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January 03, 2006

Comments

the last para of that Weekly Standard article:

    A decade ago Republicans stormed Washington with plans to establish a "new order," shrink government, and drain the swamp of public malfeasance. Today Republicans look warily over the horizon, and nervously await a midterm election in which voters will be asked to evaluate whether the party has lived up to its ideals.

What do you mean by "more leftism"? I hope you are not equating out-of-control spending and white collar crime with "leftism" because niether is characteristic.

Gotta say I agree with lily here: from where I sit, there's been nothing from the Bush Administration that I'd call left-of-center, much less "leftism". [And precious little centrism, for that matter, which makes the cries of "leftism" all the more risible.] There's been the occasional piece of rhetoric, sure, and some programs that kinda look like an ultraconversative imbecile's parody (or perhaps homage to) of "leftism" -- which isn't to say that Charles is an imbecile, or even necessarily ultraconservative, only that the Bush Administration as a collective whole is -- like NCLB and other policy abortions; but the notion that there's been any "leftism" at all, much less sufficient to warrant the scary "more leftism" descriptor is just plain silly.

Charles: As one of the Ankle Biting Pundits stated, throw the bad Republicans under the bus.

Never happen. No matter what Bush or Cheney do, their following remain determined to defend them. What crimes they commit, what corruption they're responsible for: it never matters, someone else can always be found who's to blame.

Too bad. Still, it'll be interesting to see who goes down when Abramoff testifies. And, if Bush or Cheney are implicated, how those Republicans determined to defend Bush for every crime he commits will come up with a defense for this.

"leftism" is "bad". It's not actually an ideology, it's just "bad". All bad things are, by definition, "leftist".

So communism is leftist. So is facism. Gay marriage. Pedophila. Free speech for annoying people. Free speech zones. Lack of free speech zones.

Whatever you hate, that's "leftist".

What do you mean by "more leftism"?

I second this too. In fact, I would appreciate a definition of "leftism". It seems to mean anything, but is usually used as a sort of derogatory term.

This what I hate about this board: By the time you hit "Post", 3 or 4 people have already made your point.

The BusHitler regime strikes again!

No matter what Bush or Cheney do, their following remain determined to defend them. What crimes they commit, what corruption they're responsible for: it never matters, someone else can always be found who's to blame.
"leftism" is "bad". It's not actually an ideology, it's just "bad". All bad things are, by definition, "leftist".

So communism is leftist. So is facism. Gay marriage. Pedophila. Free speech for annoying people. Free speech zones. Lack of free speech zones.

Whatever you hate, that's "leftist".


You know, this would be funny if I didn't actually know a fellow who claims this. Vigorously. He has railed against Libertarians and called them 'liberals' because they disagreed with him. At times like that, you have to simply acknowledge that language is of no use and wander off.

The BusHitler regime strikes again

Hitler's bus service is active again ? i thought we destroyed them after WWII.

Marshall

Jedmunds who is part of Pandagon

The specific question discussed in the above posts, using Abscam as a historical example, concerns whether prosecution should possibly be withheld when it might "upset the balance of political power."

However completely unsought and unwelcome, these posts raised in my head questions about checks & balances and constitutional crises. Congress may only go after the other two branches via overtly political means, impeachment(and budgeting).

I am not making an argument yet, only noting a little disquiet at the executive and judicial branches having the unfettered means to so disable the legislative. This does go to my instincts that the law is never above and outside of politics.

Jedmunds

Sorry bad link

They weren't joking, Jeff, and it's sad, not funny, What Charles and Josh are doing is a slightly more nuanced version of the same thing.

Of course, that's nit-picking against a generally commendable post, if only for stating the obvious.

Well, I was sincerely wondering, not snarky, and I hope Charles will answer.

"Gotta say I agree with lily here: from where I sit, there's been nothing from the Bush Administration that I'd call left-of-center, much less "leftism"."

The usual assertion tends to be that, for instance, the horrible Medicare abortion of a bill that the Republicans invented, and that Bush proudly signed into law and has trumpeted ever since, is "leftist," because, you know, lefists/liberal "want big government."

That this is simply a crazed caricature in many Republican/conversative minds is invisible to them, because of a) the echo chamber -- they all tell each other that it's true and accurate, so it must be; and b) equal obliviousness to what left/liberal/progressive types actually want, which is to ameliorate problems. (This sometimes involves "big government," but that's a bug, not a feature, and certainly not a frigging goal. Of course.)

