The Critical Arizonan
Keeping it critical…

Big, Big, Big

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“Man is not free unless government is limited.”  Ronald Reagan

Bob Robb pens a decent piece today on the departure of Karl Rove and his tenure with President Bush. 

Recounting the goals and the policy agenda of the Bush presidency, Robb sums it up in one phrase:

Bush wanted to create such a majority by reconciling conservatism with an active federal government.  A large federal presence would be accepted, even expanded, but redirected to the accomplishment of conservative goals.  Some dubbed this “big-government conservatism.” [emphasis added]

One of the original hallmarks to the GOP agenda has always been limited government.  Yet, upon election, President Bush (with the assistance of Karl Rove) swept that out the door with the Clintons.  He decided that the best way to handle the domestic problems of these United States of America was to use the money taken/extorted from taxpayers and continue to grow government to the benefit of “conservative” maxims.

In fact, the President set the agenda for all of the GOP (and for the most part they went willingly along).  The pace was less than stellar and did nothing to distinguish themselves from Democrats.  Robb points this out…

Republicans didn’t do much on reform.  But they certainly got big government down pat.  And, in the process, revealed an important truth: Big government is inherently corrupting of conservative principles.

While this is certainly a disappointing time for the GOP, it remains to be seen if they have learned their lesson.  Big government doesn’t work.  Period. End of story.  Regardless of the agenda or who is in power.  This has been proven countless times over yet history continues to repeat itself.  Perhaps, though, this is not a lost cause.  Robb adds…

Many young people appear to have a profound skepticism about government.  Perhaps a conservatism re-rooted in libertarian instincts can fare better, once this political season inevitably passes.

I do think that Bob Robb highlights some of the problems within the Bush – Rove era, but I do not think he goes deep enough to illustrate the damage that they have done collectively.  They have set a course for the national and local GOP parties to implode unless they return to their core convictions — limited government, tax and spending limits, school choice, government ethics and accountability, etc.  Until they do, it will be more of the same whether they are Republican or Democrat — A VERY BIG GOVERNMENT.

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