November 8, 2012

"We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No."

"We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party... has the ability to rebrand itself."

Said Herman Cain, who would like the GOP to rebrand itself in the opposite way from what I'd like.

I voted for Romney even though I reject the package of issues that comes marked with the label "social conservative," Cain's favorite material. One reason I felt calm and distanced from the results of the election in less than 24 hours is that I only wanted about half of what Mitt Romney was offering, and I agree with Obama on the other half. Making the best of what happened is, for me, automatic. I support gay rights and abortion rights, to name the 2 most prominent social issues in this year's elections.

The linked article — at Salon — is a bit confusing, especially the last paragraph:
After the GOP’s crushing 2008 loss, there was lots of talk about a new third party. When the Tea Party emerged, this talk almost became a reality. Instead, the conservative activists opted for a hostile takeover of the GOP. It’s still very unlikely that Cain or anyone else could start a viable third party, but his comments underscore the cleavage within the conservative movement in the wake of the defeat last night.
I thought the Tea Party was about the economic issues — taxing and spending. Do the social issues belong in the Tea Party? Well, apparently they've seeped in. Were Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Richard "something God intended" Mourdock Tea Party? I didn't buy the "War on Women" demagoguery, but those guys made the GOP look really awful — at least old-fashioned and dumb if not deeply sexist or scarily religionist.

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

158 comments:

Surfed said...

Hear, hear! I too am a Crunchy Con.

Franklin said...

What rights don’t gay people have?

Surfed said...

I also refer to my political stance as a Conservatarian or Granola Con...

alwaysfiredup said...

Todd Akin was not a tea party candidate. It would be accurate to say there were members of the Missouri tea party behind all three candidates. If you want to divide it up by primary affiliation, the Santorum folks backed Akin, the Romney folks backed Steelman and the Paul people backed Brunner.

The Farmer said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

Sure - and it'll be a miserable failure. There aren't enough of you.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

I think Lincoln Chafee is the future of the Republican Party. Maybe Charlie Crist?

Michael Haz said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

That's what the GOP now is. What you are asking for is a GOP that denies the liberty of the unborn and the religious.

You really want the Democrat Party, but with a more financially prudent president who also respects the military and won't leave them to die in an embassy.

Shouting Thomas said...

I don't buy the reality of the existence of the "social issues" you keep peddling, Althouse. Most of it, i.e., the feminist and gay stuff, is just fabrication from martyrdom propaganda movies.

The great persecution of the women and the gays never happened. It's just a mythology derived from protest songs and martyrdom movies. In reality, this great persecution never happened, not in the small Illinois town where I grew up or in Chicago, SF or NYC, where I've lived as a result.

The only real "social issue" I perceive is abortion, and the Republican Party does need to cease the absolutism and come to a more pragmatic position there.

When you are going to cease pretending that the women and gays are being tortured and killed in the U.S.? The only place you've ever seen or experienced that is in soap opera martyrdom movies and TV shows.

The Farmer said...

The idea that the GOP could survive without social conservatives is laughable. Romney probably lost because evangelicals didn't trust him on abortion and gay marriage (for good reason) so they stayed home. And you want a party that moves to the left of that? Good luck winning anything, ever!

Jeffrey said...

Ann,

Hold it. I thought you were going to tend the garden and gather your rosebuds, returning to your previously stated aversion to and ambivalence about politics. What's going on? I stop by Althouse and find wall-to-wall political commentary. Jeez.

The Farmer said...

Michael Haz said...
You really want the Democrat Party, but with a more financially prudent president who also respects the military and won't leave them to die in an embassy.


Exactly.

New York said...

I support gay rights and abortion rights, to name the 2 most prominent social issues in this year's elections.

And what would Romney have done about these that would disturb you?


I thought the Tea Party was about the economic issues — taxing and spending. Do the social issues belong in the Tea Party? Well, apparently they've seeped in.

You trust Salon to tell you what the Tea party stands for?

Shouting Thomas said...

What the Republican Party needs to do to win elections is to embrace the white middle and lower class by fiercely opposing illegal immigration and by equally fiercely fighting to end racial and sexual quotas.

Increasing the number of married whites who vote Republican by 5% would have won this election.

The Democrats go for the bloc racial and sexual votes of various classes. The Republicans need to cease being embarassed and go after the white middle and lower class vote. Get 80% of that vote.

rcommal said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

Good question. I'm specifically interested in that with regard to politicians at the national level. (I'm one of those who votes more conservatively the farther away the office is from me, physically.)

EMD said...

I don't get the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

From the other thread:

Republicans own 67% of Governorships. They own 60% of State Houses.

Why aren't Democrats lamenting they can only win a few Senator races and the Presidency, and get their asses handed to them on the state level?

Is that part of the ground game or not?


EMD said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

I hate to break it to you, but the Libertarian party is a national failure.

MadisonMan said...

Althouse, Althouse, Althouse.

Your comments section has taught me that any Republican who isn't strictly 100% against all Abortions, All the Time, is a RINO.

I'd like a Centrist party. Leave the Rightwing and Leftwing Kooks to fulminate in their own juices about their pet projects, and the sensible pragmatic Centrists can do what is right for the country.

AprilApple said...

"Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?"

For the most part, we have that. We need more, I do agree. Murdock and Akin are on the margins, not center stage. Can we get a democrat party that isn't so economically corrupt? Can we get a news media and a new academia that will teach our kids to think instead of how to feel?
Can we get an honest and curious press?

Jeffrey said...

Okay, I'll help you out. Screw that surrender-monkey Voltaire. Let's go with a fella from Brooklyn, Walt Whitman. "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes," rants the Bard. Well, maybe "rants" isn't the right word.

Chip S. said...

Todd Akin won the nomination by a small plurality in a three-candidate race. If there had been provisions for a runoff, I doubt he would've won.

But as for Althouse's question, the answer is implied by the answer to a different question: How many Dem voters would respond favorably to a platform based on individual freedom and responsibility vs. the soft socialism of the Dem platform?

Libertarians and religious voters are stuck w/ each other. They just need to shut up about abortion in order to win.

EMD said...

A large portion of the electorate can apparently give a shit about sound economics, or politicians would run scared from deficit spending.

Balanced budgets would be all the rage.

We have an unhealthy addiction in this country to service and security at any cost.

edutcher said...

That's the Libetarian rap - give up your principles and just worry about money.

Notice how well it's worked for them.

Actually, Conservatism is about preserving social values that have not only stood the test of time, but have been proven to work. Does anybody honestly believe a society of Julias can survive?

The Farmer said...

The idea that the GOP could survive without social conservatives is laughable. Romney probably lost because evangelicals didn't trust him on abortion and gay marriage (for good reason) so they stayed home. And you want a party that moves to the left of that? Good luck winning anything, ever!

We still have the House, asshole.

The Farmer (who probably only sells Farmers Insurance) is the face of the Obamajority (if it exists).

He can't wait to put all the "Boomers" on the cattle cars to Auschwitz-on-the-Potomac so he can have some of Barack's free medical care (oh, wait, it's not free, it's a tax).

campy said...

You trust Salon to tell you what the Tea party stands for?

Why not? They're Unbiased Journalists over there.

EMD said...

Imagine if social conservatives controlled the major media for the past 40 years what the political makeup of the country would look like.



EMD said...

The Farmer (who probably only sells Farmers Insurance) is the face of the Obamajority (if it exists).

Ed, The Farmer is right. Re-read what he wrote.

edutcher said...

PS No, the Tea Partiers (who aren't about social issues) are right. Work to reform the Republican Party.

Peter said...

Social conservatism is a loser with younger voters.

