Friday, January 25, 2008

More Music. Less Talk Radio.

I turned off the radio today and it won't be back on for a while. My mornings of talk radio enjoyment have ceased. Except for one. The one still in good favor is Bill Bennett. Dr. Bennett, a true Reagan Republican, is a happy warrior. He doesn't denigrate or doesn't believe the Republican party will benefit from being punished for its current state.

Conservative talk radio has taken a nasty turn. We are eating our own and it is not a good plan of action. What happened to Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment - Thou shall not speak ill of fellow Republican? Please note - Reagan said Republican, not conservative. Ah, there's the rub in my party today. For all those bound and determined to channel Reagan in today's political arena, I think a bit of reflection is due.

My party, the Republican party, was founded on basic principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and entrepreneurship. We are a conservative party by definition. The Republican party has pandered to social conservatives for several election cycles now and we are paying the price. As long as the Republican candidate was pro-life and wore his religion on his sleeve, all was well. Case in point? President George W. Bush. He has destroyed my party.

It is a sad time for my party. I voted for President Bush, twice, and voted for him as my state's governor before that. I knew who he was and that he worked well with both sides of the political aisle in Austin. The lt. governor was a democrat and they had a mutual admiration society going between them.

Here's what happened - President Bush went to Washington, D.C. and wanted to work with everybody. He teamed up with Teddy Kennedy to push education reform. Doesn't get more liberal than that. He worked with the likes of Tom Daschle to push through a new medicare prescription program. On November 20, 2001 he named the Dept of Justice's main building after Robert F. Kennedy, on the day of what would have been his 76th birthday, to commemorate RFK's days as Attorney General. He continues to try even today to work with the left. He is only rewarded with contempt from them but he tried.

After the attacks of 9/11/2001 and the need to go offensive in the war on radical Islam, all kinds of craziness has developed in this country. It is fashionable to call the President and his administration every name in the book, whether on our own soil or foreign soil, major newspapers feel emboldened to publish national security secrets, enemy combatants are held in a prison with all the creature comforts plus more. Even the International Red Cross has to admit there is no brutal treatment of prisoners. Socialists like George Soros have spent millions of dollars to keep the President out of office and failed. Now he will begin running tv ads berating the Republican party next week and continue on until election time to help the opposition party in November.

George Bush, like Harry S. Truman, is not polling favorably with the American public. So be it. He has made mistakes. He betrayed the party with his immigration reform debacle and the conservatives will not move forward, though they won the issue with the battle cry being led by talk radio last summer. I didn't agree with the administration's plan either. Senator John McCain, now running for the presidential nomination, was a force behind the legislation in the Senate. The conservatives are determined to punish McCain now.

This is not to plead McCain's case. He has sponsored other legislation I didn't agree with and he has to answer for that, too. I was against McCain/Feingold/Thompson at the time. That is another bone of contention within the party. Yet, the fact that Thompson was an original sponsor of the bill didn't matter much to social conservatives pinning the label of 'true Conservative' on Fred's lapel. It is all McCain's cross to bear.

Here's where we are now. Like Peggy Noonan and her new column in today's, I think the race is now between McCain and Romney. Both good men. Both honorable. Both solid Republicans. There are some differences and it will be coming down to who can win in November against Hillary. That is the realism of the race now.

So, compare the two. From my viewpoint here are some contrasts I see: McCain came into elected office during the Reagan revolution. Romney didn't support either of Reagan's runs. McCain has always been pro-life, the holy grail for social conservatives, and Romney is a convert to the issue. McCain is a military veteran and American hero. Romney is not a veteran, with his strength being in economics. Both are in longtime marriages with many children. Both pledge to nominate conservative judges to the bench. Both have gotten the message about illegal immigration and pledge to build the fence and enforce current laws first.

I don't think either would harm the Republican party. That fact infuriates the ideologues in the Republican party. You see, I am a moderate. There are those in the Republican party that consider themselves a conservative first, then a Republican. Bless their hearts. I'm a lifelong Republican, born into a Republican household in the Deep South in the middle of the 1950's. That was almost unheard of at the time. When my parents moved to southern Mississippi in 1950 and registered to vote, they were told they had to register as Democrats to vote. There was no state Republican party of note. So, I don't take kindly to those so short sighted or politically ignorant as to get on their high horse and say that the Republican party must be purged of moderates or RINO's, their favorite name to sling. This was my party long before it was the party of the 'religious right' voters.

Being a single issue voter, whether it is the life issue, the immigration issue, or the Jesus issue, does not move our country forward. Talk radio is angry that McCain has gathered steam in the race and could get the nomination. McCain was wrong on immigration reform and on McCain/Feingold/Thompson. We all get it. He gets it. He has admitted that campaign finance reform has brought results he didn't intend, he admits he was wrong on the illegal immigration issue, and he states he voted against the Bush tax cuts because they didn't include spending cuts. He is in favor of renewing the tax cuts and making them permanent.

President Bush will go down in history with a legacy of beginning the war on extremist Islam. That will be historically significant. It will be his legacy and that is good. The rest of his two terms have been spotty at best. His tax cuts have kept our economy strong, even today when the defeatists would have you believe we are in recession. The chairman of the Federal Reserve said he didn't think we would reach a recession, but that didn't matter. We have had consistent quarters of growth each year, a record, yet you would think we are approaching the Great Depression. We are at war. We have deficits. That's how it goes.

