Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Are Conservatives Making Inroads Within the Democratic Party???

Since the 2006 elections, the Democrats have made the bulk of their recent gains, thanks in large measure to Charles Schumer's and Rahm Emmanuelle's common sense strategy of running Conservative Democrats in Red States.

I have Schumer's recent book, Positively American (every Democrat and especially every "so-called Democrat" - that is, those Left-wing loons who've mistakenly seen the Democratic Party as their "home") should read that book.

In it, Schumer admits that the Democratic Party has been, "...far too Liberal, shamelessly Liberal and Liberal for far too long."

If you DON'T read things like that, you tend to be taken by surprise when paradigm shifts, like the one occurring now, take place.

I read Schumer's book, in which he follows the travails of a fictional workingclass Long Island family, the Bailey's and chronicles their hopes and concerns. I don't agree on most issues with Schumer, BUT I respect the calculus of his reasoning.

It was clearly a wink and a nod to Conservative Democrats and "Reagan Democrats" that this new era would be hallmarked by the Democrat's own "Southern Strategy" - capitulating to Conservatism, rather than futilely fighting against it.

Before that book came out, I'd known about Schumer's realistic vision, because a cousin of mine (a very Conservative Staten Island Democrat) worked on his staff). That cousin is now in the NY State Legislator and fought (and won) AGAINST Spitzer's ill-fated attempt to force ALL hospitals (including religious ones) to offer abortions and to strip physicians of their right to conscientiously refuse to perform that procedure. He also fought (and won) AGAINST Spitzer's initial gay marriage proposal which would've allowed some groups to fight Churches and Synagogues and try to get the courts to mandate their marrying gays in such institutions.

Mike's fight had the wording changed to such an extent that such legal challenges, under the current Bill, would be impossible.

The fact that Chuck Schumer reached out to someone like Mike showed me that he was an ideological realist.

Current polls that show that only 43% of Democrats consider, themselves "Liberal" shows how weak an ideology Liberalism really is. It's a complete validation of the Schumer-Emmaunelle strategy!

As to the question that some might ask, "Have only truly conservative, in all senses of that word, picked up all those new seats since 2004," well, that's a fair question, BUT even I'm not a "Conservative in all senses of that word."

I SUPPORT first trimester abortion. I oppose late term abortions once the fetus is fully formed and can exist outside the womb (preemies as young as 21 weeks have survived), BUT Conservative Democrats like Heath Shuler and Chet Edwards oppose all abortion as "infanticide."

I can work with people I disagree with over such marginal issues (ie. requiring DNA in Capital Punishment cases and defining when live begins), I can't, for instance, with people who oppose the sacred and most basic RIGHT to the violent self-defense of one's person AND property. I can't with people who don't see how vital EXTREMELY LIMITED government is and WHY government is ALWAYS a part of the problem and rarely if ever part of a solution. I can't work with those who DON'T understand how income tax rate hikes merely incentivize savings (deferring income) among the top 10% of earners, who pay over 80% of the income taxes, thus reducing revenues, while socking those with little or no disposable income (lower wage earners) with the unavoidable tax hikes. I CAN'T work with those who DON'T understand why unregulated, ILLEGAL migrant labor puts a persistent downward pressure on ALL prevailing wage rates, and why that issue has NOTHING to do with the Free Trade issue and I can't work with people who DON'T understand that government spending on criminal justice (domestic security) and military ventures creates jobs and generally ADDS to the nation's GDP, while government social spending does not.

On THOSE issues, I tend to agree with the vast majority of my fellow "Blue Dog"/Conservative Democrats.

I know I sometimes put things in what might appear to be a confrontational manner. That is certainly not my intent. I think all of us people of good will, want the same things - more prosperity, less government help/intervention and people working and happily being productive for the whole of their lives.

Our disagreements only seem to come over strategies on "How best to get there." The question many Liberals raise, "Why cede large tracts of this country and the Democratic Party over to Conservatism," is best answered that time has shown that Conservatives have rarely been "converted" by Liberals. In fact, there are today, far more former-Liberals (ie David mamet) than former-Conservatives. For Conservatives who question, "Can we trust these "New Democrats" to remain Conservative within a Liberal-dominated Democratic party," the best answer is, "They'd better," as most of these Blue Dogs come from areas where Liberals are a distinct minority - their very careers depend upon a solidly Conservative voting record.

I think Conservatism, as an ideology, has won out because (1) it's rooted in basic common sense and (2) its adherents, including myself, have never shied away from putting forth meticulous and very detailed arguments in its favor, while virtually NONE of the adherents of Liberalism (OK, there aren't many around here) haven't been able to do anything at all like that.


Seane-Anna said...

I can't agree with you on this one, JMK. You seem to be saying that conservatism has won the ideological argument, and point to the "Blue Dog" Democrats as proof. But if that's true how come half of the electorate is ready to vote for Obama? I think you need to rethink this one, J.

JMK said...

That's a GREAT question Seane-Anna.

I think there are a lot of reasons for the Obama phenomenon.

For better or worse, two looong, very costly and unpopular wars, the devastation of Katrina and the mortgage-backed credit crisis have all combined to make the Bush era one great calamity in a lot of people's minds.

You and I and some of the others who blog are fully engaged in politics, BUT most people (probably 60%) really aren't.

Maybe they pay attention after labor Day, when this thing inundates the media full time. Some don't even pay attention then.

This country is very politically divided. Many people feel the GOP is against the common man, so they vote Democratic even when they disagree with the overall policies.

Look at the last few elections - all of them were very, VERY close!

I think this one too, will be very close.

I'm not saying Conservatism has won the day, but as an ideology it IS winning.

Schumer's admission and the Schumer-Emmanuel strategy prove that, at least to some extent.

I'm not saying "Conservatism's won," but I am saying, "Conservatism's winning."

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