BUT once you get away from moralizing, it remains true that for most, single-mommy-by-choice is not an economically viable choice without massive government support.

Which seems to lead one back to a form of social conservatism as a requirement for small government.

Callit "social conservatism lite" if you will- a rationalist social conservatism, one without the Bible thumping.

Does anyone truly believe it's possible to have a majority of births to unmarried mommies and still retain small government?

(Yes, I know- some parents make durable non-marital commitments, to each other and/or any children. But in the aggregate, such commitments have been far less durable than marriage, and have offered far less paternal support for any children).

So, outside of utopia (libertopia?), how can you have small government and an ever-increasing number of births outside of marriage?

And if you can't have small government, how can you prevent big government from smothering individualism?

Dave said...

After yesterday we can't save this country from the demographic/fiscal cliff. Four years from now it'll be much much harder and there is no political will to do reduce entitlements (a corrupt term BTW). Taxes will go up, jobs will be lost, the economy will limp along for a while with new gas and oil discoveries supporting it unless new regs choke off that one bright spot too.
The budget is out of control with no signs of abatement. Debt service will rise and rise and our debt rating will fall the most likely result will be inflation. I can't see any possibility of a fix given the current power structure. Wish I could. Add onto that the very high probability of a nuclear Iran in the near future and Americas prospects look pretty poor.

AprilApple said...

99% of the GOP establishment begged Akin to drop out.

rcommal said...

But there will come a point when I won't be able to vote for a Republican at the national level if those who think that those candidates should be harder right. (Note: While I've voted for Democrats, as well as Republicans of course, many times down ticket, I've voted for a democrat at the presidential level only one time [there were two other times that I voted for a third-party candidate: John Anderson in '80, my first presidential vote, and Ross Perot in '92]). I'm not a social conservative, and, further, I don't think it's truly conservative to be micromanaging individual lives at the federal government level, period, not fiscally, not in terms of regulation, and not in terms of social issues--either from the left or the right, to be clear. Someone like a Santorum, for example? No way. I would not vote for that political profile at the national level.

Renee said...

Franklin, I'm a strong marriage 'defender', but I've always felt compassion for many of the issues concerning homosexuals.

It just feels like we're talking about two completely concepts. When I speak of marriage, it isn't from an anti-gay point of view. I live in an urban area, in which father absence is a problem. I also volunteer with a government agency that works with families, and recognizes the importance of both a mother and father.


I always wondered if we banned sperm/egg donation (for everyone), and ensure that adoptions went through the courts to ensure the birth parents were not coerced with private agreements, would I feel differently about gay marriage because many of my concerns for the rights of children and birth parents would be answered?

Marriage from this point of view, isn't seen as a civil right, but a promotion of moral behavior. We can not force people to marry, even if they had a child. As my husband says, 'Freedom to Marry? Don't I lose all my freedoms when I did?'


In terms of public policy and its goal, the same legal term to deal with different situations can conflict with one another. Even if we have 'civil unions', that same public policy applies, so nothing is truly resolved.

There are specific needs for children, that means we have to address a mother and father to be present, best in the same home with a healthy relationship with one another. That doesn't mean I hate or disrespect others.

It's frustrating, because we can't ignore the rights of children.

-------

Teens' Sexual Behavior Affected By Relationship With Dad, Researchers Find

The findings "suggest that fathers may distinctly influence the sexual behavior of their adolescent children," said study researcher Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, a professor of social work at New York University. "Fathers may parent in ways that differ from mothers, and therefore represent an additional opportunity to support adolescent health and well-being," he said.

A better understanding of the role dads play in their teens' sexual behaviors and reproductive health could help researchers identify which parenting practices have the biggest impact on teens, and lead to better invention strategies that include both moms and dads, the researchers said.

------------------

Parenting More Important Than Schools to Academic Achievement, Study Finds

Specifically, the researchers looked at how "family social capital" and "school social capital" pertained to academic achievement. Family social capital can essentially be described as the bonds between parents and children, such as trust, open lines of communication and active engagement in a child's academic life. School social capital captures a school's ability to serve as a positive environment for learning, including measures such as student involvement in extracurricular activities, teacher morale and the ability of teachers to address the needs of individual students.

damikesc said...

You really want the Democrat Party, but with a more financially prudent president who also respects the military and won't leave them to die in an embassy.

So, she wants a myth.

Unicorns for all!

Personally, I'm coming around on abortion. Progressives tend to abort their babies, so hey, fewer problems in the future.

What the Republican Party needs to do to win elections is to embrace the white middle and lower class by fiercely opposing illegal immigration and by equally fiercely fighting to end racial and sexual quotas.

They should also heavily go after Asians by mentioning that the one group who is the MOST screwed over by racial quotas --- are Asians. They have been shafted.

Bob Ellison said...

Dave, your predictions look correct. Many of the political forces at work have feedback mechanisms, too. The more people on welfare, the more demand welfare and vote for welfare-loving politicians. It's a bad pattern.

Renee said...

---------------

And this is depressing.

Chicago’s Mounting Homicide Rate Rooted in Father-Absence

"The structure of the family unit is threatened by gender bias and parental alienation that prevent many good fathers from staying involved in their children's lives. We must restore fatherhood as a societal norm in our community to decrease crime. Many fathers do not stand a chance against the gender perception that they lack the ability to care for their children. This flawed belief must be modified through revised social thought and legislative reform to provide them the opportunity to do so. The single strongest predictor of crime in America is father absence, not the amount of police officers on the street."

Aridog said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

EMD said...

A large portion of the electorate can apparently give a shit about sound economics, or politicians would run scared from deficit spending.

Asked. And answered.

Dave said...

Farmers right - moving away from opposition to abortion will just cause the right to shrink faster. We need a choice not an echo. If all the Repubs want to be are better money managers they will inspire no one.

EMD said...

PS No, the Tea Partiers (who aren't about social issues) are right. Work to reform the Republican Party.

That's a long term process -- divorcing yourself from the social cons -- that's another 20+ years in the wilderness.

I like the economic/security argument to social conservatism better.

Marriage is good ! -- for gays and straights because it produces more stable households and children with better future prospects. Become the marriage party.

Change the meaning. The left does it all the time.

Paul Zrimsek said...

They don't let you become a pundit unless you believe that:

1. Every election is a Great Realignment, even if all the same guys get sent back, and

2. The only way the losing party can ever recover is to agree with you about everything.

Ned said...

"Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty? "

Excuse me...your ignorance is showing. Does "you must buy health insurance from these people" ring a bell???
You and many like you are the PROBLEM...you know not of what you speak...low info voter.

Renee said...

@EMD "From the other thread:

Republicans own 67% of Governorships. They own 60% of State Houses."


It's Elizabeth Warren and senate control, in terms of 'cleaning up Wall Street'. She won't clean it up, she run the financial sector out of the country.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't buy the reality of the existence of the "social issues" you keep peddling, Althouse. Most of it, i.e., the feminist and gay stuff, is just fabrication from martyrdom propaganda movies."

If you don't "buy" that women have the right to make the decision about whether to go through pregnancy and childbirth rather than to be barred by the government from having a medical procedure and if you don't buy that gay people are equal citizens entitled to access to the opportunities and legal status that other people have, then don't buy it. But I think those things are fundamental, and your assertion that they don't even exist as real issues is alienating to me. If that's what the GOP wants to be, it can be that, but I wonder why I should offer them any support. I voted for their candidate, but only because I thought the economic issues were dominant. If that's what the GOP is, I need to make it very clear to anybody reading this, that I am not a member of that party.

edutcher said...

EMD said...

The Farmer (who probably only sells Farmers Insurance) is the face of the Obamajority (if it exists).

