We are all neoliberals now
Karl Smith on the conservative movement:
The thing to remember is this outpouring of insanity is not the result of a conservative movement that is losing. It is the case that the long run demographic trend is against the GOP and in favor of the welfare state. However, these disagreements are over macro-economic policy not the size and scope of Social Security.
Instead, what we are witnessing is the sad, yet inevitable spectacle of a movement that cannot – as no movement can – survive victory.
Where in the White House are the promulgaters [sic] of socialism and class warfare? Where are those suggesting that we even return to the commad [sic] and control policies of McCarthy era America? Nowhere that I know of. If I understand correctly Obama is about to push for a decrease in taxes payroll taxes levied on businesses.
We are all neoliberals now and that means that there is nothing to fight over. Yet, a movement survives only to the extent it has something to move against. So we see are left with much of the right tilting at windmills and digging up long discarded economic theory to continue the battle.
Everything is the culture war. It has to be. Taxes are low. Nobody really pines for a command and control economy. There are mixed feelings about free markets, but mainly people are happy with the results of a market economy. What we have left is the culture war and foreign policy, so it’s ironic that the Tea Party has been the driving force of the conservative movement.
It’s almost a subterfuge. The real issues motivating the conservative base are gay marriage and abortion. The whole government spending thing was never a rally-the-base issue when Republicans had the wheel. Stem cells were.
If a Republican did essentially exactly what Obama has done you wouldn’t even have a Tea Party, and all the same lefties (plus a good few mainstream liberals) would be grumbling just that much louder.