agree with them continue to lick their boots.

Really? So what about Sp... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Really? So what about Spain, who fled Iraq after the terrorist bombing in Madrid in order to appease al Queda who demanded Spanish surrender. That's worked out well, eh?

You've just proven my point, thoroughly and clearly. Spain was attacked even though they had troops in Iraq. So as for the "fight them there so we don't fight them here" argument... that's worked out well, eh?

And I know that you are not really going to claim with a straight face that if Spain had actually kept their 1300 troops in Iraq that would somehow have resulted in AQ fleeing Spain.

No no... private charity... (Below threshold)
Brian:

No no... private charity, volunteerism, neighbors helping neighbors doesn't count. Only how much the GOVERNMENT gives counts.

The "leftist definition" you purport to cite examines government assistance, and claims (and you even quoted), "private charity has never been sufficient to relieve social distress". Your accusation of of "only how much government gives counts" comes from nowhere but your mind.

Name a western country that relies solely on private charity without government assistance to relieve social distress. If you can't, then the "leftist definition" is accurate, and your hand-waving dismissal is baseless.

Lorie,What needs t... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Lorie,

What needs to be hashed out is why Conservatism let itself be suckered into believing a New (Neo) Conservatism was needed to supplant it. And are these Neoconservatives "conservative" at all? (Ask somebody there and watch their eyes scan for QUICK exit from that one!)

Ask: are Trotskyites cum Neo-liberals "conservative" just by changing their name to suit the post-Reagan political landscape?

Their perpetual war program (sketched out well BEFORE 9/11 in PNAC, etc) has seemed to have as its real purpose, the erosion of the Peoples' constitutional rights at home, while leaving the Ends of the PATRIOT Act vacant, and using its Means as an excuse for more abridgements in the future. (ex: Where's bin-Ladin? ROE in Iraq? National ID papers, SPP, etc.Very un-conservative.)

Case in point: The neoconservative love affair of submerging the people and 1st world economy of the USA with that of Mexico on every level that harms our nation but helps the other, ie. Open Borders. property ownership for mex nationals allowed here, closed to Americans there. (There used to be a term called The Commonweal. Open borders junks it in the name of Mammon.)

[APB: Mexican truckers coming to a neighborhood near you on April 1. Full access. Blog them on that Lorie!]

Anyway, don't let them schmooze the commonsense out of you. And if you see the neocon Frank Gaffney, please tell him to quit spreading the lie about Lincoln wishing to hang dissenters. typical neocon talking point, attemping to re-inforce their un-American positions, taking us for fools, yet in their arrogance, betraying their communistic Big Lie methods for all to see.

Of course, being arrogant poindexters, the neocons will never quite succeed in their plans. But there will be collateral damage and good people will be sacrificed (Iraq, drunk-driving wetbacks, etc.)

The man in Steele's stor... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The man in Steele's story gave the homeless man some money, to help him in the short term, but more importantly invited him to interview for a job to help him stand on his own.

But that's where it ended. What about the rest of the story? Like when the conservative determines that the man is unqualified and undereducated for the job he envisioned for him, and tosses him back onto the street with a lecture about cleaning himself up, going back to school, and then coming back see him when he takes responsibility for himself?

It's absurd to base your argument on this fictitious scenario, but if you insist on it then you should follow it through.

Civil behavior wrote:... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Civil behavior wrote:

"Conservative today means do as I say not as I do.

Have "family values" but get "massages" from escort services or seek out Congressional pages for flesh time.

Give welfare to the rich and call it tax cuts."...

You really don't want to go down that road, do you? Since you went there... let's look at liberal do as I say, not as I do:

Say you are consumed with compassion for the poor, but don't give beans to charity compared to conservatives.

Say you are running your campaign on the issue of poverty while you build a 25,000 square foot house and get 400 dollar haircuts.

Say you care about the environment and that the little man should give up his SUV, but fly private jets.

Say you are for women's rights and abhor sexual harassment, then defend a man accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and even rape, and that does not even include the intern stuff.

Say you are outraged by a congressman's dirty IM messages to a page and that his entire party should be blamed for it, but support a Dem congressman having sex with a 17 year old page.

Say you support the troops, then say they have lost the war while they are still fighting it.

Say Republicans are the party of corruption, and should not be elected, but support the re-election of a man with $100,000 in frozen cash.

This is getting boring.

