Rolling the Conservative Movement: Seduction on the Right

There are "movement conservatives," and there are politicians who change their stripes for every occasion. Right now, the conservative movement is getting rolled by the latter.

Let us remember another day. Health care was all the rage (at least in the press), and leading "conservatives" were leading the third way. Newt Gingrich was working with Hillary Clinton on a more gradual route to universal health care, according to the New York Times and other sources.

"Conservative" Mitt Romney was building the Massachusetts universal health care along "business" principles fresh from saving the Olympics.

Now what? Well, Obama, the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin have lit a fire in the country, and every politician of every stripe has taken notice. And guess what: Newt Gingrich is all about repealing universal health care. Mitt Romney is all about anything other than what happened in Massachusetts.

Another example? Take Karl Rove. We now hear him every week on Fox News talking about the minutiae of how Obama has overreached. His book is titled Courage and Consequence. Again, let us hearken back a few years.

Karl Rove and George Bush gave us Obama and Democratic majorities in both houses. They rolled the conservatives by touting George Bush as a "compassionate conservative." Has anyone forgotten the greatest spending spree until Obama? Has anyone forgotten the prescription drug benefit -- pushed through Congress with muscle foretelling what was later to come from Rahm and Obama? 

What courage? Just look at the consequences -- and conservatives are buying that book?

Remember the "no new taxes" George Bush, sold as the "conservative" successor to President Reagan. One recalls "a kinder, gentler" conservative. Conservatives got rolled again.

Conservatives always get rolled with modifiers.

Well, here we are again. 

We movement conservatives and the Tea Party are about to get rolled. We are going to get sucked in by candidates like Huckabee, who just realized the error of his ways in pardoning a criminal who murdered four Seattle police officers; Romney, who is a perfect reflection of whatever is going on in the body politic; and Gingrich, who uses every technical buzzword to convince people he is some kind of new idea machine.

Yet each, when the winds came in from the west, was quite different. Moderate, perhaps? Or nonpartisan? Or just a reflection of what they thought might get them elected.

Critical thinking demands that we remember these people in their milieu -- what were they in different times? When times were liberal, they were, well, less conservative. When the press said people demanded less partisanship, Newt and Hillary traveled and spoke together, almost holding hands.

It is time we realize that there are "movement conservatives" and there are opportunistic conservatives. Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and a host of emerging new candidates are movement conservatives.

What is different about them is they are conservative in their core, not in their clothing. When times get tough for conservatives, nothing changes. So when times get better, they aren't likely to compromise.

People amazingly recall Reagan today as a "great president." Not Bush, not Nixon, just Reagan. Well, let us recall why -- he was the only movement conservative elected in the last fifty years. Reagan was great because he was a movement conservative; he never did anything just to get along or get elected.

The changes needed in America today are not a matter of degree; they are a matter of kind. The entire American mindset must fundamentally change away from democratic socialism and toward individual self-reliance.

That mindset is changing. The political class, however, is not.

The changes needed in America require saying "no" in a big way and being vilified in the press. Our leaders need to be able to stand up to massive left-wing media resistance and not compromise the core. 

This can be done only by a movement conservative.

Repeal ObamaCare, not reduce it. Stop long-term welfare dependency, not alleviate it. Change the tax system so everyone participates, not just reduce top rates. Embrace free enterprise, not just regulate it less. End the dominance of the NEA. Vouchers everywhere, not just in Cleveland. Get rid of the Departments of Energy, Education, and Commerce, and then get started reducing government.

Gingrich, Romney, Rove, and Huckabee are trying to seduce the conservative movement into another dance with a newly found conservatism. If any of their ilk get elected, we will have "socialism, more slowly."

We will lose the greatest opportunity in a political lifetime to change the direction of the country.

Palin, the Tea Party, Bachmann are the real deal.

We must always remember how we got here -- looking at national bankruptcy. It was with "compassionate," "kinder, gentler" modifier conservatives who found conservatism when the wind blew that way.

Jay Valentine was the Field Director for the Jim Buckley for Senate campaign in Connecticut in the 1980s and ran the primary against U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson in the Connecticut 6th District. Johnson was a RINO.

