Rand Paul: Republicans must agree to disagree on social issues in order to grow the party

posted at 3:21 pm on March 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via WaPo, compare and contrast. Here’s Mitch Daniels four years ago:

Beyond the debt and the deficit, in Daniels’s telling, all other issues fade to comparative insignificance. He’s an agnostic on the science of global warming but says his views don’t matter. “I don’t know if the CO2 zealots are right,” he said. “But I don’t care, because we can’t afford to do what they want to do. Unless you want to go broke, in which case the world isn’t going to be any greener. Poor nations are never green.”

And then, he says, the next president, whoever he is, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved. Daniels is pro-life himself, and he gets high marks from conservative religious groups in his state.

Lots of righties took that as a sign that social conservatism would be a conspicuously low priority for President Daniels. Now here’s Rand Paul last week:

[Q:] Right. But it seems what they’re saying is that the Republican Party should stay out of issues like gay marriage.

[A:] I think that the Republican Party, in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues. The Republican Party is not going to give up on having quite a few people who do believe in traditional marriage. But the Republican Party also has to find a place for young people and others who don’t want to be festooned by those issues.

Daniels wasn’t calling a truce for electoral reasons, and he wasn’t calling it on behalf of the GOP specifically. Both parties would have no choice but to place social issues on the policy backburner, he argued, because dealing with the national debt before it reached critical mass would consume political energies. (In a sane world, perhaps, but alas, not in this one.) Paul really is making an explicit electoral argument, though. If you want to win, you’d better make room for people who support gay marriage. That’s more radical than Daniels’s position because Daniels’s truce in theory would lift once the country had been set on a more sustainable fiscal course. Paul’s truce wouldn’t. In order to steer the party back towards social conservatism, you’d need to show him that doing so would grow the GOP faster than a more pluralistic approach to social policy would. Good luck convincing a libertarian of that.

True blue social cons like Huckabee and Santorum will have field day with this next year. Social conservatives like Rubio or Ted Cruz, whose political brand is broader-spectrum conservatism and who themselves take a federalist approach to gay marriage, will tread more lightly. Paul’s got some cover on it from the fact that he’s personally pro-life and supports traditional marriage, but then again so was Daniels and that didn’t help him much. I think it all depends on which issues, specifically, he thinks there’s room for disagreement on and how much room there is. Gay marriage isn’t abortion; marijuana legalization isn’t gun rights. As long as Paul holds the line on the party’s truest cultural litmus tests, he’ll probably get some slack on the rest. But that’s what I mean in asking how much room there is: What would it mean to “hold the line”? Would Paul be willing to choose a vice president who supports legalizing gay marriage and marijuana? What about one who’s pro-choice and supports an assault weapons ban? The problem with “truce” statements, especially in the context of making the tent bigger, is that it’s never clear how much bigger the pol in question would be willing to make it. We’ll find out next year.


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MissLamar

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

And once again, Reagan’s quote is referring to politicians working together and how one politician should treat/speak about other politicians. This was not and is not advice on how to select a candidate. There is a significant differences.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Most people who appropriate Reagan to make their point nowadays are simply wielding his corpse as a club or a cloak, nothing more.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

So clear, and so persuasive. I will definitely vote for whoever you say is the right candidate.

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Cool. When I decide I’ll let you know :-)

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

So please, if you don’t want whole states to secede tell us what you mean by national divorce? Do we draw a white line down the middle of each state and segregate the minutemen from the worse-than-Hitlers or what?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

He wants to believe it can happen without a massive bloodletting.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

That’s what I love about socons. They are right about everything, all the time. Just ask them.

John the Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Show me the evidence of this vast pool of fiscally conservative and socially liberal voters waiting to be plucked.

Oh, you don’t claim to “be right” about that. Only us social conservative claim to be right. So, you aren’t claiming to know anything? is that it? Because only social conservatives (of which, if you actually read my comments, you would realize I’m not actually one of) claim to be right. So, you are claiming what? to be wrong? If you admit you are wrong, then what is your point?

Not sure what you are trying to claim. You admit you don’t claim to be right (because only social conservative claim to be right) so you can’t be making an argument can you? How can you make an argument when you claim to not be right about anything?

Idiot.

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

So please, if you don’t want whole states to s#cede tell us what you mean by national divorce? Do we draw a white line down the middle of each state and segregate the minutemen from the worse-than-Hitlers or what?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

He wants to believe it can happen without a massive bloodletting.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:26 PM

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Exactly.

nd Bruti,being the socialLiberal, ex-dKos poster that you are, Reagan had a quote just for you, too:

The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.

Ronald Reagan

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:26 PM

MissLamar

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Hedy or Hedley?

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I’m still asking him for the “what”. We can get to the “how” when he’s told us that :-)

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Nope. Purists don’t prioritize. That is what makes them, well, purists. They have their lists of deal breakers and any violation means they will sit at home or even vote the other way out of spite. Is this your first day at Hot Air?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Purists are purists BECAUSE they prioritize a “list of deal breakers.”

