The Obama era is high cotton for conservatives

Bill Kristol, writing in the Washington Post, gushes about what a great time it is to be a conservative. I agree with him wholeheartedly. For conservatives, this is high cotton.

That may sound strange at first. The Democrats hold the White House and large majorities in both houses of Congress. A moderate to liberal agenda is being implemented in Washington. Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority has been consigned to the ashbin of history, where it sits alongside Nikita Khrushchev’s ill-fated promise that “We will bury you.”

kristol

Bill Kristol, a true man of the people

So why is this such a fab time to be a conservative? Because by its nature, modern American conservatism is not well-suited to govern. That is not where it is happiest; that is not the environment in which it thrives.

Governing forces you to compromise; conservatives abhor compromise; it offends their sense of political purity. When you govern, your rhetoric and idealism are constantly tested against reality, and in the end, reality always wins. Conservatives hate that too.

But once you’re cast out into the political wilderness, you’re free to reject compromise at every turn. Your rhetoric, your hunger for ideological perfection, never have to be adjusted to account for reality. Being in opposition is just a lot more fun, which is one reason the ratings for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are so high.

In that sense, the personification of modern American conservatism might be Sarah Palin. The pressures of actually trying to govern Alaska, a state with fewer people than DeKalb County, proved too much for her. She is far happier out of power, insulated from the harsh realities of trying to make government work and free to believe what she wants to believe.

In his Post column, Kristol cites the results of a new Gallup poll in which 40 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, compared to just 20 percent who describe themselves as liberals. To Kristol, that is a sign to be celebrated, and his glee is understandable. But it raises a glaring question, perhaps the most fundamental question of modern American politics:

If conservatives outnumber liberals by 2-1 in this country, and I suspect they do, how is it possible that Democrats hold every lever of national power?

Again, it goes back to the issue of compromise. Because they believe so intensely that they are right and everybody else is dead wrong, conservatives have a hard time building coalitions outside their core. That 40 percent isn’t a foundation on which to build a broader party, it is a self-limiting ceiling. Conservatives simply do not want their lovely movement tainted by any but true believers.

Here’s another number that gets at that paradox. In a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, only 19 percent of Americans said they trust congressional Republicans to do the right thing for the country, a decline of 10 points since January. (The number for congressional Democrats was 34 percent.) How is that possible in a nation in which 40 percent of the public sees themselves as conservative? The answer is that conservatism appeals to many Americans in theory, but they like it a lot less when they see it actually being applied.

Admittedly, a lot of that disenchantment with Republicans is a hangover from the Bush era. In fact, many Republicans now try to claim that George W. Bush wasn’t really a conservative after all. It’s a familiar refrain: They said the same thing about Bush’s father, about John McCain and about Bob Dole, the nominee in ‘96. To hear many Republicans tell it, their party hasn’t nominated an actual conservative for president since Ronald Reagan 25 years ago. Apparently, no real-life leader can live up to the model of perfection that the conservatives demand.

(The truth is, Reagan couldn’t either. He signed three major tax increases, turned tail and ran when our Marines were ambushed in Lebanon, granted amnesty to illegal aliens, ran up huge deficits, secretly traded arms for hostages with Islamic terrorists in Iran and tried to abolish all nuclear weapons, including our own. If somebody were to run with Reagan’s record today, the Republicans would purge him as a liberal.)

That same dynamic is playing out today in a much-watched special congressional election in upstate New York. With Dede Scozzafava, a moderate Northeast Republican, the GOP was probably poised to retain that longtime Republican seat. But the idea of a moderate Northeast Republican joining the GOP House caucus greatly offended the sensibilities of conservative purists nationwide. They have intervened in that race on behalf of a third candidate, Doug Hoffman, running under the Conservative Party logo, and as a result may end up losing that seat to a Democrat.

Interestingly, when the local newspaper interviewed Hoffman, they found him almost totally ignorant of the issues important to that region. According to the Watertown Daily Times, he “showed no grasp of the bread-and-butter issues pertinent to district residents … In a nearly hour-long session, Mr. Hoffman was unable to articulate clear positions on a number of matters specific to Northern New Yorkers.”

To a lot of conservatives outside that upstate district, that doesn’t matter. What matters most is that Hoffman pledges loyalty to conservative ideology.

Kristol shares that attitude. He and his colleagues like to think of themselves as right-wing versions of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in the Sierra Maestras, romantic revolutionaries plotting the overthrow of the evil dictator Fulgencio Obama. That is the role they are born to play, over and over again. And naturally, they don’t think much of those bourgeois, pointy-headed Washington Republicans* tainted by accomodation.

Writes Kristol:

The center of gravity, I suspect, will instead lie with individuals such as Palin and Huckabee and Gingrich, media personalities like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and activists at town halls and tea parties. Some will lament this — but over the past year, as those voices have dominated, conservatism has done pretty well in the body politic, and Republicans have narrowed the gap with Democrats in test ballots.

Limbaugh, Beck and Palin are not party figures destined to govern or expand the party; they are party leaders who will enforce the conservative line and reinvigorate both its revolutionary spirit and its minority status. And if that’s OK with Kristol, who am I to argue?

*(Just as an aside, I think Kristol is an absolute genius at self-parody. In his column, he casts his lot with the populists and non-Beltway Republicans and against those who “yearn for a more moderate, temperate and sophisticated Republican Party.” He dismisses those figures as “bien-pensant conservative elites,” a term that I’m sure he picked up in his conversations with the good folks at Mabel’s Diner on Main Street.)

262 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

October 27th, 2009
10:04 am

“The Obama era is high cotton…”

Jay, you might want to rethink your title. I’m just saying some ding-dongs on here might claim racism so be prepared.

pat

October 27th, 2009
10:05 am

How many liberals are willing to compromise their principals?

Obama hasn’t compromised diddly, nor has he accomplished anything. Compromise my butt. If you are against obama, he’ll openly attack you, which will make you more popular than ever before.

