[...T]he American Right managed to lower taxes, slow government’s growth to a crawl, whip inflation, and deregulate important swathes of the American economy, among other Reagan-era accomplishments.
They did manage to lower taxes, and continued to use lower taxes to win many more elections, except for those which followed the inevitable financial turmoil that resulted from Republican financial policies. They did not slow government's grow, as the tea-baggers will tell anyone who will listen to them. They did "whip inflation," as globalization lowered prices of consumer goods. And they certainly did deregulate--we are enjoying the fruits of both globalization and deregulation right now.
[...C]onservatives had a real intellectual advantage in the days when they had to engage with the mainstream media instead of more congenial outlets, and that in the age of Fox News they’re giving this advantage up.
It's so cute when conservatives talk about how smart they are compared to liberals. The party that prizes belief and conformity over intellectual freedom and scientific rigor is not capable of proving its intellectual superiority. Unfortunately for both parties, most people don't make decisions based on intellectual arguments anyway. They have emotional reactions based on psychological needs instead. The only advantage conservatives have is that people like lower taxes.
This little bit is accidentally interesting, though.
In one of the exchanges that rippled outward from last week’s debate on National Review Online, [Mark] Levin exhumed an old David Frum post from 2005 praising Levin’s earlier book, “Men in Black.” I was less interested in the “gotcha,” though, than this line of Frum’s from five years back:I’m reminded of something that John Podhoretz said many years ago: The great advantage that conservatives have over liberals is that we are bilingual. We can speak our language and we also know theirs. They however even now still don’t know ours and cannot be bothered to learn.
Conservative Big Media is many things, but bilingual isn’t really one them. And a less bilingual conservatism is a weaker conservatism, I suspect — no matter how high Fox News’ ratings go.
Liberals have always been reluctant to use conservative language to talk to conservatives. They think that pretending to conform to ideals they don't hold is dishonorable. To conservatives, nothing is more honorable than paying lip service to something you don't believe. It's a sign of faith and unity, both core principles in conservatism. Liberals should be using the language of faith, since that is the language of morality in the US. It will expose the core hypocrisy of Republican morality and force them to go on the defensive for once. Most important of all, it will be immensely entertaining to see the Right explain why they don't live up to the ideals they want to shove down others' throats.
Here's one especially good example of conservative hypocrisy doing its little dance of the seven veils. Kathryn Jean Lopez has a new BFF: Miss Janine Turner, star of
This is not how I envisioned the drama of my life, the joy of bringing a child int the world, but life presented itself to me in this way. Yet I have thanked God every day that I'm a mother, even if a single mother, because God has blessed me with sweet Juliette. And I have never, for one moment,doubted that God designed Juliette to be born, no matter the circumstances. God wanted Juliette to be here. God sees eternity in perspective.
And why did God give her this miracle?
If my life had been picture perfect then I might not have reached out to God the way that I have ardently and consistently done. Consequently, I have enjoyed a rich friendship with God, and so has my daughter. God has taught me to hold my head high. I'm on my knees in praise every morning and every night. God is great.
Now, that was easy wasn't it? Your child is special and a gift from God. Yours was practically sanctified by God! Other illegitimate children are a symbol of society's decline, however. Other families need a father and mother, you don't. Other pregnancies are punishments for sins; yours in a blessing. Other women were sluts and got knocked up; your pregnancy was "presented" to you. God wanted you to screw around, get pregnant, and be abandoned by your boyfriend, because it would draw you closer to him. (Although she refused to name the father, everyone in Texas knew who he was and in fact Turner later added his last name to her child's name.) What a great guy!
Using the language of faith to expose conservative hypocrisy would not only be successful, it would also help reveal to the public a valuable source of entertainment in this unhappy times.