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Sympathy for the Serious Social Cons

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The news that Greg Abbott will not call a special session on gay marriage should not have been a surprise to anyone. I wouldn’t even call this a “decision” on the governor’s part, really. In addition to the fact that Abbott has never cited gay marriage as the most serious issue facing Texas today, he is clearly a reasonable adult, and would therefore be unlikely to see it as such. Plus, the Lege had plenty of opportunities to pass anti-gay legislation, and declined all of them; that’s not a particularly ambiguous result, or one that seems like an accident.

Still, the news was a serious disappointment to some of Texas’s most ardent social conservatives in Texas, who are still reeling from the 84th Legislature’s total failure to advance this aspect of their agenda. Their dismay is not surprising: considering that both chambers and all major statewide offices are controlled by Republicans, who won the 2014 elections in a landslide, this was a pretty unproductive session from a socially conservative perspective. But looking back at the session, I don’t think socially conservative activists should be surprised. They’re the ones to blame, at least in part. And if they don’t realize that–which many of them clearly don’t–they’re bound to be disappointed again. 

In my assessment, social conservatives were stymied by circumstances this session, specifically guns; the seemingly endless open carry debate absorbed the time and muscle that otherwise might have been allocated to tackling right-wing priorities such as abortion, gay people, or the Texas DREAM Act. They were also thwarted by their usual bogeyman, Joe Straus, and the commitment to tackling real issues like roads and education that he and his affiliates represent. The latter factor is no doubt the one that conservatives will focus on during the next round of primaries; some of the RINOs have already drawn official challenges. The right wing may win a few seats, as they have in previous rounds.

But that approach helps explain how little social conservatives accomplished. The purges marginalize them in two predictable ways.

The first way is straightforward: the characteristics correlated with success in a Republican primary are not the characteristics correlated with success in the Lege. They’re not mutually exclusive, necessarily, but when a primary challenge is inspired by a minor ideological distinction, the pool of available candidates is obviously narrowed, and the vetting process is selectively skewed.

The second way is something that crystallized for me while working on the forthcoming Best and Worst Legislators list: the good social conservatives in the Texas Lege are in a pretty thankless position these days. After twenty years of Republican hegemony, progress has been made on most longstanding legislative goals, at least the ones that fall under the Lege’s purview. The ones that remain are increasingly small and contentious. And yet, as a result of the purge mentality, no difference is too small to merit a primary challenge; that was clear after J.D. Sheffield made a well-informed and heartfelt effort to defend the fetal abnormality exemption in the state’s 20-week abortion ban from Matt Schaefer’s effort to repeal it. The exemption, as Sheffield explained, applies only when a fetal abnormality precludes the baby’s survival; nonetheless, for certain conservatives, he exposed himself as a late-term abortion enthusiast by explaining its inclusion in the ban, which passed in 2013.

As long as this mentality persists, it’s risky for a Republican to weigh in on socially conservative legislation, much less author it, and the prospect of doing so is surely unappealing. The legislators most likely to champion such causes, as a result, are the genuinely extreme ones, and none of those legislators are even remotely effective. Making matters worse is that blowhards of any stripe inevitably cast a shadow over their more serious-minded colleagues, in this case marginalizing legislators who are opposed to gay marriage, for example, but not in the toxic, homophobic way that someone like Steve Hotze wants them to be.

That works out fine for me, since I just want the Lege to focus on the budget. But socially conservative Texans would probably disagree. And if they’re disappointed by the results of this session, they should consider their own role in the outcome, or they’re bound to be disappointed again. 

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  • WUSRPH

    Good column….Government is just not comfortable (or really able) to deal with these kinds of emotional “social”, or some would say, “moral” issues. When it does, it overdoes it…see Prohibition and Abortion. It functions best when the issue is concrete and something that you can really do something about by spending money.

    Part of the process is trying to find a solution that can get the necessary votes to pass and that is virtually impossible when one side considers their issue so sacred that any compromise is considered evil. And that is the case even when the constitutionally of what they want to do is clearly doubtful as it was with the anti-gay marriage bill.

    Straus is already being blamed, but that overlooks the fact that Lt. Gov. Patrick was unable to pass either the Dream Act repeal or the anti-sanctuary cities bills through the chamber over which he presides. There were what these people term “RINOS” in both chambers and the ones in the Senate had the biggest impact on at least these cases. There are already rumors that one of them, Sen. Eltife, will not seek re-election. At least two House members are talking about making that race, but it is not clear whether they will run against him if he were to choose to seek another term. It is probably a good illustration of how bad things can get when you have to deal with these “purists” that when he declined to support a couple of their issues people were already talking about the likelihood that he had decided not to run again.

    P.S. Can we hope he makes the “best”? He may not meet the Burka’s old definition of someone who knows how to use the system to get things done…but at least he knows how to use it to keep some things from being done..And, in many cases, that is more important.

  • WUSRPH

    SIX DAYS. Let’s make it 60 days, then 600 days and then FOREVER!

    • I’m loving it, as long as dems aren’t attacking anyone’s free speech then everyone is happy, happy happy.
      Lets make everyday a free speech day.

  • Fine, that makes the fight just about growing government or smaller government. That makes the lines clearer. One either stands for one or the other.
    If we take that approach next budgeting session that keeps social issues from muddying the waters. Then when we cut the size of the budget, the social issues dems use as wedge issues will disappear. Great approach.

    • enp

      “One either stands for one or the other”: Seems to me that you are missing one of the messages of this column. An all-or-nothing approach to any subject can quickly paint you into an ideological corner which is guaranteed to create frustration. Even with smaller/bigger government. Isn’t spending more on roads and troopers a sign of bigger government?

      In the real world (i.e. not the statehouse), people find middle ground every day. Very few things are all-or-nothing. That’s how we get through life successfully.

      • Yes that is almost true, “in the real world, rational people find middle ground every day.”
        “Isn’t spending more on roads and troopers a sign of bigger government?”
        It could be or we could take a conservative look at spending and cut across the board 25%. If we determine that it was too much then we can adjust upward. Right now we are funding a bloated state government.
        What agency is efficient with over 20 state sanctioned holidays?
        http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/state_holidays.html

        How many businesses do you know that gives 20 holidays? None.
        How many businesses do you know is only open 180 days a year?

        “The CBO study shows that federal employees earned an average 16% more in total compensation, meaning pay and benefits, versus workers at private companies.”
        http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2012/01/31/government-workers-earns-more-than-private-sector/

        If government employees get more pay/better benefits and are used to spy on/harass citizens, why shouldn’t it be right sized?

        I suspect “compromise” has gotten us where we are today.

  • José

    Welcome back, Erica.
    How would you define “a good social conservative”? Is that still someone who wants to impose their strict social values on the populace as a whole? The one example who you mention, Sheffield, would better be described as a social conservative who is just not as extreme as many. Or is “a good social conservative” merely someone who understands that there are other important issues that the government needs to address?

