Free Markets, Free People

A note to

I probably should make it clear that while I’m pointing to in the title I’m addressing a particular blogger there.   That would be Aaron Gardner who has penned a post entitled “A note to GOProud and other libertarian Tea Partiers”.  The crux of his message is that the appeal by GOProud and other members of the Tea Party  petitioning the new Republican majority in the House not to get wrapped around the social conservative axle but focus on limited government and fiscal sanity isn’t  welcome or appropriate.

As he chooses to put it, these groups have “decided to tell the GOP to put SoCons in the back of the bus”.

Gardner then appoints himself the sole arbiter of what is or isn’t acceptable for the GOP after essentially scolding those who asked the SoCon agenda be secondary to that of the issues that got the GOP elected.

Or to put it another way, as with any successful movement those that had no  part in its success now want to dictate how it will be run.  And in this case, that would be the SoCons.

Gardner then issues this  rather interesting graphic warning.

Let me break this down as simply as I can below the fold.

If we abort this:


Then, this dies with it.:


Choose … wisely.


Huh. Let me see if I can return the favor graphically:


The GOP enjoys the majority it now has because of this …


Without a word about this …


Choice made.



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56 Responses to A note to

  • Good illustration, McQ. Gardner’s “note” simply proves the “social conservatives” are just as big on government intrusion into private life as the Democrats are–they just want different areas intruded upon. Any political party that really stands for smaller and less intrusive government will prioritize that far above caring who sleeps with whom.

  • Eh SoCons need to realize that if we strip government of much of it’s power, we strip it of it’s ability to enable a lot of what the SoCons hate.  They can have their cake and eat it too.

    • Exactly.  This reeks of an attempt to grab the success that the tea party enjoyed at the polls and twist it to serve big-government ends.  It shouldn’t be too surprising, the far reaches of each party are (as Mikey says above) equally interested in giving government more power than it should have.  If the tea party is to survive, it will need to weather attacks from both the right and the left.

  • Is this an example of  “success having a thousand fathers”?  When debating people about the tea parties, I often argued they were about fiscal policy and not social policy.  I would hate to see social policy come to the fore because that would push out the middle.

  • A party that’s fiscally conservative and – if not socially liberal, at least socially “hands off” would win in a massive landslide.

    The dems devotion to abortion reeks like a death cult and the casualness they treat it with is offensive, but I gotta tell ya…..I really don’t care much about that issue (with certain exceptions) and I don’t care much about gay marriage either.

    Married gays and abortions aren’t going to bankrupt us.  Focus on the $$$.  Focusing on anything else is taking your eyes off the ball.

    • Mr. shark,
       Exactly! This crap from Redstate is why I will NOT vote GOP until these people get it thru their heads – limited gov’t means just that – and that means keeping your outdated social and theocratic stuff to yourself.

      • The GOP’s outdated social/theocratic stuff isn’t why we are circulating the drain. Right now I vote to save my country; the social stuff is just extra nonsense I don’t much care about.

        For that matter, I’d happily vote for a Chris Christie type of Republican, even if he isn’t pro gun. I’m very pro gun (gun rights was one of the big issues that involved me in politics), but right now it is much lower on my radar than things like entitlements and Obamacare.

        With respect to abortion, gay rights, weed, and other such issues, I don’t f’n care. Not right now. I voted for weed the last election and for gay marriage in 2008 (I’m in CA), but to be honest I didn’t much care about the outcome of either of those two petitions.

        Right now we need to not become Greece. We need to work on that ASAP, since every wasted moment makes it that much harder. That means voting against the Democrats in almost every case, and voting GOP in the general in almost every case.