Ed, The Farmer is right. Re-read what he wrote.


No, he's wrong. The evangelicals didn't abandon Romney.

What he's talking about is just becoming another thrall to the Lefties.

You want to do that, go ahead.

Truth in advertising: The American people came to a "gentleman's agreement" on abortion a long time ago (justifiable in the cases of rape, incest, etc.). What Mourdock said was perfectly reasonable as a statement of personal belief. The irony is abortion is less popular and there are fewer abortion mills now

The moral component is a big part of Conservatism which separates us from the Libertarians. Most Libertarians are Lefties who don't feel guilty about wanting to hang onto their money.

If that's the way you want to go, fine, but you won't get there without changing the culture and, as this article notes, if you don't do that, it ain't gonna happen.

PS Take a look at the county map of the election. One Hell of a lot of red out there.

rcommal said...

Back in 2008, at the very, very start of the primary season, my biggest concern was that Mike Huckabee might end up as the Republican nominee. (LOL, right? Well, I agree--now.) To be clear, I find Huckabee to be very likeable. But he struck me as the worst of both worlds, **at the national level**: social conservative + economic populist. This is just to provide a point of reference for understanding--if you care to--my worldview w/r/t to presidential candidates, and so forth. And I don't think I'm unique, or even very special.

The Farmer said...

We still have the House, asshole.

The Farmer (who probably only sells Farmers Insurance) is the face of the Obamajority (if it exists).

He can't wait to put all the "Boomers" on the cattle cars to Auschwitz-on-the-Potomac so he can have some of Barack's free medical care (oh, wait, it's not free, it's a tax).


I've never voted for Obama, including when I lived in Illinois and he ran for state Senate. I voted for Romney in this past election even though I didn't take him seriously on social issues. I voted for McCain last time.

I'm opposed to Obamacare and would like to see it repealed.

I'm guessing you're wrong about a lot more than just that.

Dante said...

I thought the Tea Party was about the economic issues — taxing and spending. Do the social issues belong in the Tea Party? Well, apparently they've seeped in.

That stuff is offensive, no doubt.

Outside of abortion, which if I understand your reasoning, is constitutionally protected, what individual liberties is the right trying to take away?

Ann Althouse said...

"Hold it. I thought you were going to tend the garden and gather your rosebuds..."

I never said the rosebuds line, which comes from a different philosophy than Voltaire's, you did.

I write about whatever interests me at any given moment on this blog, which is my garden, which I cultivate. Cultivation is work. Reread the Candide passage from yesterday, and think about it. Or become a great pastry chef or whatever your work is.

Robert Zaleski said...

I hate to say it, but I think Clinton actually did that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt#Federal_spending.2C_federal_debt.2C_and_GDP

Look at the 4th col, It seems he beat all of the recent presidents for most years. I don't know how accurate these numbers are though, I thought there was a bigger jump in spending, but maybe it was just a drop in tax stealing, I wish those amounts were included as well.

Dave said...

Bob,
I wish someone could convince I'm wrong - that I'm too pessimistic, but you are right. This process has aspects that feed itself and creates a negative spiral.

And for those of you that think that abortion is just a social issue, ask yourself how much better we would be if we had those 40M aborted children raised as Americans grown up and working today. Granted the numbers would be different because behavior would change but its still an enormous factor. US population would be down without integration and in fact most immigrants are not able to contribute much, at least not right way.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Third Party is a hard row to hoe in a winner-take-all Presidential selection such as we have.

Dave said...

'cuse me that's immigration not integration

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

I don't buy the reality of the existence of the "social issues" you keep peddling, Althouse. Most of it, i.e., the feminist and gay stuff, is just fabrication from martyrdom propaganda movies.

If you don't "buy" that women have the right to make the decision about whether to go through pregnancy and childbirth rather than to be barred by the government from having a medical procedure and if you don't buy that gay people are equal citizens entitled to access to the opportunities and legal status that other people have, then don't buy it. But I think those things are fundamental, and your assertion that they don't even exist as real issues is alienating to me. If that's what the GOP wants to be, it can be that, but I wonder why I should offer them any support. I voted for their candidate, but only because I thought the economic issues were dominant. If that's what the GOP is, I need to make it very clear to anybody reading this, that I am not a member of that party.


Ann, you voted for them because the Democrats are leading us all over the fiscal cliff and you're smart enough to see that.

You also voted for them because they wouldn't leave 4 men to die and then go off to be when help was available.

I won't go into the homosexuality thing, but the abortion thing is the first step in creating disposable human beings (hey, the black population in this country is declining; Margaret Sanger must be so proud). When us "Boomers" start being told, "No, you can't have that procedure", the process will be complete.

Eric said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

Unlikely, but we already have the poster boy for such party if needed: Rand Paul.

EMD said...

Ed, The Farmer is right. Re-read what he wrote.

No, he's wrong. The evangelicals didn't abandon Romney.


We are seriously missing each other's point, and his.

He's agreeing with you that the Reps need evangelicals and their ilk. He, personally, may not like them, but he's saying that the Reps cannot abandon the social conservatives -- like you are!

Robert Zaleski said...

Problem I do see with Democrats, is despite the Rhetoric, they do force their beliefs on others. I shouldn't be forced to pay for Planned Parenthood or Contraception. My kids shouldn't be forced to be exposed to anything about Homosexuality, or to obtain Abortions while they are under my care. They should be taught to respect all people despite differences, but I will personally always think it's a gross derangement of the nautral order. If you truly want freedom and liberty, you have to respect that people will feel that way. Especially since it's the same basis your argument to allow it is based on. Most dems think I'm wrong about Gay marriage and abortion, I understand that.

edutcher said...

The Farmer said...

I've never voted for Obama, including when I lived in Illinois and he ran for state Senate. I voted for Romney in this past election even though I didn't take him seriously on social issues. I voted for McCain last time.

I'm opposed to Obamacare and would like to see it repealed.


Sure wouldn't know it from most of his comments.

Another one of those "I'm a Conservative, but...".

Teresa Dvoracek said...

There is no defense of Akin's comments, but let's look at Murdock's. He said that he really struggled with the issue of rape and abortion (which accounts for about 1-2% of abortions) but that he couldn't accept that God didn't love a child simply because of the circumstances of his conception. Unfortunately, he finished with a very clumsy conclusion that "God intends that" which was way too easy for the media to spin that God intends rape. Of course, Murdock didn't say God intends rape; he said God intends for all of his creation to be cherished.

Two possible interpretations of this event. Either people are way to uninformed to function as a democracy anymore, or people really think that the extremists in the abortion debate are those who believe that God doesn't love the children conceived in rape. That's what his comments were actually about. Is that really extreme now? In a country with taxpayer subsidization of abortion clinics and partial birth abortion (which the AMA said is never medically necessary)?

I think the lesson from this episode is that prolife people need to either stay out of politics and focus exclusively on prenatal clinics, parenting classes for unwed mothers/teen parents, etc. Or, we need to stand up and fight back against the mendacious press. There are real, live people who survived abortion attempts. Real, live people who were conceived in rape. If a ridiculous person like Sandra Fluke gets to testify to Congress and address the DNC during prime time then someone like Gianna Jesson should be a highlight of a pro-life candidate's campaign. Or, at least, she could get hauled out to rebut the biased media after something like this Murdock episode.

rcommal said...

Sorry my comments are so garbled this morning; in a hurry and distracted and,per usual, too lazy to preview. My bad. I hope that my general points are getting through anyway, for what they're worth as an always voter whom the Republicans may well yet lose at the national level, depending upon how they proceed to rebuild the party.

TMink said...

I have been to three or four tea party events including two in Washington, and the majority of the tea party folks love Jesus.

