Running On Empty

A few excellent paragraphs from Harold Meyerson:

It’s not just that the conservative vote has been split between Romney and Huckabee. It’s also that conservatives have run out of agenda.

With his preemptive war and seemingly permanent occupation in Iraq, and his attempt to privatize Social Security, George W. Bush pushed American conservatism past the point where the American people were willing to go — pushed them, in fact, to the point where they recoiled at the conservative project. And with that, American conservatism shuddered to a halt. In the 2005-06 congressional session, Republicans still controlled both houses of Congress, yet they introduced no major legislation.

This exhaustion of conservatism has been apparent all along in the Republican presidential contest, where the chief point of agreement among the leading candidates has been to make permanent both the Bush tax cuts for the rich and our occupation of Iraq. The conservative agenda has been winnowed down to supporting what remains of Bushism. That’s not only a losing formula for November, it also means that intellectually, conservatism is running on empty.

I fully expect the upcoming CPAC to be little more than a forum for constructing enemies lists.

39 replies
  1. 1

    Oh my god, CPAC. I completely forgot about CPAC.

    It’s going to be beautiful.

  2. 2
    demimondian says:

    John, that’s *three* paragraphs.

    demi “style Godwin” mondian

  3. 3
    Neal says:

    “It’s time for the politicians to leave Washington and for we, the people, to take over!”

    -Mitt Romney, last night.

    So, now that his latest “say anything to get elected” strategy isn’t working, do you think now he is going to say “Fuck it” and come out as Mitt Romney version 6.3 – Uber Socialist?
    Just think, if you add a “unite and” in there…

  4. 4
    srv says:

    Preventive war. Not preemptive.

  5. 5
    Doug says:

    War of Aggression.

    And what about Schiavo. I figure Schiavo was the straw that severed the camel’s spinal cord and led to total paralysis.

  6. 6
    jnfr says:

    I ran some numbers, using only states where both Dems and Repubs voted yesterday. The Dems had a huge turnout compared to the Republicans and all three top Republican vote-getters combined had only 15% more votes than Hillary alone.

    Numbers here.

  7. 7
    stinky mcgee says:

    This can only help John McCain.

  8. 8
    David Hunt says:

    To add in another complication, I have read that Ann Coulter was not invited to CPAC this year. I’m not sure what the overall implication of that are, but my gut reaction is that this is a good thing. Perhaps the Munchkins are starting to rebel against the Wicked Witch of the Right.

  9. 9
    Doug says:

    This can only help John McCain.

    Everything does.

  10. 10
    TR says:

    I fully expect the upcoming CPAC to be little more than a forum for constructing enemies lists.

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give for someone to record the conversations at those hotel bars….

  11. 11
    Tim F. says:

    That’s not completely true. They did kick off the immigration bill. And what a genius idea that was.

  12. 12
    ThymeZone says:

    Meyerson absolutely nails it.

    I figure Schiavo was the straw that severed the camel’s spinal cord and led to total paralysis.

    It provided an excellent opportunity for people to see just how fucking ridiculous the right had become in this country, how totally useless. The Revenge of the 6000-year-old earth crowd turned into a fatal blow to their “cause.”

    God’s dominion on earth, my entire ass.

  13. 13
    4tehlulz says:

    Perhaps the Munchkins are starting to rebel against the Wicked Witch of the Right.

    Nah. They’d just rather fuck engage with Michelle.

  14. 14
    LiberalTarian says:

    [conservatism is] Running On Empty.

    Good lord. When conservatives start singing Jackson Browne, we know the circle is complete. ;)

  15. 15
    Lupin says:

    Damn you Scott Beauchamp.

  16. 16
    Jen says:

    Is S,N still infiltrating CPAC this year?

  17. 17
    dave says:

    McCain is the Dems worst nightmare. As bad as he is, the more he is trashed by the increasingly irrelevant far right, the more moderates and some independents will start to think “Hey, maybe this guy isn’t so bad after all”.

  18. 18
    Jake says:

    Jen, they are indeed. Talk about boldly going where no man (or at least fully sentient being) has gone before.

    Here’s the agenda.

    I might go down there and at least snap pictures. Maybe I’ll go to Dupont Circle at night and snap pictures of CPACers supporting the local prostitutions.

    McCainiac and pHuckabee had better watch their backs or they’ll be found face down in Rock Creek.

  19. 19
    Jake says:

    Prostitutes. Gah.

  20. 20
    demimondian says:

    When conservatives start singing Jackson Browne, we know the circle is complete.

    Just you wait — within a decade, the final chorus of Browne’s _For America_ will be played as a theme song for some Republican:

    I have prayed for America
    I was made for America
    I can’t let go till she comes around
    Until the land of the free
    Is awake and can see
    Until her conscience has been found

  21. 21

    I’ll be at CPAC and I can’t wait.

  22. 22
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Is S,N still infiltrating CPAC this year?

    Yup. Personally, I can’t wait for the infiltration reports. CPAC is like an unintentional comedy festival.

  23. 23
    Jake says:

    Civilized Crank, watch out for Ctcheney. He might bring his lawyer blastin’ blunderbuss.

    Christ, what a line up. The number of actual blow jobs that take place will only be exceeded by the number of verbal bjs.

  24. 24
    LiberalTarian says:

    demimondian … isn’t that *crazy*? What these guys get away with foisting on the somnolent public is amazing.