  • Huh. I don’t remember the abortion of elephants being even a social issue of note, never mind the reason Republicans got elected.
    I do understand his dilemma, though. In order for the tea parties to be successful, they have to jettison those issues that do not bring in more voters, and adopt those that do bring in more voters. In other words, they have to do what every political movement does, and seek majority support from a strong base. The tea party base issue is fiscal responsibility, and that is very appealing to a lot of the current independents (from which about half the tea party movement comes) and even some blue dog Democrats who totally reject the social conservative movements priorities, even if they might agree with some of their positions. (In fact, the SoCon movement is why many of these people, myself included, aren’t Republicans in the first place.)
    This is, of course, a huge threat to the power the SoCons have wielded through the Republican Party. If the tea parties successfully focus the Republican Party on liberty and responsibility, rather than on SoCon issues, the SoCons would have no place at the table. This would push the SoCons into the independent category, which is a place they don’t want to go. For the SoCons, it’s better that Democrats win than that tea partiers win as Republicans. The next two years are only superficially going to be about Democrats vs. Republicans for control of the national agenda. In reality, it’s going to be tea partiers vs. SoCons for the Republican Party. And if the Republicans heed the advice of the SoCons and the moneyed aristocrats (the McCain and Bush types), then the tea parties will morph into an actual political party, and its first aim will be to dismantle the Republicans the way the Republicans dismantled the Whigs, and for much the same reason. A political party unable to meet the needs of the electorate will be replaced with one that can.

    • This is, of course, a huge threat to the power the SoCons have wielded through the Republican Party.
      Yeah, I recognized a hint of fear from Aaron Gardner and his SoCon pals.
      The writing is on the wall.  The polls suggest that regarding issues the SoCons hold dear, the trend does not look favorably for them.  From abortion, to same-sex marriage, to DADT, etc…, the trend is moving in the wrong direction for them.
      Also, does anyone here have any idea what Gardner wants the new GOP majority in the House to actually do re: social issues???

      • not on abortion, the trend is against abortion on demand for any reason. especially for state funded abortion. And that will continue as more Catholic Latinos are part of the nation.

        But on the other issues, you are correct.

        • Yep. Support for abortion has been dropping.
          I personally find this amusing, because in my old usenet days in the 90s I debated  lot on talk.politics.guns. One “banner” very strongly argued that the interesting constitutional issue was abortion, not Second Amendment rights. He argued that the Second was essentially a decided issue that most people didn’t care about.  I argued that the Second would eventually win out.

      • Well, those that believe in the Tenth Amendment are not gonna do much. Maybe talk about social conservatism. No federal funded abortions, etc.

  • As a gay man, I have been espousing TEA party concepts since I was a Barry Goldwater conservative as a 10 year old (OK, my father influenced me on that at least.) And this supposed social conservative stuff is stridently anti-gay. It is unbefitting to a Free Republic of Individuals trying to achieve what our Creator endowed us with, among which is the pursuit of happiness and personal responsibility.  And as a taxpaying citizen of this nation, productive and peaceful, to have to constantly worry about what time frame we might return to in regards to gay folks in this nation if social conservatives get their way is tediously bothersome. I hear worrisome things, from candidates, elected officials and preachers alike, against gay people. “God did not create us like that,” indeed, as Carl Paladino said in a “social conservative” moment. The man was right, He did not create straight folks to be gay, but He sure created gay folks to be gay.
    Astoundingly, as recently as 2009, on the very anniversary of the one and only gay riot against police state oppression — one riot, for we are a peaceful people, indeed — but oppression it is what those bar raids were, back before 1969, when all the patrons were arrested, and an attempt made by police, courts and the media to destroy lives by calling employers, landlords and family about the “queers”  — a gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas was raided.  The police had the audacity, after disrupting an evening out in a legally licensed establishment, to claim that there were “sexual comments” made “against” them. Well, doh! In 2009? What did they think would happen? And such he-men, worried about a few sissies’ catcalls! This is our police? Which gay folks pay for too, in our taxes? Is that “social conservatism”?
    So I want to say, I absolutely endorse your way of ordering things. Fiscal policy first. And social next. But let my people go, for it is not this social issue anyone thinks it is. We are no threat to this nation, but sometimes we feel very threatened by it.
    And funny, the one thing that social conservatives should truly focus on, abortion, is one thing gay folks have no part in, for we ain’t makin’ no babies, if I may be so crude. In fact, we tend to try to adopt the least wanted of all babies that are available for adoption. We might well be on their side on that issue, if they’d but ask.  And too, among the millions aborted were a slew of gay kids, for we are natural indeed. And that’s what we keep telling you, we’re natural. But so many refuse to grasp this reality. We have no idea why we’re gay, we just are. In the meantime, we’re being thwarted at every turn in even trying to file a joint tax return under any name or legal regime at the absurd rates our rapacious government wants from us, or we’re trying to serve the nation we love so much we might even be willing to lie through our teeth to serve on the front lines in the most horrific conditions. Or we’re at home working, building lives, owning houses, paying taxes and doing the laundry, and ofttimes cutting your hair and putting up your drapes. Other than that, we’re a “threat” to “social conservatives” and society itself, supposedly.
    But as Barry Goldwater said in 1994, and you can look it up: “you don’t have to like it, but gay people deserve full constitutional rights including marriage and military service.” And frankly, I put my faith more in my hero Goldwater than some social conservative like Newt Gingrich on his third marriage.

