By David Beilstein
IF reacted to correctly, and as it were, “liberally,” the scandals now riddling Washington, D.C., and more aptly the Obama administration, classical liberals can move forward rolling back big government for a generation.
Unfortunately, congressional Republicans and G.O.P. party leaders will probably see current collapse of our big government edifice (or progressivism) as a problem of whom governs (Obama) and not a problem with the premise of “progressive” ideological conceptions of governance altogether.
The I.R.S. scandal alone proves big government becomes an arm-lock of the powerful over the powerless, rather than being a constructive, able to be reformed institution, accountable to the people and subject to the rule of law.
Meanwhile, the Obama White House finds itself lost in translation. The narrative seems to be as follows: President Obama, a historical man of his time, brilliant in communication and native to understanding the aspirations of the plebeian class, is yet unable to deal with the vastness of the government organ, in order to get a grip on government power and overreach.
The second narrative: the Obama White House is in collusion with efforts of progressive control of big government when it comes to the AP “snooping” story, and using the I.R.S. to impede, befuddle, and intimidate political opposition.
Since there is very little desire in American culture to distinguish between the high and the low in life, G.O.P. efforts, as illustrated by Romney’s 2012 campaign, will probably focus on a “we, Republicans can do big government better” mantra rather than arguing that big government is incapable (regardless of what political party controls of it) to be about the business the Constitution limits the state too, in order to animate progress societally and individually, rather than attenuate it.
American conservatives should be about the business of documentation of big government’s inability to ever truly be about “progress,” tending instead, ironically, efforts to seize more power for the sake of self-aggrandisement.
Yet with the post-modern takeover of intellectual and societal life, a consensus of human nature — which is made clear by lessons of the past — of what human beings do with power, is hardly learned from Americans in the daily grand of life in these years.
With the I.R.S. scandal, is the context by which congressional Republicans in an effort to protect Americans from the overreach of government, can defund ObamaCare. Clearly, government cannot be trusted with healthcare because the interests of the state militate against the interest of the individual.
Moreover, a health system based upon an institution steeped in the politics of exclusion and harassment is an institution unfit to handle healthcare for 300 million Americans of divergent beliefs — of personal convictions, as such, seen to be the reason behind I.R.S. tactics of intimidation.
But Republicans have not built few bridges to constitutionally limited government, nor has American conservatism in the past 20 years been characterized by limited-government ideals. As such, for conservatives in the mainstream and Republicans generally to offer a rebuke to Obama White House tactics lacks sincerity for too many Americans.
Cultural, slash social conservatives have made conservatism about morality, unable to realise in their rhetoric the nature separation between moral philosophy and political philosophy at the heart of our society.
As such, concerns about the power and scope of the state have gone unmentioned. Hardly caring about the growth of government, but torn into insanity because of sideline issues like gay marriage, social conservatives have left themselves little room for the conservative movement to honestly say, “I told you so — big government doesn’t work.”
Moderate Republicans have not torn themselves in knots over social issues, but they have supported a government architecture that amplifies big, bloated government. In 2012, Mitt Romney did everything he could do to convince conservatives he was one of them, even though, ironically, a thorough examination of the progressive premise about the scope of government headlined by President Obama was never apart of his critique of the failed president’s record.
Romney’s basic point was, ‘Obama has failed — I, Romney, could do it better.’ John Kerry tried that with Bush. Didn’t work. Romney could probably govern a big government better than Obama, but only because Mr Romney is a more gifted man in various ways than Barack Obama.
Such reality however does not mean big government is effective, nor is it a meaningful attack upon progressive errors.
President Obama is, even since reelection, a fraud. An honest vetting from the American press would have revealed as much, but the press, like many Americans, fears the cultural fundamentalism of the right as well as knowing Obama would serve the interests of the progressive state better than a Republican.
And so, Obama’s credentials were not looked at closely.
Still, Obama did not fail because of personality or lack of skill sets generally. He failed because progressive ideas about the nature of people, places, community, and markets do not work — it does not submit to reality. Progressivism cannot account for 300 million individuals with multifarious needs and aspirations — and skills.
The MSM is now asking tough questions of the Obama White House, not because they have been converted out of their progressivism and back to a liberal conception of limited government. Insofar as the MSM is now circling the Obama administration’s craven intoxication with power, the American press understand they cannot promote a powerful state when it becomes visibly inept and obviously corrupt to a majority of Americans.
It has — at least to a discernible degree.
Therefore, American conservatives need to use such soil to plant trees of liberalism (of liberty and limited government) instead of being craven themselves, using scandal to empower themselves.
Human nature being what it is — and the government as powerful as it is — I have my doubts.