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Ross Douthat on the state of American Conservatism - Condensing fact from the vapor of nuance [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
harryh

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Ross Douthat on the state of American Conservatism [Nov. 3rd, 2008|06:20 pm]
harryh
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I have a half written blog post that I may or may not post tomorrow on my feelings about the current state of American politics. If I decide not to post it this blog post from Ross Douthat comes as close to my feelings as anything I've yet read.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: phredward
2008-11-04 01:09 am (UTC)
In response to the "how" paragraph, I think many people would say step #1 is start spending money on infrastructure instead of wars.

And #2 give up on social conservatism, but hey, that's just the liberalterian, baby killing, prostitute humping, gambling, eco-terrorist in me*.


On a related note, I'd say there are people on the left that are scared that they are going to be writing that article in 3/7 years. While I'm excited to have an intelligent person in the white house, I'm under no delusions about him being the awesome President who agrees with me on all policy decisions.


*some labels may not apply
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[User Picture]From: queen_elvis
2008-11-04 01:54 am (UTC)
Lord, I hope other liberals don't think Obama is the awesome president who agrees with everyone on everything. I sure don't.

I was kinda hoping that article would be about [what I see as] the coming schism between old-guard financial/intellectual Christopher Buckley/Goldwater conservatism and the new, far less intelligent social conservatism that appears to be taking over the GOP. I never thought I could feel sorry for a guy who worked for the National Review.
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[User Picture]From: harryh
2008-11-04 02:33 am (UTC)
...the coming schism...

I wonder a lot about this as well. It's always been a somewhat odd coalition (though perhaps any sufficiently large coalition will be somewhat odd?). I can certainly see the social conservative/religious wing of the party taking on more populist views on things like health care, taxes, and entitlement programs (Huckabee Republicanism), at which point I don't know what happens to the Goldwater wing of the party. Perhaps the reality of the situation is that with the democrats substantial gains among the coastal rich, Goldwater republicans have become rare enough that they have lost electoral significance? I'm not really sure.
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[User Picture]From: r_transpose_p
2008-11-04 03:34 am (UTC)
This quote

Perhaps the reality of the situation is that with the democrats substantial gains among the coastal rich, Goldwater republicans have become rare enough that they have lost electoral significance? I'm not really sure.


caused me to recall-by-association the following excerpt from a New York Times opinion piece.


Full article here



The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community.
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[User Picture]From: r_transpose_p
2008-11-04 03:44 am (UTC)
To be fair, the blog post you linked to did have a good point about Reagan following Nixon -- Nixon could be considered analogous to Bush in terms of negative public perception of the Republican party due to the mistakes of one administration.

That having been said : I'd vote for Nixon over Bush any day of the week -- and thats after knowing about Watergate!
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[User Picture]From: matthewljacobs
2008-11-04 02:38 am (UTC)
I can't take Republicans seriously until they at least start believing in evolution.
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[User Picture]From: harryh
2008-11-04 02:46 am (UTC)
By using the phrase "believing in evolution" you're implicitly agreeing to the argument frame being advanced by conservative Christians: evolution is something to be believed or dis-believed (like creationism) as a matter of faith. Much better to say something like "until they acknowledge evolution."
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[User Picture]From: matthewljacobs
2008-11-04 02:49 am (UTC)
Agreed. Poor phrasing on my part.
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[User Picture]From: monkey1976
2008-11-04 03:43 pm (UTC)
i don't "acknowledge" that the earth is round. i believe it. because it's a fact.

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[User Picture]From: r_transpose_p
2008-11-04 03:30 am (UTC)
"Closest" meaning you don't agree with all of it?

Cause I'm curious whether
How do you sell socially-conservative ideas to a moderate middle that often perceives social conservatism as intolerant?
is one of the burning questions on your mind...
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[User Picture]From: harryh
2008-11-04 03:36 am (UTC)
I don't agree with all of it, and also it doesn't cover all I've been thinking about. And certainly yes, he clearly thinks a lot more about how to "sell" conservatism than I do.

Thinking about how to sell things, however, isn't just about politics, but also about policy. If a big chunk of the electorate isn't buying what you're selling it's probably not just about how you are presenting things, but also what you're presenting in the first place. A phrase we've heard a lot recently is that Republicanism is "out of ideas" and that it needs to spend some time out of power in order to generate new ones. While some of these ideas will certainly be about better ways to sell conservatism, some will certainly be about the policies that conservatives should be trying to advance in the first place.

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