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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What's Missing?

by folkbum

In the post below, bert deftly reminds us that for someone like Charlie Sykes, never having to lie means lying pretty regularly (my favorite Charlie Sykes lie).

The post on Sykes's blog just below the one bert caught was a reference to Charlie's answer to the question, "Isn't conservatism dead yet?" (paraphrasing), a question asked of a whole mess of Wisconsin righties. Sykes's answer to that question repeats a lot of the same crap about the 2006 election that was immediately debunked last November, trying to explain away Republicans' losses. He blames the loss of Congress, for example, on pork-barrel spending, and not, you know, the Iraq war and corruption. What was it we were saying about Sykes's honesty?

But what I really want to talk about is Congressman Paul Ryan's answer to the same question. The Janesville Republican offers this paragraph:
Excessive federal spending, particularly on wasteful earmarks such as a “Bridge to Nowhere,” flew in the face of conservatives’ goal of fiscal restraint. Likewise, cases of corruption, where certain members of Congress broke the law and abused their positions for financial gain, are far removed from the conservative ideal of the citizen legislator who serves ethically and upholds the trust of constituents.
Ryan goes on to do the same thing Sykes does, blaming the House turnover not on Iraq and corruption but on a lack of true conservative principles. But what's missing from Ryan's paragraph here? When he talks about earmarks and courrupt members of Congress, what word to describe those Congressmen is missing?

If you said Republican, go to the head of the class. Now, sure, Ryan takes the time to remind us the Republican does not always mean conservative. But why, Paul, can't you be honest about who wants theses bridges to nowehere, and who is up to their armpits in scandal? (By the way, the number of Republicans implicated in scandal just keeps growing!)

In theory there may be a distinction to be drawn between Republican and conservative, but in practice, the Republicans are the conservative party in America. (And Ryan's dodge about Democrats winning by running conservative candidates is also just another lie.) Charlie Sykes identifes the Republican Reagan administration--which produced no scandals at all, right? which was not a haven for profligate pork spending?--and the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994--led by a belligerant hypocrite, which led in only a dozen years to the likes of Jack Abramoff and Mark Foley--as the high-water marks for conservatives. You can't talk about conservativism in this country without talking about Republicans.

And while conservatism may not quite be dead yet, there is little sense in trying to pretend that we don't know what has left it in the ICU: The Republicans who are the public face of conservatism, who espouse it and promise to follow it, and who get blindly supported by the media lapdogs like Charlie Sykes who are perfectly willing to make up excuses for them.

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