Monday, November 10, 2008

An Appeal To Moderates

Moderates by their very nature avoid conflict.

For this reason, they spent the last 20 years operating in the shadows, sacrificing principle for the comfort of power as the radicals stomped across the landscape. They said all the right words and when necessary attended the appropriate services at the chapels of venom.

In 2000, when their standard bearer, John McCain was publicly flogged by the so called righteous, they said little.

For 8 years, they stood aside as their bloody brethren ripped at the Constitution - wetting their talons with torture and imprisonment.

In 2008, finally some ventured to speak against yet another disastrous choice and were met by a mob carrying stakes and kindling.

The witch fires have illuminated the shadows. There can be no more standing to the side as the looming beast now feeds on its own.


The beast is a chimera of many parts and it is on these parts which you must strike.

Sarah Palin - Fortune made her the face of the radicalism. She is not as some say unintelligent. Her weight on the campaign was not a lack of intellect but a lack of intellectual curiousity. It is not that she doesn't know the participants in the North American Free Trade Agreement - it is that she doesn't seem to care. She embraces the spirit of know nothingness which now grips your party. This standard bearer must be banished or you will wander in the wilderness for generations.

Abortion - You have lost your voice because those under 30 no longer hear you. They consider this most divisive issue settled and wish to move forward. If due to personal belief you must remain with this issue, you must concede reasonable exceptions. To do otherwise will guarantee those you need most will simply pass you by.

Talk Radio - Recently the voice of the beast was asked if there is room in the Republican party for moderates - Rush Limbaugh responded "We want their votes but they'll never be one of us". A brighter line was never set. If Democrats are the enemy to be fed upon, moderate Republicans are merely the ground the beast walks across. Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Malkin and all those who cry for blood must be rejected. You must stop appearing on their shows. You must stop parroting their insanity. The last two elections have shown the market is rejecting their brand of rabble rousing. Assist the market in hastening their demise.

The Despair of KnowNothingness - Reason must prevail over the heart of the beast. If someone asks you if you believe in evolution, you must say yes, but you leave these issues to science and it does not bear on faith. If someone asks you if you believe in global warming, you must say yes, but add the task will be difficult and we must seek solutions that better us all. You must discount the brand of dishonesty which claims to hold the one true knowledge at the expense of those whose life work is the quest for knowledge.


Now, it is on this ground where you must fight - for it is good ground.

Gun Rights - Heller rightly established the Second Amendment as an individual right and not a collective one. You will find allies across the ideological landscape who are gun owners and believe that owning guns is not a sin. But do not seek them in the halls of the N.R.A. Seek them in the hunting camps of Georgia, the small businesses in D.C. and the indoor target ranges of L.A.

Property Rights - If Heller was absolutely right, Kelo was absolutely wrong. The mere idea that the government can swoop in and take a person's property without a fare-thee-well is more abhorrent than any of the issues the radicals put forth as critical. Forget promising platitudes of nominating judges who rule on "strict construction". Promise judges who understand that as with guns, property is a right of the individual and not the collective.

Business - If you must be the party of business then do so. There are plenty of people who understand the economy doesn't work without big business. But also be the party of small business. It may be the Wal-Marts which make our nation a partner in the global economy, but it is the mom and pop restaurants which make every small town in this country a partner in the whole's greater success. Support small business loans. Support microloans. Offer support to all rungs of the ladder and those who you need most will help raise that ladder to new heights.

Spending - Yes, we must talk about taxes but for the love of all that is good, let us talk about spending first. When John McCain talked as a spending hawk, CNN's fancy dial-a-vote devices went through the roof. When he wandered back into the land of the beast, they fell through the floor. The people want smaller government. They want more local control. They will understand the hard choices to be made. Instead of promising a tax chicken in ever pot, promise we won't have to sell Oregon to pay off the Chinese. It is for their children and their children's children. Every parent understands sacrifice to make the next generation's world better. Talk to your constituents like the adults they are and they will listen.


Not that long ago, I had a conversation with Republican State Senator David Shafer. We met in a not unusual way. He disagreed with something I wrote on embryonic stem cells. Sen. Shafer and I agree on nothing about right to life issues. However, once we set aside that deadly conflict, a conversation emerged on the future of Grady Hospital. I learned more about the issues of local health care in this half hour conversation than any number of position papers, activist marches and stormings of the Grady board meetings ever taught me.

