Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Consequences of conservatism

This Magazine Staff

I’ve always thought that Canadian and American politics were almost mirror images of each other, in the following sense: In Canada, the Liberal party has managed to remain united through thick and thin, and has thus consolidated and held power as a centre-left regime for most of the past 100 years. On the other side of the House, the various permutations of conservatism have remained mired in the perennial opposition of unsullied principle.
In the US, it is the Republicans who have managed to hold a strong governing coalition together, while the Dems have utterly failed to — pardon me — get their shit together. (Again, see Marc Cooper’s piece in the April issue of the Atlantic for an excellent summary of the problem.)
But here’s Andrew Sullivan, with a bit of cognitive dissonance:
In my view if a Democratic president had Bush’s record, the Republican party would have come close to impeaching him for his adventures in big government, fiscal insanity and foreign policy liberalism. But it swallowed its principles and covered up its differences to keep him (and itself) in power. The consequences are slowly becoming clear.

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