Oh, as for the comment about tax cuts being welfare for the rich, that just shows the difference in a nutshell. Conservatives believe money belongs to the individual. Liberals believe the government is entitled to our money and that any they let a "rich person" keep is welfare. Absolutely brilliant. You described liberalism better than I ever could have.

defend a man accused of.... (Below threshold)
Brian:

defend a man accused of...

Well, there's one tenet of conservativism that snuck in there. That you mock the act of defending the accused (and uncharged).

It is worth noting that so ... (Below threshold)
SoSo:

It is worth noting that so many of what people label as "conservative" politicians are, traditionally, fully embracing socialism-lite. The choices offered in many elections today is between socialism-lite, and socialism-the-original-flavor, with perhaps socialism-new-and-improved a third option.

The reason for this, I propose, is that forced redistribution of wealth, when done on a small enough scale, does indeed lead to an ok-society. Perhaps not optimal, but sufferable at least.

No Republican candidate will campaign against Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, etc. And why should they? By far the majority of Americans accept the idea that the government has a responsibility to provide a security net.

I myself have benefitted in the past from government assistance... how can I now demean it?

All I hope for is that there remains enough of an entrepreneurial spirit in the US to keep new job and business creation alive. As long as we continue to allow risk takers to have their rewards I think we will be ok.

"Conservatives believe mone... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Conservatives believe money belongs to the individual.-Lori"

Yeah, in 1928 they still did, a bit.

Ask about the speakers' and attendees' view on the FAIR Tax.

http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_main

It means no more IRS. I'd say that's a political winner.

And I know that yo... (Below threshold)
And I know that you are not really going to claim with a straight face that if Spain had actually kept their 1300 troops in Iraq that would somehow have resulted in AQ fleeing Spain.
What ever you're smokin' Brian, back away.

Guess what, each and every day criminals commit crime. Armed robbery, burglary, rape, murder, mayhem. And the police and courts do what they can to take the crimnal off the street and prevent more crime.

Just because a city fields a police force and crime still happens doesn't mean the police force has "failed" and its time to just "give up" and not do the hard things anymore.

Certainly Spain would still be as much in AQ's sights if they kept their troops in Iraq as if they withdrew. AQ and Islamism is an evil ideology that is not going to change. So the only way of dealing with them is to contain 'em and blunt their efforts as much as possible.

You honestly believe that the US would be off AQ's or Islamic Jihad or Hamas or Hizbolleh or any of the myriad of anti-human Islamist death cults out there if we just surrended like Harry Reid wants? Come on now...it's like withdrawing the police from a gangbanger infested part of a city.

Soso No Republi... (Below threshold)

Soso

No Republican candidate will campaign against Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, etc.
You're mixing a few things there. Social Security is paid for by the employee and employer. The government is allegedly holding the money as a "pension" and distributing it when a person reaches retirement. Ditto Medicare.

Those were NOT to be "redistribution" schemes, but to allow people who (at the time) had no access to union pensions/health plans to have some sort of guaranteed retirement benefits.

Again...what we have is leftists who believe people are untrustworthy of providing for themselves and MUST have every need provided by the government and conservatives (classical liberals) who believe that leaving as much decision in how to provide for one's life should be left to the individual.

A leftist is not interested in how a person became a "victim", they are only interested in how many "victims" they can identify, how many "victimizers" they can blame and how to propose newer and more intrusive government agencies to help the "victims" and punish the "victimizers".

That's why leftists so vehemently hate people like Dr. Rice ... people who refuse to wallow in their designated station as eternal victim.er

Doesn't fit the Left cult narrative.

"defend a man accused of...... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

"defend a man accused of...

Well, there's one tenet of conservativism that snuck in there. That you mock the act of defending the accused (and uncharged)." -- brian

I was not "mocking" the act of defending "the accused", I should have more specifically stated that the accused I referred to was Bill Clinton, but figured it was pretty obvious. I said accused because he was not convicted. Neither was OJ, by the way. Unfortunately there was no DNA collected from any of his bimbo eruptions except Monica's.

Dems are all about defending the accused, aren't they Brian? I think about the frog marching the Dems have been dreaming of for Karl Rove. Has he been charged with anything? Or do you just defend the accused when they are Dems with their pants around their ankles or $100,000 in their freezers?

Speaking of defending the accused, what about all the liberals that visit this site and others declaring Bush a war criminal, a liar about WMD (when they know he didn't), and worse? Sorry, but he hasn't been convicted of anything either. I guess you need to start defending him if you want to be true to your ideals.

