Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face

There’s been a lot of talk from conservatives who feel betrayed by Bush’s reckless spending habits and immigration policy. There are many conservatives who feel that Bush isn’t doing enough to appeal to the conservative base – and there are many who are saying that they won’t vote for him because of it. The Spoons Experience bashes Bush for increasing NEA funding. VodkaPundit also wonders if Bush is alienating himself from his fiscal conservative base.

I’m as pissed as anyone about Bush’s seeming inability to say no to more federal spending. He could have followed in the footsteps of Reagan fiscally, instead he’s following in the footsteps of Nixon, which is not something I’d be particularly proud of. The Medicare prescription drug bill was a horrendous bit of policy that will go hundreds of billions of dollars over budget (and already has). Bush’s tax cut may have been a perfect supply side move, but he’s harming his own stimulus by spending like a Keynesian. He needs to develop a sense of fiscal restraint, and he needs to do it now.

That being said, the people who are lashing out against Bush are doing so based on logic that is more than tortured. Four years of an anti-war Democrat in office is not something this nation can afford. Spending will not go down even with divided government. The best we’ll get is a series of watered down Democratic policies. We won’t get Social Security reform. We won’t get Medicare reform. We’ll get at best more of the same, and at worst we’ll get a series of policies that will lead this country down the road to serfdom farther than we’ve ever gone before.

Moreover, the GOP may move right if a Democrat gets elected – right off the edge of the political cliff. Ideological parties do not win elections in this country. From Anthony Downs onwards, political scientists have consistantly found that a party that tries to reach only to its base is a party that loses. Think Goldwater in 1964, McGovern in 1972, Mondale in 1984. All these parties nominated individuals who did an excellent job of getting out their base – and then lost horribly. It was only when people like Reagan and Clinton took the message of their party and tailored it to the rest of the electorate that the parties won.

The best any of these anti-Bush conservatives can hope for is four years of divided government that will keep a line on spending. The tradeoff for this? A Supreme Court that is packed with activists judges who will shatter the Second Amendment, legislate from the bench, and attempt to reshape America in the liberal image outside of the political process. That alone makes wanting a Democrat in the White House a brazen slap to conservative principles.

Of course, one can only imagine what a nightmare our foreign policy would be. The doctrine of preemptive self-defense would be gone. We would pull out of Iraq leaving a shattered country to the wolves. No more political pressure on Iran and Syria. Four years of bowing and scraping to the UN. A policy of forcing Israel to accept genocide in the futile attempt to seek a negotiated peace that has been a fool’s errand for fifty years. Dominque de Villepin becoming a Shadow Secretary of State.

The results of this would almost certainly be a catastrophic increase in terrorism. Anyone who thinks that terrorism is an issue of law enforcement akin to wire fraud and not an act of war on this country does not belong anywhere near the White House. Look where eight years of complacency got us – an ever-increasing number of attacks, each one more audacious than the first. How many lives would be lost because of our inaction? What price is one willing to pay for ideological purity?

There are some normally very astute people arguing against Bush in this case, and they have some very good reasons to be angry with him. However, arguing that our foreign and domestic policies will come out better in the long run simply doesn’t hold water. At best we’ll have to spend years picking up the pieces. At worst we’d see the worst foreign and domestic policies since the Carter Administration – except in a case where the stakes are infinitely higher.

I may be a conservative, but I am not an ideologue. I refuse to sit around and sacrifice so much just because I can’t get everything I want in a President. Yes, it would be nice to have someone who would continue Bush’s important policies abroad and keep spending low at home. Unless Sen. Lieberman suddenly gets the nomination, that isn’t going to happen with any Democrat currently running in office. Any conservative’s best pragmatic choice is President Bush.

If you want to send this country over a cliff in the name of ideological purity, fine. However, when taxes are through the roof, the economy is collaping, Israelis are dying by the score, medicine is socialized, the Supreme Court is shredding the Second Amendment, our foreign policy is being made in Brussels, and conservatives find that they’ve lost nearly everything they wanted, you will have had only yourselves to blame.

UPDATE: Mitch Berg is throwing this question out to the Northern Alliance as well – I’ll be very interested to see what the reaction is. Although one point of clarification is in order – it’s not just the War on Terrorism that influences my decision to support Bush (although that’s by far the biggest). It’s also the possible ramifications for the federal judiciary, the President’s ability to alter the federal bureaucracy, and the way in which such an event could make the GOP end up a minority party for an extended period of time that colors this decision.

And once again for those who have failed to understand it the first eleven billion times I’ve said it – my support of Bush is not unconditional. I don’t like his spending policies, I don’t particularly care for his immigration policy, and I think he’s squandered some important opportunities like school vouchers and other policies. However, he remains the only pragmatic choice for conservatives, even if he isn’t perfect on conservative issues.

10 thoughts on “Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face

  1. If “Bush-Bashing” or “Bush-Hating” is the syndrome where you can’t help but bash Bush, can we come up with the name for people that can’t help but support Bush, even when he basically betrays everything his own party traditionally stands for? As it seems our poor Jay is afflicted with it.

    Honestly, I think at this point, Bush could immediately institute the Ice Cream and Lollipops Act, where we all line up and Bush and Cheney slap us with their dicks, and Jay would still vote for him in November.

  2. Hey, just be glad you got that image and not the first version that I wrote. In the first version, they’re not using their dicks to slap us…

  3. I’ve already said I don’t support Bush’s spending policies, but as a conservative he’s still the best pragmatic choice.

    Now if Lieberman were to suddenly be hoisted by a choir of angels and made the Democratic frontrunner things would be different – but that ain’t gonna happen.

  4. Lieberman is a troll. He lost my vote four years ago when he made it clear that one of his priorities was making sure that adults couldn’t watch violent, sexy movies and play video games like Grand Theft Auto. That, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want Gore near the White House either. I’m pretty sure I still don’t.

    I thought conservatives were all about freedom and choice? I guess, as long as you’re making the choices they want you to make. God forbid you be a gay video gamer who wants to rent “The Matrix” with their committed partner.

  5. Maybe we want the freedom not to have to watch you and your “committed partner” slap each other with your dicks in public.

    And if Gore lost your vote, then who got it? Dean?

  6. Maybe we want the freedom not to have to watch you and your “committed partner” slap each other with your dicks in public.

    And I think you should have that freedom. But I’m not familiar with any marriage rights that involve penises, so I don’t see what public sex has to do with gay marriage. Another irrelevant argument from the right, I suppose.

    And if Gore lost your vote, then who got it? Dean?

    I voted for Bush.

  7. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans during the Southern Decadence festival, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.

    The point is though, no president is going to be all things to all people. That’s why liberals and libertarians suffer from the same disease – everything is an all or nothing proposition with them. The only person they’d be satisfied with in office is themselves. You can bitch about individual freedom all you want, but the reality is that sooner or later you are gonna have to deal with the other 290 million people that live here.

    Choose the best candidate for the job. There is no PERFECT candidate, never will be. That’s reality.

  8. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans during the Southern Decadence festival, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.

    What does that have to do with gay marriage, exactly?

    You can bitch about individual freedom all you want, but the reality is that sooner or later you are gonna have to deal with the other 290 million people that live here.

    What does that have to do with video games, exactly?

    I hear a lot of conservative blather – it’s personal freedom when you want to own guns and burn crosses, but suddenly it’s a “for the greater good” issue when somebody wants to choose who they have sex with – but no real comments of relevance. You can’t be for both Lieberman or Bush and personal freedom, unless what you mean by “personal freedom” is “your own personal freedom, fuck everybody else’s.”

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