I am not alone

Saturday, November 18, 2006
Beth at My Vast Ring Conspiracy says it so well:

Frankly, I am sick and goddamned tired of conservatives–or as Squiggler calls them, the “neo-right”–invoking the name of Ronald Reagan when they attack other Republicans and any time they take a stand. It’s kinda like Godwin’s Law, in a sense–you can’t just throw out a name and assert moral authority, you have to back it up with facts and reality. Or alternatively, you could (I do) call it blasphemy. None of these “neo-right” types have anything to do with Reagan, in either deed or words. Reagan wasn’t an angry man, he was certainly no pessimist, and he did NOT violate his own 11th Commandment. These people are Buchanan Conservatives, if anything; not Reagan Republicans. Similarly, they like to say Bush is a “Rockefeller Republican;” believing, like leftists, that naming someone makes things so. (Of course, there’s plenty written about the similarities between ideological extremes.) Keep calling Iraq a “quagmire,” and it is one. Keep calling Bush a “Rockefeller Republican,” and he is one. Right.

A.J. Strata calls us Bush Conservatives, and that’s about right. We’re also Reagan Conservatives–or at least as Bush Conservatives, the reincarnation of Reagan Conservatives. I suppose it’s because of the medium itself that the blogosphere is so heavily concentrated with loud-mouthed, short-sighted extremist types. All too often–daily, if I’m not extremely selective with the blogs I read–I just want to separate myself altogether from the Stupid Blogosphere and turn off the lights at MVRWC. It’s good to see that more of “us” are speaking up.

I’m still very, very angry at the Buchanan Conservatives/neo-right/cannibals/whatever you wanna call ‘em. It is THEY who I blame more than anyone for the GOP/conservative loss in the election. I suppose it’s irrational to blame them first, but they are the ones with whom I have the most contact, if you will, or at least the most in common (in that we are bloggers). They worked for over two years, slandering everyone on their own side whenever there was a point of disagreement. How the hell did they think the media wouldn’t lap that up? Dissension within the conservative ranks? A gift to the liberal media! And as a result, rather than putting real pressure on those who needed it, they simply allowed the left’s sound-bite slogans, “culture of corruption” and “pork-loving Republicans” to penetrate the usually-disengaged voters’ minds. How often did the media talk about the DEMOCRATS having a culture of corruption? How often did the media talk about the well-known fiscal irresponsibility of the Democrats? Hmmm…never? Not even on “Faux” News. Voters saw the Democrats as the answer to corruption and overspending? Seriously, how the hell do these cannibalistic conservatives think that happened? The media didn’t just cook that up themselves, you know.

We're gonna have a Revolution
oh yeah.

I have been seeing more and more posts like this. Some are not quite so strident perhaps but the message is the same: Shut up you do not speak for me.


MeaninglessHotAir said...

The odd thing about this piece is that, while it criticizes the use of names alone as a means of connecting with truth, it proceeds to function completely on the level of names, rather than connecting in any way with the underlying truth.

"The map is not the territory." You can't understand reality solely by means of symbol manipulation.

If continually calling Iraq a "quagmire" will not make it so, then continually asserting that "we" are "conservatives of stripe x" will not make it so.

Personally, I do not feel myself "conservative" at all, nor do I feel aligned with all the different groups which are coalescing in her mind (and probably nowhere else). Since the words "conservative" and "liberal" are almost completely meaningless, null pointers, clearly there is something else going on here underneath the hood.

Syl said...


So why do YOU think the Reps lost the election?

Or do you think the Dems won it?

I think we failed to convince the country that Iraq is part of the overall war. I think many Reps just gave up on that and found it easier to criticize the war and Rumsfeld because that's the way the wind was blowing.

I think many Reps only voted their pocketbooks and were sick of the spending.

I think many citizens are sick of the fights over social issues.

("conservative" and "liberal" still do have meaning. The confusion comes about because not everyone is purely one or the other depending on the issue at hand.)

Syl said...

Oh, and I'm fully expecting the word 'principles' to be deposited in this thread any second now. :)

loner said...

I won't speak of principles, but I do think it rather amusing, as someone who departed the Republican Party in 1980 after casting his first vote for Ronald Reagan to be the Republican nominee four years earlier, that people who probably went through Ronald Reagan's political career thinking him dangerous and/or dense are now claiming to be his type of conservative and his type of Republican.

Just out of curiosity, besides Rick and, I think, David, was anybody else here a Republican before 9/11?

Skookumchuk said...



Syl said...

people who probably went through Ronald Reagan's political career thinking him dangerous and/or dense are now claiming to be his type of conservative and his type of Republican.

I was not one of those who thought Reagan was dangerous/dense. FWIW.

It just never occurred to me to switch parties is all.

Rick Ballard said...

I wonder which of the current crop of Republican leaders has the requisite lack of principles to meet the test? If they espouse principles, do they then have to profer evidence of having betrayed them in order to stay in the running or will the race be limited to those who never espouse any principles whatsoever? Sticking with betrayers would open the field quite a bit. It's very difficult to find pols who never espouse principles but finding ones willing to betray them is child's play.

Is the term "country club Republican" going to be the descriptor or does a new term for a very old idea have to be coined?

Seneca the Younger said...

Loner, I was a delegate to the 1976 Colorado State Republican Convention. Does that count?

Seneca the Younger said...

Rick, one of the things I think is coming up here is that the "conservatives", whatever the label means, are complaining that Bush betrayed not his principles, but theirs. In the Lew Rockwell/Buchananite fringe, this would include principles they now hold that are the opposite of what they held during Reagan.

loner said...




So you were a Republican pre-9/11? I was a Republican pre-1980. I opted out over fiscal policy and have since found no reason to identify myself as either Republican or Democrat.


If you like.

Syl said...


So you were a Republican pre-9/11?

No. I was a Democrat who didn't think Reagan was dangerous, dumb, demented, or whatever conservatives think liberals thought he was.


You see, a dumb cluck like me gets really confused whenever I hear the words "conservative principles" because I see conflicting views among conservatives as to what those principles actually are.

And if one makes a list of these principles, then one has to decide which ones are on top and which ones below in the scale of importance, let alone the scale of importance on Nov 7, 2006.

One of MY principles is to beat the Democrats and obviously that wasn't high on everybody else's list on that day.

Barry Dauphin said...

I have been a registered independent since I registered. First voted Republican for Dole in '96 (then for W in '00 & '04). I have never been feverish about belonging to a political party. I use the kind of energy that normally goes into such activities by being engaged in political and ideological battles within my profession (psychology).

Despite all the divisions we see in both parties and the influence of the internet in flaming those divisions, I still believe that the two-party system is here to stay. It seems to be the most stable way to bring coalitions together (which multi-party countries need to govern anyway). God help us if we ever become like Italy.

loner said...


Thanks for clarifying.


We'll never be like Italy while we're governed under our current Constitution. It'll be interesting to see how Mike Bloomberg does if he enters the 2008 presidential race as an independent. He certainly has more than enough cash to potentially make things interesting.


Rick Ballard said...


The big question is "Do his ears stick out in a remarkable manner." The insensate muddle needs to know.

loner said...


Won't his crusade against smoking in bars, assuming he led one, be enough?

terrye said...


Beth was speaking in a language they would understand, hence the names. It is quite elemental.

I can remember my Mom literally pulling her hair and screaming at me and brother "Shut the hell up you kids are driving me crazy". It might not have been ladylike or mature, but it got our attention.

Conservative like beauty appears to be in the eyes of the beholder and it still matters to the folks making the noise.

I remember when both conservatives and liberals thought Reagan was dangerous.