    • Erica Grieder

      Hey, thanks.

      I would define a “good” social conservative the same as I would define a “good” anything else–acting in good faith, with integrity and respect for the process & their colleagues. In general, I think society is better equipped to influence personal morality & behavior than government, so I rarely agree with social conservatives when they’re trying to advance specific values via the government (same goes for social liberals, for that matter, although in Texas they’re more often trying to undo socially conservative laws than impose their own ones). I don’t resent them trying, though, unless they’re gumming up the process or being pointlessly contentious. And in some cases they’re motivated by values that are common across society (for example, a lot of efforts at payday lending reform this session came from Christian conservatives, specifically Baptists).

      • WUSRPH

        The Baptist lobbying effort, the Christian Life Commission, has always been more Christian progressive than many Baptists–except on liquor and gambling–as far back as I can remember and that is the late 60s. That gets them in trouble with the SB Convention every few years. The late Phil Strickland was always pushing for that “do gooder” stuff……(Note the “r”…..no relation to the “r-less”.)

      • José

        I’m confused. It seems to me that “trying to advance specific values via the government” is sort of the definition of a political bloc. If that’s what you find least admirable about the social conservatives, then apparently the only time that they are “good” is when they aren’t acting like social conservatives!

        It’s good to know that at least some Southern Baptists lobbyists are working to protect the public against the predatory payday lending industry. And perhaps they also speak out on other social issues like human trafficking or government sponsored gambling. But that’s not really a defining characteristic of social conservatives. After all, my church actively pushes for the same reforms and we are hardly considered conservatives.

        On a completely separate topic, does TM plan to live blog the upcoming Jade Helm 15 exercises? If so will the reporters be embedded with the secret UN troops or will they be stationed at various Walmart locations around Hostile Territory Texas?

        • WUSRPH

          What then is you idea of the “defining characteristic”….Mine would be attempting to use the power of government to impose their religious or ethical beliefs on all others.

          As to Jade Helm….maybe Erica can catch a ride with the State Guard troopers who, under Abbott’s letter, will probably be following the FEDERAL TROOPS where ever they go in order to send out the warning when the Feds start their nefarious actions.

          • José

            In the context of politics then I would agree with that definition. And perhaps the term applies only within the political realm. Otherwise it could include folks like the Amish, who follow a very narrow and strict personal lifestyle but who are also content to “live and let live”.

            So if we accept your definition, which I’m happy to do, then I would have trouble identifying anyone who is “a good social conservative”. That’s because anything that I would agree with them regarding social policy probably wouldn’t truly be conservatism. Examples mentioned previously. And the issues that we normally associate with social conservation are, in my way of thinking, inherently not good. Things like opposing reproductive rights, opposing marriage equality, using government to impose certain religious practices. Whenever the government restricts personal freedom there needs to be a danged good reason for it, some justification beyond religious belief alone.

          • WUSRPH

            Good response…..I think Ercia’s definition had more to do with how they go about pressing for their causes, rather than the causes themselves.

            The next question is “who is a ‘good social liberal”? Would it be, as Erica suggested as the usual situation these days, someone who is trying to keep the social conservatives from achieving their goals?

            But does that make a “bad social liberal” someone who does it in a non-constructive manner? Or, would it be someone who is trying to force social conservatives to accept his beliefs and making them the law. This is where it gets tricky since a social liberal might be attempting to insure that public occupancy laws are enforced on people who do not wish to associate with one group or another. You (and I) might think that was a desirable goal; Social conservatives might not.

            This whole subject is very difficult since it all boils down to the right (and sometimes) the duty of a person to attempt to see that society does the right or moral thing…but we differ on what that might be.

            Can a person, for example, who truly believes that abortion is murder stand by and allow it to happen? Can that person adopt the viewpoint that the SCOTUS has spoken so there is nothing else to be done?

            Similarly, can a person who believes that the death penalty is morally wrong, just stand by and say: Well it is the law?

            Of course NOT. Both are morally and/or ethically obliged to do all that they can to change the situation…..and it is that obligation that injects what we call “social issues” into politics.

          • José

            As a practice I prefer to avoid using political labels. Seems that they are often the consequence of lazy thinking or intentional mischief. If someone uses a label but can’t–or won’t–translate it into specific policy positions that we can discuss transparently then clearly the label has no good purpose.

            “Social conservative” is the exception. This term that is useful for two reasons. It is pretty well defined by a set of distinct positions on a few key issues, and it is generally and consistently accepted in a same way by all parties. I don’t think you can do the same with “social liberal”. I can’t.

          • WUSRPH

            You are probably right…There are degrees of social conservatives, but they have a fairly well identifiable core set of beliefs….while those who some would consider “social liberals” represent a much wider range of issues…at least it looks that way to me.

          • “.Mine would be attempting to use the power of government to impose their religious or ethical beliefs on all others.”
            liberals are more likely to use government regulations to control behavior….by a wide margin. So why can’t social conservatives do the same?
            OIC….

  • Democrats ask what is a social conservative?
    Well it isn’t Sen Judith Zaffirini.

    Sen Zaffirini touted as the best legislator by TM in 2011, is skillfully extracting a $150 million from a mentally incompetent woman.
    “The Zaffirinis already have control over Delfina Alexander’s estate and a trust she set up in her will, and they claim to have power of attorney over Josefina Gonzalez, although Gonzalez’s bank won’t let them touch her accounts, according to court records, as the papers were signed shortly before she was declared mentally incompetent.”

    http://watchdog.org/120687/senator-wrestles-heirs-nine-figure-texas-fortune/

    That is called legally looting and is the exact opposite of what a social conservative is. Hint one has a value system and one doesn’t. Social conservative will know the answer and most if not all democrats won’t.

    A true social conservative will respect their elders and protect the innocent not exploit them.

  • WUSRPH

    Tyler paper has Sen. Eltife saying he will NOT seek re-election. Another casualty of the purists? Or a man who has just had enough? Sometimes I hate it when a prediction I made comes true…same as with the Van du Putt loss.

    David Simpson has confirmed he will run….Wonder if he can raise the money? Being a Libertarian is not the same as a social conservative and there will be others with access to more bucks. I suspect he would be just as “out of place” in the Senate as he has never really fit the definition of a TPer.

    • Unwound

      VDP ran a terrible campaign and deserved to lose this one

      • WUSRPH

        That is what I thought from what little I could discern on my trips in and out of San Antonio every few days for the past month. Attacks on Taylor and her husband, but little or nothing about why she should be elected. Perhaps with no background in city issues she could not come up with much of a reason to vote FOR her other than she was Leticia. Sorry to see an otherwise distinguished career probably come to a end in this manner.

        • don76550

          An under the radar issue that hurt her was her contempt for gun owners. Went to a San Antonio gun show a week before the election and gun rights supporters were campaigning against her. Glad to see her career ended, she was unfit for any office.

        • Unwound

          On a related note, Battleground deleted all of their posts congratulating ivy taylor as mayor.

          what a disaster as an organization.

