Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up

I watched a video on Andrew Sullivan’s blog.  In it Sullivan sort of explained how Obama is kind of a conservative.  Click here for the aforementioned interview.   Hopefully the video will load, and you can see what I’m talking about.  Personally, I’m not a fan of Sullivan’s ideas regarding conservatism.  He’s a talented writer and probably a genuinely bright guy.  With that said, when you contend that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are nothing more than radical populists, but President Obama could conceivably be thought of as a Tory – think Margaret Thatcher – people are going to question what’s really in that wine glass.  Although Beck’s done some great work (i.e. the ACORN/prostitute/housing scandal), I think he plays a little fast and loose with the facts (i.e. money supply growth graph).  In regard to Palin, at this point I feel there are people who would be better suited for the job of president – the current inhabitant of that position not included.  The liberal blogosphere and media have unmercifully flogged the woman and her family.  Sarah Palin has just as much right to express her opinions as Andrew Sullivan or the feeble-minded anchors and correspondents on MSNBC.  Like Obama, many people like her.  Let it go.

I wonder if Sullivan is still miffed about Forbes labeling him as an influential liberal blogger.  Frankly, I tend to use Milton Friedman, someone who didn’t describe himself as conservative but as a classical liberal, as my conservative benchmark.  Given the terminology of the day, I believe Friedman embodied what I view as modern conservatism.  I couldn’t see Friedman supporting the major government overhaul of the health care system – what Obama has supported is major government intervention despite what Sullivan claims.  Knowing what we knew of the current president at the time of his election, it would be hard to imagine Milton Friedman supporting Obama.  Sullivan supported Obama for president, and he doesn’t see the proposed  health care plan (sort of a mythical moving target in its own right) as being at odds with his conservative sensibilities.

Bottom line:  labels are subjective to an extent.  I could say that Dick Cheney is a left-wing pacifist.  I could say it.  The few people that happen upon this blog might make sure not to happen upon this blog again, but I could say it.  Those groups still enamored with the ideal that is the Obama presidency are going to be forced to wake up sometime toward the end of 2010.  The Republicans may not gain control, but the momentum between the coasts clearly is in their favor.

However one chooses to describe these people is fine with me.  Be warned though, your assessment may cause thoughtful individuals to see you as out of touch.  Anyone with half a brain can see the company Obama keeps, his scant voting record as a U.S. Senator and the policies he’s chosen to push.  Furthermore, the people protesting against increased spending and the over-reach of government should not be minimized.  They didn’t clash with police or destroy much, so I guess their grievances aren’t legit.  Most media outlets have chosen to mostly ignore their rather large demonstrations, only to reference these people as out of the mainstream.  Ms. Pelosi describes tea partiers as “astroturf.”  That’s classy.  I find these tactics to be condescending and lazy.  “Southern Populism?”  Are you kidding me, Mr. Sullivan.  Yes, we Southerners are too ignorant to understand what being a true conservative really is.  It’s important to break out of the liberal internationalist bubble from time to time.  There’s a vast country beyond Washington D.C.


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