Thursday, May 22, 2008

Everybody's takling problems and solutions:

Jonah Goldberg penned some remarks about George Packer's New Yorker article, "The Fall of Conservatism". In an overview of the debate, Kevin Drum wrote:
... the Republican Party has been brought low ...

The real problem is that people have gotten tired of war, they've gotten tired of the relentless and cynical defense of economic privilege, they've gotten tired of a refusal to even attempt solutions of real-life problems ...
Earlier that day Andrew Sullivan responded to a post by Ezra Klein. First, here's Ezra:
[Conservatives] don't have solutions for 47 million Americans without health insurance.   ...   They don't have solutions for high gas prices, or a credit and mortgage crisis ...
Now here's Andrew:
Conservatism is not, to my mind, about solving problems ...

Its responses to emergent questions will not be an attempt to "solve" them, but to ameliorate them with a narrow set of tools. And the narrower the better.
This is a fundamental debate.
  • Should the government involve itself with retirement and disability insurance (e.g. Social Security)?
  • Should the government involve itself with energy policy (e.g. fuel standards)?
  • Should the government involve itself with environmental problems (e.g. emission controls)?
Conservatives say no, or hardly at all. Others (liberals, and presumably many moderates) say yes.

What will the electorate decide this year?


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