George Will on How Republicans Earned Defeat
Republicans have builit a majority by convincing various groups that they supported their goals, even when different parts of their coalition had contradictory goals. They received the votes of both the religious right, which seeks to use the power of government to impose their views on others, as well as many claiming to be libertarian opponents of big government. It is possible to pull this off when in the opposition, but when you control all three branches of government sooner or later you are going to have to tip your hand as to where you really stand.
Libertarian Republicans have been disappointed many times during the Bush years. While I don’t consider this the most significant example of opposing liberty, George Will considers the Republican position on 527’s as The GOP’s Betrayal On Speech:
If in November Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives, April 5 should be remembered as the day they demonstrated that they earned defeat. Traducing the Constitution and disgracing conservatism, they used their power for their only remaining purpose — to cling to powerIf in November Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives, April 5 should be remembered as the day they demonstrated that they earned defeat. Traducing the Constitution and disgracing conservatism, they used their power for their only remaining purpose — to cling to power.
Will should have realized long ago that the Repubicans are not the party which supports liberty. In using this as his litmus test, he believes that the only principled Republicans are the eighteen who voted against regulation of the 527’s and concludes, “On this remnant of libertarian, limited-government conservatism a future House majority can be built. The current majority forfeited its raison d’etre April 5.”
Even if there are far more important issues, and there has been evidence for quite a while that Republicans have become the party of both big government and increased government intrusion in individual’s lives, Will is correct that the main concern of Republicans is to cling to power, and that they deserve to lose control of Congress.