What is telling is that even with majorities in both houses, obama still has not accomplish crap except for doubling the deficit. The is known as in the gaming world as an epic fail, though I am no gamer, I like the term.
Conservatives are winning without representation. That is probably the highest compliment to the structure our founding fathers put in place.

Doggone/GA

October 27th, 2009
10:10 am

“If you are against obama, he’ll openly attack you,”

Waiting to see the attack Obama launches against “Pat” – should be interesting.

TnGelding

October 27th, 2009
10:10 am

The folks at Mabel’s won’t know what it means (neither do I) and will continue voting for the ones that keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant.

pat

October 27th, 2009
10:05 am

Then you are indeed in high cotton. Congratulations, while the rest of us cross that bridge to the 21st century.

Kamchak

October 27th, 2009
10:13 am

I like the term, Conservatives are whining with representation

fyt

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

October 27th, 2009
10:16 am

Well, I just love slamming that Uppity Kenyan, that’s all I know. I might not know what I want, but I know what I don’t want. That’s why it’s good to be a Conservative. You can just whale away at the libruls and the pretend-Conservatives and not have to come up with anything to take their place.

And that’s why it’s good to read the Whiner and jt and all the other Conservatives on this blog. They don’t have anything to put up to replace what the libruls want to do, but they sure can slam good. I especially like it when Whiner writes about Obama’s wife and calls her Thunder Thighs and all the other names.

I’m not even sure anymore I want us Conservatives to take over guvmint. It’s no fun when you have to come up with things on your own and everything turns out to be a big disappointment. But teeing off on the libruls and what they want to do is better than drinking a whole case of PBR.

Anyway, Bookman might could be onto something here. It’s just a thought. Have a good day everybody.

AmVet

October 27th, 2009
10:18 am

JB, an absolutely superb commentary!

And a brilliant analysis of this floundering neo-con movement.

Some here pray to their favorite deity that the pendulum will swing back to their “side”.

But I believe it is unlikely that any BushCo Republicans outside of the irrelevant areas of Dixie and the Clodhopper Belt will fare very well.

Americans FINALLY woke up to the charade foisted on the nation by the non-conservative Reagan, the non-conservative Newt and the abysmally non-conservative Bush/Cheney led debacle.

And outside of the fringers, people are completely disgusted with the Pup Tenters dogmatic and outdated ideology of chosen wars, of corporatism as a weapon against America and of morality that would make a pedophilic priest blush.

But of all of Saint Ronnies failures, his worst “contribution’ to the United States of America was that disgusting 11th Commandment – Thou shalt speak no evil of another Republican.

What a decidedly unAmerican thing to say and do.

And so thirty years on, the GOP ostriches and apologists are once again on the outside looking in as they excused and justified endless depravity and ineptitude int heir own lockstep ranks.

Will it be another forty year stretch of them as the minority party?

One can only hope…

Mrs. Godzilla

October 27th, 2009
10:20 am

shorter bookman – GOP toast for at least another 7 years

GoingBroke

October 27th, 2009
10:20 am

There is no “Conservative” leadership.. anywhere. When most southern democrats look at their own standards, they would be conservative in relation to a majority of other states. To be called a liberal, will one day equate to a scarlet letter for some. Being liberal now means being the party of “Give me what someone else has worked all their life for” and “I should be able to sit on my a$$ on day and my neighbor should provide for me”

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
10:20 am

Jay

“High Cotton”? You’re sounding like a true southerner this morning. You didn’t eat any “gelatinous grits” from the Awful Waffle aka Waffle House this morning, did ya?

pat

October 27th, 2009
10:21 am

Doggone, boy if obama found me important enough to directly attack, that would be a dream! He’d make me very rich….but I am just happy being right on the issues. Famous or not, I will be correct and he will be wrong. What’s right is right, that is unwavering.

USinUK

October 27th, 2009
10:21 am

Jay – I believe you meant to say that conservatives are in high DUDGEON … it’s where they’ve been since last November that someone who isn’t (gasp!!!) a Republican should DARE lead this country!!!

thomas

October 27th, 2009
10:21 am

Good points made in your piece Jay. But would it be too much to ask that you point out some of the times in the past 9 months that your beloved liberals have compromised on any major issue, hell any issue?

It is funny for me that you reserve your criticism for those that do the identicle thing you do but only they have a different political view than you do.

Sadly this is something I have noticed often from liberals. They seem to only be understanding for people who share their views. Anything else and the name calling begins. Look back through the past couple weeks of post here if you need any proof.

pat

October 27th, 2009
10:24 am

Liberals are very willing to compromise so long as you agree with them…If not, they’ll just call you a racist. Because they cannot win on actual real issues.

andy

October 27th, 2009
10:24 am

Written like a true Conservative hater.. aka a liberal. All opinion, no fact. Too busy making people afraid of something than actually fixing the problem.
Your article hinges on the republicans being inflexible, yet we see the Democratically controlled government exerting its biggest power grab and propagandist censorship campaign ever. Nice try.

EK

October 27th, 2009
10:26 am

Uh oh. You besmirched the name of Saint Ronnie by citing his actual record. Expect right winger outrage/freakout. Facts confuse and scare them.

Mrs. Godzilla

October 27th, 2009
10:26 am

andy???

andy???

stands for decibels

October 27th, 2009
10:26 am

Jay, I’m glad you brought up this issue of why 40% of Americans continue to self-ID as “conservative” even though they don’t trust actual conservative politicians any farther than they can throw them.

Please consider my kooky theory–it’s my opinion and it’s very true.

Republicans have for decades–going back at least to JFK’s time–defamed liberals and the term “liberal” itself. There has simply been no corresponding campaign by Democrats to do likewise to conservatives and the label “conservative” itself. While the term may get dragged in to a bit of rhetorical flourish now and again from left-leaning Dems, it simply isn’t sought after as a target. Certainly not in any systematic fashion.

I really think that has more to do with it than anything else, although your bits about how American conservatives have actually “governed” (scare quotes intentional, here) are certainly valid as well.

Patrick

October 27th, 2009
10:26 am

So your happier complaining about things than offering practical solutions to fix them?

