On 30 July I wrote of my profound disappointment in the GOP over its inability to select a top flight candidate that would promote a small government agenda in keeping with a coherent philosophy:
This, sadly, is the choice faced by the American voter: Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Fortunately the US economy can power ahead despite the incompetence in the White House, although it is more than capable of throwing sand in the wheels of the American economy. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Obama to be re-elected. But the US voter is faced with Morton’s Fork. Can we hope for a strong write-in candidate?
Craig Shirley, who wrote two excellent biographies on Ronald Reagan, has made some telling points
Obama now apparently holds the more correct conservative position on the marriage issue. If the opposition party’s leader understands federalism better than the GOP does, is it any surprise that the Republican Party finds itself adrift, asking, “what do we do now?”
Since Obama’s first days in office, the GOP leadership has been content with the idea that opposing him is enough. It has saved the Republicans from the uncomfortable task of facing up to what the party really stands for.
If Ronald Reagan, Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater were still living, they would be shaking their heads in disbelief at the party’s devolution. They gave the modern GOP its intellectual and political underpinnings: federalism (limited federal government) and fusionism (the notion that business interests and social interests are united in their aversion to big government). Although those concepts weren’t always an easy sell to the American people, together they formed a philosophy that put its trust in the individual over institutions.
But then came the Big Government Republicans of the George W. Bush administration. They preached a philosophy of “too big to fail”, surely one of the most frightening phrases – at least for conservatives – ever coined. Forget all that suff about conservatism, they said. We have a new brand of ideology – which, ironically, was an old brand of Republicanism that Goldwater once dismissed as “dime store New Deal”.
The midterm elections of 2006 saw a rejection of Big Government Republicanism, as polls showed an astonishing number of voters from the right going for the Democrats, if only to punish a Republican Party they no longer recognized. Modern American conservatism has always drawn its inspiration from Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who believed that authority should routinely be challenged and that power flows upward rather than downward. But for some time now, the GOP has been going in the other direction. Indeed, by the 2008 elections, voters were choosing between two big-government parties.
Read it all here.