Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning Kristolism.

Republicans and conservatives today face a similar challenge to that of 1976. A hawkish foreign policy, social conservatism and middle-American populism aren’t the problems. Those elements, as embodied on the Republican ticket by John McCain and Sarah Palin, produced a respectable 46 percent of the national vote — in the midst of an economic meltdown, with the Bush administration flailing and House Republicans rebelling and the Republican ticket lacking any coherent economic message... 
... I don’t see why conservatives ought to defend a system that permits securitizing mortgages (or car loans) in a way that seems to make the lenders almost unaccountable for the risk while spreading it, toxically, everywhere else. I don’t see why a commitment to free markets requires permitting banks or bank-like institutions to leverage their assets at 30 to 1. There’s nothing conservative about letting free markets degenerate into something close to Karl Marx’s vision of an atomizing, irresponsible and self-devouring capitalism.
Actually, both relatively reasonable statements.  I agree with the former in the sense that Obama's victory should not be over-interpreted as a dramatic seismic shift in the electorate since it took the trifecta of an epic meltdown in the financial markets, historically low approval ratings of the incumbent and Caribou Barbie.  As for the latter quote, that is something I would expect from Krugman, not from one the most vocal conservative commentators.  Ah, how things are changing.  Column here.

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