Spanking the kiddies

Bruce Bartlett bolsters his view of a coming split between conservatives and Republicans:

Another important critic of Bush is Georgetown University government professor George W. Carey, long one of the leading conservative intellectuals in America. Writing in the fall 2005 issue of Modern Age, the nation’s most important conservative academic journal, Carey finds nothing conservative about Bush’s policies. “To apply the word ‘conservative’ to Bush and his administration, as the media routinely does, not only is misleading, but also debases conservatism,” he says.

Carey lambastes Bush for moving the Republican Party further away from conservative principles than it already was. He is appalled that Democrats are now able to argue, “not without substantial justification,” to being the party of fiscal responsibility. Carey calls Bush’s foreign policy “Wilsonianism on steroids” and argues that it would be strenuously opposed by conservative icons Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet and Richard M. Weaver.

Both Hart and Carey are disappointed by the younger generation of conservatives who run National Review and other conservative journals for subordinating conservatism to transitory politics.

I like National Review and NRO. But I let my subscription lapse about 18 months ago since I got tired of the intellectual gymnastics in which the younger generation of neoconservative and semi-conservative writers were so often inclined to engage in defense of their Dear Leader, Jorge the Younger.

It will be interesting to see how NRO gang reacts to a voter backlash against the very faux conservatism for which they’ve been so staunchly apologizing over the last six years. (Yes, I’m aware of the many various criticisms that have been aimed at the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans by all of them at one time or another, but with the exception of Derbyshire and Ponnuru, they tend to be of the “but you have to understand it’s not really that bad” variety. Lopez, Frum and Nordlinger have been particularly embarrassing in this regard.)

And the younger set should be embarrassed. I suspect that many of them have begun to suspect what asses they have made of themselves over Jorge; you certainly don’t read many of those once-ubiquitous comparisons of W. to Ronald Reagan these days. Nor, I note, does the “we are at war” crowd bring up the WWII occupations of Germany and Japan as they did so often two years ago.

Speaking of asses and the Bush administration, the Dear Leader himself seems determined to prove himself to be a donkey of the first degree:

President Bush had a blunt message Monday for fellow Republicans focusing only on get-tough immigration policies: He said sending all the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants back to their home countries is not the answer. “Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it’s just not going to work,” Bush said. “You know, you can hear people out there hollering it’s going to work. It’s not going to work.”

Enforcing existing laws and deporting 11 million illegals is unrealistic, but altering the centuries-old religious beliefs of one billion people by force, that’s just reasonable.

When you consider that the commentariat never considers these issues in the same context, it sure makes it look as if there isn’t a political pundit on either side of the aisle who is capable of holding two simultaneous thoughts in their head. The Malkanian position of restricted immigration yes invasions yes – and yes, that’s intentional, all ten of you – is merely undue faith in the power of force as per the Wilsonian tradition. But the restricted immigration no invasions yes position of Jorge and company is insane, being logically absurd.