the lloyd bentsen question

who are we, and why are we here? ross perot’s former running mate has the right question for conservatives. the first part requires a definition of our core — what we consider important values for a conservative. the second part requires an explanation of our purpose and vision — what we need to do to restore this ideology as a viable governing philosophy in DC. grassroots conservatives know what makes us who we are, but as far as getting the politicians to listen to us, well, we are still working on that part.

karen tumulty in time magazine:

Conservatives are in many ways victims of their successes, and there have indeed been big ones. At 35%, the top tax rate is about half what it was when Reagan took office; the Soviet Union broke up; inflation is barely a nuisance; crime is down; and welfare is reformed. But if all that’s true, what is conservatism’s rationale for the next generation? What set of goals is there to hold together a coalition that has always been more fractious than it seemed to be from the outside, with its realists and its neoconservatives, its religious ground troops and its libertarian intelligentsia, its Pat Buchanan populists and its Milton Friedman free traders? That is why the challenge for Republican conservatives goes far deeper than merely trying to figure out how to win the next election. 2008 is a question with a very clear premise: Does the conservative movement still have what it takes to redeem its grand old traditions — or, better, to chart new territory?

these are questions our future standard-bearers should answer. we will continue to wait until it happens, or until someone steals newt’s notes on the subject.

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