Oh, and it was liberals that rushed out and declared "the accused" Duke lacrosse players guilty without a trial. Y

Bryan:The man in ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Bryan:
The man in Steele's story gave the homeless man some money, to help him in the short term, but more importantly invited him to interview for a job to help him stand on his own.

But that's where it ended. What about the rest of the story? Like when the conservative determines that the man is unqualified and undereducated for the job he envisioned for him, and tosses him back onto the street with a lecture about cleaning himself up, going back to school, and then coming back see him when he takes responsibility for himself?

It's absurd to base your argument on this fictitious scenario, but if you insist on it then you should follow it through.

Ok bryan, why not follow through on the lib aspect of the story? By the example, the best this guy will ever get is $50 out of the conservatives pocket via the liberal money snatcher and a permanent spot in a welfare line. At least the conservative is willing to give the man a shot at something bigger than a welfare line and a life of government dependence.

Oh, and i second the notion that Lee should go back to wizbang blue. If we wanna see what he has to say we'll go over there and attempt to suffer through the irrationality and hate speech.

"What is Conservatism?"<... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"What is Conservatism?"

The answer is obvious, "GOOD".

That's is why it is always under attack by evil(liberals).

Dave, I think you mean "Bri... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Dave, I think you mean "Brian", not "bryan". Brian's cool but bryan doesn't do philosophical exercises. Not since this Romanian girl I knew. Sex and Socrates. In that order! Ugh! Everything's a Question!

"Americans/Conservatives... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

"Americans/Conservatives/Republicans want to see to it that you have the means to go out and fish for as many fish as you want. "

No, not quite, Rob. The Conservative would import cheaper mercury polluted fish from Sri Lanka or the Peoples' Republic to force you to sell your surplus fish at a loss. Then you'd be bought out for pennies on the dollar by a corporate conglomerate that would, in turn, jack the price of the imported fish.

RE Wieder:Sometime... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

RE Wieder:

Sometimes people come up with such idiotic things that they truly leave me speechless.

Welcome to the new America.

Well, Eric, so what? As a ... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

Well, Eric, so what? As a speechless Conservative you've already demonstrated that you are both "dumb" and dumber.

Liberalism today means do a... (Below threshold)
Murphy:

Liberalism today means do as I say not as I do.

Private jets and mansions with gargantuan electric bills for me, but not for thee.

29,000 sq ft houses and $400 haircuts from campaign funds for me, but not for thee.

Really Weider, you are the ... (Below threshold)

Really Weider, you are the cheapest form of slander.

The fishing allegory is utterly right.

Republicans want to teach people to fish, so they are self-sufficient; Democrats want to provide people the fish, so they are forever dependent on the government for fish.

Lee is back to his Lie-Alleger-in-Chief role, in light of the paucity of debate over at his new place.

It seems that Liberals are ... (Below threshold)
DCE:

It seems that Liberals are always striving for equality of outcome, and conservatives strive for equality of opportunity.

If some of the more radical liberals had their way we'd be living the nightmare of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron where everyone is equal, no matter what. I don't know about you, but I sure as heck wouldn't want to live in such a hellish dystopia.

"The Conservative?"<... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"The Conservative?"

Don't you mean , Business owner?

Also you fail to mention the Liberal that was paid to go illegally dispose of toxic waste causing the fish to be contaminated. Sorta like when BJ Clinton Knowingly sold tainted blood to Canada from prisioners in Arkasas when we was just a common criminal Democrat Governor.

RobLA: Daddy Bush an... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

RobLA:
Daddy Bush and BJ worked together running drugs through the Mena airport. That's why they're buddies to this day. George W is just the son of a fancy crook who put him in the front office of the Texas Rangers to give him a job worthy of the Bush name. A dumbed-down nation elected him in the manner BJ was elected. Rich man, poor man. Clinton has the tainted blood, W covered-up the anthrax breach at the Army's testing lab. Could have killed a million people. Noblesse without the oblige.

Asking what makes a Conserv... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Asking what makes a Conservative a conservative is an excellent, and should be revisited every few years--especially in times like now when we envelop such a wide variety.

... you are both "dumb" and dumber.

"Dumbfounded" is the word for which you are searching so frantically.

Certainly Spain would st... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Certainly Spain would still be as much in AQ's sights if they kept their troops in Iraq as if they withdrew.

Wow, great. You just both defended and shredded your own argument. Well done. You're a good conservative to share a thread with, since you do my job for me.

