Thursday, August 04, 2005

Longing for the 90's

I don't necessarily want to go back to High School, but the '94 era Republicans were infinitely more my cup of tea than the big government variety now bumbling the show. "Robert Reich the younger" - Matthew Yglesias at TPM Cafe proves my point:

New Gingrich certainly was a smarter, more substantive thinker than the gang that runs today's Republican Party. At the same time, let's not have illusions here. Part of that smarter, more substantive early-to-mid nineties vintage GOP was a much more robust commitment to paring back the federal government. That was more intellectually and morally honest than the racket Bush and DeLay are running, but also more objectively pernicious. They were going to shutter the Departments of Education and Energy (and, I think, another one, but it might have been Commerce which really does deserve to go) cut Medicare, reform AFDC in a much more punitive manner than was eventually achieved, etc., etc., etc.

Indeed. Newt and Republican revolutionaries were, mostly, a small-government, reform-happy bunch. Perhaps they were more anti-establishment for the mere reason that the Republicans were the opposition Party going into the mid-terms and Billary was in the White House. Whatever the reason, the Party of Newt was quite a libertarian crew - particularly compared to today's generation who seem to have adjusted a little too well to life in Washington. Borrowing from the always wise, Lord Acton - "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Can you say, "Republican leadership?" Believe me, I fear a President Hillary as much as anyone, but these spend-happy Republican statists need a serious reality slap.
UPDATE: Tip to Jeff Jarvis (via Matt Welch) for this grand little snip from everybody's favorite puritan, Sen. Rick Santorum -- thanks alot Pennsylvannia:

One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. The left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they come around in the circle. [...]

This whole idea of personal autonomy -- I don't think that most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. And they have this idea that people should be left alone to do what they want to do, that government should keep taxes down, keep regulation down, that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, that we shouldn't be involved in cultural issues, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world. And I think that most conservatives understand that we can't go it alone, that there is no such society that I'm aware of where we've had radical individualism and it has succeeded as a culture.

Radical individualism? Geez. Careful, don't get too excited, Rick. You might spill something on your brown shirt.


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