Friday, May 05, 2006

IS the President a conservative?

Aaron Harris is a dear friend of mine from college who writes about politics, music, and culture for National Review, The Baltimore Examiner, and Bluegrass Unlimited.

In his column in The Examiner this week, Aaron discusses, among other things, why some conservatives do not now believe that President Bush is a conservative.


At Friday, May 05, 2006 3:41:00 PM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


I suppose that it would depend on one's definition of "conservative". I doubt that President Bush would meet the strict definition of paleo-conservative, which is what you and I consider ourselves to be.

He's certainly not fiscally conservative, regardless of what he might say to the press. I'm not even sure that he's conservative in regards to his foreign policy. I suppose the best thing one could say about him is that he's socially conservative.

Is that enough? I don't think so, but at least it's something.


At Friday, May 05, 2006 9:07:00 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...

Welcome to my world. I never thought he was conservative.

I was a conservative against Bush before being a conservative against Bush was cool.

At Friday, May 05, 2006 10:55:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney, and others,
President Bush was never a real conservative. He was and is a political hack who knew what buttons to push, what beliefs to stroke inorder to garner support. Like many hacks he has finally reached his level of incompetence (think "Peter Principle") and now the cows are coming home.


At Friday, May 05, 2006 11:49:00 PM, Anonymous BAREFOOTED Ray said...

Well, I reckon Father and Steve have it exactly correct my friend. Enough said.

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 12:42:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

I hate to admit it, but Steve may be right here-and the guy is a liberal.

Father, I wasn't "against" Bush, but beginning right after September 11th, I became suspicious of what he was doing. I understood it not to be in line with true conservatism. It is nothing more than the mass expansion of government on a grand scale, and its likes have not been seen since the New Deal. I voted for Bush in 2004, its true, but that was because I felt we were left with a choice: Bad and Disaster. I voted for Bad to avoid Disaster.

Matt: I will admit that Bush's social conservatism is his one saving grace in my eyes. I think his faith is genuine, and I do like the judges he has appointed, so for the judges alone, it was worth my 2004 vote (and my record of never voting for a Democrat is still unvarnished, thanks be to God-may it never, over my dead body, be broken)-but the irony is that I do not believe that Bush shares many of the principles of the judges and Justices he has appointed.

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:57:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


But at what cost do those judges come? Republican poll numbers continue to deteriorate, especially within the party itself. That's alarming enough. But, unlike 2004, polls are showing that Democrats seem to be far more energized than Republicans for this election cycle. That could be disaster itself.

If we sustain substantial Congressional losses in November (and that's more likely now than not), you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what type of relationship the White House and Congress will have between November 2006 and November 2008. Further, I can just about guarantee you that it will cost us the White House in 2008, too.

Of course, this isn't all Bush's fault. There is plenty of blame to go around for Congressional Republicans, too. But Bush is the "ring leader", so-to-speak, so the party's health really depends on him more than any other individual.

I've already said this more than once, and I'll say it again. Hindsight being 20/20, we'd have ultimately been better off with Gore in the White House from 2000-2004, because of the type of candidate that we could have come up with for 2004.

Our elected officials have failed us...utterly failed us. And that's largely because we put up ELECTABLE candidates rather than GOOD candidates. It's high time that changed.


At Sunday, May 07, 2006 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney, Matt, and all others,
The last part of MAtt's last comment cought my eye because many Democrats/Liberals feel the same way - Electable versus Good. We in both parties need to get away from the cousultants and focus groups and get back to GOOD candidates.


At Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:23:00 PM, Blogger TheRep said...


At Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous BAREFOOTED Ray said...

The fact of the matter is this. Matt, Father Fox, Steve and all others who have seen fit to comment upon the sorry state of affairs in which the Republican Party now finds itself owing to the overly prominent influence of the Neocons are absolutely correct. Upon my first having heard the phrase "compassionent conservatism" I sensed deception. To me, that phrase sounded rather too much like "give up your conservative values just so we can when and have the name "Republican" in the white house.". I went along with it though, all the while hoping I was wrong; but now, I see it I was not wrong. I guess first impressions DO matter after all. The question seems to be this. When are we who are true conservatives going to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and rise up and do something about this. The true conservatives of America can only take so much. I say it's time we rose up and defeated the imperialist Neocon monster which now besets us!!! They are the servants of the father of lies himself; the servants of Satan!!! It's high time we rose up and drove them out!!! Given the way we Catholics and other Christians and right minded people of faith responded to the attacks waged upon us this last Christmas, when it seemed a greater number of us rose up against the enemy, I'd say that's a good sign the people are having enough. I say we must act NOW!!! God bless.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 8:20:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

"Imperialist neocon monster." My goodness Ray, between the neocons and the liberals, I don't know which is worse with you!

I think it is important to remember that the so-called neocons are really liberals who were repelled by the McGovern purges in the Democratic Party in the early 70's, which means they are not real conservatives at all.

Electable vs. Good-I can't speak for Steve Mule and his Democrat friends, but on the GOP side the "neoconservatives" are directly responsible for this problem-they prefer electable candidates as opposed to candidates that really represent conservative thought.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 9:11:00 AM, Blogger Chucko said...

WHOA! Ray certainly did toss out with his strong, STRONG opinions regarding neocons. :) I agree with the goal of reforming the Middle East (and the world generally) with democracies. It may appear to be unattainable, but if we stay the course in that regard the reward will be great indeed. Regarding social matters... specifically, the horrific bloating of government under GW, I absolutely agree that it's ridiculous and must be stopped.

I just like the term "Neocon" because it causes liberals to lose their... well, you know... stuff.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 11:35:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

The term "neocon" is an oxymoron-"new conservative" is literally what it means.

New about what? Either you are a conservative or you are not one-period. There is no in-between or "conservative light."

I make no wonder that some people, like Ray, are getting peaved at these people running around masquerading as conservatives.

It is worth noting that one of the biggest defenders of all of this spending and bad political behavior is Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard, who, as Aaron points out in the above article, tries defending it in his latest book!

We need to take conservatism back from these phony conservatives and quit letting them define it for us.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 5:43:00 PM, Anonymous BAREFOOTED Ray said...

Dave, you say, in part, " "Imperialist neocon monster." My goodness Ray, between
the neocons and the liberals,
I don't know which is worse with you!". Well, to me, the "imperialist neocon monster"
as I called it last night, is really exactly the same thing as a collection of liberals.
They are the servants of the father of lies; Satan himself. Do the Neocons honestly
believe we are simple minded pee ons who will willingly respond to their button presses?
Apparently, they must do. Now, perhaps at one time, (out of sheer desperation to
win mind you) we may have been more willing to listen; but, NO MORE!!! BIG TENT
HELL!!!!! Out with the "Imperialist Neocon Monsters" and their master; the father
of lies!!!!! and back in with the truths we all grew up on, know and love so well.

At Monday, May 08, 2006 7:22:00 PM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

Personally, I think that virtually everyone in Washington believes that we're all a bunch of simple-minded peons who will dance when they pull our strings.

There may be a few good souls left in our nation's Capital, but they're very rare anymore.

If things are to be fixed, they must be fixed on the grassroots, then local, then state level. We have to take care of the core of our party and weed out the interlopers before we can even hope to reclaim Washington with True Believers.

And I can't speak for anyone else, but I for one am ready to act. Whatever must be done WILL be done.

We have no other option.


At Monday, May 08, 2006 7:28:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Hey Matt;
I wish you lived down here, we could do it together-but why don't you run for County Republican Central Committee up there? It's a start.


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