Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on March 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Should the Republican party abandon social conservatism? Take a turn toward non-interventionism? Moderate on taxes and spending? While a number of pundits and politicians have said ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, especially since Mitt Romney’s loss in November, Marco Rubio answered with a resounding ‘no’ during his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday…

“There’s this fear that America has changed, that our people have changed, that we’ve reached this point in time where we have too many people who want too much from government and maybe the changes that happened are irreversible and we’ll never be the same again,” Rubio said. “I want you to understand that’s not true.” Speaking of one economically struggling family he knows, Rubio said, “They’re not freeloaders. They’re not liberals.” But if they don’t see Republicans offering solutions, they might conclude government is the only answer.

Rubio has been in the news for the past couple of months making a push for immigration reform–a stance that, although squarely in line with the only Republicans to win the presidency in the past 40 years, puts him at odds with many conservatives. But during his CPAC speech, Rubio didn’t mention immigration. Rather Rubio argued that the three-legged stool of the conservative movement is as sturdy as ever.

***

Paul’s positions may sound refreshing today, but they would have been much more in keeping in a bygone era. It wasn’t until Republicans embraced the more Rubio-esque ideas that they began winning elections. That’s why his ideas are now considered “old.”

That’s not to say past is prologue. Maybe the world has changed? But it is to say that the old versus new paradigm is more complicated.

The reason the Rubio vs. Paul contrast is so exciting is that on one hand, both are young senators elected in 2010 during the tea party zeitgeist. But on the other hand, they really do represent an ideological clash over the heart and soul of the GOP.

***

Before Paul spoke, his supporters had distributed STAND WITH RAND posters that featured a cool, “Mad Men”-style rendering of the senator. (Indeed, a large number of people stood the entire time Paul spoke.) But there’s no doubt that many of those cheering Paul were doing so mostly because he had the courage and the smarts not just to stand up to the White House but to back the Obama administration into a corner over presidential power. To them, the specific issue involved in the filibuster — drone warfare — was less important than the fact that Paul took a stand…

Rubio, nearly a decade younger than Paul, delivered a smoother and easier message. “What I sense from a lot of people that I’ve been talking to is this fear that somehow America has changed, that our people have changed,” he said. “I want you to understand that’s not true. Our people have not changed.” Americans still work hard, still pay their taxes, still volunteer in their hometowns, Rubio said. Yes, the world has changed, particularly the world of technology. But traditions — traditional marriage, traditional values — are still good…

One serious problem for the party is that there is no living embodiment of the our-values-live-on message. There’s no beloved former president who can stand before the crowd and remind them of the greatness of their cause. Reagan is gone, and George H.W. Bush, respected but not loved like his predecessor, is fading from the scene. The natural candidate for the job, of course, would be George W. Bush, but that’s just not possible. While conservatives respect Bush for the job he did protecting the country from terrorist attack after Sept. 11, in many ways they are still struggling to climb out of the hole he dug for them.

Those Democratic events where a beloved Bill Clinton wows the crowd? That can’t happen for Republicans. Not until the new leader steps out of the pack.

***

How long can the lovefest last? Once the mass Republican audience—especially Mitt Romney voters—really thinks about the implications of Rand Paul and his ideas, the post-filibuster love may sour. Paul’s chief of staff Doug Stafford told Business Insider, “Rand is one of the only people who can speak to libertarians, social conservatives, as well as your average mainstream Republican voter.” In theory, yes.

But even in areas where Paul’s libertarianism shouldn’t be too controversial—like his five-year path to a balanced budget—hardly any of his political colleagues are willing to play along, and there’s no mass constituency forcing them to. It’s not likely the rest of his party – whether rank-and-file voter or office-seeking politician – will get enthusiastic about his attempts to curb the federal drug war either.

Paul’s problems with Republican orthodoxy run deeper still. In order to keep her head from exploding from cognitive dissonance while remaining on the new right side of Republican history, the Washington Post’s right-wing columnist Jennifer Rubin praised Paul’s filibuster by claiming that he “wasn’t attacking the war on terror.”

But Paul absolutely was attacking the war on terror…

***

No issue better illustrates Rubio’s connection to the failed Republican Washington establishment than his embrace of President Bush’s last great policy failure: amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the United States. He is currently working with McCain on another immigration bill right now.

In contrast to his free enterprise rhetoric, however, Rubio’s immigration plan is just a continuation of the crony capitalist policies that so compromised Bush’s big government compassionate conservatism. As The Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney notes today, Rubio’s immigration plan includes a permanent guest worker program that allows farmers to inflate their workers wages by offering something no other employer can: a path to citizenship…

Do conservative activists want to go back to the big government compassionate conservatism policies of Bush and McCain? Or do they want to explore the libertarian path being paved by Paul?