    • Who someone loves doesn’t violate a single one of my natural rights, thus it is none of mine or the government’s business.

      Who someone marries doesn’t violate a single one of my natural rights, thus it is none of mine or the government’s business..

      IOW, it’s no one’s business but that of consenting adults what goes on in the bedroom and what happens in a marriage chapel.

      Someday we’ll all grow up and realize that.

    • “And this supposed social conservative stuff is stridently anti-gay”

      Well, the anti-gay stuff may be, but I think there is more to it than that.

      “Is that “social conservatism”?”

      No, it isn’t.

      “some social conservative like Newt Gingrich on his third marriage.”

      As opposed to strictly monogamous gays who mate for life?

      “we tend to try to adopt the least wanted of all babies that are available for adoption.”

      Enough with the all-gays-are-saints bit. Somehow I doubt that gays are any more saintly than straights, given that they are still only human.

  • I have been a regular on Redstate for five years, and sometimes attend the gatherings. I have had many run ins with Aaron.  Aaron, and those like him never seem to see that their pet social issues don’t amount to a hill of scrap if we can’t form a governing coalition.

    And right now yes the social conservatives need to get into the back of the goddamn bus because we are not in danger of losing our nation due to any social issue, right now we are in danger of losing our ass because we are bankrupt.   This goes for the foreign policy conservatives also, and any other type. 

    This is the time we have to come forward with some fiscal sanity, defeat Obamacare, and not do anything needlessly controversial, things that we can’t get accomplished right now anyway.

    • A quibble on the foreign policy stuff: we need to stay strong and maintain at least on the foreign policy front, or else the financial/economic factors will be further impacted. It’s a moot point since Obama holds the cards on this.

  • Uh…guys.  The TEA Party movement isn’t homogeneous…hell, it isn’t even consistent.
    It is the proverbial big tent…in the wide open sense.
    It isn’t possible…and it sure isn’t productive…to try to exclude this or that notion.  Right now, we seem to share a common belief that central government is WAY TOO FREAKING powerful and expansive.
    Let’s work with that.
    Oh, and Poque is just as wrong as usual about his generalizations.  It is good to have constants in life.

    • Yes, you are correct about the tea party, but right now is a bad time to make socialcon ideas a focal point no matter what your views on the matter.

    • “This or that notion”, that have absolutely no claim to Tea Party success (or the GOP’s), don’t get to decide that once their favorite party is back in power (through nothing to do with their favorite issue) that their issue must now take the prominent position. Newsflash to the SoCons – you are in the back of the bus. As Kyle8 says, the issues that are important to SoCons are not the important issues of the moment nor the ones the Tea Parties have adopted or the ones that got the GOP back in a majority.

      Figure it out.

      • Huh.  When did you become THE spokesman for the movement?
        See, I see YOUR brand of exclusion as dangerous as any other, McQ.

