Sunday, August 1, 2010
Stephen Bainbridge claims it is embarrassing being a conservative these days. He lists ten reasons. While I certainly agree with some of them, I wonder whether he has thought this out carefully. Consider the following two:
4. [President Bush and the Republican Congress of 2000-2006]: Instead of tax cuts and spending cuts, we got tax cuts along with a trillion dollar entitlement program, a massive expansion of the Federal Government’s role in education, and two wars. That’s not fiscal conservatism it is, as others have said, fiscal insanity.
5. Thanks to the Tea Party, the Nevada GOP has probably pissed away a historic chance to out=st Harry Reid. See also Charlie Crist in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and so on. Whatever happened to not letting perfection be the enemy of the good?
Bainbridge seems to be missing something here. Yes, the Republicans of 2000-2006 were excessively big government. Now, why does the Tea Party want to see Marco Rubio instead of Charlie Crist, and the others? Because the Tea Partiers believe, quite rightly, that Charlie Crist supported Obama's stimulus and would behave much like the Republicans of 2000-2006. I would take my chances with Rubio and the possibility of real constraint.
Bainbridge can't really have it both ways. You can't criticize the Tea Partiers for wanting better conservatives and also criticize the old Republicans who were elected based on the idea of "not letting perfection be the enemy of the good."