Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"There's no school like the old school"

Old school conservatives, that is. Or, in the words of David Davenport, Process Conservatives. This NYT article, which is being linked to by seemingly all the major liberal bloggers this morning, highlights the growing rift between Process Conservatives and the extreme right wing on the Terri Schiavo case. To wit:

The emerging debate, carried out against a rush of court decisions and Congressional action, has highlighted a conflict of priorities among conservatives and signals tensions that Republicans are likely to face as Congressional leaders and President Bush push social issues over the next two years, party leaders say.
"This is a clash between the social conservatives and the process conservatives, and I would count myself a process conservative," said David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization. "When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked - even if it hasn't given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism."

Stephen Moore, a conservative advocate who is president of the Free Enterprise Fund, said: "I don't normally like to see the federal government intervening in a situation like this, which I think should be resolved ultimately by the family: I think states' rights should take precedence over federal intervention. A lot of conservatives are really struggling with this case."

Some more moderate Republicans are also uneasy. Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, the sole Republican to oppose the Schiavo bill in a voice vote in the Senate, said: "This senator has learned from many years you've got to separate your own emotions from the duty to support the Constitution of this country. These are fundamental principles of federalism."
Whatever the differences between between liberals and conservatives, the former can now wax nostalgic when the later were once, you know, reasonable and furthermore still cognizant of their core principles. Daily Kos has more.

1 comment:

John said...

A couple of good snippets from the conservative blogosphere:

I know nothing about the Schiavo matter, and despite that have no opinion.

And from TCS:

In coming years, political historians might look back and try to pinpoint the day or week or month that the Republican Party shed the last vestiges of its small-government philosophy. If and when they do, the week just past should make the short list. For it was in this last week that the Republican-controlled Congress made it clear that it sees no area of American life -- none too trivial and none too intimate -- that the federal government should not permeate with its power.

Expect the small libertarian wing of the GOP to become rather unsettled, and be up for grabs in coming elections. The GOP has shown that it is no more the proponent of small government than the Democrats. The decision to push through the Schiavo bill was terrible.

I'm not sure exactly where it is going to head, but a whole heap of moral conservatives are fully emotional engaged in the Schiavo case. It is high drama being played out, watching someone die slowly on national TV. When Schiavo does finally die, these conservatives will go beserk, and there will be many politically unwise decisions that follow as they seek vengeance. And that will be even more self-destructive to the GOP than this complete abandonment of federalism.