Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Heart of Conservatism

There is a fundemental dishonesty at the heart of conservatism today. Separating the true from the false, the honest from the dishonest has been a problem that has confounded man for all time. But one thing has always been clear and that is a statement and its contradiction cannot both be true. If I claim that 1) I spent all yesterday evening at the gym and 2) that I was never at the gym yesterday evening, I am lying. One of those statements must be false. You may not be sure which is false, but one must be. And yet George Bush ans his conservative supporters have been champions of exactly this sort of deceit. Consider:

  • When tax cuts were on the table Social Security, they argued, is wholey separate from the general budget, paid by payroll taxes, and therefore the tax cuts should go primarily to those who pay income taxes. When Social Security privatization was brought up they argued that Social Security is just part of the general budget so the surpluss that has been spent cannot be recouped.
  • When Bill Clinton was president perjury was a most serious crime certainly equal to the high crimes and misdemenors referenced in the Constitution. When Scooter Libbey was inidicted perjury was a crime so minor it did not even deserve notice.
  • The powers of government are strictly limited and the President's power is completely without limit. See Digby for more detail.
  • The President can violate any statute passed by Congress at his whim (FISA) and he is strictly limited by Congressional statute ( Posse Commitatus ).

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