Quote of the day

posted at 10:15 pm on February 28, 2009 by Allahpundit

“The Goldwater myth shuts down all attempts to reform and renew our conservative message for modern times. And it offers a handy justification for nominating a 2012 presidential candidate who might otherwise seem disastrously unelectable. Altogether, the myth invites dangerous and self-destructive behavior by a party that cannot afford either.

What happened in 1964 was an unredeemed and unmitigated catastrophe for Republicans and conservatives. The success that followed 16 years later was a matter of happenstance, not of strategy. That’s the real lesson of 1964, and it is the lesson that conservatives need most to take to heart today…

True, the liberal triumph of 1964 set in motion the train of disasters that laid liberalism low in the 1980s. But those disasters followed from choices and decisions that liberals made – not from some multiyear conservative grand strategy for success in 1980. It was not Goldwater who made Reagan possible. It was Carter. Had Carter governed more successfully, the Goldwater disaster would have been just a disaster, with no silver lining. And there was nothing about the Goldwater disaster that made the Carter failure more necessary, more inevitable.”


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The pendulum swings – we have Dems for years and they expand govt. and then we have Repubs for years and they undo some of the damage. If conservatives want to take it back they have to come up with a strategy to do that. Tough to do when we have Dems in power and a very bad economy.

mph on March 1, 2009 at 1:34 AM

This is incorrect. Republicans NEVER undo the damage. All they do is slow the descent somewhat.

I have never seen a Republican Congress permanently abolish any laws or taxes.

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Allah’s conservative views come across in fiscal and foreign policy issues. Is believing in the divinity of Christ a requirement for someone to belong to the GOP?

dedalus on March 1, 2009 at 8:07 AM

No, but attacking or tweaking Christians on a consistent basis definitely gets you liberal bona fides.

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:41 AM

My Dad and Mom voted against Goldwater for 1 reason and 1 reason only. The nightly news convinced them that Goldwater would start a nuclear war.

They voted Republican ever since and Dad was a union guy.

Vince on March 1, 2009 at 9:57 AM

How convenient for this canadian jackass to forget the Johnson years when this country had to deal with assassinations, riots, an unpopular war, etc.

The Johnson years doesn’t fit into the conservatives must adopt the liberal platform meme that is so in vogue amongst east coast elitist pundits, including those on HotAir, and is being shoved down our throats daily.

Blake on March 1, 2009 at 10:06 AM

jgapinoy on February 28, 2009 at 10:57 PM

so basically you are saying Palin for the win, right?? ;)

mrfixit on March 1, 2009 at 10:22 AM

michaelo on February 28, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Well said, thank you.

Midas on March 1, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Does David Frum seriously think that a non-assassinated JFK would have beat Goldwater by that large a margin? Its ridiculous. The Dem landslide was won on pure martyrdom, nothing else.

Speedwagon82 on March 1, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Vince on March 1, 2009 at 9:57 AM

It’s not good to be so loyal to a party. That’s what brought you McCain and lack of alternative ;)

Libertarian Joseph on March 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM

True conservatism never needs changing but the author isn’t a true conservative. A true conservative knows that the Constitution; like the Bible, doesn’t need to be tweaked for popularity. We live our beliefs…we don’t adopt beliefs or change them for elections. The author needs to listen to Rush’s speech.

DCJeff on March 1, 2009 at 10:53 AM

No, but attacking or tweaking Christians on a consistent basis definitely gets you liberal bona fides.

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Well, it helps that it’s so damn easy to do..

Reaps on March 1, 2009 at 11:06 AM

It’s not good to be so loyal to a party. That’s what brought you McCain and lack of alternative ;)

Libertarian Joseph on March 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM

In November there was an alternative to McCain–Obama. In the primaries there were many alternatives to McCain–each failed to be compelling enough to knock off McCain who was little more than an “undecided” vote.

Hopefully, someone will make a stronger run in 2012.

dedalus on March 1, 2009 at 11:07 AM

The Converatism of Goldwater and Reagan is dead in America.

The war has been lost over a generation, and will require a generation to regain, time conservatives don’t have, as socialists are moving rapidly to consolidate power, squelch dissent, and institutionalize their ideology.

While many Republicans may know that conservative principles are better for this country in the long run, quite a few know that many who sometimes vote Republican don’t identify themselves as conservatives. So they busy themselves with attracting the uninformed “undecided” voter in each and every election, hoping to attract enough to win, and in doing so, throw principle to the wind.

We call them Rinos, they call conservatives ideologues, and the Democrats call all Republicans evil, even the RINOS (ain’t that right, McCain?)

