Battlepanda: What ails the GOP


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What ails the GOP

Oh my, George Will is one fed-up conservative. Watch him tear the G.O.P. a new one in this op-ed:

"It does me no injury," said Thomas Jefferson, "for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." But it is injurious, and unneighborly, when zealots try to compel public education to infuse theism into scientific education. The conservative coalition, which is coming unglued for many reasons, will rapidly disintegrate if limited-government conservatives become convinced that social conservatives are unwilling to concentrate their character-building and soul-saving energies on the private institutions that mediate between individuals and government, and instead try to conscript government into sectarian crusades.

But, then, the limited-government impulse is a spent force in a Republican Party that cannot muster congressional majorities to cut the growth of Medicaid from 7.3 to 7 percent next year. That "cut" was too draconian for some Republican "moderates." But, then, most Republicans are moderates as that term is used by persons for whom it is an encomium: Moderates are people amiably untroubled by Washington's single-minded devotion to rent-seeking -- to bending government for the advantage of private factions.

Conservatives have won seven of 10 presidential elections, yet government waxes, with per-household federal spending more than $22,000 per year, the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II. Federal spending -- including a 100 percent increase in education spending since 2001 -- has grown twice as fast under President Bush as under President Bill Clinton, 65 percent of it unrelated to national security.

That's an interesting angle. According to George, the Republican Party is all screwed up because it has been hijacked by 'moderates'. That's an awfully interesting definition of 'moderates'...

No matter, the important thing about this column is that it acknowledges what anybody paying attention on either side of the aisle has known for a long, long, time -- the Republican have been out-porking the Democrats for a long time. And they have not put their mouth where their rhetoric is regarding the downsizing of the government. Yet they're still utilizing the American people's perception of them as the small-government party to push through their regressive tax cuts and legitimize their attacks on programs that make a difference in people's lives. If, as George Will seem to be implying, we are to have a big government no matter which party is in power, let's at least have the party that will try to make government work rather than the party that yammers on about how government is the problem while it piles more pork onto its plate.