So social issues are a part of tea partiers and have been from the start. While the movement focuses on issues of fiscal responsibility, none of us statistically speaking support abortion.

As a limited government, states rights kind of guy who appreciates the constitution (i.e. a tea partier), I think social issues are a matter for the individual states to decide.

And as a former Herman Cain supporter, let me say that if America needs a third party, and it is a big if, Herman Cain is not the man to lead it.

Trey

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tank said...

edutcher said...

That's the Libetarian rap - give up your principles and just worry about money.


In the running for stupidist comment ever.

edutcher said...

EMD said...

We are seriously missing each other's point, and his.

He's agreeing with you that the Reps need evangelicals and their ilk. He, personally, may not like them, but he's saying that the Reps cannot abandon the social conservatives -- like you are!


Where, O where, did I say that?

Patrick said...

I know Ann Coulter is anathema to some, probably most, but her column today makes pretty good sense. href="http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2012-11-07.html">Link

One of a few good points she made:

No one can be blamed for the hurricane that took the news off the election, abruptly halting Romney's momentum, but Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock can be blamed on two very specific people: Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.

The last two weeks of the campaign were consumed with discussions of women's "reproductive rights," not because of anything Romney did, but because these two idiots decided to come out against abortion in the case of rape and incest.

After all the hard work intelligent pro-lifers have done in changing the public's mind about a subject the public would rather not think about at all, these purist grandstanders came along and announced insane positions with no practical purpose whatsoever, other than showing off.

While pro-lifers in the trenches have been pushing the abortion positions where 90 percent of the country agrees with us -- such as bans on partial birth abortion, and parental and spousal notification laws -- Akin and Mourdock decided to leap straight to the other end of the spectrum and argue for abortion positions that less than 1 percent of the nation agrees with.

In order to be pro-life badasses, they gave up two easy-win Republican Senate seats.


I can grieve for the souls of babies who were unborn because they were conceived under tragic circumstances, and I actually do. How difficult is it, however, to recognize that once those events occur, it is a tragedy either way. No one who is sane argues that a woman should be forced to carry the baby.

I understand that some few people of good will disagree, Fr. Martin Fox, for one. My own priest never directly discusses political or social issues, but constantly reminds me that we can rarely force change, but only pray for changes in hearts, and we need to approach the issue with humility. I admit to failing frequently, particularly on the humility part.

Jeffrey said...

Ann,

I know where the reference to rosebuds comes from. It was a riff on your Voltaire allusion. Hey, I was just saying that you reverted to political discussion pretty quickly for someone who just yesterday said that it might be better to focus on love and beauty.

Reread the Candide passage from yesterday, and think about it. Or become a great pastry chef or whatever your work is.

Why the condescension?

As far as my job goes, well, I'm a teacher like you. Go figure.

deborah said...

"What the Republican Party needs to do to win elections is to embrace the white middle and lower class by fiercely opposing illegal immigration and by equally fiercely fighting to end racial and sexual quotas.

Increasing the number of married whites who vote Republican by 5% would have won this election.

The Democrats go for the bloc racial and sexual votes of various classes. The Republicans need to cease being embarassed and go after the white middle and lower class vote. Get 80% of that vote."


What's with all this 'white' stuff? That's a sure loser, looking at Obama's audience election night.

I say reap the conservative Hispanic and black vote with family values, while campaigning against incoming undocumented immigrants taking already scarce jobs.

You might want to re-think racial quotas, considering the growing Asian population, white bread :)

rcommal said...

Basically, I'm a "budgets and back off!" broad, to put it succinctly. Heh.

kimsch said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

I hope so. We need fiscal responsibility along with liberty. We need to drop "special" rights for anyone. We need to do away with affirmative action. We need to do away with legislating "health" such as Bloomberg is trying in NYC.

We need freedom to choose in everything - schools, health, everything.

Stop telling insurance companies what they must cover and allow people to buy insurance that covers what the person wants covered. My mother has no need to cover maternity or prostrate issues. Why should she be paying for coverage for those things?

Allow people in New Jersey to buy insurance from a company in North Dakota if they wish.

Divorce health insurance from employment. Allow us to purchase it like we do our auto, home, and life insurance. Let us bundle it with auto, home, and life if we wish.

Make health insurance actual insurance again, not the pre-paid health it is now. When I was a kid, we paid the doctor when we went (or had a payment plan). One had insurance for catastrophic and hospitalization. You know you'll get sick - that's something you plan for. The hospitalization is what you're insuring against.

I should also be able to choose the level of deductible that I want. Government shouldn't set deductible levels. If I would choose a $5,000 deductible for lower premium payments I shouldn't be limited to a $2,500 deductible with a higher premium because the government doesn't think I should (could) pay that much out of pocket.

Health Savings Accounts (and health reimbursement accounts) should be available to everyone without a use-it-or-lose-it aspect. If I don't use all my health care savings in one year, I should be able to carry it over to the next. Maybe next year I'll have more illnesses than I did this year.

Being able to save this way can allow one to have the money in the health account when it's needed as one gets older.

All pensions need to be defined contribution rather than defined benefit. One has control over how much to contribute to retirement, one can't know that there will be a certain amount available in 20 years...

Dante said...

if you don't buy that gay people are equal citizens entitled to access to the opportunities and legal status that other people have, then don't buy it.


Do you think gays should benefit from the tax code if they get married? it seems to me the state has a legitimate interest in the next generation, hence deductions in the tax code and encouraging opposite sex people to get married and form the environment for children to be made.

Frankly, this stuff seems manufactured. Sure, make a union establishing the legal rights, and back it up with the government, or remove the the marriage penalty and benefits, and leave them for kids, though that will weaken the incentive for heterosexual marriage. I think that's a negative for society.



We do make distinctions based on sex, Ann. Like we have separate bathrooms for men and women. Do you agree we need to tear these down? I'm fine with guys in the bathroom, though I didn't particularly care for a guy who once tried to pick me up. I could imagine that would be highly offensive to some.

I suppose if women are OK with men in their bathrooms, it is OK to have gays in the bathroom and the military. That's fair, right?

rcommal said...

Basically, I'm a "budgets and back off!" broad, to put it succinctly. Heh.

At the national level, specifically. And, of course, there's foreign policy etc., but that is manifestly a federal government responsibility, so I'm not addressing that sort of thing but rather assuming the such.

deborah said...

Coulter said on Hannity last night that Romney didn't get campaigning till June because of the extended primary, and that the Republicans need to tighten the field to those who actually have a chance, i.e., no Herman Caine, no House members, etc.

The Farmer said...

EMD said...
He's agreeing with you that the Reps need evangelicals and their ilk. He, personally, may not like them, but he's saying that the Reps cannot abandon the social conservatives -- like you are!


I don't dislike them. I'm not an evangelical but I think they're mostly right on social issues.

Sure wouldn't know it from most of his comments.

Another one of those "I'm a Conservative, but...".


I'm not a conservative and have never claimed to be one. I've just said, repeatedly, I'm not a liberal, and have laughed and laughed when guys like you insist I am. Right: I'm an anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage liberal who wants Obamacare repealed, who voted for Romney and McCain and who supported the Iraq War. You want everybody to walk in lockstep and if they don't they must be the enemy. Okay then.

The biggest problem with conservatism, by far, is people like you. People like me could easily be won over if you guys didn't act like such goddamned lunatics. You're the mirror image of the dingbat leftist radicals who spell "America" with a K and "women" with a Y. You are the butt of a joke you don't even know is being told.

rcommal said...

@kimsch: A resounding "I SECOND THAT" to your 10:05 a.m. comment. Well laid out, and well done.

