Won't Get Fooled Again

Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks of the NY Times writes:

...with the success of the Medicare reform bill. This week the G.O.P. behaved as a majority party in full. The Republicans used the powers of government to entrench their own dominance. They used their control of the federal budget to create a new entitlement, to woo new allies and service a key constituency group, the elderly.

gingrich.jpgHe's right. The more things change... I can remember not long ago being duped by the Contract with America that spoke of "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money."

Well the Republicans have finally arrived. Whether we're talking about Medicare reform, "more humble" nation building, or anything President Bush proposes, we're talking about big government, big waste, central planning, and business as usual.

I'm sure things will be much better when the Democrats are back in control.

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That last line is meant in

That last line is meant in irony, right?



The big government

The big government propensities of Gingrich and other "national greatness" neocons should be no surprise.

I remember seeing the A&E Biography of Gingrich back in 1995. When Newt was in his teens, his stepdad took him on a trip to Europe and visited the Verdun battlefield. Pointing out the still scarred landscape, the old man told him that an entire generation of Europeans had died--and that all those millions had been slaughtered because of politicians.

Newt's reaction? If politicians had the power to do ALL THAT, a career of "public service" was the life for him.

Despite the neocons' lip service to "freedom" and "democracy," they are very much in the tradition of Sam Huntington's "excess of democracy" theory. In order to insulate the regime from mass pressure, they have redefined freedom as "the rule of law" (in other words, routinized, bureaucratic rule by men in suits a la Max Weber), and tried to graft an authoritarian ethos of sacrifice for "the nation" onto the Lockean liberal tree.