Also, I submit that any supposed purist who votes “the other way out of spite” is not much of a purist. They are voting for a candidate that violates their deal breakers.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM

So please, if you don’t want whole states to secede tell us what you mean by national divorce? Do we draw a white line down the middle of each state and segregate the minutemen from the worse-than-Hitlers or what?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Nice strawman. I didn’t say it was opposed to whole states leaving. I said divide according to principles. For example, are Denvers principles the same as NoCO? No. This won’t be a left/right split, but a mass experiment in freedom of association.

nobar on March 14, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Cool. When I decide I’ll let you know :-)

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

By the way, how do you decide these things since you don’t have any principals or anything to go by? Just the way you feel that day?

Just wondering. Since you are so reasonable that you don’t actually have any deal-breakers in your check-list of sorta things you maybe will consider when deciding who to vote for. Unlike us purists, who will decide not to vote for someone based on certain things.

How do you even decide whether to vote republican or democrat? After all, it would be unreasonable to rule out voting democrat as that would be “purist” of you. and you never, ever, prioritize or make decisions by deciding “x” loses your vote.

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I’m still asking him for the “what”. We can get to the “how” when he’s told us that :-)

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Don’t use censored words, it’ll appear faster next time.

nobar on March 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Also, I submit that any supposed purist who votes “the other way out of spite” is not much of a purist. They are voting for a candidate that violates their deal breakers.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM

What if they just sit out? Are they sufficiently pure for you then?

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

nobar on March 14, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Heavens! I wasn’t trying to build strawmen. It was a question. So if Denver is full of dirty rotten libs and NoCO is full of Jeffersons and Washingtons, what do we do?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

So it seems that the list of So Con wants ends up being a laundry list of things that So Cons do not want. Things that should not be “accepted” such as gays, etc.

But what does that mean in terms of government? What does it mean to not accept something at the government level?

If government is used for social purposes, is that not the same as the social engineering of the leftists? How are So Cons any different than leftists who want to use an activist government to control society?

This is a question of tolerance. So Cons have been targeted and demonized, creating an atmosphere where it is all too easy to say screw it, why should I tolerate them if they don’t tolerate me? This is the sort of divide and conquer strategy that keeps the government growing and serving the interests of a small elite, rather than simply carrying out its minimal functions.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Truth in Advertising.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:33 PM

So if Denver is full of dirty rotten libs and NoCO is full of Jeffersons and Washingtons, what do we do?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Well, there’s already been some attempt to secede from the state.

dentarthurdent on March 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Heavens! I wasn’t trying to build strawmen. It was a question. So if Denver is full of dirty rotten libs and NoCO is full of Jeffersons and Washingtons, what do we do?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Then they vote to be different states. And if enough areas decide to form their own union, then they can.

This is a simple concept.

nobar on March 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Ah, the old “not wanting the government to pro-actively engage in social engineering *is* social engineering!” nitwittery.

Never grows old.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 4:36 PM

So if Denver is full of dirty rotten libs and NoCO is full of Jeffersons and Washingtons, what do we do?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Well, there’s already been some attempt to s3c3d3 from the state.

HA – why is that word verboten?

dentarthurdent on March 14, 2014 at 4:36 PM

What does that mean kingsjester? That anyone who does not believe in Progressive Social Engineering is a “liberal”? Can you not see how using the government to control people is a monstrous proposition, and completely antithetical to the Founders’ vision, as well as freedom?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

If government is used for social purposes, is that not the same as the social engineering of the leftists?

Social conservatives want the government reduced in size.

When you libertarians can stop voting for socialists like Obama then come talk.

This is a question of tolerance.

It always is, isn’t it?

That is why you support government intervention to grant more rights to_________ (fill in your favorite oppressed group)!

So Cons have been targeted and demonized, creating an atmosphere where it is all too easy to say screw it, why should I tolerate them if they don’t tolerate me?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

So those nasty old Socons are why Democrats are spending so much cash on their liberal policies?

Is there anything the Socons can’t do?

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:38 PM

I’m kind of surprised this thread hasn’t veered into the big religion fuss going on at the Air Force Academy – and HA hasn’t created a thread specifically for it.
Townhall has a thread on it.

dentarthurdent on March 14, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Also, I submit that any supposed purist who votes “the other way out of spite” is not much of a purist. They are voting for a candidate that violates their deal breakers.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM

What if they just sit out? Are they sufficiently pure for you then?

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

I speaking on MJ’s definition of a purist. Someone who votes for a candidate they know violates their own supposed “deal breakers” isn’t much of a purist IMHO.

If you want to know my views of this, well:

I have the utmost respect for a person who refuses to vote for the (R) just because there is an (R) by the name. Any conservative who cannot in good conscience vote for the (R) should vote for a third party candidate that better represents conservative policy or vote for a write-in a candidate.

Staying home tells the GOP that they no longer have to compete for your vote since you are no longer voting. Voting “the other way out of spite” tells the GOP that they need to be more like the Dems, not less.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

No. It means that a poster who comes onto a Conservative site and is a social Liberal, railing against “Social” (i.e.,Reagan) Conservatives is, in fact…a Liberal.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Social conservatives want the government reduced in size.

Since when? Do they not support the creation of more and more rules to dictate behavior, such as the Drug War?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

If the party is not going to accomplish a single goal of conservatives, then what is the point in supporting it?

It is not going to cut spending. It has proven this ever since they ousted Newt as Speaker of the House.
Obviously we cannot count on it to defend social issues.
Paul is a p^ssy when it comes to defense.

Why exactly is he considered conservative again?