There is no consensus inside the republican party on principle, much less common ground with the majority of Americans, on which to stand and fight.

So while republicans fight for the platform of the party, the country moves on, ever leftward.

/sigh

OneEyedJack on March 1, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Speaking of “Mythology” It’s snowing in Alabama In March…..Al Gore stop teasing people with your Global Warming Promises.

http://youhavetobethistalltogoonthisride.blogspot.com/2009/03/al-gore-where-is-that-global-warming.html

Dr Evil on March 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM

The Converatism of Goldwater and Reagan is dead in America.

Conservatism.

/double sigh

OneEyedJack on March 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM

This is incorrect. Republicans NEVER undo the damage. All they do is slow the descent somewhat.

I have never seen a Republican Congress permanently abolish any laws or taxes.

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:38 AM

It is an interesting phenomenon. The best conservatives leaders we’ve had have slowed the growth of government, but none have ever rolled it back.

Based on the way the media cover Republicans though, the public believes that they are. The best example of this is when Democrats want a program to grow by $x and the Republicans offer $x/2 the press talks about them “gutting” the program.

I don’t see what advantage the Republicans gain by not going ahead and truly gutting wasteful programs. Whether they play the “me too, but slower and smaller” game or truly act as conservatives they will get the same press coverage…so why not do what you were elected to do?

18-1 on March 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Who is this Allahpundit? Can’t be The One or he would have accused Senator Goldwater of being a lobbyist.

I think its Hillary Clinton. She used to support the Republican nominee in 1964 but is now well…married to a guy whose first choice was inflatable. Must be awful for her.

I glad that Allah never noticed the success of other Republicans who ran against presidents with a good economy. Even if the Republican never threatened to turn Viet Nam into a rain puddle.

By the way, ahem, Landslide Lyndon (actually an insult) has a modern heir, Al Franken.

Or so it seemed. The votes kept coming in and the results went back and forth; victory was now declared for Stevenson, now for Johnson, now for Stevenson. After most of the tallies, the governor held a slight advantage. Then, six days after the election, a funny thing happened: 203 votes turned up in Box 13 from the pint-sized town of Alice, Texas. Even funnier: 202 of those votes were for Lyndon Johnson. The Stevenson campaign smelled a rat when it was discovered that the votes had been cast at the last minute and in alphabetical order. Charges of election fraud ensued, and the disputed contest went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Justice Hugo Black upheld Johnson’s 11th-hour win. He was declared the winner by 87 votes.
From Askgleaves.blogspot.com/2005/01/landslide-lyndon.html

IlikedAUH2O on March 1, 2009 at 11:17 AM

There is no consensus inside the republican party on principle, much less common ground with the majority of Americans, on which to stand and fight.

So while republicans fight for the platform of the party, the country moves on, ever leftward.

/sigh

OneEyedJack on March 1, 2009 at 11:08 AM

I do see one potential opening.

The Democrats are made up of many competing groups too. What unites them all is trying to take more money from the taxpayers though their other goals are often at odds. See environmentalists vs union workers as the most obvious example.

Obama is about to empty the treasury to pay all these groups off. Sure he’ll raise taxes, but that is a very short term solution.

So when stagflation hits again the politically ignorant will notice and the various special interests that make up the Democrats will began to fight each other. The media will blame it on Bush and the Republicans, but I’m not sure that will work for long.

Now the cost of this will be phenomenal. We will almost certainly have to default on the debt Obama is about to add. But I think that this will give us some narrow room to make the kind of fundamental changes we need.

It is not a great situation, but the basics of economics show that Obamunism cannot last. If we had a balanced media it wouldn’t have to come to this, but we don’t and it will.

As an aside, can you image the outrage if Bush had proposed a $1-2T *deficit*?!? Caused by massive giveaways to special interests no less?!?

18-1 on March 1, 2009 at 11:21 AM

From what I remember about Goldwater, he scared the hell out of people. We were going to have to stand up and be self sufficient and not depend on government. One hell of a shock from FDR and Johnson. And as it turned out, the breast feeders were not ready.

N4646W on March 1, 2009 at 11:22 AM

To all Republicans, these words should ring:

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”

IlikedAUH2O on March 1, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Conservatism is not an overlay of the GOP – look no farther than “the Mac Attack” who loves kissing a__ on the “other side of the aisle”. Belief in small government, low taxes, people’s freedom, life, the Constitution, and a strong military. Now how many nit wit Republicans can pick even two of those? Let’s not get railroaded again by McCain and his “lookilews”.

