This article by Alan Wolfe on “Why Conservatives Can’t Govern” on the Washington Monthly site should not be missed by any person to the left of George Bush’s brand of conservatism.
Here are a few choice morsels:
"Search hard enough and you might find a pundit who believes what George W. Bush believes, which is that history will redeem his administration. But from just about everyone else, on the right as vehemently as on the left, the verdict has been rolling in: This administration, if not the worst in American history, will soon find itself in the final four.
"Eager to salvage conservatism from the wreckage of conservative rule, right-wing pundits are furiously blaming right-wing politicians for failing to adhere to right-wing convictions….. Conservative dissidents seem to have done an admirable job of persuading each other of the truth of their claims. Of course, many of these dissidents extolled the president's conservative leadership when he was riding high in the polls. But the real flaw in their argument is akin to that of Trotskyites who, when confronted with the failures of communism in Cuba, China and the Soviet Union, would claim that real communism had never been tried. If leaders consistently depart in disastrous ways from their underlying political ideology, there comes a point where one has to stop just blaming the leaders and start questioning the ideology.”
"Conservatives cannot govern well for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare a world-class boeuf bourguignon: If you believe that what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are not likely to do it very well.”
"If yesterday's conservative was a liberal mugged by reality, today's is a free-marketer fattened by pork.”