Friday, November 19, 2004

Wanted: A Conservative Party

A dejected and forlorn Moose longs for a conservative party.

The Moose is a bit glum. The Republican Congress is raising the debt ceiling by another $800 billion creating a $8 trillion debt. The era of big government being over is over as the G.O.P.'s appetite for entitlement and discretionary spending is out of control.

Where is the balanced budget amendment when you really need it?

Meanwhile, the Republicans have arrogantly spurned the rule of law to preserve the House's Chief Bug Man. Even the noted conservative scribe John Podhoretz could not contain his outrage in today's New York Post,

Surely DeLay and his colleagues know how bad it looks to change the rules to benefit a single powerful House leader. But getting the result they wanted was more important to them.

The principle that the Republican Party ought to hold itself to the highest possible ethical standard in the House of Representatives - where the temptation to corruption is omnipresent - is the right principle. Expedient use of rule changes sends a very disturbing message.

The message it sends is this: Party, not principle. And that is a terrible message, because when parties sacrifice principle for power, they begin to eat away at their own legitimacy.

Oh ,where is the gang on the Corner when you really need them? The Moose asks whether most of the right has merely become kennel-fed poodles on DeLay's short leash?

Meanwhile, if you are looking for small government principle you have to seek out men of the left such as the Jonathan Chait who mischievously suggests in today's Los Angeles Times that Democrats advocate eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts,

Government is supposed to step in and provide things that the free market can't provide. We need the federal government to provide defense, interstate highways, healthcare for those who can't afford it (and soon). Art, on the other hand, is something that individuals can provide on their own. When projects aren't profitable, wealthy patrons can step in. If there's one cause that wealthy people have shown a willingness to support throughout history, it's art.

And Chait goes on to conclude,

It's amazing, in a way, that the NEA has survived as long as it has. It was created in 1965, probably the single year in American history when we paid the least attention to the dangers of government overreach. It faced budget cuts in the 1990s, but Republicans never killed it, and George W. Bush actually gave the NEA a healthy boost. The latter fact surprised many liberals, but they shouldn't be surprised. NEA backers are disproportionately rich and powerful, and the single consistent rule of Bush's domestic policy is that on every issue he supports whichever side is richer and more powerful.In that way, arts subsidies aren't much different than farm subsidies. The main difference, other than scale, is that arts subsidies go to a constituency that Democrats can afford to - no, make that desperately need to - offend.

The Moose implores the donkey - you are beaten, but not defeated. America truly needs a conservative party - how about filling in until we get a real one?
-- Posted at 10:41 AM | Link to this post | Email this post