EMD said...

We need to do away with legislating "health" such as Bloomberg is trying in NYC.

We've let health insurance become a nationalized problem, so this is what you get.

When YOU become financially responsible for other peoples health, then YOU (Bloomberg & Co) have to manage health issues so YOU don't have to spend so much $$$ on someone else's diabetes.

This is why you BAN 32 oz. soft drinks ... and you legislate the most minor behaviors ... because you need to keep costs down.

Obamacare will be disastrous for this reason alone.

To remove the individual from the health care equation will dictate that these "prudent" decisions be made FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.

Prepare yourself for all kinds of health regulations, in the name of cost-containment.

Marshal said...

I thought the Tea Party was about the economic issues — taxing and spending. Do the social issues belong in the Tea Party? Well, apparently they've seeped in.

They haven't seeped in, the left has convinced their adherents that Tea Partiers are "extreme", and then bait and switched economic issues with social issues.

Michael Haz said...

Althouse, you have posed an interesting question. It's worth a serious conversation.

The Democrats seem to fulfill the "social issues" agenda exactly the way you believe it should be done. Perhaps a different way of posing the question is "Why can't the Democrats embrace fiscal conservativism as a way of enlarging the party and making more appealing to self-described moderate voters?"

The problem (as you described it) isn't the GOP needing to change, rather it is the Democrats' failure to embrace fiscal prudence. They are, after all, the party that cannot be bothered to prepare and follow a budget.

Alternatively, why not aks when the Democrat Party will truely becomne "big tent" and welcome into its ranks those who believe abortiopn and gay marriage are wrong. Diversity and all that.

rcommal said...

Wow. That Ann Coulter column was pretty damned fabulous from start to finish.

Here's the link again: Hat tip: @Patrick at 10:01 a.m.

Sorun said...

"...but those guys made the GOP look really awful"

What we need, Althouse, is a GOP that contains absolutely no crackpots, bad spellers, or poor communicators. None!

Patrick said...

Coulter said on Hannity last night that Romney didn't get campaigning till June because of the extended primary, and that the Republicans need to tighten the field to those who actually have a chance, i.e., no Herman Caine, no House members, etc.

She's correct. Michelle Bachmann running for President? Nuts. Rick Santorum? Nuts. Newt Gingrich? Nuts. All of them a waste of time. All of them in the race for their egos alone. Ridiculous waste of time. None of them stood any chance of winning the primary. All of them would've struggled to get 40% in the general election.

More Coulter:

Purist conservatives are like idiot hipsters who can't like a band that's popular...I like a band that sells NO albums because it proves they have too much integrity to sell out.

Renee said...

Dante, While tax code may be an issue, I think issues arise with day to day domestic/fiscal concerns and also the right to sue for wrongful death. The law needs to address that, but how? We should care about the rights of children and the mutual responsibilities of birth parents. Again I defend marriage and disagree with gay marriage, but this isn't about bathrooms.

garage mahal said...

I'm an anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage liberal who wants Obamacare repealed, who voted for Romney and McCain and who supported the Iraq War.

No offense, but you ain't a liberal dude.

Carol said...

No matter how carefully an insurgent conservative movement like the Tea Party is about its agenda, social con ideas will be ascribed to them *anyway* by the left.

The problem is, a movement is not a party. Parties have platforms, and committees that draft them and argue about them. You know, lots and lots of rank and file members who travel to conventions at their own expense and do a lot of scut work.

No one wants to do that kind of mundane shit except the much maligned members of actual political parties.

Patrick said...

Thanks for the nod. rcommal. Thing is I never read her stuff. I thought, actually that she was one of the nuts. I saw the link on Instapundit and read it. I don't know if that is characteristic for her or not, but this one made a lot of sense.

Patrick said...

you ain't a liberal, dude

I think Farmer has denied being a liberal and a conservative, although I admit that stymies as to what he actually is.

Probably one of those scary free thinking types.

TosaGuy said...

Your party can own the state and most of the issues but if you run a bad candidate, especially for an open seat or as a challenger, they will lose.

The GOP House ran good candidates and the GOP Senate did not.

Pure cultural warriors will have a difficult time winning (until they start winning), but the electorate will vote for someone of those values if they recognize the candidate as effective and will prioritize the biggest issues facing the state, rather then culture issues. Scott Walker is my example here. He is a social conservative and works those issues at the margins, but his main focus was the debt and gov't employment reform. He pissed off a big chunk of people (people who didn't like him anyway), but the greater electorate supported him. They would not have if he was a culture warrior.

This "direction of the party" stuff all goes out the window when a candidate is actually chosen. Then it's a match of two people, their ideas and their ability to articulate them. The ratios of those three factors will always vary election to election and place to place.

The Farmer said...

garage mahal said...
No offense, but you ain't a liberal dude.


You no read sarcasm good.

The Farmer said...

Patrick said...
think Farmer has denied being a liberal and a conservative, although I admit that stymies as to what he actually is.


A Catholic.

kimsch said...

deborah said...

Coulter said on Hannity last night that Romney didn't get campaigning till June because of the extended primary, and that the Republicans need to tighten the field to those who actually have a chance, i.e., no Herman Caine, no House members, etc.


Primary season should be shortened considerably. Like May and June. Then conventions end August, early September. Then the election in November. Six months total.

We also need to get away from the "Establishment" choosing our candidates for us. The Establishment just wants to extend its own power. Didn't the dems make changes to their convention and primary rules because the people chose McGovern and the Establishment dems wouldn't have? The establishment dems decided that the the people can't be trusted to make such important decisions....

Sorun said...

The bigger tent you have, the more "diversity" you'll have of all types, and the more your opponent can cherry-pick your crackpots and say, "Look, those guys make your party look awful."

MikeR said...

Sigh. Tough building a big tent. You need to let people inside, and people differ.

I recall one primary candidate who tried to tell people that we should focus on what we have in common: fiscal responsibility and small government, and stay away from the issues that divide us. He was savaged for it, but it's still a good idea.

Unfortunately, for a lot of conservatives, social conservatism is their main connection to the movement. And even for those of them who _also_ care about balancing the budget, they will not tolerate leaving pro-life and such out of the platform.

I'm pro-life myself, but there is just no sense in pushing it now. No sense. And it makes no sense to talk about building up America's military; it should be subject to the same budgetary issues as everything else: What do we actually need from it, and how much can we pay? There should be nothing in the Republican platform today except bringing spending down to match revenue.

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, I've got to give you an F- for that stupendous strawman argument you gave in response to my post.

I specifically said that the Republicans need to cease trying to sell an absolutist approach to abortion. Then, you gave me an absolutely irrelevant lecture on abortion after I essentially agreed with your position.

The gay marriage thing is irrelevant, Althouse. As several of your gay posters have pointed out, there are very few gays out of the 3% of gays alive who want to be married. And I don't really care about the issue. You are fabricating by insisting that this is really a serious issue affecting a significant number of people

I said that your narrative of some sort of real suppression and persecution of gays and women is derived solely from martyrdom propaganda movies and songs and has no foundation in fact. Since you refuse to acknowledge the reality of what I said, I take that as an admission of defeat.

Or, more simply put, Althouse, when are you going to get that chip off your shoulder? You've got nothing to stand on. You've been carrying that chip on your should, as if you suffered some sort of martyrdom, for 45 years.

No, the argument that all of human tradition should be overturned in the interest of pacifying the tiny number of gays who actually want to be married, and the resistance to that among the electorate, is not proof that something awful is being done to gays.

Stop it with the martyrdom fairy tale, Althouse.

Freder Frederson said...

I voted for their candidate, but only because I thought the economic issues were dominant.

