Video: Mike Lee’s speech on “what’s next for conservatives”

posted at 10:41 pm on October 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via RCP, this is a better use of your late-evening hours than any “Quotes of the Day” post would be. Skip to 53:30 to watch or click here and read the transcript of his address today to the Heritage Foundation. Here’s the passage that’s getting most of the attention online today since it sounds, oddly, like an establishment critique of tea partiers even though it’s one of the leaders of the “defund” movement who’s delivering it. Read the full speech, though, and you’ll appreciate what he’s trying to do with this. It’s not about RINOs versus conservatives, it’s about fashioning a policy agenda for the party that’ll attract enough people from both sides that we’ll all stop caring so much about RINO/tea party distinctions.

Especially in the wake of recent controversies, many conservatives are more frustrated with the establishment than ever before. And we have every reason to be.

But however justified, frustration is not a platform. Anger is not an agenda. And outrage, as a habit, is not even conservative. Outrage, resentment, and intolerance are gargoyles of the Left. For us, optimism is not just a message — it’s a principle. American conservatism, at its core, is about gratitude, and cooperation, and trust, and above all hope.

It is also about inclusion. Successful political movements are about identifying converts, not heretics. This, too, is part of the challenge before us…

If our generation of conservatives wants to enjoy our own defining triumph, our own 1980 — we are going to have to deserve it. That means sharpening more pencils than knives. The kind of work it will require is neither glamorous nor fun — and sometimes it isn’t even noticed. But it is necessary.

The centerpiece of the speech is his ideas for “a new conservatism of the working and middle class.” If you want a precis with brief comments, Reihan Salam has one. This is a perfect example of why, candy-ass RINO though I am, I think it’d be nutty for establishment types to try to primary Lee of all people in taking revenge on the tea party for the shutdown. “Defund” was a futile excursion — weird, even, for Lee, given the seriousness he displays here — but he has enough potential as a legislator who can do genuine good that he should be quickly forgiven. Whether there’s a durable audience for the sort of policy initiative he has in mind, though, I don’t know. Lee himself seems to wonder or else he wouldn’t be chiding listeners to spend a little less time on outrage and a little more on how to govern. My sense is that, now even more than in the past, political identity is less a function of policy preferences than of cultural identity. Lee’s speech here should be a real event, but I expect it’ll get one one-thousandth the attention his “defund” efforts did even though that was less about trying to enact a viable policy than it was about extending a grand middle finger to ObamaCare. Maybe he thought that the visibility he got from that would draw a little extra interest in stuff like this? I think he’s sorely mistaken — if anything, some centrists will dismiss him out of hand now as a “tea-party nutjob” — but I hope I’m wrong. Sincerely.

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Over

Bmore on October 30, 2013 at 1:56 AM

Lee is right. But there is an even greater danger that the Republican party is actually going to flat out split on libertarian / socon lines come 2016.

And we see the split TODAY in Virginia’s Cuccinelli race.

The third party libertarian, Sarvis, has been endorsed by George Will, and is polling ~ 10% right now. Sadly, we need to look at Cuccinelli as a model for what Republicans should not follow. What I think has happened, and that has irked many libertarian leaning Republicans and George Will, is that Cuccinelli has simply gone a bridge too far on abortion. Not on gay marriage or anything else, but on abortion. And look how McAuliffe has skillfully exploited Cuccinelli’s position on abortion with this frequently running 30 second ad, which is definitely also helping Sarvis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZckqiIJdKE&Offended

What’s happened is that Cuccinelli has, unbelievably, taken the Akin position on abortion: no exceptions for incest or rape.

This distasteful (to put it lightly) position repulses, and I mean repulses, about 80% of the population, including most Republicans as you saw Akin & Murdoch lose in the red states Indiana & Missouri.

This no exceptions for rape position has not been a common Republican position until a couple of years ago, and if our presidential candidate carries this position, there will be hell to pay. The thing about libertarians is that until this point they’ve pretty much gone along with the socon position on abortion even though they weren’t that thrilled about it. But this no exceptions for rape thing has ticked many Republican libertarians off, and many of them are willing to totally bail and go third party if a candidate has that position, as we see in the Cuccinelli race.

