Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lew Rockwell on the Right's intellectual bankruptcy

Great article from Lew Rockwell about how conservatives sold out to the Bush administration.

But this reliable support by conservatives for the Republican president confronts what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance,” which is to say that people will not forever live with a massive contradiction between what they do and what they believe. Eventually, the beliefs come around. So it has been for the conservatives who, in the 1990s, blasted Clinton’s big budgets and nation-building and then ended up celebrating far larger budgets and a vaster military empire around the world. The result has been an amazing intellectual bankruptcy on the Right.

The culminating event was the financial bailout of the Wall Street plutocrats, which contradicts everything that conservatives allegedly stand for. It was socialistic in every way. It rewarded market failures. It ripped off average families for the sake of billionaires. It was the worst form of Keynesian planning. It was an open conflict of interest, as the ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs funneled vast sums to Goldman Sachs. It had exactly zero chance of helping the economy. In fact, by draining productive private resources necessary for economic recovery, it makes a bad situation worse.

And yet, no surprise, conservatives came around. You could check in with the Heritage Foundation or National Review Online and find rousing endorsements of this outrage, complete with pieties: “In normal times, we’ve been against government intervention, but these are not normal times…” And what did they get out of it? Nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that they helped sanitize and baptize what may be the worst piece of legislation in half a century

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