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
10:27 am

Not to change the subject, but just heard CNN announce 8 servicemembers killed in a roadside bomb. Gotta channel a little bit of Normal.

OBAMA, ALLOW OUR SOLDIERS TO FIGHT WITHOUT CONDITIONS, EQUIP OUR SOLDIERS TO DO THEIR JOB, OR BRING THEM HOME!!!

Normal

October 27th, 2009
10:27 am

Sounds to me like the “Conservatives” want an Ayatollah as their leader.
This would not be good for America. No American Taliban.

Eric

October 27th, 2009
10:28 am

The FACT is President Obama has bent over backwards to try to include republicans, to comprimise with them and to get them to participate in the process. But they refuse. They offer ammendment after ammendment which are included in bills, then they vote no. I’d like to see the President walk away from those nut cases. The Democrats have majorities in both houses. It’s time for them to exercise their power. We’ve been pushed around by the right wing for too long. They need a little taste of their own medicine.

DingDong

October 27th, 2009
10:28 am

Yeah, like how clueless could you be to write a headline like that?

Steven Daedalus

October 27th, 2009
10:28 am

Ah Pat, you people never saw a real issue in your life, the problem conservatives have with Obama, and its a real problem for them, is that so far verything he has done has been right.

Normal

October 27th, 2009
10:28 am

OBAMA, ALLOW OUR SOLDIERS TO FIGHT WITHOUT CONDITIONS, EQUIP OUR SOLDIERS TO DO THEIR JOB, OR BRING THEM HOME!!!

I concur!

Taxpayer

October 27th, 2009
10:28 am

Truer words, Jay. They do serve a purpose though, these purest of the pure, the core of all that is Republican, today’s 19 percenters.

stands for decibels

October 27th, 2009
10:29 am

Ok, I’m at a loss as to why my 10.25 and my attempt to correct @ 10.26 are being held up.

But to put it more succinctly–I think Americans’ collective willingness to self-ID as conservative while not actually trusting conservatives to govern has more to do with a decades-long campaign by conservatives to defame the term “liberal”, with no corresponding effort from the other side to defame the term “conservative”, than anything else.

Normal

October 27th, 2009
10:29 am

is that so far verything he has done has been right.

Don’t say right…say correct, or else “they” will take the claim…

Mark

October 27th, 2009
10:29 am

As a liberal, it amazes me how the GOP has not come to grips with the fact that their ship has sailed and is not coming back. The crazy fringe right wing nonsense that rush spews will never be mainstream. You live in a bubble in the south, and can not see the writing on the wall. Looks like you will be in ” High Cotten” for a good long time, so I guess its good you are happy with it.

JoeBloinCocomo

October 27th, 2009
10:30 am

“The Republican Party is the party of bad ideas. The Democrat Party is the party of NO ideas.” – Lewis Black [yeah, that sums it up for me].

Jeff

October 27th, 2009
10:30 am

Agreed. And when the Democrats/liberals were out of power, they were increasing in puritan principles. Now the Dems will be beset by the pragmatic grits of reality. This will cast them as the awful waffle party (before they looked puritan united…ie, the days when Hillary and Nancy looked so much more akin). Now the populace will gravitate (has gravitated) rightward.

ATL

October 27th, 2009
10:30 am

Andy, this IS an OPINION article and is in the OPINION section of the newspaper. Duh.

EK

October 27th, 2009
10:31 am

OBAMA, ALLOW OUR SOLDIERS TO FIGHT WITHOUT CONDITIONS, EQUIP OUR SOLDIERS TO DO THEIR JOB, OR BRING THEM HOME!!!

I concur!

I’ll second (or third) that.

Eric

October 27th, 2009
10:32 am

Patrick, it’s you’re, not your. Just trying to help.

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
10:33 am

sfd

You may be on to something with that 10:29 post. Those polling b@stards never call me and ask me stuff like that. The only label I apply to myself is American. Due to the backwards nature of voter registration in Georgia, I had to affiliate with a party to participate in the primaries. I live in a Republican-dominated county, so of course, I registered Democrat to help out the lil guy’s numbers. They still keep calling and sending letters for me to register race. I checked other and wrote in American in the blank.

peter olive

October 27th, 2009
10:34 am

I think the poll numbers reflect that the conservative ideals of the GOP are not really conservative. The Neo-cons don’t have a grasp on what it means to be conservative. Anyone who works for a living is a conservative. As a lifelong Republican I am disgusted by the ideals of my party.

Amy

October 27th, 2009
10:34 am

Absolutely agreed you should have thought about that article title more carefully. During the campaign had to listen to all kinds of discussion about how the phrase “lipstick on a pig” was supposed to be sexist and some kind of personal attack on Sarah Palin. This “high cotton” business is much, much worse because of the direct linkage to the country’s first African-American president. The title seriously compromises your message and your credibility. You should think about how this title plays in all parts of the country, and elsewhere. It may bring more horses to your site, but most of them won’t drink. Is that really what you’re going for?

GayBlackCripple

October 27th, 2009
10:36 am

For you GOP nutters, here is the Liberal compromise you just can’t seem to grasp:

We want(ed) a Single Payer Healthcare System – like Canada or the UK and we COMPROMISED by taking that off the table and proposing what is now being discussed in Congress.

All you did was scream NO!!11!1! and demand Tort Reform.

We agreed to discuss Tort Reform – or at least Obama did – and you still scream NO!!11!!!!!1!1!! like a candy deprived two year old.

So, we’re going to get less than we want – but that’s okay as it is better than the nothing you want.

Jeff

October 27th, 2009
10:36 am

Mark,

I think all “crazy fringes,” be they left or right, will each see their day if they remain sufficiently constant. “Every dog has his day.” We may or may not like it, but others would tag us as fringe with regard to one thing or another.

For example, Extreme Secularity had quite a place with (enough) Southerners who regarded Northern Abolitionists as Theocratic Reformers a la an old fashioned Old Testament “Pharaoh, let my people go.” Granted, many Southerners made theocratic appeals to the Old Testament to justify the thing. Just don’t give up on surprises, pleasant or unpleasant.