"No matter what Bush or Cheney do, their following remain determined to defend them."

This is, of course, a quite destructive-to-understanding characterization/view, itself.

"Their following" is no more homogenous and robot-like than "leftists." Plenty of Bush voters have peeled off from support for his -- I'm tempted to say "regime," but that would be wrong, so, "administration" -- and the fact is that the more Republicans tend to finally learn/realize about what's being going on and that just because they've been on the side of the Republican leadership, that doesn't mean that the Republican leadership is on their side, the more Republicans and leaners peel away, more than not.

We, as it happens, want this to continue.

A truly excellent way to stop that is to sneer mindlessly at anyone who voted for Bush/Cheney, or voiced support for any of their positions, and convince them that the alternative, the Democrats, and their friends and ilk, are close-minded, mindless fools who have no understanding of where Republicans/independents are coming from, no idea how they think, and thus will never welcome former Bush voters.

Good work for the Bush/Cheney Admin, Jes! Way to go! Purity uber alles! (The classic suicidal flaw of the left.) Thanks ever so much for the "help."

(Note to any who are unaware: Jes is British, and speaks for the Democratic Party in no way, shape, means, or form.) (She might want to try working on fixing British political insanity.)

Oh, he said with disappintment. I thought Charles was linking to a fresh piece, of course. Not one I blogged a month ago (with a bunch of other links and commentary).

Oh, well, it's not as if there's a shortage of fresh Abramoff pieces on any given day, or this week, or last week, or the week before, or.... (And it's one less thing to read.)

Needless to say, good on you, Charles, for not actually favoring massive corruption, murder, and bribery. Pretty brave stance.

Not that I think it's a bad thing you're actually against those things, you know, nor do I want to harsh on you for it. I just can't seem to manage to give much higher praise for passing such a very low bar. I mean, what have we come to would it so deserve such?

Hope you don't mind much. Hope you're feeling better, as well.

"The BusHitler regime strikes again!"

I think it's fair to say that the troll has been given more than all the fair chances a troll deserves, and having demonstrated being nothing other than a troll, should not be fed.

Let the ignoring begin. It drives them crazy. It destroys their reason for posting, which is solely to bait. Don't feed them, and they eventually get bored and move on to more productive fishing grounds.

Do not feed the troll.

I don't know, Gary. I kind of like the gentle mocking of comments like cleeks wonderful Hitler's bus service observation. It makes me want a shirt with BusHitler on the front and then a giant Greyhound underneath.

As one of the Ankle Biting Pundits stated, throw the bad Republicans under the bus.

More likely that members of the Party of Ideas will drive the bus over them only after they are sure they are good and dead. Can't be seen criticizing Republicans otherwise no matter how bad they are. Might actually harm a bad Republican who still has a pulse.

Social Democrats, USA
Copyright: 1996, SD, USA

Kristol described the current Republican coalition as consisting primarily of two main strains: economic and social conservatives. The economic conservatives are anti-state and the social conservatives are anti-liberal who view liberalism "as corroding and subverting the virtues that they believe must be the bedrock of decent society." He believes that the differences between the economic conservatives and the social conservatives produce "tensions" between the two groups. Kristol's long range view is that the social conservatives represent "an authentic mass movement that gathers strength with every passing year."

from:
Splitting the Republican Coalition

-----------------------------------------------------------------

This leads to the issue of the role of the state. Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on "the road to serfdom." Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable. Because they tend to be more interested in history than economics or sociology, they know that the 19th-century idea, so neatly propounded by Herbert Spencer in his "The Man Versus the State," was a historical eccentricity. People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government. Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk.

from:
The Neoconservative Persuasion

-----------------------------------------------------------------

In his foreword to the first paperback edition of The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1978), sociologist Daniel Bell announced that he was "a socialist in economics, a liberal in politics, and a conservative in culture." People "might find this statement puzzling," Bell went on, "assuming that if a person is radical in one realm, he is radical in all others; and, conversely, if he is a conservative in one realm, that he must be conservative in the others as well. Such an assumption misreads, both sociologically and morally, the nature of these different realms."1

From:
Disjoining the Left: Cultural Contradictions of Anticapitalism

Many American right-wingers are under the delusion that they are “anti-statist” when they are actually “right-wing statists”.

"I kind of like the gentle mocking of comments like cleeks wonderful Hitler's bus service observation."

Mocking is slightly better than trying to argue with someone whose only goal is to suck you into responding, but any response simply feeds the troll.

