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The morning's second session here at the Broadmoor Hotel featured a discussion on the subject of slowing government growth and returning to limited government. Former attorney general Edwin Meese moderated the panel, which included John Caldara, John Fund, Tracie Sharp, Mark Hillman, and Greg Lindsay. The topic brought out some divergent opinions from the panelists, especially when Caldara said that limited-government conservatives should quit accommodating the GOP and start attacking them. He said that the Harriet Miers appointment proved how out of touch the Republicans have become after twelve years of majority and five years in the White House, and how going on offense can succeed in making necessary changes.
John Fund was more sanguine, noting that while conservatives might be getting pessimistic about the upcoming midterms, liberals have been positively morose about what they see is the tide of history turning against big government and socialist approaches to problems. He quipped that the Republican pessimism comes from the fact that "we send politicians to drain the swamp of Washington DC, and they decide it makes a great hot tub." One reason Fund remains more optimistic comes from the decision of the New York court to cut off automatic payment of union dues for the transit union that held an illegal strike. Fund thinks that more states will enact this as policy, requiring separate collection of dues, and that the low compliance rate (it's about 15% for the transit union right now) will bankrupt the union's use of dues for politicking.
Mark Hillman, who had been Colorado's Senate majority leader, disagrees with fighting the GOP. The key for him is to encourage primary fights for those incumbents who refuse to limit the growth of government. He wants to use the structure of the existing party to pull it back towards its philosophical roots.
I tend to agree with Hillman, although I'm not as optimistic as Fund about the state of the political balance. We need to identify Republicans like Lincoln Chafee and promote better candidates for their positions in the primaries. Settling for the Chafees of Congress just because they self-label as Republicans gets us nothing but more of the same big-spending, bureaucratic impulses that has made Katrina rebuilding such a nightmare.
Later, I'll talk more about the unions and the new transparency at the Department of Labor that will threaten their political power.Sphere It View blog reactions
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The GOP?The topic brought out some divergent opinions from the panelists, especially when Caldara said that limited-government conservatives should quit accommodating the GOP and start attacking them. He said that the Harriet Miers appointment proved h... [Read More]
Tracked on April 21, 2006 4:01 PM
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