Hank

October 27th, 2009
10:37 am

True conservatives do not care about whether or not it is politically correct to compromise their views based on their amount of governmental control. I am a staunch conservative and very proud of where i stand. But never have I had the feeling of joy because the current liberal agenda gives me an avenue for complaint! That is such an outrageous thought. Anyone that thinks along those lines should have no place in the mainstream media nor the political realm. My conservatism is based off of moral values and a concern for the direction of the country as a whole. I despise the decisions of the current administration because I truly feel that they are horribly wrong and will lead us down a path of self destruction. My children should not have to live in a world of governmental control and regulations. I want my children to have the same freedoms to make good/bad decisions just like we have currently. This popularity contest in Washington needs to STOP!

Michael

October 27th, 2009
10:40 am

You people are just involved in a circle – jerk with right and left, meanwhile companies like Goldman-Sachs, and people like the Walton family are looting the country and selling off our jobs overseas. None of the liberal – conservative stuff matters one bit.

Gray Grantham

October 27th, 2009
10:40 am

I find it interesting that anytime a Conservative stands up to pat conservatives on teh back while denouncing governmetn in general and Democrats in particular, they never seem to get around to mentioning that a Conservative President and a Conservative Congress spent more money in 8 years than the previous liberal congress spend in teh previous 40 years. When the Conservatives won the White House and the Congress in 2000 the government has a surplus. The only thing the Conservatives demonstrated between 2000 and 2006 was that all conservatives in Washington are slaves to the Defense Industry. Since the President (Bush or Obama) have never stated Strategic Military objectives that once achieved get our troops ouot of harms way, one can only conclude that the only reason for these wars is so our cotractors can continue to gore the federal treasury by selling us a never ending streem of bombs, missiles and other war support items. Iraq was not abouot 911, it wasn’t about oil, it was about spineless cowards in Washington allowing our defense contractos to engage in wat for teh sake of war. Now it seems the post 911 invasion of Afghanistan has been co opeted for that same purpose. Unless you really believe that we are trying to build democracy in a country whose only natural resource is selling heroin on the world market.

Jeff

October 27th, 2009
10:40 am

And should Republicans successfully blame Mr Obama for the recession, they will be poorly served when they miss the teachable moment that Republicans know how to Print and Spend far better than Rahm and Bill did back in the 90’s, when we had our last balanced budget.

Yesterdays Wine

October 27th, 2009
10:40 am

The problem with the Gallup Poll is that most Americans have no idea what they are saying when they say they are “Conservative.” (I suggest that they are speaking on a more personal level – meaning that they don’t like change.) If the numbers were truly spot on, there is not a chance all the major levers of power would be in Democratic hands. Further, that 40% is most likely concentrated in some very specific states where Conservative numbers are over the top: Texas, much of the South and parts of the Mountain West. So, in presidential politics, of the 7 biggest states, only Texas is solidly Republican. New York, California, Illinois are all Democratic, while Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio are often close calls. However, in another cycle or two, Florida will be forever Democratic. If I were in the Republican or Conservative inner counsels, I would be absolutely freaking out about the numbers Obama rolled up amongst the young. The statistics prove that if you vote for a party the first 2 or 3 times in your younger years, chances are you’ll stick with that party for life, barring some calamity. I’d love to know of that 40% terming themselves Conservative, how many are over 50? “He not busy being born Is busy dying…”

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
10:42 am

Normal

I see soldiers coming home on their R&R trips every day. When I see them walk thru, I try to welcome them all home. I can’t help but think that some of those that I see and greet may not return home alive when they go back. So far, I haven’t recognized any face or name of the casualties in either Iraq or Afghanistan, but I’m sure I’ve probably come across a few of them. We have the equipment to handle the blasts from roadside bombs. We also have the capability of defeating them too. It’s time for the gloves to come off. If the Taliban and AQ want to hide in the civilian population while fighting, then to hell with the Geneva Convention crap because they’re already in violation of it. I say take it to them hard. Start wiping the country off the face of the earth. Cruise missles, Rail guns, B-52’s, B-1’s, or what ever it takes. If they want to tax me more to equip our guys, hell they can tax me at 75% if it’s going to help them come out alive. Otherwise, let’s get the f**k out of there and let them kill each other.

JDM

October 27th, 2009
10:43 am

Hey Bookman,
You’re already re-writing history. Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of the 20th Century!!
the WORST was Jimmy Carter, followed by LBJ, followed by FDR, see a pattern? Looks like Barry is going to surpass even the pathetic Jimmy the buffon, Carter. We are sliding into the longest period of Misery since the depression. (we had to come up with the “Misery index” in the carter years to quantify how awful his policys were.)

Bill

October 27th, 2009
10:43 am

Interesting how Kristol once more distorts reality. Only 20% of republicans will identify themselves as such. They aren’t in the majority, they just cry louder. Conservatives have openly stated they want America to fail. They hate all government programs yet whine when government doesn’t take care of them first, like in Cobb county during the flooding. Middle and lower class republicans have been duped into voting against their own best interest by the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. Enough woke up in 2006 and 2008 and voted for the people. Bush’s tax cuts alone cost us $1.4 trillion dollars. Keep waking up America, republicans are the party of failure!

Ex-Republican

October 27th, 2009
10:45 am

As a former hardcore Republican driven into the arms of the Independents by conservatives, I have this to say: liberals are a figment of the imagination of conservatives, make-believe enemies to rally there supporters who also practice self-imposed ignorance. The conservatives of the Republican party would tear this country apart over a grudge match just to spite Democrats. We finally have a progressive, forward thinking human being who is taking on some serious issues and they call him an elitist. The insurance companies will absolutely rape you give the chance and they’re pulling no punches since Obama turned the magnifying glass on them, pointing them out as a major detriment to health care. Follow the money and the hype and chances are you’ll find conservative Republican fat-cats. Do you not know that our medicare, medicaid, social security will reach a deficit of 50 TRILLION dollars in 30 years? The people that understand this are trying to prevent the collapse of our country you idiots. If you’re a Republican, chances are you don’t have a clue – keep listening to a pig-headed, prescription drug addict, keep eating your cheeseburgers and BBQ, we need to eliminate you from the gene pool to make room for evolved human beings and save this country.

