The Salad Bowl


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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19 Responses

  1. Chris Dierkes says:

    Salad bowl, hells bells, I think it’s more like an Irish dinner.. Potatoes over here, meat (usually overcooked) there, vegetable yonder.

    (Update 5 seconds later):
    Now that I think about my own analogy I’m not even sure there on the same plate, much less bowl.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    The Reagan Coalition held itself together because of the common enemy of the Soviet Union… and right after the Wall fell, both the fiscal hawks and the social conservatives said “Okay, the defense hawks got what they wanted, it’s our turn now!”

    H. Ross Perot ran and the fiscal hawks (among others, of course, but they were the biggest supporters, I reckon) showed their willingness to abandon the Republicans.

    In 1994, the Republicans pretended to listen and played a good, fiscally conservativeish, game. Bones were thrown to the Social Conservatives with such things as “The Impeachment”.

    Well, when Bush took power in 2000, the social conservatives (theocons, really) said “it’s *OUR* turn!”

    9/11 got the Reagan coalition back together…

    But now, really, what is there to say among the groups to each other?

    “See, we told you the democrats would be worse”?

    The Republican party really, royally, screwed up from 2000ish-2006ish and went on screwing up from 2006ish on because it has no idea why or how (or even *THAT*) it screwed up.

    We’re talking about an alcoholic that has not yet taken the first of the 12 necessary steps to recovery.

    First you have to admit you have a problem.

    The Republicans aren’t doing that.

    Until that first step is taken, a debate *CANNOT* happen. It’s that simple.Report

  3. Chris Dierkes says:

    On a more substantive note–as a way to remedy the situation you describe Will. I think we should select a book (a conservative one?) and do a multi-player review here at the League.Report

  4. Will says:

    Chris –

    Not a bad idea. Any suggestions?Report

  5. greginak says:

    I would think the distinction is between the mainstream/big conservative yakkers/ sites/ republican party and the rest. There is quite a bit of discussion among the fringes on the right. Well by fringes I guess I mean the non-establishment right. The establishment right is easily, and pretty darn correctly, caricatured as seeing tax cuts as the solution to everything up to and including Manny R’s use of performance enhancing steroids. And I know as a Liberal I would love for the open minded conservatives to take back your party. That would be good for everybody. Sadly Viagra Limbaugh is a louder voice then the many thinking conservatives like Bacevich or Larison. And we do know Limbaugh’s views on conservative orthodoxy.

    I made this quip already, but if Goldberg is only being “odd” he is having a good day. His description of Our Lord Obama’s philosophy is what you would expect from the author of liberal fascism ie: questionable. He just has no clue about the relative levels of state involvement in our lives and that Obama has strenuously avoided things like nationalizing the banks. I suppose jonah would have some explanation how the government doing good where and when it could is somehow bad. Although good does sound sort of …um… well.. good.Report

  6. Bob Cheeks says:

    What is the non-establishment Right?
    You guys are “conservatives?”
    I’m not being smart, just curious!Report

  7. Chris Dierkes says:


    Hehe. I like the first one. It fits well with the whole “league of gentlemen” theme.


    I’ll start looking.Report

  8. Chris Dierkes says:


    By establishment right people generally mean (any/all of) Rush Limbaugh, Talk Radio Right, National Review, Powerline, HotAir, RedState.

    Non-establishment would be people like Larison, Dreher, The American Scene folks, etc. Generally they are either reformist conservatives (like Reihan-Ross) or heterodox (as compared to the establishment orthodoxy) in some manner (ED here fits that label).Report

  9. We know where the Religious Right stands. We know where the few remaining fiscal conservatives stand. At the moment I am extremely interested in finding out where all these so-called ‘moderates’ stand. I think we need to define the left border of the party. Where does conservatism stop and the squishy territory of the Centrist begin?

    As for Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, etc… they are completely reactionary. The President sets their agenda.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    “We know where the few remaining fiscal conservatives stand.”

    Do we? Most of the “fiscal conservatives” I know took the attitude “neither party gives a tinker’s cuss what I think, I might as well vote for the party that I agree with on the topic of (X)”. If they tended socially conservative, they voted Republican. If they tended socially liberal, they voted for Obama. If they tended Libertarian, they voted 3rd party.

    While I’d say that we know where they stand, I’d say that they’re not married to where they’re standing. They don’t even have a civil union with it.Report

  11. I think a lot of the fiscal conservatives are heading the Libertarian route. Honestly if Libertarians wanted to start a serious recruiting effort, I can’t think of a better time to do so.Report

  12. E.D. Kain says:

    I don’t know what to call myself anymore. I like the heterodox conservative take on localism and am a big fan of “the little platoons” and all, but I’m pretty progressive about a lot of other things.

    I think my overarching goal is social stability and the preservation of tradition alongside the adoption of smart progress and change. This requires not subscribing too closely to any ideology. I don’t know – it’s a tricky balance.Report

  13. Herb says:

    Strange that Goldberg would write that in an age when it’s easier to be a conservative Democrat than it is to be a moderate Republican. ‘Course, this is the same dude who wrote “Liberal Fascism,” so…Report

  14. Mike says:

    E.D. – When you say ‘progressive’ are you using the popular definition which is that progressive = liberal?Report

  15. E.D. Kain says:

    I mean in that I favor progress over stagnation, Mike – and that I also favor certain “progressive” measures like our tax system (favored by such progressive leaders as T.R. for instance….) as well as a generally mixed social agenda (pro gay rights, pro-life, etc….)Report

  16. Bob Cheeks says:

    Great conversation!
    E.D. et al what is “progress” in 2009?
    How big Leviathan?Report