All it took was momentarily setting aside the differences in order to discuss areas where we agreed. It was in that country, not yet touched by the beast, where we not only found common ground but solutions.

It is in these refuges of reason where the battle can be won. But first you must be willing to make your stand. The time for the stalwart has come. The engagement is at hand and the decision must be made - do you fight for this good ground?


Anonymous said...

It is time to quit using the word liberal as an insult. In fact, maybe quit using the words liberal and conservative altogether.
If you support the war in Iraq, you are not pro life. Repeat, if you support the war in Iraq, you are not pro life.

Unknown said...

I will never agree that widespread and elective abortion is ok. Ever.

I do not "believe" in anthropogenic global warming because reason requires me to "think" that it is not real. We "believe" in religion, which AGW has clearly become.

The rest of the column was pretty good, especially the parts about Heller, Kelo and a few other places.

Chamblee54 - Voluunteers fighting a war against our self-declared enemies is no more similar to killing innocent unborn children as the state executing a multiple murderer. Apples and oranges.

griftdrift said...

So basically you only like the parts where you agree?

I'm not going to get into abortion and global warming. They are rabbit holes that lead nowhere. But I will say if this intransigent need to hitch the wagon to them continues, Republicans will continue to lose.

Unknown said...

The Republicans do not have a need to hitch their wagon to global warming, but they do have a need to fight the people who will use global warming to extract trillions of tax dollars to fight it.

I said what i said about abortion because it is about principles, not politics. It is not part of a calculus to win elections. Reagan understood that you run on convictions, not what you think everyone wants. Obama did this too. He really believes what he says and I support some of it and oppose most of it.

You will understand if those of us on the Right (not just Republicans) elect not to take advice from the Left, right?

Unknown said...

So basically you only like the parts where you agree?

In this case, yes...duh.

griftdrift said...


The fact that you think this advice comes from the left indicates just how deeply the problem runs

Unknown said...

It definately doesn't come from the Right. Are you saying it came from the middle-Right? Anyone who thinks Palin is a radical is not in the middle-Right continuum.

The post catigates right wing talk show hosts and then goes on to champion their long-term support of small government, reduced spending, local control, etc

Who do you think listens to talk radio? It is the middle-Right Republicans who vote. The hard Right considers Limbaugh a sellout and dislikes thothers for being critical of Bush. Are the 20 million people who listen to Rush throughout the week ALL hard liners?

griftdrift said...


I just advocated a platform that was pro-gun, pro-property rights, pro-business, pro-deficit hawk and that's not center right to you? Not even centrist?

Like I said. Some problems run deep.

Erick Erickson said...

Grift, on your outlined issues, I pretty much agree with you. I think the GOP will never drop the pro-life plank, but I think would be smart to move it to a federalist level. It'd never pass at the national level anyway, so why not fight at the state level through the legislatures, voter referenda, etc.

The fact is, even the exit polling this time, shows that there are more people who consider themselves conservatives than liberals. So if the GOP returns to being the "leave me the hell alone" party of small government, based on exit polling data, it really only needs to pick off 17% of people who consider themselves moderates to have a workable majority coalition.

And if the GOP would actually be "live and let live" or "leave me the hell alone" it'd probably have a message that would resonate instead of trying to use the powers of the federal government to do the opposite of what liberals would do, instead of just trying to stop the feds from exercising power.

Unknown said...

erick - Roe pretty much forces it to a Federal level ultimately. The fight can be fought on state levels with some success, but significant reductions in abortions will only result after the states are free to enact legislation as they see fit without the encumbrance of the right to privacy "discovered" in Roe and the Fed correctly restricted by Constitutional enumeration.

griftdrift said...

Erick, I believe abortion is a federal issue because I believe privacy is a federal issue. But I am willing to listen to arguments that its a state level issue.

At least you will admit that its probably hurting your side with the under 30 set?

Also, it seems Dale is ignoring this part of my screed...

"If due to personal belief you must remain with this issue, you must concede reasonable exceptions. To do otherwise will guarantee those you need most will simply pass you by."

Now about this leper colony...

Erick Erickson said...

