AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

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It Happened Before, Therefore it Will Never Happen Again

I just shake my head in disgust reading Ace of Spades HQ anymore. Even when Ace tries to prove that he wants conservative representation in government, he still shows himself to not have the will to work for it.

He starts off with this:

“It is not a con when I tell you, having grown up there, and having watched New Jersey turn from a gettable Republican state in 1992 to a deep blue Democratic state in 2008, …”

So wait. The guy who says people can “never” be persuaded, can “never” change their minds, “what is” is what will always be and you can “never” change it… just showed that in a matter of 16 years, people from a State changed their minds. But how can this be so? If people cannot be persuaded, how did they change their minds? If “what is” always will be, then how did things change from 1992 to 2008? Magic from “fantasy land”?

I have no idea, since Ace never says, he just goes right back into his “never” attitude:

“…New Jersey is mainly liberal, especially on social issues, and there is just no chance of getting a strongly pro-life candidate in most of the districts there.”

“No chance.” Never. No persuading people. Even though things did change from 1992 to 2008.

Apparently, there is “no chance” of changing people’s minds on things such as slavery, Jim Crow laws, same-sex marriage, abortion, single-payer health care and Obama’s post-racial, post-partisan facade.  Because everyone has the same opinion on those issues now as they had in the past and there’s just “no chance” of changing their minds in the future.

And this right here is why I have given up on Ace, DrewM, Gabe and whoever else shares this attitude and posts at Ace of Spades HQ.

If you are a person who believes in “never” and “no chance”, that means you don’t have the will to even bother to try. And I am no longer associating with such people who have the desire, but not the will to persuade people of the benefits of Conservatism in America.

Amen to this in the comments:

112 Yeah, and the implication that conservatism is not pragmatic is offensive as well.

What’s with this post anyway? On a day that we should be celebrating the apparent repudiation of Obama?

Posted by: Dave at November 03, 2009 02:45 PM

Yep.  Ace (and his co-bloggers) seems to have a nice trend of this going for the past 9 months or so, as well.  There’s a difference between urging people “don’t get cocky, kid” and being not just a “concern troll”, but also always bashing conservative leaders (Rush, Beck, Palin) and talking arrogantly about “pragmatism”.

With the exception of the “socially liberal” opinions, I agree completely with this assessment by this self-described libertarian:

I’m more or less a libertarian, so this really ain’t my fight. But allow me to put in my two cents anyway.

For all the screeching and howling, there is one thing that has always struck me about the pissing match in the GOP. The “moderates” always seem to be the ones demanding that the conservatives go along with whatever they want, but refuse to back up the other side when they are in the stronger position. They’d rather kiss up to the Democrats instead.

Don’t believe me? Well, then….how about George Will/Peggy Noonan/the country club crowd delivering some of the nastier attacks against Sarah Palin? I distinctly remember them whining about her “lack of experience”, yet they seemed to have absolutely no problem with a presidential candidate with approximately the same tiny amount of experience. I dunno…silly ol’ me thought you might like to have the FNG (F—–g New Guy) in an understudy capacity, not as the star. (But hey, I guess if you went to Hah-vahrd it’s all good.)

Scuzzy is hardly alone when it comes to being a poor loser who then throws her support to the Democrats, either. 2008 brought Alabama 2’s Harri Anne Smith throwing her support to Bobby Bright, Arizona 5’s “moderate” Republican loser threw his support to Harry Mitchell, and in Maryland 1, Wayne Gilchrist threw his support to Frank Kratovil. All of those Democrats won their districts, and I’m sure that these “moderates” helped. Can’t have an icky conservative squeaking out a win, now, can we?

Funny thing is….whenever the moderates try to get some of that Dem love back, it’s AWOL. Yeah, the Dem establishment loved John McCain, said he was the one Republican they could bring themselves to vote for, and laughed at his jokes on SNL (admit it, guys and gals stuck on this RINO thing, he was pretty damn funny when he was on there, especially when he sang Streisand tunes.) But come election time, where were they? Obviously not voting for him, that’s for sure. They were on the Hope & Change Express…along with a lot of the moderates who just couldn’t stand Palin for whatever reason.