The entire psychology of trolling is the desperate need for attention. Any attention at all rewards them and gives them what they want, and they'll keep coming back and feeding on that so long as anyone at all is willing to reward them.

If people want to reward trolls -- ok, even just want the satisfaction of being snarky back -- it winds up being destructive to the surrounding conversation and socializing and discussion.

Ask anyone who has decades of experience with Usenet or similar online venues; this is Ancient Wisdom at this point. There's only one way to get rid of a troll, and that's ignoring them.

Ask anyone who has decades of experience with Usenet or similar online venues; this is Ancient Wisdom at this point. There's only one way to get rid of a troll, and that's ignoring them.

No, there are two ways: one is ignoring them. The other is netcopping them. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be an option here (for reasons I don't think I'll ever understand).

A general response. Examples of the Bush administration moving left instead of moving conservative: Not controlling the rate of spending growth both by Bush and the congressional leadership (yes, I know this is arguable given the last eleven years), signing the big-government farm bill, growing government with the deceptively sold Medicare bill, signing campaign finance reform (IIRC, it received much more support from Democrats than Republicans). Growing government with new and larger programs has historically been attributed to the left of center, although it looks like Bush is doing his darndest to muddy that up.

In the spirit of the "brave stance" made in this post, Gary, I'm also firmly opposed to stale beer, phone calls at three in the morning*, and vomiting, all of which I recently experienced.

* Last week, some idiot kept calling me at three in the morning trying to send me a fax, even though I don't have a home fax machine. Even after telling her she had the wrong number, the nimrod still kept calling.


Which "anti-state" President, gave tax-breaks in the middle of-the-most-important-war-in-our-history?

The whole "anti-state" stance American right-wingers take is a cover for ethnic and sectarian tribalism.

Enlarging the state and expanding its powers, is what right-wing statist do, all over the world.

Charles, your political party is acting like any nationalistic right-wing party.

Your “anti-state” stance would be taken a lot more serious if you stopped supporting “right-wing statists”


Ethnic and sectarian tribalism is what Republicans do best:

--------------------------------
Nixon, Reagan, and now Bush have exploited the South’s strong Christian identity, racial divisions, support of state’s rights, and distrust of federal intrusion, to secure a majority of electoral votes by swinging the South to Republicans. In a rare moment of candor back in 1981, Lee Atwater, the elder President Bush’s version of Karl Rove, bluntly clarified the Southern Strategy for Bob Herbert of the New York Times:

You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.'

Found @:
Character is Destiny
--------------------------------------

Then in 1988, when we won with the Bush senior campaign and carried the highest total of evangelical votes ever in American history, we lost as we always do -- the Republicans -- we lost the Jewish vote and the Hispanic vote and all those votes. We lost the Catholic vote. We were the first modern presidency to win an election and it was a landslide and not win the Catholic vote. It was barely, but we lost the Catholic vote.

How did we do it? We carried 82 percent or 83 percent of the evangelical vote. I remember when it was all over-- this was one of the reasons I got a job in the White House -- but I remember when it was all over, there was great shock from me and others saying, "Whoa, this is unhealthy." We immediately began going after the Catholic vote.

While at the same time, we were frightened by the fact that we lost all these votes and still won the White House. The message did come home. My God, you can win the White House with nothing but evangelicals if you can get enough of them, if you get them all, and they're a huge number. ...

from:
The Jesus Factor

Charles:
"A general response. Examples of the Bush administration moving left instead of moving conservative: Not controlling the rate of spending growth both by Bush and the congressional leadership (yes, I know this is arguable given the last eleven years), signing the big-government farm bill, growing government with the deceptively sold Medicare bill, signing campaign finance reform (IIRC, it received much more support from Democrats than Republicans). Growing government with new and larger programs has historically been attributed to the left of center, although it looks like Bush is doing his darndest to muddy that up."

Yes, it's historically been attributed to the left, by the right. In between the right slicing huge, hot slices of steaming pork to their cronies.

By now, Charles, any claims by the right (or by 'libertarians') that the right has the faintest trace of fiscal reponsibility can't be taken as honest.

Gary said above that the idea that leftists want "big government" per se can be attributed in part to "obliviousness to what left/liberal/progressive types actually want, which is to ameliorate problems. (This sometimes involves "big government," but that's a bug, not a feature, and certainly not a frigging goal. Of course.)"

This is absolutely right. We do not favor big government per se. We do not favor higher taxes per se. (Who on earth would want that? No one, any more than they'd want higher grocery bills, other things equal.)

