Friday, February 06, 2004

Sure they do....


After presenting a rambling, partisan caricature of the Democratic primary season, Michael Kinsley suggests,
The process the Democrats are putting themselves through resembles John Maynard Keynes's description of the stock market. The game isn't to figure out which stocks are most likely to do well but to figure out which stocks other investors think are most likely to do well. These other investors are thinking of other investors and so on. Keynes thought this helped explain the volatility of stock prices. Your judgment about other people's judgment, let alone other people's judgment about other people's judgment, is less certain and more subject to breezes of false or true insight and information than your judgment about your own judgment.

Something similar may be going on in the Democratic primaries. But the analogy breaks down, because only the Democrats are intent on figuring out what other people want. Republicans know what they want.
Oh, do they?

Let's look at the stereotype -
  • Republicans want smaller government, but support a President under whom the government has grown explosively.
  • Republicans want fiscal responsibility, but support a President whose fiscal policies are irresponsible and who has no interest in balancing the budget.
  • Republicans want a government that stays out of their personal lives, but support a President under whom state intrusions into privacy without legal process or probable cause have reached levels unseen since the revolutionary war, who supports replacing state services with "faith based" services, and who seems to support a constitutional convention to define "marriage". (A constitutional amendment to effect a purely social matter? That's not "conservative" by any measure.)
  • Republicans believe in state sovereignty and oppose nation-building, but support a President who initiated two of the grandest nation-building projects ever conceived.
  • Republicans want "working men and women" to be able to "keep the money they earn", yet support a President whose tax policy overwhelmingly favors the rich and intentionally ignores the fact that the "Alternative Minimum Tax" will soon claw back the minimal tax relief his administration afforded to the middle class.
  • Republicans oppose gun control, but support a President who will renew one of the most senseless pieces of gun control legislation ever conceived (banning certain guns based not on function but because they "look scary") - a measure originally signed into law by his father.
  • Republicans believe in free markets, but support a President who imposes a wide range of tariffs and duties to prevent foreign competition.
  • Republicans believe in a meritocracy, but support a President whose entire resume can be attributed to his family name and crony capitalism.
  • Republicans don't believe in the "welfare state", but support a President who has created the largest new entitlement program since the New Deal, and a Congress which reroutes billions of dollars from "blue states" to subsidize taxpayers in 'red states".
Perhaps Kinsley is arguing that Repubicans are like sheep, blindly following a leader based upon his false "conservative" promises while unable to recognize that they are being led astray. But they know what they want....
I'm a good conservative, a family man. I believe in fiscal responsibility. I'm a uniter not a divider. I will bring a new era of responsibility to American government.... But we must set our priorities, so I'll get to all of that stuff....

As soon as we get back from Mars.
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