Friday, May 06, 2005

Plutocrats unite!

Here is another take, by TNR's Jon Chait, on that clanking, lumbering monster, the Republican Party-lobbyist-Congress-agency complex. The DeLay-Abramoff scandals appear to be to kicking off a period of plutocratic shenanigans the likes of which we’ve never seen. If you believe in limited government, “big government conservatism” in its current form should be intolerable, worse even than Democratic big government, because it subverts bedrock GOP principles. There is an air of hypocrisy and ridiculousness to it that can’t help the Republicans in the long run.

I have a libertarian streak, so watching special interests capture so much – particularly special interests I don’t like – has been doubly unpleasant. Once, it looked like there was an impulse to retool the role of government by creating market-driven, public-private programs. It gained some currency under Clinton and appeared to continue under Bush, at least for a while. But such approaches have become quaint, corrupted or both.