You honestly believe that the US would be off AQ's or Islamic Jihad or Hamas or Hizbolleh or any of the myriad of anti-human Islamist death cults out there

Nope. But feel free to make things up that you can ascribe to me.

if we just surrended

Only your camp calls it "surrender".

like Harry Reid wants?

That phrase has an error. It should be "like 75% of America wants".

You just both def... (Below threshold)
You just both defended and shredded your own argument.
Excuse me? Spain withdrew at AQ's demand, backed up by a terrorist threat, because they believed (erroneously) that AQ would then leave them alone. But it didn't happen.

Appeasing people with evil intentions never works. Spain is as much in AQ's crosshairs as if they never left Iraq. Spain's appeasement strategy didn't work.

Just as Reid's Surrender policy won't work.

You can feed the crocodile only so long.

I should have more speci... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I should have more specifically stated that the accused I referred to was Bill Clinton

Duh, gee, really? Thanks for clearing that up.

I think about the frog marching the Dems have been dreaming of for Karl Rove. Has he been charged with anything?

Ah, so you do support defending the "accused"! Which makes your condemnation of it earlier all the more incongruent.

Excuse me? Spain withdre... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Excuse me? Spain withdrew at AQ's demand, backed up by a terrorist threat, because they believed (erroneously) that AQ would then leave them alone.

You're apparently not aware that Spain withdrew AFTER the Madrid train bombings. As I said, the "fight them there so we don't have to fight them here" argument doesn't pass the laugh test.

The left wingers got their ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

The left wingers got their own Wizbang Blue site? The deuce you say! Then why do they continue to foul this one?

My fellow conservatives: Wh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

My fellow conservatives: Why are you even letting the dimmers explain to you what a conservative is? They haven't a clue. All the dimmers I know, which is many, have their hand out. An example: Middle class kids have lap tops. Now the dimmers want the government to provide lap tops for the "disadvantaged." See how it works. Ones family earns the advantage, the other need not try to earn it. That sums up lefties. Conservatives can stand proud that they are for success, personal responsibility, loyalty and integrity. Words the left just don't understand. ww

"Liberalism today means do ... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

"Liberalism today means do as I say not as I do.

Private jets and mansions with gargantuan electric bills for me, but not for thee.

29,000 sq ft houses and $400 haircuts from campaign funds for me, but not for thee."

1 question: how many iraq war architects served in the military? how many deferments did dick cheney get?

err, i guess that would be ... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

err, i guess that would be 2 questions.

Lorie, Let me help... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Lorie,

Let me help you salve your conscience.

Beginning by squaring your charity to the poor as encouraging any less dependency than what the govt gives to the poor is a hoot. Because YOU give money to charity to use for the poor versus the govt giving it to the poor through their programs? Try dirtying your hands and pressing flesh amongst the poor and discover the real people behind the screen. Keeping the problem at arms length by giving money is for you not for them.

There is not one progressive Democrat out here that will condone the excesses of ANY politician abusing energy resources. The difference between republicans like you and progressives like me is that you condemn it but then deny that the excess is causing the most chilling, cataclysmic changes on earth yet experienced by mankind. You only want to condemn for the action (hot air)whereas we go the needed step further and want to protect from excess because of consequence.


As a progressive I am for women's rights. In fact you likely would not be doing what you do today if it wasn't for progressives like myself standing up for those rights years ago. The problem is among republicans like yourself who want to turn back the clock on rights. ALL rights. Men's domination of women's right to privacy and freedom of choice is unacceptable at all levels but making man's infidelity to women the crux of your so called platform of reform is missing the bigger picture. Your argument simply acquiesces to bringing on the burqua's, but that's your choice not mine.

I do support the troops, you don't. If you did you would admit the debate is over even among the Iraqi's. This has always been their country and we had no business invading. It has devolved into a civil war (big surprise) thus whose side are we on? Our occupation has become the nexus of insurgent attacks. There will be chaos as long as we are there and long after we are gone. I admit it, I want to save kids lives. Obviously you think they are still going to find the wmds.

Oh, this is getting boring.

P.S. The class structure in this nation has evovled to where there is a 10% population that owns the other 90%. What percentage do you fall into Lorie?

And btw the front page today on the Palm Beach Post has statistics on the water usage that some of the staunch republicans on the island who have been using over a million gallons of water a month (thats correct, over a million) but now their huge expanses of lawn during the water restrictions brought on by the drought we are experiencing are turning brown. Boo Hoo. To think they will return to such egregious waste when and if we get the needed rain is simply another blatant case of the republican mantra......ME, ME, ME and in all case of free market explotation of the resources....ME FIRST. Tell me Lorie, isn't that who you support?

