Some people can spot a slight in every compliment, whereas others -- the happy ones -- find a compliment in every slight. So last week, as a free-market, low-taxes, constitutional conservative, I happily found an apparently unintended compliment from the liberal New Republic.
It is not often that I agree with the central attack line of my sometimes media sparring partner, The New Republic's Ed Kilgore. But in his effort at a hit piece last week on Michele Bachmann and her stand for "constitutional conservatism," what he thinks is an effective attack on us constitutional conservatives, I take as a badge of honor.
Putting aside his reflexive accusations against us conservatives that we are secret segregationists (making that hoary false charge against conservatives has become an inherent part of the moral squalor of contemporary liberalism), his basic charge is that those of us who consider ourselves constitutional conservatives are really constitutional restorationists. What we really want, he charges, is the radical policy of returning to the pre-1930s view of the Constitution, i.e., a strict interpretation of the federal government's limited powers, the originist view of individual and property rights, and the removal of FDR's New Deal legislation. He also charges us with wanting to return to pre-Keynesian economic policies.
Well, yes. Guilty as charged, m'Lord. Mind you, it's not that I am against soundly financed social insurance mechanisms, which the Germans have more or less managed on an actuarially sound basis since the 1870s. It's just that when one combines such sensible legislation with the meat-eating instincts of American and European statist politicians and their duped voters, what evolves is what we have today -- both in the U.S. and in much of Europe -- an unaffordable, economy-eating, nation-destroying, self-immolation device.
Until a couple of years ago, I never expected actually to see a constitutional restoration. I assumed that America was on a slow, irreversible trek to the statist side. But the sheer incompetence (and, in some cases, mendacity) of the current crop of statist politicians in both the legislative and executive branches seems likely to bring on an economic crisis that will actually force Americans to decide between a constitutional restoration and a full embrace of statism.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.