        • I can’t imagine why — I’m simply pointing out what got the GOP where it is today — and it wasn’t SoCon issues at all.

          No one said they had to leave, just that they weren’t driving the bus — it’s that to which they object, remember?

  • Thoughts from a self-identifying Evangelical and (lower case L) libertarian:
    The Gardner post was stupid. And I have all the respect in the world for McQ – but his post as equally foolish.
    What’s needed is for the right to battle the left. Not this-part-of-the-right fighting that-part-of-the-right nonsense.
    Hate Obamacare on fiscal grounds? Then join the people that hate it because of its abortion provisions.
    Hate campaign finance laws on a freedom basis? Then join the people they are regularly used against.
    Want to find a group of people more leery of government intrusion than even the Tea Party? Try home schoolers.
    And I’ve never understood why libertarians seem to line up along the pro-choice side. If you can find yourself granting there’s even a moderate chance that a fetus is something more a clump of in-human cells … well, shouldn’t the right to not have your life terminated be paramount among our liberties?
    The 2010 elections certainly showed the impact of the limited-government-minded Tea Party. But it’s not like Social Cons stayed home or were voting in-force for nanny-stating Democrats. The two sides actually have a lot in common. And they’ll be much more successful if they focus on fighting the Obama agenda, and not each other.

    • I respectfully disagree. This is the right picking a fight with the right and it needs to be confronted and settled quickly. The SoCons have a seat on the bus, but that’s about it.

      Right now the issue, as many here have said, has nothing to do with what SoCons want the GOP doing. They aren’t satisfied with that as the Gardner post points out. It is they who need to back the hell off and let this coalition of like minded people known as the Tea Party push their fiscal agenda forward as far as it will go while the political climate will allow it. That’s the agenda that gave the GOP the majority – not the SoCon agenda.

      What they don’t need to do is what the Dems did and trot out an ideological agenda which has zip to do with the crisis the country faces now and try to give it priority over the fiscal side. It would have precisely the same effect as did the ObamaCare legislation for Democrats. And the direction of the country poll will remain exactly where it is today and the GOP will be out again in 2 years.

      Sound like a winner to you?

      BTW, libertarians don’t necessarily “line up” with the pro-choice side. Many libertarians simply don’t see it as any of their freakin’ business.

      Don’t like gays or the gay lifestyle? Don’t hang out with them. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t marry one. Don’t believe in abortions? Don’t have one. Other than that it’s pretty much none of your or the government’s business.

  • How many of the Republicans just elected are pro-choice? Or pro-“gay marriage”? Anyone know? Because I haven’t heard of a single one. It seems to me that a GOP candidate who was either pro-choice or pr0-“gay marriage” would have stood out (other than, perhaps, a liberal Republican incumbent elected in a blue state). Just asking.

    The idea that cultural issues are back-burnered because there’s a huge deficit and impending national bankruptcy and miserable poverty on the horizon is back-asswards, in my most humble opinion.

    I don’t think this is the time to push either the Human Life Amendment or the  Federal Marriage Amendment, but that doesn’t mean that pro-life and pro-marriage sentiment are lacking, either in the Tea Party movement or the GOP Congressional caucuses.

    That’s just my political observation.

  • On a sorta-related note, anyone see that “reduce the deficit” graph in the Times?  I was able to reduce it with spending cuts but some sacred cows (on both sides) gonna get turned to hamburger.  And it’s because of that we need to focus on this stuff. We can fight the culture war later if we must

    • Well, it’s certainly true that Congress can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but does the need to cut the defitict mean that Republicans can’t oppose “gay marriage”? Because from a sheerly political perspective, opposing “gay marriage” is a winning issue almost everywhere. That’s before you get to the actual importance of it, which is enormous.

      • Why get sidetracked away from the main issue?

      • Sure, energize the Dem base. That’s the ticket to getting your broad coalition of small government types elected.

        • Small government types, one assumes, should know judicial supremacy when they see it, especially when the jurisprudence involved is baseless.

