October 11, 2005


Do Democrats Need Their Own Gingrich? (Terry M. Neal, October 11, 2005, Washington Post)

Suddenly, Democrats are optimistic about their political future. But should they be? Back in 1994, when the Republicans took over Congress, not every Republican agreed with every piece of the revolutionary agenda laid out by Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). The party was riven then with ideological divides just as it is now. But the GOP was able to unite for the sake of political victory around a handful of leaders with a clear, concise vision for the future.

With the midterms a little more than a year away, the questions for Democrats are many. The most pressing question facing Democrats -- and the most tortured internal policy debate -- will be how to deal with Iraq, as well as the broader issue of defense, terrorism and foreign policy.

Yet, is there enough common ground within the party to establish a common, concise vision on Iraq, national security and other issues? Does the party need its version of Gingrich?

Mr. Neal misses the point completely. The problem isn't that Democrats disagree among themselves, but that they disagree with the American people on taxes, regulations, social issues, religion, law enforcement, and national security.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2005 12:27 PM

At least the Dems are honest about it, Bush just gives lip service to most of these domestic issues and acts, as he always has, like something is wrong with the core of conservatism. I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. My appreciation for Bush has turned into grudging respect. Bush would've been regarded as a craptastic president if not for the war, and his admin has been taking advantage of this to detriment of good government.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 12:38 PM


Any evidence to support your conclusions?

Posted by: sam at October 11, 2005 12:48 PM


That's silly--he's the only one who's ever done anything about it--NCLB, FBI, stem cells, partial birth abortion, court packing, marriage initiative, etc.. Reagan certainly didn't.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 1:16 PM


Over the last 2 weeks or so, at various so-called conservative sites (The Corner, PoliPundit etc.), I have asked how Bush is any less conservative (by whatever definition they choose) than Reagan. Needless to say, I have got pablum about immigration, spending, borders, judges etc. When I have asked folks to look at comparative evidence for Reagan and Bush, I have gotten silence.

Posted by: sam at October 11, 2005 1:28 PM

Well I suppose anyone who uses "craptastic" in their comment is going more off feeling than anything, but it is just my naive expectation of consistent conservatism. Supporting the "science" behind global warming, but not supporting Kyoto. The huge spending which has occurred under his administration. Let me repeat: the huge spending under his administration. Failure to simply enforce the existing immigration law. Failure to address the actual causes of the poverty in New Orleans, thereby lending credence to the racial/liberal view. His appointment of Miers when he promised Scalia & Thomas's. Miers clearly doesn't have a record like Scalia or Thomas. And if we are so devoted to promoting liberty abroad then he should have done something tangible about Darfur now, and should be applying more rhetorical pressure (at least) towards China, whom everyone knows is doing their damnedest to steal our technology so they can sink our ships. I just want better conservatism, and it seems that once these people get in office, they get weak-knees, and I just expect more from myself and my representatives.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 1:38 PM


Tell me, in your view, who is the best "conservative" president we have ever had?

Posted by: sam at October 11, 2005 1:40 PM

Reagan gave more believable rhetorical support than Bush has. As far as the comparitive evidence, well hell I'll still take a Reagan or Bush over a Clinton or Gore, but he can be better and his base expects better. We need to work with Dems sometimes to get things done, but conservatism thrives on education. We need our leaders to stand by and educate the public on why we need to do certain things, conservative things. Nowadays Bush et al. seem to timid to do this. They are too willing to play the game.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 1:43 PM

I liked Coolidge. And Washington. As strange as it sounds, Teddy Roosevelt is near the top, what with his respect for the land and for his stands against graft and trusts. But I'd take Washington, then Coolidge, as my favs.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 1:55 PM


So, by your admission, Reagan talked a better game than Bush.

Here's Bush vs. St. Reagan in actual results:

Immigration - Reagan gave us the illegal manesty program, Bush has asked for guest worker program

Federal spending - 59% increase in discretionary spending and 62% increase in mandatory spending under Reagan, compared with 36% and 23% respectively for Bush; Spending as % of GDP averaged 22.5% under Reagan, has averaged 19% under Bush; Public Debt as % of GDP increased by 15 points under Reagan, has increased by 4 points under Bush

SC judges - O'Connor by Reagan, Roberts by Bush

Terrorism - Reagan cut and ran from Beirut

Not to repeat the things that oj mentioned (NCLB, FBI, stem cells, partial birth abortion, court packing, marriage initiative. Sure, Reagan talked a better game, but delivered diddly squat.

