The perversity of conservative failure is that by rendering government incapable or unwilling of doing anything that serves the common good, conservatives have left fewer people willing to trust that government can serve the common good, even when they want it to.
That is the sobering message behind polling data presented at the Failure of Conservatism Conference by pollster Stan Greenberg. more »
There was a genteel smackdown between Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect and William Kristol of The Weekly Standard. But beneath the generally gentlemanly exchange between the two intellectual titans, there were some genuine jaw-droppers from Kristol, who showed that however thoughtful conservatives can be, their blind spots can be huge. more »
When Rick Perlstein, a senior fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future, wanted to offer an example of how conservatives have gotten government wrong, he talked about chickens.
These are chickens that are carrying a chemical that is used to make plastic forks and spoons, because the chemical, melamine, is in food fed to the chickens imported from China. That corrupted feed came into the country through the extraordinarily porous screening of the Food and Drug Administration.
Perlstein said that the inability of the FDA to keep feed with this chemical, which also has been detected in pet food that caused the deaths of an untold number of pets this year, from entering the country is an example of how conservatives have crippled government to the point that it cannot keep us safe. “It is one of the ways conservatism is incinerating a pillar of our civilization,” he said. more »
Robert L. Borosage launched the Failure of Conservatism conference at the National Press Conference on Thursday with a broad indictment of the conservative movement and with a cautionary note for progressives: “Ideas have consequences.”
Borosage, the co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, borrowed that phrase from leading conservative thinker William Kristol to point out that just as conservatives came to power in the 1980s and 1990s by forging a comprehensive world view that governed its politics and its path to power, progressives need to do the same. He outlined the themes in the commentary he wrote for the Thursday edition of the Chicago Tribune, “The Gipper Can’t Win This One,” and concluded by paraphrasing Reagan’s famous indictment of government: “Conservatism is not the solution to the problem. Conservatism is the problem.” more »
As Republican contenders for the presidential nomination gather for their first debate Thursday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, they are caught between a rock and a hard place. The vast majority of Americans have given up on George Bush, the sitting conservative president. But the die-hards who still support him are loyal Republican primary voters that no Republican candidate can afford to offend.
How can the contenders distance themselves from Bush’s failures without alienating their own base? Expect them to invoke the conservative icon Ronald Reagan early and often. They’ll call for a return to the faith, pledge to follow in the footsteps of the Gipper and promise a new “Morning in America.”
The Maria Leavey Award will be presented annually at the America's Future Now conference to an unsung hero of the progressive movement whose behind-the-scenes labor makes a big difference for social justice. more »
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