  • Beerman

    The Texas Legislature has become a place where compromise, and putting out fresh ideas, is dangerous to the special interests and agenda of political candidates. Independents, like myself, feel frustrated and politically homeless when faced with the two parties today. It has become a world of radical ideology and reactionary nut-cases.

    As I have said on this blog before, we need a Main Street, middle class revolt against special interests on the far right and far left.

    • Ike did that with his “middle of the road” policy, it only opened the door for the radical left. Time to close the door.

    • WUSRPH

      And just what issues will that “Main Street, middle class revolt” raise that are not already being raised? How will it present them? And where is it going to get the money and resources to make its message heard? It seems there has been a lot of talk about this, but little action. If you do not like he way the GOP or the Democratic Party are going…there is a much easier way to do something about it—VOTE, contribute money and labor, attend conventions, make your voice heard….Being an “independent” denies you that chance to change things and makes your desires only whispers in the wind.

      P.S. Please define “radically ideology” and “reactionary nut-cases”. What issue are the Democrats or Republicans raising that fit those definitions? Make clear just where you think both have gone wrong.

    • WUSRPH

      Come on Beerman…I am really interested in how you think anyone (you or others) is going to be able to bring about the “Main Street, middle class revolt” as “Independents”, especially since Independents do not get to participate in the selection of the folks on the General Election ballot. You have no say in who they are, only the right to ratify or reject one of the major parties’ choices.

      • Beerman

        WUSRPH, Sorry for the delay in responding to your thoughts. I have been traveling and it has been difficult to answer my emails.

        First, let me thank you for the civic lesson update on political parties and voting. The 33% voter turnout in the last Texas election certainly strengthens your point about the importance of voting.

        I may have used the term “Independent” as a misnomer because I am not a member of any “Independent” political party, if one exists today. Politically, I guess that I am in “no-man’s land” as for as political parties go because I am a fiscally responsible and socially compassionate thinker. Fiscally responsible being that I believe in the 51-50 basic lesson of economics meaning that you can’t spend 51 if you make 50. Socially responsible being that I believe that a society as prosperous as ours should figure out how nobody gets left too far behind. I was a very active Democrat in the 70’s-80’s, and a firm supporter of the Republican Party in the 90’s and early 2000’s. And, I did not leave either party, the 2 parties left me.

        Also, I am not an accomplished “word-smith” such as you are, and a clear definition of “radical ideology” and “reactionary nut-cases” is very difficult for me to put in writing. So, my simple response is as follows:
        -Tea Party Cult. -LGBT movement. -Evangelical political movement. -Immigration policy farce. -Campus Carry. -Demonizing Police to justify criminal actions by miniorities. -purity enforcement. -trickle-down economics. -Community Activists using racial unrest to enrich themselves. -Elected officials receiving State Pensions. -Union Leaders enriching themselves on the backs of workers. -Davis/Van de Putte. -Patrick/Cruz. -Boehner/Pelosi. -Fox News/MSNBC News. -Social Media brainwashing………Hopefully, you get the drift of my discontent and rebellion?

        I firmly believe that the apocalyptic world-view of many of these movements and characters are dangerous to our democracy. Realistic business people and people of moderate political beliefs are tired of the hard-line rhetoric being preached by both political parties. And, hopefully over time, a movement will form to combat the problems, and one of the political parties will rise to the needed leadership role, and needed compromise, for change. It may not be in your and/or my lifetime, but it will happen, and the middle-class requiring personal responsibility will be deeply involved. Losers of rigged games will become very angry and a political backlash will generate the change.

        No matter which political party that we do or do not belong to, American Common Sense will prevail. History shows that whenever we have faced a palpable crisis, a depression/recession, wars, threats to our civil liberties, we eventually have put partisan politics and abstract ideology aside and have gotten on with what needed to be done. America always rises to the occasion.

        • WUSRPH

          Sounds like you might agree with George Washington’s views on political parties and partisanship.

          http://www.johnwoodall.net/2011/01/20/part-6-george-washington-partisanship-is-the-countrys-worst-enemy/#axzz3dAgFBX75

          • Beerman

            Thanks for the George Washington info and the interesting website. That Wahingtom fellow was quite a “word-smith.”

            Independent public opinion can/should be a referee for partisan politics!

          • José

            He sounds like wunna them lib’rul types.

          • WUSRPH

            More like one of those hopeless “independents” who think they can accomplish things outside an organized structure…And in politics, that means a “party”. (On the local level it means “an organization” which is the term GOPers used to use to refer to their groupings or a “machine” which is what they used to call Democratic organizations.)

          • Beerman

            WUSRPH, Which “party”, “organization”, “machine” is addressing the real problems with action to fix our broken tax code, our dilapidated infrastructure, entitlement programs, national deficit, a greedy healthcare system, subpar education system, regulatory problems in financial markets, income inequality and immigration? In fact, all we are getting/hearing from both major parties (republicans & democrats) is rhetoric and details to follow soon….what a bunch of bull-manure….is our two party system in trouble?

          • WUSRPH

            Neither party is DOING much about the problems you cite because of the current deadlock in Congress. However, if you look at their party platforms—the formal statements of what they want to do and how they want to do it—I think you will find that the Democratic Party OFFERS MORE of the kinds of solutions you favor than the other guys. However, I admit that, while it is nice to be able to say that, it would be much nicer if they were able to enact some of those proposals.

            The sad fact is that we are at one of those points in our history where the system is locked. It was designed to be difficult to make major changes, but the idea was that somehow it would muddle thru until solutions to our problems were achieved.

            A “locked” system–by which I mean one that is unable to solve the great problems facing it– is not unknown in our history. We had similar situations in the past where the system seemed unable to deal with its problems, but the combination of the right man at the right time broke it open again and allowed necessary changes to be made. One of those times was 1860 when Lincoln led the nation thru its greatest challenge. Another was the first years of the 19th Century when Teddy Roosevelt emerged to make us face many of our problems. Another was 1932 when his fifth cousin Franklin was elected to finish what Teddy had begun and then we had LBJ in the 1960s. Based on that pattern, I have hope for the future….I just wish it would get here sooner.

          • Beerman

            America always rises to the occasion…..

          • WUSRPH

            Many of Washington’s statements were written by others for him…often Alexander Hamilton.

            James Madison, as one of the founders of our first political parties, disagreed with Washington.

            “In all political societies, different interests and parties arise out of the nature of things, and the great art of politicians lies in making them checks and balances to each other.”

            James Madison

  • It’s me again, trying to post

    Maybe our G was confused between Gay and Gala? 🙂

  • WUSRPH

    We made it to (and soon thru) seven days without any of us responding to the Troll. Let us keep going. I know it is hard to ignore him sometimes….especially when he says something that is so-so-wrong….but we all know that, if we do respond, he will just unleash another barrage of sexual and other insults that he thinks are clever responses. Don’t give him an excuse. At the same time, do not hesitate to comment on anything anybody else says. You can even attack me as long as you do it as an intelligent adult which obviously does not include the Troll.