What we _do_ want are solutions to some problems the best solutions to which involve government programs. I, for instance, favor national health insurance. I think that this would best be done by government for a variety of reasons: the market does not work well in health care, especially when there are a lot of parties involved besides the doctor and patient, as there must be if each of us is not to be individually financially responsible when e.g. we develop colon cancer or kidney failure; private insurance cannot get around the problem of adverse selection while nat. health insurance can, etc.

Solving the problem of the uninsured in the best possible way would, I think, involve a new government program. It would also involve higher taxes. But we would be getting something for those taxes. And I'd only favor a program that was well-designed -- not one like the Bush prescription drug plan, which forbids the government to negotiate for better prices.

Saying the left wants "big government" is just wrong -- just as it would be wrong to say that some group that opposes things like national health insurance, and therefore has some claim to wanting "smaller government", is for that reason in favor of abolishing the armed forces (thereby cutting spending, and eliminating whole rafts of programs!)

I think the tendency to vote in favor of "big government" pork barrel programs is common to both parties because the voters of both parties want their Congresspeople to deliver the goodies to their districts. The difference between Democrats and Republicans isn't in the desire to please their constituents by spending--the difference is that Republicans never discuss honestly how those programs will be paid for and Democrats do.

No conservative should have any business defending the slimy practices of Abramoff and those who were bent to his influence.

More importantly, no conservative could be heard to criticize the slimy practices of Abramoff et al. so long as they continued to deliver the goods. Decrying the corruption now is simply a phony display of ethics.

Abramoff's operation is the face of the modern GOP -- not some sort of oddity or aberration. It is the melding of big money and influence peddling, and reflects the current GOP agenda of delivering Federal pork to their cronies. It's about pay to play politics that dominates Republicanism these days.

Charles -- your party does not stand for what you think it does, and you seem busy ignoring this ugly fact. The failure of nearly all conservatives to react to the DeLay/Abramoff machine for years until Abramoff finally pleads guilty is just further evidence of this. The m.o. here is to lap up the benefits of the corruption, and then shed it only when it finally is killed in court (and not a moment before).

Yeah, it's what I thought:

Not controlling the rate of spending growth both by Bush and the congressional leadership (yes, I know this is arguable given the last eleven years)...

Not even remotely leftist.

signing the big-government farm bill...

Not leftist; it has ridiculously strong bipartisan support from the farm states, virtually nil elsewhere.

growing government with the deceptively sold Medicare bill...

Not leftist (cf Gary above).

signing campaign finance reform (IIRC, it received much more support from Democrats than Republicans)

That's arguable in the sense that most "leftists" (whatever the hell that means, I note you still don't have a working definition up) of my acquaintance would probably agree to it in theory and most "non-leftists" probably wouldn't, but I'm dubious as to whether this is a "leftist" issue per se, let alone a "leftist" issue in implementation (cf the Medicare bill again).

Growing government with new and larger programs has historically been attributed to the left of center...

As noted above, it's been attributed by those who are either on the right or those who are clueless -- draw the Venn diagram there as you wish -- but this is not in any way a "leftist" position per se (cf Hilzoy).

So you're batting about 1/2 for 5 there. Not a particularly impressive performance.

And another thing, Charles...advocating a war to transform the Middla East is pretty pro big government.

"Examples of the Bush administration moving left instead of moving conservative: Not controlling the rate of spending growth both by Bush and the congressional leadership"

No, Charles, that's moving rightward. George W. Bush and the Republican leadership in Congress are on the right.

The rightwing policy is to grow spending uncontrollably. The Democatic policy is to shrink spending. Try looking at the figures for the Presidential terms for the past 32 years, and tell me this isn't hard fact.

The rate of spending growth shot up under President Reagan's two terms from where it had been under Democratic President Carter; it continued to rise under President Bush, went down under President Clinton, and zoomed up again under President Bush.

Fact, not Republican propaganda. Which party's President presided over the elminination of the deficit?

What happened to the deficit under President Reagan?

Which party's Presidents in the past forty years have talked the talk, and which
have walked the walk?

"(yes, I know this is arguable given the last eleven years),"

Yeah, why let facts get in the way of, um, the other stuff.

Not just "eleven years." Forty-two years.

"signing the big-government farm bill,"

Not a Democratic bill. Republicans supporting big government.

