Sunday, July 23, 2006

Identity crisis

I'm sure we're all in the same boat in that we all are in a bit of disbelief when something we say in a drunken 4th of July Weekend Geopolitical/Philosphical Verbal Brew Haha actually comes to pass, but I stumbled on this today and was thinking of a comment I made to McCammon(the Ugly one ;) about the state of conservative thought in the US and how after Bush's term of office has passed, the GOP will be left to deal with a major identity crisis. Affirmation from one of the biggest movers out there has come in the person of William F Buckley.

The article of course speaks to the heart of the philosphical differences between a more classical conservative like Buckley and the brand of Conservatism embraced by the George W Bush Administration, which without going into detail here, is combination of corporate stoogism, Christo-Fascism,deficit Spending that makes Ronald Reagan look like Ebenezer Scrooge, and general administrative incompetence. But what i find more interesting is the sheer number of "conservatives" in the US who couldnt wait to sell their souls for 8 years in the White House.

Bush has defied classical conservativism a rediculous pace. The crown jewel of which has been the interventionist, nation building goodie bag in Iraq. But there a plenty of other examples domestically..... "The Department of Homeland Security", immigration, domestic surveillance, etc etc. Yet so many conservative (Buckely excluded of course) are the first in line to give these "bizzarro conservative" policies a big thumbs up.
Im reminded in Ontario terms of the Mike Harris Government's Toronto Mega City project and how many conservatives thought this consolidation was a great idea(so much for local control and the closest government to the people being the best government for the people).

I just have to wonder, when these alleged conservatives propose and support philosophical whoopers like that, do their stomachs turn. Does a little voice in their head tell them what they just supported runs contrary to the very fiber of the socio-political being. Or do they simply think "we're in charge, we can do what ever we want"? Or do they not think at all?

12 Comments:

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

First point. George W. Bush has never called himself a conservative. In 2000 while seeking the nomination, he made that point repeatedly. His domestic record, as alreay pointed out, is more in tune with JFK and Lyndon Johnson than a Ronald Reagan or Calvin Coolidge.

Foreign policy. This one is a bit trickier. His policy has elements of Truman and Johnson in his aggressivenss. It is definitely not a status quo realpolitik as practiced by the Nixon or Eisenhower administrations.

You will have a lot more divergence of opinions on the crux of W's foreign policy by conservatives. The isolationist/libertarian wing is obviously aghast on this matter. Country Club/establishment republicans are mixed - they don't mind the vision but harp on implementation. Some are openly supportive and wish a more aggressive implementation of what they believe is the messianic imperative to spread liberty worldwide.

So really, if you think about. Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush - texans in the white house with simlar records

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

As for conservative defenders of W. I can probably rhyme off at least a dozen who are disgusted with Bush on the domestic front, and are ambigious on the foreign front.

 
At 6:15 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

IF you asked me to grade Bush's tenure, I'd have to say this:


Taxes A-: Cut taxes, but didn't take care of the AMT issue, which will bite a ton of people in the upcoming years

Spending F: No control, and garbage like no child left behind, medicare bankruptcy (i.e. perscription benefit) - Lyndon Johnson would be proud.

Judges A+: Good solid constructionsts appointed. We'll ignore Harriet Myers on this LOL!

Governance - D: Signing McCain-Feingold is a crock. Not fixing motor-voter and improving transparceny and cracking down on voter fraud is shameful.

Foreign policy - INCOMPLETE. Won't know for a long time what to think on this. It could be a monumental failure, or a smashing success - won't know for 10 years I figure, and it won't be clear like the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 
At 6:16 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

Oh, and I forgot, he gets an F - on law enforcement - mainly because of the "catch and release policy" of the INS, the inability to control the borders, and the utter stupidity of airline security - all in the name of political correctness and no offending an 'emerging voting bloc'

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

Mitch,

You can not get an A- on taxes and an F on spending. They are one and the same. By the way, he is very Reaganesque in this area. He wants the praise for cutting taxes but not the abuse from cutting spending. The argument that the big deficit saves us from recession rings hollow in the sixth year. If 1/3 trillion deficits are the only way we can survive, there are some basic flaws. Laffer is dead in this country. Our tax rates aren't high enough for his hypothesis (it never passed the test to be deemed a theory) to be proved correct. When people talk about tax revenues going up it is because of the Keyensian effect of the deficit. I am not overly impressed with his exuberance that the deficit may fall under 300 billion this year. That's like a serial killer saying, "Hey, why are you so mad at me? You should be happy that I only killed eleven people this year, down from my normal 25-30!"

