June 6, 2008
While revamping my Web pages and doing some searches of my blog archives on Thursday, I came across a blog post dated January 6, 2006, and realized to my horror that I apparently never uploaded it to the Web server. Because of the extremely relevant subject matter ("RINOs," etc.), I think it's important enough to include. So, as a good faith measure to show that the file was indeed created and last modified in January 2006, here is a screen shot of the Finder window on my Mac, with a closeup of the HTML file in the lower left corner.
And here is the blog post in question, just as I originally wrote it but with some editing changes for the sake of clarity and context, enclosed in brackets -- 29 months after the fact! "Better late than never"?
January 6, 2006
One of the leading conservative political action committees in recent years has been the Club for Growth, and I tend to agree with the basic grievance:
Too many Congressional Republicans have veered away from the limited government agenda that got them elected to the majority in Congress. They have approved pork-barrel highway bills worse than the Democrats used to give us. They have dropped the ball on making tax cuts permanent, tax reform, and personal investment of Social Security.
This sentence from their Web site best encapsulates the emphasis that gives me pause: "Our ultimate goal is to change policy outcomes--to maximize prosperity through pro-growth policies." If freedom were their ultimate goal, the definition of "prosperity" might be different. Conservatives often forget that prosperity is a subjective thing, intimately connected to social status, which is why many Americans feel stressed out and frustrated in spite of being fabulously wealthy by global standards. The appropriate standard is to look back on our own history, specifically our own family ancestors, and think about how they would see the kind of creature comforts most of us enjoy. Public policies should not be aimed at aggravating the anxiety most people feel about "keeping up with the Joneses," it should be aimed at broadening the range of choices to individuals in their "pursuit of happiness." It hardly needs saying that making economic growth the number one priority would put the environment at risk, contradicting the principle of wildlife conservation. "O, beautiful, for spacious skies..."
As for political strategy, [the Club for Growth has had a pernicious effect on GOP unity.] I remain convinced that, unless the Republicans' agenda puts more emphasis on an integrated [set of market-oriented policy reforms, as opposed to simplistic, crowd-pleasing anti-tax pledges, the] fratricidal campaign against "RINOs" [which they have encouraged] will doom the party.
"Congressional Republicans hailed the revival of 'the Reagan revolution for smaller government' today..." That's according to Scott Ott's superlative scrappleface.com. An appropriate ironic thought to dwell on over the holidays.