          • This is true and why I think SoCons should be happy with small government being the main political theme for getting elected. Then, with good justices being appointed, a lot of the worries go away, too.

        • An example from this election: In Iowa, a notoriously schizophrenic state (commie Tom Harkin and sodbuster Chuck Grassley are the senators), the judges involved in overruling the state’s affirmation of marriage as between a man and a woman, were unceremoniously removed from the bench by voters in a rare move against sitting judges.

          People don’t like their ancient cultural standards tossed out the window by Gramscian Marxists masquerading as an aggrieved group.

  • It is issues like this that allow me a glimpse into why John Cole at BallonJuice went batsh_t crazy.  The SoCons are as myopically stupid as the far left now driving the current administration.
    Folks, I dont like abortion.  I would like to see it seriously limited.  I would like to see Roe.v.Wade overturned.  But you will never have my vote for an outright ban.  I dont like marriage for gays, and I have reservations with openly gay folks serving in the military.  That does not mean I dont support a gay couple being afforded all the rights (and liabilities) that heterosexual folks bear.  And gays should, and will, serve openly in the military – once the military figures out how, and implements policies that protect all soldiers from unwanted intrusions.
    No, as others have noted upthread, I am against government intrusion from both the left and right.  If the SoCons want to steal the game ball that won the last election, they will find themselves with an empty bench and a decapitated coaching staff.

    • This whole traffic flogging exercise is about as smart as a pissing match between the Air Force and the Army.
      Anyone with a brain knows how important combined arms are, and this is no different.

      • Fine – who is picking the fight, Rags?

        • I’m not assigning the seating on the bus.  Seems to me we ought to all be marching in the rank and file.  There isn’t a class of TEA Party supporters.
          I TOTALLY disagree with the Red State author, just as I disagree with your position that says SoCons have to take the hind teet.

      • Interesting analogy.  All my friends in both the Air Force and the Navy know that they have all the sexy stuff.  They also know that if they want to keep their “toys”, they need those dumb grunts with perpetually muddy boots.  There are, of course some USAF and USN general staff who forget this reality.
        In a pissing match, one might want to keep in mind not just who is full of urine, but why they feel like pissing.

  • Let’s review how the Democrats got into trouble. They were elected in a massive economic crisis. Instead of focusing like a laser beam on the economy, they passed some random stimulus, and then bail-out some people, and then did Obamacare.
    So, unless the SoCons can show me how pushing for prayer in school or limiting abortions is going to produce some economic growth and jobs, those issues are at the back of the queue.

    • In fact, if the GOP / Tea Party just cuts spending and it doesn’t result in economic growth, they may be in trouble, too.
      My suggestion would be any spending cuts and tax changes be designed around a bit of  “shock and awe” that says the USA is open for business.
      Getting rid of the department of education is great and all, but eliminating the corporate income tax while harmonizing all income to be taxed the same way to make it revenue neutral would be much, much better for business confidence. I would completely skip temporary business tax credits and such. Too ticky tacky.

    • Honestly, do you really want Democrats focused on the economy?

      • Well, yes, I do. Reluctantly. While I enjoy political sports fan mode, we probably would have been better off if they had considered what they really had to do to help the economy. That said, maybe they really did that and the stimulus and cash for clunkers was their plan.

  • A party that’s fiscally conservative and – if not socially liberal, at least socially “hands off” would win in a massive landslide.
    The dems devotion to abortion reeks like a death cult and the casualness they treat it with is offensive, but I gotta tell ya…..I really don’t care much about that issue (with certain exceptions) and I don’t care much about gay marriage either.
    Married gays and abortions aren’t going to bankrupt us.  Focus on the $$$.  Focusing on anything else is taking your eyes off the ball.

    Exactly.  I’ve been saying this for years.   Our country will will not survive the mountain of debt that we keep piling on, and social issues have been a huge distraction.
    Stay out of my pocketbook.  Stay out of my bedroom.  Government is meddling in far too many issues, personal and otherwise, and it doesn’t make any difference which brand of government is in power.  Only that the issues are different.

