I recently read a rather interesting article by someone named Kathleen Geier, a writer for among other outlets, the Washington Monthly, DailyKos and Huffington Post. In it, she has allegedly "decoded" allegedly Republican/conservative phrases. These, she argues, are designed to confuse the recipients of conservative messages because, after all, it is only liberals and Democrats who avoid double-speak and who speak clearly and truthfully to the masses. In her liberal universe, these phrases are "abstractions" only. This article may likely be a portal into the closed mind of your average liberal today- someone devoid of commonsense, who twists logic to the point that they actually have the reader/listener believing the contorted logic that is spit out.
Without further ado, the first of these abstract conservative ideas is that of "small government." To Geier, and I suspect many other liberals, that means "no social security, no Medicare, or unemployment insurance." Quite frankly, I can think of very few, if any, Republicans or conservatives who have called for the abolition of any of these programs. I have heard and read thoughtful ideas for reform which is more than can be said of any Democratic/liberal proposal out there to make social security or Medicare solvent now and in the future. Social Security is a program designed in the 1930s which Democrats view as sacrosanct while employing proxies like the AARP to spread falsehoods and propaganda. The fact is that on its present course, Social Security will implode upon itself under a mountain of debt. The program was designed when there were many more workers paying into the system than retirees withdrawing from it. Today, there are about 2.1 workers for every retiree. Secondly, social security was designed to be but one of three components to retirement security. The other two were personal savings and private pension plans. To the liberal/Democrat, they act as if it is and should only be Social Security. The fact is that the program was designed as a safety net for those that fell below a certain minimum threshold of retirement income. It has evolved into an entitlement open to any and all despite other sources of retirement income. One of the funniest ideas put forth by the Democrats is the line that Republicans want to return us to the 18th century. Actually, it is the Democrats living in the past who cling to their entitlement programs crafted in an era vastly different from the reality of today. No, Ms. Geier, conservatives do not want to abolish Social Security, Medicare or unemployment insurance. We do want to reform it to make it conform to the realities of the 21st Century and to make it solvent not only today, but in the future. Incidentally, "small government" does not entail a 2,000+ page health reform package, a Frank-Dodd bill that nowhere nears addresses the causes of the 2007 financial meltdown, more than 80 federal economic development programs, etc.
To Ms. Geier, "right to life" means potential death for thousands of women forced to bear a child. The main exceptions to abortion are rape, incest or (most importantly) when the life of the mother is in danger. Geez....even Todd Akin believed in that one. One can imagine that Ms. Geier is one of those people who are more concerned about the home being provided in a cat adoption than in the life of a fetus in the womb. The "right to life," to quote Ronald Reagan, means giving a voice to the only party that has no say in the abortion debate and the one most adversely affected- the unborn. As he noted, those most in favor or abortion rights are the living. Likely, Ms. Geier is summoning forth the images of wire hangars and back alley abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned. By the same token, she then would argue that state laws which regulate abortions like licensing of clinics and offices, informed consent, waiting periods and even notification- all designed to provide a safe, sterile, informed environment- are merely roadblocks being placed in the way of women seeking an abortion. In other words, damned if you and damned if you don't; its full steam ahead since a fetus, which can feel pain and looks suspiciously human, is nothing but a glob of cells to the liberal. Worse yet, it is an "inconvenience" to be dealt with since the overwhelming majority of abortions performed in this country are NOT for cases of pregnancy due to rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger.
She succinctly summarizes "states rights" as being the equivalent of racism, although she then adds homophobia. By this, one can assume she is referring to the gay marriage debate. News flash: since our founding- a fact noted by several court decisions- the definition of marriage has fallen to states, not the federal government. There is no national marriage law, other than Section 3 of DOMA. Even there, one can argue, based on a "state's rights" basis, that Congress overstepped its bounds and intruded on a traditional state function. Ironically, by accepting this "state's rights" view, states like New Hampshire, Maine, and others have the right to allow gay marriage and the federal government would be obliged to recognize those marriages. But, that state's rights justification is a double-edged sword for the liberal because it would allow 30+ other states to ban gay marriage. And lest we give her the benefit of the doubt, it comes back to "smaller government." It is true that the definition of marriage in DOMA has over 1,000 practical implications under federal law. This simply could be avoided if the federal government wrote and enacted laws that did not socially engineer.