    • Another free speech day brought to this blog by me. Dems will not let this continue…..look for the unsolicited attacks to begin in 5…..4……3……

  • don76550

    Each election some of Straus’ liberal sycophants are defeated. In my district one of his RINOs quit and opposition to Straus will be an election issue. You can’t keep having your minions defeated and not eventually lose.

    • WUSRPH

      Since he got all but 19 votes this time….and you have been able beat only one or two of his voters each election, I figure he has another 25 or 30 years in office until you get enough votes to defeat him. But keep trying. That is, after all, the American way.

      • don76550

        Thje way the rules are, it would only take a few more republican vote to knock him out. I believe last time 22 votes from republicans would have done it.

        • WUSRPH

          Sorry but it takes 76 votes to be elected the speaker…..You idea would only work if the GOP caucus voted to all vote for the caucus’ candidate and somehow the anti-Straus man would have gotten at least 48 votes in the 95-member caucus. This has been suggested, but never adopted. It would take 48 votes in the caucus to make that change. So 22 votes would not have done it; UNLESS you mean had the Democrats put up a candidate and 22 GOPers voted with their 53 members to elect a Democratic speaker.

          • don76550

            That is correct, but 22 votes would have denied those 76 votes. The Straus would have been eliminated and other names up for a vote.

          • WUSRPH

            How would 22 votes have denied him anything? He still would have had 75 GOP votes and could certainly have picked up at least one Democratic vote. (In fact, he got them all.) In addition, he would not have been eliminated from the contest UNLESS someone got more than his 75…and that is not possible. There would just be a second ballot between Straus and whoever ran second. The FACT is that you are going to have to find some way to put 76 votes together and, to date, no one running against Straus has been able to do that; nor are they likely to be able to do so in 2017 or for some years thereafter. You are just going to have to learn to live with him….and why is that so bad when EVEN Jonathan Stickland says the session was a success for conservatives?

    • John Johnson

      With all due respect, Don…you are the RINO. You resemble the epitome of Republicanism, Ronald Reagan, in no shape, form or fashion. Suggest you guys go find a new name and leave Reagan’s alone. You guys remind me nothing of him.

  • John Johnson

    I am still convinced that the vast majority of Texans are “moderate”, and made up of moderately conservative Repub’s, independents, and moderately liberal Dem’s.

    The TP’ers appear strong and the “moderates” weak because the TP is able to get their base fired up, vocal and involved over red meat issues that others consider secondary in the big scheme of things…namely open carry, red light cameras, gay marriage and abortion.

    Like the insignificant Texas Dem’s, who don’t win anymore because they won’t get off their butts and vote, the moderate Repub’s are facing a similar challenge. Get energized and actively and monetarily support your favorite moderate candidate or they will go down in defeat, or simply retire, as several good legislators have done.

    A large apathetic and passive support base will be whipped by a much smaller fired up and motivated group/team/herd…whatever…every time.

    Those of you who like the Strauss, Geren, Eltife types had best be finding others like them to run, and showing them some love and tangible commitment.

    I would also repeat that your referring to people like Strauss, Erica, as a RINO is wrong. With Reagan as the epitome of Republicanism, how can TP’ers claim the term “Republican” as their own? The term RINO fits people like Stickland much better than it does Strauss. The radicals have simply stolen the moniker “republican” and the passive moderates are allowing it to happen.

    • Blue Dogs

      Yet some of the down-ballot statewide officeholders are Tea Party GOPers such as Patrick, Craddick, etc.,

      • John Johnson

        Moderate voters don’t really care right now. They might vote; they might not. “As long as a Republican is in office, we’ll be OK.” That’s the attitude of most while the radical arm is rallying and railing and blowing smoke out of their noses.

    • Thats one of looking at it JJ, or one could see the political landscape as:

      The left’s base or the liberals are about 24 % of voters(the minority but the loudest)

      The moderates who can be either fiscally conservative or socially conservative but not both and often they are progressive (big government) and they make up about 34% of voters.

      Then we have conservatives who make up about 38% of voters.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/180452/liberals-record-trail-conservatives.aspx

      • John Johnson

        I’ll buy that, JBB. How did O get elected?

        • Beerman

          Oops

        • 1st time we had a lite candidate McCain, and the 2nd time dems took Texas out with the redistricting lawsuits giving the nomination to Romney. Then Romney shot himself in the foot by letting Crowley push him around.

          Media has picked our last 2 rep nominees.

          • John Johnson

            I agree that McCain was a horrible pick. Romney shot himself in the foot with his 47% comment, and the media is never going to give a Repub break…but who would have energized Repub’s enough to win? No one listened to. Got to do better this time.

          • I have no doubt there will be a backlash against the Obama admin’s over reaching, IRS scandals, EPA’s Lisa Jackson’s private email account, Atty Gen Holder’s selective enforcement of laws.
            But the kicker will be when China/Russia publish copies of Hillary’s emails.
            I’m sticking with my Perry/Cruz ticket. With Perry’s charm and Cruz’s intellect this may be the republicans most powerful ticket since Reagan/Bush.

          • John Johnson

            As far as blowback issues go, I think you failed to mention several. With regards to Perry/Cruz….damn, I hope not.

          • WUSRPH

            8 days.

          • 8 days of free speech on the Burka Blog. Discussions or taking places, liberals are “wordsmithing furiously” as conservatives annihilate their libertine(liberal views w/o values) arguments.

          • name one Perry?Cruz scandal…ie misuse to IRS to influence elections.

          • John Johnson

            I like it that Cruz is his own man. No pandering that I’ve seen. Perry, on the other hand, is a master chameleon. Just look and listen to him now as compared to 4 years ago. The man is shameless, an opportunist, and a pay-for-play advocate who calls gray areas his playground. Besides that, he is a dunce compared to Cruz. Furthermore, I don’t think Cruz has any respect for Perry. They will never be on a ticket together. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

        • WUSRPH

          He skillfully developed the image of a “new” force that could somehow “bring us all together”…”work with Congress”,…”break the deadlock”….”we can do it”….All the things people wanted to hear without specifics on how to do it. It was one of the best planned campaigns in many, many years. They had read all the polls, all the articles, all the books about what the voters wanted…and they gave it to them. Even those who supported other candidates had to admire their skill….I mean they brought over 300 people to my precinct convention, totally overwhelming the regular 12 to 25 or so.

          • John Johnson

            Yep. He is one of the best liars I have ever witnessed. Tough word; hateful word. I simply don’t have another that fits as well.

          • By bus……hahaha omg.

    • Beerman

      Bingo….

    • WUSRPH

      The basic problem is that “moderates” often come over as fairly dull and unexciting people–not the best candidates to lead a reform movement. It was kind of like comparing (only in the way they looked and talked, not their politics) Fritz Mondale and Ronald Reagan. Fritz looked like the classical Mid-Western Scandinavian insurance agent, business man or, some said, undertaker compared to Reagan’s flair. Just no way he could sell himself with the modern media and the voters who watched it. He was 10 points behind on image alone.