Not voting is not an option. I studied civics as a school girl. It's a shame that class is no longer taught. Our children are poorer for it. My father was a veteran of the Korean War. My husband of the Vietnam War. Too much blood has been spilled to not vote. And I won't waste it outside my party. Being a party person is honorable.

Politics is about winning. If your party is not in power, your agenda is not on the table. It is as simple as that. I don't want a socialist nation. I don't want further attacks on our soil. I want as much of our money as possible to go into our bank account. I want judges on the bench that know how to read the Constitution and not put their own agendas into law. This isn't rocket science.

More music. Less talk radio.


GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

wOw! Than you for sharing this. Totally correct - being optimistic is much more appealing than being down.

Also, a lot of these radio cats are aweful quick to dismiss McCain's mea culpas' (which were brilliantly illustrated btw~) almost to the point of calling him a liar (phony is one code word that comes to mind) Reckon that more folks will just forgo the radio for a while?

"We all get it. He gets it."
Great article Karen - again!

AmPowerBlog said...

Karen: You should submit this to WSJ - it needs wider distribution!

Actually, I'm mostly a single-issue voter on foreign policy, my main area of scholarly expertise. But on so many other areas of conservative values it's just second nature - the Democrats are a disaster, on affirmative action, criminal justice, personal name it.

But, as you might know if you've been over to my page (and seen some comments), closed-minded conservatives are up in arms over my support for McCain.

I've backed him all along. I don't like everything he stands for, but he's a man of honor and virtue, and there's no one else in politics now who I'd rather see as commmander-in-chief next January.

In any case, I'm rambling. Keep up your very cool, thoughtful essays.

Best to your family as well!

American Power

Anonymous said...

Morning, Karen. Well written post! I came over to see what you had to say as I'm frustrated trying to figure out what's going in today's primary in terms of delegate counts and Super-delegates and what have you. I was sorry to see Obama take the gloves off but agree with you: it's the real world he's moving in. Have a great weekend. Tra-la-la-la. :-)

AC said...

I am so with you on the less talk, more music. I was finding myself more and more bummed, not exactly for the same reasons as you so well describe here - i was feeling burdened by issues, and people with issues, and the overwhelming just-plain-wrong and what-ifs...not to the point of buying survival food and getting off the grid, but certainly to changing the station from political talk to my favorite music cds and stations.

Its helping.

Regardless of my personal social values, the base line has to be national security, economics and taxes.

PS - my favorite radio station streams worldwide - you might like WDVX. It is a totally listener supported station with a great back story - no NEA or other grants, no NPR.

Anonymous said...

I feel you here. Jump in the car at lunch and either Rush or Jim Rome are on the radio. This past week, I've opted for silence instead of either one of them.

Am also struggling with a similar conundrum in my own party re: the Hillary factor. If she wins the nomination, I'm screwed. She and her husband drove me away from my own party during their second campaign and tenure in office. It feels unconscionable and disingenuous to fathom pulling a lever for her now. And more to the point, Republicans and Independents hate her so much, it's hard to imagine her ever accomplishing anything meaningful as President. The woman can't unite her own party, how the hell do people think she could ever unite a nation?

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Excellent post, karen.

Do you ever listen to Michael Medved? He's the most optimistic and well-reasoned, moderate-toned conservative Republican on talk radio. I also like Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager. Hewitt's been harsh to insure his guy (Romney) wins over McCain; but I know that Hewitt will back whoever the eventual nominee is, 100%.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Karen. But I am a firecracker and would be remiss not to rekindle my blogtalk show Dhimmi News Live with my friend Bernie from Planck's Constant. We are going to be on Feb. 6th and I will write up on our guest near the date--but I do think radio is a valueable venue - despite the vultures.

Jack Steiner said...

McCain's got this tied up. I know that it is awfully early to say that, but unless he does something truly foolish Romney is shot.

He just doesn't have the same pedigree.

Don said...

For a look at McCain from the perspective of a conservative Baptist minister here in Alabama you might want to read his post “John McCain and short memories” @ Reverend Killian’s blog is a combination of posts dealing with his religion and politics. It contains other posts about other candidates besides McCain that you might be interested in.

If conservatives are looking for a conservative candidate it’s a shame that so many people ignore Ron Paul who still adheres to the policies the Republican Party is supposed to stand for as well as the US Constitution which most candidates, and even office holders, seem to have either forgotten about or just ignore it when it’s convenient.

Beverly said...

I so agree with you. I'm so tired of talk radio. It used to be on almost all the time with me, but I've turned it off, and I'm not answering my phone when all the candidates call. Caller ID is worth the price during these days.

Ron Simpson said...

McCain/Feingold/Thompson-- He now says that he was wrong.
He admits his immigation reform was wrong.
He states he voted against the Bush tax cuts because they didn't include spending cuts. He is in favor of renewing the tax cuts and making them permanent.

And his supporters are accusing Romney of being a flip-flopper because he changed his views on abortion.

I am a Romney supporter, I admit it. But I am a Republican and will support the Republican nominee. BUT I will also speak loudly when my elected officials make decisions that I do not like. On the flip side, I also let them know when they do something I do like.