Thursday, September 14, 2006

GOP loss in 2006 -- a victory for conservatives?

The Washington Monthly has an interesting feature this month, in which six prominent conservatives make the case -- compellingly, cogently, and passionately -- that a GOP defeat this November is the outcome that would most favor conservative government. The National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru made a similar argument in the New York Times earlier this week. I do think that conservative government would be better served by divided government -- a divided government can accomplish less, and the less government does, the better ...


Orrin Johnson said...

I would agree, but not while we're fighting the Jihadists. If the Dems were at all serious about national security, I would love to see some gridlock.

But with majorities in Congress Dems will cut funding for the war effort, attempt to impeach the President, and otherwise undermine a war effort against an enemy they don't think exists, or is a serious threat.

Further, if people thought they were bad about blocking qualified conservative federal judges before by refusing to cast cloture votes, just wait until they can block candidates outright with an up or down vote.

If this were Harry Truman's Democratic party, I would be all for it. But the looney left has taken over the party, and the damage they could cause in two years is not something I'm willing to cast my vote for, even if it would benefit conservatism in the long term.

PubliusRex said...

I think Orrin has it right. Bill Clinton's election at the expense of George Bush was good for neither conservatives nor the Ross Perot agenda.

The solution is almost always reforming the party from within, not seeing their political opposite come to power. Look at Lieberman and is possible to move the party from within.

Cato said...

This idea popped up on Cato too. I am almost always in favor of divided government, and now is no exception. I imagine one's stance on the issue is directly and compellingly tied to whether you think Bush and the Republican leadership in Congress are abusing their power, acting irresponsibly and/or need to be checked. If you're so worried about national security that you don't want the President's elbow jogged by accountability or oversight, than this current situation is a good one. For those of us who are more worried about the internal functioning of the republic and less about the external threats, it's time to see a divided Congress. I personally think Bush could use a good elbow jogging. It isn't like he's staring at a conveyor belt of potential terrorists and if we distract him for a second he'll miss one as it slides by. Presidents do have the capability to think about more than one thing at a time. In fact, we can trade. I would be more than willing to let Bush stop worrying about flag-burning, gay marriage and stem-cell research so that he has enough extra attention to lavish on checks and balances, and convincing a divided Congress that he's doing the right thing.

Orrin Johnson said...

The problem is that many Democrats would prevent the President from even looking at the conveyor belt of threats. If John Kerry had won, and had kept all of his promises regarding surveillance programs and national security, there's simply no reasonable doubt that those airliners over the Atlantic would have been destroyed this summer. The programs that uncovered it have been overtly attacked by Dems for years. And that is a threat I think is unacceptable.

I'm fine with oversight, but not with irresponsible oversight. And the current Democrats are simply not responsible. The current "threats" to our civil liberties just aren't. Anyone who thinks the USA PATRIOT Act or the Religious Right are bigger threats to us that Islamo-Fascism (or even in the same ballpark, league, or sport) just isn't looking at all the facts, and cannot be trusted with our national security. And that unfortunately is the current state of the Howard Dean led loyal opposition.

It's a one issue election for me - who's serious about killing the enemy, and keeping them at arms length? If you don't have that, you have nothing.

But even beyond the security issues that are my concern, this article does a fantastic job rebutting the assumption that a Dem victory in 2006 would be anything but a disaster for small government, low taxes, or spending reform.

There is plenty to be frustrated with about the current GOP. But they and their many imperfections are better for America - both at home and abroad - than the current Democratic party in power in congress would be.