Crush Liberalism

Liberalism: Why think when you can “feel”?

Noonan: Bush destroyed GOP

I’ve been saying this for a while, although Noonan seems to imply that the damage is virtually permanent.  I don’t think it is, but it is certainly near-term, if not long-term.  From Peggy Noonan:

On the pundit civil wars, Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, “I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Mr. McCain or Mike Huckabee] get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party. It’s going to change it forever, be the end of it!”

This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.

Were there other causes? Yes, of course. But there was an immediate and essential cause.

And this needs saying, because if you don’t know what broke the elephant you can’t put it together again. The party cannot re-find itself if it can’t trace back the moment at which it became lost. It cannot heal an illness whose origin is kept obscure.

She’s right.  The problem, though, is credibility.  When I see the main Republicans in the presidential race talk, I hear some of Dubya’s faux conservatism (in Huckabee) and McCain’s RINO-itis (global “warming” is real, we need open borders, etc.), and I cringe.  When I hear Romney and Rudy and talk about a return to fiscal conservatism, I think “You’re right, but good luck convincing people that twelve years of legislative rule, six of which with a Republican president, that yielded the doubling of the size of the federal government is just going to magically go away overnight.”  The GOP just isn’t as convincing with that message as it used to be.

Unlike Noonan, though, I wouldn’t say that the damage is irreversible…but it’s not over yet, either.

January 25, 2008 - Posted by | conservatism


  1. I still think one of the biggest problems that the Republicans created, when they held the majority, was tryin to make nice with the dems. Remember all the shouting that the minority party wasn’t being given enough input and power? As if that was a bad thing. And too many Republicans believed or obliged them, including Dubya. When Dubya got into office he tried to make nice and kept too many of the dems in the office they held under Willie and look where that got him! I mean Geez, you’re letting Uncle Teddy handle the education bill?

    Comment by tnjack | January 25, 2008

  2. Crush,

    I think the problem is you think that Bush has a choice of being a “true conservative”. He simply reflects what 50.1% of the nation thinks. It’s a muddled mess what that slim majority wants, but it aint the kind of libertarianism that you and I want. Stop blaming the politicians for simply giving the people what they want(pork barrel, welfare, SCHIP, etc…) You want courageous politicians to tell the people – “no you can’t have these things anymore” – they’ll be voted right out of office. Can you tell me otherwise with the exception of maybe 30-35 Congressional districts?

    Comment by FreedomLover | January 25, 2008

  3. The argument that the Republican Party is dead has been spoken about many times, (1912, 1932, 1976, 1992) and every time they come back. The Conservative movement is not dead. Polls show most Americans don’t call themselves Conservative, but share core Conservative values being set forth by the Republican Party. The problem is who is acting as the voice box of the movement, not the movement it’s self. For that reason alone, the conservative movement will not die.

    Freedom Lover,
    Bush may only reflect 50.1%, but it’s more a majority than any Democrat has had in 28 years!

    Comment by Steve | January 26, 2008

  4. I don’t think that Bush has performed with perfection. No one was or will be perfect. He has had to fight the 2000 & 2004 election garbage of not having a mandate. He has had a tough go. In my opinion he has done a good job on the National Security front and that is the most important issue to me.

    The Peresident has had a massive up hill battle from the start. Maybe I can’t say “he has done the best he could.” But think of the alternative. Would Gore or Kerry have been “more conservative” than Bush? I don’t think so.

    Comment by mdconservative | January 26, 2008

  5. Mdconservative:

    The problem with so many extremists is they only know what they want and fail to look at reality. I used to be an extremist myself back in the 90s. But at least my excuse was I was late teens early 20s. I grew out of it, why doesn’t the rest of the blog writers on both the left/right who are average 30+ in age?

    Comment by FreedomLover | January 26, 2008

  6. The GOP is destroying itself. Look who we have running for pres with a chance to get the nomination. Rudy, Mitt, McCain it might as well be the Dem primary.

    Comment by WMD_Maker | January 29, 2008

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