Monday, January 23, 2006

Triumph of the Left?

The Christian Science Monitor lays out today the following unpleasant observation:
The political left in America is emerging victorious. No, this isn't about the damage that Jack Abramoff's mischief has done to the political right. Nor is it about President Bush's lousy poll numbers. And it doesn't refer to Democrats' recent win of two governorships.

It's about something much deeper; namely, that the era of big government is far from over. Trends are decidedly in favor of that quintessential leftist goal: massive redistribution of wealth.

Republicans' capture of both Congress and the White House was, understandably, a demoralizing blow to the left. But the latter can take solace that "Republican" is no longer synonymous with spending restraint, free markets, and other ideals of the political right.

While the left did not get its way on tax cuts, this may be only a temporary defeat: Freewheeling spending has made future tax cuts politically a lot harder.
Yep. (Highlights by HazZzmat.)

The remainder of the article provides further evidence of this "trend," barely concealing a smug, triumphalist tone. And we don't entirely agree with the conclusions of this piece.

But the article does lay out in stark terms just what has happened over the last year or two as Republicans, particularly in the House, have easily co-opted the Dem's favorite political tool over the past 75 years or so: buying votes. "Earmark" some money, buy more votes. Bring home the bacon for "your constituency." How? By stealing the money from someone else's constituency.

The trend observed in the Monitor is not irreversible. No trend ever is. But it is tough to teach pigs not to eat out of the trough where they have become accustomed to dine. With "entitlements" (a word we have come to despise) eating by far the majority of the national budget—not the military industrial complex as the left would have us believe—adding more and more pork to the taxpayer burden and increasing debt to pay for it only delays what is fast becoming a political Armageddon.

If Repubs don't start waking up and rediscovering their fiscal discipline, voters this fall will have a hard time discerning what their choices are and just might start pulling the wrong levers. Time to wake up, guys and gals, before you wake up one Wednesday morning early in November, 2006, and find yourselves out of power.

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