***

I think Poulos is onto something regarding younger voters – charitably defined as anyone under 45 years old – regardless of political ideology. The expectations for government are changing in all sorts of unanticipated ways. A majority of Americans continues to say that government is doing too much but a majority also wants the government to provide basic safety net functions. Folks such as Ryan and Barack Obama seem to read that situation as one in which the state can and should continue to provide not simply for the poorest among us but for the vast “middle class” that usually includes about 90 percent of people. That was George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism – and Ryan voted for No Child Left Behind, Medicare drugs, and TARP and auto bailouts – and it’s Obama’s expansive notions as well. I think it’s credible to see Ryan (and many conservative Republicans, Obama, and the Senate Democrats (who have zero pulse among them) as in the same basic camp of still expecting the government to be a warm blanket that pretty much covers everything you do in your regular day.

What’s different now is that there is an alternative out there – in the form of characters such as Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and other “wacko birds” – that is looking increasingly viable. When you’ve got conservative and libertarian Republicans attacking the garrison state for 13 hours straight and also championing copyright and IP reform, gay marriage, pot and hemp legalization, even self-styled “Young Guns” such as Paul Ryan and historically youthful presidents such as Barack Obama start looking pretty old pretty quickly.

***

***

As for predictions on who will win the CPAC straw poll on Saturday, Bob Beckel said he is “willing to wager any amount of money” that it will be Rand Paul. And after the enthusiasm that greeted his speech earlier today, that seems like a fair assumption. Dana Perino argued that the winner of CPAC straw poll almost never goes on to win the Republican presidential nomination, so the importance of that honor, especially this far from 2016, may be insignificant…

“Rand Paul is the one guy that worries me very much and most Democrats,” Beckel answered. “In fact, there is some real fear the guy could actually take off.” His colleagues weren’t buying that he was being sincere, but there is some truth to what Beckel was saying. If there’s one Republican who’s riding high from his filibuster and now CPAC, it has to be Rand Paul.

***


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Before

tom daschle concerned on March 16, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Did you at least like the slit/swoosh version for a brief moment while it was up? ; )

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:31 AM

No. They will be punished but not this way.

Don’t take me wrong. I admire your talents and often you are too worried, when it’s not necessary. However that, and all similar, is a no-no, for so many reasons I will not type.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:36 AM

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:33 AM

I just hope that it has nothing to do with the photoshopping.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:31 AM

As delightful and charming as Predator is…I have to confess that the strike was an error caused because I had the laptop at a peculiar angle. I was dealing with a phone message that couldn’t be deferred while I was typing my response to you. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:38 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:36 AM

Well it may be a no no, but its up on my private blog I never link here. I’ve seen much worse. No need to search hard to find it either.

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:39 AM

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:38 AM

Never to worry. We all do it.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:40 AM

I just hope that it has nothing to do with the photoshopping.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:37 AM

No, I don’t think it did, but it may have coincided with one that spoiled his humor and good nature.

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:40 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:40 AM

Thank you for your patience, Schadenfreude. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:40 AM

…some idiot would find that as threating nowdays…of course…it was ok to show Bush hanging, etc…but not the annointed one…the interpretation is now changed!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 1:42 AM

That sounds lovely, sir. You are a gentleman. We could sit on the veranda awhile, taking in the scent of gardenias wafting on the evening breeze, listening to the fountain play, and later perhaps take a stroll in the courtyard, under the stars.

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I would be most delighted, my fair lady. And if, perchance, we shall so meet, might I procure you a refreshment? A julep, perhaps? What ever you wish will be my command.

I await your blessing, but for now I must ride off to take command of my brigade. We ride into destiny on the morn, may fate look upon us fairly. Until then, fair one, I bid you adieu and pray that I might return.

*mounts gray stallion, sword sheathed, rifle ready, tips hat and rides off*

predator on March 16, 2013 at 1:43 AM

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:39 AM

Last sound advice, gratis – you are incredibly talented. The O-green stuff is superb, along with all the other.

Pls. consider to never do anything with red stuff. Is all I’m going to say. The tie is the farthest to go, and you’re doing wonderful with it. It’s beyond here. Nothing is private, not even your blog. As soon as you hit enter, nothing nothing, is private.

Thank you God that these HA friends are all abnormal :)

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:44 AM

<a href="http://youtu.be/jbPv0dWsDQw&quot; Tango

While the music with this arguable leaves something to be desired, the dancers are very good.

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:44 AM

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 1:42 AM

I always enjoyed the vid with Bush’s head on a stake./

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:45 AM

Tango
Sorry….just one of those nights. *Sigh*

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Hopefully Scrumpy is doing ok.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Thank you God that these HA friends are all abnormal :)

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Lol! True, not likely am I the one to fit into that perfect box of interpretation they’d have me in. ; )

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Jackie, the new pope loves Argentine tango…used to dance it in his youth.

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:49 AM

predator on March 16, 2013 at 1:43 AM

Never let it be said that I kept you from your duty, gallant sir.

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:52 AM

Tango de Roses

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:53 AM

Solitudine

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:57 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:49 AM

Yes! I was delighted when I read that he loved the tango. A remarkable man. I read that he speaks three languages fluently, and can get by in at least three others. He holds degrees in philosophy, chemistry, and theology. He’s been a teacher. He was once a bouncer in a bar in his youth, too. Quite the varied resume for a pope. He has known something of the world. I hope it gives him the perspective he needs to guide the church through these troubled times.

