A Problem for the Conservative Movement

Let me take a stab at this. And again, it may well be that these people I’m talking about will be identified. I’m not going to myself, but it’s not about them. I was just stunned when I read this. The subject of the first post is an attempt to explain why the Republican leaders in Congress so badly blew the payroll tax cut battle. (interruption) Well, not smoldering about it, but I’m fascinated to read what people think went wrong. And here’s the nut of this one.

“What’s even more ominous is that this national suicide attempt they’re advocating for appears to be great politics! As Tucker Carlson said at an ALEC speech in New Orleans last year, the problem here is very simply that ‘people like free stuff.’ The Democrats have realized that they can cobble together winning electoral coalitions by offering the middle class a ton of free stuff. This is not a ‘safety net’ for the poor and down-trodden, mind you. It’s more free stuff for people who already have more cars, TVs, and phones than they can afford. That’s the basic idea of the subsidies in Obamacare. … Any extension in the payroll tax cut without a spending cut offset is a travesty. In fact, we should have insisted that the extension be offset with entitlement reform, to make no mention of spending cuts.”

After spending 80% of the post on what the Republicans shoulda done but didn’t do, then there is this: “That’s why it would be wrong to blame Speaker Boehner for this defeat. The fault lies elsewhere.” Okay, well, that intrigued me. “The Democrats’ bid to expand the entitlement state for political benefit is a mortal threat to the future of our country.”
That’s very true. And it’s been true for 30 years. I got the impression it was just recently realized. “The Democrats’ bid to expand the entitlement state for political benefit is a mortal threat to the future of our country. But the fact that these collectivist schemes continue to play out in their favor is not the fault of conservative leaders. It is, rather, a sign that Americans have lost their way. We conservatives have to make a much more convincing case that the road to a better society lies in the direction of self-reliance and limited government, and away from the debilitating entitlement state to which the Democrats’ poisoned carrots are leading us.”



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