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How to Make the Republican Party a Big Tent: Fiscal Conservatism is the Answer

Freeman Hunt has a post that is spot on accurate:

You want a big tent? It's fiscal conservatism. The people are overwhelmingly in favor of it.

You offer that, you follow through on it, and you get the Republicans, the moderates, and a sizable chunk of disaffected Democrats.

Everything else is beside the point right now. You lose the fiscal conservative fight now and allow the United States to head deeper into Statism, and it's over. If the government controls healthcare, it will "[redefine] the relationship between the citizen and the state in a way that hands all the advantages to statists." You can kiss freedom goodbye in the longterm.

So instead of utterly failing our future generations, leaving them to toil under the yoke of an obscenely powerful government, we should make our stand now. Embrace fiscal conservatism. Leave the rest to federalism.

This Freeman Hunt person is right. The American people know that their freedom and liberty are directly tied to how the government spends their tax dollars. If the government is geared toward big government social programs, then not only will the American people be taxed to the point that they won't have much money to enjoy their lives, but their actions will be heavily controlled by the statist government. I believe this goes to the heart of why Scott Brown won last Tuesday.


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Comments (19)

Exactly! The 'purists' can... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Exactly! The 'purists' can get fucked. You cannot get a majority to agree on EVERYTHING, but you can put a viable coalition together that agrees on MAJOR issues.

I agree with this. You'd ev... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I agree with this. You'd even get some of the Ron Paul people.

Y'know, GF, you can call us purists all the names in the book, but I'll say we're doing a better job of making the GOP stronger than what others have done. The GOP has come to the point where their DNA is unrecognizable to what it once was. That has occurred through compromising our principles to the point of eliminating any differentiation between us and the Democrats. At some point in time you've got call this insanity and start holding the line. McCain's nomination was the breaking point for me. But, I agree with making fiscal conservatism the bar. It's a huge step from where we've been and what we have allowed. Socialism is socialism, whether it's perpetuated by a (D) or an (R).

The American people know... (Below threshold)
Clay:

The American people know that their freedom and liberty are directly tied to how the government spends their tax dollars.

BTW, this is an excellent point and I think it resonates. It's also at the core of the Tea Party movement.

I agree. Polls show the mo... (Below threshold)
kevino:

I agree. Polls show the most Americans are fiscal conservatives and social liberals. Polls show that most are willing to accept the idea of less government even if that means less services. The GOP or the Tea Party can make a very strong case for the idea that fiscal conservatism is the only way to save the country from disaster.

But here's one big problem: the moment the GOP talks about fiscal responsibility the DNC will respond with an accurate history of GOP spending from 1994 - 1998, when they controlled the federal government, and it will give the DNC an opportunity to bring up the name "Bush". Let's face it, when the GOP ran the government, they were spending us into the ground. The GOP has no credibility in that area.

Unless ...

The GOP needs to get out in front about this problem. I advise the Domino's Pizza strategy. The GOP needs to tell the public that their past product sucked, they need to apologize, they need to tell the public what they are going to do differently this time, and they need to ask the public for another chance.

Otherwise, what's their argument? That they weren't as corrupt then as the Democrats are now? That didn't spend the country into disaster nearly as fast as the Democrats are now? That's not a great marketing strategy. Just because garbage doesn't smell as bad as raw sewage, I don't think that you should try to sell people garbage as health food.

I'm not talking about givin... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm not talking about giving up core principals. I'm talking about the dimwits who DEMAND that everyone think EXACTLY like they do on EVERY topic. Just look what those extreme leftists have done to the Democratic party. Those towards the middle are scared shitless, even though the moonbats are in the minority.

This is actually a great po... (Below threshold)
geminichuck:

This is actually a great post - its exactly what the GOP needs. Or more precisely, what conservatives need to drive the GOP to be. Actually, though, the 'big tent' concept is technically to bring in everyone no matter what they think - this is the problem that the Dems in Congress are having with health care 'reform': by having a big tent they have ended up with too many pulling in different directions. The important issue here is to stick with a principle - a conservative principle. Screw all those people that say the GOP should give in on stuff just to get more people to join the GOP. We conservatives must explain and sell our principled beliefs and open our arms to those that accept those beliefs. Stick to principles such as fiscal responsibility, run on those principles, and people will vote that way whether you call it a tent or not. THIS is the Reagan approach.

Define fiscal conservatism,... (Below threshold)
James H:

Define fiscal conservatism, please.

Define fiscal conservati... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Define fiscal conservatism, please.

Of course, this is the starting point of the fight. But, throwing caution to the wind let me whack at it.