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

Point taken. Let's assume the deficit as "deferred taxation" and you're correct. So he gets an F on that overall - but upgraded to a C- if by some miracle we're in a surplus by 2009, and of course on somebody's elses watch!

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

As for transparency, why did they stop reporting M-3 as of March? Never mind, I think I know.

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger Bortolinius the Blogger said...

Hey Mitch, I took a look at the Club for Growth website yesterday...pretty cool! If the Republican Party is to be saved, these are the guys who can do it.

 
At 7:43 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

Jonah Goldberg on Bush's "Conservatism" (sort of):

Lost in the backroom debates and New Hampshire coffee klatches is the question of ideology. Until recently, the conservative objection to such “competence” worship was that it steals an intellectual base; it takes it as a given that the government is the solution to our problems. This is the opposite of the Reaganite view that the government, more often than not, is the problem. As of now, the only GOP candidate vying for the Reagan mantle is Virginia Sen. George Allen. The rap against Allen, alas, is that it’s not clear if his Reaganism amounts to much more than a well-rehearsed litany of bumper-sticker quotations.

Politics always change to meet the demands of the time. During the Cold War, small-government ideology had greater public appeal because the threat of “collectivism” seemed so much more salient. After the Cold War, voters — conservatives included — became more pragmatic. In the 1990s, a host of conservative policy intellectuals tried to remake conservatism into a philosophy of state intervention, under such rubrics as “national greatness” and “progressive conservatism.”

And while it is surely true that we live in times that require considerable policy savoir-faire, it’s worth remembering how we got here. George W. Bush didn’t run as a small-government conservative in the first place. He ran as a “reformer with results,” and his big-government conservatism was his attempt to make good on that promise. Some may claim — with some merit — that today’s longing for a problem-solver on a white horse is a response to Bush’s record in office. But this gets the causation backward. And the great irony is that Bush’s most enduring legacy, after the war on terror and his heroic Supreme Court picks, will in all likelihood be the political vindication of Michael Dukakis

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger The Salmon of Knowledge said...

I checked out the "club for Growth" website today and noticed two things. Theyre trying to sell the mantra's of "Reagan" and "small government" when Reagans record shows that he was really borrow and spend politician. Not really an embodiement of "conservative values", if you ask me.

Club for Growth also has endorsed Tim Walberg for Michigan 7th district. Walberg is a minister, former fund raiser for Moody Bible Institute and supports a Federal definition of marriage amendment.

So much for libertarian ideals and states rights.

No Thanks!

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

Generally, the premise of the club for growth is worthy. They fund primary challengers who meet their criteria against RINOs for example. Generally, I like the concept of more competitive primaries, as it helps the democratic process...

I'll write more on this on a later post

 
At 10:35 PM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

Here are my questions about Tim Walberg, one of these great candidate supported by the club for growth. Being a minister I'm guessing that his knowledge of economics, foreign countries and their cultures, law, and business development is somewhere approching nil. Therefore he must be manipulated in all of these areas by "experts" in the form of Congressional leaders and lobbyists who, coincidentally, will help get him re-elected. They will throw him bones on abortion, flag-burning, prayer in school, public religious displays, and (maybe) school vouchers. Why not save the expense and allow the house Republican leader to cast his vote. I am tired of ignorance in Congress. Can't we have some intelligent elitists back to replace the braindead bible-thumpers that seem to have taken over, intent on bringing on the end days.

 

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