Monday, February 21, 2011

The Rise of the Free Market Fiscal Cons

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I've long considered myself a devout fiscal conservative but a libertarian-conservative on social issues. In my purview, elections should be decided on tax rates, spending cuts and deficits not abortion, gay marriage or racial quotas. The social conservatives have held sway in the GOP for decades and wouldn't think of saying anything that would upset Christian groups going as far back as Falwell's Moral Majority.

That's changed and changed for the better as we are seeing a new type of conservative rise out of the ashes of the party. Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Scott Walker and Tom Corbett are now the ones taken seriously by everyone because they generally eschew the social issues argument in deference to the argument that we as a nation are facing a reckoning that has been laid at our feet after a half-century of Democrat and Republican borrowing and spending. The economic situation is not taking a toll only on Southern Baptists or small business owners but on the black, gay and feminist population as well. It's hurting us all equally as bad fiscal policies affect all Americans--not just those who vote for a certain party.

Christie and Walker are out there as the new conservative standard bearers and saying the tough things people want to hear in a crisis situation. They've essentially called the bluff of the liberal hierarchy and note that not only does the king have no clothes but he's going to have to take a loan from China to buy even a towel to cover up.

This new type of right-winger is not the type liberals have been fighting against for years and it scares the hell out of them. The old version was one who would talk of slashing spending and then spend anyway for those they needed to appease for reelection purposes. The old type was the one who would invoke God, get sucked into racial politics and spend half their time arguing about abortion--all the while ignoring the union influence. Not the new type we are seeing emerge. These men and women are baffling the left because they aren't just not talking about the issues that unite the Democratic coalition but going right at the jugular of the liberal body politic: unions and the money they collect and disperse. Never have we seen this in our recent history. Here we have a new breed not only giving lip service to cutting education and state costs but actively attacking the unions that have artificially inflated those costs over the last two decades. That's the reason we are seeing these protests in Wisconsin and the rage being shown.

The New Breed is fighting the war with vigor but also with a new game plan. Just as defense and war-fighting plans changed after WW I, so are they changing now. In WW I, France won yet failed to update and develop new plans to deal with changing technology that was being invented. They figured the Maginot Line was still a viable option going forward. As history notes, the line was easily bypassed and before the Gallic armies knew what was happening, the Germans were sipping tea in Paris (I see this as a much closer analogy of Nazi tactics then the idiotic signs comparing Walker to Hitler). The New Breed got past the union's Maginot Line of social issues that always bogged them down in the past and went right after the capital while they were looking the other way.

"How is this happening" they ask themselves. Just over two years ago we were preparing for the world-changing administration of Barack Obama--a man who was going to finally implement all those liberal policies they've lusted for for 35-years and now we have these interlopers not only voting against it but actively looking to defund the victories we won earlier and expected could never be touched.

We are living in strange days, folks. We've not had a recession last this long since the Great Depression. We've also not had a recession where only Keynesian strategies were used to overcome it. In under three short years, we've gone seen socialist spending policies shown as farce and socialist labor policies come under heavy attack. All the defensive techniques used in the past have simply bounced off as these juggernauts lay waste to the status quo. They used the "he's racist" canard so often it has no effect anymore. The anti-abortion lobby is powerless since someone who's been out of work for two years really doesn't have the time to argue the merits/detriments of late-term abortion. Even the old class warfare standby has been an abject failure from the federal level on down.

They've run out of arrows in their collective quivers and the only recourse available to them is to illegally shut down schools (causing great hardship to parents whose taxes pay their salaries and now have to pay even more of their money to hire babysitters) and march on the state capital. Another bit of collateral damage is their actions will come back to haunt them when deficit reduction talks begin at the national level.

All because of the New Breed.

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