Michael Gerson, so close but yet so far:
Such is the zeal in portions of the tea party right that it is not enough to sweep out living members of the establishment such as John McCain. A brisk, ideological scrubbing must be applied to history as well.
So Glenn Beck, speaking recently at the Conservative Political Action Conference, identified a great enemy of human freedom as . . . Teddy Roosevelt. Beck highlighted this damning Roosevelt quote: “We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used.”
Ah, you don’t discern the scandal in this statement? Look closer. “This is not our Founders’ idea of America,” explained Beck. “And this is the cancer that’s eating at America. It is big government — it’s a socialist utopia.” Evidently, real conservatives defend wealth that is dishonorably gained and then wasted.
I’m hard pressed to come up with a better synopsis of Republicanism over the past couple decades than an accumulation and defense of wealth dishonorably gained and then wasted. From Enron to the tax cuts to the no bid contracts to the pallets of lost cash to the trillions for the wars to the Republican push to financial deregulation to the latest market swindle to the effort to make sure no financial reform happens at all- wasted dishonorable gains is pretty much the Republican credo.
And Michael Gerson spent years writing the speeches to make it happen.