File this one under “makes sense only for a party not interested in governance” March 27, 2010Posted by Evil Bender in Politics, wingnuts.
Which is just to say that the conservative movement from 1964-2009 was a giant failure. By nominating Goldwater, it invited a massive progressive win that all the subsequent conservative wins were unable to undue. But the orthodox conservative tradition of ‘64 is that it was a great success that laid the groundwork for the triumphs to come.
Which is to say that it’s not just a movement incapable of thinking seriously about the interests of the country, it can’t think rigorously about its own goals. 2009-2010 has already seen the greatest flowering of progressive policy since 1965-66. No matter how well Republicans do in the 2010 midterms, the right will never fully roll back what the 111th Congress has done. And yet, as Andrews suggests, if they win seats in 2010, conservatives will consider their behavior during 2009-10 to have been very successful.
Republican political strategy for the last 45 years makes no sense at all if you believe the people currently running the Republican Party care about governance. On the other hand, if you take the view, as I do, that the current crop of Republicans don’t give a damn about governing, any more than they care about controlling the size of government or doing what’s best for the American people–if you take that view, then it’s not surprising that their strategies are so unsuccessful at advancing conservative positions.
But if what Republican leadership really cares about is amassing personal power, looting the system on behalf of the rich, and destroying confidence in government then the Republican strategy makes perfect sense. Drumming Frum out of a job for daring to criticize a particular tactic, then, makes perfect sense, since reasonable opposition in order to maximize one’s input in shaping policy isn’t really a concern for most Republican leadership.