Conservative Battle Fatigue?! Now is not the Time!
Last Wednesday, Hugh Hewitt had with him as guest-co-host, John Podhoretz, author of "Bush Country" (which I have). Podhoretz brought up the concept of "conservative battle fatigue", a phrase which, I believe, was coined by Bruce Kesler. For 3 years, we've found ourselves at family barbecues and social events, on blogs and message boards, defending our President and this war against a constant barrage of attacks that never go away...."the President lied"...."there were no WsMD (why do we spell it "wmds"? "Weapon of Mass Destructions"?)"..."Abu Ghraib"...."Have you heard the latest poll numbers?"....and on and on it goes. There is no end in sight; no relief. For those battered conservatives who still carry on, here is verbal ammunition. Memorize it...engrave it...sear it into your soul...then slap the moonbats silly with it. And for those anti-war liberals and whatnots who insist "Saddam never posed an imminent threat" and "there were no connections between Saddam and al Qaeda", I insist you go here for starters. Curt has invested a lot of time in generating some noise on this, when the mainstream press has remained all but hushed.
Getting back to the "PTSD", Bruce Kesler writes:
there’s more at work here than these or other issues, whether Bush has been as stalwart as we like or deem wise.I am a radical conservative moderate extremist. Just right of center, but militantly so. It has been painful to watch conservative irritability with one another escalate...to the point where some even seem to have ended relationship/alliances with one another over a difference in opinions. Passions run deep.
I think all three [referring to Republican stalwarts, Mark Tapscott, Ed Morrisey, and Steve Bainbridge] may be suffering some variant of PTSD, worn down by defending difficult positions at the forefront of the battle against irredentist Democrats in Congress and their fifth-column in the media.
It’s easier to verbally support defense of the ramparts of Western civilization from thousands of miles away than to endure the daily tensions and split-decisions of the actual battlefield. The battles over federal spending and illegal immigration, however, are closer to home, and impose an unavoidable consideration of the tense nuances and compromises. No one can or should accuse these or other reasonable and intelligent men of shying from that. Indeed, they’ve ably and bravely led. However, I feel fatigue has set in, along with some degree of localitis, mistaking their angst for others’, and while recognizing a larger strategic setting overfocusing on their portion.
I’ve really no doubt that they will see the bigger picture, and stakes, and come down on the right side. I wish them a speedy recovery, before more adversaries are allowed to breach the walls because of their petulance.
The Anchoress also seemed to be submitting to the "battle-fatigue"; but then, recouped enough to post this beautiful reminder of just who it is we elected into office for 2-terms. It's an essential read for every conservative voter out there.
For the conservatives out there who have not yet abandoned This President, or the only party of choice- the Republican Party (for the answer to our problems is NOT putting in more Demcrats to high office)-, I beg you to heed the words of Michael Novak:
Now when he is at his lowest point yet in the polls is the time for those who love and admire President Bush to say so.Go read the rest of the article on the great man who Novak calls, "The Bravest President".
To the conservatives out there who feel betrayed by This President, I ask you: If you knew then, what you know now, would you have voted differently? Would you have sat on the fence and allowed a John Kerry Presidency? An Al Gore-run planet? If you didn't know who you were getting then, that's not President Bush's problem. He's the same man now as he was then. He hasn't changed. He has always been friendly with a soft spot for Mexican migrants. But he hasn't "sold us out". What he is proposing is not "amnesty", in the manner in which the "angry-as-hell-conservatives" are spinning it out to be.
This is what President Bush said in his Speech on Immigration Reform:
- I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.
- I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law...to pay their taxes...to learn English...and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship; but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.
My biggest concern right now, is that we turn off the faucet first...then after that, we can bitch and scream about how best to properly mop up. If we just stand around arguing about whether to use paper towels or trusty mops to soak up the mess, and NOTHING gets accomplished....then we deserve to drown in our own idiocy. Let's seal the borders, punish those who provide the incentives for illegals to cross the border, and let's find a realistic, compassionate solution for those who have, in many cases, lived in the U.S. illegally for years and even generations. If illegal immigrants are made to go to the back of the line in applying for citizenship anyway, what's the difference? Whether they apply from outside the borders or from inside? I agree, they should never have been here in the first place. But if we allowed them to plant roots in this country, raise children over a period of decades, then we share half the blame and should suffer some of the responsibility in dealing with it, compassionately and fairly.
The problem with some of these all-or-nothing-conservatives is, there's no compromise. With 11-12 million illegals in this country, to get anything done, you have to just cut your losses and move on with it, rather than obsess over having to give up some ground. No one wants to give up his right arm; but in order to save the body, when the arm is sick and beyond recovery, it must be done. What the angry conservatives want is to deny that the arm must go...and in the process, they will wind up destroying the body. This is the way I perceive the lack on their part, of giving ground; of accepting loss, and coming to compromise in order to move forward.