Last time they had power they gave us… No Child left behind, medicare part D, homeland insecurity, a housing bubble, moral hazard in business, big corporation welfare increases, extremely poor execution of wars they entered into, huge increases in power of the FBI and NSA, Spying on American Citizens, then they passed TARP, then they even had the nerve to give Obama power over TARP as a slush fund, they set the new do something benchmark at just shy of a trillion dollars, and the Democrats locked onto that and used it repeatedly as their new benchmark.

What exactly are our votes getting us?

astonerii on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I really wish the quote and strike buttons were further apart. *sigh*

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

nobar on March 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

I see. So we will have 2 countries. a Liberal State of America and a Conservative States of America. And they will be made up from a patchwork of counties from coast to coast. That sounds very practical. Have you written your Congressman with this brainchild of yours?

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Since when? Do they not support the creation of more and more rules to dictate behavior, such as the Drug War?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

You can welfare and a drug war or you can have drugs and no wealth transfers through welfare. One or the other.
Take your pick. But as far as I am concerned drugs remain illegal so long as I am picking up the tab for the welfare state.

astonerii on March 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Ronald Reagan was a “Social Consrvative”, child.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

No. It means that a poster who comes onto a Conservative site and is a social Liberal, railing against “Social” (i.e.,Reagan) Conservatives is, in fact…a Liberal.

How am I a social liberal, exactly?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Do they not support the creation of more and more rules to dictate behavior, such as the Drug War?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Eliminate welfare and allow others the luxury of not bankrolling your drug habit and you might have a point.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Ronald Reagan was a “Social Consrvative”, child.

I don’t think there is a real definition of social conservative, certainly not one that everyone agrees on. You could say that about any politician from the past who isn’t a Bush Republican basically.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Eliminate welfare and allow others the luxury of not bankrolling your drug habit and you might have a point.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

What exactly are you accusing me of?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

If you are railing against “Social Issues”, and the “Drug War, and you claim to be a LIBeratarian with a little “l” Let me do my own thing, dooood. My driving stoned isn’t hurting you. Oh, sorry I killed your wife.)thaen you sure as heck aren’t socially Conservative, Skippy.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:45 PM

That doesn’t even make any sense Jester.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Ricard on March 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Oh I knows! Everything will simultaneously combust!

John the Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM

[shrug] A culture that can’t bring itself to recognize the inherent differences and impacts between heterosexual relations and homosexual ones will eventually believe almost anything.

Ricard on March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

What exactly are you accusing me of?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Being a liberal.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Here’s an idea: put in your platform what the party is going to support, and then support it. Don’t undermine it. Don’t make fun of or push out of the tent those who embrace it and want to defend those ideals.

Recently, the only way that I have been able to vote for Republicans is because I agree with the platform. Even though so so many members disagree with it and prove it with their rhetoric and votes. Change the platform what the Reps are about. I’ll then decide if I can agree with it.

cptacek on March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

There really isn’t a definition of conservative these days. That’s part of the problem with Republican branding.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 3:50 PM

There absolutely is. The problem is we have people in the Republican party – unfortunately the leadership – who don’t believe in ANY of the basic principles and tenets of conservatism and are trying to purge conservatives – fiscal AND social and constitutional and every other leg of it – out of the party.

The problem of Republican branding is that Republicans really do stand for nothing. The only way to discern the leadership’s position is to watch their behavior, and their behavior is almost uniformly statist.

The p word has become nothing but a cliched fig leaf. It has morphed into the word pure meaning any variation from dogma is cause for burning at the political stake. As Reagan said and jdpaz said above, realize that the pol you disagree with 30% of the time is not your enemy.

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM

In the real world, the party base donates money and turns out the vote because they expect to be given something by the politicians they vote for and support. The Democrats understand this very simple principle (whoops, there’s that “p” word). The Republicans, by way of comparison, take a perverse glee in telling the media how much they hate their voters, how extreme and radical their voters are, and how stupid and uneducated their voters are.

Conservatives have arguably been given nothing since the Bush tax cuts. In fact, conservatives spent most of the latter half of the Bush administration fighting Bush and complaining about his overspending and his amnesty push.

I’m sure you feel very wise, very “moderate,” and very smug lecturing about “purity,” but here is what is happening in the real world.

Liberal Republicans can learn to do basic politics and deliver the goods for their voters as opposed to trying to purge them, or their voters will either melt away or keep running Tea Partiers in the primaries.

Doomberg on March 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Do they not support the creation of more and more rules to dictate behavior, such as the Drug War?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Eliminate welfare and allow others the luxury of not bankrolling your drug habit and you might have a point.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

So should we outlaw alcohol until welfare is eliminated?

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM

No one is asking you to “sit down and shut up.” But surely you know that if we don’t coalesce, we will not take the Senate in November and we will not take the Presidency in 2016. And if those things don’t happen, there will be more Kagans and Sotomeyers on the SCOTUS, and all will be lost, probably forever. You don’t have to surrender your principles on social issues. But you will need to adopt a longer view. You will NEVER find a candidate who agrees with you on EVERY social issue who can WIN. That is an impossibility. Does your spouse agree with you on EVERY issue? No. That’s where compromise and slowly working to change hearts and minds comes into play. The progressives understand this. They have been taking us progressively toward their ideal for over 100 years, baby step by baby step. Do you really think we can undo all that in one or two election cycles by refusing to compromise with others in our own party on anything? Rand is saying let’s focus on what we agree on and run with that, and save our internal battles for a time when we are strong enough to fight them.

idalily on March 14, 2014 at 4:07 PM

MJBrutus want us to sit down and shut up. He can’t wait for us to be squashed and out of the party (per a recent thread a few days ago)

cptacek on March 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Annnnnnnnnnnd that finally finishes off any thought I ever harbored about possibly supporting Rand Paul.

