Saturday, August 09, 2008

Whither Conservatism

A meme that I broach on a regular basis is the anti-conservatism of George W. Bush's fiscal policy. It cannot be called liberalism, but it certainly is not conservatism. Charles Wheelan, PhD, a University of Chicago Economics professor, discusses the characterization of Bush's fiscal policies with the appellation Neo-neoconservatism. (I still prefer anti-conservatism.)

Conservatives are supposed to be about balancing the budget and limiting the size of government, not about adding new entitlement programs and borrowing money from China to pay for them...

...So what is George W. Bush? He's certainly no liberal, either. In fact, we're left with the worst of all worlds: liberal-style spending without the stuff it usually buys...

...Seven years of fiscal recklessness hasn't solidified a tattered safety net, or fixed a broken health care system, or upgraded the skills base of America's working class, or improved our crumbling infrastructure, or updated our outmoded international institutions... We're spending like drunken sailors, but we're not even getting the hookers and booze...

...Republicans are starting to distance themselves from Bush. There's something pathetic and unprincipled about that, given that they were complicit in the policies that have made him unpopular. If the Republicans truly stood for sensible conservative policies, they would have ditched him six or seven years ago -- and we'd be better off for it...

I know conservatives. Conservatives are friends of mine. You, George Bush, are no conservative. And shame on the Republicans for not recognizing that sooner.

I would add that the Democrats have been complicit as well to some (albeit lesser) degree. Upon gaining leadership in the House and Senate in January 2007, I would liked to have seen a barage of subpoenas and testimony about the various alleged illegalities perpetrated by the Bush administration. Sure, Conyers, Feingold and a few others have been vocal in this regard, but the Congressional majority leaders have been almost giddy in their silence.

The next president will inherit the worst situational maladies since Carter took office in 1977. Obama or McCain, upon being sworn in, will need to confront two stagnant theaters of war, a worldwide recession of our making, poor relations with our allies, record budget deficits, spiraling health care entitlements, lack of confidence in US capital markets, palpable governmental incompetence-- all of which have been either unaddressed or mismanaged during a lame duck presidency.

The opposing party of whoever wins in November will be quick to tag the next president with the culpability for these problems as they percolate and explode in the next 18 months.

The anti-conservatism of George W. Bush.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Dubja, is a Christian Libertarian.

That is how it works,After fucking everything up(Nixon(Who refused to "building outhouses in Peoria") then the conservatives will blame the democrat for all the problems(Carter)... Then they boot him out of office, elect a new conservative(Reagan), who takes credit for turning things around.... Which was actually done by the Democrat......

You can think that they are stupid.... but it's a Beautiful cycle the Republicans have the Democrats running in... It's like being a rat in a Maze for most Democrats.

The Democrats are worried about making things right.... When the Republicans are just worried about "Getting away with it.".

It's why most of the most Rabid Republicans are Gay, They don't care about the Truth... They just don't want you to Pull the Curtain back on The Great and Powerful Oz.

Image is everything, truth is nothing to them...... It's a MEME.