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Huckabee Sucks Up to Liberals Why Is It So Cold? Maybe the Sun?

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Ripping the Republican Big Tent Apart

by Christopher Chantrill
December 18, 2007 at 1:39 pm

FIFTY YEARS ago the US conservative movement began in a fusion between Burkean conservatives and libertarian conservatives. In the late Sixties they were joined by the “mugged by reality” neoconservatives.

Then in the 1970s the Supreme Court created the Christian Right with Roe v. Wade and added social conservatives to the movement.

These different factions in the conservative movement have not always got along, but they have learned to live with each other and to respect each other’s agenda. The poster boy for this is Rush Limbaugh. Divorced several times, he is a success-oriented conservative; yet he is respectful towards social conservatives and he is pro-life.

Having learned to live with each over the years many of us were shocked when John McCain ran for president against the social conservatives in 2000. Why would anyone want to do that, we wondered? It’s become clear, in the years since, that McCain is a national security conservative only, and just doesn’t understand, and doesn’t want to understand the other factions of the movement.

The initial first tier candidates for 2008—Giuliani, Romney, Thompson—are all fusion candidates. They may target their appeal to one faction or another, but they do not try to split the conservative movement.

But insurgents like Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are splitters. Ron Paul is trying to create a divide between libertarians and the rest of the conservative movement and Mike Huckabee is trying to create a divide between evangelical conservatives and the rest of the conservative movement. And then there is John McCain, who still wants to split off national security conservatives from the rest of the movement.

I’m rooting for one of the uniters to win. And I hope that all of the dividers fail. Our conservative movement needs to grow. It needs to be ready and welcoming when the next troop of Americans is cast out into the political wilderness by the liberal establishment.

The various wings of the movement have broadly similar goals and the particular concerns of each faction informs and inspires the others.

We don’t want no stinkin’ dividers.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


Comments:


Posted by: Craig on 12/19/07 11:24pm

I agree, a divided conservative movement can't win in this media climate. Ron Paul has a lot of good things to say but he will never have the party behind him and neither will McCain. Huckabee, I beg you, please go away! What we don't need is a minister right now, we need a manager. The rest of the Republican hopefuls are imperfect but are all miles ahead of any Dem...


Posted by: Pete on 12/19/07 10:10pm

Very good analysis of the candidates. Ron Paul can be a particular danger to the Republicans this year. He has raised a decent amount of money and has gotten good exposure in the debates, etc., both of which he can use to great effect in a third party run after he is defeated in the primaries. After all, Paul did run for the presidency as a libertarian in 1988 -- what's to say he won't do it again. If he does, he'll probably get 5 to 7% of the vote, enough to ensure a Dem victory.


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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Responsible Self

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Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Churches

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Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill