Nov 05 2008

Nattering Negativity Vs. A New Beginning

Published by at 11:29 am under All General Discussions

Well, listening to conservative talk radio this morning I found the only one tolerable was Bill Bennett. Laura and Chris Plante and others were screaming the doom and gloom again this morning.

Look, I did not support Obama and I can run a million scary scenarios of what will happen through my head. But I can also run a million hopeful ones too. One of the problems I have had with the far right is they have lost the “Shining City On The Hill” optimism of Reagan. If you believe in America and its people you have to give the new leaders a chance to prove themselves. We gave Clinton and Carter that chance and they bungled it horribly, so history can give us some pause. But this is a new America today with as much potential for doing good as any other America.

The implosion of the GOP began with Harriet Meirs nomination and the civil war that broke out in the conservative coalition. Here is what I wrote would happen to the conservative movement in 2005:

The anti-Miers crowd won a pyrrhic victory today. The extreme right’s confidence and tolerance was tested, and found wanting. Instead of debating the merits of Miers, and allowing her to get to the confirmation hearings – too many in that crowd demeaned Miers and those, like me, who wanted to know who she was before rising in opposition. Their confidence was a charade as they panicked and lashed out in a way I thought republicans had outgrown and only liberals still did.

It is clear now that us impure conservatives cannot be allowed to participate in any meaningful or leading roles. We are not pure bloods with clear lineage to the far right cause. If Ronald Reagan had been nominated he too would have been pilloried for tolerating people who were not for making abortions illegal, or tolerating gays openly, or hoping for diversity in the workplace. Harriet Miers was in many ways a version of Ronald Reagan. She is a convert to what was supposed to be a broader cause.

The message from the Miers fiasco is clear. Only purebloods can be offered for positions of responsibility. If you are not a pureblood, then there is no depth the purebloods will go to knock you down as a mudblood.

Do I see serious problems for the GOP out of this? You betcha. Sorry folks, I just am going to find it real hard to support people who insulted Bush because they feared what Miers might be. I don’t think people can blame me for being taken aback by the most outrageous comments and actions we saw over Miers. And I am a hard core conservative. If you have folks like me, The Anchoress and others struck by these acts then maybe there is something to it? What worries me are the moderates who are not solid conservatives who need to be persuaded their voice and views are welcomed. It is harder to make the case now.

I could see the implosion coming years ago. Alliances are built on common ground, not demanding everyone toe the line. As I said earlier, unless conservatives are attracting voters they are losing politically. We can be for small government, while not leaving those in need out to fend for themselves in times of need. We can be for lower taxes, and yet give our seniors a solid prescription drug plan that saves the government money. We can be for constructionist judges by making alliances with democrats who honor the right of a President to make judicial appointments. We can have immigrant workers who must follow the rules while protecting our borders.

These are not either-or ideas, but too often we try to make the one or the other instead of a reasonable blend.

Too often the right’s fears overtake them and they begin lashing out at the very people they need to support them. Until this ends we will not see conservative movement rise again to leadership in this nation. We need to give people hope and respect and listen to their concerns. We need to help people who made some bad choices make good ones into the future and join the mainstream. We need to be visionary, not reactionary.

We can rebuild the movement, but only if we come together. Otherwise the liberals (who do come together) will continue to win until they do so much damage they must be removed. We need to end this cycle. We have two years to figure it out. 2010 could be 1994, but it will take more than becoming a pure minority.

I am hoping Obama can find a way too bring a new beginning and progress. Not because I want Democrats or liberals to win, but because that is what is best for this country. I am not going to let my darker scenarios obscure the potential that also exists. I am not surrendering a single conservative position in this. We are entering a time of great opportunity and peril. No one should be working for the latter at the expense of the former. That supposedly is not the American or Conservative way. At least not the conservative approach of Reagan or Bush or McCain or Palin. Not from where I sit.

Update: Must read today – The Anchoress (my kindred independent conservative).

25 responses so far

25 Responses to “Nattering Negativity Vs. A New Beginning”

  1. AJStrata says:


    I agree in general – but without the reigns of government we are powerless to fix any of it. Was Comprehensive Immigration reform worth all this?

    Hell no.

  2. I wish I could extend Obama the benefit of the doubt.

    But I cannot bring myself to do so.

    I cannot support a man who couldn’t get up and walk out when his preacher said “God damn America.” I cannot not support a man who palled around with terrorists like Bill Ayers. I cannot support a man who funneled money to a priest who called my country “the greatest sin against God.” I cannot support a man who claimed our troops in Afghanistan are “air-raiding villages and killing civilians” while campaigning for his party’s nomination.

