When Conservatism Goes Awry

| Thu Sep. 29, 2005 1:53 PM EDT

In Michael Scherer's Salon piece on the fall of the conservative machine, we get this little bit of self-distancing from Stephen Moore:

Even some conservatives have begun to distance themselves. "The Tom DeLay machine that he built, there were corruptive elements to it," said Stephen Moore, a longtime conservative activist who sat at the head table at a recent dinner celebrating DeLay's career. Moore, who founded the Free Enterprise Fund, still describes himself as a "Tom DeLay fan," who considers the congressman a "conservative hero." But he has misgivings as well. "All of these guys getting rich off this process rubs some conservatives the wrong way."

Oh please. We've known from day one that the Republican revolution wasn't a conservative free-market enterprise, as per Moore's ideal vision, but a pro-business one, because that's the only way anyone can get elected these days. Corporate donors don't shell out campaign bucks in the hope that Republicans will create some pure and uncorrupted conservative society, they donate money in exchange for favors. As a result, it's not at all surprising that you're going to see "guys getting rich off this process." This is exactly what happens with a movement that doesn't believe in oversight, believes in crushing the opposition at all costs, and spends years building a cozy alliance with business interests.