I’ll take social conservatism and economic populism. No abortion. No gay marriage. No drug legalization. No amnesty. To Hell with compromise.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Deliberately obtuse is no way to go through life, son.

You’re a Lib claiming to be a Libertarian, because it’s easier for you to insult Conservatives that way.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Being a liberal.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

You and the other people here can’t even define conservative, so how can you all define “liberal”?

What sense of the term do you mean? The classical sense of the Founders?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

You’re a Lib claiming to be a Libertarian, because it’s easier for you to insult Conservatives that way.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What gives you this idea, specifically? Do you have a specific example of “liberal” thought in mind? What does “liberal” mean to you?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

I’ll take social conservatism and economic populism. No abortion. No gay marriage. No drug legalization. No amnesty. To Hell with compromise.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

How do you plan to enforce all this? With limited government?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Ronald Reagan was a “Social Consrvative”, child.

I don’t think there is a real definition of social conservative, certainly not one that everyone agrees on. You could say that about any politician from the past who isn’t a Bush Republican basically.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Good point. We should start calling ourselves the politically amorphous term “moderates,” instead. I wonder if the media would love us then?

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Here ya go, Lib:

J. Matt Barber wrote in the Washington Times that

Ronald Reagan often spoke of a “three-legged stool” that undergirds true conservatism. The legs are represented by a strong defense, strong free-market economic policies and strong social values. For the stool to remain upright, it must be supported by all three legs. If you snap off even one leg, the stool collapses under its own weight.

A Republican, for instance, who is conservative on social and national defense issues but liberal on fiscal issues is not a Reagan conservative. He is a quasi-conservative socialist.

A Republican who is conservative on fiscal and social issues, but liberal on national defense issues is not a Reagan conservative. He is a quasi-conservative dove.

By the same token, a Republican who is conservative on fiscal and national defense issues but liberal on social issues – such as abortion, so-called gay rights or the Second Amendment – is not a Reagan conservative. He is a socio-liberal libertarian.

Put another way: A Republican who is one part William F. Buckley Jr., one part Oliver North and one part Rachel Maddow is no true conservative. He is – well, I’m not exactly sure what he is, but it ain’t pretty.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

So should those nasty Socons also agree to be tolerant with other cultures who see things from a different perspective?

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2014/03/14/new-law-under-consideration-in-iraq-would-allow-child-marriages/

The draft law does not set a minimum age for marriage. Instead, it mentions an age in a section on divorce, setting rules for divorces of girls who have reached the age of 9 years in the lunar Islamic calendar. It also says that’s the age girls reach puberty. Since the Islamic calendar year is 10 or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, that would be the equivalent of 8 years and 8 months old. The bill makes the father the only parent with the right to accept or refuse the marriage proposal.

You shouldn’t try to legislate morality…or so I am told!

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:53 PM

How do you plan to enforce all this? With limited government?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Ouch. That’ll leave a mark.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Eliminate welfare and allow others the luxury of not bankrolling your drug habit and you might have a point.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Libertarian-Conservatives support both, but it’s not like welfare recipients aren’t currently using illegal drugs anyway, not to mention drinking, smoking, and overloading on junk food.

midgeorgian on March 14, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

I hope my previous post answered you, child.

I don’t play the Deflection Game.

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:54 PM

How do you plan to enforce all this? With limited government?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Government, yes. But not one so limited that it has no means to put a stop to such activities once it becomes aware of them.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Government, yes. But not one so limited that it has no means to put a stop to such activities once it becomes aware of them.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Good reposte.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:57 PM

“The legs are represented by a strong defense, strong free-market economic policies and strong social values. For the stool to remain upright, it must be supported by all three legs. If you snap off even one leg, the stool collapses under its own weight.”

The issue comes from the nebulous idea of “strong social values”. With respect to government action, what exactly does that mean?

Does it mean government may grow to any size to enforce the candidate’s idea of social values, regardless of the impact on the free market? Is a strong defense the same thing as pro-active wars carried out overseas at the drop of a hat?

The point is that what people think of as “Conservative” these days is so far from Reagan’s vision that it doesn’t bear mentioning in the same breath. The term conservative has become meaningless when people redefine it to suit their own feelings.

The whole “social conservative” meme has devolved since Reagan’s time to nothing more than a desire to impose feelings on other human beings out of a sense of fear. It is a way to manipulate people into voting a certain way by worrying them to death.

How much government is enough to make a “social conservative” victim unafraid?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:59 PM

So should we outlaw alcohol until welfare is eliminated?

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM

If alcohol is costly and damaging as you seem to imply then what is gained by adding more harmful and damaging substances?

We should kick alcoholic off welfare for certain. I would compromise with getting rid of welfare entirely and not worry about which substances we should legalize ‘to be fair’.

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 4:59 PM

kingsjester on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Reagan forged a coalition that was useful to him in his time. Times change.