      It got even worse when Mondale said “I will tell you the truth and he (Reagan) will not” and proceeded to do just that when he laid out his ideas on how to balance the budget. He honestly admitted that he would include raising taxes in that package. Reagan, on the other hand, had his “curve” and the image of being able to cut taxes and increase revenues by doing so. Another 10 points behind.

      You may just be asking to much of all those poor “moderates” you think can lead this country out of its present problems.

      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/02/05/142288/reagan-centennial/

      • John Johnson

        I will take another “moderate” like Reagan to lead us out of the abyss. That is what he would be considered today, is it not?

        • WUSRPH

          But where did he lead us? Doubled the debt. Weakend in the Middle East. White House aides convicted of crimes in scheme to totally disregard both his pledge not to deal with terrorists and to wage a private war. More poverty. Jobs moving out of the country. It looked good…but there was really little accomplished. Image not reality.

          http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/02/05/142288/reagan-centennial/

          • John Johnson

            I won’t disagree with any of that, but I don’t know if they are all true to the bone either. All I know is that I felt better back then. I had hope for the future. Not so much right now.

          • WUSRPH

            I may have “felt better” back when I was being raised in a town of under 10,000 population without a single black or Hispanic living within the city limits….but that does not mean it in any way reflected reality. The same applies to the image we have of the world under Reagan.

          • John Johnson

            How can you see the flaws and misconceptions in and of the Reagan administration, yet so ardently defend Obama’s disastrous reign? I know that you are going to try and tell me how wonderful things are now compared to then. Not for me; not for mine.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Disastrous to you, a breath of fresh air to others.

          • WUSRPH

            When did I say things were great now? When did I say President Obama was a great president? I do not think I have ever said either. I have said things are not as bad as you think, that is true. The only really notable achievement of this Administration has been the ACA which has given millions of people a chance for health insurance they never had before. Beyond that not much. Of course, the refusal of the GOP to work with him from Day One has been part of the reason for that…Nor the only reason, but a major one. In fact, some things were better under Reagan because he had a Congress—Republican and Democratic—that was willing to work with him and together to solve problems…..such as the then problem with social security, etc. Obama has not had that. He might have been a better president if he had.

          • and folks there you have it, a dem with his eyes closed holding his nose as he pulls the D lever. He won’t even defend Obama because he can’t.

          • John Johnson

            My contention is that he brought it on himself. Many of the Dem’s in Congress will admit that and are publicly saying so now. O didn’t work with anyone except the loons from Chicago he calls advisors.

          • WUSRPH

            It is kind of hard to work with people who have declared they won’t work with you even before you take office.

            http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/23/the-party-of-no-new-details-on-the-gop-plot-to-obstruct-obama/

          • John Johnson

            That is not the first time pronouncements like that have been made. Besides that, his 1st term, his party ruled the world. We got ACA. Nothing else of substance that I recall.

          • WUSRPH

            Just a little old trillion dollar stimulus package that, according to virtually every unbiased observer, kept the Great Recession from becoming the Great Depression II; reform–maybe not enough–but reform of Wall Street and a few other “minor things” like saving he auto industry and a million jobs or so connected to it..All done without GOP support. You need to let go of your hate and give the man the credit for what he has done…as well as attacking him for what he has not accomplished.

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/browse/

          • John Johnson

            I hate the stimulus package. We should have taken our lumps. We should have suffered the consequences of our actions instead of kicking the can. Banks are now bigger than ever. The legal moves that got us in the mess and should have always been illegal, have never been changed…as promised. The perpetrators were never indicted and tried. Don’t try to feed me a spoonful of carp about the wonders of the bailout. Our children and grandchildren will pay for it …and they will hate us for what we dumped on them.

          • WUSRPH

            They would also have hated us if no action had been taken and our banking system had collapsed (of course, GWB gets the credit for stopping that) or had the slide into Depression not been stopped. You seem oblivious to the impact of a depression on us and the world at large. It is easy to sit back in your chair at the country club after a golf round and say “we should have taken our lumps” when actions by others kept you from having to face the results of your views. You would be screaming quite a different tale had the President and the Democratic Congress not acted.

          • John Johnson

            No, sir, I would hope that I would have responded much like my grandparents did to a Great Depression and prayed that we had the right person in office to guide us through it. Take your lumps; pay the piper; let the weak go under; punish the guilty; study the cause and make changes to see that it does not happen again. No doubt that lives would be ruined and many would be starting over. What is it about this concept that you do not understand? You have proscribed to wacko economic plans for decades that all amount to can kicking in order to maintain a false sense of well being. Everyone in government has. The lot of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

          • WUSRPH

            Ashamed of not letting millions starve, go homeless and die without care? No we are not ashamed of that. And the “right person in office to guide us through it” did all those things you decry. But even then it took a WORLD WAR to get us out totally out of the depression you so lightly accept. Survival of the fittest—-Social Darwinism at its worst. How cold. How callus. How easy it is to proclaim “let the weak go under” without realizing that that probably included you…With that attitude, please do not call yourself a Christian ever again.

          • John Johnson

            You are going to try and make pay as you go, pay for your sins, punish the guilty, do the best you can with what you’ve got proponents like me into the bad guys? Only a professional can kicker could do that. “Send the misery on to the ones whose eyes I won’t have to look into…the sick and the scared and the starving. Better that generations to follow handle the mess. I can hold my head high, eat my steak and tell everyone I had something to do with saving my generation’s ass. I just won’t admit that it will be at the expense of those who follow.” I think my position shows true altruism, while yours shows the height of selfishness. This attitude of yours permeated government decades ago. You were infected with it…yet you deny that there is anything wrong. Denial is simply another facet of this insidious disease.

          • WUSRPH

            “Send the misery on to the ones whose eyes I won’t have to look into…the sick and the scared and the starving.” Out of sight. Out of mind. I pity you for your lack of humanity and Christian charity. “Charity is the greatest of these.”

            I have never said, nor believed, that everything was done right or that there were not better ways to do some of the things that were required to preserve and advance a decent—Christianlike—society. Nor have I advocated doing nothing. But your selfishness and your total disregard for the condition of your fellow man is more than detestable. At least we have tried. You have only pontificated about letting disaster fall upon us as if it was something to look forward to.

          • John Johnson

            Taking warranted blows right alongside everyone else is my position. Choosing to defer the ones you have coming onto someone else would seem to be yours…and somehow, you consider yours the moral road that should be followed.

          • WUSRPH
          • John Johnson

            These two investigations and related fines have absolutely nothing to do with the bailout and the root causes of our financial meltdown. As far as I know, the promised changes to hedging, derivatives and bundling practices never came to pass, and everyone acknowledges that the banks that were supposed to never be allowed to grow that big and powerful again, are now bigger than ever.

