More alienated conservatives


This time it's the limited government advocates who feel cut out of the Bush administration:

In a memo to hundreds of fellow conservatives, a former Reagan administration official says traditional views are being edged out by a neoconservative "national greatness" ideology that accepts big government and advocates interventionist foreign policy.

"Today, most conservative pressure ends up as simple cheerleading for the White House," Donald J. Devine, who was President Reagan's director of the Office of Personnel Management, wrote in the memo. "That can be helpful, but there is nothing that pushes politics further to the right, leaving conservatism and the Republican Party to drift." ....

The close identification between the conservative movement and Republican politics is part of the problem, said former Reagan administration official Floyd Brown.

"The Republican Party is becoming more and more entangled with big government," said Mr. Brown, now executive director of Young America's Foundation. "As that trend continues, the movement needs to stand up and differentiate itself from Republican politics not that I am not a supporter of the president's, because I am."

A similar danger may loom for conservatism and the Republican Party locally as well. We love finally having a mayor who embraces faith and traditional values and who is willing to upset a few applecarts in order to reform city government. But what will conservative Republicans do if the Mayor backs a sales tax hike to build a new sports arena? Will conservatives swallow our concerns and rally 'round him? If the Democrats come out in opposition, will we feel more compelled to demonstrate loyalty to Our Mayor, or will we join with the Democrats against a regressive tax increase, on principle? And what if Republican leaders go in two different directions on the issues?

We can only hope that the Mayor won't put the Republican Party in such a tough spot.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 23, 2003 1:02 AM.

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