Monday, June 20, 2005

Hold-On-To-Your-Wallet Mode

One reason that I'm so skeptical about so-called "moderate" Republicans is the fact that they frequently sound so much like Democrats and/or other assorted far Lefties. And maybe I'm old-fashioned --- OK, so I am decidedly old-fashioned --- but I'm of the school holding that language and rhetoric mean something.

So when a "Republican" uses the same disparagements as the Democrats ....

The same holds true for strategy. So when Gordon C. Morse says in yesterday's Washington Post that "Maybe what Virginia needs is a better class of conservative," I'm pretty sure that this former speechwriter for Virginia Democrat Governor Gerry Baliles doesn't have Republicans' or Conservatives' best interests at heart. What he really wants, of course, is the kind of "conservative" who's more like a Democrat.

With that having been said, I'd say his criticisms of spending in recent GOP administrations is pretty fair. It at least identifies correctly that the problem is profligate spending. Unfortunately, as you would expect from a Democrat, it claims that the rather minor car tax cut is the root of all evil, when it is a small part of the overall increase in state spending during the relevant period.

Likewise, I agree with his assessment of the Kilgore proposal on referenda. I have been consistently critical of all the tax referenda, including those for meals taxes in Prince William County conducted in 1994 and1995, and that championed by former Delegate Jack Rollison in 2002. They permit elected officials to evade responsibility for their spending decisions, and the taxes that must be raised to pay for them. Moreover, such referenda permit elected officials to browbeat a populace into submission, if they have a mind to do it, by frequent and repeated efforts to win the same tax increases.

And, of course, one of the things that we never heard from Mark Warner, and certainly not from Democrat apologist Morse, is the suggestion that the solution to "Virginia's fiscal mess" is a good dose of reductions in state spending.

5 comments:

Mitch Cumstein said...

Jim:

I certainly characterize myself as a "moderate" Republican, but not on fiscal issues. My "moderate" bent has much more to do with social issues than fiscal.

My past statements have been based on two factors:

1) Spending is the issue to be dealt with, not taxes. Of course, they go hand-in-hand to a certain extent. But we need to reign in spending first. We need to identify the services that government should and should not fund, and then tell those whose services are cut or eliminated to find another source. This would cause some short term pain, but it would make for leaner, more efficient government in the long run. Let's debate over where and how much money to spend (preferrably as little as possible) . This will force our "leaders" to be leaders and be more easily held accountable.

2) I'm frustrated by what I've previously referred to as the "hard-core" wing of the party. You've asked before what I mean by that, so I'll answer. It isn't about any one specific issue. I'm willing to entertain and respect anyone's views on a particular issue, which I consider to be a moderate or more tolerant perspective. It doesn't mean I'll agree. What I'm seeing more and more are those members of the party that do not share that same willingness to tolerate opposing viewpoints on individual issues by other long-term Republicans. My fear is that this "your either with us on every issue or you're against us" mentality will eventually give the Democrats the opening they need to wrest control away from the GOP. Like any group or political party, the GOP needs strength in numbers. If we continue to alienate those who are willing to vote for and support Republicans, the numbers eventually just won't be there.

James Young said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Young said...

Responding to your comments:

Well, I guess I'm not sure what "moderate" means, unless it's "moderate" to tolerate radicalism as to "social issues." But to address your substantive comments:

1. Nothing to disagree with in your first numbered section, except the faint hint that it's up to fiscal conservatives to identify what's to be cut, rather than up to liberals to justify that for which government steals money from the taxpayers. Plus, they're not "services," they're "government spending." Your language -- whether intentionally or not -- already surrenders to Democrats and/or the far Left, who have heretofore been much more successful than conservatives in controlling the terms of the debate. Controlling the terms of the debate is control of the debate.

2. Frankly, this part of your comment strikes me as pretentious claptrap, to the extent that it is not justification of use of the tools of the far Left. You know, I have to wonder if you didn't sit down, couldn't come up with actual policy differences, and decided that you had to say something to justify your attacks. And the notion that you're "willing to entertain and respect anyone's views on a particular issue, which [you] consider to be a moderate or more tolerant perspective," is little more than self-congratulatory and sanctimonious. It is also belied by the nature and tone of your attacks upon me. And particularly in light of your next comment, that "What I'm seeing more and more are those members of the party that do not share that same willingness to tolerate opposing viewpoints on individual issues by other long-term Republicans." No, what you are seeing is Republican who make choices in primary contests based upon issues rather than merely upon the nice, warm, fuzzy, and non-specific label "Republican." That's what politics is about, or should be about. And what do you mean by "tolerate." What you seem to mean (at least with Chairman Sean) is "advance and promote."

And finally, let me set your "fear" aside. None of those whom you attacks holds, so far as I am aware, a "'your either with us on every issue or you're against us' mentality." That's a mentality reserved, in my observation, by those with whom you seem to associate. Of course, if you weren't guarding your anonymity, I could comment much more fully on that question.

Finally, your last section: "Like any group or political party, the GOP needs strength in numbers. If we continue to alienate those who are willing to vote for and support Republicans, the numbers eventually just won't be there." Those are motherhoods. You equate your own apparent alienation -- which seems premised more in personalities that you don't seem to like and that fact that there are leaders who have been around and been successful in PWC for far longer than you -- with that of the voters. It just isn't borne out by the electoral record.

Shaun Kenney said...

Jim, great website. Looking forward to making this a part of my daily read.

Regards,

James Young said...

Shaun,
Thanks for the comment! Take care, though, in reading my evil comments. There are some who will tell you I'm "right wing," or "far right," or "an extremist." Indeed, it is my understanding that you may have been involved with the YRFV sometime after I was (1995), which some people think I "destroyed," even though I am "irrelevant."