Captain Corruption\'s Commentary

Friday, November 18, 2005

George Will is dead on

So nice to see true conservatives finally speaking out. Here are some plagiarized, I mean borrowed, highlights from Mr. George Will's recent column, The Great Conservative Divide:


"It does me no injury," said Thomas Jefferson, "for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." But it is injurious, and unneighborly, when zealots try to compel public education to infuse theism into scientific education. The conservative coalition, which is coming unglued for many reasons, will rapidly disintegrate if limited-government conservatives become convinced that social conservatives are unwilling to concentrate their character-building and soul-saving energies on the private institutions that mediate between individuals and government and instead try to conscript government into sectarian crusades...

Conservatives have won seven of 10 presidential elections, yet government waxes, with per household federal spending more than $22,000 per year, the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II. Federal spending has grown twice as fast under President Bush as under President Clinton, 65 percent of it unrelated to national security.

In 1991, the 546 pork projects in the 13 appropriation bills cost $3.1 billion. In 2005, the 13,997 pork projects cost $27.3 billion for things like improving the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio (Packard, an automobile brand, died in 1958). Washington subsidizes the cost of water to encourage farmers to produce surpluses that trigger a gusher of government spending to support prices. It is almost comforting that $2 billion is spent each year paying farmers not to produce.

Gerard Alexander of the University of Virginia wonders whether conservatives' cohesion is perishing because it was a product of the period when conservatives were insurgents against dominant liberals. About limited-government conservatism, he says:

"Perhaps conservatives were naive to expect any party, ever, to resist rent-seeking temptations when in power. Just as there always was something fatally unserious about socialism -- its flawed understanding of human nature -- is it possible that there has also been something profoundly unserious about the limited-government agenda? Should we now be prepared for the national electoral wing of the conservative movement -- the House and Senate caucuses and executive branch officials -- to identify with legislation like the pork-laden energy and transportation bills, in the same way that liberals came to ground their identities in programs like Social Security?"

Perhaps. But if so, limited-government conservatives will disassociate from a Republican Party more congenial to overreaching social conservatives. Then those Republican congressional caucuses will be smaller, and Republican control of the executive branch will be rarer.



I now return me to my current Civilization 4 addiction. I'll peak my head out again soon to see how much further De-Evolution has taken us.

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