Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The End of Movement Conservatism?

It seems we may be in the midst of watching the demise of Movement Conservatism. Afterall, they have had near absolute control of every level of government, but have not seen the type of gains they have promised for all. Death by their own success? Josh Marshall provides a better explanation.

But let's be honest: Balanced budgets and shrinking the size of government hasn't been part of conservatism -- or to be more precise, Movement Conservatism -- for going on thirty years. The conservative movement and the Republican party are the movement and party of deficit spending. And neither has any claim to any real association with limited or small government. Just isn't borne out by any factual record or political agenda. Not in the Reagan presidency, the Bush presidency or the second Bush presidency. The intervening period of fiscal restraint comes under Clinton.

Take the movement on its own terms and even be generous about it. What's it about? And has it delivered?

Aggressive defense policy? Check.

Privatization of government services? Check.

Regulatory regimes favoring big business? Check.

Government support for traditional mores and values on sex and marriage? Check.

That about covers it. And Bush has delivered. The results just aren't good.

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