“Even Nixon” Is Back!
Anybody old enough to read newspapers in the 1970s probably noticed the “even Nixon” argument. It went approximately as follows:
Even Nixon, the most conservative President in living memory with the biggest electoral victory found it necessary to impose price controls and bargain with Communists. That shows how Republican ideologues are hopelessly obsolete.Of course, just a few years later, Reagan won by a near landslide.
I've been looking for it lately, but didn't see much sign of it. Apparently, the typical leftist ideologue would rather not give credit to Dubya for pushing through a large chunk of liberalism.
What's weird, in a way, is that all of the "big ideas" in the second story have such a retro 60s feel to them: going to the moon, finding a cure for cancer, funding hunger programs, and universal child healthcare. Some of them ? though definitely not a lunar version of aerospace corporate welfare ? are worthy goals, but they sound more like Great Society programs than 21st century Republican programs.
For all their talk about being the "party of ideas" these days, when it comes time to actually find an idea Republicans grab one from LBJ's workpile. It's sort of a tacit admission that all the genuine Republican ideas are way too unpopular to push during an election year.
On the other hand, Reagan and Gingrich were able to be recognizably conservative. Maybe the problem with the budget is that the Bushes are the American equivalents of members of the House of Lords. They could afford everything they ever wanted and figured the U.S. could do the same. It's easier to balance the budget as long as we avoid a President from the American House of Lords (which rules out Dean or Kerry).
If you object to members of the American House of Lords, you should remember that if the Republicans had done a little better in 1998 we'd have President Gingrich now. (I think it's about time we had a science-fiction fan as President.)