The Corner

Goldwater’s Anti-Statism

How much of it is there, really, in his alleged heirs? Goldwater was a man who could go to Tennessee and pledge to abolish the Tennessee Valley Authority. Is Schwarzenegger that kind of government-cutter? Has any Republican since Goldwater been? (Reagan wasn’t.) Is John McCain?

McCain’s record on spending is forever being praised by people who have never looked up what percentage of the federal budget can be accounted for by pork. His anti-pork campaign has more to do with a kind of nationalism than with anti-statism. His genuinely solid anti-spending votes–for example, on Medicare–seem to be driven by pique at Bush. And he shows no restraint on regulation, seeking sweeping new regulations of the airline and health-care industries. (One of the ways he wants to save money on Medicare is by using the federal government’s bargaining power to impose de facto price controls on the drug industry.) A revival of Goldwater Republicanism? When it comes to the size of government: I wish.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More