And when McCain lost, who got blamed? McCain, for running a crappy campaign against a much nimbler opponent? McCain’s brilliant campaign suspension during the financial crisis? Nasty sniping and harping from “moderate” pundits? Nah….it was that icky conservative dame who gets off on shooting moose and wolves, when she’s not busy birthin’ kids. Yep, those last few months she was on the ticket, she and she alone mucked up the whole thing. It was all going so well until then. Sure…..keep thinking those happy thoughts.

I agree with moderates who want the party to concern itself less with social issues. I really don’t want any elected official telling me who I can marry, if I can light up with a big fatty (and I don’t mean Meghan), or under what circumstances I can get an abortion. Unfortunately, the moderates who agree with me there also tend to want to spend money, lots of it, on social programs that cost much more than they are worth. Show me a true “fiscal conservative/socially liberal” moderate, and I’m interested. Haven’t seen one yet running for office in my neck of the woods in many years. Do they even exist?

The moderates seem to be great at bipartisanship with the Democrats. Maybe if they could be a little “bipartisan” in their own party, some of this arguing wouldn’t be so bitter.

Posted by: bigpinkfluffybunny at November 03, 2009 02:47 PM

Amen to this as well:

The argument isn’t purity (or the other terms you used), it’s intellectual as well as ideological honesty.  And that’s not too much to ask.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 03, 2009 02:47 PM

Here, here! This guy “Rocks”, umm… rocks!

Your choice of new terms speaks volumes. Maximalists and Pragmatists?

So one wants everything but the other is just being pragmatic? BS.A Maxiimalist can be just as “pragmatic”, IF it’s required.. Maybe you and AP fit your definition but many of should be called Minimalists instead.  It’s really not a matter of position but philosophy. Maximalists would say you start with a conservative candidate and take away just enough to get across the finish line. Minimalists think if the candidate has 1 thing that can be called conservative then they are good to go. Maybe in a blue district, but the latter should never be the consideration in a Purple to Red one. The arguement going on on the right always seems to revolve around where we end up rather than where we start as it should be. A Red district should be a Conservative district whether it’s in Alabama or Upstate New York.. Just the same as Blue Districts are Liberal. The Dems ran Lamont against a sitting senator over one stinking issue for God’s sake but yet we are supposed to balk at primaries when the hand picked candidate in a red district’s only conservative cred is they will make the Dems spend 10% less than they would have otherwise?

It would probably be best at this point for any GOP candidate to give a silent nod to conservative social issues, but to otherwise put them on the back burner.  What we need is fiscal conservatism and strong foreign policy.

And honestly, the GOP might do well to throw a bone to libertarians on the issue of marijuana decriminalization.

This is a perfect example. I call it the RINO Creed. When have conservative social isssues ever been on the front burner for Republicans in day to day practice? A few executive policy positions?

All the things trotted out as driving people people away; Pot, DOMA and abortion restrictions & defunding, have broad public support.  These aren’t devisive issues for anybody except polititians, liberals, and journalists. Bush 43 was grilled on social issues at every debate, held the conservative line every time and won along with a lot of Republicans. These issues are not the reason Repubs lose and Minimalists are full of crap to suggest they are.

Republicans win when they promise to cut spending AND do that.

Democrats win when they don’t do it.

Those things have always overroad all issues in any except the most partisan districts or in wartime.

Posted by: Rocks at November 03, 2009 03:08 PM

A-FREAKING-men to this!

I’m sorry, but I really have to disagree with Ace on this one. People rally behind convictions, not platitudes, it’s as simple as that. What has the “go along to get along” position of the GOP establishment gotten us? The game has changed now, we are not just fighting for the soul of conservatism, but the soul of the country itself. To win this battle we need warriors and statesmen, not RINO’s and “compassionate conservatism”. I believe what has made Sarah Palin such a force is that she has tapped into this sentiment, a sentiment which seems to be growing no matter how much the “pragmitists” wish it would not. It’s time to make a stand, and declare with conviction, and without apology, our core values! To not allow the liberals to control our message anymore! The time has come to draw a line in the sand, and as G.W. said, “You are either with us or against us”. Simple as that!

