We Need Better Conservatives.

Stole this from over at Jamelle’s spot.


In all honesty, I can’t watch this without wanting to punch my computer screen in.  Everything about this woman is loathsome: her pitiful ignorance, her open anti-Muslim bigotry, and perhaps most infuriatingly, her unabashed smugness. …

Why does the world hate us?  Because of people like this, and the arrogant “know-nothingism” they represent.

I empathize with dude.  This proudly anti-intellectual vein of American conservatism has taken its toll on the country, of course, but its also come at a huge cost to the Republican party. Even moreso than Bush, Sarah Palin represents the apotheosis of this phenomenon, because her selection marked the moment that religious conservatives stopped being a group Republicans were good at speaking to and instead became the only part of their bloc that mattered. A lot of libertarians and paleoconservatives were probably relieved that Huckabee lost steam so quickly after Iowa (I know Huck’s a stand-up, cool dude, but his policy positions are crazy), but they must have been livid when McCain plucked Palin out of the woods.

But this kind of anti-intellectualism is bad for progressives, too. It’s easy to dismiss this lady, or  the true believers over at NRO who speak in talking points and defend Palin for having “great political instincts and experience” absent any evidence to back it up. It’s too easy. I think good liberalism requires a thoughtful, reasonable conservatism. And there are plenty of those voices out there (Douthat, Larison, the folks at the Confabulum , and the Next Right, for starters), even if we disagree with them on a lot of stuff. Let’s hope that if the Republicans are tossed from the Senate and the House and Washington’s expected liberal realignment begins, it’s voices like those that move to the fore in the Republican party.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • rakia

    This makes me SOOOOOOOOOOO angry!

  • good liberalism requires a thoughtful, reasonable conservatism. . . . even if we disagree with them on a lot of stuff. Let’s hope that if the Republicans are tossed from the Senate and the House and Washington’s expected liberal realignment begins, its voices like those that move to the fore in the Republican party.

    Amen and hallellujah.

  • quadmoniker

    I’ve long suspected that the people who have a problem because Obama is “Muslim” actually think “Muslim” is an ethnicity. I think she kind supports that a little bit, she has a problem because his father was a Muslim. I hate this the most, because evangelicals love personal revelation stories. A 7-year-old isn’t safe in this church, even they have to have a moment where they must asked to be saved before they truly are. Every week the faithful have to go down to the altar and ask Jesus to come into their heart. But more than that, they love people who have sinned and are born-again. So why can they not believe that Obama became a Christian after he walked into a church as a young adult and heard a message of hope? I mean, I know the real answer, that it’s just racism, but it annoys me how they pick and choose the narratives that they want to hear.

  • Tiffany

    This campaign season has had me thinking the same thing, that I would like to hear an intelligent argument from their side. Even if I didn’t agree with it, I would appreciate a conservative argument that is based on facts and reason. I want to hear some challenging discourse. Raise the bar of the discussion. Give those of us who support the other parties a reason to view you as worthy opponents and not brainless, cartoonish villains.

    In the interest of trying to broaden my perspective–even though I knew I’d be voting for Obama–I watched the Republican convention. I wanted to see their side of things. After hearing so much inspiring rhetoric from the Democratic convention, I wanted to see how they would do things. But it seemed like all they did was praise themselves for not being Democrats. They didn’t really talk about what their party had to offer. It was very disappointing.

    And seeing this video now is both frightening and infuriating. As a Black Christian, it makes me mad to hear people like her basically say that our version of Christianity is not good enough. It’s no different than all the Puritans who called us savages and heathens.

  • quadmoniker

    I couldn’t remember the name for this kind of idea, that all believers have to have a story through which they found God. They’re “conversion” stories. You would think that, if Obama had been raised in Islam (which we know he was not) that would make his conversion story all the more powerful? But they’re not interested in real Christianity, and never have been.

  • Big Word

    God bless her. All that hate camouflaged as righteous indignation. People like her are really mad because of the notion that they’re livilihoods are being taken from them, but really over the last 30 years they gave them away.

  • I actually think it’s fear camouflaged as stubborn, indignant, inflexibility. Which is sort of sad.

  • (And I don’t think it’s racist fear, or fear of terrorism or anything. I think it’s a more bottom-line fear of being completely outclassed, literally–ending up broke, uneducated, unemployable, and completely marginalized.)