Raimondo on David Frum — supposedly ousted from the AEI for his call for conservatives to compromise on healthcare reform — and small-government conservatives:
As for the conservatives, the lesson here is essential and it’s staring them in the face. If they can’t see it quite yet, that’s due to their peculiar ideological blindness when it comes to the question of war and peace. They declaim against Obamacare as “socialism” and decry the advance of Washington’s long shadow over all things great and small, and yet they object not at all to the sort of military socialism that has infected conservative consciousness since the dawn of the cold war.
… Of course Frum wants the Republicans to cave on healthcare, and stop talking about “extremist” ideas like restoring the gold standard (which would eliminate the power of government to impose hidden taxes via inflation), since all he and his fellow neocons care about is war, and more war. In his book, An End to Evil, he and co-author Richard Perle advocated invading virtually every Muslim country on earth, and then some: oh, and we also must be prepared to give up our civil liberties, ditch the Constitution, and hand over power to the National Security State, which alone can protect us. This is all perfectly consistent with neoconservative ideology, which has always stood for Big Government, albeit a slightly less extravagant version than is called for by the Obama-crats, and the reason for this is simple.
In order to maintain an empire abroad – the issue that is really dear to neocon hearts — we must maintain our bloated Leviathan on the home front: the two go hand in hand. That’s what the “Big Government conservatism” pushed by such neocon outlets as the Weekly Standard was all about: after all, how can we invade every country in the Middle East and impose “democracy” at gunpoint if the federal government is starved for funds and cut back to its proper size?
The tea partiers who cavil that the GOP and the official conservative movement are RINOs and sellouts have no one to blame but themselves and their own inability to see the vital connection between domestic and foreign policy. You can’t fight a war to “democratize” the Middle East without plenty of tax dollars to play around with, nor can you pose as the guardian of order and even liberty in the world without denying your own citizenry the right to enjoy the fruits of their labors. You can’t build an empire on which the sun never sets except on the foundations of a federal government that has the power to plunder its citizens and redistribute American wealth throughout the world. Frum and the neocons love Big Government, because their fondest desire is to increase the geographic spread and influence of that government all around the world, with a network of bases, colonies, protectorates, and economic dependents all financed by the downtrodden and fast disappearing American middle classes, who are being handed the bill.
Yup. As the long as the mass of “conservatives” in this country continues to define the maintenance of the American empire as a conservative ideal (while couched in terms like “defense” and “security”), these continual cable news screaming matches about this or that new domestic program are nothing but kabuki theater.
Plus: my firsthand account of a Tea Party!