Posted by: God I hate F***ING liberals at November 03, 2009 03:23 PM

Absolutely in agreement with this:

The real way to define what and who a Republican is, is by evaluating the Republican platform and  who adheres to it.

I for one, have never considered myself a Republican.  I will  never ever vote for a Democrat again, making me an ertzatz Republican of sorts.  I consider myself a Conservative and I believe the following.

We need less government not more.

We need less taxes not more.  We cannot invest that which LIBTARDS take from us and give to those who have not earned it.

Abortion is wrong.

We need to support our military and do whatever is necessary to eradicate vermin like the Taliban and Al Qaeda

I believe that Democrats will say ANYTHING to get votes, all the while meaning very little of what they say.

I believe that Hope and Change is not a substitute for Character, Ability and Experience.

I believe Socialism in most of it’s manifestations is wrong and counter productive.  I believe Marxism is wrong and only a dimwit would practice it or force it on the people all while continuing an oppulent life style of steaks and limosines for the politicians.

I believe our Public schools are over funded and under productive,  and that most of the reason is liberal policies of welfare, unaccountability and a failed social order brought on by Lyndon Johnson and continued until this day.

Lastly I believe most of our “institutions” have been co-opted by lazy liberal simple minded hacks.  Govt.Bureaucracy, Educational institutions, and the media.

I believe most unions have outlived their usefulness and have become goon squads.

Which of my points did D.D. (D not R) Scozzfava agree with????

Anyone?  Beuhler???

Posted by: gus at November 03, 2009 03:24 PM

And here we go with something with which I disagree 100%:

Now, in other places, the cost of the battle may be too much. I will use my own home state of Illinois as an example. Mark Kirk is running for Senate. He was one of 7 Republican House membes to vote for cap and trade. Horrible decision.  He is pro-abortion rights. But, he voted against the Stimulus and  opposes Obamacare.

If I was a pure ideological conservative, he would not be my choice. But, the option – a Democrat who will vote for Cap and Trade, and Obamacare, and pretty much whatever else Obama wants. And will probably hold the seat until I am dead.

In other words: pick your battle’s wisely.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 03, 2009 04:36 PM

I see.  So no Obamacare and Stimulus, but vote for communism in the guise of “global warming”.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Oh and don’t worry about having a guy in office who has no qualms about killing babies for convenience.

Yeah, brilliant choice of representation for the GOP.  So when I go to try to convince my Chicago family and friends that the GOP is the smarter, fiscally conservative Party, and they come back and tell me that their rep just voted for the HUGE economy-destroying Cap-and-Tax communist legislation that is based on an utter hoax, I am to say… what, exactly?

Again, if representatives are going to place communist votes, let them be Democrats.  I’m done making excuses for jackasses being called “moderates” when they vote only 50% of the time to destroy the economy and nation instead of 100%.

Here’s a great comment by “progressoverpeace”. No surprise either, as I am usually in agreement with him on most issues.  This is no exception:

I am not offended by the term “maximalist” but it is inaccurate.  What you have to realize is that there are some deal-breaker issues – not too many, but some very important issues.  For instance, shamnesty is one.  Anyone who wants to legalize illegals (which is a position that would have to ignore all sorts of law, law-breaking, a rejection of the fundamental notion of sovereignty, …) is taking, for me, a deal-breaker position.  Those who go further and want to give these illegals citizenship (as if they don’t already have at least one citizenship and a home country to return to) have, in my mind, moved to the area of aiding and abetting an invasion, along with issuing a call to the rest of the world to just come and flood our land.  In the issue of illegal aliens nothing really matter but interior enforcement, since we have tens of millions of foreigners legally coming through our nation every year and it would be very easy for a few million to just stay, any time they want, so there will always be an issue of our ability to deport a large number of illegals who stay here and refuse to leave. For me, and many others, this issue is a deal-breaker.

