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Profiles in Asshattery

Laslo Boyd really doesn’t know his head from his ass when it comes to conservatives or Republicans. Sure he may know polls and power politics, but his latest column is littered with many straw men and sand pounding ignorance of what conservatism is.

The modern Republican Party, exemplified by the hyper-partisanship of Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and Bob Ehrlich, the Ronald Reagan and George Bush philosophy that government regulation is always the problem and the private sector is always the solution, and the long-held belief that the answer to any question is to cut taxes, has been thoroughly discredited by the last eight years.

To say that “government regulation is always the problem” defines conservatism or Republicanism is nonsense on stilts. Let me quote Ronald Reagan from his first inaugural address.

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work–work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

Conservatives (not so many Republicans lately) believe in limited government with specific purposes. The genius of Reagan, Goldwater, and Buckley was that they knew government had grown too large and too oppressive and done exactly that. It stifled the opportunity and entrepreneurial spirit of “this breed called Americans.”

Furthermore, contrary to Boyd and President Obama tax cuts did not get us into the mess we are in today. The crisis was caused by the burst of the housing bubble and the concurrent meltdown in credit markets. Tax policy had nothing to do with that. In fact, in 2003 the Bush administration proposed what the New York Times called “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.” In 2005, John McCain tried to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but was blocked by Harry Reid. Investors Business Daily said, “Fannie and Freddie were created by Democrats, regulated by Democrats, largely run by Democrats and protected by Democrats.”

Now, if Boyd were to make the argument that Republicans in the Bush era had become too much like Democrats. Had he offered a critique of compassionate conservatism, then he would be on to something. Sadly he engages in a pedestrian screed, of which the same knock on Republicans has already been done by one of his Gazette colleagues.

No, Martin O’Malley, Mike Busch, Mike “bury them face down deep and far” Miller have never, ever been hyper partisan. Then again Boyd is like the 950th person to prove my point that the progressive meaning of bipartisanship means, “agree with me, or else.”

But hey why quibble with facts, economic and otherwise, when ignorance allows you to pen a hack column.

Boyd is a professor of “government and ethics” at the University of Baltimore. Lord help his students.






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