So, I hope Christians cut any efforts to pressure candidates to take the no exceptions for incest position, because it will only backfire. And the split in VA points to the fact that party unity has to be the paramount consideration now… not appealing to moderates, or anything like that, it is keeping us from splitting in two, or from having a massively huge “missing white vote.”

anotherJoe on October 30, 2013 at 1:57 AM

What’s happened is that Cuccinelli has, unbelievably, taken the Akin position on abortion: no exceptions for incest or rape.

this is a 20 percent position. He’ll be crushed in VA.

deeply serious conversations have to take place on our side. 1. deep cronyism is a serious corruption…that should be banned. 2. Foreign adverntures have to be done very smartly, or not at all in non-strategic places. 3. SoCo must see that this is the time for them to build a sound defense around their community. teach the children well….Shepard your flocks…become fisher’s of men.

libertarians, join the conservative. tend to your community.

each community of possible GOP needs to sacrifice something…for the team. In the final obamaism, there is no room for socons, no room for fiscal cons, and liberatians will only have gay-marriage and pot. Good for you guys…you can do your dope but make sure the nsa isn’t listening

the big sacrifice will be the cronies…which is why they’ll be the last on board.

r keller on October 30, 2013 at 2:18 AM

What I think has happened, and that has irked many libertarian leaning Republicans and George Will, is that Cuccinelli has simply gone a bridge too far on abortion.

anotherJoe on October 30, 2013 at 1:57 AM

If that’s true that just speaks volumes about the stupidity of George Will and others who think that way. Given that the state has very little control over abortion, to start with, and that the governor has almost none, ones opinion on abortion couldn’t be a real turning point for anyone with a brain. If this society has gotten that stupid (and electing and re-electing Barky has pretty much shown that to the case) then I can’t imagine what anyone thinks they are saving, anyway. George Will and “libertarians” can take a running leap if this sort of opinion (that can have no force in law) moves their votes to allow a dirtbag like MacAuliffe to slime into office.

And with Akin, it wasn’t his opinion on abortion that doomed his run. It was his one ill-phrased line and the unrelenting, suicidal attack by the Vichy Republicans.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 30, 2013 at 2:19 AM

George Will and “libertarians” can take a running leap…

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 30, 2013 at 2:19 AM

This is what I’m talking about, party unity. Ok, I hear “screw party unity!!!” And if we get that from both or all sides, that we should screw party unity, and who cares what the other side thinks, then we will be split, and the Dems will win everywhere, and it’s not going to be a situation where we have a reconstitution of the Republic or whatever where we get a new blank slate. No, the Dems would just control everything, super majorities, and we’d have Wealth Taxes, open borders amnesty, restrictions on conservative free speech, single payer, and socialism straight out.

So some issues may seriously bother one conservative side or the other, so we try to find some kind of median or practical way of keeping us all in the same boat.. Now, if that particular no exceptions for incest stance on abortion has no force in law or practical effect, why take that position?? Look what it has done in VA, regardless of whether it can be argued that the no exceptions for rape position shouldn’t have any effect on elections… it does: see McAuliffe’s ad highlighting the rape thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZckqiIJdKE. Somehow when a candidate takes that position, the voters are repulsed. Put two and two together, it shouldn’t take an Einstein, the voters are repulsed, but like a good kamikaze or a lemming walking off a cliff, we might as well just go ahead and take that position anyway. No.

anotherJoe on October 30, 2013 at 2:53 AM

BMore. Have pie, will travel.

SparkPlug on October 30, 2013 at 3:01 AM

BMore. Have pie, will travel.

SparkPlug on October 30, 2013 at 3:01 AM

lol!

bazil9 on October 30, 2013 at 3:14 AM

Where are the quotes of the day?

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 3:48 AM

bazil9 on October 30, 2013 at 3:14 AM

Hi B9. Are you ready for Halloween?

Dire is going to dress up as Dave, while Dave is going to dress up as Dire.

SparkPlug on October 30, 2013 at 3:48 AM

Somehow when a candidate takes that position, the voters are repulsed. Put two and two together, it shouldn’t take an Einstein, the voters are repulsed, but like a good kamikaze or a lemming walking off a cliff, we might as well just go ahead and take that position anyway. No.
anotherJoe on October 30, 2013 at 2:53 AM

Cuccinelli’s not “taking a position” – that’s his belief. And he’s not trying to force it on other people through legislation. Are you saying that the Republican party should rule out candidates with that belief? or that the candidates should deny it? That would rule out a hell of a lot of people. And it wouldn’t gain many votes.

I understand your frustration – I live in one of the most socially liberal cities in the country. I know how intolerant social liberals are. But what you’re suggesting is that the Republican party should play to that intolerance. If that’s the only way to win (and it isn’t) then I would rather lose.

kcewa on October 30, 2013 at 3:58 AM

Where are the quotes of the day?

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 3:48 AM

I think Mike Lee’s speech was the QOTD for AP.

kcewa on October 30, 2013 at 4:01 AM

If that’s the only way to win (and it isn’t) then I would rather lose.

kcewa on October 30, 2013 at 3:58 AM

Ditto; This is not new. This is just more re-packaged twisting of the same old Big tent (no matter how ugly the performers are) and suck up “the lesser of two evils” in order to win.