    • It does matter which brand of government is in power. One brand has given us 95% of the insane entitlement spending: social security, medicare, medicaid, government union pensions, Obamacare . . . 

      One brand is going to destroy this country. That brand has got to go. We can argue about social issues after we fix the real problems.
      As an aside, the social coservatives are not necessarly a threat to our rights, at least in the federal government. Those that repect the Tenth Amendment are not going to push for a federal abortion ban, and they likely could be convinced that the feds should not be involved in marriage whatsoever. Sure, they might still regulate at the state level, and perhaps we might have a 14th Amendment follow up discussion. But I feel much better talking about social issues with fundamentalists who respect the Constitution than talking about any issue with leftists who don’t.

      • They are both going to destroy this country.  One is just going to do it at bit slower pace, but we’ll get there none the less.
        We can argue about social issues, but when we ‘conservatives’ started electing people on social issues rather than fiscal responsibility, we started losing the smaller government, less regulation, few taxes war.   We became them, only different issues which we wanted to build big government around.
        That’s the thing…. they don’t respect the 10th amendment.  They want to amend the constitution to make marriage between a man and a woman.   They won’t be happy with an over turn of Roe and allowing abortion to go back to the states, where it should have been decided in the first place.  They will want to amend the constitution.  They want to Fed to step in and prohibit the states from legalizing pot.   They stepped in to stop a man from making an end of life decision regarding his wife who had been in a vegetative state for 10 years. They want to amend to constitution to ban flag burning,   It’s one thing after another.
        They want no less control over your life and mine than libs.  They only want to control different aspects.  But they want to control it none the less and they are very much enthralled with the idea of using the government to do it.

        • Even if you were completely correct on all the things they want, there are several key differences: amending the constitution is quite different than the lib approach of simply ignoring it. And social type bills are much fewer and far between (even if they are talked about a lot), while bills with fiscal impact or economic restrictions are . . . pretty much each and every one. Further, the economic thing is what will destroy us, not amendments to restrict flag burning or any of the other social stuff.

          With respect to the end of life decision of which you speak, the Bush Administration was stupid to put in its two bits on the issue, but I don’t recall them doing more than that.

          I don’t agree that social cons are going in the same direction as the libs. I don’t agree with the social con agenda in many ways, and when I do agree I still think it should be at a state or local level. The social con agenda might be a distraction, but it isn’t the same level of intrusion as the surfdom the leftists want.

        • Another observation:

          Bush was often faulted by the left and libertarians alike for his faith baised ideas. However, what’s the worst faith based thing he did? What I most dislike about Bush is his support for TARP, Medicare part D, McCain / Feingold, and Ted Kennedy’s No Child left Behind.

          The problem with Bush, in short, was not the fact that he was religious right, but that he was too much of a moderate.

          On the flip side, the Democrate talking points about Bush’s spending is so much hypocracy, given that they support TARP, anything by Ted Kennedy, and think Part D was too little spending.

  • For myself:  If it isn’t hurting me or someone else through force or fraud, then whether I like it or not is utterly irrelevant.  Like or dislike, in that case it is none of the government’s damn business.  Ans by the way. . couple that statement with. . .
    Philosophically, I am a social conservative.

  • Another thing: in CA in 2008 gay marriage suffered because of the high voter turnout due to Obama. Blacks and hispanics, dedicated Democrats, massively oppose gay marriage. This needs to be factored in.

    I don’t believe that Republicans can play the social con card well enough to bring in these voters.

    My MiL is hispanic. She is religious, and a commited Democrat. Her economic views are essentially socialist (although she would reject the label), except when it comes to personel finances that benifit her (she’s very pro property rights whe it’s her property). She was upset that Obama appointed what appears to be a lesbian to the Supremes, and further feels that Supreme court justices should be Christian and rule that way.

    The biggest theocrat threat may actually come from the economic and political left, blacks and hispanics who tend to ignore the constitution and want economic redistribution, but who also have a social con agenda.