Jonah Goldberg’s Message to Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservatives

Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservatives – like albino monk assassins sent out by Opus Dei, orthodox Catholics on the staff of the National Catholic Reporter, people who like the movie Gigli, and Lennay Kekua - have contributed much to society. But it looks like Jonah Goldberg has grown a bit tired of their act. So he has written an open letter to them, addressed to “Bob.”

Bob, I’m going to be straight with you. I never had much respect for your political acumen before, but you’re a sucker.

You’re still spouting this nonsense about being fiscally conservative while insisting that the GOP is the problem. You buy into the media’s anti-Republican hysteria no matter what the facts are. Heck, you even believe it when Obama suggests he’s like an Eisenhower Republican.

Well, let’s talk about Eisenhower, your kind of Republican. Did you know that in his famous farewell address he warned about the debt? “We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage,” he said. “We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

Bob, we are that insolvent phantom, you feckless, gormless clod. The year Eisenhower delivered that speech, U.S. debt was roughly half our GDP. But that was when we were still paying off WWII (not to mention things like the Marshall Plan), and the defense budget constituted more than half the U.S. budget (today it’s a fifth and falling). Now, the debt is bigger than our GDP. Gross Domestic Product is barely $15 trillion. The national debt is over $16 trillion and climbing — fast. The country isn’t going broke, Bob, it is broke.

When George W. Bush added nearly $5 trillion in national debt in two terms you were scandalized. When Obama added more than that in one term, you yawned. When, in 2006, then-senator Obama condemned Bush’s failure of leadership and vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling, you thought him a statesman. Obama, who wants to borrow trillions more, now admits that was purely a “political vote.”

Yet when Republicans actually have the courage of Obama’s own convictions, you condemn them.

You nodded sagely when Obama said we needed a “balanced approach” to cut the deficit. He said he couldn’t rein in entitlements without also raising taxes on “millionaires and billionaires.” Well, he won that fight. We raised taxes on millionaires and billionaires exactly as much as he wanted. We also raised the payroll tax on everyone.

Obama’s response to getting the tax hikes he wanted? He says we still need a “balanced approach” — i.e., even more tax hikes.

. . .

Look, Bob, I don’t want to go spelunking in that cranium of yours. I don’t know why you think you’re a fiscal conservative. The simple fact is, you’re not. The green-eye-shaded Republicans you claim to miss would be scandalized by the mess we’re in, largely thanks to voters like you, Bob. Eisenhower would take a flamethrower to today’s Washington.

I don’t expect you to vote Republican, never mind admit you’re simply a liberal. But please stop preening about your fiscal conservatism, particularly as you condemn the GOP for not being fiscal conservatives, even when they are the only fiscal conservatives in town.

I have nothing else to add because he’s said just about everything I’ve said for years. I do want to highlight a commenter who left this brilliant reply to someone moaning about how his wife and daughter will not vote Republican because of their “extreme” stance on abortion.

You know, pro-life voters used to be excoriated by people like Bob because they were “single issue” voters. Now, women like Bob’s wife and daughter vote Democrat because a couple of GOP Senate candidates (most likely in a state in which they don’t live) said something stupid about abortion, even as the future of the children they want the option to kill is destroyed by the party they voted for.

Behold the Ron White (“you can’t fix stupid”) voters.

12 Responses to Jonah Goldberg’s Message to Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservatives

  • I have always believed that there is not any fiscal conservatism without social conservatism and no social conservatism without fiscal conservatism.

  • I agree Greg.. fiscal and moral are not two separate parts of life! One ball of wax.

  • My hat is quite often off to Jonah Goldberg for his well balanced good sense.

  • The excellent Mr. Goldberg is doing two things: Preaching to the choir and Wasting his efforts giving facts to imbeciles.

  • Come now. You all make too harsh a judgment. There is no problem with being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. If we’ve run up a huge debt that we can’t pay off, then it must be paid off by the next generation. So we kill them off with abortion. Problem solved. The debt will disappear when the debtors do. Come to think of it, the creditors will disappear as well. Unless we borrow it from another country, like China and Japan. Oh, wait, they’re disappearing too. See? No problem at all.

  • AS:

    Agree with all your excellent points.

    Except: In my assessment, I am candid not “too harsh.”

  • Get rid of poverty by getting rid of poor people should we be candid about it.

    candid (adj.)
    1620s, “white,” from Latin candidum “white; pure; sincere, honest, upright,” from candere “to shine,” from PIE root *kand- “to glow, to shine” (see candle). In English, metaphoric extension to “frank” first recorded 1670s (cf. French candide “open, frank, ingenuous, sincere”). Of photography, 1929. Related: Candidly; candidness.

  • @T. Shaw:

    “The excellent Mr. Goldberg is doing two things: Preaching to the choir and Wasting his efforts giving facts to imbeciles.”

    The excellent Mr. Goldberg is giving us “ammunition” is this war against Obama.
    I am tickled by your terminology “imbeciles”. LOL. It is very freeing.

  • I do disagree with one thing Goldberg says about the GOP being the only fiscal conservatives in town. To be sure, they are more fiscal conservative than the Democrats, which in itself isn’t saying much. But they are not fiscal conservative by any stretch.

  • National Catholic Distorter does have John Allen, the best Catholic journalist in the country, on its staff.

  • There’s a reason that Mr. Goldberg’s writing led me to NRO…..

  • What is the abortion issue to a pro-choice voter? It is the threat that an elective surgery which is performed to prevent embarrassment (embarrassment over something that the social liberal has no problem with) will – sometime in the far distant future – possibly get struck down as a Constitutional right by the Supreme Court, and then it will be left up to the states, where most of them will continue to uphold the legality of the elective surgery. If you claim that Obama is bad for the economy, why would you ever weigh the former above the latter?

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