Sunday, February 29, 2004

Left is Right
I do love the sight of conservatives making common cause with liberals. Last September, a conservative law professor, Dale Carpenter of the University of Minnesota, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was overkill, and that the truly conservative position would be to oppose such an amendment. Pat Buchanan is blasting the entire neocon foreign policy project and suggesting that the neoconservative movement is a failure headed for history's landfill. In addition, we've already seen other conservatives and libertarians joining with liberals to oppose Bush policies on the deficit, civil liberties, and homeland security.

Sometimes you just gotta step back and survey the spectacular panorama that lies before us. The evidence is growing that Bush doesn't give a damn whether he alienates significant segments of his own core base of support. He's far more interested in placating the triumphalist, hardcore Christian wing of it--the sort of people who think Jesus is coming back any minute now, and that he'll be waving the American flag and driving a Hummer when he does. Meanwhile, secular conservatives are finding themselves left behind just like we godless liberal pukes are.

The great electoral success of the conservative movement has occurred largely because unlike liberals, conservatives tend to swallow their differences and fall into line behind the candidate most likely to advance the largest fraction of their agenda. On the other hand, liberals prefer to retain their ideological purity and splinter into a million pieces. Could 2004 be the year this paradigm turns on its head? Is this the year we liberal types get behind our nominee, flawed though he be, because he will advance the largest fraction of our agenda, i.e., getting rid of the most dangerous president in the history of the Republic? Is this the year secular, old-line, Goldwater-type conservatives begin to understand that not everyone in their party shares their goals? Eight months and three days to go before we find out.

This weekend on Best of the Blogs: The Other Dick and Veep Veep. Today's the last day of my guest blogger week over there, although Jerry has invited me to post occasionally in the future whenever the urge strikes me. I bet it will . . . .

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