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:57 AM

I have my mouse accelerator on. Now the pointer flies all over the place like Scrumpy on her broom.

SparkPlug on March 16, 2013 at 1:58 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:53 AM

I bookmarked this. It’s new to me and I like it very much. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 1:58 AM

Good Night All.

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:59 AM

Always

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 2:00 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:57 AM

That’s profoundly beautiful. The imagery is striking. I’ve bookmarked it, as well. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 2:03 AM

Bmore on March 16, 2013 at 1:59 AM

Goodnight, Bmore. And do try to eat something once in a while. Sleep well. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 2:06 AM

Sorry for delay but I’m having some serious gremlin problems with PC..:(

Dire Straits on March 16, 2013 at 2:07 AM

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 2:00 AM

Three for three. Excellent. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 2:08 AM

Dire Straits on March 16, 2013 at 2:07 AM

I’m sorry to hear that, Dire. I know how aggravating that is. I hope you get it resolved very soon. :)

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 2:09 AM

Una notte a Napoli – Pink Martini

I bid you all a fond goodnight. It’s been a pleasure, as always. See you soon.

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 2:12 AM

Always

Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 2:00 AM

…n i c e…!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:13 AM

thatsafactjack on March 16, 2013 at 2:09 AM

We have to figure out a way to un-jinx Dire’s Radio Shack PC. Maybe I could calculate a couple of numbers like 5 or 9 that would help.

SparkPlug on March 16, 2013 at 2:14 AM

This keyboard is situated perfectly now. I’m ready for some serious blogging. Maybe SWalker is around to lend me his brain for a bit.

SparkPlug on March 16, 2013 at 2:17 AM

its a full time job untangling all my wireless devices. and keeping the batteries charged.

SparkPlug on March 16, 2013 at 2:20 AM

It’s too early to boil 2016 down to Rubio versus Paul. Both are running, certainly. Neither has enough strength yet to scare off competitors or to guarantee that they’ll be in the “championship round” when the primaries come along.

As much as many would hate to acknowledge it, you cannot count out Chris Christie. Too much money, too much favorable national press, and will potentially have a Northeastern bloc vote that will be tough to overcome.

Almost certainly, there will be a powerful candidate from the gubernatorial ranks. Maybe Jindal, maybe Walker, maybe McDonnell, maybe even Perry.

Robert_Paulson on March 16, 2013 at 2:30 AM

Good evening, Detroit.

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:33 AM

…Cruz with Palin…

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Good evening, Detroit.

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:33 AM

…hi Rusty!…we have an EM now!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

Hopefully Scrumpy is doing ok.
Schadenfreude on March 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Was she not doing okay?

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

Hey, how are you?

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

…she’s taking a ‘progressive’ break from posting

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:38 AM

…Cruz with Palin…

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:34 AM

+1. Is Scrumpy OK?

SparkPlug on March 16, 2013 at 2:39 AM

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:38 AM

Hmm, I don’t like it.

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:40 AM

…the other day Scrumps mentioned she just wants a break from politics for a while…she was down in the Gulch!…she’ll be back.

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 2:44 AM

Good. A break from politics is great. Hopefully her break from us doesn’t last long though.

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:48 AM

It’s cold in the D.

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2013 at 2:53 AM

Greetings, HotAirians! I apologize for my long absence in the QOTD threads.

Anyone following the CPAC events? I’m really only looking forward to the 5:10pm speech today by Cruz. That should be a powerful close to the event.

There’s a cringe-worthy snooze fest clown act scheduled for 12pm today at the conference, and I think I might watch HGTV during that time.

Can you believe the 2014 campaign season is almost upon us? Here we go!!

bluegill on March 16, 2013 at 7:28 AM

I was just thinking that I feel terrible for being impolite to Cindy M. on here. I’m sorry, Cindy!

bluegill on March 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM

I was just thinking that I feel terrible for being impolite to Sarah P.Cindy M. on here. I’m sorry, Cindy! Sarah

bluegill on March 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM

high noon is only a few hours away. hang in there.

renalin on March 16, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Should the Republican party abandon social conservatism?

NO.

“”Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.” – Ronald Reagan My take.

kingsjester on March 16, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Should the Republican party abandon social conservatism?
NO. kingsjester on March 16, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Strongly agree KJ. I think it is actually time to become more vibrant, more unapologetic about our values. Will and moral courage are essential. Our silence has given them room to dismiss this fact. The left doesn’t back down and re-examine their beliefs in defeat, they simply take another tack and keep a long range view. So must we. Resist-Obstruct-Delay

indypat on March 16, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Greetings, HotAirians! I apologize for my long absence in the QOTD threads….

Can you believe the 2014 campaign season is almost upon us? Here we go!!

bluegill on March 16, 2013 at 7:28 AM

…take a longer break!…then we don’t all have to wear raincoats!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Rent free, or free rent if it’s getting paid for all the disruptions.

Fallon on March 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM

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