Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Let’s Start at the Top, and Work Our Way Down

Not because Republicans are any worse than the Democrats; quite the opposite in fact.

But they're plenty bad enough.

Remember when Republicans were actually conservative? Neither do I. It's just that now, with Bush in office, they no longer even pretend to be conservative.

I get a huge laugh out of listening to liberals complain about how Republicans are evil because they are too conservative because anyone with half a brain (an unfair requirement for many liberals, I know) knows that the Republican Party has not pursued a true conservative agenda for quite some time.

Look, key conservative principles aren't that complicated or hard to recognize. Classical conservatism is based on three general principles:
  1. A Strong National Defense
  2. Fiscal Responsibility
  3. A Limited Role for Federal Government

You simply cannot argue that the Bush administration has pursued any of these goals, either effectively in the case of the first, or at all in the case of the second two.

Yeah, we're fighting the war on terror, a war I support by the way, but at the same time our borders are a joke. I respect the job our troops are doing in Iraq, and despite all attempts to hide the facts, I know they are achieving their mission, which by the way, is not to pacify the insurgents but to help the Iraqi government attain the ability to pacify the insurgents themselves. (Stick that in your quagmire pipe Mr. Kennedy.) I'm also certain that our intelligence community and our Special Forces are hard at work and that the fact that there hasn't been another successful attack on US soil (despite the paranoid delusions of some who like to claim that every railroad accident may be a terrorist plot) can be attributed to their hard work. But the fact remains that our borders are basically undefended, and to make matters worse, when average citizens try to do their part to help secure them, the President calls them vigilantes and disparages their efforts. How can you be strong on defense when armed criminals can cross our borders virtually at will?

You can't.

Illegal immigration is not just an economic issue anymore, it's a security issue, and one that today's Republicans refuse to address seriously.

As for fiscal responsibility and limited government, well, the exploding debt, increasing deficits, and exploding public spending coupled with the proposed marriage amendment, Real ID programs, and the expanding Patriot Act bury those notions in the dust. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'd be willing to bet that, adjusting for inflation, we haven't increased spending at this clip since Roosevelt ran the White House.

So what do Republicans stand for today?

Well, based on their actions, Republicans stand against accepting homosexuality in the mainstream, against allowing people to make up their own minds about who they'll have sex with and who they won't, or what substances they want to put into their bodies, and what they won't, and against people being able to conduct their lives without an invasive government looking over their shoulders, for their own good. Other than that, it's hard to pin the Republicans down. For a group that gets regularly accused of holding a party line and never dissenting, Republicans seem to break ranks with much more regularity than they're Democratic counterparts. Just look at the recent struggle over the Senate confirmation votes.

In truth, it doesn't matter what they stand for. These guys in Washington who call themselves conservative come election time sure as hell don't act like it once the votes are counted. If they were true conservatives, illegal immmigration would be slowed to a trickle. Instead of staging water and aid so the illegals don't die on their way in, instead of civilians manning the border trying to stem a flood tide of illegals, we'd have a truly secure border, one that terrorists would not be able to cross with impunity. If they were true conservatives, the Marriage Amendment wouldn't even have come up. If they were true conservatives, the Patriot Act would have taken extreme pains to reduce the infringement of our rights, instead of feeding those rights into a paper shredder. If they were true conservatives, private property rights would not have just been extinguished by the Supreme Court. If they were true conservatives, ...but you get the point. Instead of acting in accordance with true conservative principles, Republicans have been following an agenda driven in large part by religion. While I agree with portions of that agenda (ie the ban on Federal funding for expanding the lines of embryonic stem cell research) using religious beliefs as a foundation for that agenda leads it into directions that our federal government should not go.

Into my bedroom, for example. As an adult, who or how many I sleep with is no business of the government. Who or how many I decide to "marry" again is no business of the government. Give me one good reason why I should have to get a license from the government in order to get married?

To drive a car, sure, but to get married? I have to have permission from some government bureacrat? I DON'T THINK SO!

And now Republicans want to take it further and decide who can and who cannot be licensed based on factors that are none of their damn business. That's not conservative, folks; that's tyranny in the making.

Now, I'm conservative, and proud of it. I believe in a strong national defense, and that if you're going to be in a fight, it's better to fight in your enemy's yard than in your own. I believe in a fiscally responsible government. That doesn't mean no deficits; part of fiscal responsibility is knowing when you need to incur debt, and when to pay it down. But it does mean that explosive growth in spending with no end in sight is a bad thing, and this Congress and President don't seem to agree with that. I also believe that the Federal Government should have a very limited role in the day to day lives of its citizens. Fortunately, we even have a Constitution that strictly lays out the limits of the Fed's powers. Unfortunately, we have a judiciary that has decided that the Constitution is more of an obstacle than an asset, and work to circumvent it's every provision at nearly every turn. Hell, the 2nd amendment "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." is routinely interpreted to mean that the people may not own a gun!

What the bloody hell is the matter with these fools?

So, while I am a conservative, I am not a Republican. Not anymore. I have no idea who I'll vote for next year, or in 2008. I may well vote Republican just because the Democrat candidate is likely to be so much worse. If the Libertarians can stop running candidates who dye themselves blue, I might seriously consider voting for them. Hell, if the Dems get smart and nominate a reasonable candidate (Lieberman maybe, or Obama) I might even vote for them.

One thing's for certain though; I will be voting, if not for somebody, then against somebody.
Posted by Rich
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