Jim DeMint: “You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative”

posted at 9:21 pm on November 9, 2010 by Allahpundit

That’s the money line from tonight’s Fox News “12 in ’12″ presidential profile; skip ahead to 3:00 if you don’t want to watch it all. He made this same point, albeit in a more elaborate way, at the Values Voter Summit in September. Let me gently suggest that this bumper-sticker version is doing him no favors, since it can’t help but alienate every last libertarian who sees it. His idea, as explained in greater detail at the VVS, is that God and government are forever jockeying for position as moral beacons in the public’s imagination. The bigger government gets, the smaller God gets, and vice versa, so if you’re eager to shrink state bureaucracy and promote self-reliance, expect people to react by looking elsewhere for moral guidance — like, say, back to traditional Judeo-Christian values. Thus are all fiscal cons also social cons, whether wittingly or not. And in fairness, that idea isn’t completely out of left field: There is indeed a relationship between God and government in the average person’s mind, although the touchstone is security, not morality. The less stable a government is, apparently, the more one turns to faith for reassurance that everything will be okay. The universe requires order and one or the other will provide it psychologically. (The U.S. is a notable exception to the either/or rule.) Which makes me wonder, how many fiscal cons support shrinking government because it means greater freedom for its own sake and how many support it simply as a means of moving people over to a different security blanket that they prefer?

Originally, I thought this message was just something DeMint was pitching at Christian conservatives to convince them that the tea party’s libertarianism is overblown, that they’re still a cherished constituency despite the reordering of conservative priorities to favor spending over “values.” But now I think he means it, which makes me wonder. For instance, last I checked, Glenn Beck’s a fiscal conservative (and notably a fan of the idea of Americans turning back to God) but also … fine with gay marriage. DeMint himself, however, is not: He told Al Hunt last year that neither the feds nor state governments should have the power to legalize same-sex unions. Per his God/government dynamic, I would think he’d support getting government out of the marriage business altogether and trusting in Judeo-Christian morals to handle this problem, but he still supports state recognition of traditional marriage as far as I can tell. Likewise with his comments about how gays and unwed mothers don’t belong in the classroom. Said GOProud’s founder Chris Barron of that, “The idea that someone who says they believe in limited government would support the government weeding out gay teachers and unmarried sexually active female teachers simply defies logic.” So maybe our error here is in assuming that when DeMint says “fiscal conservatism,” he means it as a byword for “less government” universally. Maybe government that works to reinforce Judeo-Christian values is fine. I guess, like Mitch McConnell, we all have our exceptions to the master plan.



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Let me add that family should be there to help family. And, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

SC.Charlie on November 10, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Apparently DeMint has never read Instapundit.

Terrye on November 10, 2010 at 7:14 AM

DeMint has his own take. It seems that there is a lot more gray than black or white. DeMint didn’t say that being fiscal conservative is the same as being social conservative. No one appreciates nuance better than a professional politician. Sure, you can find a fiscal conservative who couldn’t give a damn about crime, THE social issue.

The matter remains PRIORITIES.

it can’t help but alienate every last libertarian who sees it.

Allahpundit seems to segregate exclusively. Who implied that Libertarians exclude Christians? What studies has he pursued regarding Libertarianism, anyway. Only in passing, nothing scholarly, taking the word his generation of drugged mental-juveniles for all intents and purposes. Pathetic.

maverick muse on November 10, 2010 at 7:21 AM

Fiscal cons and libertarians support his right to be as socially conservative as he wants to be. Liberals do not and would take that away. If he thinks that means fiscal cons must also be as socially conservative as him then he is a philosophical nincompoop.

Resolute on November 10, 2010 at 7:37 AM

I like Jim DeMint and I appreciate his fiscal conservatism. However, I can’t tell you how much his comment irritates me. I am a fiscal conservative, and socially liberal.. I vote Republican because the fiscal issues are what is going to ruin this country, and I keep hoping that eventually we’re going to get back to fiscal sanity with the Republicans in charge. I’m more in line with Mitch Daniels. Let’s call a truce on the social issues, please. We have more important things to worry about.

SueM on November 10, 2010 at 7:38 AM

“You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative”

I can kind of see this, but only if your definition of social conservative is broad enough to include atheists and other non-christians.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2010 at 7:41 AM

There is no ‘right to self-ownership’ or a ‘right to life’ that can be found in nature.

sharrukin on November 10, 2010 at 4:18 AM

They emerge from observations of society and best governance.
Religion is a weak link to rest such rights on, since religion is quite obviously mutable.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2010 at 7:45 AM

I am a fiscal conservative, and socially liberal

SueM on November 10, 2010 at 7:38 AM

How can you be fiscally conservative yet support nation killing, uber-expensive, entitlement programs?

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 7:53 AM

DeMint will kill the Tea Party, or at least move it away from social conservatism. The Tea Party needs to remain a very small tent, ie. bringing down the size and spending of the Federal Government, eliminating or at least controlling corruption with term limits, and of course reducing the burdensome taxes that are killing this country.

Social Conservatism is nothing more than the abortion issue. I found it funny that Sean Hannity stopped talking about abortion or the right to life about a year before the midterms. Even Social Conservative Hannity knows that’s a vote killer every time…….

adamsmith on November 10, 2010 at 7:56 AM

LOLWUT? I think of a true libertarian as favoring political rights (freedom of thought, speech, conscience, and the press, the right to vote, civil equality) over “economic liberty.” And if that’s the case, libertarians should nearly always vote for liberals.

crr6 on November 9, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Libertarians believe in favoring ALL freedoms, which includes economic freedom. Political freedom and economic freedom are not mutually exclusive.

