"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Good News for the Right

Check out this article from a couple of Brits who write for the economist. They think the GOP and conservative future in the U.S. is very bright.

Here's an excerpt:

It is true that, since those glory days, the Republican Party has lost some of its discipline. Once-loyal members of Congress have defied a threat of a presidential veto on both highway spending and stem-cell research. It is also true that the liberal wing of the party is enjoying an Indian Summer. Opinion polls suggest that John McCain and Rudy Giuliani are the two favorites for the Republican nomination in 2008.

But is this loss of steam really all that remarkable? All second-term presidents face restlessness in the ranks. And the noise is arguably a sign of strength. The Democrats would give a lot to have a big-tent party as capacious as the Republicans'. One of the reasons the GOP manages to contain Southern theocrats as well as Western libertarians is that it encourages arguments rather than suppressing them. Go to a meeting of young conservatives in Washington and the atmosphere crackles with ideas, much as it did in London in the heyday of the Thatcher revolution. The Democrats barely know what a debate is.

7 comments:

Tlaloc said...

"One of the reasons the GOP manages to contain Southern theocrats as well as Western libertarians is that it encourages arguments rather than suppressing them."

Do you really believe that? Of course not. The reason it includes Theocrats is because the Big Business Republicans who run the party know they need the theocratic votes so they pander to them occassionally even though they have no interest in (and area actually very threatened by) that cause. Notice how the mainstream republicans are getting very antsy about the hard right swing the top of the party has taken? That's precisely because that's not how it's supposed to work according to their play book. The Theocrats are never supposed to get any actual power.

The GOP contains Libertarians, well I'm not sure it really "contains them," but it's true they tend to vote republican. The reason for this is simply that they see their agenda served more by the Republicans who are soft on corporations but hard on people than the democrats who are the reverse. However I suspect the recent Theocrat heavy handedness with regards to civil liberties and federalism will cost the GOP a significant part of the Libertarian vote in 2006.

Conservativism is a philosophy of insular and xenophobic attitudes. To pretend they are open to real debate is a joke.

James Elliott said...

I think I have to both agree and disagree. The Republican party is definitely a "big tent" in some respects. It is an alliance of -isms unified by their interest in "free market" capitalism. They're willing to foster debate so long as it doesn't splinter the coalition or veer from their economic goals.

Neocons and theocons are natural allies, despite their different emphases. Libertarians tend to be selfish anarchists and dillholes, so the mentality of the Republican party suits them well, as does its economic agenda.

They've had forty years of thinking and debates. That time is over, for the most part.

Tom Van Dyke said...

If libertarians are dillholes, then liberals are wacktards.

So there.

Tlaloc said...

"Libertarians tend to be selfish anarchists and dillholes"

Anarchist can mean a lot of things. I'm an anarchist but no where near a libertarian. As far as I can tell Libertarians get the problem half right. They understand that government is a problem and they want to get away from it. Great. But they somehow delude themselves into thinking corporations aren't also the problem. Frankly I don't know how they can maintain such heavy denial after all the recently well documented cases of hideous corporate abuse.

James Elliott said...

" If libertarians are dillholes, then liberals are wacktards."

You get mad points for a term like wacktards, even if it isn't yours.

Anonymous said...

Tlaloc: He said "selfish anarchists", not "anarchists".

Tlaloc said...

"Tlaloc: He said "selfish anarchists", not "anarchists". "

G.B. Shaw said
"The ordinary man is an anarchist. He wants to do as he likes. He may want his neighbor to be governed, but he himself doesn't want to be governed."

Personally I've never considered such a person an anarchist. YMMV.