May 15 2008

When Will The “True Conservatives” Wake Up To The Damage They Did?

Published by at 7:32 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

The purity wars inside the GOP are doing what many of us feared and predicted, decimating the GOP as America dumps the “true conservatives” and goes with conservative democrats. Those are the choices we have seen in the last 3 special elections: Far Right verses Left of Center. America chose Left of Center.

Why did America do that? Probably because they are tired of the far right testing their purity and clamoring all the time about who the best, most pure conservatives are, while damning those lesser conservatives – which are at times called ‘moderates’ (best said with the nose up in the air), many times ‘RINOs’ (Republican In Name Only), and on some issues ‘traitors’. America has decided that the ‘true conservatives’ are too difficult to deal with and are going with the conservative democrats or moderate republicans instead.

Rush Limbaugh tried to say the other day that the GOP dumped on the conservatives (of course all the true conservative ranting and name calling over issues like immigration is not dumping, it is politics). Actually conservatives, at least the ‘pure, true’ conservatives of Hannity and Levin and others, are not being dumped on. American voters are simply dumping them – period. Sorry Rush, but that dumping feeling is Americans telling the far right they went too far. That feeling of rejection is not because people are mean to the far right, it was because the far right became too caustic and heated and started on their purity rant, which left voters cold and looking elsewhere.

Note how all the ‘true conservative’ presidential candidates failed in this year’s GOP primary. The ‘true’ conservative’s worst enemy has became the party standard bearer. That was a message to the far right. The fact the conservative movement is growing and succeeding on the Democrat side of the aisle is a message to the far right. The fact that the liberal democrats had to end their own purity wars and allow pro-life candidates into the fold to gain back their political power is a message to the far right. The only question is whether anyone is listening on the far right, or are they all still obsessively comparing how ‘pure’ they are too each other and ignoring everything else going on around them?

Personally, I prefer the Reagan-Bush version of conservatism that came out of the GOP. But that was a broad coalition Reagan built. A diverse movement that respected differences and did not have litmus tests. This is not Reagan’s conservative movement today, clearly since it has decided to reject one of the most successful conservative president’s in modern history: George W Bush. Funny thing is all these purists think it was centrist Bush who chased the centrists to the center? Now that is some pretzel logic! If you are on the right and cannot stand Bush it is a good bet you are a ‘true conservative’, and you probably look in the mirror and think you see Reagan staring back.

But Reagan was extremely tolerant of non-conservative views. Remember, he was an life-long Democrat – like Harriet Miers. And we all know how Mrs. Miers was treated. He signed into law the largest, real amnesty bill for illegal immigrants, and we all know what traitors lurk in the GOP to repeat Reagan’s sin. Conservatism has a bad image right now, and the fact is the ones at fault are those who created the image of ‘true conservatism’ and claimed it was the only allowable brand of conservative thought allowed in the GOP. When they did that they told everyone else to take a hike – and they did! Now Americans support conservative democrats as they take over GOP seats held for a decade or more. We have succeeded in obtaining purity! (of course being an independent who is not allowed to be ‘conservative’ due to his impure positions the ‘we’ is very much tongue in cheek, or as Tonto would have said ‘what’s this ‘we’ stuff Kimosabe?”)

This was always where the purity wars were going to lead. To make something pure means to distill it down to just a few numbers with identical traits. That in politics is called a fringe group, because it is so far outside the impure mainstream. It looks like when Bush completed much of the common ground the right of center coalition agreed on, that coalition was destined to blow apart. There was nothing left to fight for that everyone agreed on. Now comes the next coalition, whatever shape that may be. Hopefully another Reagan-Bush type leader will arise that will quell this ten year itch the far right gets, which lands us with Clintons and Carters and who knows what this year.

Update: With all due respect to Ed Morrissey, who I find is one of the most level headed people on the right, his current thesis on what is wrong with the GOP is just not realistic:

Did the House GOP caucus take a hard line on pork-barrel spending or adopt policies to cut federal spending? No. Republican voters and conservative pundits begged the House and Senate caucuses to make dramatic breaks with the previous six years and adopt real conservative policies of fiscal responsibility and federalism. What did they do? They offered to stop earmarking only if Democrats followed suit, a deal everyone knew would never take place. Instead of appointing one single anti-pork activist to the House Appropriations Committee in Jeff Flake, they appointed Joe Bonner, a good Congressman but a well-known earmarker, and mostly because Flake’s anti-pork crusade irritates his colleagues.

