Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Sometimes, heck, maybe even most of the time, the whole liberal vs conservative dichotomy doesn't really cut it. And in politics, were power corrupts right before our very eyes, we often think we are criticizing the left or right, but really we are criticizing power abuse and hubris, something both parties are quite capable of. Republicans have claimed they are for limited government and local control, but give them power and it's blindingly obvious to all who care to look that they don't care about limited government at all, they only say that when the government is run by someone else. Whether it's to force testing at local schools (without funding), stick their noses into Major League Baseball, expanding the ability to lock up American citizens without trial or getting directly involved in a family medical squabble, Republicans have proved they don't mind broad, overriding governmental power at all, just as long as they are the ones in control.

Andrew Sullivan, who still considers himself a conservative for some reason I don't quite understand, states:
So it is now the federal government's role to micro-manage baseball and to prevent a single Florida woman who is trapped in a living hell from dying with dignity. We're getting to the point when conservatism has become a political philosophy that believes that government - at the most distant level - has the right to intervene in almost anything to achieve the right solution. Today's conservatism is becoming yesterday's liberalism.
The Bull Moose, a conservative Democrat and former member of the Christian Coalition continues:
The Moose notes the passing of conservatism.

All pretenses of limited government conservatism have been cast aside with congressional intervention in the Schiavo case. The era of big government conservatism is in full swing. That is, if it can be called conservatism, at all.

At its heart, conservatism had reverence for process and order. But what we are witnessing now is the triumph of ends over means. That is exactly what the right loathed about the left. In the eye of conservatives, the left would stretch the Constitution and the law to serve its so-called noble ends. Liberals would turn to the federal courts to nullify the judgments of localities. In the end, according to the right, the law of unintended consequences would prevail and the rule of law would be obliterated.

Process no longer matters to the right - after all they are on the side of the angels. Whether it is pork barrel spending , the Senate filibuster or federal intervention in a family dispute, modern conservatism knows no boundaries. The right is now intoxicated with power - process is for wimps.

When it comes to federal intervention on behalf of the disadvantaged, the conservative response is to leave it to the states and the "mediating institutions" of community and locality. However, when it involves pandering to the religious right, federal power in the pursuit of righteous aims is no vice.

A few brave souls such as George Will and Andrew Sullivan attempt to hold the right to its principles. But the right is now aping all that it loathed in liberalism - the arrogance of power.

Look in the mirror conservatives - you have become your own worst enemy.