Hef

October 27th, 2009
10:46 am

I agree the Rebubs don’t have any clear leader,but based on the 1st nine months either do the democrats. Both sides act like little children when the other is in power.Those in power snub they’re noses at the have nots,and the have nots cry that nobody lets them play. AND THEY WORK FOR US! FIRE EM ALL when they’re terms are up. Send a message and lets get people that want to work for the taxpayer,you know they’re employer’s.

M.L. Bushman

October 27th, 2009
10:47 am

Obama has done nothing of note, other than campaign, campaign, campaign while his czars “manufacture” yet another “crisis” that according to Rahm, they should not waste.

And if you call what Obama has done “bending over backwards” to include any but his own party’s views on any number of these “manufactured” crises he’s “bending over backwards” to take advantage of, you’re as deluded as he is unconvinced, even now, that he’s president.

The only reason the Democrats hold every major office right now is because they lied to get them, then proceeded to screw the People who put them there. That’s why the country is now 2 to 1 conservative, and more every day–because the Democrats, the liberals, drove them there. I can tell you one thing, I will never ever cast a vote for anyone who hasn’t distanced him or herself from Obama by miles–make that a continent. If you libs are so hot for socialism and European-style living, grab a plane and go. No real American is going to stop you. And don’t let the door hit you in the assets on the way out either. Whatever assets you have left after Obama and his gang finishes with you, that is.

Mudhead

October 27th, 2009
10:47 am

What a waste of electrons this article is. Really, is there any substance here? I want to get paid to write crap like this.

Search and replace “conservatives” with “liberals” in this article, and vice versa. Either version would get fit to post in any side’s rant. Pretty amateur nonsense.
Please let me know if your senior editor (if there is one) is hiring. I could use the money. I’m broke paying for my $30K/yr neighbor’s $300K mortgage and my other neighbor’s car company’s execs and a ton of needless Americorps programs and ACORN crap and Nancy P’s and Michelle’s posse’s “free rides” on Air Force jets… I digress, except it gets so incredibly depressing reading this nonsense every day.

And sorry about all that lost freedom Americans have willingly given up. Its only getting worse.
Will somebody please remember our Constitution? It would be much appreciated by our founding fathers, the fallen and living veterans of all our foreign engagements, and anyone left from the school system that may have been taught about the Constitution.

James Green-Armytage

October 27th, 2009
10:49 am

Yes, at the center of the ‘conservative movement’, if it is really a movement, there seems to be a permanent mistrust of the government. If you ARE the government, the contradiction becomes too obvious.

Still, it’s sad that some people do seem to buy into what passes for ‘conservativism’ these days, e.g. the Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin brand. There is of course plenty of value in the idea that the government should not tax or regulate or redistribute beyond a certain point where the marginal costs and benefits balance, but these ‘conservatives’ show no real interest in discussing or finding out where that balancing point is. For them the government is always too large or too intrusive by sheer assumption. This is no way to make policy; a political party with this mentality can do little else besides serving as a proxy for corporations and other monied interests.

OTP Pam

October 27th, 2009
10:49 am

High Cotton??? How apropos. Not only is this a lame regional term – it also may sounds really bad to anyone NOT from the deep south. Remember AJC, with the web it has that pesky “worldwide” part?

And now the whole world can see it via Google News. Way to perpetuate stereotypes and bad jibes.

And now, Mr. Bookman – all your dittoheads will come to your defense…and call the rest of the world the PC police.

Yesterdays Wine

October 27th, 2009
10:49 am

To Hank – could you name me one regulation enacted since January that could possibly be hurting your children? If you’re going to point to the stim package, and the financial and auto industry bailouts, what would you have preferred? No stimulus, and two of our major sectors going down the tubes? If so-called Conservatives would simply lay out a concrete plan I think they’d be more respected. “NO” is not a political philosophy. It is nihilism – nothing-ism. Somehow, we had to dig our way out of the hole that W and his cronies dug us. What does the Conservative shovel look like aside from lower taxes on the rich?

Michael

October 27th, 2009
10:49 am

“Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of the 20th Century!!”

Get some more meds please!

Okpulot Taha

October 27th, 2009
10:50 am

Jay Bookman, yours is a poorly written essay riddled with logical fallacy, inane assumption and fabrication designed to beguile readers. In essence, you are appealing to the far left fringe to masturbate your ego; you are whoring yourself out for personal satiation rather than walking the long and difficult path to truth.

Bookman, you are performing a dire disservice for America.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Nelson

October 27th, 2009
10:52 am

You think you’re such a realist by decrying conservatives as wandering in fantasy and politically unsustainable idealism. Let me tell you something. Our country is bankrupt and headed straight into the toilet thanks to generations of bipartisan malfeasance, thanks to always favoring the short-term political thing to do, the re-election thing to do, over the RIGHT thing to do. And it is also going into the toilet because the few with deep pockets can bribe their way toward getting the things they want and impose them on the many of us without a direct interest, who can’t absorb the myriad petty crimes taking place in Washington. These are fundamental problems of democracy. What is your party doing about it? What are liberals doing about it? I daresay they are propagating these things, making things ever-worse, making the final catastrophic outcome inevitable. And they seem hell-bent to get to this state of nirvana, where they can declare some kind of a national emergency and assume absolute dictatorial power and impose tyrannical statism. So here’s my question: who is unhinged, the few believe in limited government and abide by the principles this country was founded upon, or the many who could care less, vote Democratic because it gives them some kind of catharsis, and want to incrementally (or rapidly!) impose a world worse than any Orwellian dystopia?

Bill

October 27th, 2009
10:52 am

More lies and racism from the minority right by a lot of uppity crackers.

[...] going to recommend you read today’s column by Jay Bookman. I’ll go so far as calling it required reading if you self-identify as either a conservative [...]