Cinday Blackburn on March 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I voted for that guy in 1964 and I’d still be curious to know what the results would have been had not Kennedy been assassinated. Johnson rode the wave of sympathy for JFK along with the real debut of the Camelot mythology and the promise to get his agenda passed. (Kennedy would probably never attempted passing a lot of that Great Society garbage but like the porkulus package everything got thrown in.) Before the assassination Kennedy’s popularity was declining and Goldwater’s rising and JFK was seen as a weak leader which has been re-confirmed by historical hindsight.

Annar on March 1, 2009 at 12:12 PM

I love this one -Congress isn’t greening it’s own Power Plant…how does that work? Didn’t Obama tell them the future is in Green Technology and Green Jobs…vs Snow Jobs:)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/01/congress-stumped-greening-power-plant/

Dr Evil on March 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I have been frequenting the New Majority since it went live. All they do is tear down Republicans and conservatives. All they want to do is be in power for power’s sake. If getting elected means adopting liberal, big government policies with just a couple of tweaks here and there, so be it. People like Frum are doing so much damage to the movement by constantly treating what our political opponents say about us as fact while questioning what we say about ourselves. I wish they would just leave our movement.

Chekote on March 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM

No, but attacking or tweaking Christians on a consistent basis definitely gets you liberal bona fides.

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:41 AM

You mean debating their evangelically-based positions on social issues is “tweaking” them? When some here actually regularly insult Allah and others for being atheists, or for not belonging to their specific Church?

Bull.

MadisonConservative on March 1, 2009 at 12:57 PM

THIS WILL END BADLY

HalJordan on March 1, 2009 at 1:17 AM

Yes, conservatism, if not dead, is suffering a terminal illness brought on by indoctrination by the media/Hollywood and public education at the hands of liberals/feminists. I hate to be negative, but I see no way for us to overcome the damage they have done short of full blown revolution to include succession of conservative states and the creation of two separate countries. We are simply too divided by ideology. The really scare thing is that, after reading HotAir for months now, it is becoming apparent that we ‘conservatives’ are nearly equally divided within, (fiscal against social) and so I have doubts that we would be able to mount a good fight. *sigh*

Rush and other strong conservatives can teach/preach all day long, and they may convert a few here and there, but they are more or less preaching to the choir. They are so demonized by the media and public school indoctrinators that too few new listeners will ever tune in. Rush had a Women’s forum or some such thing the other day. One of the callers told him that she had taken Gender Studies *dies a little at the inanity* at some university and Rush’s name was spread throughout the text book presenting him as the great misogynist devil. He was in the freaking text book!

Glenn Beck had a man on the street session the other day and the vast majority responded that the government should essentially provide for our every need, up to and including providing cars so people could go to work. These weren’t people standing at the welfare office, but people taking the train from their places of work.

We are doomed as a nation. We did not head the advice of our Founding Fathers.

“I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.”

“By withholding the knowledge of the Scriptures from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.” [Dr. Benjamin Rush in a letter written (1790’s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America]

“ The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal.” Thomas Paine, The Existence of God–1810

pannw on March 1, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Why in God’s name would anyone pay attention to David Frum? He is no different then Peggy Noonan they bot gained fame taking claim for other peoples work. Frum is an intellectual lightweight who is a has been who is a never was.

He was not around in 1964 and in 1980 he was a no body.

Jdripper on March 1, 2009 at 1:57 PM

At some point SOMEBODY has to stand up for truth. Obama and his minions are ruining America and her future. In life we ARE called to stand for the truth. If every politician did this we’d have a bright future indeed. We do need to be pragmatic but not at the expense of the truth.

Mojave Mark on March 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:38 AM
Republicans haven’t had the super-majority to do so in a long time….

youngTXcon on March 1, 2009 at 2:46 PM

I was 18 when Goldwater ran for President. I couldn’t vote for him because you had to be 21 years old to be eligible in those days, but one reason I wanted to was because he was the kind of guy who went to Florida and told the truth about Social Security. He exposed it as the financial sham it was and predicted the kinds of problems we’re about to have. America’s politicians of both parties still haven’t been able to face reaslistically into the challenge of entitlements. I think Frum’s analysis is full of holes that others here have named. I fear the pessimists are right…it’s too late in this country to regain true freedom as the founders understood it. But there’s no place to move to, is there?

