The fine folks at the Washington Monthly have an extremely fun (in a way) and interesting cover story this month: “Time for Us to Go,” a compilation of seven essays from “old school” conservatives who want the Democrats to win this fall, minds that actually thought humans should uphold principles (at least to some degree), shouldn’t reflexively lie about everything, and actually have the best interests of the country at heart.
Although often funny and well-written, the total slam on the Bush administration for the horrors they have inflicted upon us does not leave the reader with any enlightenment, for the works reflect the most under-rated form of human wisdom: what not to do. Do not become completely awash in corruption and cronyism, do not become ludicrously suckered into thinking one is on God’s mission, do not go disastrously into debt, do not toss aside separation of powers like it was used toilet paper, and for god’s sake never do something so stupid and offense as the Terry Schiavo episode again.
Conspicuously missing is any form of moral horror or regret for blowing off the arms of children for nothing or horribly despoiling the planet. No, the best these minds could come up with were practical, prosaic solutions and visions with zero ability to see the evil awash everywhere in our government. The United States not only has grave governance issues but has very serious moral and ethical problems too.
The reader should also be aware that these fossils with some honor blithely assume that the country they knew is still with us today. They assume votes are counted, that there’s a free press to spread the truth, that there is a functioning opposition party, that the House is not lost and busted from gerrymander, or that the judicial branch is lost to a legion of reactionary freaks like Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito.
The country is gone and we may not be able to get it back. What happens if all the gerrymander for the House works again this year and the Democrats don’t capture it? Then the corporate press lies and covers for it? See what I mean?
Well, one keeps the faith and keeps on, because the alternative is far, far worse. In any event, here are some good-to-great zingers from fossils who worked for crooks like Nixon, idolize Iran Contra felon Reagan, and although state they have the best interests of the country at heart by wanting Democrats to win this fall could very well be plainly lying and simply yearn for the vicious minority attack dog days of their salad days.
Christopher Buckley, novelist: “Who knew, in 2000, that “compassionate conservatism” meant bigger government, unrestricted government spending, government intrusion in personal matters, government ineptitude, and cronyism in disaster relief? Who knew, in 2000, that the only bill the president would veto, six years later, would be one on funding stem-cell research?
A more accurate term for Mr. Bush’s political philosophy might be incontinent conservatism.”
Bruce Bartlett, supply side economics idiot: “As the minority party, Democrats today are free to criticize our efforts in Iraq without having to offer constructive alternatives. But put them in the majority, and they’ll suddenly have to put up or shut up. Let them defund the war and implement an immediate pullout if that’s what they really think we should do. At least it would force the administration to explain itself better and face some oversight, for which the Republican Congress has essentially abrogated all responsibility. Polls will quickly indicate which side has made the better case.”
Joe Scarborough, MSNBC analyst and former rep: “It’s enough to make economic conservatives long for the day when Marxists were running the White House.”
Bruce Fein, a clueless constitutional lawyer who still doesn’t know the Bill of Rights has been ripped to shreds right in front of us: “But a Republican Congress has done nothing to thwart President George W. Bush’s alarming usurpations of legislative prerogatives. Instead, it has largely functioned as an echo chamber of the White House.”
Jeffrey Hart, a National Review editor who makes sense and possesses ethics. Really. “Never before has a United States president consistently adhered to beliefs so disconnected from actuality.”
Richard Viguerie, a “conservative” horrified at big government that spends taxes but totally silent on global warming or blowing up kids for lies: “If Big Government Republicans behave so irresponsibly and betray the people who elected them, while we blindly, slavishly continue backing them, we establish that there is no price to pay for violating conservative principles.”
The Washington Monthly is a tiny $2 million flea on the stinking, bloated carcass of American journalism. They’re brave, they tell the truth, and they give amateurs like Kevin Drum (who regularly pisses me off with infuriatingly smarmy, stupid centrism yet is a fine man I greatly like and admire) a real professional shot. In these hard times with everyone asking for money donations or subscriptions can be a bit much, but reading their work, bookmarking the site, clicking the ads and linking to the work can make a tremendous difference.
All that has been done here plus as donation and subscription last year. The Washington Monthly plain earned it.