Thursday, February 26, 2009

Conservative Introspection

I'm not sure why Think Progress is attending and reporting on CPAC, other than to denounce and destroy conservatives, although they certainly have found some ammunition in the comments of Cliff Kincaid of the conservative Accuracy in Media:

Back during the 1980's, we had a president who was anti-Communist," Kincaid said. "Back during hate 1980's, at least we knew that our president was born in the United States.
CPAC attendees apparently got a kick out of that, although suggesting that Barack Obama is foreign born is less a good punch line than a feverish right-wing conspiracy meme.

In any case,
Rick Moran reports from the convention:

The speakers and panels so far have been making all the right noises about having learned their lessons from the 2006 and 2008 electoral debacles. Political defeat, like the prospect of being hung, concentrates the mind wonderfully. And there seems to be a grim determination underpinning the talk of reform and change — as if the movement has taken the defeats to heart and is truly chastened by the experience.

Of this I have no doubt. But talking about reform while failing to address some fundamental problems with the conservative movement itself may see any real effort at change an exercise in wishful thinking.

Classic conservative principles are timeless; immutable tenets that have inspired great changes in government over the last 400 years and spoken passionately and plainly to the needs and hopes of ordinary people. Since the end of World War II, those classical principles have informed a devastating critique of the welfare state, presenting a reasoned and logical alternative to statism and dependency. Conservatism has stood for human liberty based on the fundamental idea of natural law; that from his first breath, man is born free.

But conservatism has gone off the rails, becoming in some respects a parody of itself. A philosophy that is all about honoring and conserving tradition while allowing for change that buttresses and supports important aspects of the past, has been hijacked by ideologues who brook no deviation from a dogma that limits rather than expands human freedom. Conservatism has become loud, obnoxious, closed minded, and puerile while its classical tradition of tolerance and hard-headed rationalism has been abandoned in favor of emotional jags and a vicious parochialism that eschews debate for “litmus tests” on ideological purity.
Read the whole thing, here.

Moran suggests that the party's facing a struggle between (what some might call) stale ideology versus the need for more diversity, inclusion, and tolernance.

As readers know, I'm not inclined to compromise on the conservative forte of strong cultural traditionalism, but slurring Barack Obama as a foreigner is no way to move in the direction Moran would like.

See also, Right Wing Nut House, "Reflections on God, Man, and CPAC."


Righty64 said...

I do not get the birth certificate "controversy". One has to take a huge leap that 47 years ago, people conspired to lie about the birth of one Barack Hussien Obama, Jr. because SOMEDAY, he may be president of the United States. I agree that it is important to stay away from this thread of anti-Obama whackiness.

AmPowerBlog said...

I didn't really get into all the conspiracy theory, Mark. Obama's a hardline socialist, and that's no scam, as we're seeing now.

Righty64 said...

You are right about the socialism of President Obama! That is why we can not be diverted from phoney issues like the birth certificate. We need to take him on now and hard.

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