DaleC, I agree. Robert Bork wrote a column a number of years ago at the Wall Street Journal in which he said abortion would be a non-issue in this country, but for the pro-life movement wanting an "all or nothing" approach. In 1973 there were enough votes in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Roe by sending it to the states. The pro-life movement wanted an outright ban via constitutional amendment, but there was no support.

Unknown said...

So you are a moderate? Yes you listed a mostly centrist platform, but I have never viewed you as a centrist, evidenced by your voting guide.

As I have stated many times, I am not Republican nor am I hard Right, I am Libertarian and Conservative.

Fearless Leader said...

Egads! Hide your poppets! Best know your Commandments to the letter! Proctor Erickson is here!

(Why yes, I have seen The Crucible lately, why do you ask?)

griftdrift said...

This voting guide?

How about this voting guide?

I hate doing raw numbers and would rather people judge on the whole. my count in general elections I voted for

Democrats 7
Republicans 3
Libertarians 4

Unknown said...

The Roe decision found a "privacy" right that had never been found before and managed to ignore enumeration.

What reasonable accomodations should I make in killing a child? Rape and incest? Less than 1% of all abortions, so I would say OK. Life of the mother? OK. Health of the mother? Too broad.

NARAL and NOW will allow absolutly no accomodations, witness the barbaric "partial birth" procedure for which their is no medical justification. Obama has pledged Federal funding for abortions and his history with the Induced Infant Liability Act in Illinois is telling.

If I understand your point, the younger voters don't hear the voice of the Right on abortion because it is "settled". So was Dred Scott. I only hope that they will acquire wisdom with age as preceding generations have done and right past wrongs.

The Left makes absolutely no allowances for reason on this issue, yet it doesn't cost them elections. Interesting the very same issue would cost the Right an election.

I am willing to lose elections, rather than lose my soul. That said, I disagree that being pro-life is a losing position.

griftdrift said...

So be it.

One of the few things I agree with Boortz on is I don't argue abortion.

Unknown said...

How does a center to center-right voter vote for Obama over McCain, especially since McCain supports more of the platform you outlined than Obama. Pretty easy for McCain since Obama doesn't support anything you listed.

I don't go strictly by their parties, but rather their policies. I have voted for numerous Democrats in state and local races, they are a different animal from the President.

Please don't tell me it was a "protest" vote.

Unknown said...

"I agree with Boortz on is I don't argue abortion"

I usually don't either, but you posted it, so.....

Fearless Leader said...

Health of the mother is not too broad. Didn't you feel that collective gasp when McCain threw up the quote-fingers during the last debate on that one?

Health of the mother is perfectly valid, because preserving only the life of the mother might leave that woman in a state where the quality of that life is drawn into question. To ignore the health of the mother is to make the very dangerous assumption that the such a decision is somehow a selfish one. Just think for a moment, particularly about the women in your life, and ask yourself if you want to force them into a situation where bringing a fetus to term might leave them physically or mentally handicapped (due to nerve damage, blood loss, mirror syndrome and a host of other concerns). Could you face them and say that there is simply no other way, that you have decided that a potential life far outweighs their own?

griftdrift said...

"How does a center to center-right voter vote for Obama over McCain, especially since McCain supports more of the platform you outlined than Obama. Pretty easy for McCain since Obama doesn't support anything you listed."

I explained it right here Dale. On a thread where you actually commented.

I've got a 2+ year record exposing my political philosophies. It would be nice if I am going to be judged to be judged on the forest and not the trees.

Unknown said...

Thomas - you would have a great point except "health" of the mother is, in fact, too broad. Anything can be construed by a doctor to adversely affect the "health" of the mother. That is too broad becasue it is undefined. Broad definitions liek that led to abortion being so widespread and common that we have given up on restricting it medically.

I am willing to accept clearly defined medical conditions which would permit abortion, but not the generic "health" label that is in use today by pro-abortion advocates.

Unknown said...

Grift - I only come here because I honestly respect your opinons. I have not been here for two years and have no real interest in digging up everything you have ever published on politics. I comment on what I read here. That post about Obama was possible the most lightweight thing that I have seen you publish. It didn't explain how you can put aside your desire for smaller government and McCains policies that you supposedly support. It listed psychobabble about our world standing and a valid point about Republican soul searching.