        • WUSRPH

          Here are the real numbers. You will note that the country is becoming MORE LIBERAL, not more conservative.

          PRINCETON, N.J. — Conservatives continued to outnumber moderates and liberals in the U.S. population in 2014, as they have since 2009. However, their 14-percentage-point edge over liberals last year, 38% vs. 24%, is the smallest in Gallup’s trends since 1992. The percentage of U.S. adults identifying themselves as politically conservative in 2014 was unchanged from 2013, as was the percentage of moderates, at 34%, while the percentage considering themselves liberal rose a percentage point for the third straight year.

          • I posted that previously on this thread, stop stealing my material.
            All you can do is swipe my material and spin

          • Another Wilco Voter

            I think another indicator of the direction the country is going is the number of those who are identifying as religious “nones.” http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

            While I was never a member of the TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party, I was sympathetic to their concern about the economy, debt, etc. However, it seems to have been completely taken over by Evangelicals preaching against gay marriage, abortion, and illegal immigration. All of which is apparently “turning off” younger generations who are identifying as “nones.” I’m not sure where all this will leave the country but it certainly seems that it will have a long-term effect.

          • Another Wilco Voter
      • José

        Another example of politicians being punished for pragmatic moderation– George H W Bush. As President he did the right thing for the country by accepting a modest tax increase. The economy did just fine, great over the next few years, but his party turned against him.

        • WUSRPH

          They just did not understand what he said. They thought he said: “Read my lips. No new taxes” but what he really said was “Read my lips. No Gnu taxes.” A man who had the courage to recognize that conditions had changed and action was required…but who paid for it. That is political heroism. Too bad there is not more of it.

  • WUSRPH

    Time for an exciting new thread. How about one on the fiscal “hole” the legislature has been creating for itself ever since 2005 and how this session made it even deeper? We can launch off that into all kinds of “trickle down”, size of govt., what services should it provide, how should it do it and all those kinds of issues.

  • Jim

    This article misses an important point: those who are strong social conservatives are most often also strong fiscal conservatives. All of the key names that are fiscally conservative (Stickland, Schaefer, Rinaldi, Hughes, Simpson, Turner, etc) are also the strongest social conservatives (with the exception of Simpson on the marijuana issue). All of the names that are criticized for holding back social conservative legislation are also criticized for being too fiscally liberal (Strauss, Cook, Sheffield, etc).

    Therefore, the entire crux of your argument is wrong. It is not that the social conservatives are marginalized, but that leadership is composed of the liberal Republicans who block whatever conservative legislation that they can get away with.

    • WUSRPH

      I think you and Erica probably have a very different view of what constitutes “a fiscal conservative”….Based on the people you cite, to you it probably means people who refuse to face up to the demands placed on government by society and the need to fund them. Others, myself included, would say a fiscal conservative is one who accepts the reality of the demand but insists that it be meet in the most efficient manner possible at the least possible cost. We also see fiscal conservatives as people who believe in “pay as you go” and not debt financing–ala Texas during the Perry period when the state debt was more than doubled…..and are willing to step up and be counted when, if after all economies have been made, additional revenues are needed. Such people—represented by Straus and the majority of the House–refused to go along with the kinds of fiscal games that Dan Patrick, another one of your kind of fiscal conservatives, tried to play with the state spending limit. Instead, they said that, if we are going to cut state revenues—as they did—we also have to accept that it will affect our future spending plans.

      P.S. Considering that Straus got the votes of all but 19 of the 97 Republicans in the Texas House it suggests that he is not that out of line with the majority of his party. You are just going to have to learn to live with him….and why is that so bad when EVEN Jonathan Stickland says the session was a success for conservatives?

      • WUSRPH

        Whenever I hear people talk about “liberal” Republicans (which I once was), I think of the old joke about the role Liberal Republicans played in the GOP—that was to “follow the conservatives into battle to shoot the wounded.”

      • Jim

        I don’t think that you as a liberal get to decide what is meant by conservative. Certainly, we can all recognize a very basic continuum of liberal-conservative that has Stickland on the far right with the other 18 anti-Strauss votes next to him.

        Debt financing is certainly the antithesis of fiscal conservatism, and that is an indictment on the history of the Republican party as it has cozied up to more debt spending. Sadly, this session $3 billion in debt was added for govt universities. This was not a fiscally conservative session.

        Stickland said that this session was a success because he was able to block a lot of bad bills from becoming law. In other words, we did not move further towards liberalism. However, we failed to move towards conservatism.

        The fact that Straus got support from the majority of the Republican delegation does not indicate that he is “not out of line with the majority of the party.” It indicates that a lot of people voted for him because they found it to be politically expedient.

        • WUSRPH

          If you think I am a liberal in fiscal terms you know little of what I have said or proposed on spending, etc. I am a strict “pay as you go” man who despises the fiscal tricks used by Democrats and Republicans in Texas over the past 30 years (even though I helped develop one or two of them)…..I will admit, however, to being a “social liberal” if by that you mean I believe in the widest possible freedom and opportunity for all Americans and can see a role for government in meeting that goal.

          I also tend to disagree with you as to where Stickland stands on the political spectrum. You would call him “conservative” because he hates government and does not believe it has any roll in most areas of our lives. But that is not a “conservative” position…Conservatives do not, for example, despise the police They support them. Instead it is radical right populist nee Libertarian almost anarchist position far out of line with the beliefs of Barry Goldwater, Bob Taft, William F. Buckley and certainly Edmund Burke who is the father of modern conservatism.

          I also disagree with your description of Stickland’s success. He killed a few minor bills that might have cost a few dollars…But at the rate he is going it will take decades for any amount he has cut to add up to any significant figure.

          It is true that he pushed hard for gun rights–but his “everybody carry” was rejected by BOTH the House and Senate and the issue was carried thru the Legislature by some of the very members you condemn as being not conservative enough.

          More importantly, he and the others on your list, had NO impact on the real major issues of the session—tax cuts and tax relief or highway funding for example. In fact, he again wound up voting for the proposals drafted by those very members you call liberals in the GOP.

          His constant questioning and challenges definitely made him an an irritant but they also accomplished little beyond making him (and the causes he promoted) persona non grata to the great majority of his colleagues be they conservatives, TPers, moderates or liberals. In short, he is far from the kind of representative who will be able to make the changes you want.

    • José

      So, about this term “fiscal conservatives”.

      When people campaign as fiscal conservatives they often brag about how they’re going to keep a balanced budget by shrinking government and cutting taxes. At the national level, those who get elected usually cut taxes but don’t have the discipline or backbone to cut spending, resulting in deficits. See: Reagan, GWBush. Those who put a priority on balancing the budget by increasing revenues, well, they typically don’t get elected. They are the ones that I consider true fiscal conservatives. And then you have guys like Sam Brownback and his amazing Kansas Miracle. He wanted to prove what happens when you actually follow through on this slash spending and taxes agenda, and by golly he did! It trickled down all over him.