Yes it's those republicans ... (Below threshold)

Yes it's those republicans who buy the big mansion on the Vineyard, rip up acres of wetland vegetation to install a sod lawn and a 45' long barbecue pit -- all for the Big Fundraiser for one of their pets.

Me, me me.

what an idiot.

"tempted to help an homeles... (Below threshold)
-S-:

"tempted to help an homeless man"
Is it a sin to help those less fortunate?
Posted by: jeff at April 28, 2007 04:26 PM
------------------------------------------

The issue there is what it means to "help" someone. Helping someone figure out and resolve their marginal or bad (or needy) situation isn't always, if ever on a thorough level, doing for them.

If someone's completely incapacitated (or near to that, as in, broken bones, unable to walk, can't survive without immediate medical care, mentally incompetent, choking, things of this nature), then of course it's helping them to do for them, to literally do everything in the world possible to sustain their lives. At least, immediatel and through to some degree of independence and ability has been restored for/to them.

But giving people money isn't always "help" that solves much of anything unless they're hungry and homeless and utterly destitute, and only then the money would meet immediate needs and do nothing to resolve their ongoing hunger/homelessness/needs.

The idea of really helping someone is to help THEM figure out how to help themselves and then to encourage them to do so. Again, unless a person is far beneath the average human being in functioning ability and without expectation to ever resume functional ability, the actual help is to give them a step up and then teach them to build their own steps, and then to use them -- at least invite them to look at your steps and suggest ideas to them as to where and how they can get the materails needed to build their own steps.

Tossing a homeless man/woman twenty dollars will help them buy dinner and perhaps breakfast but it will soon be gone and they'll still be homeless unless something intervenes in the causes and conditions that render them homeless. And THAT is help.

A lot of Liberals will plead and protest for money to be spent on projects/conditions that theoretically "should" "help" "people" but they won't speak to their neighbors and often don't even know who their neighbors are, and, if they do , they have little to nothing to do with them. And pass others in their neighborhoods on the street and look past them, while perhaps that person is in "need" and quite lonely and then goes home and feels hopless and isolated. There aren't many welfare programs that address those conditions but contact with the neighbors/neighborhood often does help restore a lonely neighbor to a nicer and more productive state of being.

Most Conservatives focus on those finer points, in my experience, with the right word and contact at the right time with an opportunity here and there...Liberals tend to lecture and criticise and omit the subtle and more important interpersonal moments that are the real "helps" in our human world.

Great link, there, wavemake... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Great link, there, wavemaker.

But about Guiliani, I don't... (Below threshold)
-S-:

But about Guiliani, I don't think the issue is as who "gets to be called a Conservative" (and who doesn't) but as to who represents the most on the list of significant issues that a voter regards as most emergent and important as to hopes and goals as to what he/she thinks our government should represent, be used for (and by whom).

I think Guiliani is utterly entertaining and a fascinating guy. He's certainly intelligent and capable as an administrator. I'm sure he makes a wonderful friend and that he's an inspiring leader, especially in tough times.

I don't dislike him nor find him objectionable as a person. I just disagree with him on a few very important issues and I don't anticipate that he'd be working to protect and defend those issues, so much as servicing the problem, so to speak.

Thus, I remain uncommitted to voting for Guiliani for THE PRESIDENCY, not critical of him nor refusing to agree to let him be described with whatever label...

I DO think these labels, though, are important to attempt to maintain understandable. Numbers of Liberals became "Republicans" in recent times (Reagan years and after) and reframed the concept of what and who a Conservative was, thus, changing the issues and literally moving the goalposts...much as Guiliani has.

Many alleged Conservative blogges, for example also, are not at all Conservative but align with the GOP (and the Conservative label) because they want to protect Israel and maintain U.S. military presence in the Middle East toward that end. And yet they're social Liberals otherwise (like Guiliani). What that accomplishes is that the term is modified and anyone not in their midst then becomes "the Rightwing" and "fringe" and things of that nature.

I think it's important to continue to try to define who is Conservative but not in a nasty or derisive sense, but to concentrate on the issues. That doesn't mean that a lot of us don't think Guiliani is a neat guy (I think he is). It just means that the issues are what's important, and upon those issues the best representative is, hopefully, then selected to lead.




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