"growing government with the deceptively sold Medicare bill,"

A bill anathema to Democrats. Republican big government, and incompetently so, with, of course, the main aim being support of Big Pharm. Rightwing all the way. No effing way you can lay that off on us. We hate that goldarn bill. Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it. Give us the money back, and we'll show you how to spend it to help people, not Republican Party political interests. Typical Republican Party corruption, that bill was, pure and simple.

"signing campaign finance reform (IIRC, it received much more support from Democrats than Republicans)."

Bi-partisan, I'll grant you. Certainly not more than that. If you want to expell McCain, go ahead, but meanwhile, it was the Republican Congress, and the Republican President who signed it. Sorry, but you simply can't blame powerless Democrats for things Republicans do that you don't like.

"Growing government with new and larger programs has historically been attributed to the left of center,"

We have more history now. Sorry. That game is over. Stick a fork in it.

Similarly, we Democrats can't any more claim that the Republican Party is isolationist, because of, say, the 1930s through 1950s. We're past the expiration date on that, and you guys are past the expiration date on "big spending Democrats." It's over. Find a new storyline.

"although it looks like Bush is doing his darndest to muddy that up."

Done and done. Sorry, but the record is there, and Republicans made the policy they made, and Big Government is rightwing Republican policy, not left, now.

Hilzoy wrote:

Gary said above that the idea that leftists want "big government" per se can be attributed in part to "obliviousness to what left/liberal/progressive types actually want, [..."]
I was being kind, frankly. It's not obliviousness save by innocent rank and filers (of whom I include Charles); it's been a decades long-term conscious Big Lie whose purpose is to discredit Democrats by attributing to them desires that no sane person has. Never has the Democratic Party, or any theorist in it, been per se, "for" big spending or big government. Anyone who says otherwise is, at best, misinformed, but once it's pointed out to them, if they repeat it, they're lying.

For those who wish to take off the kid gloves and break out the hate:

LJ tackles the 'Leftist GOP' @ HatingOnCharlesBird.

And no, I'm not being paid for my promotional efforts (*coquettishly bats eyelids in jackmorman's direction*)

Just to be completely fair, Gary, a great deal of the deficit reduction was, in my understanding, accomplished by a tax revenues from a booming economy that had nothing whatever to do with anything Clinton did, said, wrote, pick any or all.

Sure, Clinton didn't do anything to actively impede the boom, nor did he try to spend all of the increased revenue and then some. To his credit, to be sure, and given the teeny degree to which I am a Clinton fan, it's about the highest praise you'll see for him emit from my keyboard. The rest of what you wrote I largely agree with, which is a great deal of why I'm no longer a Republican. If there was a Conservative Party that was engaged in a porkfest, I'd probably no longer call myself Conservative.

Republicans may be the Party of Small Government, but so far they haven't been the Party of Actually Shrinking Government. Or even the Party of Keeping Government The Same Size.

the market does not work well in health care, especially when there are a lot of parties involved besides the doctor and patient, as there must be if each of us is not to be individually financially responsible when e.g. we develop colon cancer or kidney failure; private insurance cannot get around the problem of adverse selection while nat. health insurance can, etc.

Is this the proper moment/place to point at this and wonder why there has hardly been any mentioning of it?

Republicans are anti-liberal, not anti-government.

Thanks for that link, dutchmarbel. Someone should save it for hilzoy when she gets out of the hospital--I'd like to see her dissect the "reasoning".

I read a popular level book by Landsburg several years ago and it was filled with this type of logic. He assumes that people are rational in the weird way that economists of his stripe define rationality and comes to conclusions that are morally outrageous. It doesn't occur to him to question his basic assumptions--if the woman didn't pay for ventilator insurance, then it's perfectly okay to pull the plug.

"Just to be completely fair, Gary, a great deal of the deficit reduction was, in my understanding, accomplished by a tax revenues from a booming economy that had nothing whatever to do with anything Clinton did, said, wrote, pick any or all."

Fair enough.

"Sure, Clinton didn't do anything to actively impede the boom, nor did he try to spend all of the increased revenue and then some."

If you find yourself reading about the development and politics of Clinton's echonomic approach, you'll find that, in fact, there was great internal pressure on him from supporters and many of his own advisors to take an entirely different approach, and not make dealing with the deficit his priority. But he did. Against those pressures, and in the face of them.

It's very simple: he stood against the pressure, and did the right thing, and made the correct and wise economic decisions. (Many would disagree, particularly many of a more traditional leftist economic persuasion.) George W. Bush did not. Neither did Ronald Reagan.

