Saturday, July 08, 2006

Why I am a Republican

I wanted to take the opportunity to post something here that was discussed over at my News Blog at Where I Stand. Before posting this, let me give a brief backgrounder-this is a response to a response. I wrote a piece critical of the President for not responding to North Korea sooner, the reaction was the typical "it is all the Republicans' fault, vote Democrat."

Here was my response:

I have come to see that talking to some of you (not all of you) here is like talking to a brick wall, largely because some (not all) people in blue land still do not understand that neither conservatism nor the GOP is a monolith (I incline to paleo-conservatism, for example), that you can disagree with the present administration on foreign policy (a whole lot of folks I know do) and still be a conservative and a Republican. For some of us, our support for the GOP (or at least for conservative candidates) is based on an ideology that we hold.

I identify with the Republican Party because I am a conservative, I am not a conservative because I am a Republican. I am a member of the Republican Party because the other major political formation made it clear around the early 70's that conservatives were not welcome in its ranks any longer, and beginning around 1972 there were systematic attempts to "clean out" conservatives of various stripes from that Party, often by using isolation as a tactic (Robert Casey, anyone?). At least the GOP doesn't make me feel unwelcome for expressing disagreement with the President when I feel it is merited.

This foreign policy was not "engineered, designed and implemented by my beloved GOP" so much as it was engineered, designed, and implimented by a President with his priorities in the wrong place. As to members of Congress going along with him-members from both parties are increasingly inclined to ignore their independent streak and vote the official line of the leadership. The Democrats have as much (or more) of a problem with this than many House Republicans do. I personally believe it is emblematic of "the great sort".

As for NP's saying that "I can't argue" that Democrats are better at foreign policy-Democrat foreign policy didn't impress me in the least under Clinton, it was a disaster under Carter and LBJ before him. The Dems have a record of disaster in foreign affairs for the last 40 years. Take Bush out of the equation, and the GOP has a great record of success (Berlin Wall). So yes, I can argue about Democrats' fitness to see to our collective foreign policy. This is a Bush problem, and I see it as such.


At Saturday, July 08, 2006 3:44:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Your evaluation of Foreign Policy in the sinse of Dem vs Repub is somewhat selective in its sources. You neglect to mention Iran-Contra, our tragic incursion into Lebenon (sp?) and so on. Both Dems and Repubs have had more than their share of good and bad. To hold on to the old cannard that one particular party (Repub) is better at it than the other is to perpatuate a belief that has in no small way helped get us where we are as a nation on the world stage and served as cover for the incompetence of the Bush Administration. Something I beleive (perhaps incorrectly) that you are starting to acknowledge.


At Saturday, July 08, 2006 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

I am not "just now starting to acknowledge" the foreign policy mis-steps of the present administration, I have done so all along (and I may do a post some time this week pointing out things I have said here in the past).

I try to call a spade a spade. Now, I readily admit that my opinion of foreign policy or any other topic is certainly going to be framed in the context of my personal ideology, and I would likely expect the same from you. However, Republican or Democrat-if I think a person in power is wrong, I will call them on it.


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