If that is the case. Madam, you are a fool.

deborah said...

@Patric, I just watched the whole Jon Stewart show, and he showed clips of the Republican field talking Romney down for his Bain history. I'd forgotten about that half-hour infomercial on him. Fabulous.

Still and all, I think one of the big reasons Romney lost was his pro staying-in-Afghanistan policy. He was surrounded by Neocons. Why would the poor, whose kids would go, vote for more war? Scary.

Patrick said...

Patrick said...
think Farmer has denied being a liberal and a conservative, although I admit that stymies as to what he actually is.

A Catholic.


I shoulda known, Farmer, I shoulda known.

Chip S. said...

There's an interesting article at RCP that looks at turnout figures in Ohio and wonders if maybe the problem for the Repubs in this election was too few rednecks.

Where things drop off are in the rural portions of Ohio, especially in the southeast. These represent areas still hard-hit by the recession. Unemployment is high there, and the area has seen almost no growth in recent years.

My sense is these voters were unhappy with Obama. But his negative ad campaign relentlessly emphasizing Romney’s wealth and tenure at Bain Capital may have turned them off to the Republican nominee as well.


Looks like Honey Boo Boo's endorsement really helped Obama.

phx disclaimer: The article didn't really say "rednecks." That is my own colorful attempt at summarizing a statistical profile of a county in a way that transmits information quickly and easily.

edutcher said...

Farmer's Catholicism, if it exists, lives only in the cafeteria.

Patrick said...

Deborah, I don't mind the primary candidates taking shots at each other (substantive ones, anyway), or bringing up things that are inevitably going to come up in the general. That can make the candidate stronger. I just think people need to recognize that they have no shot, and shouldn't extend the process unnecessarily.

Really, they ought to have the primaries all in the same month, Feb or March, and then go from there.

Renee said...

@Mike R"

Unfortunately, for a lot of conservatives, social conservatism is their main connection to the movement. And even for those of them who _also_ care about balancing the budget, they will not tolerate leaving pro-life and such out of the platform."

That's me. I actually go to NARAL's site and look at candidates approval ratings. You can technically be pro-choice and still get 25% rating, based on most restrictions the majority of Americans agree with.

I was pleasantly surprised how many local Democrats at a state level get these low ratings. At a federal level, I don't see one how can run as a Democrat without the full support of lobbyists that 'double down' on their support of abortion as if it was sacred.

ricpic said...

Since robbing Peter to pay Paul is THEFT the party that replaces the dying Whig/Republican Party will be the Anti-Theft Party.

prairie wind said...

Me too, kimsch!

deborah said...

I think people need to see the candidates and how the wear on the campaign trail. Much too easy to get a Rick Perry who turns out to be a dud.

Patrick said...

Yeah, I think it would be a great idea to discuss how each of us lives up to the tenets of our own faiths.

Chip S. said...

edutcher, IMO, the Farmer is cool.

He might want to reconsider that combover, but he seems like a logic & evidence kind of guy to me.

Salamandyr said...

Althouse,

If the GOP, rather than being saddled by the likes of Akin, had emphasized how it is actually the moderate party on abortion rights, do you think that it might have made you a little more comfortable with Romney?

After all, the GOP is made up of people with a range of opinions about abortion, from the absolutist one, to more nuanced positions that allow either exceptions in certain cases, or even unrestricted abortion early in the pregnancy. What everyone in the GOP can agree on is that, as the pregnancy progresses, the life of the unborn child becomes paramount, and so restrictions on late term abortions are necessary.

By contrast, look at the Democratic Party. Approval of any restrictions on abortion, at any time in the pregnancy, is anathema. They do allow the caveat that Democrats in conservative areas can be against partial birth abortion as long as they promise not to actually do anything about it. Their leader, the man they adore, a man with an uncommon ability to duck responsibility by voting "present" actually stood up and let his voice be heard to keep infanticide, killing of born children, legal. They were willing to let their signature achievement, healthcare reform, die rather than giving up federal funding of abortions. All this tells me that the Democratic Party is made up of wide-eyed, slobbering fanatics on the subject of abortion.

If this contrast had been made clearer in the race, do you think it would have made your choice easier?

Rusty said...

I see the comrades have shown up to tell us where we went wrong.

Freder Frederson said...

We also need to get away from the "Establishment" choosing our candidates for us.

Do you seriously believe that any of the other Republican candidates, or even the fantasy ones like Palin, would have done better?

Romney was a crappy candidate. But of a very bad lot, he was the most likely to win compared to the other loonies who were running--and the truly moderate republicans (e.g., Pawlenty and Daniels) couldn't get their campaigns off the ground because the loony right has taken over the party.

deborah said...

(Fair enough on letting the candidates vet each other, as we agree that those with no chance shouldn't be allowed to waste time. Except Ron Paul :)

Kim, the McGovern stuff is completey vague for me; need to read up in Wiki. I would like to see a temporary rule that only senators and governors can run. And generals, I guess.

Salamandyr said...

Addendum to above,

I may be making assumptions about your support for abortion rights that aren't true.

I am assuming that you are broadly in favor of allowing women to abort their pregnancies, but might be willing, either in recognition of the inherent dignity of human life, or a spirit of comity and compromise, to allow restrictions on late term abortions, maybe at the 28th week or so. We might disagree on exactly where the line is drawn, but I think we could come to terms.

So I assume you agree with Democrats broadly because you're both "pro-choice" I can't believe you actually agree with the specific policy supported by the President; unrestricted abortion, at all points in the pregnancy, regardless of fetal development, even to the killing of born children that manage to survive the attempted abortion.

deborah said...

Oops, I take that back about generals...currently they're promoted for going along with the program, not free thinking, etc.

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

Romney was a crappy candidate.

No, Choom was, or he could have run on his record.

Patrick said...

Freder - The Republican field was very weak, you're correct in that. I don't think Romney was as bad as you say he was, although in hindsight he relied on some bad advice from the guy that ran the campaign.

Although Pawlenty was my favored candidate, I don't think he has what it takes to win nationally. He's good on policy, a little bit centrist (he's pretty ardently pro-life though - not Akin/Mourdock, but he is pro life), but good on spending. Even with some charisma, he'd have been demonized as much as Romney.

But then I'd also caution taking advice from a guy supporting the side that just lost.

bagoh20 said...

A third party will not help the American people make smarter choices. What we need is smarter voters. The Romney campaign was serious, adult, dignified, and pushing an accomplished, decent man. The Obama campaign was, childish, unserious, and pushing a failed, secretive, and distinctly UN-accomplished man. It was an easy test for serious people.

bagoh20 said...

Those who voted for Obama on social issues - which from what I'm hearing is most - foolishly threw out the baby because someone told them the bath water was dirty. The President does not do much on social issues, especially with the Congress divided.

Cedarford said...

rcommal - I'm not a social conservative, and, further, I don't think it's truly conservative to be micromanaging individual lives at the federal government level, period, not fiscally, not in terms of regulation, and not in terms of social issues--either from the left or the right, to be clear. Someone like a Santorum, for example? No way. I would not vote for that political profile at the national level.

Agree!
Remember that besides the moronic Akin and Mourdoch anti abortion absolutists going down in flames - the social issues conservative running in N Dakota lost. 3 senate losses in 3 states Romney carried by huge margins.
And the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Tea Party", Michelle Bachmann came within a whisker of getting booted from office while far-right fave Colonel Allen West was booted.

Besides abortion and open hispanic-hating...lets talk about two "social values" positions that also hurt Republicans.