There are a few other domestic issues like this, mostly revolving about the limits on the federal government as laid out in the Constitution, but that is about it.  I don’t care if someone disagrees with me on 50% of their votes, so long as they don’t violate any of these fundamental issues which are deal breakers.  The Porkulus, TARP (as it was done – though I have no problem with the federal government doing what needs to be done to save our monetary system .. but that was not what TARP was), national health care in any way, whatsoever, etc.

You can call me “maximalist” on these particular issues, but I don’t think that it is an accurate label to call me “maximalist” in general. I want adherence to the limits of the Constitution (which should be a deal-breaker for everyone, frankly, unless they are proposing amendments) and respect for the fact that the American government is made to serve Americans, and no one else.  We invite aliens to temporarily reside here (and might offer them citizenship at some point) and we extend them some rights that we want to, but the idea that the US government works for anyone but US citizens is quite odd.  I understand that we have had many courts who have ruled that “person” is anyone standing on US soil, but that is clearly ridiculous.  I will respect precedent only so far as it is in line with the Constitution, but the courts have not the power to amend by ruling.  Bad decisions are bad decisions and should have no effect on future rulings.

Posted by: progressoverpeace at November 03, 2009 04:42 PM

I most definitely agree with this. Especially the part “I’m for honesty”.

I simply disagree with the contention that obsfucation of one’s principles is preferable, as far-too-often, we end up with politicians who are predictably unpredictable in the advancement of Conservatism.

Again, you simply cannot dispute that as a country, were are far to the left of where we were 30 years ago.

Sometimes, you must simply sack up, roll with the punch, and come out swinging from the floor. Because the punches will always come, sooner or later, and later is almost always harder in this fight.

As Clint Eastwood also said: “We all got it comin’ to us, kid.”

The best way for Conservatism to win is if it is apparent just how bad the alternative is. I think you’d be hard-pressed to not gain seats in ’10 running solid Conservatives in most races, as more and more people come to realize what the modern Liberal stands for.

Yes, sometimes it really does have to get worse before it can get better. Can, not will.

The only way it will get better is if we don’t elect the same big-spending squishes we did prior to our fall.

So yes, I get that you are on the same team, with most of the same goals. I don’t think you are retarded or a leftist in sheep’s wool. I would never say “get out of my party”.

But I think that you still buy into the Rovian strategy of “electability”, which, while it saw amazing short-term successes, burned out in horrible long-term failure.

And I don’t subscribe to that anymore. I’m for honesty. Which is why I could accept the short-term “failure” of losing seats to Liberals. Frankly, I think the strategy has a real chance at paying off much faster and much more decisively than I anticipated.

I expected the Dem mask to slip on their Socialist souls. I didn’t expect them to treat their masks like bras in the ’60s. They have shocked a lot of people who enjoy a face full of titties as much as the next guy, but would just as soon not have a face full of ass.

Let us take full advantage of this. We don’t need to gain a majority in ’10. Especially if that means solidifying the Conservative credentials of what seats we do gain.

Posted by: krakatoa at November 03, 2009 04:51 PM

Another absolutely excellent comment here. I especially liked this part:

Most of moderate Republicans’ pragmatism is nothing more than an intellectual laziness. They don’t want to be bothered with making a case. That’s hard work! And most of them are into promoting themselves and not anything beyond themselves. Get me elected, they sometimes seem to argue, and I’ll make sure we only go to hell half as quickly as we would with that other guy.

I’m sorry, but that’s not a philosophy we conservatives can hang our hats on. Not any longer.

Yes! A thousand times YES!  Here’s the rest:

The major problem with Ace’s analysis is that it ignores what happens after we conservatives support the more electable, but less conservative candidate, and he wins.

Ideology is about more than just philosophy. That very word makes it sounds like conservatives are unconcerned with the real world. But those who believe in certain conservative political ideas believe in them precisely because we think they are best for the country — i.e., that is they were ever implemented, our country would be the better for it. Conservatism is ultimately about a way of governing.

