Friday, December 23, 2011
"Just Kidding Conservatism": The Fall of Classical Conservatism in the GOP
When the Republican Party won back the entire Congress in 1994 for the first time since 1952. They quickly discovered that they liked being in power and went about figuring out how to keep it. Even though I'm a Liberal Democrat I believe the 104th Republican Congress of 1995-96 did a pretty good job. As far as laying out and passing their Conservative Agenda and even though Newt Gingrich. Was an anchor pulling down the GOP Popularity down, especially with the Government Shutdown of 1995. And almost cost them the House in 1996 Speaker Gingrich was able to get a lot done as Speaker. He had a very good Legislative Record, House Leader Dick Armey deserves a lot of credit as well, as far as passing Legislation and seeing it become law. He learned from the Government Shutdown and was able to work with the Senate and Clinton Administration. And was able to pass things like eliminating Unfunded Mandates, Welfare Reform, Tax Cuts, Medicare Reform, Balance Budget Act. And had the Congressional Republican Party stayed down this road, especially during the Bush Administration. Where from the 2003-07 they had all the power, Democrats held the Senate from 2001-03 and then won Congress back in 2006. Had they sticked with what Speaker Gingrich was doing, to lay out with the Contract with America. And kinda kept the Religious and Neo Right at bay and sticked with Economic and Foreign Policy. The Republican Party would be in much better shape today.
If the Republican Party just stayed with the Contract with America and built off of that. Perhaps George W. Bush doesn't become President and they go with John McCain who would've beaten Al Gore in 2000 I believe. And they would still be the Goldwater/Reagan Conservative Republican Party. But in 1999 when Dennis Hastert became Speaker of the House and you had Trent Lott Leading the Senate. Getting elected and reelected became the GOP's top priority. Even if that meant moving way from their Conservative Values and this just became more apparent when George W. Bush became President in 2001. We hate Big Government from the Democratic Party but Big Government coming from the Republican Party, not so bad. So you got things like exploding Congressional Earmarks, breaking Federal Records that Tip O'Neil could only dream of accomplishing. No Child Left Behind of 2002, giving the Federal Government more power in the Education System. With 9/11 giving the Federal Government more power with the War on Terror with things like the Patriot Act. 2003 the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, borrowing 500B$ to pay for it. Warrantless Wiretapping, Indefinite Detention. A Christmas List for Big Government Neoconservatives.
As the "Southern Avenger" says someone who's a real Classical Conservative maybe even Libertarian. The Republican Party when it use to be a Conservative Party, was about using Conservative Values. To get elected and into power this is what we would do if elected. Which is what Ronald Reagan did in 1980 but 1999 or so the Conservative Movement to the Republican Party meant. Do what we need to do get elected and reelected to keep Democrats out of office. Which is where the Modern GOP is today, as long as Democrats aren't in Power. We'll have a Conservative Government whether we govern as Conservatives or not.