1. Worship of the military and new Neocon Wars of Adventure. The country spent far too much time and treasure on 45,000 casualties of The Heroes overseas - with nothing to show BUT TWO LOST WARS.
People are sick of it. Women in particular want America fixed with American effort, money - not distant fucked-up Muslim lands or having our foreign policy based on how belligerant Israel wants us to be. Romney was too in the grips of the war thirsty neocons.

2. People see the obvious problem with no-tax absolutism as a wierd conservative social value. What Republicans said about pushing the Norquistian perversion of Reagan does not comport with reality (Reagan actually raised taxes on the rich substantially in 1986)
A. Twelve years of tax cuts for the "jobs creators" did not create any new private sector jobs. It just made the rich richer.
B. Trickledown is a lie.
C. It does not do Republicans any good to worship the small business owner when they in effect speak of such people as the Patrons of The Worker Peons who should be grateful for any rich person who gives them a bad job.
D. The damage to the capitalist system caused by the CEOs and Bankers has caused great anger in America and a resolve that the Bankers and CEOs lost the trust of the public and are a long way from regaining it. You are not a socialist if you want real government oversight of them.

Titus said...

There is definitely a party for the Rape Philsopher's. It's the republican party-and those freaks were also teabaggers. Allen West major teabagger and huge homophobe. Teabaggers are huge social conservatives too.

Did you know everyone of the Republican Rape Doctor's lost this year?

And you could of possibly even one the senate.

Scott Brown, the guy you were all in love with three years ago went down too-to that evil Indian too!

When is Needy taking another field trip to a Tea Bag conference and ho down?

You still have Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, and Utah firmly in your court-a winning future!
How pathetic but yet so yummy.

Chip S. said...

You don't like Scott Brown, Titus?

Sigivald said...

Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

If it doesn't mind losing the right-populists and the religious conservatives to the Constitution Party, sure.

People with a commitment to those two things, more than other issues, tend to go LP already - and that whole 1% of the vote.

(Someone said, on my blog-list, that this election proved that Americans don't care about sound economics.

I am half-tempted to agree, though it's still overwrought.

Certainly the choice was between "terrible" and "a little less terrible"...)

rhhardin said...

There's a moral affinity because in capitalism you can only make yourself better off by making somebody else better off.

Liberalism is the opposite.

The social conservatives go into moralizing rather than morality, but capitalism is the initial link.

Otherwise they'd have started as Democrats, talking about moral imperatives where it would seem that kind of talk is more at home.

Except that you can only make yourself better off by making somebody else worse off, in liberalism.

RichardS said...

The tea party is driven by the economy and size of government. But the professoriate and pundits like to say it's about social conservatism (and racism, naturally--since to them anyone who opposes this week's Progressive agenda is, by definition, racist).

gutless said...

I proudly stand with Ann on the overriding issues confronting our nation today: receptive anal intercourse and killing babies with impunity. That's what has made America great although we still have a hard slog ahead of us. Don't lose heart!

Sigivald said...

edutcher said: That's the Libetarian rap - give up your principles and just worry about money.

Notice how well it's worked for them.


The "principles" libertarians have are "minimal* government", with its corollary of laws based only on enforcing contract and preventing and punishing violence, and protecting rights against the State and other actors.

(Really, that's all "one thing" - because you can't get rid of any of them and have a State to speak of, and you can't get rid of the State and have them. Per Nozick, some state is inevitable, even if it's just a warlord. Best to reign it in and make it accountable.)

That's it - "libertarian" implies nothing more or else than that. Oh, lots of libertarians have lots of other pet projects and ideals, but they're not inherent to the political philosophy.

Not even metallic currency, popular as it is...

(* Minimal being a subject of much debate; Rothbardians verge on anarchism, while on the other end, Hayek promoted a [minimal but extant] welfare state.)

ricpic said...

Titus is a wealthy guy who lives in Taxachussetts so you'd think he'd vote Republican but his fear that Republicans might draw the line on round the clock public homo fucking zones in Bahston keeps him in the Democrat fold.

Simon said...

By all means, a third party is a great idea. Given the drubbing that President-elect Romney just gave Mr. Obama, and the thorough defeat of Democratic candidates throughout the country, I think that it's both sporting and reasonable to fight with one hand behind our backs, to split the vast conservative majority between two different parties. Mmm.

MikeR said...

Simpson-Bowles is back in the news. If Mr. Obama would get up, bring it to Paul Ryan, and say, Take it or leave it this time - well, I'd pretty much forgive him everything. It's all I really want.

Cedarford said...

Anti-abortion absolutism from theocratic beliefs, the Terri Schiavo debacle, the whole religious control of women...helps explain the Obama victory in the simplist of terms.
55% of women voted for Obama.

The Neocon war thirst is also not helpful with women voters.

Outside the blacks and hispanic issue, one group should be discussed more.
That is the 30% of Americans who are mostly outside the Old Confederacy that have no religious belief or beliefs that "are not important, everyday parts " of their lives.

They voted 70% Obama in the case of non-believers any religion, 57% in cases of "light" religious activity.

The Farmer said...

edutcher said...
Farmer's Catholicism, if it exists, lives only in the cafeteria.


You are a terrific ninny. You just can't stop yourself from putting your foot in your mouth.

Chip S. said...
edutcher, IMO, the Farmer is cool.

He might want to reconsider that combover, but he seems like a logic & evidence kind of guy to me.


I am just as God made me.

bagoh20 said...

Well if McCain in 2008 got enough votes to beat Obama in 2012, then the Republican party must have something. This time 3 million Republicans didn't vote. The votes are there if you can get them out.

Trashhauler said...

God must have wanted an Obama victory.

Why else would the campaign have centered on shiny object, social issues instead of the President's record? Time after time, as Romney gained momentum, the Obama campaign successfully used social arguments to take control again. Then came Sandy, allowing the President to look Presidential and that was all she wrote.

God must have wanted an Obama victory.

rhhardin said...

receptive anal intercourse

This must be using intercourse in the sense "conversation" if receptive adds anything.

Bullshit needs good listeners.

chickelit said...

What Simon says at 11:53.

chickelit said...

@Titus: I beleieve you're on record elsewhere supporting Scott Brown. What changed for you?

Mamie said...

What we need is smarter voters.

I’d add that we also need non-lying mainstream media to inform voters.

And it wouldn’t hurt if the Democrats would run with someone other than a demagogue.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I’d add that we also need non-lying mainstream media to inform voters

And a pony!

but I am a robot said...

Stay on point with fiscal policy.

Punt the social issues to the States.

Hell, even Obama thinks same-sex marriage should be left to the States (I could be wrong, but my impression was that he "evolved" on a personal level and maintained his federal policy stance).

Chuck said...

Ann, why were "gay rights and abortion rights... the 2 most prominent social issues in this year's elections..."?

Why? Is Congress considering any likely new gay rights legislation? Is the President going to take any substantial executive action on gay rights?

Likewise, is there any important federal legislation to be undertaken on abortion rights anytime soon?

Or do both of these issues garner wildly outsized media attention, completely out of proportion to their actual importance in national affairs?

If Ann Althouse is tugged 50/50 between Romney and Obama, when the economy and the federal budget are on one side of the candidate equation and social issues like gay marriage and abortion rights are getting equal weight on the other side; well, she is at that point sounding an awful like someone whose livlihood involves working for a large university teaching constitutional law and researching sometimes arcane bits of federalism.

Mamie said...

More on The Farmer at 9:31 a.m.:

The idea that the GOP could survive without social conservatives is laughable. Romney probably lost because evangelicals didn't trust him on abortion and gay marriage (for good reason) so they stayed home.

