Sunday, May 06, 2007

Now What?

I can't remember who posted it first -- TNR? -- but the best thought I've heard about the Republican debate was: don't any of these people see anything wrong with the Country? Isn't there anything different they'd like to do, something they'd want to change?

Excepting possibly immigration, it's startling how much of the current Republican crop hews to orthodoxy. No serious new ideas. No serious policy proposals. Simply repetition about the endless culture war and god-forsaken Iraq. Not even acknowledgement that there might BE problems.

Seems like what's going on is that Conservative Orthodoxy has gotten so severe and rigid that it's not even possible to lead it in a new direction. After all, you can't borrow from a Democrat idea because you would be automatically screwed. You can't deviate from Federalism, so new spending programs are out. Any economic proposals will be scrutinized for their tertiary effects on the god-damned culture war. You CAN offer to cut taxes, but we've heard that noise for the past thirty years.

Even on the culture war, there isn't much you can do except appoint "Strict Constructionist" judges. You're just supposed to sit there and praise the Boy Scouts, I guess.

All in all, it's pretty thin gruel. It can't last in the general election


Tommaso Sciortino said...

I think that was Joe Klein as quoted by Yglesias.

Birney said...

Holy snap! Kevin? Kevin Deenihan? It's me, Birney! From *shudder* highschool. I took it upon myself to find out what had happened to you (fear the power of Google!) but can find no way of contacting you without expending more then five minutes worth of effort which is, of course, a non-starter.

Send me an internet at so I can ask you a question of utmost importance. And to add some semblance of topicality; basically you were right on for the debate. I could have given them their answers for them. . . Giuliani won some points from me for being ornery enough not to toe the party line exactly (though he waffled on the funding issue) but I fear what the theory of what the theory of Unitary Executive might become should he win. Oh, Ron Paul was highly entertaining but seemed totally out of place.

Apologies for misusing the coments section.