For those conservatives who have disowned him, as somehow not being a "real conservative", I ask you, "When will anyone ever be good enough for you purists?" Purists and "but-he's-not-a-conservative-like-me" voters ruin political parties and movements. Ronald Reagan is regarded by many conservatives today as a "super-president". Yet, what did he do for the illegal immigration problem? If voters can forgive Reagan for this one issue, why can't they do it for Bush? What President in history, has ever managed to shrink the government? Yet, big government we have...and apparently it's all Bush's fault, all along. Actually, I believe President Bush's problem hasn't been the growth of more beauracracy, but in not getting rid of useless, existing ones. The biggest deficits? How were they under Reagan? How were they under Bush #41? As a percentage of GDP, which is the fairest way to measure deficits over time, President Bush is not running the largest deficit in the nation's history. And with revenues going up, that deficit has begun to go down. After the economic blow that was 9/11, let alone the human cost, under This President, we have a thriving economy 2nd to none, along with a sixth straight year of tax cuts passed by Congress. We have President Bush to thank for that.
The worst U.S. President in history? No. President Bush will be remembered in the history books- unless it's written by Howard Zinn- as one of the greatest Presidents this nation has ever produced (the Dixie Chicks can proudly brag about how he came out of Texas).
USA Today article:
Bush seems to be thinking about the history books, too. When conservative commentator Fred Barnes interviewed the president last summer for his book Rebel-in-Chief, Bush noted he had read three new books analyzing the first president's place in history. "He said, 'Even after 200 years, they're still reassessing George Washington,' " Barnes recalls. " 'What will they say about me?' "
The more he is hated by the Left, the greater the anti-Americanism in the world, the more I think he must be doing something right. The more adversity he faces, the greater his glory when his time in office is done. I don't know if any other U.S. President has ever generated so much hostile feelings and negativity than President #43. I don't recall the anti-Reagan bumperstickers....but with Bush, I've seen it all. I don't think I've seen so many colorful bumperstickers and clever slogans as I do when I see all the anti-Bush bumperstickers while driving through the streets of Los Angeles. I mean, "Surfers against Bush"? You have got to be seriously unhinged to litter your car with so much garbage sloganeering. It's crazy! I mean....they even criticized him for exercising too much, for goodness sake!
President Bush has accomplished a lot during his first term! 50 million people liberated in two countries. Planting the seeds of democracy in the heart of the Middle East is a long-term plan; an investment for the future and the safety not only of America and our children, but of the world, and for all the world's children. President Bush is effective because he is a risk-taker; he thinks big, and he gambles big...rather than kick the can down the road for the next Administration to deal with. (I can hear the shrill screams from the liberals: "What about Iraq? Isn't he kicking that can down to a future President to deal with?" Fellow moonbat patriots: if he could be re-elected for a 3rd and 4th term, he'd see the tree of democracy planted in the Middle East bear more fruit, while in office; and if he could have two more terms, you can be sure he'd come back to social security and tax reform.).
Like the great leadership of Winston Churchill, he understands that you don't run a country based upon the latest, fickle gallup polls. Polls go up. Polls go down. No, effective leadership means you make decisions because it is the right thing to do, even when it is not the popular thing to do. Harry Truman is another American President who, in his day, suffered poll numbers dipping all the way into the 20 percentile rankings; unpopular during much of his tenure, he is now looked back upon favorably. History is on the side of those who are pro-Bush and pro-victory in setting up a democratically free Iraq and Afghanistan. If you are conservative, it may make you remember why you supported This President. If you are a liberal moonbat, it may just kill ya. His accomplishments last year. President Bush doesn't deserve bashing; he deserves a place on Mt. Rushmore!
The border fence? No that's a given...build it! How can anyone whine about it being "unwelcoming", when we use fences to protect the White House, gated communities, our private homes, etc..?...No...I'm talking about those conservatives who threaten the rest of us about how they want to sit on their asses this November because they are so fed up with President Bush, they want to "get back at him". One problem with this infantile tantrum-thinking: President Bush is not running for re-election. And for those conservatives who have been frustrated with the "Republican majority", and want to "teach them a lesson", by sitting on the fence this November, remember this: "Democrats are the anti-(border)fence Party". "No matter what the problem is, the answer can't be more Democrats."
Realize that we have a handful of RINOs in Congress. One reason why the party hasn't behaved much like a majority. If we lose House and Senate seats this year, you can kiss goodbye any chance of having any more conservative, originalist justices getting confirmed to the Supreme Court...and I doubt President Bush will be able to get anything accomplished from that point on.
I am not ready to hand over the security of my country over to the Democrats, when they have shown poor understanding of the war on terror, quagmired in the "blame America first"-mentality of self-loathing and hand-wringing"....from Guantanamo , to the Patriot Act, to the "not so-secret-anymore" NSA Surveillance Programs, to border control and immigration reform....the Democratic Party is not the answer.
Thanks to Curt for blogging this great line from Soxblog:
To paraphrase a great man, you go to war with the Party you have, not the Party you wish you had.
Others in the Victory-Wing of the Republican Party:
Blue Star Chronicles
The City Troll
(to be updated)