The Return of Big Government Conservatives & Newt's 'Traditional Capitalism'
Erick Erickson sizes up Rick Santorum (and be sure and check out the whole post because the Red State team has compiled a thorough collection of some of the former Senator's more troubling votes):
I’m rather tired of all the people who don’t like Romney trying to claim Rick Santorum is not a big government conservative, or not a pro-life statist. I would support him before I would support Romney too, but I have no intention of giving up ideological and intellectual consistency in the name of beating Mitt Romney.
Rick Santorum is a pro-life statist. He is. You will have to deal with it. He is a big government conservative. Santorum is right on social issues, but has never let his love of social issues stand in the way of the creeping expansion of the welfare state. In fact, he has been complicit in the expansion of the welfare state.
Suddenly we’re all forgetting what a big government conservatism is. The term was coined by Fred Barnes in defense of George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservative” agenda. Bush intended to use domestic social welfare policy for conservative ends. In the process, he expanded the welfare state to do so through No Child Left Behind, the prescription drug benefit, etc. Rick Santorum was a willing participant in this.
Santorum is a conservative. He is. But his conservatism is largely defined by his social positions and the ends to which government would be deployed. But he has chosen as the means to those conservative ends bigger government. We see big government conservatives most clearly when they deviate from the tireless efforts of people like Mike Pence and Jim DeMint and the others who were willing to oppose George W. Bush’s expansion of the welfare state. Rick Santorum was not among them.
On the subject of conservatives who are comfortable with big government... Can someone explain to me which Tea Partiers Newt Gingrich thinks he's going to win over (win back?) for attacking Mitt Romney's capitalism again? Tim Mak at Politico reports:
Newt Gingrich took Mitt Romney to task Monday for his role with Bain Capital, arguing that the former Massachusetts governor “looted the companies [and] left people unemployed” when the venture firm took control.
“They apparently looted the companies, left people unemployed, and walked off with millions of dollars,” Gingrich said on NBC’s “Today Show.” “Look, I’m for capitalism, I’m for people who go in to save a company… if somebody comes in takes all the money out of your company, and then leaves you bankrupt while they go off with millions, that’s not traditional capitalism.”
Would anyone care to provide suggestions of Newt's definition of "traditional capitalism"?
This other story at Politico comes to mind regarding authentic practitioners of some mystical "traditional capitalism":
RuPaul explained to POLITICO: "I'm going to N.H. on a mission to spread love and set the record straight: contrary to recent reports, I am NOT Ron Paul. And I am not running for president of the United States. I hope to meet Ron Paul in person so we can be seen together to put the rumors to rest once and for all. And to remind Mr. Paul and all the Republican presidential candidates ‘if you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else. Can I get an ‘Amen?’"
RuPaul described himself in a press release as “not a political person by nature,” but added, “any time a man leaves the house in a wig and a pair of cha cha heels, he's making a political statement. Let us not forget that this great nation was founded by a bunch of men wearing wigs.”
And let us also not forget that RuPaul isn't just doing this for nothing: "Oh, and in case you’re wondering, RuPaul does have a show to promote. Season 4 of "RuPaul's Drag Race” premieres on Jan. 30 on Logo."
At least someone is putting this GOP primary to good use. Free advertising at Politico. And now here at PJM too. Well done.