Archive for ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’

June 11, 2009

‘ReserCons’: Reservation Conservatives

Longtime blog buddy Craig Henry at Lead and Gold uses the term “resercon” for “reservation conservative.” This is evidently a play on the term “reservation Indian,” denoting the harmless, domesticated breed (e.g., David Brooks) as opposed to us buck-wild conservatives who are prone to guzzling constitutional firewater and taking some liberal scalps.

Back in March, when David Frum attacked Rush Limbaugh, Henry quoted Daniel Flynn:

When liberals adopt you as their token conservative, kiss your credibility among conservatives goodbye and say hello to writing gigs at the Atlantic, appearances on Keith Olbermann’s program, and lectures at the Kennedy School of Government.

And Henry added:

Liberals love those kind of “conservatives.” It lets them define both the liberal and conservative position on an issue.

This is exactly right. Such is the dominance of liberals in the MSM, they can exercise influence over who is, and is not, a “respectable” spokesman for conservatism. Thus, liberals are able to control the terms of debate to their advantage.

Referencing Michelle Malkin’s criticism of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, yesterday Henry applied the “reservation conservative” concept to the man who was once every liberal’s favorite RINO:

California’s budget mess casts an interesting light on the debate over the GOP. Ah-nuld was the epitome of the resercon ideal: a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Yet, once in office, he was not eager to battle for smaller government, less spending, or less regulation.
That seems to be true of many FC/SL Republicans. They are happy to bash the Religious Right or NRA; they bask in the MSM praise for their courage. In the end they never fight that hard for conservative economic ideas.

You should read the rest. Henry is dead on target in observing that Republican officials who claim to be fiscal conservatives but liberal (or “libertarian”) on social issues usually end up supporting a big-government agenda in economic terms. This was definitely true of Bush 41, and although Bush 43 cut taxes, his “compassionate” agenda included No Child Left Behind and Medicare prescription drugs, both of which were anathema to limited-government conservatives.

Republican strategists who are trying to figure out how the GOP can recover its mojo need to think hard about this problem. The GOP’s brand is damaged by these “reservation conservative” types — whether elected officials like Schwarzenegger or pundits like David Brooks — who function as Republican echoes for liberal criticism of the core conservative message.

Some of my friends mistake my frequent criticism of “centrists” like Brooks et al. as a call to “purge the RINOs.” I don’t go in for that urge-to-purge stuff, and understand that ideological purity tests are a losing approach to pragmatic coalition politics.

The problem, rather, is when “centrists” (a word whose meaning is sufficiently nebulous as to require the scare-quotes) criticize conservatives in terms that undermine morale on the Right by suggesting that conservatism is not a viable alternative to liberalism.

This was what made Brooks’ “National Greatness” so odious. Brooks took dead aim at the essence of Reaganism — a limited-government domestic agenda, hostility to bureaucratic centralization, Grover Norquist’s “Leave Us Alone Coalition” — and suggested that it was both unpopular and unworkable. What Americans wanted, Brooks argued, was a federal government devoted to grand projects of inspirational uplift. To which I would reply, in the famous words of Rahm Emanuel . . .

Conservatives must regain confidence in the basics of Reaganism, and recover the belief that the core principles of our nation’s founding — individual liberty, individual responsibility and organic local government free from the stifling bureaucratic interventions of centralized authority — are legitimate and honorable, appealing to all Americans of all conditions.

This matter of confidence — conservative morale — is what the Not One Red Cent project is about. Grassroots conservatives don’t need self-anointed “leaders” in Washington to pick candidates in GOP primaries. And the “reservation conservatives” don’t speak for us.

May 21, 2009

Ah, the Iron Law

by Smitty (h/t Hot Air)

You can nearly feel bad for Arnold, after watching that Reason.TV clip.
Two points:

  • California has been the Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action. The Unions seem to bring out the brittle in the Iron Law, no?
  • Arnie is just another moderate:

    Think of the the American political landscape as a valley, with moderates milling about in the middle, which is also a no-man’s land, and the ridges on the left and right are populated by some deeply committed partisans. John, you have no friends, and you’re likely to be more welcome on the left ridge than the right, with the rest of the lousy sell-outs. I’m guessing you have enough dodge/weave skills to survive. As for the right ridge: Tea Party.

The sooner we quit listening to the parade of leftist nitwits, and set about restoring fiscal sanity, the sooner we get on the road to actual recovery. The Kings of the Soul Punk Swing have a video that sums up the collectivist policies nicely:

May 11, 2009

Hewitt: Arnie gets to stand and deliver

by Smitty
Arnie gets to stand and deliver on the 19th:

If the tax hikes are rejected by large margins next week, the country’s political elite ought to study that result closely. Despite huge spending margins and despite a thin veneer of bipartisanship, the tax hike gang is getting thumped because the electorate is saying –no, shouting– “Enough!”
Everyone has a story of a state or county employee friend who is retiring at 55 with a guaranteed life pension of $75,000 or more plus gold-plated medical benefits. Almost everyone knows that massive amounts of money have flowed into Los Angeles public schools and still half of the kids drop out. Majorities realize that businesses don’t have to operate here, and that places like Texas may lack the Rose Parade but let you grow a business and keep most of the profits.

The good news about that last sentence is that the ecosystem in the southwest really can’t handle the population load. Crashing the California economy may bring some left-handed benefit to the rest of the Colorado River basin.

In the near term, the vote promises to be good fodder for the 04 July and 12 September Tea Parties. Plus, the Federalism Amendment. Truthfully, if a state like California or Massachusetts wants to tax itself into oblivion, that should be allowed. It’s the borg effect of bringing that mentality to DC that we must oppose.