Conservatives once purported to believe in a set of ideas and ideals. But now it seems they only believe in acquiring political power for power’s sake. Thus, they all too often avoid substantive discussion about controversial issues like ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ And so it is that they are losing the battle for America.
The Left has historically and wrongly used the charge of racism as a potent political weapon to smear conservatives — and they’re at it again now with Rand Paul. But while Paul may be many things — a principled libertarian, a neo-isolationist, soft on defense, etc. — he’s no racist. And conservatives — at the FrumForum and elsewhere — should know better than to shamefully acquiesce in the Left’s latest attempt at character assassination.
In 1970, when Richard Blumenthal served, many young Americans joined the military reserves to avoid fighting overseas. Today, by contrast, many young Americans join the reserves precisely so that they can fight overseas. That’s because America today has an operational reserve that is integral to the U.S. military and its war-fighting team. This is an important achievement which we must sustain. Indeed, Congress must ensure that we never revert back to the bad old days when reservists were second-class citizens and unequal members of the United States military.
Why do I hold Sarah Palin to a more exacting standard than I do David Frum? Simple: because Palin and Frum fulfill different roles in the conservative movement. Palin is a political leader; Frum an intellectual leader. As an intellectual leader, Frum has much greater leeway — and an obligation really — to challenge conservative orthodoxy. Palin, by contrast, is abandoning conservative policy positions that she does not yet fully understand and has not yet fully thought through.
The Obama administration is trying to cut the defense budget again, and ironically in the name of fiscal discipline. But while reform is desirable, it should not be used as a ruse to further cut a defense budget that is already too small. How conservatives respond to the Obama administration’s latest offensive will help determine whether the Right still stands for a strong national defense and an assertive U.S foreign policy.
Critics or my recent NewsReal Blog post miss my point. My point is not to disparage either Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, both of whom I like, respect and admire. My point is to be candid about Palin’s shortcomings so that she can change. Because America needs the Sarah Palin that can be, not the Sarah Palin that now is.
Given her public record as governor, and given her pronouncements on public-policy matters, no one should be surprised by Sarah Palin’s refusal to endorse prominent conservative candidates for national office. Why, then do some conservatives (like FrumForum’s Tim Mak) seem to expect Palin to act differently? Why do they expect Palin to act more like a true conservative politician?
Conservatives like Bill Kristol and John McCain still don’t ‘get’ the defense budget. Nor do they understand 21st Century U.S. military requirements. McCain actually wants to cut the defense spending. Kristol wants to increase defense spending, but doesn’t understand what that the new money must be spent on. Both Kristol and McCain, moreover, lack strategic vision. And both contribute to the failure of strategic vision that is now endemic on the Right.
New social media networking tools are giving U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines the ability to communicate to a mass audience. A serviceman’s exercise of his free speech rights may be unsettling to many military chieftains. However, it is unavoidable and protected by the First Amendment. Free speech also is beneficial to the U.S. military.
American University’s apologists claim that the university isn’t censoring anyone. However, such a claim is disingenuous in light of what has transpired these past two weeks on the AU campus.