But Republicans sank beneath the weight of Iraq, the lesson of which is patent: Wars of choice should be won swiftly rather than lost protractedly.I wonder: will there ever be enough "true conservatives" to become an effective, incorruptible, sustained Congressional majority? My sources say no. Why? Because power corrupts conservatives, too, and liberals should always be able to out-promise them on the campaign trail. (Which explains why conservatives are susceptible to bewitchment by pretty fantasies like supply-side voodoo and neocon foreign policy. Always beware when a so-called conservative is telling you about economic free lunches and easy/cheap nation-building.) As Will notes, the current GOP conservatives fell dutifully in line behind Bush's wild spending and his historic strategic blunder in Iraq. Now they are slowly recognizing their HUGE mistakes.
The Iraq war, like the Alaska bridge, pungently proclaims how Republicans earned their rebuke. They are guilty of apostasy from conservative principles at home (frugality, limited government) and embrace of anti-conservative principles abroad (nation-building grandiosity pursued incompetently).
Duhbya-ism wasn't conservative-- it was a radical experiment: big gubmint conservatism combined with a NeoCon foreign policy headed by a President who valued loyalty over competence. And many conservatives took leave of their senses and supported this ideological witch's brew and demonized the liberals who questioned it. And now they are starting to say, "what you saw over the past 6 years wasn't really our 'true' selves."
Oh, OK. Well, let us know when you stop snorting political faerie dust and return to your "core" principles. In the meantime we'll try to clean up the mess after your binge.
Keeping track of what was said then and what was said now will make political blogging almost effortless over the next two years.
Let me say this, though: unlike many on the right, I believe my ideological opponents are NECESSARY to this country's success. I believe conservatives are a necessary antidote to liberal excesses. Over the long haul, they are essential to the process. Unlike many on the right, I do not wish to politically marginalize true conservatives, or relegate them to "museums" (like Rush Limbaugh would liberals). You'll see that I've never indulged in eliminationist rhetoric towards sober, lucid, grown-up conservatives. In fact, over the past two years or so I've been plaintively appealing to them to wake the hell up.
These are my best guesses on what to expect from the new Democratic Congress:
MORE oversight and more investigations into fraudulence and waste.
A DECREASE in the rate of federal spending compared to the average over the past six years (as a % of GDP).
A DECREASE in the number of "earmarks" (designated pork) in future spending bills.
A DECREASE in criminal corruption compared to this Abramoff Congress (which isn't saying much, because this Congress will go down as one of the most corrupt in the nation's history).
A DECREASE in the number of occasions where Congress publishes plans for "How to build an Atomic Bomb" in arabic on the internets.
(Note: As usual, I made some small, slight edits to this post after the initial publishing.)