10/01/2005

Daily Kos: The betrayal of the conservative cause

The betrayal of the conservative cause
by kos
Sat Oct 1st, 2005 at 12:07:11 CDT

Read this op-ed and you'd think it was written by any number of liberal columnists or editorial writers.

In the week before Mr. DeLay's indictment, David Safavian, a White House official in the Office of Management and Budget, was arrested in connection with the Justice Department investigation into the lobbying practices of Jack Abramoff, the conservative activist and Republican Party fundraiser. It was the first arrest in the 18-month inquiry, but it is probably not the last. Grease from the Abramoff scandal has rubbed off on conservative stalwarts like the antitax activist Grover Norquist;Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition; and Republican lawmakers like Representative Bob Ney of Ohio, Senator Conrad Burns of Montana and - here's that name again - Tom DeLay....

But then the big surprise:

Young conservatives in particular will react to the new, post-DeLay reality in different ways. I know I have. First, looking at your party's troubles, you see perverse confirmation of conservatism's animating idea: that as the sphere of public decision-making expands, so do the opportunities for graft and wrongdoing. Next you note, with sadness, that while political power helped bring about some achievements - welfare reform, pro-growth tax cuts, an assertive, moralistic foreign policy - it may have also exhausted conservatism's fighting spirit, lowered the movement's intellectual standards and replaced a healthy independence with partisan water-carrying.

But then you take solace in the idea that the Republican Party has once again bested the Democrats, who after all took 40 years to sprout the warts of power.

The author is a staff writer at the conservative Weekly Standard. We can laugh at the so-called "pro-growth" tax cuts and "moralistic foreign policy", the former which has given us trillions in red ink, the latter which has embroiled us in a quagmire of a foreign adventure. But those are ultimately policy differences. Corruption is something altogether different. Dirty government is not a partisan issue, it stinks whether the culprits are Republicans, Democrats, or anything else.

Shocking that so few conservatives will admit that.


Daily Kos: The betrayal of the conservative cause

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