Compassionate Conservatism Is Dead…Or Is it?
First, Sully points out that the recent Republican debates signal a return to true fiscal conservatism and the death throes of anything else…
It’s also clear that compassionate conservatism is dead. Every single candidate favors reduced taxes and big spending cuts. None, however, is prepared to say that Medicare and Social Security must be on the chopping block. The grand experiment in big-government Republicanism is therefore rhetorically over. Sorry, Mr Gerson – but only one Republican is dumb enough to embrace the bromides of government spending as the cure for all our woes. And he’s got a limit of two terms. That’s a victory of sorts for those of us urging conservatives to abandon their big spending ways. I say “of sorts” because in practice, there’s no sign that any of them, except Paul and possibly McCain, mean a scintilla of what they are saying.
But is it? See, the reason I question this is I’ve been hearing whispers that poverty is going to be a big issue in 2008, and it’s being driven by memeber of the Religious Right…like author of The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren and other evangelicals who are questioning why the movement is so focused on the two wedge issues of abortion and sexuality.
“There’s a growing constituency in the evangelical movement that says we really do need to broaden our agenda,” said the Rev. Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., who last year stepped down as president-elect of the Christian Coalition after the group refused to include climate change and poverty on its agenda. “We need to be not so narrow and combative.” […]
The next generation will likely be less easily swayed by the right’s mobilization efforts, he added. “Younger evangelicals are slightly less partisan, and they tend to be less scared by secularism,” Wilcox said. “They’re engaging a broader social agenda.”
Last year, pastor Rick Warren, the author of the popular book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” drew the ire of some conservative Christians for inviting Democratic Sen. Barack Obama to an AIDS conference at his Saddleback Church in California.
And 86 evangelicals, including Warren and Florida’s Hunter, backed an initiative on climate change, drawing criticism from James Dobson and other conservatives who oppose Christian involvement on climate issues. Last week, a coalition of evangelical leaders launched an initiative to lobby Congress for immigration reform.
Honestly, I think compassion is alive and well…but government funded compassion from a Republican?
Well…I guess we’ll see…