November 24, 2002

This post by Josh Marshall

This post by Josh Marshall begins as a sort of comment on Krauthammer's recent by-the-numbers piece on the "left-wing idiocy" of Bill Moyers, Paul Krugman, et al. (Well, not entirely by the numbers: this one includes a prescription for Thorazine-- a novel, maybe even handy, twist.) I enjoy this sort of thing as much as anyone, but I try not to let a good time get in the way of the truth. (I'm a shameless liar, of course: a good time usually wins with me. But nevertheless...) Marshall's comment is apt: "whatever other causes or effects the election may have had, it popped the cork on a new bottle of conservative conceit and self-congratulation."

The interesting part of the post, however, spurred by the fact that the Krauthammer piece appears in the Weekly Standard, is a perceptive question:

What happened to conservative reform? National Greatness conservatism? You know, McCain-ite TR worship and the rest?

The answer:
Some will say that National Greatness Conservatism is alive and well in the zeal for the drive to Baghdad. But that's a weak rejoinder. Aggressive foreign policy was only part of the equation. The truth, I think, is pretty clear: it's dead...

What happened is that Bush got popular because of the war. And after that happened why did anyone need reform anymore?

There's a great deal of truth in this. The Weekly Standard does seem to have lost some its fire. And even in spite of the Democrats' perverse apparent determination to consign themselves to the political margins at all costs, the withering away of internal dissenters like the McCainiacs bodes ill for the long-term health of the Republican party, even if it means that Bush has "won" again.

Posted by Dr. Frank at November 24, 2002 02:45 PM | TrackBack