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September 19, 2004

The Republican Party: More Rockefeller than Goldwater; Neumayr's Article

"Arnie's Party" in the American Spectator gets things depressingly right. As my wife said to me one night, it really doesn't seem possible to get away from the median voter on domestic policy. Foreign policy, interestingly, is different, perhaps because moderate policies so often clearly are worse than either extreme (e.g., invade Iraq, but not with enough troops to win). At any rate, the Republican Party of 2004 is closer to Rockefeller's policies than to Goldwater's, even if Rockefeller's political descendants have all become Democrats. Here's Neumayr on the liberal's victory in the Republican Party: ....

...The media can't take yes for an answer. Journalists grumble about the "moderate faade" of the GOP convention in New York City, yet that moderation is exactly what they have long lobbied the Republican Party to embrace. At the Democratic convention, journalists wanted the true believers to speak so that they could build them up. At the Republican convention they want the true believers to speak so that they can tear them down.

And is it a moderate GOP faade? Would that it were merely a facade. Unfortunately, the PC moderation is real. Would that George Bush was as conservative as the media's hyperventilations. It is no wonder the Democrats have become so radical: As Bush moved to the middle, they had to move farther and farther to the left in order to sustain their critique of him as a radical conservative. Only a party that gravitates to socialism, for example, would regard Bush's prescription drug benefit as dangerously conservative. If they had any perspective, the Democrats would claim victory, having pulled the debate so far to the left that the conservative position on prescription drugs became the liberal position of a few years ago.

... A hodgepodge of pragmatism -- as illustrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger saying that he learned free-market economics from Richard Nixon, the president who gave us price controls -- has replaced any sort of philosophical coherence. ...

On domestic issues, the difference between the two parties amounts to the Democrats' liberalism versus the Republicans' liberalism in slow motion . On foreign policy matters, the difference amounts to no common sense (the Democrats) versus some common sense. Schwarzenegger's speech was about a foreigner who dreamed of running America; the Democratic convention speeches were about Americans who dreamed of foreigners running America.


The mixture of conservative and liberal currents at the convention was conveyed by Schwarzenegger laughing about "girlie men," then Laura Bush extolling them. She spoke of a "dad whose wife is deployed in Iraq recently" and his "struggles to rear his three children alone," one of which is that he is turning his childrens' clothing pink through laundering mishaps. Shouldn't this story warm the hearts of Democrats?

Posted by erasmuse at September 19, 2004 10:07 PM

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