Saturday, May 20, 2006

"Too Much A Republican . . ."

On NRO's Corner Jonah Goldberg made this interesting observation about Hugh Hewitt:

I probably agree with Hewitt's critics on many points. I think he is too much a
Republican and not enough of a conservative . . . .
For me, reading that was one of those occasional crystallizing moments that occur in political discourse. There really are two different ways conservatives look at politics: (1) as a religion of sorts, in which there are no issues, only principles, which are true and immutable and cannot be compromised; and (2) as a means to get the best government we can.

I tend toward no. 2. An illustration: Like Hugh Hewitt, I vote for the most conservative candidate who can win. So in the California recall election, I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger, even though Tom McClintock was more in tune with me ideologically. There was no way McClintock could win, Arnold was certainly going to be better than Cruz Bustamante, and I did not want to waste my vote.

Those who take approach no. 1, in contrast, would rather vote their conscience than vote for the best possible result. They are conservatives first, Republicans second, and they would have voted for McClintock. The same folks probably agree with Jonah Goldberg: Hugh's approach to voting is too Republican, and not conservative enough.

Each approach has its defenders. Who's to say which one is right? I prefer no. 2, and always have.

If you are trying to decide which approach to apply to this fall's Congressional elections, print this chart out and study it. It's too small for most of us to read on-line, but it expresses some very important results of a Republican loss of the House in 2006, including these House leadership positions:

  • Speaker Pelosi
  • Judiciary Chairman Conyers
  • Chairman Rangel
  • Chairman Waxman
  • Chairman Frank

And these inevitable hearings, which will be extensively covered by the MSM:

  • NSA wiretapping hearings
  • Guantanamo hearings
  • CIA secret prison hearings

and more, all fueled by the fever-swamp folks who think the Daily Kos is the source of all truth in the USA.

So if you are a conservative first, and a Republican second, you might want to take an ideologically pure view and stay home because the Republicans have not, in your view, been governing as conservatively as you would prefer. But I suggest that if you do stay home, you will bear your share of the responsibility for the government we will have.

That's the thing about being a voter-- we're all responsible for our votes and their consequences, whether we like it or not.


Blogger Abigail Brayden said...

You're exactly right to look at who will be in charge of the congressional committees. And Jonah Goldberg is, in my opinion, right in calling Hugh Hewitt more republican than conservative.

One of things that most stuck with me after reading If it's not close, they can't cheat  during the '04 election was that it's not really worth it to vote for a democrat in a congressional race because you feel the democrat might be "more conservative" than the republican challenger - because it is more important to have the majority of either side of congress than to have a single more conservative democrat throwing off the whole balance.

It was good that you went on with the list including Rangel and Frank, but I think Speaker Pelosi is intimidating enough to get me to pull out my credit card :) 

Posted by Abigail Brayden

Saturday, May 20, 2006 9:02:00 PM  
Anonymous DL said...

You posit being principled (a religion of sorts)as opposite being pragmatic (The best you can get).

I doubt that Jefferson, Wahington, Lincoln, Adams and the like ever sold principle down the drain for victory. They didn't go to war against the King because they were sure of winning, but because there are priciples that stand above us all. We are - or were a nation of laws - now we are shown by our leaders in the Republican Party that law and priciple are secondary to having Pelosi in charge.

You fail to realize that using fear to get people to violate principle doesn't always work that way. It didn't with Sir Thomas More and sometimes the evil we get might be the best way to wake America up as did 9/11 (at least for a while)

Just as Clinton taught teens that oral sex isn't really sex, George Bush and our Republican Senate are teaching Americans that committing felonies will get you a big reward from cowardly unprincipled pragmatic politicians who fear losing votes.

If politicians give evidence that law isn't worth enforcing why should anyone care about following any law. The damage, I can assure you as a teacher who watched this mentality cause disasters, is great.
There are other ways around this issue.

I get very scared when I see Ted Kennedy, John McCain Arlan Specter and George Bush, and the Democrats on the same side of an issue, that has dangerous implications for our entire future as a nation.

Perhaps, you need to look at the company you keep also. 

Posted by DL

Sunday, May 21, 2006 7:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael Beckman said...

I agree 100% with you Hedgehog. But one thing I disagree with is that Hugh Hewitt and those that think like him are being Republicans first and conservatives second. I would argue just the opposite. If those so called 'principled' conservatives want to teach those Republicans a lesson by staying home, they will be in fact the ones who have elected the extreme lefties in power positions in congress. So, you're telling me that's being coservative by in effect putting Nancy Pelosi, Rangel, Conyers, in power. I say Hugh Hewitt is the real conservative and dare I say, responsible conservative who does not put the Republican party first, but he puts America first.

Posted by michael beckman

Sunday, May 21, 2006 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

DL, no offense meant, just saying that "betray" is mighty strong language. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Sunday, May 21, 2006 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

My response to Jonah Goldberg is unprintable on a family blog. 

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison

Monday, May 22, 2006 7:22:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

To say the Republicans have not been governing as conservatively as I prefer begs the question fo whether they have been governing conservatively at all. Temporary tax cuts and permanent (massive) spending increases aren't conservative. Major expansions of future government obligations like Medicare aren't conservative. Ditto No Child Left Behind. The insane immigration amnesty Bush is pushing for? Please. Except for judges (and yes, those are vital) what's conservative?

That said, we have an open House seat (AZ08) where our liberal Republican against whom I voted every primary and for whom I voted (holding my nose) every general is gone. I'll back the conservative in the primary...and the winner against the Dem in the general. To quote Judy Garland, I hate, loathe, despise and abominate what the Congressional Republicans are doing...but it's still better than the alternative.

I know others are not willing to vote for the CINO Republicans any more. I believe they're wrong...but having people like you and Hugh yell at them and accusae them of disloyalty probably isn't the best way to win them back. If anything I'd argue the disloyalty comes from Washington down, not the other way. 

Posted by Watchman

Monday, May 22, 2006 3:42:00 PM  

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