Wednesday, August 04, 2010

an embarrassed conservative

Professor Bainbridge lists his reasons to be embarrassed about being a conservative. He has a good point, and the fact that he comes up with such a list shows something in him (sanity and honesty to start) that you can't find among the Palins and Fox Newses of the world. Though Bainbridge and others must accept some guilt by association for as long as they condone or vote for the bad kind of conservatives...

The list, from Bainbridge's blog:

Let's tick off ten things that make this conservative embarrassed by the modern conservative movement:

1. A poorly educated ex-sportwriter who served half of one term of an minor state governorship is prominently featured as a -- if not the -- leading prospect for the GOP's 2012 Presidential nomination.

2. Tom Tancredo calling President Obama “the greatest threat to the United States today" and arguing that he be impeached. Bad public policy is not a high crime nor a misdemeanor, and the casual assertion that pursuing liberal policies--however misguided--is an impeachable offense is just nuts.

3. Similar nonsense from former Ford-Reagan treasury department officials Ernest Christian and Gary Robbins, who IBD column was, as Doug Marconis observed, "a wildly exaggerated attack on President Obama’s record in office." Actually, it's more foaming at the mouth.

4. As Doug also observed, "The GOP controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006: Combine neocon warfare spending with entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects and you end up with a GOP welfare/warfare state driving the federal spending machine." Indeed, "when the GOP took control of Congress in 1994, and the White House in 2000, the desire to use the levers of power to create “compassionate conservatism” won our over any semblance of fiscal conservatism. Instead of tax cuts and spending cuts, we got tax cuts along with a trillion dollar entitlement program, a massive expansion of the Federal Government’s role in education, and two wars. That’s not fiscal conservatism it is, as others have said, fiscal insanity." Yet, today's GOP still has not articulated a message of real fiscal conservatism.

5. Thanks to the Tea Party, the Nevada GOP has probably pissed away a historic chance to out=st Harry Reid. See also Charlie Crist in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and so on. Whatever happened to not letting perfection be the enemy of the good?

6. The anti-science and anti-intellectualism that pervade the movement.

7. Trying to pretend Afghanistan is Obama's war.

8. Birthers.

9. Nativists.

10. The substitution of mouth-foaming, spittle-blasting, rabble-rousing talk radio for reasoned debate. Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, and even Rush Limbaugh are not exactly putting on Firing Line. Whatever happened to smart, well-read, articulate leaders like Buckley, Neuhaus, Kirk, Jack Kent, Goldwater, and, yes, even Ronald Reagan?