Our respect in the world is not in a bad place. respect for our President is, but how do you explain pro-American, even pro-Bush politicians being elected in France, Germany and probably soon Italy? Our most vocal critics onthe world stage replaced with Bush-USA supporters? Our standing in the world needs no repair. My recent travel to Europe have only reinforced that belief, as did similar travel in 1984 when we were "hated" by the world. I refuse to damage my country to curry favor with other countries who probably don't have our best wishes at heart.

I agree the Republicans need a re-orientation, I just can't bring myself to damage my country even more by electing Obama. Our wonderful Libertarion candidate for Senator may have siphoned off enough votes to contribute to Obama's 60 seat veto and philibuster proof Congress.

Those are not good things.

buzzbrockway said...

The GOP got our collective butts whipped because we lost our way on financial issues, IMHO. We claimed to be the Party of lower taxes and lower spending when really we were the Party of big government and big deficits. The public no longer trusts us on those issues. I think the country is generally center-right on social issues but most people would rather avoid those issues when it comes to public policy and discussion.

I agree with you grift about big business. The GOP should be the Party of small business (as should the Dems) because most people are employed in a small business. Furthermore the desire of big business is all to often a desire to use government policy to squash competition.

Because the GOP lost we will have only marginal impact on legislation over the next two years, maybe longer. What we need to do is make the case for small government, free market alternatives to what the President proposes. When we agree with him by all means support him. When he can be persuaded, try to persuade him, and oppose him when we must.

We should not simply oppose Obama because he's a Democrat. I think far too often Congressional Democrats opposed Bush simply because he was Bush. We mustn't do the same.

griftdrift said...

I mostly agree Buzz.

Now about that leper colony...

buzzbrockway said...

LOL. Look, it's bad news to have political consultants who are undermining the people they work for. If it's in the interest of another candidate that's even worse. I wouldn't hire these people for anything and I can't see myself supporting a candidate who does.

This is not an attempt in my mind to nominate Palin, I have no idea who I'll be voting for 2012 for crying out loud. We need to rid the GOP of toxic consultants.

griftdrift said...

You know what's funny? Substitute Democratic Party for GOP in that last sentence and it is exactly what I heard from Democrats over the last few years.

I understand the need to get rid of those who are absolutely mercenaries. But the one thing I think some Republicans are still having a hard time grappling with was the image of being the party of exclusion was your ultimate flaw.

It is dangerous ground where you must tread very carefully.

Doug Deal said...


You state that the abortion issue hinges on "privacy". I have very few dogs in the abortion debate, but I do like to fight hypocracy on every issue.

What about states outlawing things like tatoos, medical procedures, or selling of one's organs? Does that state have the right to regulate any of those activities? If so, except for abortion being the pet issue of the left, what makes it different?

griftdrift said...

Doug, Doug, Doug.

Tattoos are not a medical procedure, therefore is not relevant.

Perhaps if you could detail some of these banned medical procedures I could respond.

And I have no problem with people selling their organs.

Does that satisfy your need to hear leftist hypocrisy?

Doug Deal said...

That's a odd conclusion Grift. It is okay for the state to ban frivolous, harms nobody types of procedures, like tatoos, but it is not okay for them to ban a procedure that may result in the death or permanent disfiguring of the patient, not to mention what many consider to be a human being in its own right.

I have no problem with people selling organs and a whole list of other things as well that the government should stay out of, but the analogy to abortion fails because the fetus is a life of it's own. It is even complete with it's own brain, nerves, heart, spinal column and DNA. If it was merely a collection of the mother's tissues, people who have the empathy to see both sides of this issue, would unquestioningly side with the right to privacy crowd.

If a fetus is really just a collection of tissue, then people who kill a pregnant mother should never be charge with a double murder, mothers of fetuses who die in car accidents should only have the right to sue for whatever fertility treatments and pain and suffering to get back to the state they were in before the accident, and ot sue for the loss of an actual child, and many other distasteful things. Abortions a day, or even a minute before delivery should be completely legal, as it is just a mere "clump of tissues".

Both the side that you seem to subscribe to and the equally crazy other side in the abortion debate leave a whole lot of the other side's scenes on the cutting room floor, and it is why both sides are watching a completely different movie. It is also why they can so casually dismiss each others' arguments, while becoming over-emotionally involved in the arguments of their own.