All sales are final.

The Washington Monthly has posted a series of columns by conservatives who believe that the Republicans should lose the November elections. My first reaction to this was one of smug satisfaction. After reading the columns, however, my exultation has subsided, and I am left with suspicion. Is this buyer’s remorse simply a way for conservatives to evade responsibility for fixing the problem they created?

As far as one can tell from these columns, the only alternative to a Republican Congress is a Democratic Congress. Most of the authors extol the virtues of divided government, citing Reagan and Eisenhower as models. Yet there are no calls for restructuring the two-party system, unless you count Richard Viguerie’s vage assertion that “A Republican loss this year could lead to a rebirth of the conservative movement, as a Third Force independent of any political party.” In lieu of changing the party they helped put into power, these columnists would rather leave it to the Democrats to rein in the monster.

Only one of the columns concerns itself with perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this administration: its blatant Christian ideology. Our political language has been re-cast in terms of Good™ versus Evil™. Such rhetoric enables the administration to shame its critics – if you’re anti-war or pro-choice, you’re on the side of Evil™. Yet five of seven columnists choose to overlook this issue in favor of bemoaning profligacy and expanded regulation. The sixth, who decries Bush’s abuse of Presidential power, seems completely blind to the link between this phenomenon and the God Is On Our Side! mindset which infuses All Things Bush.

So while I agree with the premise (Down with the Bush Administration! GOP must lose in November!), I disagree with the explanation (This “Bush” – it came out of nowhere! We are shocked!) and the proposed solution (Let the Democrats either fix it or die trying – we’ll take either one!). If the conservatives really want to make things better for themselves and the world, they need to rethink their strategy.


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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    Y’know, just as I started reading your post, I *knew* where you were going with it. And as per usual, you’ve expressed my opinion far more eloquently than I ever could. 🙂

    One day, I want to get you to argue with my FBF (former best friend) about politics. He’s so stupid and intolerant (a prerequisite to being republican?!), I’d love to see you put him in his place. Unfortunately, he also fights unfairly (another repub trait. Hmmmm.), and I would hate it if he hurt your feelings.

  2. 2

    Cheryl said,

    did you see this??
    Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:

    1. You have to believe that the nation’s current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday’s gasoline prices are all Clinton’s fault.
    2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
    3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.
    4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don’t deserve theirs.
    5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.
    6. You have to believe…everything Rush Limbaugh says.
    7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.
    8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.
    9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn’t diminish your opportunities, but you still won’t vote for Alan Keyes.
    10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.
    11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don’t pray to Allah or Buddha.
    12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.
    13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.
    14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
    15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.
    16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
    17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.
    18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher.

  3. 3

    uccellina said,

    I had not seen that – thanks, Cheryl. And RIP, Ann Richards.

  4. 4

    Grand Premier: The Carnival of Divided Government

    The biggest recent news about Divided Goverrnment came from the Washington Monthly articles “Time for us to go”, with many bloggers from across the political spectrum joining the chorus to sing in harmony about the merits of divided government, usual…

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