Mike Glonfeld

October 27th, 2009
10:55 am

You mention how conservatives belief it’s their way or the highway – an interesting column would be one that shows where Republicans were wrong and actually changed their platform, ie, climate change, going green, civil rights, social security, medicare, etc.

jt

October 27th, 2009
10:56 am

“Because by its nature, modern American conservatism is not well-suited to govern.”

Because conservatives do not have a pathetic “federal-father figure” complex, conservatives do not need to be “governed”. Democrat liberals don’t understand the concept of individual self government.

“Governing forces you to compromise; ”

Only a democrat or republican believes this. A good person NEVER has to compromise their principles.

Paul/Wilson 2012.!!!!

joe matarotz

October 27th, 2009
10:57 am

Time to look up Matthew Hoh and hear what he has to say.

Cotton picker

October 27th, 2009
10:57 am

“high cotten”. awesome slur.

Inconvenient Truth

October 27th, 2009
10:58 am

Jay, you carry more water for the Democrats than the guy who fills the cooler at DNC headquarters. Trouble is, you keep setting off B.S.-ometers along the way.

You complain that conservatives won’t compromise, yet you conveniently ignore the fact that at one point recently, Obama hadn’t talked to Congressional Republicans about health care since April. Meanwhile, Democrats have voted down countless GOP amendments to the health care bill, such as a requirement to check citizenship.

If that’s your idea of Democrat compromise, you must be a huge fan of the way the Soviet Union handled Hungary after the Prague Spring.

Funnier still, you cite an ABC News/Washington Post poll that was later discovered to have sampled 33 percent Democrats and 20 percent Republicans. In other words, the finding that “19 percent trust Congressional Republicans” was like discovering that an overwhelming majority of New York Yankees fans hope the Yankees win the World Series.

Oh well, Jay, enjoy your gig while you can. I see in today’s news that thanks to the economic tailspin, fueled by Obama and the anti-business political party you shill for, the AJC just lost another 23 percent of its circulation and fell out of the nation’s top 25.

So how’s that “hope and change” working out for ya, Jay? Any more newsroom layoffs on the way, or is it just you and the janitor now?

Just holler if you need any help rearranging the deck chairs …

USinUK

October 27th, 2009
10:58 am

“A good dictator NEVER has to compromise their principles.”

there. fyt.

Craig H.

October 27th, 2009
10:58 am

What a useless rant…

Conservatism cannot be equated with the Republican party.

40% of the country (the largest ideological group) see themselves as conservatives because they consider the current government’s teenager-with-dad’s-credit-card spending spree to be a wasteful abuse of taxpayer money. The divergence between conservatism and Republicans here is simple: Republicans and Democrats are the same in that both of the parties are spending money they don’t have to attract more voters. The rapidly growing number of “independents” who consider themselves “conservatives” (and vice-versa) should be all that’s necessary to deduce this.

It’s disingenuous to directly connect Republicans and conservatism, or even suggest that conservatism means opposition. I’m a staunch fiscal conservative — favoring a balanced budget amendment — and am an independent voter.

Doggone/GA

October 27th, 2009
11:00 am

ABM – “I checked other and wrote in American in the blank.”

This has nothing to do with the subject, but have you ever heard of the guy that filled out his Income Tax form with his title as “Hired Killer”?

He was a pest exterminator!

Taxpayer

October 27th, 2009
11:00 am

yours is a poorly written essay riddled with logical fallacy, inane assumption and fabrication designed to beguile readers.

Best Choctaw fabrication of the century.

Will B L

October 27th, 2009
11:02 am

With Limbaugh, Beck, Kristol, and Palin representing the purity of conservative ideology, then it is high cotton for liberals/Democrats. Since I’m a lifelong independent, I get to converse intellectually with all types as they try to convert me to their causes. The right wing is driving decent, informed, conservatives away from the Republican party with their shameless lies, stupidity, hypocrisy and bigotry. With the money Limbaugh gets from his corporate sponsors he can easily pay for a liver, kidney, and heart transplant with one day’s pay. His ilk can well afford to kill health care reform and ignore the needs of regular working conservatives with families to support.

Mark Thomas Jepson

October 27th, 2009
11:05 am

That was a fascinating article. It hit the nail on the head. It immediately made me wonder if the funny retort bumper sticker, “What exactly are conservative conserving? says is still true or not. But now I know what it means! It means they are conserving conservatives in the strictest sense. And that my fellow peeps, is a recipe for a permanent minority. It’s like a religion, if it tries to make everybody on Earth think they way they do, they should know it would be an up hill battle. Which by the way is why Religion and politics are separated in this country. Churches don’t govern Americans, people who vote democratically do!

Shananeeeeee Fananeeeeeee

October 27th, 2009
11:05 am

Obama is as corrupt as they come. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, will definately not be re-elected, bet on it. Change in 2010 and 2012, Change we are looking forward to.

pat

October 27th, 2009
11:06 am

Let’s see what obama has compromised on….Uh, nothing. Let’s see what he’s accomplished, hmmmm, doubled the deficit, and uh…uh…Nothing else. What a loser he can’t acomplish crap with his super majority, pathetic.

Hef

October 27th, 2009
11:07 am

In/Truth-Funnier still in regards to the ABC News Poll you cited is that the left here still claim there is no media bias!

M.L. Bushman

October 27th, 2009
11:09 am

Yesterday’s Wine–we conservatives who used to be independents, save for being contrasted against the far-left liberal fringe, would’ve preferred the free market be allowed to correct itself, without gambling our children’s future on a bottle of snake oil sold to you swooning liberals as TARP or the “bailout” that turned out to be nothing more than an attempt to nationalize certain industries necessary to the defense of this country hiding under a whole pot full of pork and political payback. Another manufactured crisis that if Congress hadn’t fallen for the “hurry up and vote, but don’t read the bill” we might not have had to triple our national debt. “Stimulous” hasn’t stimulated anything but debate. And when the Democrats, who had control of the Congress for two years under Bush and did nothing but fart around with nonbinding resolutions, tried to “rush” through another grab for control under the guise of healthcare reform, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al discovered that the American People weren’t buying the BS any longer. Explain to me why all the Democrats don’t want to let we the People read these bills before Congress votes on them? What’s that all about? What’s to hide?