Try again.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Ugh! If SoCons are determined to co-opt the Tea Party… we can kiss it goodbye. The power of it was in the concepts we could ALL agree on: limited government, fiscal responsibility, Constitutional law.

If it’s going to be all about abortions and gay marriage from here on out, it becomes a wedge, useful to the left and toothless in terms of REAL influence.

I understand what DeMint is getting at. Freedom doesn’t work in an immoral society. But morality is subjective in these type of social issues. While the immorality of aborting a late-term fetus is easy to understand, it gets a good deal murkier for most people when we’re talking about a cluster of cells. And if our friend or neighbor is a kind, generous person in their daily life, what harm is done to anyone else if they “marry” the one they love? There’s nothing in the Constitution that says they can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Jim DeMint. But in this, he’s wrong. We don’t appreciate zealots on the other side of the world trying to force their version of religious morality on us, why would we appreciate them when they’re home-grown?

If an omnipotent God allowed us free choice, to engage with Him or not, who is any man to say differently?

Murf76 on November 10, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Libertarians believe in favoring ALL freedoms, which includes economic freedom. Political freedom and economic freedom are not mutually exclusive.

Try again.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Quite the contrary; economic freedom is the bedrock of political freedom. The freedom to dispose of your own property as you see fit is the most fundamental.

Lehosh on November 10, 2010 at 8:14 AM

crr6 on November 9, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Contact your undergrad institution and try to arrange for a refund.

DrSteve on November 10, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Lehosh on November 10, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Good Lt’s saying you can’t have one without the other. You disagree?

DrSteve on November 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Complete left field. The federal government has no business being involved in these issues. Not an enumerated power, that means hands off. Leave it for the States to decide as they choose. You don’t like the way your State’s mix of social and fiscal conservative values? Then change your State or move to another one.

This is not a Federal issue and therefore not in Senator Demint’s purview or scope of authority.

National Defense
Currency
Post and Post Roads
Regulate Foreign Trade.
Otherwise, Just Stop.

speed on November 10, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Quite the contrary; economic freedom is the bedrock of political freedom. The freedom to dispose of your own property as you see fit is the most fundamental.

Lehosh on November 10, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Yup.

That’s why she’s on the left – they don’t believe that private property rights are related to individual freedom.

Of course, their ideology sees all property as being owned by the state and not the individual, and it’s by the state’s benevolence and good graces that you get to keep anything at all.

Because that’s, er, “political freedom” in her world.

Doesn’t make any sense, but nobody ever accused the left of making a whole lot of sense when it comes to things like this.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Good Lt’s saying you can’t have one without the other. You disagree?

DrSteve on November 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM

I agree. I just didn’t want nest multiple block quotes to “quite the contrary” crr6 haha

Lehosh on November 10, 2010 at 8:20 AM

That’s why she’s on the left – they don’t believe that private property rights are related to individual freedom.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Which is so strange considering all their carping about the body as a form of property: “My body, my choice” and suchnot.

Lehosh on November 10, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Good Lt’s saying you can’t have one without the other. You disagree?

DrSteve on November 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM

No – he agrees fully.

This is Milton Friedman’s argument. You can’t have true political freedom without economic freedom.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Libertarians and SoCons agree that the fed has no business spending money on Social issues.

If a State wants to make abortions legal/illegal and prosecute or subsidize; States Rights.
If a State wants to subsidize alternative marriages with Tax incentives (but not force them on other States; States Rights.

The Fed can only “do” things with cash. It takes money to arrest and prosecute. It takes money to subsidize an activity. Cut off the Fed money and both are happy.

That is what I understood DeMint to be saying.

barnone on November 10, 2010 at 8:27 AM

As so many have said, this is a huge mistake. Independent voters are attracted to the GOP by a pledge of fiscal conservatism and driven away by this cultur war crap. Hey Demint! Take what you are given, an electoral victory, and say thanks! Don’t start driving away supporters.

MTF on November 10, 2010 at 8:32 AM

There is no ‘right to self-ownership’ or a ‘right to life’ that can be found in nature.

sharrukin on November 10, 2010 at 4:18 AM

Sure there is. You have a right to defend yourself if your life is threatened because you’re a human animal and you’re ABLE to defend your life. You aren’t guaranteed success at the outcome, but who has a right to prevent you from mounting a defence?

Bunnies have a right to run from a predator.. because they’re bunnies and they can. There’s no natural law which insists they roll over and accept that they’re meat.

You have a right to free speech because you’re a human animal and you’re capable of verbal communication. It doesn’t matter whether it was God or nature that made you that way. It only matters that there is predictable conflict when humans are prevented from exercising their natural abilities.

Natural rights aren’t about religion. They’re about predictable social conflict.

Murf76 on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Libertarians and SoCons agree that the fed has no business spending money on Social issues.

That is what I understood DeMint to be saying.

barnone on November 10, 2010 at 8:27 AM

Right. You can’t say you’re socially liberal yet fiscally conservative. It’s impossible. If you’re fiscally conservative then you’re automatically a social conservative whether you like it or not.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM

entagor on November 10, 2010 at 3:28 AM

I have that part of Washington’s farewell address on speed dial. Clearly we’re on the same wavelength.

