Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reagan weeps.

No doubt the Theocons and Neocons (together known as just the Cons) who have taken over the American conservative movement (and are leading it to disaster) while whine furiously about it. But Time magazine has a special issue on "What Went Wrong with the Right?" showing a Ronald Reagan photo with a tear added in. It's not a bad job actually. And what they have to say about the Cons and the destruction of the Right is correct.

They are handcuffed to a political party that looks unsettlingly like the Democrats did in the 1980s, one that is more a collection of interest groups than ideas, recognizable more by its campaign tactics than its philosophy. The principles that propelled the movement have either run their course, or run aground, or been abandoned by Reagan's legatees. Government is not only bigger and more expensive than it was when George W. Bush took office, but its reach is also longer, thanks to the broad new powers it has claimed as necessary to protect the homeland. It's true that Reagan didn't live up to everything he promised: he campaigned on smaller government, fiscal discipline and religious values, while his presidency brought us a larger government and a soaring deficit. But Bush's apostasies are more extravagant by just about any measure you pick.

I never cared for Richard Viguerie but I like this quote: "Conservatives are divided on the Iraq war, but there is a growing feeling it was a mistake. It's not a Ronald Reagan type of idea to ride on our white horse around the world trying to save it militarily." True, its Wilsonian, even Rooseveltian but not typical of Reagan. He had his moments but he generally avoided such conflicts.

The Republicans have taken the label "the war party" from the Democrats (yes, folks check your history). Not only have they adopted their foreign policy but they make them look cheap when it comes to state spending. They abandoned the Reagan dream of smaller goverment for one that wants to remake the world by force no matter what it costs. And Reagan would never have accepted the sort of "faggot" remarks that Screech Coulter makes the applauses of the Cons. The intellectual foundation of the old Right has been jettisoned. Friedman and Hayek are out and now you have brain dead pundits like Coulter and the Neocons providing them with direction. No wonder they have lost their way.