For God’s sake, it we can’t defend aggressively, the very right to life–then of what need is there to win an stupid election and lose the nations soul.
Is the GOP to become the very heart and mentality of the death panels themselves–subverting inconvenient life in order to provide efficiency to those who are left? Keep your legalized murder for political benefit if you will–I can’t.

All of our rights come only from Nature’s God. None can exist if we don’t fight first and always to protect the most important right itself–the right to life–without which there are no others.

This is the game pre-war Nazi Germany played–selective morality for the good of power.

Don L on October 30, 2013 at 4:22 AM

I think Mike Lee’s speech was the QOTD for AP.
kcewa on October 30, 2013 at 4:01 AM

Oops. Guess I should start reading posts before commenting. :-p

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 4:42 AM

This “inclusion for hope” deceit would all fall apart in a second if the inclusion mean including those millions of fiscal liberals who will accept nothing but their insanity.

If Lee said honestly that we need lots of big government fiscal liberals to balance us off–the RINO right might hesitate before they try to sell us this deceit.

The problem is the utilitarian relativism on the right, where all wrongs are equal, and the only right is winning and attaining power.

It’s as if the evil that you join up with in order to win, will just atrophy and go away while you govern.

Putting a pretty bow on a box of crap doesn’t remove the odor.

Don L on October 30, 2013 at 4:42 AM

What happened to QOTD?

smoothsailing on October 30, 2013 at 5:58 AM

But what you’re suggesting is that the Republican party should play to that intolerance. If that’s the only way to win (and it isn’t) then I would rather lose.

kcewa on October 30, 2013 at 3:58 AM

Same here.

smoothsailing on October 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Morning Moaning Schmoe crew.

Did you make it past the former Newsweek head Jon Meachum saying “The ObamaCare roll out is truly a disaster for those who believe in the private sector.”

I didn’t. My God, this man would have every American man, woman, and child in uniforms with a big “O” on the back, on their work today for the good of Dear Leader.

Marcus on October 30, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Marcus on October 30, 2013 at 6:15 AM

indeed

mind boggling with these lapdogs…

ALL HAIL DEAR LEADER

they’ll probably give kathleen a pass for today’s grilling as well…its not her fault, shes not to blame….

arrrgghhh

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 6:22 AM

no worries what’s happening in the country….lets just bash republicans instead….the mj crew with politico hack this am

i looked at their website…the top articles are about obamacare but lets not talk about that this am, let’s just talk about rand paul and marco rubio….

obsessed….

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.

Americans oppose Obamacare because they understand that it is inconsistent with our liberties and our idea of limited government and that it will destroy the best health care system in the world.

- David Limbaugh
My take: “Sibelius, Shenanigans, and CGI”

kingsjester on October 30, 2013 at 6:42 AM

A little off-topic:

http://24ahead.com/guy-benson-supports-mass-legalization-illegal-aliens-immigra

Here’s a video from a few months ago featuring HotAir’s junior blogger (don’t know his exact title or what his role here is supposed to be) Guy Benson basically admitting he supports mass illegal alien amnesty. On Twitter and elsewhere I believe Guy Benson has also badmouthed conservatives who reject pro-amnesty candidates.

As a long-time HotAir reader, I want to make it known that I do NOT support any potential promotion of Guy Benson to regular blogger status on this site. No more pro-amnesty RINO’s on this main blog, please. Nothing against him personally. Although I have always found him boring, Benson may well be a wonderful person and I wish him nothing but the best.

The next HotAir blogger should be an actual, unapologetic conservative, and not someone from the same old cliquish RINO professional pundit crowd.

I would love to see a fearles, conservative brawler type (someone in the Michelle Malkin tradition) join the site next.

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 6:46 AM

Morning Moaning Schmoe crew.
Did you make it past the former Newsweek head Jon Meachum saying “The ObamaCare roll out is truly a disaster for those who believe in the private sector.”
I didn’t. My God, this man would have every American man, woman, and child in uniforms with a big “O” on the back, on their work today for the good of Dear Leader.
Marcus on October 30, 2013 at 6:15 AM

I also hear similar things from liberals.

“Republicans want Obama to fail. They are trying to sabotage Obamacare. They aren’t funding Obamacare. It’s the Republicans’ fault. They want to deny people affordable care because they hate Obama.”

It’s ridiculous.

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 6:49 AM

i recall Rush predicting a point in time when obama would make a mistke or some event, but something would trigger a mass realization by the citizens of this country, that the guy is nothing but a joke.

