February 9, 2006

George Will: Rhode Island is a Potential Hotbed of Conservatism

Carroll Andrew Morse

WASHINGTON D.C – Well, that’s not precisely what he said. However, George F. Will laid out six ideas in his opening lecture at CPAC that he believes should define conservatism into the future…

  1. Win elections to secure the Federal judiciary.
  2. Prevent a growing dependency on government that creates perverse incentives.
  3. Stop the lawless attack on American success, e.g. Maryland imposing taxes on Walmart to fund a state healhcare program.
  4. Battle the politics of condescension. Trust the American people to be able to choose their own schools, their health care through health-savings accounts, their own retirement plans, etc.
  5. Remember that conservatives will not always control the executive branch of government; don't support unreasonable expansions of government power. Will pointedly used the example that the Congressional authorization to use force in Afghanistan did not change surveillance law regading warrants.
  6. In foreign policy, conservative skepticism about government should extend to a skepticism about our ability to remake turbulent societies
We can relibably say that George Will says represents mainstream conservative thinking. I frequently read and here that Rhode Island is a "liberal" state, so local politicians cannot win here if they identify themselves as conservative. My question is this -- what is there in Will's conservatism that the political establishment feels can never appeal to Rhode Islanders?

Points 2, 3, and 4, in particular, are very relevant to the future of Rhode Island. If these ideas are immediately rejected, where else will alternatives to policies of higher taxes and more spending on ineffective programs be found?

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Rhode Island COULD be a Republican state ... not just meaningfully, but as a majority.

The national Democratic Party of "working families" succumbed to a takeover by neo-Marxists - this started with the anti-war / McGovern movement - and now represents Berkeley, not "Blue Collar."

The state party, in turn, has it's share of neo-Marxists - Rhoda Perry; Teresa Paiva-Weed and other "East Side" liberals - but is mostly dominated by the public-sector unions (not as they like to portray, all unions, but the public-sector unions such as the teachers).

The result is that the General Assembly (a/k/a state Democratic Party) is controlled by two special interest groups - the welfare lobby and public sector unions / government employees.

The interests of those groups are adverse to the interests of "working families" (i.e., everyone who WORKS in the private sector) and elderly homeowners ... and so the RI Democratic Party does not represent, but is actually against, "working families" and the elderly.

It is up to the RIGOP to point this out.

Still waiting ...

Posted by: Tom W at February 9, 2006 1:34 PM

Tom W,

You're a smart guy, so you know not to hold your breath waiting for the RIGOP to do anything meaningful.

I was at the last RIGOP meeting in Barrington, and it was a joke. Incessant pleading for volunteers (legal counsel, etc.), paying homage to Jeff Deckman and his "retirement" from his post, incoherent cackling by Pat Morgan (the best moment was when she said the RIGOP was poised to pick up a dozen or so seats in the 2006 election, someone's phone went off and the ringtone was the theme from "Mission Impossible"), and gushing over a new website that Mehlman and Co. bought them with the Chafee money.

Also announced, you can now be a "Commodore" in the RIGOP if you cough up $5G (as if they've run out of the $1000 Anchor sponsorships.) Only one taker so far - Sen. John McCain.

I couldn't make this nonsense up if I tried. But hell, they're backing an anti-Bush, anti-Alito, anti-war, pro-abortion "Republican," so I guess I'm the one whose gone off the reservation.

Posted by: oz at February 9, 2006 2:32 PM

Tom W. and OZ,

To wait for the Liberals ( excuse me )
RINO RIGOP leadership to show some intestinal fortitude and not except Chafee money will never happen. The RIGOP is still broke. Especially the Leadership. I still do not understand how the Govenor supports Pat Morgan as a leader. May be it is the Fat Man who is still running the show. initials A.G. I do not want to get sued by a slime ball lawyer. May be one day when we get a conservative to be the Party Chairman we can start on that long dark road out of the Abyss.

Posted by: Fred on the Blog at February 9, 2006 8:47 PM