Posted by: sam at October 11, 2005 1:57 PM

TR was the original American statist, a eugenecist/racist, and the worst president the GOP produced until Nixon. Coolidge was an excellent president in a world that had never had a Great Depression.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 2:06 PM


What was Thomas's record? He was a cipher.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 2:07 PM


You're asking people who don't understand the question.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 2:08 PM

Well, understandable sam, but its not like we've been spoiled under Bush. He does just enough to keep that 4% edge, or whatever small percent he won by, that keeps him in the Whitehouse. It is that 4% that is keeping us from having a Kerry and having to fight to keep our country from getting worse. Given that the margin is so slim, you would think, as a conservative, that Bush would do something more concrete, domestically, to take us away from the liberalism much of the rest of the world embraces. He has not done this, rather he has done just enough, and I believe it is clear he could have, and can still do, more.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 2:10 PM


Don't look at Bush since you can't see him clearly. Look at Britain, Australia & America. W is doing what Blair and Howard are doing and it is revolutionary.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 2:23 PM


Rhetoric? You want rhetoric rather than action? No wonder you don't want Miers but do want a talking head.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 2:25 PM

Eh, it is a bit muddled oj, but don't assume I don't understand the question. I understand your view of Bush, I fail to see how it is revolutionary.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 2:30 PM

Its not that I just want rhetoric, I want rhetoric in the service of educated the public on the conservative point of view.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 2:31 PM

*in the service of educating

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 2:32 PM

It's not the duty of a Supreme Court Justice to be "educating the public" (or anyone else, for that matter) on any point of view. Their job is to apply the law as written by the legislature(s) in compliance with the Constitution.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 11, 2005 2:41 PM

Well its not as if my comments were that eloquent, but Raoul you've also misunderstood what I'm saying, and in a completely different way. Besides that, I don't agree with your statement. The Justices are leaders, and I think speeches and interviews given in that position are entirely necessary, especially given the wanting role the Constitution has occupied in the media's political coverage. Same goes for their rulings, I know I've learned quite a bit reading what they produce in their line of work. Achieving justice is entirely about educating the public.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 3:32 PM

Scof: '[Bush is] Supporting the "science" behind global warming, but not supporting Kyoto.'

I'm not clear what you're complaining about. Do you think Bush should ignore the science, or support the dead-letter Kyoto agreement?

Posted by: Bill Woods at October 11, 2005 3:43 PM


Educating? Do we really need more talk radio types.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 4:27 PM

Because Bush holds the position of humans causing this warming, but doesn't support the political extension of that, which is Kyoto. Is he providing a third way? All that is is a recipe for Kyoto lite, given the precedent he is setting by acquiescing to the dominant, and as mentioned dubious, prevailing international opinion.

He could have, in contrast, put some more effort into spelling out some of the critiques of the prevailing opinion. Towards that end we don't need more talk radio types, but isn't one of the main reasons the anti-intellectual tradition worked in America is because of the strong ties to tradition that have existed in this country? If so, then in present day these ties are being shredded and twisted, and education does the proper pruning job that's needed to keep tradition adapting to the present.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 5:05 PM


The globe can be warming and we contributing to it without the prospect of action by us making much difference. Instead of restricting industry he's forged a major new pact outside Kyoto to use technology to clean up emmissions. Tony Blair has recently acknowledged that W's Third Way in this regard will prevail.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 5:13 PM

Reagan talked a better game, but delivered diddly squat.

Reagan promoted Star Wars, and by offering to give up America's nukes instead of the SDI at the Reykjavik talks in '86, he got Mikhail Gorbachev believing that the U.S. was an inch away from a working missile defense, and Reagan thereby ended the Cold War.

"Diddly squat" seems to be a bizarrely understated assessment of ending a thirty-year stalemate that had the major powers so hair-triggered that the world was nearly accidentally enveloped by total thermonuclear war a half dozen times.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 10:50 PM


Wasn't actually a social issue though.

Posted by: oj at October 12, 2005 1:06 AM

Scof: "Because Bush holds the position of humans causing this warming, but doesn't support the political extension of that, which is Kyoto."

For people concerned about global warming, Kyoto is a snare and a delusion. Even if the participating countries lived up to their obligations, it would have a trivial effect at enormous cost. (Of course most of the cost was supposed to have been borne by the U.S., by the artful choice of 1990 for the reference year.)

Posted by: Bill Woods at October 12, 2005 3:25 AM
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