June 8th, 2011


death knell

"Nobody on the right talks of compassionate conservatism anymore, especially now that the Tea Party is running the show. In part that's because it collapsed on its own internal contradictions. As an ideology, compassionate conservatism championed state support for social justice — to fight poverty, illiteracy or disease, for example — but it opposed the state doing that work itself. In practice, that meant turning the state into a giant, heavily politicized pass-through mechanism that redistributed tax-payer dollars to private charities and corporations without meaningful accountability. Because compassionate conservatism is rooted in Christian missionary zealotry, it inevitably engaged in social engineering — abstinence-only sex education and discrimination against gays and lesbians, for example. And most importantly for the Tea Party right, it ran up the deficit. Along with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, for Tea Party conservatives, it is the most visible symbol of how Bush went wrong, corrupting real conservatism with profligate cronyism."


Fundamentalism, China, and drones

* New report on nation-building in Afghanistan has some bad signs.
* Clearing up misconceptions about military drones.
* "The liars and lunatics serve as a smoke screen for the conservative war on the poor and the middle class."
* "The new orthodoxy is fundamentalist Americanism."
* Confirmation that China is building an aircraft carrier. Kevin Drum has a couple good reads on that.
* On Medicare and mandates.
* Looking back at the Bush tax cuts ten years later.
* The angle that the Democrats should be pushing.
* A new future for the New Carrolton station.