      So what do YOU mean by fiscal conservatism?

      • Jim

        A true fiscal conservative is rare. This is a person who not only holds down the tax rates, but also tries to cut spending in various ways. Reagan and Bush failed in that they never did the cutting, and Bush even promoted massive increases in spending in both war and domestic spending. Brownback is similar in that he tried to cut taxes to spur the economy but did not have significant spending cuts. Brownback’s policies failed because they were not true conservative policies but liberal spending policies with tax cuts that cannot spur the economy alone. There is a great confusion today where many think that trickle down economics is simply tax cuts for the rich, but the true principle is based upon spending cuts. The names I mentioned above are true fiscal conservatives because they insist on actually cutting govt spending. Stickland is famous for blocking bills because they would increase spending by very small amounts that the authors deemed insignificant, but as a fiscal conservative, he understands that every penny counts.

        • Beerman

          I believe that it was the “conservative of all conservatives” Dick Cheney, while he was VP, that scoffed that “deficits don’t matter.”

          • WUSRPH

            But he obviously wasn’t a “fiscal conservative” either.

        • José

          Reagan, Bush, Brownback. How many strikes do y’all need, anyway? I don’t know how many more experiments in trickle down economics we can afford. I can’t tell you how bitter I am at Reagan for putting my kids in this horrendous hole and then shrugging his shoulders and smiling as he walked off.

          If none of those gentlemen could spin straw into gold like they say that they would then it leads us to one of two conclusions. One is that the only way it’s going to work is to be so pure, so ideal, that it’s not politically feasible. The other is that the whole idea is fatally flawed. I’m going with answer B.

          • Jim

            Like I said, those 3 did not use conservative principles as they failed to cut the government spending. If we get a true conservative in to cut spending, the results will be much better. You are painting a strawman to discredit conservatism.

          • WUSRPH

            Cut what? Why? What happens to those who rely on the program?
            Let’s be more specific about what you want “fiscal conservatives” to do in a state with a growing population and growing demands for the services and protections provided by government. It is easy to talk about “cutting waste, fraud, corruption, unnecessary services and duplication” but hard to be specific. After all, your “waste, fraud, unnec…” is someone else’s “vital necessity”.

            P.S. Those “too fiscal liberal” folks in the House produced a budget that was smaller than the Senate’s and advocated (and passed) more tax cuts and tax relief than the Senate and, in the end, produced a budget that grew by the smallest percentage in many, many years and which Stickland, Hughes. Rinaldi, Schaeffer and Turner ALL VOTED FOR. Only Simpson on your list of “fiscal conservatives” lived up to that title by your own standard. (House RV 1663)

          • Jim

            That entire comment was assuming the validity of liberal ideology and then forcing those thoughts onto what conservatives should do. Conservatives need to throw out all of the liberalism that you are espousing because we understand it to be harmful to the very people that it purports to help. Medicaid hurts the poor even though it is designed to help them. Medicaid should be eliminated.

            The House budget was “smaller” than the Senate’s but that is only because the Senate budget included the cost of paying more for schools as the property taxes were cut. It may have been “smaller” but that does not make it more fiscally conservative.

            I was shocked to see many strong conservatives vote for the budget. It may have been a tactical move after conservatives criticized the budget 2 years ago, but I do not agree with it. I’m sure that the men I mentioned would have much preferred a smaller budget, but they made choices to vote for what they determined was the best they could get.

            It is interesting that the rallying cry of conservatives who support this budget is that is is the smallest INCREASE in recent years. It is still an increase, and a conservative should be fighting for a decrease not a smaller increase (and yes, I understand that population and inflation are factors).

          • WUSRPH

            So they ignored their principles—their core beliefs–for political gain, to go along to get along or because “it was the best they can get”….At least Simpson had the courage to say: “No, this is wrong. I can not accept it.” To bad the others watered down their beliefs and “went along”. Truly men of their beliefs.

            P.S. Medicaid is not perfect, far from it…but is better than no care.

          • José

            Looking back over your comments, Jim, your only definition of fiscal conservatism is to cut spending. Is there any limit, or should we assume that this continues forever or it’s not true conservatism?

            This is a serious question. Obviously I think that you have some kind of lower limit in mind, some point where even you would say that further cuts would be detrimental to the health of outer country. The funny thing is that pretty much all of us are alike that way, that there is a right size for the government. We just don’t always agree on that number.

            If you don’t mind, sir, where would you draw the line? When would you stop cutting? Based on what you said before I would expect that you would junk anything that smacks of a social safety net. What else? What would you keep?

          • WUSRPH

            Some self proclaimed “fiscal conservatives” used to say the only function of the federal govt. was to protect us from invasion and deliver the mail. But they dropped the mail delivery some years ago. Virtually everything else was supposed to be left to the states but Jim seems to think even they have gone too far.

            Ayn Rand, the goddess of every right wing college sophomore and sophomoric mind, proclaimed that “the only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from others.”

            I suspect that Jim is somewhere in-between the two definitions but, to date, has yet to really think thru his ultimate goal for a “conservative government.” But that’s okay since, at the rate of progress being achieved by those he identifies to be the “fiscal conservatives” in the House, he will have many years to think about it before state government gets anywhere near as small as he thinks he wants it to wind up.

          • José

            I suspect that you’re correct about Jim. (Jim, please reply and let us know for sure where you stand, not just relative to the status quo but on an absolute measure.)

            The problem with that Randian definition is that it doesn’t jibe with the actions and beliefs of the founders in their day. Furthermore, if those gents were transplanted to the here and now, I expect that eventually they would be rather comfortable with the scope of government today. Our situation here in the 21st century isn’t the same as what they faced more than 200 years ago. The challenges that we have are much different, as are the means that we have to deal with the challenges. It is foolish to say that government shouldn’t do something today merely because it was impossible or impractical back in the 18th century.

          • Jim

            I do agree with Ayn Rand on the limits and role for govt. I aim for an end to taxation with user fees to cover that limited govt. That said, I don’t agree entirely with Ayn’s philosophy, but I do agree on fiscal issues. We are far from that place and maybe 1% of Republicans are ready to cut that much.

          • José

            Obviously there’s not a great deal of agreement but I very much appreciate your willingness to reply patiently and explain your beliefs.

          • WUSRPH

            That is a lot less government than the Founders apparently intended, as described in the powers they gave the government, and in their overall goal, as expressed in the preface: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

          • Jim

            I think that you are grossly misunderstanding what the founders meant.

          • WUSRPH

            Not based on what they said….nor from the long list of powers they gave the Congress and the President.

          • Jim

            They gave the feds a short list of powers. The only thing that the Constitution gives the feds the power to do that is not included in my description of what the govt should do is the USPS. Can you name another?

