The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Gentle Reminder

I'm always up for another article refuting the craven and disingenuous line that the GOP has screwed everything up so completely in the last six years because they "weren't being true conservatives." This crew has given the nation everything wingers loved about Reagan-- from an expanded federal government and unrestrained spending to secretiveness and defiance of the rule of law.

Conservatives now react to the debacle that is the Bush administration with two general strategies -- denial and disavowal. Conservatives are cutting and running from George W. Bush, blaming him for straying from the conservative gospel, and invoking, by contrast, an iconic Ronald Reagan as exemplar of that faith.

But the spin won't cover the reality. Over the first six years of the Bush administration, conservatives largely had their way. With Bush and Karl Rove pursuing a political strategy of feeding their base, Tom DeLay ramrodding the conservative majority in the Congress, and the corporate lobby enforcing discipline, movement conservatives set the course of the country -- with catastrophic results.

Each of the signature Bush follies -- Iraq, Katrina, Enron, privatization of Social Security, the Terri Schiavo case, trickle-down economics that didn't trickle -- can be traced directly to conservative ideas and the conservative think tanks and ideologues that championed them. In every case, conservatism failed, not simply because of corruption or incompetence, but because of original conception. Sensate conservatives have, in the words Irving Kristol once applied to liberals, "been mugged by reality." Actual existing conservatism fails because it gets the world wrong. And invoking Reagan offers not salvation but confirmation of that failure, for Reagan championed many of the same ideas and inflicted similar debacles on the nation.

Recommended as a useful chronicle of stupidity-- or at least how to deal with over-tired, contrarian 5 year-olds.