RClark on March 1, 2009 at 3:45 PM

This guy fails to understand the Myth and the reality of the 64 race. His failures let me show them to you. Barry Goldwater was a Harbinger of the end of the old party system. The old Party system was based on regional alliances. Barry Goldwater was the first truly ideology based Presidential Candidate (FDR created the only party system for the Democrats and the republicans followed suit.). The New Party system started in 76/78 when a lot of the folks who were Part of the Goldwater system began to emulate the forces in the Democratic party who were transforming the Democratic party into a fusion of the old party system (alliances of groups) and ideology. Ronald Reagan in 1980 (after losing in 76) figured out how to make the Ideological party candidate system work, Thats been the system of elections we’ve been in since 1980. Every Candidate has been viewed in the lens of political ideology. Barry Obama is the first pure Ideology candidate the Democrats have ever had. Bill Clinton and George W Bush killed the Democratic party of alliances and made the first purely ideological party system for the democrats. Barry is the product of that system, Moveon.org and the left wing nonsense Internet stuff has created two parties that are purely ideologically based. We cannot compare how Presidential elections worked in 64 to how they work today. Barry Goldwater however is the archetype modern canidates are all drawn from

karasoth on March 1, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Is Allahpundit fascinated with everything Frum?

Conan on March 1, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Is Allahpundit fascinated with everything Frum?

Conan on March 1, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Frum what? :-)

coldwarrior on March 1, 2009 at 6:33 PM

I disagree with the point that conservatives can’t “roll back” the failures of liberalism.

Reagan certainly rolled back some of the leftist agenda (reducing marginal tax rates, reducing regulations, expanding the military, etc.).

In the 1990′s Gingrich & Co. worked with a liberal president to reform welfare, balance the budget, and restore some sense of federalism to the union.

Unfortunately, a “compassionate” Republican president along with a brainless Republican congress worked together to destroy federalism (see NCLB if you don’t believe me), to massively increase federal spending, and to massively expand welfare for poor, oppressed corporations.

George W. Bush’s incompetence begat Barack Obama’s nihilistic attempt to drive this country into socialism.

Let’s hope to God that we can elect some real conservatives come 2010 and start the rebuilding process early. Come 2012, let’s just make sure we nominate a real conservative like Reagan, not a compassionate conservative like Bush.

stickety on March 1, 2009 at 7:16 PM

it’s too late in this country to regain true freedom as the founders understood it. But there’s no place to move to, is there?

RClark on March 1, 2009 at 3:45 PM

When our company faced a seemingly impossible, complex task, a very wise boss of mine used to say ” You eat an elephant one bite at a time…” so I have hope that liberaism can be rolled back over time and there still is a strong possibility that we can move government back to what it was meant to be be. It will take a number of generations and some great leadership, but it can be done.

Red State State of Mind on March 1, 2009 at 8:50 PM

George W. Bush’s incompetence begat Barack Obama’s nihilistic attempt to drive this country into socialism…

stickety on March 1, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Really! Is that so? I expect that Pres. Bush will look far far more competent in retrospect, five or ten years after MSM and the Left fabricate another #1 scapegoat. It is surely more accurate to explain that the Left and its allies cynically, ruthlessly and relentlessly undermined public support for the Greater War on Terror (in particular the Iraq War) and then, as planned, road the resulting anti-war sentiment to back power … just like they did with the War in Vietnam. Pres. Bush was faithful but far too many Americans were not. It is not without reason that Usama bin Laden taunted us and said: “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse”

Mike OMalley on March 1, 2009 at 9:10 PM

Are you sh!tting me Allah? Reagan was a fluke, a chance, a nothing created only because Carter was just a horrible administrator? How is it you have anything in common with a conservative whatsoever? Why don’t you listen to a few of Reagan’s speeches when he was campaigning for Barry? You obviously need some enlightening because you clearly just don’t get it. These comments put any question I might have had on that subject to bed rather nicely.

Sultry Beauty on March 2, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Dang, it was Frum. Hope you don’t agree. Where does Frum get off talking about ‘our Party’? He even says exactly what Rush talked about at CPAC, that we just have to get Republicans elected no matter what the message, even if it’s just policy and process that has nothing to do with conservativism. Explain to me why we need all these ‘R’s in Congress that represent none of your principals just a title. What’s the point?

Frum: you are an idiot & STFU!

Sultry Beauty on March 2, 2009 at 12:55 AM

No, but attacking or tweaking Christians on a consistent basis definitely gets you liberal bona fides.

fossten on March 1, 2009 at 9:41 AM

What does that even mean?

Kralizec on March 2, 2009 at 5:53 AM

It means liberals hate Christians, and pseudo-conservatives who badmouth the “snake handlers” get fancy dinner invites.

chunderroad on March 2, 2009 at 10:25 AM

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