Thursday, October 09, 2003

Conservatives Outraged by Radicalism

I love it when Republicans bite Republicans. This article is a few months old, but well worth a look:

Even traditional conservatives outraged by radicalism of the right

By Clyde Prestowitz,

For a moment during the spring, neoconservatives associated with the Bush administration thought they had died and gone to heaven. The quicker than expected fall of Saddam Hussein seemed to justify their vision of a new America that would reshape world politics. The United States would use its overwhelming military power to crush tyrannical regimes, they declared, and establish American-style capitalist democracies in their place. Domestically, the neocons’ only question was whether the tax cuts aimed at reshaping American society would be merely big or gigantic. As time passes, however, it has become increasingly clear that this course is neither neo nor conservative and that it may lead more quickly to hell than to heaven.

This was not the foreign policy agenda traditional conservatives like myself voted for in 2000. Concerned about growing anti-American feeling around the world, we were pleased when candidate Bush spoke of adopting a humbler attitude in foreign policy and of reducing US overstretch abroad.We also anticipated that a new Bush administration would embrace long-standing conservative objectives such as smaller government, fiscal responsibility, tax cuts crafted with a goal of balancing budgets, strong protection of individual rights, and support for healthy state and local governments. There

was certainly no mention in Bush’s campaign of revolutionary schemes to transform the world.

So imagine our surprise when instead of a new humility, the fledgling Bush administration embraced a new arrogance. Traditional conservatives were no fans of the Kyoto agreement on global warming—many thought it unfair to US interests. But why so loudly reject a treaty that could have been left in limbo without any meaningful effect on the United States? Why make enemies so needlessly? Domestically, the initial Bush tax cut proposals seemed surprisingly large. But traditional conservatives held their fire. The cuts did seem to provide stimulus at a time when the economy was sinking dangerously, and the forecasters said we could maintain a balanced budget even with the cuts. ...{article continued link}

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