Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Base

From Holden:

With one of his little titties caught in the Social Security wringer, Bush shoves the other one in the wringer of States Rights.

“To simply say that the ‘culture of life,’ or whatever you call it means that we don’t have to pay attention to the principles of federalism or separation of powers is certainly not a conservative viewpoint,” said former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga.

Allan Lichtman, who chairs the history department at American University in Washington, said the intervention of Congress and Bush to try to overturn the decision by Schiavo’s husband not to prolong her life is the antithesis of several conservative principles.

“It contradicts a lot of what those behind it say they believe: the sanctity of the family, the sacred bond between husband and wife, the ability of all of us to make private decisions without the hand of government intervening, deference to states and localities as opposed to the centralized government,” said Lichtman.


David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says he has mixed feelings about what Congress and Bush did.

Conservatives “who questioned the wisdom of the federal government reaching down and interfering with the state courts have a very valid point,” Keene said. “In Congress, most conservatives have said, ‘We’re cognizant of that fact and that’s why we have done this so narrowly because we don’t think there’s another choice.’ But those who are concerned about precedent should be concerned about it.”

Julian E. Zelizer, a Boston University history professor who specializes in congressional trends, said a conservative Republican movement that “built itself in the 1970s around attacking government has become the party of big government since 2000.”

“Starting with the war against terrorism and climaxing with Congress intervening in this case, we see a GOP that is quite comfortable flexing the muscle of Washington, and a Democratic Party which is increasingly finding itself in favor of limiting government,” Zelizer said.