I heard a joke the other night. Arsenio Hall was comparing the 2nd Black Nascar winner to obama, except he had a better website.

kanye west says kim kardashian is more influential than michelle obama.

the laughter has begun.

renalin on October 30, 2013 at 6:56 AM

kingsjester on October 30, 2013 at 6:42 AM

another good one KJ…but I have to disagree on one point…kathleen would rather fall on her sword than throw obama and this administration under the bus…nothing can touch THE ONE don’cha know…

however, instead of taking responsiblity, she’ll place the blame on the contractors and the lsm will continue to tow the wh line…
all is well…

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 7:02 AM

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 7:02 AM

Thank you ma’am.

I know. I was advising and encouraging her.

kingsjester on October 30, 2013 at 7:16 AM

kingsjester on October 30, 2013 at 7:16 AM

ahhh
ok

I guess we’ve seen this movie so many times, haven’t we :)

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 7:19 AM

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Yes, we have.

kingsjester on October 30, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Thank goodness Sebelius comes across like a cold, unlikeable villainess.

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Why aren’t we doing more now to trash Hillary’s reputation? The smearing and swift boating needs to start earlier this time. I want that woman’s name dragged through the mud like no name has ever been.

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Special tip: add lots of cinnamon to all of your snacks and smoothies in the morning. I feel like it helps keep me alert and feeling balanced. And the taste is wonderful. Cinnamon also may do good things for your blood sugar levels. Give it a try.

I always have it with my snacks and smoothies while reading HotAir in the morning.

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 7:55 AM

Here’s the problem for the republicans. They want to appease their base by standing up against Obama’s policies. On the other hand, they don’t want the electorate to think they are to rigid and inflexible so they give in to Obama’s policies after a suitable amount of time. Take your cliche “Playing both sides against the middle” or “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”. Either way it’s a losing strategy.

bandutski on October 30, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Oops. Guess I should start reading posts before commenting. :-p

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 4:42 AM

….worth repeating!

KOOLAID2 on October 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM

kingsjester on October 30, 2013 at 7:16 AM

ahhh
ok

I guess we’ve seen this movie so many times, haven’t we :)

cmsinaz on October 30, 2013 at 7:19 AM

….Groundhog!

KOOLAID2 on October 30, 2013 at 8:19 AM

The local liberal rag here in Salt Lake City had a “report” yesterday about Mike Lee. Of course it made no mention of this speech but did talk about how unpopular he is with the business community and the GOP establishment.

gwelf on October 30, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Wait, I thought Socons were going to leave the party because of RINOs and mushy moderates. Now they are fighting libertarians for control of the party? Why, if it’s a lost cause as so many have said on these pages?

rhombus on October 30, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Cinnamon in the morning…….mmmm……would it make me less cranky?

Wait……don’t answer that. :-)

PappyD61 on October 30, 2013 at 8:27 AM

The next HotAir blogger should be an actual, unapologetic conservative, and not someone from the same old cliquish RINO professional pundit crowd.

I would love to see a fearles, conservative brawler type (someone in the Michelle Malkin tradition) join the site next.

bluegill on October 30, 2013 at 6:46 AM

Then they should hire Sarah Palin!

/Bishop/Bmore

theotherone on October 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Dingleberry’s doing the “senile old man yelling at kids to get off his damn lawn” schtick.

blammm on October 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

theotherone on October 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Lolz! ; )

Bmore on October 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Heres hoping that Utah citizens have come to their senses and realize what a treasure they have in Mike Lee. I read a few weeks ago that they were booing him at appearances after the shutdown ended. Looks like he was right after all eh Utah? Here on Texas we reward heroes with standing ovations but on Utah they are reviled. I love Texas and Ted Cruz.

neyney on October 30, 2013 at 10:41 AM

It’s not about RINOs versus conservatives, it’s about fashioning a policy agenda for the party that’ll attract enough people from both sides that we’ll all stop caring so much about RINO/tea party distinctions.

Both the RINO and Purity brigades have deaf ears and can’t hear that message, nor do they want to.

The right spends too much of their time and energy eating their own.

rukiddingme on October 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Read up on Reagan Conservatism. Gotta get the 3 legs of the stool of Conservatism together again. This current establishment vs. tea partiers is a mirage. Its the fiscal conservatives at their best. But if want to win nationally again,treturn back to the 3 legs. If we keep fighting each other, the other side wins.

tommy71 on October 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

This isn’t about “winning”. This is about averting the fiscal collapse of the United States. If we cannot support fiscal conservatism in a majority fashion, ALL Americans lose, regardless of party affiliation and our country is destroyed. And that is what makes the establishment R’s so infuriating.

idalily on October 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

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