    Well, at least one Jackson Browne riddle has been answered (from Lives in the Balance)

    I want to know who the men in the shadows are

    The main ones anyway: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Negroponte …

    But, sadly,

    I want to hear somebody asking them why

    They can be counted on to tell us who are enemies are
    But they’re never the ones to fight and to die

    won’t happen unless we send them to the Hague. I don’t see anyone with the power having the moral clarity to pursue it. It’s a shame.

  25. 25
    Fe E says:

    Going back to a topic from a few days ago (maybe it was three days ago, I foget, demi) I think I’ve found out why the right-wing favors (like isn’t the correct word) Romney; courtesty of Mr. Meyerson:

    They simply hate John McCain, who threatens their cosmology by waging a campaign that does not put them at the center of the political universe.

    Question answered.

  26. 26

    […] Every other blogger in the leftiverse has been quoting another portion of that Meyerson piece all day, but that was the paragraph that stood out for me. As California goes, so goes the nation. And right now an actor and former rent-boy is redefining the Republican party, defining conservatism as we know it out of existence. […]

  27. 27

    Actually, I think the telling part is the end of Meyerson’s piece:

    In California particularly, conservatives’ fear and loathing of moderates have been raised to new heights by McCain’s most prominent endorser, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    The Governator’s proposals these days are far more likely to win the endorsement of Democrats in the state Legislature, while Republicans — furious at his policies and furious that he bypasses them to deal with the majority Democrats — scarcely consider them. In McCain, California’s insular conservatives, an embattled and shrinking minority in their own state, see a version of Arnold writ large.
    .

  28. 28
    Digital Amish says:

    Maybe off topic, maybe not. Just a little of Dennis Prager on the radio (yeah, yeah, I rubberneck at car wrecks too). The eminent Bill Kristol was on in what appeared to be the beginning of the restoration of John McCain. Denny asked about running mates. Paraphrasing Kristol… “well, he’ll need a heavyweight (responding to the suggestion of Huckabee).. one obvious choice would be Jeb Bush. ”

    Please God, make it so.

  29. 29
    4tehlulz says:

    one obvious choice would be Jeb Bush.

    It’s statements like these that make me think, just momentarily, that BK is trolling.

    I always realize though, that he is serious, and the fact that he is considered a serious commentator is a symptom of the cancer killing America.

  30. 30
    Tsulagi says:

    To add in another complication, I have read that Ann Coulter was not invited to CPAC this year.

    No! Say it’s not so!

    I wanted hear her say Obama is so gay he makes Haggard or “Dirty” Sanchez seem straight. That Hillary hits on female pages while offering them candy. Her CPAC audience would have thunderously erupted in well-choreographed manly riverdancing appreciation. Why are they even going to bother attending now?

  31. 31
    Digital Amish says:

    No! Say it’s not so!

    She’s a America hatin’ DemoRAT now anyway.

  32. 32
    Zifnab says:

    I fully expect the upcoming CPAC to be little more than a forum for constructing enemies lists mindlessly trumpeting success.

    We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got
    ‘Cause it doesn’t make a difference
    If we make it or not
    We’ve got each other and that’s a lot
    For love – we’ll give it a shot

    We’re half way there
    Livin’ on a prayer
    Take my hand and we’ll make it – I swear
    Livin’ on a prayer

  33. 33
    Z says:

    Jeb Bush? You have got to be spoofing! If you aren’t, they aught to stop pretending like they support a democratic republic and just admit they want a constitutional monarchy.

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If you aren’t, they aught to stop pretending like they support a democratic republic and just admit they want a constitutional monarchy.

    What’s that ‘constitutional’ shit? What’s wrong with good old divine right monarchy, huh? Huh?

  35. 35
    Delia says:

    Jeb Bush? You have got to be spoofing! If you aren’t, they aught to stop pretending like they support a democratic republic and just admit they want a constitutional monarchy.

    Hell, if they pulled that one off, they’d just be waiting around for a chance to slip a little cyanide in old John’s soup, give him a proper funeral, and crown inaugurate Jebby. It would be like something out of I, Claudius. They could just stop pretending about anything else.

  36. 36
    Digital Amish says:

    I wasn’t spoofing. Kristol? Is there anyway to tell?

  37. 37
    The Other Steve says:

    It’s statements like these that make me think, just momentarily, that BK is trolling.

    You think maybe he’s purposefully spoofing the Republicans to discredit them?

  38. 38
    superdestroyer says:

    The lack of ideas and the inability to carry through even simple conservative policy initiatives is just a sign of the collapse of the Republican Party.

    If you want to see the future of politics, look at the Democratic Primary race for Congress between Albert Wynn and Donna Edwards. The primary is next Tuesday but since the Republican Party in Maryland is irrelevant, the primary is the election for the office. If Wynn loses, he will be up as a lame duck for 11 months.

  39. 39
    Zuzu says:

    August J. Pollak Says:

    Oh my god, CPAC. I completely forgot about CPAC.

    It’s going to be beautiful.

    Hey, I am a fan ! Uhm, of yours, not CPAC.

    This one was priceless:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....84757.html

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Every other blogger in the leftiverse has been quoting another portion of that Meyerson piece all day, but that was the paragraph that stood out for me. As California goes, so goes the nation. And right now an actor and former rent-boy is redefining the Republican party, defining conservatism as we know it out of existence. […]

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