Sunday, September 17, 2006

Just whistle while you work

Washington Monthly has posted 7 interesting editorials, collectively titled:

Conservatives on why the GOP should lose in 2006.

Most make honest, thoughtful criticisms of the radical right administration and Congress currently running the country. Sadly, however, most also serve up the usual "Dems are & have nothing" crap, as if to say that while the Republicans have thoroughly screwed the pooch,
the Democrats would have too, probably worse.

Bruce Fein: Restrain This White House

With Democrats controlling Congress, we could expect command-and-control laws requiring windmills on every farm, photovoltaic cells in every home, and hydrogen fuel in every car.

In foreign affairs, Democrats are stalled in the horse latitudes. They have no philosophical starting point. They sport no strategy for confronting the nuclear ambitions of Iran or North Korea, the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the growing friction between Japan on the one hand and China and South Korea on the other. Beating swords into plowshares and making war no more is not a strategy but utopian faith.

So conservatives should weep if Democrats prevail in the House or Senate.

God, I hate this crap. I guess that more Fair And Balanced™. But wait, there's more. He does actually say:
Republicans in Congress have bowed to the president’s scorn for the rule of law and craving for secret government. They have voted against Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold’s resolution to rebuke Bush for violating federal statutes and crippling checks and balances.

So the criticism is strong, it just can't be made without slamming the opposition, the rhetorical dirty trick of a grade school debater.

Joe Scarborough: And we thought Clinton had no self-control

But compare Clinton’s 3.4 percent growth rate to the spending orgy that has dominated Washington since Bush moved into town. With Republicans in charge of both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, spending growth has averaged 10.4 percent per year. And the GOP’s reckless record goes well beyond runaway defense costs.
. . .This must all be shocking to my Republican friends who still believe our country would be a better place if our party controlled every branch of government as well as every news network, movie studio, and mid-American pulpit.

Seems pretty positive. Too bad it has to be tempered with this:
After six years of Republican recklessness at home and abroad, I seriously doubt Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or the aforementioned Bourbon Street hookers could spend this country any deeper into debt than my Republican Party. With any luck, Democrats will launch destructive investigations, a new era of bad feelings will break out, and George W. Bush will stop using his veto pen to fill in Rangers’ box scores and instead start using it like a conservative president should.

Sigh. Next we have:
Christopher Buckley: Let’s quit while we’re behind

Bob Woodward asked Bush 43 if he had consulted his father before invading Iraq. The son replied that he had consulted “a higher father.” That frisson you feel going up your spine is the realization that he meant it. And apparently the higher father said, “Go for it!” There are those of us who wish he had consulted his terrestrial one; or, if he couldn’t get him on the line, Brent Scowcroft. Or Jim Baker. Or Henry Kissinger. Or, for that matter, anyone who has read a book about the British experience in Iraq. (18,000 dead.)

Pretty strong crititique. As usual, mitigated by this:
Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds. Or, with any luck, to Mark Warner or, what the heck, Al Gore. I’m not much into polar bears, but this heat wave has me thinking the man might be on to something.

All are worth reading, but the scariest is by Richard Viguerie. Remember, Viguerie is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the Right seeming to dominate the political spectrum today, through his innovative (at the time) use of direct mail appeals for contributions. Additionally, he was instrumental in the founding of the Moral Majority. The MM has proven over time to be neither Moral, nor in the Majority (see Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and others).
Richard Viguerie: The show must not go on

With their record over the past few years, the Big Government Republicans in Washington do not merit the support of conservatives. They have busted the federal budget for generations to come with the prescription-drug benefit and the creation and expansion of other programs. They have brought forth a limitless flow of pork for the sole, immoral purpose of holding onto office. They have expanded government regulation into every aspect of our lives and refused to deal seriously with mounting domestic problems such as illegal immigration.

Of course, that makes sense to any sane person. But remember, this is Viguerie. He continues:
Sometimes a loss for the Republican Party is a gain for conservatives. Often, a little taste of liberal Democrats in power is enough to remind the voters what they don’t like about liberal Democrats and to focus the minds of Republicans on the principles that really matter. That’s why the conservative movement has grown fastest during those periods when things seemed darkest, such as during the Carter administration and the first two years of the Clinton White House.

Read all the articles, Some, especially Scarbourough's are actually funny. But Viguerie, without humor, without snark, is the darkest. This is the ultimated Movement Conservative, who sees any win by the Left to be not a return to balance and bi-partisan power, but rather a push back to an off-track Right. He truly believes that the renewed Republican Party, as it returns to true conservative roots, should rule the U.S. And he has shown the money and organizational skills to make that happen.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

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