The Corner

Big Govt Conservatism: Duh!

As I believe we’ve discussed around here a few times, there are few more weasily formulations in American politics than “I’m socially liberal but fiscally conservative.”   As I’ve said before, there’s nothing morally wrong with being fiscally conservative and socially liberal in the sense that it is an honorable spot on the political spectrum, no matter how confused it may be. My objection is when liberals tell me they’re socially liberal but fiscally conservative as a way to find common ground between us. It’s usually said with the spirit of triangulation (“I’m not one of those liberals who actually has the courage of their convictions!”) and the fetishization of centrism (“I’m so smart I can pick the best of both sides! Me-ism is the best!”) and they’ve done almost no serious thinking about what it means to be SLBFC (See Derb on this issue here).

But it seems to me that for all the discussion of Bush’s Big Government Conservatism (See Dionne discussion below or a few hundred articles by yours truly, Ramesh, Kate et al), I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bushism described with the simple and direct “Socially Conservative but Fiscally Liberal” tag. It seems to capture it perfectly, no? Though since everything’s been said already on the internet, I’m sure someone has said it before.

Most Popular

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More