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM

We have the budding possibility of a meaning political discourse between Another Libertarian and Stoic Patriot on the meaning and implementation of limited government. Good job, folks.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Interesting approach from Rand Paul. In essentially telling social conservatives to give up their principles on issues that are at the core of what makes them social conservatives in order to ‘grow the party’, he insures that he’s losing a percentage of the social conservative vote in his quest to ‘grow the party’.

Perhaps his polling has given him an insight and he’s literally using a mathematical equation which suggests to him that ‘the party’ will still come out ahead employing a tactic that demands social conservatives abandon core principles of their political philosophy.

If this is the case, and it’s a matter of polling and projected added voters opposed to projected losses, this appears to be a risky strategy at best and could well result in an unexpected loss for the GOP and more specifically, for Rand Paul.

thatsafactjack on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

*meaningful*

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Government, yes. But not one so limited that it has no means to put a stop to such activities once it becomes aware of them.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

How does a government eliminate gay marriage, amnesty, abortion, or anything else? How big of a government does a “social conservative” want to live with?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Social issues should not be dealt with nationally. They should be up to the states. The Supreme Court should have kicked abortion for instance, back to the states.

crankyoldlady on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

This is exactly what I’ve been saying for years, that social issues have no place in politics, and liberals use social issues to villify conservatives by twisting their words or outright using them in certain cases (Aikin!).

Argue social issues where it matters, at the social, local, and religious level. Leave it out of politics. If the repubs refuse to see this they’ll continue to see nothing but pasture for eons to come.

Diluculo on March 14, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Good point. We should start calling ourselves the politically amorphous term “moderates,” instead. I wonder if the media would love us then?

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Wouldn’t it make more sense to discuss the meaning of the term “conservative”?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:02 PM

When have conservatives NOT been forced to compromise? We haven’t had a conservative nominee since Reagan. Everyone says this like conservatives are the ones who won’t compromise when we’re the only ones who have been forced to time and time again to little gain for the party. Also, compromise when you’ve fought the good fight is one thing, preeemptive surrender is another.

jnelchef on March 14, 2014 at 5:05 PM

How does a government eliminate gay marriage, amnesty, abortion, or anything else? How big of a government does a “social conservative” want to live with?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

You eliminate gay marriage by repealing any and all laws recognizing it. Ideally you pass a constitutional amendment eliminating them.

On amnesty, you simply enforce existing law. Put more money towards ICE, build a real fence, and then round up and deport illegal immigrants already inside the United States. If need-be, we adopt the harsher sentences of Mexico: 2 years in prison for the first offense followed by deportation, 10 year in prison followed by deportation for every offense thereafter.

On abortion, you shut down the abortion clinics, and when there is a report by a private citizen of having witnessed an abortion or having found a baby’s corpse, you conduct an investigation along the same lines as any other homicide, with the same criminal penalties.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I’ll take social conservatism and economic populism. No abortion. No gay marriage. No drug legalization. No amnesty. To Hell with compromise.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What is an economic populist? Mike Huckabee?

I oppose the people of Vermont telling the people of Alabama what to do, so I’m also opposed the reverse. I do agree with you on abortion, but I think the best strategy is to leave it up to states, which is better than what we have now. I believe that eventually the moral repugnancy of abortion will lead to all states banning the practice.

midgeorgian on March 14, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Can you not see how using the government to control people is a monstrous proposition, and completely antithetical to the Founders’ vision, as well as freedom?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Can you not see that wanting to prevent the government from controlling people is not the same thing as wanting it to control people?

If liberals want to bend the government to do their social engineering will, and conservatives react against that – it’s not the same thing the liberals are doing, and to suggest it is, well… that’s just silly.

Conservatives aren’t coming up with new and improved ways to push their social agenda on anyone – they are reacting to the left doing so.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 5:07 PM

How does a government eliminate gay marriage, amnesty, abortion, or anything else? How big of a government does a “social conservative” want to live with?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Wow, you are completely, 100% backwards on this. I’m not even sure how to continue that conversation, you’re so out of phase with the reality of the situation.

The government is PUSHING gay marriage, amnesty, abortion, etc. The LEFT is PUSHING these things.

Conservatives OPPOSE the government being used to do these things.

And your beef is with… CONSERVATIVES wanting to use the government to their own ends? Are you f*cking HIGH?

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

What is an economic populist? Mike Huckabee?

I oppose the people of Vermont telling the people of Alabama what to do, so I’m also opposed the reverse. I do agree with you on abortion, but I think the best strategy is to leave it up to states, which is better than what we have now. I believe that eventually the moral repugnancy of abortion will lead to all states banning the practice.

midgeorgian on March 14, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Yup, Huckabee would be an example of an economic populist. So would Santorum. They recognize that the economic well-being of the country comes down to the economic well-being of the majority of the citizens.

With that comes a desire to enforce worker & consumer safety regulations, not put American workers in direct competition with third-world labor, protect industries that are considered crucial to the nation’s survival (e.g. defense, agriculture, transportation, energy) from being undercut by foreign governments / enterprises, and recognize that for us to stop bleeding our economic ability to influence the world, that we need to restore a positive trade balance to the US.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 5:11 PM

“When have conservatives NOT been forced to compromise?”

Yes I think you have a very good point. A good example is gun control- the word compromise just means the other side gets what it wants, and you are left with nothing. There is no way to compromise in that situation, so the word is used to obscure the truth.

