Gray Flannel Dwarf

7/19/2006

Another log on the fire

Thank you, John Dean, for stating that which I’ve been saying for years; you have some weight to throw around, I don’t.

For more than 40 years I have considered myself a “Goldwater conservative,” and am thoroughly familiar with the movement’s canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon “imperial presidency” on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.

Today’s Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik’s classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham’s guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in “conserving” this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.

Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede — usually only when not speaking for attribution — that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.

Today’s GOP does not hoist any true “conservative” values, much less any of the classic Republican planks. To think, back when I was in high school and college, that which bothered me most about the GOP was its reliance on “guns, tobacco, and the Christian right”. Oddly enough, those hardly seem like the biggest of the party’s problems right now, except say, maybe the rhetoric we keep hearing from the Dobsonites.


Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 8:24 am

5/23/2006

Cato Instituting an ass-kicking.

When you’re the current administration, perhaps you can take a few of the punches as the tide turns on you over the years. You were able to take Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative lambasting you, around the time of the elections, for your “free speech zones”, and you were able to shrug off the criticism of Pat Toomey and the gang at Club for Growth for the reckless “conservative” spending. More recently, perhaps you could stomach the words of Richard Viguerie, only one of the founding masterminds of the modern Republican party, who called you on your betrayal of the Republican party.

But now, the traditional bastion of libertarianism, the Cato Institute, calls you on your (un)Constitutional arrogance?

Ouch. Just ouch.

4/28/2006

Watergate floodgate

So ever since this administration has been in power — and I guess beforehand — they’ve been an image of old-style hardline neocon, and have always given the impression that they want to go back to the good ole days. There’s Rumsfeld, who once thought about running for President himself. There’s Cheney in there as VP. And now, there’s a brewing sex scandal at, of all places, The Watergate Hotel? The GOP would like you to believe they are the party of ideas. Certainly not any new ones, obviously!

Per Merriam-Webster, definition 3a for ‘conservative’:

3 a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL

Indeed…


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:33 am