A friend of mine commented during the President's State of the Union speech that the Republican Party did not clap for any of Obama's proposals, even the ones they could get behind. I reminded my friend that today's political atmosphere hasn't really allowed for any kind of bipartisan support. Look at Massachusetts and the election of Scott Brown. As Michelle profiled, Scott Brown isn't exactly a libertarian or even a fiscal conservative. But the popular right-wing heard his words and saw his opponent was a Democrat, so they just had to vote to him. The split down the middle of America is beyond evident.
I am a libertarian conservative and I'm an ass much of the time when I argue politics, yet I also know that America is great not only because of our ideals of economic and personal liberty, but our ability to compromise when we have a good idea on the table, no matter who tabled it. Conservatives and libertarian conservatives realize that a basic social safety net is required in our post-industrial society. Anti-trust laws to fight monopoly (both natural and government induced), the FDIC to prevent destructive bank runs and the quick creation of thousands of poor, basic welfare for the most poverty stricken; all these, while not necessarily ideal, are necessary. All these ideas, more or less, were proposed by the center-left or left-wing. And to balance it out, the Clinton surplus and the Tech Boom was fostered by the free market economics Clinton agreed to during the Gingrich Congress. Not to mention the Bush tax cuts that saved the economy after 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and the Surge in Iraq that wiped out most of the terrorist and insurgent base. Now, this is different than John McCain's version of bipartisan politics: concede to bad ideas while trying to get good ideas passed, or try to pick the middle of a bad idea hoping it won't be as bad as you think. That doesn't help anything.
Basically, in these times, to expand the conservative base and to spread the conservative/libertarian message, we can't be little Théo's carrying our little books spouting doctrine. We have to concede that good ideas are good ideas and fight against horrible idea: like the most recent proclamation that the interest rate will be kept low for the foreseeable future (don't you just love bubbles?) or the President's “Buy American” idiocy that was thankfully sunk.
The President proposed tax cuts for small business. An idea, while not ideal, is a good sign considering the man proposing the idea. While it's understandable that the Democrats and the Left haven't helped in fostering a bipartisan, inter-ideological atmosphere, we should not play their game and scream “racism” when “you lie” is spoken (though shaking your head at a lie about a case you judged is alright). We should be above that and remind the country that the free exchange of ideas and acceptance of good ones is what drives American superiority forward.
ICYMI: Jeffrey Ostler, The Lakotas and the Black Hills - At Amazon, Jeffrey Ostler, *The Lakotas and the Black Hills: The Struggle for Sacred Ground*.
58 minutes ago