« Frank, full of beans | Main | Rahm & Schumer, LLC, Cosmetic Surgery »

Get out while the gettin's good

By Michael J. Smith on Friday September 15, 2006 11:21 PM

For some time time, I've been thinking that the Republicans will soon be quite happy to take a holiday in opposition and leave the Other War Party stuck with the mess (a role the Other War Party is glad to embrace, by the way). I kinda thought the Republicans would tiptoe furtively off stage in 2008, but maybe the schedule has been moved up; comes now the Washington Monthly, with seven, count 'em, seven, think-pieces from the likes of Richard Viguerie and Christopher Buckley. General topic: "Time For Us To Go: Conservatives on why the GOP should lose in 2006." There's enough overlap in the talking points to suggest that this must have been a topic of conversation among pitchfork-chuckers in the Republican malebolge for some time now.

Here's Buckley:

Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds.
Bruce Bartlett:
Democrats today are free to criticize our efforts in Iraq without having to offer constructive alternatives. But put them in the majority, and they’ll suddenly have to put up or shut up. Let them defund the war and implement an immediate pullout if that’s what they really think we should do.... Every Republican I know thinks Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the best things they have going for them.
Best of all, Viguerie:
... a Republican loss of one or both houses of Congress would turn power over to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.... [But] sometimes a loss for the Republican Party is a gain for conservatives. Often, a little taste of liberal Democrats in power is enough to remind the voters what they don’t like about liberal Democrats and to focus the minds of Republicans on the principles that really matter. That’s why the conservative movement has grown fastest during those periods when things seemed darkest, such as during the Carter administration and the first two years of the Clinton White House.
You don't often see such a clear statement of the mechanics of party symbiosis.

Lots of other interesting things to ponder in these essays too (if you skip all the poseur snuffbox-juggling about Edmund Burke and Adam Smith -- even poor James II comes in for some hard words!). For one thing, some of these guys are really against the Iraq war, and have harsher things to say about it than you will hear from any Democrat. E.g. Buckley:

... the tidy theories of a group who call themselves “neo-conservative” (not one of whom, to my knowledge, has ever worn a military uniform), have thus far: de-stabilized the Middle East; alienated the world community from the United States; empowered North Korea, Iran, and Syria; unleashed sectarian carnage in Iraq ... cost the lives of 2,600 Americans, and the limbs, eyes, organs, spinal cords of another 15,000—with no end in sight. But not to worry: Democracy is on the march in the Middle East. Just ask Hamas. And the neocons—bright people, all—are now clamoring, “On to Tehran!”
Wake me up when Hillary starts talking like this.

The other thing that's really interesting, and that offers us all an object lesson, is that these ideologues are quite prepared to see their party lose if they think it would be better for their cause in the long run. When was the last time you encountered a "progressive" Democrat who could do as much? Imagine the Tartarean howls of execration that would greet, say, a Kosnik who advanced a similar argument.

Comments (10)

js paine:

greed takes a holiday ???

well not quite
big greed corporate type gred
may take a "working "holiday
just to give piker greed
a shot
so why does the corporate crowd
greed with tiny pockets
get its turn at the trough ???

to nail em holdin the bag when the shit slides

there's a big "correction out ahead"
a global economic correction
better it hits while the dwarf party
is in the sun spot and moon shine
control room

So the oil corporations want to hand off to the telecom corporations for a few years. Big schmoo. Clinton Years Part II: Pwogs in Paradise.

But - Conservates want to get rid of a perfectly good war? Wow! That's news! Buckley finally met a shootin' war he didn't like. I'm aghast. My ghast is completely 'a-mazed'.


Now this is smart (the idea of handing the mess over to the Democrats) but is it policy? Somehow I think Rove and Bush Sr and the rest want to stay in power, with Rep majorities, while they continue their project of gutting social programs, deregulating business, and making money. And then there's Bush Jr, who hasnt yet proved that he's Winston Churchill (by attacking Iran) and doesnt look likely to do it before November.

BTW, could we change the anti-spam question to something other than Hillary? I feel like I'm getting unconsciously programmed.

js paine:

senator smithee
oh wise and many eyed one
i must humbly submit an appendix
to your comment
its no longer
"a perfectly good war "

its a quag hag of a war

with sectarian nightmares abounding

but as such its just right
for the muscular humanists
like mother clinton
who care enough
to kill the innocent
to protect the innocent

Somehow I think Rove and Bush Sr and the rest want to stay in power, with Rep majorities, while they continue their project of gutting social programs, deregulating business, and making money.
I suppose everybody would like to stay in power all the time, if they could, but men of the world know that sometimes the watchword is reculer pour mieux sauter -- drop back to take a better jump next time. As for the gutting social programs, etc. -- well, the Democrats can certainly be counted on to carry that program forward, can't they?
js paine:

i think you're both right

the main tendency is prolly covered by father smiffs frenchy phrase

but if you happen to be in bushco
you know the federal pen may be awaiting you
if the elephants don't fly in november

ah but then there's ford like amnesty

shit come january 09
little george may well be handing those out
like rubbers on a booze cruise


Hi michael. Just came by from LBO. Love your blog.

Bill Kristol told Steve Colbert the same thing. Makes sense to me. Especially with the looming financial crisis and all.


(towards the end of the segment)

js paine:

cutting up the social transfer system
is in pause right now

in fact but for the pending
recession and its attending misery

the prospect of stagnation
looks like fun

a bi partisan mud wrestle
in the congressional hog wallow
will make for great viewing

at least
for those of us
who remain above
the high water mark
of the flood tide

but will my job drown ??

will yours ?? heh heh heh

Posted by js paine | September 16, 2006 1:13 PM

To a sane individual the Iraq Bloodbath might seem to have gone past it's expiration date. But to republican warhawks there is no such thing as a bad war. All wars are profitable.

Unfortunately for the neocons, the sepia-toned Spielbergian haze of late 90s WWII nostalgia is fading fast, leaving the ugly piss-yellow tint of colonialism in it's wake. Unable to conflate "The Good War" with "The Iraq War" is making some conservative poo-bahs think it might be better to hand off the Bloodbath to Corporate America's B-Team for couple years. At least until they can come up with something else to distract red meat America.

Well, Smithee, all they have to do is catch Hillary with an intern, and the rest will take care of itself. :p

Sorry. It's been a long day.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Friday September 15, 2006 11:21 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Frank, full of beans.

The next post in this blog is Rahm & Schumer, LLC, Cosmetic Surgery.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31