In fact, it looks as if he got an even larger share of their vote:

Seventy-eight percent of white evangelical Christians went for Romney, according to exit poll results, up from 74 percent for the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain. White evangelical Christians made up 26 percent of the electorate this year, as they did in 2008.

Chip S. said...

Mamie, a slightly larger share of a slightly smaller number in support of a substantially better candidate doesn't complete let evangelicals off the hook.

Not saying they were the main problem, but they didn't up their game from '08.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Ann: One reason I felt calm and distanced from the results of the election in less than 24 hours...

Yeah, after TWO THUMPING YEARS it will be a relief to change from "news" of the presidential race and back to "news" about Lindsey Lohan's shade of lipstick.

The Farmer said...

Mamie said...
In fact, it looks as if he got an even larger share of their vote:


I'm not arguing that he didn't get a large share of the vote from those evangelicals who actually voted. I'm just guessing that lots of evangelicals stayed home rather than vote for Romney.

The Farmer said...

Keep in mind I only know one evangelical and he was rabidly pro-Romney. But as soon as the results came in he started blaming his fellow evangelicals for sitting out the election.

D.D. Driver said...

In the long term, the social conservative agenda is a loser. The GOP will go extinct if it doesn't adapt. Take a look at the demographics in the primary. Ron Paul was far and away the favorite candidate for those under 40. (For those under 30 he had an even bigger advantage.)

Those voters are not going to turn 50 and all of a sudden start believing that "protecting" marriage is the most pressing issue in the county.

On the flip side, those voters who are 60 and 70 are going to turn 70 and 80. And die. And (depending on where you live) not be allowed to vote postmortem.

Mamie said...

Re the evangelical vote:

I’m not a statistician, but a 4% increase doesn’t seem like nothing to me.

I’m also not an evangelical, so I don’t know much about what motivates them, but I have read that some of them consider voting at all to be a form of idolatry. So, maybe it’s just possible there’s a ceiling to the number of evangelical votes there are to get.

Chip S. said...

So far, the total vote for Romney is about 96% of the total vote for McCain. If evangelicals accounted for 4% more of Romney's total, then the two changes almost exactly offset each other, leaving the total number of evangelicals' votes about the same as in '08.

104% of 96% = 99.84%.

EMD said...

If the GOP, rather than being saddled by the likes of Akin, had emphasized how it is actually the moderate party on abortion rights, do you think that it might have made you a little more comfortable with Romney?


Laughable. Akin would have been one Senator out of 100.

Let me know when one Senator completely disrupts the status quo and either rewrites laws or reverses Supreme Court decisions.

Chip S. said...

The Senate approves SCOTUS nominees.

Salamandyr said...

Laughable. Akin would have been one Senator out of 100.

Let me know when one Senator completely disrupts the status quo and either rewrites laws or reverses Supreme Court decisions.


You have completely missed my point. It's not about the power Akin would have had. It's about how he allowed the Democrats to control the narrative, to paint their opponents as extremists and themselves as moderates, when in fact, the exact opposite is true. Remember, the Democrats are complete nutjobs on the subject of abortion.

You are correct. Todd Akin is just one guy. He's surrounded by people with much more reasonable takes on the abortion issues, or at least better thought out ones; in Akin's case, my problem is less with his position, which is close to my own, but with his moral cowardice in expressing it. In fact, he's the mirror opposite of most people in authority on the Democratic side.

The Democratic party are sickos on the subject of abortion. However, a lot of people in the middle, who have much more reasonable views on the subject, don't realize that.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beldar said...

Our hostess wrote: "I support gay rights and abortion rights, to name the 2 most prominent social issues in this year's elections."

So do I. But I didn't ever believe, and I do not today believe, that those issues deserved more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the attention that the Obama campaign put on them.

The kind of voter who bases his or her vote on those issues -- when Iran is about to get its Bomb, when Obamacare is federalizing our healthcare, and when the economy is in a statist coma -- is a fool. And there were many millions of such fools who voted. I acknowledge their right to do so, and their right to be foolish, but fools they are, and we are going to continue to pay the price for their foolishness as a nation.

JL said...

Do the social issues belong in the Tea Party?... Can we get a GOP with sound economics and a commitment to individual liberty?

In retrospect I think the lesson from this election is that it is not always the economy stupid; social issues are important too. The GOP, the Tea Party, and perhaps people like you and me, discounted how important social issues are to so many people. We may be able to put aside these issues to focus on what we think is more important, such as the economy, but many others will not. It was presumptuous and somewhat disrespectful of us to expect them to.

wyo sis said...

Have your progressive rights as long as everyone else doesn't have to pay for them.
That way you get fiscal responsibility and "rights." But, that isn't a deal the left wants to make.

JL said...

Romney tried to straddle the fence on social issues and/or ignore them completely and probably lost more votes than he won by doing so, by turning off the people for whom those issues are very important.

He may have won over the more moderate among them, if he'd had the courage to be forthright on his positions on social issues, and had the guts to point out how extreme Obama was on some issues- like partial birth abortion. Instead he ignored the touchy topics altogether, and by being weak-kneed, be lost. He could not shake the flip-flopping and extremist labels that the Dems put on him.

Ben said...

I haven't seen anyone I consider Tea Party to be anything but fiscal conservatives. I see a lot of media trying to brand anything unpopular with the tea party label.

It's never been an organized movement though. It's very prone to allowing others to define it negatively.

TMink said...

MikeR wrote: " they will not tolerate leaving pro-life and such out of the platform."

Indeed Mike, true. I cannot and will not sanction murder of the unborn. I do everything I can to not have that blood on my hands.

Trey

JAL said...

So tell us -- if you haven't already, Professor (haven't read all 150+ comments ...)-- what half of what Obama offered (?) did you like?

Really. It is difficult to get from people why they voted for him, really.

Ann Althouse said...

"what half of what Obama offered (?) did you like?"

The social liberalism.

wildswan said...

The essential prolife position is that you cannot dehumanize some human beings and then kill them. It is the same as the argument against slavery - human beings are never your property. Yet abortion is twined into life today. And the prolife position is no more popular today than abolition was before the Civil War.
So prolifers move step by step to persuade people, one by one, to think through what it means to be for abortion. And they join a political party, the Republican party, since there are incremental steps such as banning partial birth abortion that would be widely acceptable - people have been persuaded of this. But because prolifers are as unpopular today as the abolitionists were in 1830 the party the prolifers join, the Republican party, is embarrassed by their presence. Especially because the prolifers work hard for the Republicans in order to gain points and make themselves essential.

But now a new situation arises - the country finds itself in a fullblown fiscal crisis. A new group, the Tea Party, which is concentrated on the crisis joins the only party, the Republican, that acknowledges the crisis. They do not want the prolifers to distract from their cause. They begin to talk as if the prolifers should leave.
And perhaps we will. But by itself the Tea Party, the fiscal conservatives, will never win. By themselves, the Libertarians will never win. Many prolifers support the Tea Party and/ or the Libertarians. So is it asking too much to ask the Tea Party and the Libertarians as private individuals to look at the prolife cause again? To ask themselves how much of the prolife agenda they can support?

rcommal said...

Oh, come off it. Most politically active social cons who say they care most and above all about the issue of abortion have precisely zero problem with muddying that issue by going on and on about various things that have precisely zero to do with that precise, core issue. They lack focus, and that lack of focus belies all protestations of what they say is the most important--a matter of life and death!--issue to them.

So, wildswan (for example) don't shovel out that sort of poignant post and expect it to be raked up and used as fertilizer toward a better garden.

The benefit of the doubt has run out.

rcommal said...

Jesus Christ. I'd compromise more in the name of reducing abortion than most social cons would, for God's sake. Wake up!

rcommal said...

But then, there's nothing new about that.