It is in the classroom where government stays in the business, because ultimately, classrooms teach and/or enforce morality at some level. Since public classrooms are government controlled, the morality comes from government dictates, and that is the problem. Institutionalizing something like gay marriage inevitably means it will be taught as a valid norm in public classrooms. This is the difference between tolerance, and institutionalizationm or celebration, of a concept.

entagor on November 10, 2010 at 3:28 AM

Exactly. That is why my children have never attended a government school and God willing, never will. They receive their lessons on morality from Jesus Christ and teacher role models more interested in the education, growth, development, spiritual health and overall good manners and citizenship of the precious beings in their care rather than what their Union has been able to do for them lately.

TheBigOldDog on November 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Right. You can’t say you’re socially liberal yet fiscally conservative. It’s impossible. If you’re fiscally conservative then you’re automatically a social conservative whether you like it or not.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM

How so?

Ann NY on November 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

TheBigOldDog on November 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

And where do they get their science education, if I may be so bold?

;-)

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Demint is lining up to make a run for POTUS. Will be like a scene from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” where Palin, Demint, and Huckabee square off to get the votes under the rock in the middle….

Bradky on November 10, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Plenty but plenty of successful businessmen and women have voted liberal over the years. Tell me none of them are fiscally conservative. Tell me all of them are socially conservative. Even if most of them are also guilt-ridden, contrarian, slightly nutty or some combination of the three.

DeMint may be understandably confident of his own logic, but he’s ignoring the inconsistencies of human nature. Or maybe he’s just trying to give prudent capitalists a reputation to live up to.

Seth Halpern on November 10, 2010 at 8:58 AM

That’s the exact sentiment that keeps people away from the GOP.

76United on November 10, 2010 at 9:01 AM

So you can’t be in favor of cutting government spending without also wanting to keep homosexuals from getting married? Man, that’s stupid. No wonder normals Americans hate Republicans.

Enrique on November 10, 2010 at 9:07 AM

How so?

Ann NY on November 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

How can one say they’re socially liberal, meaning they support expensive “socially liberal” government programs yet say they’re fiscally conservative?

Social liberalism costs trillions of dollars.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Right. You can’t say you’re socially liberal yet fiscally conservative. It’s impossible. If you’re fiscally conservative then you’re automatically a social conservative whether you like it or not.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM

There are plenty of “live and let live” voters who want lower taxes, less regulation, low crime, strong defense, etc., but who don’t care what their neighbors do in the privacy of their home.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Plenty but plenty of successful businessmen and women have voted liberal over the years. Tell me none of them are fiscally conservative.

I think this is just due to the fact that many rich folks FEEEEL that Democrats are “more compassionate” and that voting for them is a way to assuage their guilt that they have so much and others have so little. That, and they want good press.

I don’t think it’s philosophical issues with social conservatism. It’s the fact that they have to throw their weight behind a certain flawed worldview if they want good press.

And for the ones that actually believe this nonsense, they need help.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:11 AM

So maybe our error here is in assuming that when DeMint says “fiscal conservatism,” he means it as a byword for “less government” universally.

Nah, I think it just means Republicans lie about being fiscal conservatives. It’s social conservatism that motivates the GOP, the limited government rhetoric is just a way to snooker libertarian-leaning voters.

Enrique on November 10, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Demint is lining up to make a run for POTUS. Will be like a scene from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” where Palin, Demint, and Huckabee square off to get the votes under the rock in the middle….

Bradky on November 10, 2010 at 8:56 AM

There is an opening for a candidate to try and make him/herself the voice of the social cons going into the 2012 election, and there’s no question you’re going to have at least a few candidates pandering towards the social conservatives in the upcoming cycle.

The problem will be how early does the pandering start — right now the Republicans have a vast coalition for pushing fiscally conservative legislation on Obama and Reid in the 112th Congress, and the Republicans are going to have to stay focused and unified, because the Democrats will be trying to put doubt in the minds of swing voters by saying the GOP wants to let poor people die, old people get sick, children starve, etc. But if you have presidential hopefuls running around pushing legislation relating to social issues that has less overall support right off the bat, you’re not only taking the focus away from what you might be able to pass and force Obama to veto to issues that will never get past the Senate as it’s set up for 2011-12.

jon1979 on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM

There are plenty of “live and let live” voters who want lower taxes, less regulation, low crime, strong defense, etc., but who don’t care what their neighbors do in the privacy of their home.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Well perhaps we need a definiton of socially liberal. To me a social liberal is one who supports liberal social programs.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Do doubt religion helps an individual with moral challenges (which we all have in many forms on an almost daily basis). And, like any other tool it can be used for good or bad.

I prefer to leave religion out of politics and just let people believe whatever fulfills them spiritually. That way government can focus on protecting the environment that allows them the freedom to do so (instead of redistributing money all of the time).

watson007 on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM

IMO “real conservatives” would be ecstatic at the idea of less government and more citizen involvement through the states on moral/ethical issues.
Liberals and some conservatives like the idea of “someone” in government dictating what is acceptable. Neither likes the thought of pushing it to the states and legislative/amendment process to let the larger majority of citizens determine those things. They don’t like this idea because the results will likely not be entirely to their liking.

Bradky on November 10, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Social liberalism costs trillions of dollars.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:08 AM

When implemented as a matter of govenrment policy.

However, when you suggest that being socially liberal or moderate means that the government should – in addition to limiting its own power and spending – not be dealing in areas like marriage, sexuality and the like, then you start catching flack from the social conservatives who see government as a vehicle to enforce subjective social morays (excluding murder, assault and rape, which are universally condemned because they result in the injury or violation of the human rights of other individuals).

As long as you’re a small government advocate, you can be both fiscally conservative and more moderate socially, and not support government expansion or spending in either direction.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Actually this reminds me of the Israeli rabbis who wave a magic wand and declare halachically problematic immigrants “Jewish” when it suits them; or Mormons who baptize all of us (correct me if I’m wrong) after we’re dead. Whether we like it or not!

