The Spectacle Blog

Fearing the Tories

By on 7.29.08 | 1:39PM

In the latest issue of the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes takes a look at the resurgence of the Tories in Britain, and argues that Republicans should learn from them. Lord help us.

If British conservatives want to throw Thatcherism under the bus to retake power, that's an unfortunate development, but one that I can live with as I am not British. But if a Tory victory will convince the American right that we have to imitate them and throw Reaganism under the bus, than consider me worried.

Barnes paints a portrait of a Tory party rebranding itself after a long time in the wilderness by co-opting the language of the left, using terms such as "social justice" and adopting the environmentalist slogan, "vote blue, go green."

But we've seen this movie before, only in America it was called "compassionate conservatism." Far from creating a permanent Republican majority, its signature policies of No Child Left Behind and the Medicare prescription drug bill, along with additional bloated spending bills, destroyed the Republican brand as the party of fiscal discipline, and now Republicans are well-positioned for another electoral disaster this November.

Now Fred "Rebel-in-Chief" Barnes, overlooking the utter debacle that big government conservatism has become in the U.S., wants us to look to statist Britain for answers. No thanks.

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