          • WUSRPH

            What you overlook is that included within the language of Section 8 are a number of clauses—such as the “General Welfare”, “Commerce Doctrine” and the “Necessary and Proper” clauses—which have been held by the Courts to grant to the Congress the authority to take actions and make laws on issues beyond the specific list in Section 8. .These clauses are the foundation of the often cited “implied powers” provided by the Constitution to the federal government which have been the basis for so many laws and regulations adopted by the government.

          • José

            And to amplify this point just a bit, it should be understood that the founders were wise enough to put in this wiggle room intentionally. That is to say that the expanded scope of national government is not the result of exploiting a loophole in the Constitution. Rather it is the natural evolution to meet the needs of society using the tools we have developed and the lessons we have learned over the past 2+ centuries.

          • SocraticGadfly

            We the *People* is absolutely right. Not we the States, contra certain far-righters. So is the rest of that.

          • WUSRPH

            The problem is that many so-called state righists are unable to distinguish the difference between the national government created by the Articles of Confederation and that established by the Constitution.

            The distinction between the old government and the new one established by the Constitution was made apparent to all by the different methods used to ratify the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation and by the different ways the states were to be represented in their legislative bodies.

            Perhaps the most important demonstration of the differences was in just who each cited as being the source of their authority—which both the Articles and the Constitution set forth in the preambles to those documents.

            In the case of the Articles of Confederation, the preamble makes it clear that the agreement represented by the Articles is between the states and based on their authority stating that:

            “We the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names… agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New-hampshire) Massachusetts-bay, Rhode-island and Providence Plantations,Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia in the words following.”

            The Constitution on the other hand proudly declares with its first words:

            “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,
            provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare,
            and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
            do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of
            America.”

            —making it fully evident that the Constitution is not an agreement between existing governmental bodies but rather an agreement between the PEOPLE of the new nation who are its ultimate source of authority.

            The fact that authority represented by the new Constitution is the People and not the existing governments was made even clearer by the fact that the drafters of the new Constitution specifically provided that it was NOT to be adopted by the existing colonial governments. Instead, they provided for its adoption by conventions of elected delegates in each colony outside the structure of the existing governments and who were not to be representatives of the state but instead were to represent the people of the state.

            NO EXISTING state government ratified the Constitution. It was ratified by the PEOPLE, unlike the Articles of Confederation which were an agreement between governments.

            Another major way the two documents demonstrate the difference between their structures is the way each state was represented in their legislative arms. Both provided that the number of delegates from each state could vary based on the relative size of their populations; but they completely differed in the way those delegations voted.

            Under the Articles, each state had one vote, no matter how many residents it might have, with its delegation voting AS A STATE; while under the Constitution the voting power of each state—at least in its lower legislative chamber–was different dependent on the population of the state with the larger population states having more votes than their smaller neighbors with each delegate from the state having a separate vote and representing the PEOPLE within a specific area of each state rather than the state as a whole.

            In addition, where the Articles required that a majority of the states(and on major issues 9 of the 13 colonies) had to vote in favor of an issue for it to be adopted, under the Constitution only a majority of the votes of the individual delegates from all the states combined was required (excluding a few issues on which a two-thirds vote was required). This meant that, unlike under the Articles, an issue could be adopted by the new Congress even if a majority of the states opposed it as long as a majority of the total members of the two houses of its legislative arm voted in favor of the measure.

          • SocraticGadfly

            As for the mail? The biggie was Nixon quasi-privatizing it, all of the sole reason of breaking a postal workers’ strike.

          • Indiana Pearl

            He wants the US to be like Somalia. Ain’t no government there . . .

          • José

            You say strawman, I say these are actual breathing examples of what happens when a professed conservative gets into office with the means to implement his agenda. It doesn’t get a lot more real than that. If your ideal of conservatism is achievable only under ideal conditions and is destined for failure otherwise then we might as well toss it aside now because it’s not going to happen. If we want a political and economic system that is great in theory but unworkable then how about socialism? At least everyone will have a job and be well cared for.

          • Jim

            You are not picking conservatives, you are picking moderates. If you want conservatives who have led from a conservative position, then try: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, etc. Our country grew and thrived under their conservative leadership. The problem today is that it is difficult to achieve conservative results when there are so many people who feel entitled to somebody else’s money that they are used to getting. Obtaining true change is difficult, but not impossible. In Texas, conservatives have obtained small victories, but nothing significant (like eliminating medicaid or actually cutting the govt run school funding while forcing the bureaucrats to stop wasting money).

          • José

            You do know that public schools in America, funded by taxation, began in the colonial period well before the USA was founded?
            You do know that the founders of this nation were quite familiar with the concept of government and taxation? They wanted a voice in the process, which they didn’t have but we do.
            I don’t think those are the conservatives that you think they are.

          • WUSRPH

            It also grew and prospered until Bill Clinton and even Barrack Obama. So your point is?

          • Jim

            No, it has not always grown and prospered. You may have heard of the Great Depression which was caused by socialist policies (even though your govt school lied to you and told you differently). You may also have heard of the recent recession that was caused by the socialist policies of Clinton and Bush (see I am equal opportunity–both Ds and Rs are guilty). While Texas is mostly thriving today (by modern standards), the US as a whole is not under Obama today.

            So, my point is that the USA became great due to the conservative policies of its founders, and we can make it great again if we return to conservative policies.

          • WUSRPH

            Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were SOCIALISTS? Boy they really put one over on the actual socialists of the period. But then I always thought that an unregulated stock market and overextension of credit brought it on. Shame on me. It was the socialists all the time….I guess they were the ones running up stock prices (ala Joe Kennedy) and then leaving the rubes holding the worthless paper.

            I must, however, tell you how sorry I am that you will not be able to repeal the 19th and 20th Centuries, as much as you would like to do so.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You must have fallen asleep during civics class.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Don’t forget Jindal, Christie, and Walker. Voodoo economics isn’t working well for them either.

    • John Johnson

      The problem in my estimstion, Jim, is that those you name show up with the social issues front and center with the fiscal issues bringing up the rear with very little forethought or submitted legislation. Talk is cheap.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Speaking of social conservatives, SCOTUS refused to hear Wisconsin’s case to force women seeking abortions to submit to state-sanctioned rape via trans-vaginal probe. Expect the TX law to be re-examined.

    The GOP war on women is building a six-lane highway to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for Hillary Clinton.

    • WUSRPH

      Just as they refused to hear he case on doctor’s instructions the day before. But the problem is that, until they take one of these cases, we are likely to have different standards in different federal circuits. Our 5th Circuit is not likely to change its position on these cases until the SCOTUS forces it to do so.

  • Indiana Pearl

    I agree vis-a-vis the Fifth, but remember that progress evolves over time.

    • WUSRPH

      In the case of the 5th that will require the departure of Ms. Jones and a bunch of new appointments by a Democratic president…Neither of which is likely in the near future.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Hillary outpolls all the GOP. She’s not my best choice, but she beats the loonies on the right hands down.

        SCOTUS decisions coming soon to make the Repubs squeal in pain.

  • WestTexan70

    How about sympathy for those of us who have to live among these lunatics?