Seth Halpern on November 10, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Well perhaps we need a definiton of socially liberal. To me a social liberal is one who supports liberal social programs.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM

I think that AP and most of us that take issue with DeMint’s characterization feel that limited government means just that in all cases – including in the areas of who’s recreating themselves with whom, who is marrying whom, etc.

The libertarians here certainly do not advocate spending on liberal “great society”-like programs.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Well perhaps we need a definiton of socially liberal. To me a social liberal is one who supports liberal social programs.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Those are fiscal liberals. Others arrive at their belief in smaller government by valuing self-reliance and the liberty to live life according to one’s own values. They want an end to the welfare state, but also are turned off by DeMint’s injection of church into the already-bloated affairs of state.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM

However, when you suggest that being socially liberal or moderate means that the government should – in addition to limiting its own power and spending – not be dealing in areas like marriage, sexuality and the like, then you start catching flack from the social conservatives who see government as a vehicle to enforce subjective social morays (excluding murder, assault and rape, which are universally condemned because they result in the injury or violation of the human rights of other individuals).

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:15 AM

The only reason we have people involved in social issues to begin with is the government has usurped what was historically society’s role. For thousands of years societies set their own rules and determied their own morals.

Now the government determines what is moral and what isn’t, and tells society how it must function. Social conservatives are an unintended consequence of big, intrusive, progressive government.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Now the government determines what is moral and what isn’t, and tells society how it must function.

I’m not sure what you mean by the bolded.

Elaborate a bit?

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Those are fiscal liberals. Others arrive at their belief in smaller government by valuing self-reliance and the liberty to live life according to one’s own values. They want an end to the welfare state, but also are turned off by DeMint’s injection of church into the already-bloated affairs of state.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM

This is a much better articulation of what I was trying to say.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:34 AM

@darwin: The idea of the unity of church and state is thousands of years old too. Ancient Egypt, Rome, Israel, the Greek city states, Europe before and after the Peace of Westphalia, even most of the Thirteen Colonies had their deities or denominations whose form of worship the state was pledged to safeguard and enforce. In this as in other things America is more the exception than the rule.

Seth Halpern on November 10, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Social Conservatism is nothing more than the abortion issue. I found it funny that Sean Hannity stopped talking about abortion or the right to life about a year before the midterms. Even Social Conservative Hannity knows that’s a vote killer every time…….

adamsmith on November 10, 2010 at 7:56 AM

I wish that were true, because I am pro-life. But DeMint also thinks same-sex marriage is one of the biggest threats to Western civilization, he has publicly said he believes gay people should not be allowed to teach in public school, and his general attitudes about people are turn-of-the-20th-century. To me he is a Jerry Falwell who actually ran for office and got elected. The stuff he says isn’t very far from Falwell’s “God caused the 9/11 attacks because America allows abortion and hommosexuality.”

I think what these remarks by DeMint indicate is actual fear that the Tea Party has grown stronger and more influential than the evangelical “religious right” and he doesn’t like that because he is most at home flogging the social issues.

rockmom on November 10, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Why do republican candidates insist on shooting themselves in the foot with poorly crafted statements like this?

The best way for conservatives, fiscal and social, to get the support of the country is to show no quarter in fiscal issues and minimize the social issues. If we focus on fiscal responsibility, the money will not be available to spend on immoral entitlement programs.

csdeven on November 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I’m not sure what you mean by the bolded.

Elaborate a bit?

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:32 AM

The government now tells society what it must tolerate or approve of. Abortion is one. Society can longer determine it’s own standards or morals … except if the standards or morals are to the left, which essentially means no standards or morals.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM

The government now tells society what it must tolerate or approve of. Abortion is one. Society can longer determine it’s own standards or morals … except if the standards or morals are to the left, which essentially means no standards or morals.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM

That’s just total crap, darwin. The government tells people what’s legal and illegal and what the punishments are. Where has the government ever told people you must hold a certain belief?

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 9:47 AM

The government now tells society what it must tolerate or approve of.

It doesn’t tell you that you must “approve” of abortion – only that prohibiting it is illegal. Which results from a bad SCOTUS decision that rightly should be undone and left to the legislatures to decide instead of the federal judiciary.

Society can longer determine it’s own standards or morals

The problem is that there has been too much of an attempt by both sides to do this kind of moralizing at the federal level rather than at lower levels. And yes, the left does this more than the right does, so some pushback has been inevitable.

except if the standards or morals are to the left, which essentially means no standards or morals.

This, too, is all better addressed at the state and local levels. As long as those laws don’t violate the federal Constitution.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:49 AM

I wish that were true, because I am pro-life. But DeMint also thinks same-sex marriage is one of the biggest threats to Western civilization, he has publicly said he believes gay people should not be allowed to teach in public school, and his general attitudes about people are turn-of-the-20th-century. To me he is a Jerry Falwell who actually ran for office and got elected. The stuff he says isn’t very far from Falwell’s “God caused the 9/11 attacks because America allows abortion and hommosexuality.”

I think what these remarks by DeMint indicate is actual fear that the Tea Party has grown stronger and more influential than the evangelical “religious right” and he doesn’t like that because he is most at home flogging the social issues.

rockmom on November 10, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I hope you’re wrong, but I fear you’re right.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:50 AM

What a sanctimonious prig. He helped coast us 3 Senate seats.