I’m not saying that people should be forced to give up their beliefs, or that people shouldn’t run their communities the way they see fit. Nobody should be forced to accept things they don’t want to, or associate with people they don’t want to either. Neither should we be forced to accept aggressions against our person in the form of national government action such as educational standards for our children, just because some DC bureaucrat pinhead thinks it’s a good idea.

But when you open the Pandora’s Box of national government force, you invite the kinds of problems with out of control government that we have today. The term “social conservative” quickly went from people who want to be free from coercive government to a term that is useful to politicians who want to wield that power.

Rather than arguing for that power to be removed from enemies (or politicians), people are encouraged to try to get a piece of that DC pie for themselves. That is the sole thread that binds together the Marxist Democrats; their belief in the idea of using government guns to get their way and rob other people.

Cultural Marxism has been so successful in infiltrating every aspect of American society that people who call themselves conservative use its means, and accept its validity without even knowing it.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

The government is PUSHING gay marriage, amnesty, abortion, etc. The LEFT is PUSHING these things.

Conservatives OPPOSE the government being used to do these things.

And your beef is with… CONSERVATIVES wanting to use the government to their own ends? Are you f*cking HIGH?

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Do you see what I am saying though? If the government is pushing for those things, should the government lose the power to do so? How is attempting to fight for control of a government that big and powerful ever going to stop this?

In 4 years, your mortal enemies will once again have that power. Sooner or later they will always get their way, leading to Margaret Thatcher’s “Ratchet Effect” where socialists create their own power and conservatives consolidate it for them.

It is better to stick to the Founder’s vision of severely limited government. That way there is no power for them to seize or grow.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

thatsafactjack on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Well said, Jackie. It appears that Rand Paul has revealed that his ‘principles’ are malleable according to his political need. That should give everyone pause and a reason to look at him with scepticism, no matter what one’s beliefs are.

INC on March 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Have you ever noticed how much government it takes to support the social value of forcing gay marriage and its corollary homosexual normalization and promotion in schools?

The SoLibs have a social vision at odds with biology and reality. A massive government was never needed to steamroll the notion of husband and wife. It is needed to steamroll the notion of interchangeable spouses and genders.

BKennedy on March 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Rebuttal to Another ‘Why Won’t the Social Conservatives Just Shut Up?’ Post
by Bryan Preston

My friend Roger Simon writes that social conservatives are the only thing that can “save liberalism.” Social conservatives should just accept the wisdom of coastal, unchurched 18 year olds and surrender our core beliefs. Surrender on marriage, and allow it to be redefined by people who harbor nothing but contempt for the institution. It’s a recurring theme among a certain set within the larger conservative-libertarian movement. Shut up and surrender, they explain.

Where do the surrenders end? Those who share the shut-up sentiment never say. They just tell social conservatives to shut up already and give up on the issues that for many are the very reason that they got into politics in the first place. So we surrender on marriage, then we give up on life, and pretty soon, they’ll be telling us to give up on the Second Amendment, then the First, then something else. Always retreat, ever surrender, because they say so, never offering a glimpse of what might be the end game.

The First Amendment is already under assault, by the way, via Obamacare. And it’s under threat in the marriage issue too. So surrendering on that issue threatens to gut our fundamental rights as Americans. Beware of ripple effects.

For what it’s worth, social conservatives aren’t actually pushing anything forward, at least not in the cultural arena. For many, Roe v. Wade was an assault that could not go unanswered, so they got involved in politics. For others, the left’s sustained assault on the family is the driving force. For others, it’s confiscatory tax policies or something else. Social conservatives are defending, not advancing, on social policy. Marriage was a settled issue — settled law, as the Democrats like to say when it suits them — until some folks came along and decided to redefine it. Mostly in court, because they kept losing in the democratic process, even in their coastal states.

The surrenders won’t end with same-sex marriage. Anyone who has observed the past few decades must see this, unless they’re willing themselves blind.

INC on March 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Do you see what I am saying though? If the government is pushing for those things, should the government lose the power to do so? How is attempting to fight for control of a government that big and powerful ever going to stop this?

In 4 years, your mortal enemies will once again have that power. Sooner or later they will always get their way, leading to Margaret Thatcher’s “Ratchet Effect” where socialists create their own power and conservatives consolidate it for them.

It is better to stick to the Founder’s vision of severely limited government. That way there is no power for them to seize or grow.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Ok, so the answer is ‘yes’. Yes, you are high, and completely don’t get it. Got it.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM

You eliminate gay marriage by repealing any and all laws recognizing it. Ideally you pass a constitutional amendment eliminating them.

On amnesty, you simply enforce existing law. Put more money towards ICE, build a real fence, and then round up and deport illegal immigrants already inside the United States. If need-be, we adopt the harsher sentences of Mexico: 2 years in prison for the first offense followed by deportation, 10 year in prison followed by deportation for every offense thereafter.

On abortion, you shut down the abortion clinics, and when there is a report by a private citizen of having witnessed an abortion or having found a baby’s corpse, you conduct an investigation along the same lines as any other homicide, with the same criminal penalties.

All of this must be done with government guns. Do you see how this leads to an ever-increasing police state?

Is any of this so important that all of society must lose its freedom in the process of one segment’s wishes? That seems to be the definition of social conservative, I suppose.