Yes, conservatives have a deep mistrust of government, and rightly so. But we highly resent the attempts to “brand” us as republicans or Rush followers or Palin followers because that’s just an attempt to denigrate us.

Obama has done one thing better than any other before him–he has awoken the Sleeping Giant that is the American People, who, by the way, have always as a majority been a bit right of center. Independents like me look conservative by comparison when standing tall beside the liberal lunatic fringe. Enjoy your time, liberals. Keep shooting yourselves in the foot. Because it will be, indeed, a long, long, long time, if ever, before a Democrat sits behind that desk in the Oval Office again. You can count on it.

Normal

October 27th, 2009
11:09 am

ABM: elsewhere…

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
11:10 am

Doggone

That’s funny as hell. Sounds like something I’d do. I just love the opportunity to prove how senseless labels and titles are. That’s just like I tell people I work as an Armed Data Entry Specialist.

Mrs. Godzilla

October 27th, 2009
11:11 am

Let’s save some time here shall we?

All Beckerheads start arguing about the climate change hearings on the hill today…..it’s cold out today right? That should be enough to
get y’all started.

While you’re teabagging for the right to choke on CO2, we’ll finish up on HCR and join your tantrum in progress in a couple weeks.

K?

AmVet

October 27th, 2009
11:11 am

Thankfully the universally recognized worst president in modern American history, George of the Bungle, ensured the already floundering fake conservative movement was mortally wounded.

And now most Americans are just enjoying watching their agonizing and protracted political death.

It’s been a helluva price to pay for their sins to be sure.

In lives and in plunder.

But in the long run seeing them in their current appalling condition – as evidenced by some of the posts here this morning – is very gratifying.

Way to FINALLY go America…

Nothing Is Free

October 27th, 2009
11:12 am

From downstairs

USinUK

LOL! I will admit. You are smarter than most.

Angry Black Man

It’s monopoly money to those guys. It’s been a rule of business of mine: work for people who aren’t paying you with their own money. I like companies that are large enough that I am dealing with their accounting department, not some guy that is trying to fed his kids out of the same bucket. the kids will win out every time. These guys are spending other people’s money, which is not really money, but transfers of ownerships of a make believe standard that no one can agree on.

What worries me is it seems that we are pushing the limits of the basics of this economy. And people like George Soros being involved doesn’t help.

Small companies need help and they will hire more people. It’s as simple as that. Give them a tax break. Give them the ability to borrow money from these institutions that the government apparently controls. I’m not worried about the CEO making a big bonus. Just loan these guys some money.

That seems so simple. Just concentrate on getting everybody working. I’m looking for a car for my nephew and we have been looking on Craig’s list. The buys are unbelievable. I told him that I would loan him three grand and he just missed getting a Mercedes 560 SL. Volvos, Infinities, really nice cars for half of Kelly Blue Book. People are hurting and selling everything they own. We need to do something fast.

I’m a huge Alabama fan, now. That’s the BCS Champion team that Tennessee almost beat and we weren’t even ranked that year.

Arch

October 27th, 2009
11:12 am

So, Jay hates conservatives, good to know. Though his hate blinds him to facts and reality, though he proves that he doesn’t need reality, he can make up his own just fine. I got to the part that said “a moderate to liberal agenda” was being implemented (moderate? you dont really believe that do you?)and realized Jay was another sad sap who fabricated the stories that support his own far-left agenda, instead of bothering to be a real journalist and actually research anything. I suppose his next article will be “10 republican household items that will KILL you!!” I sometimes wonder how high-school level writers like this make it to Google news? Meh. Fail.

Okpulot Taha

October 27th, 2009
11:13 am

Bookman writes, “A moderate to liberal agenda is being implemented in Washington.”

You are deceitfully attempting to garner support of centrist readers. These policies proposed in Washington range from liberal to left socialism. No pertinent policies are being implemented evidenced by Obama and Congress not producing a single passable major bill although Democrats hold a majority. Health Care reform will not pass, Cap and Trade is a pipe dream. Virtually all major bills proposed by Democrats are being defeated by common sense thinking.

Bookman continues, “Apparently, no real-life leader can live up to the model of perfection that the conservatives demand.”

Completely untrue. Your fabrication is highlighted by the ongoing contest in the New York 23rd district. Truth is the GOP has sold out and is a left liberal political party wearing a Conservative Halloween costume. Popularity of the expression “RINO” serves well to highlight the GOP is playing the “politics as usual” power game rather than be faithful to conservative constituents.

Bookman adds, “The pressures of actually trying to govern Alaska…proved too much for her (Sarah Palin).”

This is insulting deceit. Palin was forced out of office through financially devastating dirty tricks directed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under the guidance of the White House. This is independently verifiable by readers through examination of the numerous “ethics” charges fabricated by and financed by the DNC with a goal of rendering her ability to govern ineffectual. Palin elected to stand by her principles, elected to take the ethical high road which is a difficult task.

Your essay is simple riddled with further fabrication much like these three examples I share with readers. Bookman, I am intellectually insulted by your attempt to both deceive and beguile readers.

Not for a second do you fool this red skinned girl.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
11:13 am

How many of you “conservatives” who are whining about Bookman’s article actually went to read Kristol’s?

Sometimes, Jay, I really believe you need to institute some kind of troll chow alert system. Color code your posts so we’ll know what to expect beforehand.

Soothsayer

October 27th, 2009
11:14 am

Inconvenient Truth

October 27th, 2009
11:15 am

Jay, you carry more water for the Democrats than the guy who fills the cooler at DNC headquarters. Trouble is, you keep setting off B.S.-ometers along the way.

You complain that conservatives won’t compromise, yet you conveniently ignore the fact that at one point recently, Obama hadn’t talked to Congressional Republicans about health care since April. Meanwhile, Democrats have voted down countless GOP amendments to the health care bill, such as a requirement to check citizenship.

If that’s your idea of Democrat compromise, you must be a huge fan of the way the Soviet Union handled Hungary after the Prague Spring.

