In the Republicans’ efforts to make conservatism palatable to 51 pct. of the voters, they have yet to agree on a workable code name. George W.Bush came up with “compassionate” conservatism, which oddly suggested that other forms were not. Sen. Rob. Portman arrived at the Cleveland City Club on Friday to promote his anti-poverty , “constructive” conservatism, a term which you may fairly conclude, dismisses all that came before it as quite destructive.
Nearly a decade ago, Rod Dreyer, one of National Review’s gurus, introduced “crunchy” conservatism to define those who “embrace a counter-cultural, yet traditional (!) conservative lifestyle.” I know what you’re thinking. I don’t know what that means, either.
Add to this neoconservatism, social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, Reagan conservatism, Deep South conservatism, convenient conservatism and cuckoo conservatism, and you must get ready for a couple of more years of specialized linguistic lunacy before the next presidential election.
But before I leave the stage: I found it interesting that Portman voted to defend Hobby Lobby on the Democrats’ Senate bill that would have made life easier for women in the marketplace. I don’t exaggerate the importance of the vote on the measure that could not reach the 60-vote threshold against a Republican threat of a filibuster. Two Republican female senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, crossed party lines to join the solid Democratic vote. Hint, hint, Republican guys.
Portman defended his vote as support of religious freedom, the same freedom, I would suppose, that led him to support same-sex marriage as the father of a gay son. We used to call this “situation ethics”.