the new (scarier?) conservative

The front page of the San Francisco Chronicle a few days back included a story about Carly Fiorina’s bid to oust Barbara Boxer as one of the US Senators from California.  Actually, the article is more about how Carla is part of a “new” breed of pro-woman, pro-life voters.

This article struck me for a number of reasons.  First, there is an immediate concern that people will be so wrapped up in the Whitman-Brown gubernatorial race that they will forget about the one for Senate between Fiorina and Boxer.  While I am worried that Whitman is going to grab me off the street and tell me I’m an immigrant and try to send me to China (can’t send me “back” if I was born in New Jersey and have never been to the “homeland”), I am also concerned about Fiorina’s platform.

The other and perhaps more important aspect to Fiorina’s run is that she is apparently representative of this new group of women voters that are feminist and fight for women’s rights, yet are also pro-life.  I must admit that I had a hard time separating the two – that a woman can believe fiercely in her own rights, yet no in having the choice on the issue of abortion.  One can be pro-choice but anti-abortion.  But specifically pro-life, which means taking away the right to choice, is striking.

This brings me around to several articles that emerged when the Obama administration took over and the Democrats seemed to “control” Washington (ugh – what a mess that all is now, including Obama’s recent moves regarding the oil spill in the gulf, compromises on health care reform, inability to bridge the gaps even within his own party, etc) about how young, moderate conservatives no longer had a party to call their own.

As the Republican party has become more and more conservative and, if you listen to Limbaugh and Palin, rather extremist (IMO), it seems that there are many that identify themselves as right of center (sometimes significantly so) yet are not comfortable with what the party has declared to be its values.  I used to think I was a bit right of center.  I’m a centrist, but maybe a bit conservative.  But now, as I look at how far to the right the Republican party has swung, I look at my opinions and realize I’m decidedly on the Democratic side.

But this is in terms of beliefs.  I don’t necessarily want to label myself as a Democrat, but if I go by positions on various issues, that’s where I am.  In comparison, there are many mild conservatives that have beliefs and positions that leave them too far to the center of current Republican ideals and therefore with nowhere to go.

I believe in Keynesian economics and, more specifically, that the only financial entity that can “afford” to make massive, nation-wide fiscal changes is the federal government.  I believe that the only way to fund such stimulus is by deficit spending.  I can easily place myself within the Democratic camp on this one.

In comparison, what if there is a conservative who believes that the government has to intervene, has to spend to grow, and must put in regulations on the financial sector yet also is pro-life, generally small-government-oriented, and in accordance with other Republican positions?  Well, based on the rhetoric that comes out of the right-wing camp about the stimulus package alone, I have a few friends that feel left out in the cold, with no party to call their own.


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