I’m still wrapping up my personal projects so I can return to blogging, so I’d been planning this post but hadn’t written it. However, Monday evening Erick Erickson announced on his radio show that the candidate he is endorsing as the Republican nominee for president is the Sweet Meteor of Death, or a brokered convention, whichever comes first, so I’m jumping in. He is joined in this by Allahpundit, who links to Erick’s explanation from his radio show (listen to the whole thing, it’s just 14 minutes) and now me. Although, technically, I pronounce “brokered convention” as “Seh-rah Pay-lin.”
I think Republicans have a lackluster field because social conservatives run off fiscal conservative/social liberals. They do not believe in Big Tent conservatism, or liberty, small government, nor, in practice, do they hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. They prevent or destroy the careers of any politician who is a true fiscal conservative and run out of the conservative tent the demographic groups who refuse to adopt their religion, to wit, gays and lesbians, uppity women and Jews — three groups that would benefit enormously from fiscal conservatism. They use loyalty oaths and conduct purges to force people to toe their line.
As a consequence, we have a field of social conservative candidates who have no vision or guiding principles as fiscal conservatives that they are willing to apply while in positions of power. Thanks to the mess Obama has made of the economy, a fiscal conservative with a clear vision of how to create jobs and restore our prosperity should win in a landslide. But we are running social conservatives instead. Basically, our candidate will be the Church Lady. I do not believe that a majority of Americans are going to vote for a candidate who makes it his platform to force his religion on them through the powers of government — especially if it’s the Mormon religion, which rigidly dominates virtually every aspect of Mormon lives and when it casts out heretics and apostates damns them to eternal non-existence.
Please read Allahpundit — it’s late and I can’t add much more value. However, I will say that I do plan to support the Republican nominee on the theory that we might be able to get better fiscal and national security policy from a Republican president than from Obama. But I am wary because the only thing that conservatives are really passionate about and ready to act on is the persecution of gays and women. Their modus operandi seems to be to promise fiscal conservatism to get elected, then postpone that agenda indefinitely while pursuing their social policy vendettas. This allows them to believe themselves to be fiscal conservatives AND socially conservative when, as a practical reality, there appears to be no such creature.
Phyllis Schlafly, mother of a gay son, and Maggie Gallagher, of the National Organization for Marriage, will be trying to whitewash this bait-and-switch on Saturday at CPAC in one of the main sessions with a forum entitled, “The Phony Divide Between Fiscal & Social Conservatives: Protecting Marriage as a Case Study.”* Beg to differ — the divide is real:
The short answer (to the question, “Why Sarah Palin is right about having a competitive primary season“) is that Mitt Romney isn’t a small-government conservative. The slightly longer answer is that Barack Obama has been – as he promised to be – a game-changer, and the 2012 election is the one in which libertarian anti-statism will either have a voice in the Republican Party, or will have to do something else.
This primary season is a fight for the character of the GOP. The fight is not the perennial standoff between “social cons” and “fiscal cons”; it is a long-postponed dispute over the size and charter of government, and how the GOP will approach it. It is the most basic possible dispute over ideas about man and the state and their consequences. It’s also a dispute only the Republican Party could have. The Democratic Party does not have such a diversity of viewpoint, at least not in any politically consequential way. The decision about whether America will continue on a fiscally unsustainable path of ever-growing statism comes down to the GOP’s fight with itself.
As a mother of a gay son, Phyllis Schlafly proudly opposes her own son’s equality and destroys his access to the right to create a family with the spouse of his choice. So she is the destroyer both of her own family and the family her son would create. I really do not follow how that constitutes “family values,” except as an intentionally deceitful label for the intentionally malicious destruction of the lives of people who are insufficiently useful to the purposes of totalitarian religions, a label that fools many good and altruistic people into committing atrocities that would horrify them if called by their true names.
*As one of the main sessions, it will be live streamed. Click here during the conference from Feb. 9 to 11 to see if it will have the live-streaming link.
Update, 2/7/12, Tues.:
Dan Riehl, in his own reserved way, also has some pithy observations on whether the conservative movement is now more “con” than movement toward the fiscal principles of liberty and limited government:
Gary Bauer aside, Bush 43 was correct, there’s more than enough evidence to conclude there is no genuine Conservative Movement in America today; mostly, it’s a term of art to define a fairly lucrative industry. Had there been, there would have been no need for the Tea Party to rise up; there would be at least one, if not more top notch conservatives running for President this year and the self-professed leaders of said movement would be leading something, as opposed to running book clubs, now fatted institutions and selling speeches to anyone interested in hearing them discuss Republican politics and some ideals they, in large part, don’t even fight for when it comes down to it.
Dan makes more points that are well worth reading. To make his point that there is a crisis in the conservative movement, he also quotes Reason’s Nick Gillespie:
At least since the election of St. Ronald Reagan, self-styled conservatives have repeatedly revealed themselves to be the biggest frauds or most delusional suckers in American politics. Conservatives ostensibly believe in limited government and individuals who are smart and moral enough to use voluntary associations and free markets to meet the needs of all God’s children. But under Reagan and, more recently, George W. Bush and a Republican Congress that spent like LBJ on a bourbon-fueled bender, they cheered an immense increase not just in federal outlays and borrowing but also in centralization of power in Washington.
Update, 2/7/12, Tues.: I want to remind my dear gentle readers that the gay community is a model of fiscal conservatism in practice because discrimination against gays and lesbians means that we can never depend on the government, or even our own families, for anything. We are forced to be self-reliant and to use “voluntary associations and free markets,” as Mr. Gillespie notes above, to meet our individual and community needs. Due to discrimination, quite a large number of lesbians and gays are entrepreneurs or self-employed professionals. We are one of the few groups in America that puts the principles of fiscal conservatism into practice. THAT is why there are gay conservatives and gay Republicans. We actually get fiscal conservatism as the foundation for liberty and prosperity.