Funnier still, you cite an ABC News/Washington Post poll that was later discovered to have sampled 33 percent Democrats and 20 percent Republicans. In other words, the finding that “19 percent trust Congressional Republicans” was like discovering that an overwhelming majority of New York Yankees fans hope the Yankees win the World Series.

Oh well, Jay, enjoy your gig while you can. I see in today’s news that thanks to the economic tailspin, fueled by Obama and the anti-business political party you shill for, the AJC just lost another 23 percent of its circulation and fell out of the nation’s top 25.

So how’s that “hope and change” working out for ya, Jay? Any more newsroom layoffs on the way, or is it just you and the janitor now?

Just holler if you need any help rearranging the deck chairs …

Soothsayer

October 27th, 2009
11:16 am

All Black Men are angry

October 27th, 2009
11:18 am

<- The name says it all

Hef

October 27th, 2009
11:19 am

ABM-Typical response from a toilet cleaner at the airport!

All Liberals are angry

October 27th, 2009
11:19 am

<- The name says it all

Inconvenient Truth

October 27th, 2009
11:20 am

Looks like I inadvertently deleted part of my original post. It should have read:

“If that’s your idea of Democrat compromise, you must be a huge fan of the way the Soviet Union handled Hungary after the 1956 revolution and Czechoslovakia after the Prague Spring.”

stands for decibels

October 27th, 2009
11:22 am

How many of you “conservatives” who are whining about Bookman’s article actually went to read Kristol’s?

Well, to be fair, one might have the reasonable expectation of being forced to take yet another look at Bill’s horse-sized teeth if one were to do that.

Nothing Is Free

October 27th, 2009
11:24 am

I love all of the “glimpse of reality” viewpoints of people like Jay.

Yes, it is fun to be a conservative.

The very best thing is responding to the hypocrisy of the left.

I remember when Bush complained that it was a very hard thing to do: to govern the most powerful country on earth. The liberals went nuts. Now we have the crybaby-in-chief that declares war on the only TV News network that doesn’t agree with his policies. Every day is listening to his griping and complaining.

Jeeze, Barry. First, take off the Egyptian eye make up, (a little over the edge, even for you), man up and realize that if you are going to change the world, some people might fight you over it.

It’s American to complain!!!! We had to listen to that for the past eight years. Now, half the US population has become the crybaby that they have elected. Nancy Pelosi pretending to get choked up talking about “the violence that this kind of people bring about”.

And now healthcare. I love the argument: The insurance companies suck so it’s time that the government takes over.

Here’s a clue, going from a bad system to a horrible system IS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT !

Obama had a great idea of allowing the negotiations be televised on C-SPAN. Why is that not happening?

WhoCares

October 27th, 2009
11:31 am

Bookman being painted as politically incorrect AND a racist by the very idiots he panders to.

How funny is that? All I can say is it’s about cotton pickin’ time!…..lol

GayBlackCripple

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

I’m guessing most of the bloviating “Conservatives” on this blog live on the half-truths and outright lies they hear on the radio each afternoon and the hateful rhetoric spewed nightly of FOX.

Thant goodness you are a declining minority.

Rage, rage against the dieing of your light, suckas…

Tupac Inca Yupanqui

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

I am the fifth sacred sapa Inca, heir to the Hanan dynasty, son of the Sun.

My people too, took the path of being governed. In the time that I walked mother earth, my people too, were confused about nonsensical labels. Right, left, liberal, conservative, concubine,wife, offspring,daughter etc…….

There are only two different people who walk the earth. Those who love liberty,,,,,,
and those frightened souls who will trade liberty for the ILLUSION of safety.

Listen to jt,jt,jt,jt,………

Angry Black Man

October 27th, 2009
11:37 am

Hef

Toilet cleaners are actually Waste Recycling Technicians.

And as for the idea that all black men are angry, you’re really funny. Just make sure to start taking your meds. You’re hallucinating again.

NIF

“playing with monopoly money”
That’s why I hated the bailouts from the time they were proposed. It ends up being a win-win situation for those CEO’s. They made a killing gaming the system. Then they get paid by us to save their jobs so they can continue to game the system. Kinda like your stock broker, he makes money trading for you whether you make or lose money. If the economy had collapsed, so be it. We would have learned a valuable, but painful lesson. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins.

As far as helping your nephew get a car, see if you can find a lawyer or doctor who’s just been busted for cheating on his spouse. Sometimes you can get great deals from the angered spouse. :D

AmVet

October 27th, 2009
11:41 am

I love this inane argument that the reason the GOP has gotten annihilated in back to back elections – one in epic, recording setting, never to be reproduced 36 to nothing style – is that they’ve turned too far left!

Yeah, a brilliant observation.

Those damned leftists Republicans who want to ban abortion.

Those damned leftists Republicans who want to ban gay marriage.

Those damned leftists Republicans who want to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those damned leftist Republicans who want to believe in science. Of any kind.

And on and on and on and on.

You’re doing a heckuva job conned…

Doggone/GA

October 27th, 2009
11:42 am

It’s absolutely fascinating how many of the conned have volunteered to come here and prove Jay’s point for him.

Hef

October 27th, 2009
11:42 am

AGM-My Bad,Typical response from a Waste Recycling Technician! (by the way please use gloves) The other part of your post(not me), I don’t know what your talking about.

Hef

October 27th, 2009
11:45 am

The Childlike behavoir I spoke of above prooves out here on a daily basis.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( Ate Up With Envy mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

October 27th, 2009
11:45 am

Paranoid delusional, with a superiority complex, bookman, that’s quite an accomplishment this morning.

If conservatives outnumber liberals by 2-1 in this country, and I suspect they do, how is it possible that Democrats hold every lever of national power?

Conservative people, not politicians, duh.

Really, how much can one twist such a straight forward proposition? Republican politicians, including Scozzafava, have been compromising with liberals and that is why they are out of power.

How much more simple can this be?

(My, doesn’t Hoffman’s ascendancy in the polls have somebody’s panties in a wad? Maybe you should go into the high cotton and do some unbunching, no?)