Conservatives can’t get what they want. I read Sullivan, Bainbridge, Reason, and the Weekly Standard, and they all agree the Republican Party simply isn’t delivering the changes that it should be delivering. The same conclusion gets lots of support from the conservatives I know in real life and on this and other online communities.
It’s a rather unexpected widespread conclusion. After all Republicans have everything on their side: they control the White House, have large majorities in Congress, control the majority of statehouses and state legislatures, hold enormous advantages in fundraising, control more and more of the media, and many districts are gerrymandered to protect incumbents. Further, the opposing party can’t do anything right, third parties are all but nonexistent, and there are no truly major social movements to rock the boat. Yet even so, conservatives just don’t see the legislation they want. In fact, they see a lot of new legislation from Republicans that they don’t like. Even John McCain says:
The answer lies in the New Republic’s assessment of conservative culture:
That’s somewhat of an exercise in stating the obvious. Just look at the titles of bestselling conservative books, or listen to hate radio for a few minutes, or read a right-wing blog. You’re more likely to hear griping about Hillary’s plan to take the White House in 2008, or the horrors of the NY Times editorial page, or those snooty French people, or Michael Moore, or Ward Churchill, than about the issues that actually affect people’s lives. Increasingly the right’s hatemongers are shifting towards tpoics that aren’t issues at all. Michael Moore, after all, is a filmmaker; if you don’t like him, you can simply refrain from watching his movies. (As for Ward Churchill, I’ve no clue who that is, but I’d bet my savings account that it’s nobody important.) Even worse, the right-wingers header towards issues that are pure fiction. “War on Christmas”, does anyone remember that one?
The end result of all this is easy to predict. Republican politicians respond to what the Republican constituents focus on. If they’re beating down the doors demanding lower federal spending, they’ll get it. If they’re beating down the doors demanding that the French be insulted, then you’re likely to get freedom fries but not much fiscal responsibility. That’s simply applying the fact that Republican politicians will do what brings them votes.