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What Would People Think?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What Conservatism Used To Look Like

You ever heard of the Free Republic? It's an online forum of conservative activists. No pinko-commie-sissy liberals here. See, for example, this paragraph from a post by its founder:

As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-God, pro-life, pro-family, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights, pro-gun, pro-limited government, pro-private property rights, pro-limited taxes, pro-capitalism, pro-national defense, pro-freedom, and-pro America. We oppose all forms of liberalism, socialism, fascism, pacifism, totalitarianism, anarchism, government enforced atheism, abortionism, feminism, homosexualism, racism, wacko environmentalism, judicial activism, etc. We also oppose the United Nations or any other world government body that may attempt to impose its will or rule over our sovereign nation and sovereign people. We believe in defending our borders, our constitution and our national sovereignty.

So, yeah, any reading of this site will establish its conservative bona fides.

I'm establishing this so I can point out how much things have changed in the past 7 years. Read this Free Republic post from 2000, decrying the unconstitutional invasions of privacy by....the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Horror of horrors! These unaccountable judges in a secret court have the power to grant search warrants at lower-than-usual probable cause standards! That evil Clinton administration even expanded it! I'd also like to point out how the poster decries everybody's willingness to trade away civil liberties after a terrorist attack (Oklahoma City).

Most hilarious part of the post: A commenter asks "Any chance of Bush rolling some of this back?"

Flash forward 6 years and conservatives are again decrying the FISA court. It's such a burden! It's so bureaucratic! It takes too long to approve surveillance! Its probable-cause standard is too high!

Your head spinning yet?

(Full disclosure: there are some principled conservatives who remain true to the sentiments expressed in that 2000 post. I may disagree with them on many things, but I'm with them on this and I respect them remaining true to their values instead of their President.)


  • There is, I'm afraid, a rather noticeable contrast between those who act based on principle and those who act based on party. So I would argue the difference is, there's conservatism, and then there's Republicanism. And the two are at odds as often as not.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/14/2006 1:59 PM  

  • Bob Barr, former Georgia congressman and compulsive Reagan enshriner, is also with the good guys on this. And you can't get any more conservative than Bob Barr. (Many have tried; all have failed.)

    British conservative Andrew Sullivan wrote a piece for the New Republic about "conservatism of doubt" vs. "conservatism of faith." It's worth reading, even if he does take a few pot shots at liberals along the way.

    (I forgot who directed me to this. Someone let me know if it was them.)

    By Blogger Jeff, at 2/14/2006 3:11 PM  

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