See video below article …
I was watching MSNBC today, listening to a conservative analyst admit how what passes muster for a conservative is a ‘sliding scale.’ Indeed, today’s conservatism is not only much further to the right than what was a conservative in 1980, but it also is not so much about a steady ideology anymore but about ‘getting to the right’ of others on any given issue. We can see that clearly play out in any race from a state level race to Presidential Politics.
There is an exception to that, as Bill Maher brilliantly pointed out in his ‘New Rules’ segment this week. When a given issue ‘hits home’ and affects them or someone around them, the rules change. Suddenly, they get ‘liberal’ on that one thing. He uses some great examples to make his case.
Dick Cheney, a man who is the very definition of ‘far right wing’ in every way — except on gay marriage. His daughter is gay.
Jeb Bush. Solid conservative. Except he is more progressive than his peers on immigration and Mexico. His wife is a Mexican immigrant. He is more enlightened on paths forward to deal with drug abuse. His daughter was an addict.
He goes back to Dan Quayle. He was 100 percent pro-life. Then, when asked about how he would react if his daughter got pregnant, Quayle said he would counsel and speak with her, but ultimately it was her choice. His daughter got a choice, but all those poor women who aren’t his daughter … f – em.
John McCain never met a war he didn’t like, but ‘say no’ to torture preaches the Senator — because HE was tortured.
Ronald Reagan was all of a sudden concerned with AIDS after his good friend, Rock Hudson came down with it. Likewise, Nancy Reagan was a proponent of stem cell research after Ronnie got Alzheimer’s.
Case after case, the pattern is clear.
Funny, though, none of the current Presidential candidates seem to apply this to immigration. All of them stood on a debate stage the other night and told the tale of their immigrant parents and grandparents. Poor people who didn’t speak English and worked menial, low wage jobs. Then they stood up and spoke about how what we need to do is round up all those poor, non-English speaking immigrants and ship them out. The irony police should be en route to arrest them.
On that issue, it seems to be more of the typical ‘close the door behind them’ mentality. Also, on climate change, Bill points out that maybe James Inhofe has to be eaten by a starving polar bear for him to change or maybe the Koch brothers need to be swept up in a fracking-induced earthquake to get any traction from the GOP. Apparently the rule is ‘must affect the current generation in a republican’s life’ to get them to move. Jeb (and George’s for that matter, a point missed by Maher) Bush’s immigration stance being a great example of that.
Check out Maher’s snarky but brilliant analysis of what it takes to make a conservative liberal on at least one issue HERE:
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com