How about no deficit spending to start? I would add free trade, deregulation of the economy, and lower taxes. Basically, classical liberal policies. I think the point Kim made that the "American people know that their freedom and liberty are directly tied to how the government spends their tax dollars" is at the root of the issue. If the GOP 'leaders' immediately began proposing policies in this context, then November will be a no-brainer.

Of course, fiscal conservat... (Below threshold)
KeithK:

Of course, fiscal conservatism is the glue that will bind the big tent Republicans together. At least in my lifetime that's been the obvious answer. The problem is actually walking the walk. The party did a poor job of it when they controlled Congress as temptation to spend increased. And the longer in power the greater the temptation to emphasize other issues as primary.

Now let me ask another ques... (Below threshold)
James H:

Now let me ask another question:

If a fiscal conservative cannot assemble a legislative majority willing to enact cuts to programs, what should that fiscal conservative do?

If a fiscal conservative... (Below threshold)
Clay:

If a fiscal conservative cannot assemble a legislative majority willing to enact cuts to programs, what should that fiscal conservative do?

Shout from the rooftops, and if he doesn't get re-elected...he simply goes home.

We have lost the men of principle and they have been replaced with men of clay feet. If a fiscal conservative is elected as a fiscal conservative, than this becomes his lot. The history of principled men reads like a casualty report from the Third Division in WWII. At times, their life expectancy has been that of a marine lieutenant in combat. His curse has been solitude. Sometimes he is the lone voice crying in the wilderness. And he has made this country great. He has not concerned himself with length of his service, but the quality of his service.

In this world rife with relativism it is not popular to speak of absolutes. But, truth does not rely on popularity to exist. Truth exists independently of our belief. Truth is inescapable. We have witnessed the disaster of unbridled government, with the Republicans and now the Democrats. If you believe in fiscal responsibility then you're simply a prostitute if you sell yourself to something that assaults your belief.

The truth is that we are spending our children's money, and it isn't ours to spend. They should hate us.

In the 1850's a coalition o... (Below threshold)
Deke:

In the 1850's a coalition of Free-Soilers and abolitionists got together and formed the Republican party. The Free-Soilers did not really care if slavery ended they just did not want to see it expanded and of course aboltionists wanted to end it. That is analougous to what is occuring today. Both Social and Fiscal conservatives understand that the Central government is growing to fast and becoming to intrusive and it is time for those forces to align and re-take our government.

I agree with #4, the Republicans had their chance in the 90's, much like the Whigs had their chance in the 1840's. Both groups refused to deal with the issue and hoped that by compromising it would go away. In the 90's the Republicans got the key to the candy store and came in like gang busters, but after a few negative articles in the MSP, they soon folded their ideals and spent like drunken sailors. What makes anyone think things will be "different" this time around? The same plyrs are still in charge!

So kevino,You want... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

So kevino,

You want the republicans to go on an apology tour? How...Obama-like.

Republicans were dumped in ... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

Republicans were dumped in '06 because they spent like a drunken sailor. Democrats have been spending like 10 drunken sailors. Enough with the drunken sailors!

Republicans were d... (Below threshold)
James H:
Republicans were dumped in '06 because they spent like a drunken sailor. Democrats have been spending like 10 drunken sailors. Enough with the drunken sailors!

Hoo-rah, and up she rises!
Hoo-rah, and up she rises!
Hoo-rah, and up she rises
Ear-liy in the morning!

I apologize profusely. I could not resist.

Republicans were d... (Below threshold)
kevino:
Republicans were dumped in '06 because they spent like a drunken sailor. Democrats have been spending like 10 drunken sailors. Enough with the drunken sailors!

I'll drink to that!

I wonder how many drunken sailors' jobs were saved or created by the Democrats this year.

I agree the Reps should adm... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

I agree the Reps should admit that they spent too much in the past and they should point out it was due in part because the Dems wanted to spend more and threaten to shut down government if they didn't get more spending. Then state that the Reps are willing to hold the line even if it means freezing spending at current level.

As for the Social aspect, state that they will push to give back the power to the States so they can decide how they want to live wither it is as liberals or conservatives. People can live in the states that best suits them. Texan doesn't need to tell Californian how to live and vice versus.

CBO report out today: "U.S.... (Below threshold)
kevino:

CBO report out today: "U.S. fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering."

Don't miss the fact that Br... (Below threshold)
nuHampsha:

Don't miss the fact that Brown accomplished this in a year that has seen most states move toward the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana.

Not wanting "big government" extends to not wanting infringements on personal liberty. Keeping this plant illegal just to keep the prison guards' unions happy and to satisfy the demands of the tax-hungry DEA is stupid.

Maybe that "big tent" you're looking for is in the Libertarian Party, hmm?




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