Hilts on November 10, 2010 at 9:54 AM

That’s just total crap, darwin. The government tells people what’s legal and illegal and what the punishments are. Where has the government ever told people you must hold a certain belief?

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Riiiight. That’s why the government stops localities and states from dealing with the flood of illegals. People have no say in how they want to run their lives, towns, cities or states anymore, unless of course they’re leftists … then they can do what they want.

The government has, over decades, stopped society from regulating itself.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Hmmmm, so this really means DeMint is not Senator Tea Party, because, TEA is taxed enough already.

Nothing about social issues…

But I think the issues of Gay marriage and abortion on demand are libertarian issues.

Changing the definition of marriage and forcing feeding religious doctrine thereby… undermining thousands of years of religious teaching and history to protect a highly political and scientifically flawed psychological diagnosis of the last thirty years is damaging to out society in the extreme! Do no harm is very libertarian. Gay marriage undermines all the structures of our society. It does harm.

Gay marriage is the exact same exertion of political control as the global warming hoax. Shut out all dissent and exert power over religious teaching thereby. Silencing God is the goal and it is power driven.

And abortion is having all power over another human, the power of life and death! How in the world can a libertarian be pro-abortion? Killing someone because they are inconvenient is the opposite of live-and-let-live!

Murder on demand can not exist compatibly with libertarianism. They are polar opposites.

petunia on November 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Christians are programmed to proselytize……it kills them to have keep mum and work quietly behind the scenes.

rickyricardo on November 10, 2010 at 1:40 AM

I’m a Catholic who was baptized protestant and I as a rule don’t witness. Then again-I was born Jewish and with a few exceptions(Lubavitchers for example)Jews aren’t into converting people. My attitude is-to borrow a bit from Chrissy Hynde- unless you go dredging my lake or droppin’ a bomb on my street-I don’t care what you believe.
Whatever makes you happy.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM

This, too, is all better addressed at the state and local levels. As long as those laws don’t violate the federal Constitution.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Sure, but the government won’t let you deal with anything at that level any longer. The ACLU won’t either.

They control everything.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Right. You can’t say you’re socially liberal yet fiscally conservative. It’s impossible. If you’re fiscally conservative then you’re automatically a social conservative whether you like it or not.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM

That makes NO sense at all.

Just because I want small government doesnt mean I’m against gay marriage, or that I want Christianity to be embedded in government – any more than I’d want Sharia law.

Shambhala on November 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Sure, but the government won’t let you deal with anything at that level any longer. The ACLU won’t either.

They control everything.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:57 AM

This is a bit of an exaggeration.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

kingsjester on November 10, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Just because I want small government doesnt mean I’m against gay marriage, or that I want Christianity to be embedded in government – any more than I’d want Sharia law.

Shambhala on November 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM

“Social Liberalism” implies acceptance of socially liberal programs. Do social programs cost trillions? Are you socially liberal?

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 10:02 AM

This is a bit of an exaggeration.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Perhaps … but the government really does control society and it’s standards and morals today.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Riiiight. That’s why the government stops localities and states from dealing with the flood of illegals. People have no say in how they want to run their lives, towns, cities or states anymore, unless of course they’re leftists … then they can do what they want.

The government has, over decades, stopped society from regulating itself.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Dealing with whether or not to deport people has little to do with people’s morality or views on those people. No one is forcing you to like people who are in this country illegally.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 10:03 AM

DeMint has been doing a good job, but on this, he’s wrong.

Also, I’d have to quibble with the idea that less government would mean a less stable or less secure government. A smaller government would actually be MORE stable and secure, and people would be more comfortable without having to look over their shoulder for some government regulation every time they take a step.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Perhaps … but the government really does control society and it’s standards and morals today.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Whose morals?

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Except when it is absolutely necessary when talking about legislative matters, Republicans need to keep their damn mouths shut and get some work done.

Don’t they know the MSM does this, just waiting for crap like this?

Liberals don’t worry too much about who is more extreme within their own caucus. they are all liberals and when push comes to shove, they’ll support each other. Conservatives need to do the same.

catmman on November 10, 2010 at 10:15 AM

How can one say they’re socially liberal, meaning they support expensive “socially liberal” government programs yet say they’re fiscally conservative?

Social liberalism costs trillions of dollars.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I guess socially liberal is an inaccurate term – I absolutely do not think the Government should be doling out money for anything but mutual defense and the judicial system. I don’t believe in government schools so if a parent wants to send their child to a school taught by creationists or a school taught by drag queens, I could care less. Do I approve of either? That’s irrelevant as long as they’re not expecting me to pay for it.

This argument has been going on since the days of the Federalists vs. the Anti-Federalists. It was Jefferson who felt that Hamilton’s idea of a Fed and a strong central government would create an atmosphere that “programs would favor “speculators,” “stockjobbers,” and other unscrupulous moneymen who got rich by making informed gambles at others’ expense”.

Ann NY on November 10, 2010 at 10:16 AM

GOProud’s founder Chris Barron

Boy, for an organization who’s sole accomplishment is to get 180 people to a dinner party in a Manhattan apartment this guy sure gets quoted a lot.

Rocks on November 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Changing the definition of marriage and forcing feeding religious doctrine thereby… undermining thousands of years of religious teaching and history to protect a highly political and scientifically flawed psychological diagnosis of the last thirty years is damaging to out society in the extreme! Do no harm is very libertarian. Gay marriage undermines all the structures of our society. It does harm.

petunia on November 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM

The fallacies in your observation are that religions require government reinforcement and that our marriages are defined by the government. The government deals with property issues but each marriage has a very different set of terms and conditions that couples work out for themselves, or that they derive from their religious leaders. My company’s corporate definition isn’t changed by some new gay LLC, neither is my marriage changed by some other couple’s arrangement.

