Thursday, February 09, 2006

Remember When Republicans Were Conservative? Those Were the Days.

I saw this comment on some bulletin board or another. I don't even remember what they were commenting on, but it hit home with me. I don't even know that the average Republican even knows what they stand for. Even the ideologues seem to be championing ideas that have little to do with conservatism as it has been defined in the past. For instance, foreign intervention is most certainly NOT a conservative thing. The neo-cons love it, though.

Chomsky harps on this a lot when he says, "These people are NOT conservatives" in various ways. When I first heard Chomsky say/write this over and over about the Reaganites[0] I was pretty incredulous. But, again, when you look at what they DO, not what they SAY, that becomes apparent really quickly.

In fact, this same thing could be applied to the Democrats, too: "Remember when Democrats were liberal? Those were the days." When both parties champion "neo-liberal" trade policies (in fact, "neo-cons" seem to be the biggest champions of "neo-liberal" ideas - how weird is that?) and both parties have almost the same outcome in foreign policy (again, what they DO, not what they SAY) I think the common complaint that these two parties are really one and the same party is not far from the truth.

Democrat/Republican, it seems to be a distinction without a real difference. Of course, the Republicans seem to be gleefully dismantling social programs with more vigor than the Democrats, but that's all I can really see.

Even the Republicans with their current control of virtually everything in Washington don't have the guts to attack one of their base's biggest things: abortion. At least not directly - that'd be a third rail for them, and they know it. Instead, they will meekly try to bring it in the back door via the Supreme Court. Again, they SAY they are against abortion to get into office, but really don't want to do much about it, at least not via legislation.

[0] And now the Bushites, pretty much the same set of people - really pretty incredible when you think about it. It's like a dynasty that skipped eight years, and then picked up where they left off.

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