It's that simple, in the end. Credit should be given where due. Particularly if anyone wants to give impetus towards future and contemporary Democrats having the same courage.

Brad deLong, of course, is your go-to guy on this.

"Is this the proper moment/place to point at this and wonder why there has hardly been any mentioning of it?"

Because I hadn't gotten to Slate either yesterday or today, and don't read Kos?

I'm unclear whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with Steven E. Landsburg. What are your thoughts?

"It doesn't occur to him to question his basic assumptions--if the woman didn't pay for ventilator insurance, then it's perfectly okay to pull the plug."

I can see a number of things to disagree with Landsburg about, but I don't believe he wrote what you attribute to him.

The notion that the right is in favor of "small government" is and always has been absolutely false. But whether through dishonesty, ignorance or self-delusion, conservatives persist in attempting to perpetuate this notion, and it takes on a life of its own.

The truth is that with the exception of the extreme fringes on both sides, both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of modest to large amounts of government spending. To both, anything more than what they deem appropriate is pork, and anything less is underfunding. The difference between the two lies largely not in the amount of spending, but in the way they prioritize it.

Americans, by and large, want their government to fund things that make their lives better. They don't like being taxed, and they're happy when they get a tax cut, but they get sore when those cuts require cutting spending on something that hits close to home.

The strategy of the Republican party for the last five years is genius from an electoral standpoint. They figured out that you can cut taxes--which makes people happy--and spend vast amounts of money for which there is no longer revenue in order to fund things that make people happy. Better yet, you can lie about the numbers, which is easy because in order to catch on to the lie, a person has to have a longer attention span for boring subjects than 99% of Americans have.

This strategy does not, unfortunately, only require lying to the country. It also requires that you pass a larger debt on to your children, ensuring that at some point down the line they will either pay much higher taxes, or face the underfunding of things we really can't afford to not fund.

In short, it does grievous long-term damage to the country for short-term electoral gain.

That is the true face of small-government conservatism in the 21st century.

"The strategy of the Republican party for the last five years is genius from an electoral standpoint. They figured out that you can cut taxes--which makes people happy--and spend vast amounts of money for which there is no longer revenue in order to fund things that make people happy."

Last five years? This differs from the Reagan era -- when they were at least practicing the rhetoric -- how? (I'd go back to Nixon and then Eisenhower, but they'd be dismissed as "not really conservatives," of course, although in light of Nixon's history, that's either a) insane; b) oblivious to said history; or c) dishonest. Eisenhower was conservative in the true sense, and also moderately so in the ideological sense, but he was not an ideologue, nor a demagogue, which is why he stands out as a "different" sort of conservative than people tend to think of when they think of "conservatives.")

Dutchmarbel: Is this the proper moment/place to point at this and wonder why there has hardly been any mentioning of it?

Do we need to wonder why? She was black; she was poor; she was an immigrant; her family say she wanted to live at least long enough to see her mother, but her mother was foreign. Why should any of the right-wing "Christians" who wept blood over Terri Schiavo being finally allowed to die, get upset over something so completely different? Terri Schiavo's care was being paid for, after all, and she and her parents were white.

OT, but I'm wondering if any of the powers that be will post about the recent stuff about the possibility that Christine Amanpour had her communications tapped as well as any discussion about Risen's new book. Over at Volokh. Orin Kerr tentatively suggests from his first read of the Risen book, it is not datamining, but packet sniffing, and I'm wondering if this would change anyone's thoughts on what is being done. Again, sorry for hitting this thread, but the FISA thread has moved below the list and it's the last one commented on.

Do we need to wonder why?

I am to shocked, not just about the column but also about the case, to be able to formulate any clear opinion. I keep thinking that in addition to all that she had to choke to death because active euthanasia is still against the law there.

Do we need to wonder why? She was black; she was poor; she was an immigrant; her family say she wanted to live at least long enough to see her mother, but her mother was foreign.

Not to mention, female. Or, more likely, it was because the media coverage of her plight before she had the plug pulled was zero. Nada. Zilch. It's mighty hard to arouse public sentiment about a case that no one's heard about.

After the fact, sure, there's a point to be made (and considered) there.

Last five years? This differs from the Reagan era -- when they were at least practicing the rhetoric -- how?

In degree, not kind. The myth of Republicans as being the financially responsible party has been a around a long time, but it's really this President and today's Republican party that have taken those tactics and combined them with a seeming indifference to or ignorance of their future consequences and made them a staple of everyday governance.

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