February 16, 2010


Mount Vernon Conservatives (W. James Antle, III, 2.16.10, American Spectator)

Unlike the Contract With America, the Mount Vernon Statement is not a detailed legislative agenda. Instead, it intended as a set of philosophical principles that can serve as the foundation for policy formulation later. It is less Frank Luntz than Frank Meyer.

In fact, parts read like Meyer's "fusionist" conception of conservatism. The document reminds "economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to Americas safety and leadership role in the world."

The Mount Vernon Statement specifically calls for a new "fusion provided by American principles" through "constitutional conservatism." "In recent decades, America's principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics," the document reads. "The self-evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant."

"Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new," the statement continues. "But where would this lead -- forward or backward, up or down? Isn't this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?" The Mount Vernon conservatives assert "we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution."

"The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature's God," the platform reads. "It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man's self-interest but also his capacity for virtue."

"I think it's an excellent statement of conservative first principles," former Congressman David McIntosh, a leading participant in the Conservative Action Project, told TAS. "The objective was to unify various people who were conservatives who care about different aspects of conservatism. It unites all of those principles under kind of a stron hold of constitutional government."

Obama/Reid/Pelosi is what happens when the wings of the Right storm off in a a snit at conservatism. Then they get scared back into Fusionism

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2010 6:48 AM
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