Herman Cain’s a threat to both the left and the GOP Establishment.
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Lest there be anyone who thinks the chances of the latter are unthinkable, it would be important to think of party history exactly in terms of these last 48 years since 1964. If one thinks of the federal government as, say, a governmental version of the popular movie franchise Transformers (described by Wikipedia as the story of: “alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery”) a clearer picture of what has been happening to the GOP for those 48 years can be seen.
Some of the more visible “everyday machinery” that has been transforming the robotic federal government into even larger size with a costlier price tag has been welded on courtesy of the moderation impulse of various Republican presidents.
Contemplate that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now run amok in the Obama era was a creation of Richard Nixon. Or that Bush 43 dismissed the Reagan idea of getting rid of the growing bureaucracy that is the Department of Education as not “realistic’ of leadership and instead decided in favor of launching an expansion of the federal government’s role in education by launching No Child Left Behind — with no less than the late “Liberal Lion” Senator Ted Kennedy as his partner. Not to mention the Bush signing of McCain-Feingold and Sarbanes-Oxley.
And so on… and on.
The first GOP platform after 1964 — 1968 — found the Republican Party that nominated Richard Nixon that year including a plank titled “The Individual and Government” which stated:
In recent years an increasingly impersonal national government has tended to submerge the individual. An entrenched, burgeoning bureaucracy has increasingly usurped powers, unauthorized by Congress. Decentralization of power, as well as strict Congressional oversight of administrative and regulatory agency compliance with the letter and spirit of the law, are urgently needed to preserve personal liberty, improve efficiency, and provide a swifter response to human problems.
But by July of 1970, a bare two years and four months later, the Nixon Administration created the EPA — by executive order. There was not a single enabling piece of legislation from Congress involved. The Nixon executive order opened the door to a massive national intrusion of what the platform specifically said the GOP opposed — “an increasingly impersonal national government (that) has tended to submerge the individual.” Beginning operations in December of 1970, EPA is now a federal behemoth employing almost 18,000 full-time employees, daily injecting into everyday American life proposed rules and regulations on everything from global warming to commercial boilers to private property.
In one recent case cited by the Heritage Foundation, the problems with moderate Republican presidencies is vividly illustrated.
Alaska small businessman Krister Evertson, who had never had a run-in with the law in his life, was run off the road and jailed by a SWAT team armed with automatic weapons. Why? Because he had not used a properly approved EPA label he had never heard of for a small shipment of sodium. Evertson wound up doing two years in prison.
When did this happen?
That’s right. In 2004 — when the EPA was under the administration of one George W. Bush.
Thus the “dime store New Deal” of moderate Republicans — in this case from Nixon to Bush — at work in practice. (Here is Mr. Evertson’s congressional testimony from 2009.)
This is now a considerably polished approach by GOP moderates. So run-of-the-mill routine that in his memoirs President George W. Bush apparently never thought his signing of the Sarbanes-Oxley “Corporate Responsibility” legislation was worth mentioning. The compliance costs for American business from this gem of Republican regulatory moderation were predicted to be $1.2 billion. In fact, they now hover in the stratosphere of $35 billion. And this from a president who ran on a platform with a plank promising — no kidding — “Common Sense in Regulation.”
These few examples (and many more not mentioned here) show precisely where conservatives and the Republican Party are now — and where they will continue to head unless serious change is at hand.
In effect the philosophical strategy or lack thereof that has guided the Nixon, Ford, and two Bush presidencies over the last 48 years since that return to basics that was the 1964 Convention has exactly built almost to specification a Republican Party which has a conservative political foundation supporting moderate if not liberal governments. Governments which in turn wind up creating regulatory nightmares like the EPA or Sarbanes-Oxley and the rest.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?