Sorry, this is too much inside baseball to sway the electorate outside the beltway. And the idea anyone would gravitate to the tax-and-spend Dems to limit spending is laughable (but I still respect you Ed!). Whatever committee some guy named Flake is on did not cause this. Everyone sees the evidence – a conservative coalition is building in the democrat party. Conservatism is now winning when it comes attached to the democrats, which would have been considered ridiculous back in 2004 – before the purity wars erupted.

The reason far right conservatives are losing is they have lost the American voter. And it is not because they are not conservative enough, it is because they have been demeaning people who disagree with them marginally for years. When McCain and Bush and others put forth a reasonable compromise on immigration, people on the far right compared them to the far left which wants instant citizenship for all! This comparison was ludicrous and only demeaned those making it. America saw a radicalized, out of control, overly emotional far right and has backed away. America is backing away from conservatism under the GOP and going with conservatism under the democrats. Get a clue folks. If you love America and its people then listen to what they are saying in the voting booth. This not about pork spending and committee assignments. This the GOP losing the conservative preference to the Dems. Without broad conservatism, what does the GOP have to offer to oppose liberalism?

Update: I meant to post how Rush Limbaugh actually does the same thing has Hannity and Levin and Savage, by disparaging those ‘impure’ conservatives:

Gee, they’re just now getting it. What took ’em so long? Did you see what happened in 2006? Folks, I am mad today. Did you see what happened in 2006? Did you see all the conservative Democrats Pelosi ran in the South then and skunked your incumbents? With what? Not McCainism. These Democrats were not running as McCain. They were running as Reagan conservatives, and that’s how they won, in Reagan conservative districts.

Because the Republican Party, which has sold out to the pseudoconservatives of the New York Times and the DC-New York media establishment who think that Rockefeller Republicanism and country club Republicanism is the future of the party, Ms. Pelosi, “Okay, they’re going to give that up, they’re going to give up Reagan, fine, we’ll go take over.” If she wanted to, she could take over the whole Republican Party this way. But she’s too far left and her party is too far left. But if they really wanted a huge supermajority, it’s waiting for them. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is doing everything in the world that it can to try be 25%, 30%, 40% liberal or independent for some God-knows-who-can-explain-it reason.

Well, no time out from RINO bashing it seems. I think it is delusional to claim a democrat conservative is more conservative than the GOP conservative. Greg Davis in MI (the GOP candidate) was on the far right, especially when it came to immigration. He beat out those nasty pseudoconservatives (aka, RINOs, like Rudy Giuliani). No, it was not because the democrat was more conservative – that is emotional denial.

Want to know what pisses off America? Insult their favorite hero Mayor from 9-11, Rudy Giuliani, as the ‘true’ conservatives did when he ran for President. Insult Vietnam War Hero Senator McCain. Backstab our President and demean him and his views. That is the GOP brand of conservatism in the eyes of many Americans, and they have had their fill of it. They are now voting for lower key, less volatile conservatives, ones not beholding to the conservative chattering class. Yes, the Blue Dogs have to co-exist with Pelosi’s liberals and fight the battle for conservatism inside the Dem party, but they are not beholding to conservative talk radio and others who try to push more conservatism than some are ready to accept. Did it ever occur to the far right that Americans are really smart and know how to get around obstacles? Want to get the far right talking heads out of the picture? Put in Blue Dogs who can run free of the far right.

Something to think about while this disaster unfolds.

Update: This article at the Politico is especially brutal, but it also notes the other fallout of the GOP conservative movement losing ground to a Democrat conservative movement – you lose campaign dollars. I fail to see how Rush Limbaugh expects to garner support for GOP conservatism by bashing pseudoconservatives and conservative independents like he did the other day? When these impure voters vote for Blue Dogs, the tend to take their campaign contributions with them. Not sure how belittling them is a winning strategy???? Call me naive.

93 responses so far

93 Responses to “When Will The “True Conservatives” Wake Up To The Damage They Did?”

  1. Whippet1 says:


    I’m a right-winger and a hypochondriac now!!! People who know me personally would be laughing their butts off right now! Name- call away it just proves the point I’ve been tring to make. In politics it’s all the same but each side thinks they’re different.

    And Terrye,
    I thought this was America…Excuse anyone who disagrees with you or Lindsey Graham, McCain, etc, etc. So what does that make you when you disagree with someone…oh yeah, I forgot, you’re allowed.

  2. 75 says:

    Let me submit this little exercise to show the absurdity of AJ’s and Terrye’s ‘centrist’ points.

    We are being asked to believe AJ and Terrye (AJ, of course, has a leg up of the two) or to believe some of the brightest conservative minds of our time, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, William Buckley, Brent Bozell, Thomas Sowell, Charles Krauthammer, Walter Williams, and on, and on, and on infinum.