Many conservatives think that by accepting a more liberal candidate, we are accepting less than what is best for our country. What’s worse, we close off better future options for ourselves because we are now married to the more liberal candidate in such a way that we are blamed for his failures even if those failures have nothing to do with conservatism.

Example? George W. Bush. He wasn’t a conservative. As Jonah Goldberg puts it … “Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” was promoted as an alternative to traditional conservatism. Bush promised to be a “different kind of Republican,” and he kept that promise. He advocated government activism, and he put our money where his mouth was. He federalized education with No Child Left Behind — coauthored by Teddy Kennedy — and oversaw the biggest increase in education spending (58%) in history, according to the Heritage Foundation, while doing next to nothing to advance the conservative idea known as school choice.’

“With the prescription drug benefit, he created the biggest new entitlement since the Great Society (Obama is poised to topple that record). He increased spending on the National Institutes of Health by 36% and international aid by 74%, according to Heritage. He oversaw the largest, most porktacular farm bills ever. He signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a massive new regulation of Wall Street. His administration defended affirmative action before the Supreme Court. He pushed amnesty for immigrants, raised steel tariffs, supported Title IX and signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation.’

“Oh, and he, not Obama, initiated the first bailouts and TARP.”

But none of this prevents conservatives from suffering now. We are still blamed for George Bush’s failures.

Most of moderate Republicans’ pragmatism is nothing more than an intellectual laziness. They don’t want to be bothered with making a case. That’s hard work! And most of them are into promoting themselves and not anything beyond themselves. Get me elected, they sometimes seem to argue, and I’ll make sure we only go to hell half as quickly as we would with that other guy.

I’m sorry, but that’s not a philosophy we conservatives can hang our hats on. Not any longer.

Posted by: Pincher Martin at November 03, 2009 05:03 PM

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November 3, 2009 , 4:31PM - Posted by | Conservatism, Republicans

3 Comments

  1. […] us Rorschachs I just realized the name Ace can give to those of us he deems “purists” or “maximalists”. He can just call us Rorschachs: “Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon. […]

    Pingback by Call us Rorschachs « AmeriCAN-DO Attitude | November 7, 2009 , 4:51AM

  2. Well, MiM, I think it’s a shame you’ve sworn off AoS, because while I agree that a conservative must start with a firm belief in the benefits of conservative policy prescriptions for all Americans in order to be effective, I believe that Ace does in fact feel this way, his occasional doubts to the contrary.

    Ace has created a unique place on the Internet, a place where all on the Right may come and hash things out. For that reason alone, I believe he deserves a great deal of respect, and a healthy benefit of the doubt.

    I read your post on tonight’s ONT over there, and all I can tell you that over the past year of following AoS, I have seen far more people agreeing with your posts than denigrating them.

    While I think it’s apparent that both you and I are more sanguine about the prospects for conservatism than is Ace, I think you are wrong-headed to condemn him for his pessimism. After all, pessimism has been a thread running throughout the history of modern conservatism. Recall Whittaker Chambers’ remark about feeling that he had joined the losing side.

    Comment by criblecoblis | November 7, 2009 , 5:32AM

    • “I think you are wrong-headed to condemn him for his pessimism. After all, pessimism has been a thread running throughout the history of modern conservatism.”

      If his goal is to inspire people to get our government back to conservative government, then, yes, I am absolutely correct to condemn him for his pessimism. He has great influence in the right-of-center blogosphere and we don’t need the entire right-of-center blogosphere going full-on beta-male eeyorish and becoming a bunch of AllahPundits.

      However, if he wants to do that, then fine. I will simply choose to not hang around there as much anymore. I prefer to spend my time around people who are inspiring and positive, if not necessarily optimistic about everything. There is a difference between recognizing reality and challenges which lie ahead and inspiring people to overcome them… and being a negative eeyore about everything, making people feel like there’s no chance, no hope, no how to make things better.

      If Ace wants to become AllahPundit, Jr., that’s his business. But I don’t have to stick around and let his pessimism and fatalistic attitude about things infect me.

      Comment by michaelinmi | November 11, 2009 , 9:42PM


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