There are "movement conservatives," and there are politicians who change their stripes for every occasion. Right now, the conservative movement is getting rolled by the latter.

Let us remember another day. Health care was all the rage (at least in the press), and leading "conservatives" were leading the third way. Newt Gingrich was working with Hillary Clinton on a more gradual route to universal health care, according to the New York Times and other sources.

"Conservative" Mitt Romney was building the Massachusetts universal health care along "business" principles fresh from saving the Olympics.

Now what? Well, Obama, the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin have lit a fire in the country, and every politician of every stripe has taken notice. And guess what: Newt Gingrich is all about repealing universal health care. Mitt Romney is all about anything other than what happened in Massachusetts.

Another example? Take Karl Rove. We now hear him every week on Fox News talking about the minutiae of how Obama has overreached. His book is titled Courage and Consequence. Again, let us hearken back a few years.

Karl Rove and George Bush gave us Obama and Democratic majorities in both houses. They rolled the conservatives by touting George Bush as a "compassionate conservative." Has anyone forgotten the greatest spending spree until Obama? Has anyone forgotten the prescription drug benefit -- pushed through Congress with muscle foretelling what was later to come from Rahm and Obama? 

What courage? Just look at the consequences -- and conservatives are buying that book?

Remember the "no new taxes" George Bush, sold as the "conservative" successor to President Reagan. One recalls "a kinder, gentler" conservative. Conservatives got rolled again.

Conservatives always get rolled with modifiers.

Well, here we are again. 

We movement conservatives and the Tea Party are about to get rolled. We are going to get sucked in by candidates like Huckabee, who just realized the error of his ways in pardoning a criminal who murdered four Seattle police officers; Romney, who is a perfect reflection of whatever is going on in the body politic; and Gingrich, who uses every technical buzzword to convince people he is some kind of new idea machine.

Yet each, when the winds came in from the west, was quite different. Moderate, perhaps? Or nonpartisan? Or just a reflection of what they thought might get them elected.

Critical thinking demands that we remember these people in their milieu -- what were they in different times? When times were liberal, they were, well, less conservative. When the press said people demanded less partisanship, Newt and Hillary traveled and spoke together, almost holding hands.

It is time we realize that there are "movement conservatives" and there are opportunistic conservatives. Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and a host of emerging new candidates are movement conservatives.

What is different about them is they are conservative in their core, not in their clothing. When times get tough for conservatives, nothing changes. So when times get better, they aren't likely to compromise.

People amazingly recall Reagan today as a "great president." Not Bush, not Nixon, just Reagan. Well, let us recall why -- he was the only movement conservative elected in the last fifty years. Reagan was great because he was a movement conservative; he never did anything just to get along or get elected.

The changes needed in America today are not a matter of degree; they are a matter of kind. The entire American mindset must fundamentally change away from democratic socialism and toward individual self-reliance.

That mindset is changing. The political class, however, is not.

The changes needed in America require saying "no" in a big way and being vilified in the press. Our leaders need to be able to stand up to massive left-wing media resistance and not compromise the core. 

This can be done only by a movement conservative.

Repeal ObamaCare, not reduce it. Stop long-term welfare dependency, not alleviate it. Change the tax system so everyone participates, not just reduce top rates. Embrace free enterprise, not just regulate it less. End the dominance of the NEA. Vouchers everywhere, not just in Cleveland. Get rid of the Departments of Energy, Education, and Commerce, and then get started reducing government.

Gingrich, Romney, Rove, and Huckabee are trying to seduce the conservative movement into another dance with a newly found conservatism. If any of their ilk get elected, we will have "socialism, more slowly."

We will lose the greatest opportunity in a political lifetime to change the direction of the country.

Palin, the Tea Party, Bachmann are the real deal.

We must always remember how we got here -- looking at national bankruptcy. It was with "compassionate," "kinder, gentler" modifier conservatives who found conservatism when the wind blew that way.

Jay Valentine was the Field Director for the Jim Buckley for Senate campaign in Connecticut in the 1980s and ran the primary against U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson in the Connecticut 6th District. Johnson was a RINO.