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The Decade Of Conservatism

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Wow! Digby points us to a killer post by Devilstower over at Daily Kos and then throws in a last punch of her own. This is must read stuff:

"Here's the thing about the naughts: there was nothing magic about the numbers. It wasn't because of a double-zero in the middle of the dates that we launched an invasion that's cost the lives of thousands of Americans, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and a trillion dollars plus out of the pocketbooks of taxpayers. We launched into that still unresolved idiocy because of bad policy based on the conservative
philosophy of smash things first, think never. We went there because of a extreme version of American exceptionalism, one that views America as above the the rules of law and exempt from questions of morality. A view that says not only if the president does it, it's not a crime, but that if America does it, it can't be wrong.

It wasn't the decade that caused the economy to come down in tatters. It was a conservative approach to the marketplace that views government as the enemy, greed as the only acceptable motivation, and the only solution for disasters brought on by a lack of regulation as still less regulation.

It wasn't the calendar that brought down the banks, or American manufacturing, or American's influence around the world. It wasn't the date that added torture to the list of growth industries while erasing our budget surplus.

Don't forget the naughts, because this decade, no matter what anyone on the right might say, was conservatism on trial. You want less taxes? You got less taxes. You want less regulation? You got less regulation. Open markets? Wide open. An illusuion of security in place of rights? Hey, presto. Think we should privatize war by handing unlimited power given to military contractors so they can kick butt and
take names? Kiddo, we passed out boots and pencils by the thousands. Everything, everything, that ever showed up on a drooled-over right wing wish list got implemented -- with a side order of Freedom Fries.

They will try to disown it, and God knows if I was responsible for this mess I'd be disowning it, too. But the truth is that the conservatives got everything they wanted in the decade just past, everything that they've claimed for forty years would make America "great again". They didn't fart around with any "red dog
Republicans." They rolled over their moderates and implemented a conservative dream.

What did we get for it? We got an economy in ruins, a government in massive debt, unending war, and the repudiation of the world. There's no doubt that Republicans want you to forget the last decade, because if you remember... if you remember when you went down to the water hole and were jumped by every lunacy that ever emerged from the wet dreams of Grover Norquist and Dick Cheney, well, it's not likely that you'd give them a chance to do it again.

And they will. Given half a chance -- less than half -- they'll do it again, only worse. Because that's the way conservatism works. Remember when the only answer to every economic problem was "cut taxes?" We have a surplus. Good, let's cut taxes. We have a deficit. Hey, cut taxes even more! That little motto was unchanging even when was clear that the tax cuts were increasing the burden on everyone but a wealthy few. That's just a subset of the great conservative battle whine which is now and forever "we didn't go far enough." If deregulation led to a crash, it's because we didn't deregulate enough. If the wars aren't won, it's because
we haven't started enough wars. If there are people still clinging to their rights, it's because we haven't done enough to make them afraid.

Forget the naughts, and you'll forget that conservatives had another chance to prove all their ideas, and that their ideas utterly and completely failed. Again."


Then Digby follows up with a little back hand of her own:

"I don't deny that the corporate Democrats are screwed up too. But they didn't invent this political world. As I
quipped before, they just learned to stop worrying and love the money. This world of graft and corruption and unfettered greed was the conservative movement's idea of utopia. And they got it. ."


Now for my own follow up. If you had been a follower of this blog you would know what I've been saying from the outset. The 1920's saw unfettered conservatism run rampant and counter to all forms of regulation ala Teddy Roosevelt and his trust busting progressives. And what followed? A Depression that brought us to our knees. We almost didn't get back up. Yeah, we've been down this road before. And then, as Devilstower has pointed out, we went down that road again. The only difference was in the 1920's we were isolationists. In the naughts we went in shooting just because we could.

There is no doubt conservatives live and breath the "we didn't go far enough" mantle no matter the consequences in the face of overwhelming evidence of the contrary. But there it is. Given a chance they will try it again and again like the insane person doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. We've been there, done that.

In the name of all that's holy, let's not go down that road again. Ever.

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