    To put it bluntly, the President of my country should love my country. As far as I am concerned, the preponderance of the evidence leads me to believe Barack Obama does NOT love America – and I defy anyone to tell me these are not reasonable doubts.

    As such, extending the benefit of the doubt is a bridge too far.

  3. Redteam says:

    I can hardly wait to see Obama’s actions when in certain settings such as the playing of the national anthem, saluting the marine at Marine One, etc. he has already publicly stated that honoring the flag is just playing to prejudices. He’s already said he plans to vastly reduce the military, suppose he’ll even keep Marine One? I’m interested in how long it’ll be before Wright is in the white house. Ayers, a cabinet post? Sec of Education? Rezko, Sec of Treas? Kalidi, Nat. Security chief?

    We’re all gonna get an education.

  4. Harold those are all facts logically Proven! What me Pledge allegiance to that corrupt Republic.

    He intends to destroy it. He has already told us

    Good AJ I am glad we agree slightly but will you admit that if he attempts to impose Socialism, Marxism or Tyranny call it what you like, We are obligated to resist in any method and fix what failed.
    Pluss damn near half the country is with us.
    Reigns of Govt have nothing to do with it. We may never have that again. What the MSM have done is treason, they have 1 singular responsibility to the truth.

    I consider the Declaration of Independence an absolute not a stained document as Obama called. This includes the Bill of Rights.
    These rights were granted by the creator and are only removable by him. If any others try to do it that’s TREASON!!!

    Again WE must resist. Bitter hillbillies just clinging to their guns and religion.

    If we had been a nation of Men and Women, True Americans not just Left, Right Lib, Mod etc he would have been tarred and feathered. Not a peep was heard after that remark. That foretold the future for me and the rest of the nation.

    Any one who accepts his methods of election stealing the caucus vote was a plan well executed and implemented, Just not reported.
    If you don’t agree with this then No insult intended,I must be on another Planet maybe Galaxy.

    Of course if Obama is all talk, well then yes we will survive.
    Me Thinks He believes he is the Messiah and as such he will lead us whether we want to go or not.

    NO One can talk the way he does, walk the way and not have plans.
    We have seen his plans. We know where large sums of money came from. We see collusion from all levels of our governmet.

    FEC fails to act. Fbi stalls with Acorn Judges On and ON.

    Bush had 8 years to fix some of the actors we see in the play

    Look for the patterns, logic will show what it is and not

    Just because we let the youngers have their thinking done for them, no need for us to do the same.

    Unless we prefer cowardice.

  5. Red Team maybe he will play all four stanzas.

    All Four Stanzas

    By Isaac Asimov

    Introductory Note. Unless you’re already well acquainted with our “national anthem,” this interesting piece by the late Isaac Asimov will be an eye-opener. It was for me. It’s especially appropriate at a time when there is much talk of tossing out this difficult-to-sing and difficult-to-comprehend old song in favor of something that better suits Ray Charles’ voice. You’ll understand the song much better after you read Mr. Asimov’s explanation.–Hardly Waite, Gazette Senior Editor.

    I have a weakness–I am crazy, absolutely nuts, about our national anthem.

    The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I’m taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can. It shakes me up every time.

    I was once asked to speak at a luncheon. Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem–all four stanzas.

    This was greeted with loud groans. One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting. “Thanks, Herb,” I said.

    “That’s all right,” he said. “It was at the request of the kitchen staff.”

    I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas.

    Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before–or had never really listened. I got a standing ovation. But it was not me; it was the anthem.

    More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang all four stanzas. Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause. And again, it was the anthem and not me.

    So now let me tell you how it came to be written.

    In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved in an American war.

    At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

    Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack. The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England. The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west. The central prong was to head for the mid-Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York. If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

    The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D. C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.

    On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release. The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start.

    As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

    As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, “Can you see the flag?”

    After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called “The Defence of Fort M’Henry,” it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” –a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key’s work became known as “The Star Spangled Banner,” and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States.

    Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key

    Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
    W hat so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
    O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

    And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
    Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    “Ramparts,” in case you don’t know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer

    On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep,
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep.
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    “The towering steep” is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure.

    In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise.

    During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution.

    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling.

    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n – rescued land
    Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation.

    Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
    And this be our motto–“In God is our trust.”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears.

    And don’t let them ever take it away.

    –Isaac Asimov, March 1991