The conservative mud-slinging continues.

THE LEFT AND BUSH: They’ll never admit it, but this president is the liberal left’s best friend in a long, long time. Yglesias tiptoes near the truth:

It would be a serious mistake to confuse Bush’s brand of big conservatism with liberalism, or with any kind of real concession to liberalism, but it suggests that the underlying political dynamics have shifted a great deal. If you did have a progressive president, there’s no longer a particularly large amount of popular resistance to expanding the activist state. Even most Republicans don’t especially care about small government.

See? Bush has redefined conservatism into meaninglessness by legitimizing massive government spending for social policy. The left will take the 35 percent spending increase and up it. Then they’ll raise taxes to pay for it. From their perspective, what’s not to like? The left-liberal project and the Bush-conservative project are essentially the same: use the state to control and direct the actions of the citizenry, and wean them onto government aid. The only difference is that the constituencies that are the beneficiaries of other people’s money are not identical; and the ideologies directing big government are not the same. I miss Clinton-Gingrich. It was, in retrospect, the high-water mark for conservatism as a governing philosophy.


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