Those who are willing to use government violence to stop abortion, gay marriage, or anything else are socially conservative. But this is no different than the “socially progressive”, except as to object of the enforcement.

Both social conservatives and progressives share the feeling that government should be used to create a particular kind of society.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM

So what Paul is suggesting is that we let the GOP do to us what the socialist/progressives already do.What difference does it make Senator Paul if you and your libertarian ilk are in power and take the same positions on social issues as the Democrats who are already there?Unfortunately for you and your Presidential ambitions those of us who do not share your amoral,”live and let live” philosophy will not accede to your request.Please respect our determination to fight for what we believe to be right and do not insult our intelligence again.

redware on March 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Ok, so the answer is ‘yes’. Yes, you are high, and completely don’t get it. Got it.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Maybe if you explained “it” a little better instead of hurling childish insults you’d have more of a conversation.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Bryan goes on to point out:

Let’s take but one issue that’s before the courts right now. Who is challenging Obamacare and on what grounds? Are the libertarians waging lawfare against it? Not effectively, but the Green family and the Catholic Church are. Who are they? Social conservatives. They’re fighting one of the most egregious assaults on personal liberty in a century, on religious freedom grounds. And they have the best standing chance of at least rolling back Obamacare’s attack on religious conscience — an attack, by the way, that libertarians mostly ignore. If they win, though, some measure of liberty will be restored — without the help of libertarians. Hm.

INC on March 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Both social conservatives and progressives share the feeling that government should be used to create a particular kind of society.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Child marriage at 8 years of age is then acceptable to you?

sharrukin on March 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM

The problem with flat-out ignoring “social issues” is that liberals have gone way beyond “live and let live” on those issues.

You don’t have a right to refuse to bake a cake or arrange flowers for gay weddings.
You don’t have the right to refuse to allow your venue to be used for gay weddings.
You don’t have the right to refuse to pay for someone else’s abortion, even if you are the father of that child.
If you are a medical professional, you don’t have the right to refuse to perform an abortion.
You don’t have the right to refuse to pay for someone else’s birth control. Even if you are an elderly nun and there is little chance that anyone is asking.
You don’t have the right to open up a new franchise of your restaurant chain if you have the “wrong” opinion on gay marriage. The government will shut you down because the mere sight of your restaurant is offensive to those who do not agree with you.

And possibly coming down the pipeline:

You don’t have the right to refuse to perform a gay marriage. Even if you are a priest.
You don’t have the right to not want to use birth control.
You don’t have the right to refuse an abortion.
You don’t have the right to protest your ill child being euthanized.
You don’t have the right to profess the “wrong” opinions on abortion, gay marriage, feminism, affirmative, action, or anything else that upsets the PC enforcers.
You don’t have the right to protest when your estranged spouse kills your two-year-old because she wants to be “free”.

I’m not sure where Rand is going with this. He’s not just personally pro-life, he’s got a perfect pro-life voting record. So does he want to suppress his own supposed convictions and record in the Senate? Is it just PR? I don’t know.

But the aforementioned issues are First Amendment issues and they are very, very important. They should be important to social liberals, too. They override any present political reality, and I don’t think it’s right to give up on them because it makes the Republicans look bad.

Does Rand Paul support the First Amendment rights of the religious baker or florist or priest who does not want to participate in gay marriage? Does he support the cause of the nuns who do not want to pay for the contraception of others? It’s important to know the answers to these questions.

There are not issues to shut up about because they hurt Sandra Fluke or Dan Savage’s feelings. If we ignore them for political expediency, then my second list of possibilities becomes more and more likely. If that makes me a purist, so be it.

dogwoodtiredkat on March 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Wouldn’t it make more sense to discuss the meaning of the term “conservative”?

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I think that if you took any random “big” issue, most folks would be able to pick the broad, traditional “conservative” position out of a list (i.e. the conservative position on abortion is pro-life). Within that broad position, however, there can be quite the spectrum of opinion. Using the abortion issue, outlawing all abortions or allowing them in the cases of rape/incest/mother’s life are both recognized, conservative positions. Many would consider the former to be the “more conservative” position, but they are both conservative positions. Some would take exception to this and there are other positions that could be considered conservative, as well.

So, saying that one is conservative on the issue of abortion only says that he or she probably thinks that abortion should be somehow restricted or regulated further than current law allows. It does not say anything definitive about the person’s position.

Multiply that concept by ten or twelve major issues, and a conservative can occupy a huge range of positions while still being considered a conservative.

Much more important than discussing what the term “conservative” means, is making sure that conservatives (and others, but especially conservatives) understand the principles that undergird conservative positions (such as limited government). This helps with both apologetics and staking out valid conservative positions on new issues.

yaedon on March 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

INC on March 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Thank you, INC. You’ve stated the case regarding the nature of Mr. Paul’s problem very well, indeed.

If he’s willing to try to lead people to give up their own core principles in order to ‘grow the party’ and win elections as a senator, what core principles would he be willing to sacrifice when faced with intense pressure, domestically and/or internationally, as president?

thatsafactjack on March 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Republicans must agree to disagree on social issues in order to grow the party

Adam must agree to eat Eve’s forbidden apple in order nto to separate the family after the fall?
Once again the choice is 30 pieces of silver before God.
Stop with the euphemisms please, and stop thinking we can defy or cunningly “set aside” “nature’s God” and still have all the rights He gifted us?
The Dems boo God and the less honest GOP just hides Him in the corner for a few millennium.

