Sunday, February 04, 2007

Guest Post

Today we have a guest contribution. The following is from William Reid Dalton III. He articulates his views on conservatives and why Chuck Hagel is the conservative that he wants to see elected in 2008.
I am a conservative Republican. I became a conservative Republican at the age of 10 when I heard Ronald Reagan give "the speech" on behalf of Barry Goldwater on he eve of the 1964 election. In 1970 I appeared on NBC News holding a sign reading, "Sensible Students Support Spiro". In 1972 I was a College Republican helping Jesse Helms win his first election to the U.S. Senate. In 1974 I was a Republican election judge in the Woolen Gym precinct on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill, a lonely place to be a Republican that night. In 1976, I was helping Ronald Reagan come back from an unbroken string of primary defeats to win the North Carolina Presidential Primary, saving his candidacy not only for that year, but giving him the credibility to
come back and win in 1980. In 1980, I was actually on the ballot as a Republican legislative candidate running on the same ticket that sent Ronald Reagan to the White House, gave the U.S. Senate to the GOP for the first time since I had been in diapers, and helped Greensboro elect its first Republican Congressman in history. In 1982 I was parliamentarian to the North Carolina State Convention and served as Co-Chairman of the Committee that that year rewrote the Party's Plan of Organization. In 1983 I went to work as an attorney in the Reagan Administration, where I remained for three years until leaving politics and government service to enter seminary and ministry in the Presbyterian Church. In the debates that have gone on in the Presbyterian Church for these twenty years, I am known as a conservative.

George W. Bush is not a conservative. A conservative would not have exploited the nation's fear and loathing in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy to launch the specious "War on Terror", the ill-conceived and still unresolved war in Afghanistan, and the disastrous war in Iraq. This was the work of radical zealots. A real conservative would not have worked with Teddy Kennedy to muscle the "No Child Left Behind"
legislation through Congress, the worst Federal intrusion into the public schools since the 1960's, and this after two decades of running on a platform calling for the abolition of the Federal Department of Education. A real conservative would not have pushed through, by illegally breaking the rules of the Congress, an expansion of the Medicare program into prescription drug benefits, the biggest single boondoggle and entitlement program added to the government's budget since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.

A real conservative would not arrogate powers to himself as President that have no basis in the Constitution. A real conservative would not suspend the writ of habeas corpus, arrest and hold people without warrant, without sufficient evidence of criminal activity to bring charges in Court, and search their possessions and records, their correspondence and telephone conversations without a warrant or probable cause. A real conservative would not countenance members of his Government conducting interrogations by torture of its prisoners, and then try to obscure what he is doing with tendentious opinions from a corrupt Justice Department, and attempts to avoid the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts.

A real conservative is someone like Sam Ervin, who stood up to Richard Nixon, that pseudo-conservative who corrupted the White House in the 1970's (if anyone is interested, I voted for Schmitz in 1972), and stopped that President from trampling upon the rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution. A real conservative is someone who stands up to George W. Bush, today's pseudo-conservative, when he tries to do the same and even worse.

Senator Chuck Hagel is a real conservative. He voted against expanding the powers of the U.S. Department of Education. He voted against the unconscionable unfunded expansion of the Medicare program. He has been an early and constant critic of this President's war policies, from his reckless military adventures abroad to his contemptuous disregard of the Constitutional rights of Americans at home.

Chuck Hagel and Ron Paul are the two men who are stepping up today to save the nation from the calamitous policies of the Bush Administration and to save the Republican Party from its corrupt pseudo-conservative leadership. While Representative Paul has stood valiently for his principles for thirty years inside and outside the Congress, he has been relegated to the fringe of the Party. Senator Hagel, while remaining true to himself and his conservative principles, has always maintained the reputation of a mainstream Republican, certainly much more of a mainstream Republican than John McCain, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. If it were not for his stand against the war noone would question either his Republican or conservative credentials. And those who oppose him on the war issue are no true conservatives. As the Republican Party wakes up to the truth of the subterfuge, fraud, and even criminal warfare that has been carried out in its name, it will turn to Chuck Hagel to save it and even carry it to victory in 2008, an achievement that would be impossible except that the Party repudiates the policy of warmongering and war profiteering with which it has been saddled for more than five years.


Anonymous said...

