Several times on this blog I've wondered out loud if there are any thoughtful conservatives left, ones who'd call out their own. Certainly there are none among those who leave their droppings here. But, it turns out, there's at least one more, after David Stockman, which is practically a crowd. I've never heard of him, but still. And he pretty much says everything I've been saying.
These days it's getting increasingly embarrassing to publicly identify oneself as a conservative. It was bad enough when George Bush 43, the K Street Gang, and the neo-cons were running up spending, fighting an unnecessary war of choice in Iraq, incurring massive deficits, expanding entitlements, and all the rest of the nonsense I cataloged over the years in posts like Bush 43 has been a disaster for conservatives.
These days, however, the most prominent so-called conservatives are increasingly fit only to be cast for the next Dumb and Dumber sequel. They're dumb and crazy.
He goes on, to provide a list:
Let's tick off ten things that make this conservative embarrassed by the modern conservative movement:
- A poorly educated ex-sportwriter who served half of one term of an minor state governorship is prominently featured as a -- if not the -- leading prospect for the GOP's 2012 Presidential nomination.
- Tom Tancredo calling President Obama “the greatest threat to the United States today" and arguing that he be impeached. Bad public policy is not a high crime nor a misdemeanor, and the casual assertion that pursuing liberal policies--however misguided--is an impeachable offense is just nuts.
- Similar nonsense from former Ford-Reagan treasury department officials Ernest Christian and Gary Robbins, who IBD column was, as Doug Marconisobserved, "a wildly exaggerated attack on President Obama’s record in office." Actually, it's more foaming at the mouth.
- As Doug also observed, "The GOP controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006: Combine neocon warfare spending with entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects and you end up with a GOP welfare/warfare state driving the federal spending machine." Indeed, "when the GOP took control of Congress in 1994, and the White House in 2000, the desire to use the levers of power to create “compassionate conservatism” won our over any semblance of fiscal conservatism. Instead of tax cuts and spending cuts, we got tax cuts along with a trillion dollar entitlement program, a massive expansion of the Federal Government’s role in education, and two wars. That’s not fiscal conservatism it is, as others have said, fiscal insanity." Yet, today's GOP still has not articulated a message of real fiscal conservatism.
- Thanks to the Tea Party, the Nevada GOP has probably pissed away a historic chance to out=st Harry Reid. See also Charlie Crist in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and so on. Whatever happened to not letting perfection be the enemy of the good?
- The anti-science and anti-intellectualism that pervade the movement.
- Trying to pretend Afghanistan is Obama's war.
- The substitution of mouth-foaming, spittle-blasting, rabble-rousing talk radio for reasoned debate. Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, and even Rush Limbaugh are not exactly putting on Firing Line. Whatever happened to smart, well-read, articulate leaders like Buckley, Neuhaus, Kirk, Jack Kent, Goldwater, and, yes, even Ronald Reagan?
I like that he seems to get a little self-induced embarrassment as he includes Ronnie in that last one.
The guy is a law professor, so maybe in addition to embarrassment he feels a bit threatened by the aggressive anti-intellectualism of his party. Whatever the reason, he's saying, practically verbatim, the things I've been saying for years. Would that people like him would regain prominence in the Republican party. Because, as I've also said many times, we need two strong parties in this country, each able to function as intelligent, thoughtful, loyal, and reasonable opposition when the other is in power. We're so far away from that now that it's impossible to imagine finding our way back.