Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bringing The Bitter: Calling Out the Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservatives


There's more than a trace of bitterness in Jonah Goldberg's column calling out the sort of "socially liberal fiscally conservative" type who likes to make a big show of their reasonable ways, but vote and advocate for politicians who are pursuing a fiscally suicidal course
Bob, I’m going to be straight with you. I never had much respect for your political acumen before, but you’re a sucker. 
You’re still spouting this nonsense about being fiscally conservative while insisting that the GOP is the problem. You buy into the media’s anti-Republican hysteria no matter what the facts are. Heck, you even believe it when Obama suggests he’s like an Eisenhower Republican. 
Well, let’s talk about Eisenhower, your kind of Republican. Did you know that in his famous farewell address he warned about the debt? “We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage,” he said. “We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.” 
Bob, we are that insolvent phantom, you feckless, gormless clod. The year Eisenhower delivered that speech, U.S. debt was roughly half our GDP. But that was when we were still paying off WWII (not to mention things like the Marshall Plan), and the defense budget constituted more than half the U.S. budget (today it’s a fifth and falling). Now, the debt is bigger than our GDP. Gross Domestic Product is barely $15 trillion. The national debt is over $16 trillion and climbing — fast. The country isn’t going broke, Bob, it is broke. 
When George W. Bush added nearly $5 trillion in national debt in two terms you were scandalized. When Obama added more than that in one term, you yawned. When, in 2006, then-senator Obama condemned Bush’s failure of leadership and vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling, you thought him a statesman. Obama, who wants to borrow trillions more, now admits that was purely a “political vote.” 
Yet when Republicans actually have the courage of Obama’s own convictions, you condemn them.
The epitome of fiscal recklessness has been the Democrat Senate's obdurate refusal to draft and enact a budget, which has lead to the sort of crisis mongering and dark-of-night budgeting that have been the true hallmarks of the Obama presidency. This, of course, provokes shrugs, but let Republicans try such a stunt and we would never hear the end of it re: radical Republican recklessness.

What's really exasperating about these folks is their seeming blindness whether about themselves or about liberals. We've all met Republicans who were furious with the Bush deficits, so they voted for Obama back in 2008. Even back then, this made no sense. Democrats tax and spend. That's what they do, even when they pose as moderates. If you're PO'd about deficits, you don't vote for the people who invented deficit spending! Bob Barr was on the Libertarian ticket that year; why not vote for him? Or, do what I did and tell yourself that you are voting for Sarah Palin.

Actually, Sarah Palin - or rather, the fate of Sarah - perfectly encapsulates the BS of the social liberal/fiscal con. A big part of her appeal back then was that she had been a real budget cutter. Remember her story about selling the governor's plane? But, she was pro-life, not obnoxiously so, I might add, but pro-life nonetheless. Can't have that! Moderates apparently prefer to have abortion on demand over their professed goal of a balanced budget. Makes sense!*

Republicans have a lot of problems, but the phenomenon of politicially unsophisticated liberals publicly masquerading as pragmatic moderates is surely in the Top 5.

*(especially when you consider how upset these moderates professed to have been by the Sandy Hook massacre. We Republicans may be crazy, but at least we think all life is precious, and don't sit around fine-tuning arguments about when it should or should not be legal to kill babies.)


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