Saturday, February 24, 2007

Analyze *This*

I sadly recommend "Right Slight: Why Did the GOP Lose the Election?" at TNR:

There are two very unpleasant truths that we have to face,
in order to change them:

"While the publicly-available election data can't answer this
question definitively, everything we know about public opinion
suggests there isn't a majority constituency for economic
libertarianism. (Tax cuts, perhaps, but not the smaller government
that goes along with it.)"

"When small-government conservatives abandon their principles
and become big-government conservatives--usually because voters
demand more government (as in the case of Bush's prescription
drug entitlement) or revolt when they try to cut it (Social
Security privatization)--scandal is a predictable result. The
reason is that people ideologically predisposed to doubt the
effectiveness of government don't see much practical difference
between running programs in the public interest and running them
as vast kickback operations, in which they spread government
lucre among their favorite interest groups (e.g., the
pharmaceutical industry). If government won't work either way,
you might as well make your friends happy."