I’ve been seriously-remiss in collating this, which ought to give you a second hint of my upcoming “unrequested” answer (if that poll over on the left side didn’t give you enough of a hint). Let’s briefly summarize what the Week 2-4 folks (revisions/extensions – I really need a calendar) said…
– John McAdams, the Marquette Warrior said that foreign-policy conservatism, which he described as “a vigorous response to terrorism and to terrorist regimes”, took a drubbing, but that the seeds to a resurgence of conservatives in the Republican Party and by extension politics have been planted.
– Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, speaking out of the “public” side of his mouth, said that conservatism, including tax cuts, was alive and well (side note; the political side of Huebsch’s mouth has been rather busy giving lie to this assertation – many thanks to Owen for exposing the Assembly’s version of Mary Panzer).
– Assemblywoman Leah Vukmir said that the Pubbies needed to return to fiscal as well as social conservatism.
– Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said that a return to the principles of less government and personal liberty is what is needed, and that he’s hopeful that the Pubbies will do so quickly.
– George Lightbourn, one of WPRI’s said that a refocus away from the partisan political and onto individualism is what’s needed.
– Messmer Catholic Schools President Brother Bob Smith said we got “a bad tank of fuel on its present journey”.
– State Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald blamed the 2006 losses in Wisconsin on the Pubbies’ inability to credibly sell itself as the party of lower taxes, smaller and cleaner government, and economic freedom and promised that the Senate Pubbies will learn the lesson this time.
– WPRI President James H. Miller wonders if conservatism is out of oxygen because there are no new conservative ideas, and holds up the upcoming State Supreme Court battle between Louis Butler and whoever (if anybody) steps up to challenge him as the decisive battle.
– Marquette Law School Dean Joseph D. Kearney sticks with his area of expertise, the law and judiciary, in saying that conservatism is anything other than out of gas, but goes off the rails in defending the Kelo decision (side note; it was the larger populace that allows him to say that conservatism survives on the federal judiciary because we defeated Harriet “Mushroom” Miers).
– State Senator Glenn Grothman outlined 3 areas where conservatives can make inroads on the liberal base – affirmative action, the alliance between the Left and teachers’ unions, and social engineering (side note; whatever happened to the issue that put Grothman in the Senate, taxes?)
– Mark Neumann noted that there are two flavors of conservatives – the “pocketbook” conservatives who will vote for anybody that espouses limited goverment and low taxes, and the “hot button” conservatives who will not look further at a candidate who does not pass “their” issue. He went on to say that almost no conservative ran on either the pocketbook or the biggest 3 “hot button” issues (abortion, gay “rights”, 2nd-Amendment rights), and that the pendulum will swing back to the conservative points of view. Of note, nowhere in his missive did he use the word “Republican”.
– Christian Schneider brings out a bit of Dennis York in his answer – “I’ll tell you when I’m done with this burrito.” Seriously, he points out that “(t)rue fiscal conservatism remains the ‘Big Idea That’s Never Been Tried’ in Wisconsin.” (Side note; I need to highlight this answer.)
– Scott Niederjohn and Mark C. Schug, economics professors at Lakeland College and UWM (respectively), focus on the health care “crisis” and the failure of education of basic free-market economic principles.
– Thomas C. Reeves, another fellow at WPRI, outlines an 8-step program to counter the near-term conditions that leave Democrats in “excellent” shape.
– Deb Jordahl says that it wasn’t conservatives that left the Republican Party, but the Republican Party that left conservatives.
These quick synopses don’t do the essays justice, so go read them. I’ll almost certainly take at least some of them apart for further analysis when I get back from my fishing trip next week (that’s right, the guest-bloggers are going to make a comeback, so business will likely pick up here :-) .
Revisions/extensions (9:10 am 5/23/2007) – Not only do I need a calendar (that was the first revision), I need to pay closer attention to my subscribed feeds. Lance Burri gave a pep talk worthy of Vince Lombardi, or at least Mike Holmgren. I guess that’s the antithesis of my missive above.