Don L on March 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

I find it amusing that so many at H/A who staunchly proclaim their Tea Party loyalty cry so loudly over statements like this. The TP, of course, has nothing to do with SSM or abortion.

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Just as the Founders, whom are classically liberal, American conservatism is predicated on their philosophy of governance. Our source, just as we suspect their source, for this view is from our Creator as described in Judeo-Christian principles.

It seems to me that understanding that would help to understand when the size, scope, and role of government seems to be at odds with whatever the libertarian view of conservative governance should be.

In other words, the source is what guides us.

anuts on March 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Both social conservatives and progressives share the feeling that government should be used to create a particular kind of society.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM

You’re absolutely wrong to link soc cons w/ progressives. As Bryan Preston wrote above:

For what it’s worth, social conservatives aren’t actually pushing anything forward, at least not in the cultural arena. For many, Roe v. Wade was an assault that could not go unanswered, so they got involved in politics. For others, the left’s sustained assault on the family is the driving force. For others, it’s confiscatory tax policies or something else. Social conservatives are defending, not advancing, on social policy. Marriage was a settled issue — settled law, as the Democrats like to say when it suits them — until some folks came along and decided to redefine it. Mostly in court, because they kept losing in the democratic process, even in their coastal states.

INC on March 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Does this mean I have to celebrate sodomy from the highest mountaintop and see insignificant homosexual figures highlighted in history textbooks not for significance but merely for homosexuality?

BuckeyeSam on March 14, 2014 at 3:27 PM

You have hit on the real problem

At the state level, ‘agree to disagree’ now means a pastry chef must make a cake with a lesbian love image on top, or lose their business

At the federal level, ‘agree to disagree’ now mean punishing chaplains who preach the Bible, and may soon mean allowing female impersonators into the military who will apparently be able to choose which sex they take showers with

If this doesn’t matter to you, it is easy to agree to disagree. If you believe decadence is tearing down the fabric that made America a successful civilization, it matters a lot, especially when these new patterns are being implemented and enforced by legal action, and it takes an elected politician to fight or surrender

Paul says the next President has to call a truce on social issues. What does he mean by truce? Will a truce let chaplains read Leviticus?

Paul cannot care about the issues or he would not agree to disagree. If I wanted this, I could elect a RINO, who will pretend they have no opinion on these issues, until they have to vote on it

entagor on March 14, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Rand, you’re wrong. Now you have no chance of getting my vote.

We must stick to our ethics, morals and principals.

Amnesty won’t get you any additional votes either. Quite the reverse.

dogsoldier on March 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Using the abortion issue, outlawing all abortions or allowing them in the cases of rape/incest/mother’s life are both recognized, conservative positions

Not with this conservative. If abortion is evil because it in fact is murdering baby (however legal) then who are we to pretend that we can murder some innocent babies but not another?

Don L on March 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

The Republican Party needs a whole lot of repair after what I saw in the 2008 elections. The base shut Sara Palin out for two weeks and advised her of the way things are and continued on their planned BS. The idiot McCain should have gone home and even today he is in the news as much as Al gore with the same intelligence. I for one have given up on the GOP. I’ll vote for a monkey if there is no “D” after its name.

mixplix on March 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

All of this must be done with government guns. Do you see how this leads to an ever-increasing police state?

Is any of this so important that all of society must lose its freedom in the process of one segment’s wishes? That seems to be the definition of social conservative, I suppose.

Those who are willing to use government violence to stop abortion, gay marriage, or anything else are socially conservative. But this is no different than the “socially progressive”, except as to object of the enforcement.

Both social conservatives and progressives share the feeling that government should be used to create a particular kind of society.

Another Libertarian on March 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Do you see that the police and the state are in fact necessary components of a functioning society? Do you recognize that by not utilizing the powers of the government, you allow for mass murder (abortion), trespassing (amnesty), and family breakdown (gay marriage)?

Do we regard these issues as so important that we think people should not be able to murder, trespass, or hijack the purpose of marriage? You bet.

Yes, the major difference between us and progressives is the content of what we think is best. Our differences arise from the specifics of policy. You can talk about having philosophical differences with progressives all you like, but if libertarians are going to agree with them on the specifics (drug legalization, legal abortion, gay marriage, amnesty, etc), then there’s really not a dime’s worth of difference between the libertarian and progressive positions.

Stoic Patriot on March 14, 2014 at 5:31 PM

thatsafactjack on March 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

You misunderstood him. He did not say change or abandon your core principles. He said if that if that is most important to you, vote for someone else.

He has wisely figured out that he can do addition by subtraction. That without the anchor of social issues he can forge a broader coalition.

MJBrutus on March 14, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Rand is a PINO: principled in nothing only.

Don L on March 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Rand Paul: Republicans must agree to disagree on social issues in order to grow the party

I like Rand but facts are a stubborn thing. Liberal social policies have huge costs. It’s a good sound bite for politicians to say that they are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but that is an impossible position.

RJL on March 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

We can have Marxists and Neocons under one roof!

Monkeytoe on March 14, 2014 at 3:46 PM

We already have that and it’s called “compassionate conservatism”.

Punchenko on March 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

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