The rise of Republican nihilism




   THIS ESSAY by Jonathan Chait is a little long, but well worth your while, no matter your political bent.


   An excerpt:


   Does the Republican Party have any ideas? The query may have a familiar ring. Five years ago, the question of substance was demanded incessantly of the Democrats. Indeed, in one of those intellectual fads that periodically sweep through Washington, the political class became obsessed with the notion that conservatives had unambiguously won what everybody was calling “the war of ideas.”

   The notion was everywhere. The right gloated. (“Conservative thought,” boasted right-wing foundation maven James Piereson, “has seized the initiative in the world of ideas.”) Republicans scolded the opposition. (President Bush chastised Democrats in Congress: “[I]f they have no ideas or policies except obstruction, they should step aside and let others lead.”) And Democrats internalized the accusation. (“It makes me realize,” observed labor leader Andrew Stern in 2005, “how vibrant the Republicans are in creating twenty-first-century ideas, and how sad it is that we’re defending sixty-year-old ideas.”)


   We don’t need the benefit of hindsight to grasp how silly it was to claim that the Bush-era Republican Party had risen to power on the crest of policy ideas whose time had come, or that the Democratic Party lacked an agenda of its own.



1 Comment

  1. butch north

    Does anyone believe, that either party cares about the general public. We are not able to bribe them. I do not believe that they care about us at all. Why don’t the political parties work together, for the good of our country?
    BRIBERY is the main reason. When our nation is TRILLIONS OF DOLLORS IN DEBT, HOW CAN ANYONE SAY THIER ISN’T ANY INFLATION. As the old saying goes. Figuers don’t lie, but liers can figure too.

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