Many voters don’t look to the government to define social norms, rather just to keep the infrastructure working and to otherwise stay out of the way.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM

There are plenty of “live and let live” voters who want lower taxes, less regulation, low crime, strong defense, etc., but who don’t care what their neighbors do in the privacy of their home.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Well perhaps we need a definiton of socially liberal. To me a social liberal is one who supports liberal social programs.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM

I’m definitely feeling a disconnected between different definitions of “social conservative” and “social liberal”.
darwin seems to include large spending programs in “social liberal”, while dedalus includes invasive social control in “social conservative”. Others find “social spending” to be the domain of “fiscal liberalism” and the invasive social laws to be “social liberalism”.

Where the law stands now, sodomy and drug laws are about the only areas were self identified conservatives care about “what goes on behind closed doors”. The rest of the opposition to the leftist agenda amounts to preventing them from being invasive on everything else.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Fascinating discussion over the last couple of pages.

First things, I’m a social conservative; indeed probably one of the boogeymen of the libertarians and/or commies. I’m Mormon, which means that you can not tell me that the Federal government doesn’t determine belief, as several hundred ancestors of mine who went to jail because they were Mormon can testify.

We have first hand experience of what happens when our beliefs on marriage are not the official, government approved norm. We saw that the First Amendment does not protect us; indeed, you can read the case today.

What I see is the exact same thing happening again: our belief in a standard marriage, one man, one woman, is not the favored belief of the government, which is now gay oriented.

Can any of you “social liberal” types tell me and members of my church, who experienced the most severe persecution any religion in American history has experienced at the hands of the government, why we have nothing to fear about legalized gay marriage? Especially since the gay movement specifically targets Mormons? We already KNOW the First Amendment doesn’t protect us. If it didn’t in the 1900′s, I guarantee it won’t today.

Social conservatism isn’t about telling you what to do in your bedroom; for the most part. If you want to participate in various vices, it’s your life. What social conservatism is all about it preventing those vices from becoming virtues and promoted by the government. For then virtues become vice.

In short, government, by it’s actions and enforcements, rules and regulations, promote a set of values. Which values are they to promote? The “Have sex with anyone and kill the resulting consequence?” The “it’s okay to take advantage of your intern because of your position and lie about it because it’s just sex?” The “Hate Speech is saying that what I do is wrong, you evil Christian that deserves to die?” The ‘I’m sorry, we don’t discriminate here in this town, and since you Boy Scouts do discriminate, we can’t let you use public property” view? Does THAT offend any of you “socially liberal” types? Probably not.

Look, it’s clear that there is, ultimately, no room for compromise between the committed gay activists, the abortionists, etc. until they are the only ones favored. I’ve seen first hand what happens when choices have to be made between one group and another–guess which side loses?

One last thing: Even under the absolute worst nightmare I imagine the Social liberals could imagine, i.e. when Mormons actually ran the Utah Territory as a theocracy, did they lose their rights? No. There were still “camp followers” around the army base. There were still bars in some towns. Those who wanted to lie about the Mormons still got to, and were celebrated back east. I guarantee you that the Mormons were far more tolerant towards others than you social liberal types are towards us.

Vanceone on November 10, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The fallacies in your observation are that religions require government reinforcement and that our marriages are defined by the government. The government deals with property issues but each marriage has a very different set of terms and conditions that couples work out for themselves, or that they derive from their religious leaders. My company’s corporate definition isn’t changed by some new gay LLC, neither is my marriage changed by some other couple’s arrangement.

Many voters don’t look to the government to define social norms, rather just to keep the infrastructure working and to otherwise stay out of the way.

dedalus on November 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM

That’s a reasonable argument to get government out of the marriage business, but there still remains the issue of paternal responsibility that marriage was originally intended to address.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Demint is full of crap. You can’t sit there first and say your choices are god or government. What about yourself? Try it sometime Jim and maybe that will keep you from being such an ass.
But lets dispence with the bull that Demint wants smaller government. He wants government to define what 2 consenting adults do when their choice doesn’t affect anyone else. How is that “small government”? That seems like a really frickin huge government. Government defining marriage is a hell of alot more intrusive then the healthcare mandate.

Zaggs on November 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Jim DeMint: “You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative”

That’s not true – they just expanded the Republican Tent do they want to turn around and Shrink it?

The Independents swung 23 points to the Republicans, and it wasn’t because of Social Conservative issues. Libertarians swung toward the Republicans, they too are interested in Fiscal Conservative issues. So Demint is wrong. You can have atheist for small limited government. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot Republicans. What worked in 2010, can work in 2012 if the Republicans don’t skrew it up.

Otherwise it’s divided government, and as an Independent, I am cool with that too.

Dr Evil on November 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Right. You can’t say you’re socially liberal yet fiscally conservative. It’s impossible. If you’re fiscally conservative then you’re automatically a social conservative whether you like it or not.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM

How so?

Ann NY on November 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I’m going to take a quick stab at this.

If you are FC you are going to reject the funding of various social engineering programs. You are going to reject the growth of the nanny state and you are going to focus on PERSONAL responsibility.

I’m fairly confident that it’s safe to say a that if:

1. You oppose social engineering
2. You oppose government growth
3. You support personal responsibility

Then you fit into the slot of social conservative.

Granted that you might be in that part of the Venn diagram that is overlapped by other circles, but I think that if you are FC you’re going to be more inside the Social Con circle than outside of it.