Great read. There's a big Hagel article in this weeks Newsweek as well.

Eric said...

Hear hear! Sometimes I scratch my head in amazement of what people label conservative. George Bush is responsible for the single largest expansion of government in the history of mankind. What exactly is conservative about that? And this deficit; is that the hallmark of conservatism?

ThatGayConservative said...

First of all, I don't deny that Bush is not a conservative.

Secondly after I read the guest contribution, I was curious.
Monday morning quarterbacking aside, would a real conservative really ignore what we knew about the Hussein regime, especially after 9/11?

Would a "real conservative" ignore that he was paying suicide bomber's families?

Would a "real conservative" ignore the fact that Hussein was firing on U.S. and British fighters on a regular basis?

Would a "real conservative" ignore the fact that Hussein had used WMDs?

Would a "real conservative" ignore the fact that the Hussein regime thumbed it's nose at the U.N. for over 10 years?

Would a "real conservative" ignore the fact that the Hussein regime harbored terrorist groups within its borders?

Would a "real conservative" ignore the fact that Hussein was making threats against our interest overseas?

I could go on, of course and all this after 9/11, could we have afforded ignoring Saddam Hussein all for the sake of not hurting the feelings of the brown skinned people?

If that's what a "real conservative" would have done, then I thank GOD that I am not a "real conservative".

I know that I'm not as arrogant and erudite as Chuck Hagel is and I know that I would not suck up to the liberals in a political game, but I don't see how we could have ignored Hussein and hoped like hell he would go away.

I know that I haven't served in Vietnam and I'm not decorated with medals, but I think that Freedom of Speech allows me to voice my opinion.

Sorry, but I'm glad that we have a CIC who is willing to grab his balls and say "this is what we're going to do...." instead of someone who is willing to confirm a new general and then give him the finger when he asks for more soldiers to complete his tasks.

Neither will I vote for a candidate who will suck up to the liberals in defeat of the U.S.

Reid said...

In response to the "gayconservative", a real conservative could have done two things about Saddam Hussein:

1) made peace with him and paid him off, as we did under President Reagan;

2) fulfilled our promises to the Kurds, by allowing them to seize and control the northren oil fields, giving them the air cover necessary for their troops to fight and defeat Saddam's army, while doing something similar in the South, assigning the southern oil fields to Kuwait as compensation for the war waged upon them. This would have left Saddam with a truncated country to rule, and without the oil to finance his regime. His regime would not have been long for this world. And no American soldiers would have to put their feet on the ground in Iraq.

This presumes, of course, that any vital American interests were served by quarreling with Saddam in the first place, which is another question.

ThatGayConservative said...

1) made peace with him and paid him off, as we did under President Reagan;

Could you possibly be more asinine? I have to wonder. I thought we had "peace" with him after 1991, even though it took resolution after resolution and an Iraq Liberation Act. Oh well. The Neo-socialists at the U.N. had "peace" and Oil For Fools.

It's sad, to me that a "real conservative would just ignore Hussein, especially after 9/11. I hope like ever loving hell we never have a "real conservative" (as you define it)in the WH.

This would have left Saddam with a truncated country to rule, and without the oil to finance his regime. His regime would not have been long for this world.

I'll be. So Saddam wasn't contained?

You'll have to pardon me if I don't consider myself smarter than everybody else.

Reid said...

No, Gay, we didn't have peace with Saddam after 1991, because we refused to march into Baghdad and depose him and we refused to make peace with him. Instead, in an "asinine" way we tried to pressure Iraqis through sanctions and bombings to depose Saddam, without providing any realistic means of doing so. As long as Saddam had the oil revenue (and, as we know now and did then, he did, despite the sanctions, which was effective only to starve Iraqi children), he held the power, and no one was able to take it from him.

But there is a reason we didn't depose Saddam, apparent to President Bush Senior then, which is the same reason apparent to us now - there was no available alternative leader capable of holding Iraq together and maintain its position as our desired counterweight to Iran. After 9/11, it was doubly prudent for us to make friends with Saddam, because he was an enemy not only to Iran, but also to Al Quada, which had initiated the 9/11 attack.

My second alternative was simply to illustrate that if we were hell-bent on removing Saddam, there were means available (not perfect, by any means) that did not involve making American forces an occupying force in Iraq, sitting ducks for guerrilla attacks.