"Free markets" means that there would be no consumer safety laws, no worker safety laws, no minimum wages, no food safety laws, etc. Again, I know of no Republican or conservative who argues against any of these things except possibly the minimum wage laws. The fact is that government over-regulation distorts the free market. Every sane conservative I know agrees that regulations designed to enhance transparency into the free market is a good thing. That transparency allows everyone to make informed decisions that may lead to success OR failure. That's right- in a free market, it is the market that decides winners and losers. In Ms. Geier's concept of the free market, everyone is a winner. Except there is a big problem with that belief- the government is notoriously bad in running a business (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) or picking winners and losers (ethanol subsidies, Solyndra, etc.). Also, if everyone is a winner, we achieve nothing but mediocrity. Although she failed to mention it, I am sure most liberals believe conservatives want smog, acid rain, and burning rivers also.
I was surprised to learn that "judicial restraint" meant returning us to the 19th century according to this article. I was under the impression that it meant (1) adhering to the United States Constitution and (2) the will of the people as expressed through their chosen leaders. But then again, it is the US Constitution that sometimes gets in the way of the mindset of most liberals. Those words are pretty black and white and spell out the role of states and the federal government. If a document states that powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people, that is what it means. But then again, if Ms. Geier does not understand the true meaning of the phrase "state's rights," then one would not expect her to understand "judicial restraint" or "free markets."
"Family values" means that the woman should stay at home, that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that censorship of what conservatives deem to be "offensive" will be the law of the land, etc. First, no conservative believes that a woman's place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant and preferably cooking dinner. However, we do take exception to criticism of those women who CHOOSE to remain stay-at-home mothers. To the liberal, that conceptualization may as well be of a woman from outer space being secretly stored away at Area 51. Incidentally, to the liberal, today's woman wants unfettered access to abortion and contraception and that these issues and these alone define "the modern woman." As for that definition of marriage, again I refer Ms. Geier to the part about state's rights. Hey- if Connecticut wants to allow it, fine. I'll meet her on that point if she meets me halfway and concedes that other states can define marriage as between a man and woman. And as for censorship, I have no comment since the First Amendment is part of the Constitution and most liberals have a problem with that document.
Finally, she claims that "right to work" means union-busting plain and simple. Again, no it doesn't. It means giving workers a choice as to whether a part of their wages will be diverted to union dues. Its kind of funny how liberals rail about choice when it comes to things like abortion and contraception or who to marry and the like, but when it comes to choice in health care, their employer, etc., choice is sudedenly thrown out the window. If the underlying philosophy is "choice," then why in certain instances, but not in others?
Finally, she claims that conservatives have now adopted the phrase "religious freedom" as a code word to deny women this supposed right to contraception. In fact, she turns the issue around and uses "religious freedom" to defend the liberal/feminist view that Catholic bishops should not be dictating contraceptive availability to women. Let me get this right. It is liberals who claim there is this wall of separation between church and state, except when it comes to the state dictating something to the church. Then, the church is supposed to roll over and become subservient to the state, in the mind of a liberal because it is, after all, the state that knows best.
It is obvious that liberals play by a certain set of rules. Religious freedom is great as long as it raises secularism above religion. Yet when the phrase is used in its truest sense, then it a conservative code word for "icky" (her word) conservative motives and actions. Of course, there is no concept of judicial restraint or small government in the mind of the liberal. Apparently, there is no "right to life" nor is their a right to work free of union dues. To them, unions are the panacea to cure income inequality. After all, one of their heroes- Paul Krugman- noted that in the 1950s, tax rates on the rich were "91%" and union membership was at an all-time high and the country did quite well economically. But yet again, their hypocrisy is exposed. It is the Republicans who want to turn back the hands of time to a bygone era, yet it is Democrats and liberals stuck in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s. Comparing 2012 to 1952 is devoid of logic. Choice is all the rage in the areas they deem so, but there should be no choice in other areas. The benevolent hand of government is the cure for everything and damn the free market.
This article was posted on DailyKos as a "must read" editorial piece for the political children who patronize that site. After all, this is the same website that is currently organizing an on-line petition to have Elizabeth Warren named to the Senate Banking Committee when they aren't urging her to run for President in 2016 and, presumably, Queen of the World after that. A cursory look at some of Geier's most recent articles indicates that she is of the belief that conservative opposition to Susan Rice is attributable to racism and, if not that, then sexism. She also reports that the recent "worker" protests at Wal-Marts were a huge success although Wal-Mart reports their best Black Friday sales EVER. Of course, she conveniently neglects to report that many of these "worker/protesters" did not actually work for Wal-Mart.
DailyKos concludes their recommendation of reading Geier's article to "see what we (liberals) are up against." I would suggest the article (which was "reprinted" on RealClearPolitics) that every conservative read the article to see what WE are up against.