I’m an atheist, I’m very fiscally conservative, and I’m very socially conservative. None of these three things contradict each other.

You don’t have to pray to a deity to be socially conservative.

I think most of the reaction to DeMint’s comment is centered around a muddling of what is a modern political liberal and classical liberalism. I think it’s also further muddled by our redefining conservative to also include religious tests when they don’t need to be there.

I’d also be really really cautious before I started putting a religious tests on the tea party.

Jason Coleman on November 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

That’s a reasonable argument to get government out of the marriage business, but there still remains the issue of paternal responsibility that marriage was originally intended to address.

Count to 10

Doesn’t that become easier in a gay marriage? Well at least male gay marriage as no parent gave birth to the child in regards to custody or what not. Otherwise you’re still arguing government should take over morals and I don’t care what the social conservative argument is for that, they haven’t seen the end game of setting that precedent for the level they want.

Zaggs on November 10, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I’m fairly confident that it’s safe to say a that if:

1. You oppose social engineering
2. You oppose government growth
3. You support personal responsibility

Then you fit into the slot of social conservative.

Going by the common definition of SC thrown around here, believing in personal responsibility would mean that adults can make their own decisions, yet SC’s says that two men or two women cannot get married.

Zaggs on November 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM

As a social liberal, you’re going to want to spend money on socially liberal programs. Oops! There goes your fiscal conservatism. Politicians like to put your money where their mouth is. Follow the money and discover that De Mint might be on to something..

SilentWatcher on November 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM

First things, I’m a social conservative; indeed probably one of the boogeymen of the libertarians and/or commies. I’m Mormon, which means that you can not tell me that the Federal government doesn’t determine belief, as several hundred ancestors of mine who went to jail because they were Mormon can testify.

We have first hand experience of what happens when our beliefs on marriage are not the official, government approved norm. We saw that the First Amendment does not protect us; indeed, you can read the case today.

…..

Can any of you “social liberal” types tell me and members of my church, who experienced the most severe persecution any religion in American history has experienced at the hands of the government, why we have nothing to fear about legalized gay marriage? Especially since the gay movement specifically targets Mormons? We already KNOW the First Amendment doesn’t protect us. If it didn’t in the 1900′s, I guarantee it won’t today.
…..
Vanceone on November 10, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Good points, but let’s be a little bit objective about what’s happened to Mormons. There’s a big distinction between expressing views and behavior. The Mormon “persecution” in the late 1800s was a result of the practice of polygamy. The only true government “persection” of Mormons was probably the issuance of an order by the governor of Missouri to consider the Mormons enemies, and to exterminate or drive them from the state if needed for the public good. And that was a result of increasing violence between the Mormons and non-Mormons. Not surprisingly, the governor’s order favored the majority, just like it often does.

And Brigham Young certainly didn’t do the Mormons any favors when he declared marital law after not being re-elected as governor and ordered that the Mormons “repel any federal invastion”.

Unless Utah is planning to, in effect, seceed from the United States again, I don’t think you have much to worry about.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 10:36 AM

how many fiscal cons support shrinking government because it means greater freedom for its own sake

This one does. That is the only reason to support shrinking government. Because, like the concept of fiscal conservatism, it is the broadest base on which to build support. Greater freedom for its own sake, is part of the foundation of this country. Fiscal responsibility (i.e. fiscal conservatism) is the twin block, used for the sure foundation, on which this country was built. These are the core.

I like that Allah, “Greater freedom for its own sake”. That is a fundamental truth. It is the true yearning of the hearts of men. Greater freedom because we have a right to it.

Troy Rasmussen on November 10, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I’d also be really really cautious before I started putting a religious tests on the tea party.

Jason Coleman on November 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I heard that! Demint better brush off the cobwebs, he needs to start polishing his speech, people are listening for specifics.

When someone uses “Social Conservative” many people think Evangelicals, that’s religion, not just culture.

Dr Evil on November 10, 2010 at 10:45 AM

So as I understand Jimbo3, we social conservatives have nothing to worry about our beliefs…. only our practices if they run afoul of the progressives. I.E. it’s perfectly fine to say “one man, one woman” only, but if we actually refuse to marry a gay couple as part of putting that into practice, we deserve the full force of the law to come down on us? Because we are “discriminating” and “Practicing hateful behavior” and “intimidating a protected minority” right?

But yeah, Jimbo, you are now excusing military movements on behalf of various governmental agencies to repress a religion. What happened in Missouri is EXACTLY what will happen again: Mormons, a small minority that happened to be a local majority, got set upon by mobbers. The judicial system excused the mobbers because they were the popular parts, leaving Mormons with no redress that mattered. Thus violence. And eventually the extermination order. Today, we have violence against Christian organizations, with no practical redress (come on–throwing out a constitutional amendment? What else can people do, short of violence?).

And as for Brigham Young declaring Martial Law, well, since over a quarter of the US Army at the time was marching towards Utah after some hysteria, with explicit orders to attack, and Brigham had not been informed he had been replaced as territorial governor…. gee, its our fault for wanting to defend ourselves?

Utah Seceding? The way this country is going, I could see a split between the coasts and the center happening.

Vanceone on November 10, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Dr Evil

Amen to that, if I may. And STFU while we’re ahead, PUH-LEEZ, Sen. DeMint.

Now, I haven’t read through 5 pages of comments, so I’m probably repeating somebody’s already coherent thoughts, BUT. OH. GOOD. LORD.