    C’mon mods…wake up.

  3. AJStrata says:


    First off, stop with the ‘mods’. I am an independent. If you think I am moderate just keep going kid and you will see how good moderate feels.

    Second, I only claim to see what is happening in the voting booths, which is the far right getting pummeled for being crass, and being more crass in response. They’re doing a great job of circling down the toilet of extremism.

    3rd, we only need to out think folks like you to fight the better fight. and gain the power to enact (while the far right has the power to pout).

    Hmmm – I’m good with this. Especially since it has been working as the far right implodes in a fit of anger and frustration.

    BTW – do you think I would poke the far right to explode if I was thinking there would be reason to work together in the end of all this? I mean I did try the “please don’t do this, we can talk, we can find a solution” before the debacle. But if I felt that the best way to neuter the far right was to make sure they kept showing their true colors, maybe I would stop trying to compromise and start trying to win the day….

    Did that ever occur to you folks, that us lowly impure conservatives would actually engage in the fight the far right started with every intent of vanquishing the opposition?

    Geez, if you folks call for a purity war, maybe you should have thought about the fact (1) the centrist would certainly take up the challenge and (2) could win. food for thought as you contemplate your next lame attempt to insult the only voting block who can give you the far right the support it needs to be part of (not in charge of) a conservative majority housed inside a GOP caucus.

    LOL! John McCain is a great example of the far right showing everyone up…..

  4. 75 says:

    AJ, I see you are sensitive and defensive again today…but to clarify…I use the term mods to mean everyone who’s left of conservative but not a leftist Democrat. Whether they are independents, centrists, moderates, whatever…it isn’t meant as an insult. Clearly you took it as one, though. What do you suppose that means?

    But that aside, I noticed you didn’t answer any of my questions. They were not rhetorical insults, AJ. So again, I will ask.

    First, is it your opinion that the far right has alienated American voters because of their passion or their conservative message in general? This is significant because you’ve claimed to be an independent conservative but to reject all conservatives because you feel they the insult you (or the American voter), tells us a lot about you and the American voter.

    Secondly, are you asking us to reject these brilliant writers based solely on your opinion of this election because of their passion or for their actual conservative knowledge vis-a-vis yours and Terryes? Again, what makes more sense to you?

  5. Whippet1 says:


    “I mean I did try the “please don’t do this, we can talk, we can find a
    solution” before the debacle.” Oh, really…you’ve been oh so kind in response to their over-the-top rhetoric haven’t you? Yeah, right.

    And I’m also getting pummeled in the voting booth and I’m not far right – nor are or were any of my candidates but since I have disagreed with you on this issue now I am far right. Keep adding all of us conservatives to that far-right label you like to throw out and maybe you’ll find the numbers to justify your argument.

    Where is that information in the immigration bill again? The one that protects the proposed new laws from interpretation by the courts?


    For conservatives:
    Disagreement = purity war, ranting, raving, fringe, vanquishing the opposition, crass, toilet of extremism, etc., etc.

    For independents:
    Disagreement = fighting the BETTER fight, being more observant, being objective, compromising, pointing out the obvious, etc., etc.

    Get it 75?

  6. 75 says:

    Whip, oh I get it.

    I can’t get a straight answer out of either of them. AJ will probably take that as an insult but it sounds like he’s ready to boot me anyway.
    Forgive me but just how bad should a lemming feel if he’s booted out of the line to the cliff?

  7. Whippet1 says:

    Ooh, I left insulting out of my previous list of conservative disagreement definitions!

  8. AJStrata says:

    LOL! 75 and Whippet1,

    The reason I keep you around is you prove my point and make me look good in comparison.

    trust me, I would no more boot you than Soothie – you all serve a purpose.

  9. 75 says:

    AJ, it’s at least nice to see you’ve come to your senses on that issue, anyway. Baby steps, I guess…

  10. AJStrata says:


    What are you talking about now 75? If you think I ‘came to my sense’ it simply means you deluded yourself again and misunderstood.

  11. 75 says:

    AJ, your decision not to boot me.

  12. Whippet1 says:

    “The reason I keep you around is you prove my point and make me look good in comparison.”

    Sure, if calling people names and labeling them as “true”, “pure” or right-wing conservatives when you have no idea if they are or not just because they happen to disagree with you on an issue or two makes you look good in comparison then I guess you would think you look pretty good.

  13. 75 says:

    Wow, Whippet. I appreciate that you are firmly in my corner but come up for air occasionally!