This crap is EXACTLY how we wound up with Bill Clinton. Watching all those angry, pinch-faced, ranting on social issues, Pat/Babe Buchanon types take over the podium at the GOP convention that year turned off so many rational, middle of the road, just want the FISCAL house cleaned first Americans, that they either didn’t vote, or voted for the pleasant fellow with the feel-good bio film.

Somebody stuff a sock in him while there’s still time.

tree hugging sister on November 10, 2010 at 10:57 AM

I take this to mean that on an individual level, yes, you can be socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

In practice, on a larger scale, however, social liberalism inexorably leads to fiscal liberalism, because of the inevitable pull toward bigger and bigger government by social liberals intent on “making a better world” – via entitlement spending.

It would be nice if it wasn’t this way, I guess. But it is. Fiscal cons have to make the hard decisions and social libs always yell the loudest about the chiiiilllldren suffering because of entitlement cuts.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Can any of you “social liberal” types tell me and members of my church, who experienced the most severe persecution any religion in American history has experienced at the hands of the government, why we have nothing to fear about legalized gay marriage? Especially since the gay movement specifically targets Mormons? We already KNOW the First Amendment doesn’t protect us. If it didn’t in the 1900′s, I guarantee it won’t today.
Vanceone

I guess Native Americans don’t count as a religious group eh? Or is it because Mormons gladly took part in their persecution as well as the US Government? Mormons had absolutely no problem telling Naative Americans everything they did was wrong, as agents on the reservations mormons forced their way of life upon the native americans. Just saying you shouldn’t be calling the pot black Mr. Kettle.

What social conservatism is all about it preventing those vices from becoming virtues and promoted by the government. For then virtues become vice.

But thats not the government’s job. At one point it was a vice to think the Earth round. It was a vice to think blacks shouldn’t be slaves. What you view as a vice can be a virtue to someone else.
Again play it out. If you can say that government gets to enforce virtues, that only works when your people win. What happens when the other side wins? If socialists take over are you fine with them setting the virtues?

Zaggs on November 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

yet SC’s says that two men or two women cannot get married.

As far as I’m concerned, if two men or two women want to receive the same benefits AND penalties that a married couple does, they can. They can easily do this contractually (POA’s and MD’s) and through the formation of an LLP or similar device.

I would be fine with creating a legal device to make this process easier (civil unions).

I cannot support redefining thousands of years of history at the demands of a select minority. Sorry.

Just like I won’t support calling a gaggle of geese a watermelon.

If the gay marriage lobby would put up a “Get Government out of marriage, civil unions for ALL.” I’d jump on that and so would a clear majority.

Jason Coleman on November 10, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Vanceone, I’ll respond to the rest of your stuff a bit later, but I am going to challenge your history. It’s my understanding that Brigham Young knew he hadn’t been reappointed for several years when all the problems happened”

“In 1854, Young’s term as territorial governor ended, and he was not reappointed. After several years delay, newly elected President James Buchanan appointed a new governor of the Utah territory in 1857. But relations between the federal government and the Mormons had become so poisoned that Buchanan was persuaded a state of rebellion existed in Utah. He therefore sent a federal military force of 2,500 soldiers to forcibly install the new governor.

Still acting as governor, with the Missouri and Illinois persecutions in his mind, Brigham Young declared martial law in Utah. He issued a proclamation preparing the Mormon people “to repel any and all such threatened invasion.” He also mobilized the Nauvoo Legion to harass the invading federal army by destroying supply wagons and capturing horses.

When the army entered the Utah territory, Young ordered the complete evacuation of Salt Lake City. He even considered setting it on fire. Things remained at a stalemate until June 1858, when the Mormon leaders agreed to submit to federal authority if the army would camp outside Salt Lake City and not harm the people. The federal government agreed, and President Buchanan also pardoned all Mormon “seditions and treasons.”

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-17-1-b.html

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I guess Native Americans don’t count as a religious group eh?

In the simplest terms? No

Jason Coleman on November 10, 2010 at 11:04 AM

DeMint is one of the great minds of the 13th century.

Meredith on November 10, 2010 at 3:12 AM

That made me guffaw. Well played.

I’ll agree with the others here that DeMint is grossly wrong.

Heralder on November 10, 2010 at 11:05 AM

DeMint is one of the great minds of the 13th century.

Meredith on November 10, 2010 at 3:12 AM

What rot. We have people right now on this planet who have actual 13th century mindsets, and would love to bring the same to the rest of the world at the point of a sword. Perhaps you’ve heard of them.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM

We had to wait until the 20th century catholic church to achieve the same level of morality as the ancient Greeks, huh?

BryanS on November 10, 2010 at 1:10 AM

I was going to put in a disclaimer in my post about Catholic priests not representing Jesus, but I figured why deprive you of the fun? The Church really let a lot of people down in that scandal with their lack of reaction to it.

Daemonocracy on November 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM

What rot. We have people right now on this planet who have actual 13th century mindsets, and would love to bring the same to the rest of the world at the point of a sword. Perhaps you’ve heard of them.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM

?The Westboro Church?

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 11:12 AM

DeMint is one of the great minds of the 13th century.

Meredith on November 10, 2010 at 3:12 AM

Best and funniest summary I’ve heard yet.

Dark-Star on November 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

This is Milton Friedman’s argument. You can’t have true political freedom without economic freedom.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 8:24 AM

That’s probably true to a certian extent. But then you’re just arguing economic freedom is a means to an end (of political freedoms). And therefore, it’s less valuable. Which is precisely my point.

Contact your undergrad institution and try to arrange for a refund.

DrSteve on November 10, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Great, thanks for that contribution Steve. Substantive as always.

crr6 on November 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

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