Tom Frank has a delightful line in his Washington Post column today. I’ll provide the setup. The line I’m referring to is in bold.
Over many years of ascendancy, conservative Republicans have filled government agencies with conservative Republicans and proceeded to enact the conservative Republican policy wish list — tax cuts, deregulation, privatization, outsourcing federal work, and so on.
And as a consequence of these policies our conservative Republican government has bungled most of the big tasks that have fallen to it. The rescue and recovery of the Gulf Coast was a disaster. The reconstruction of Iraq was a disaster. The regulatory agencies became so dumb they didn’t even see the disasters they were set up to prevent. And each disaster was attributable to the conservative philosophy of government.
Yet now we are supposed to vote for more conservative Republicans because we learned from the last bunch of conservative Republicans that government just doesn’t work.
That is the advice of Sarah Palin, Republican vice-presidential nominee, in last week’s debate with her Democratic counterpart, discussing the dread prospect of universal health care: “Unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don’t think that it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds.”
Conservative misrule, prompted by conservative disdain for government, proves that government cannot be trusted — and that the only answer is to elect another round of government-denouncing conservatives.
This reminds me a line Al Franken uses frequently on the campaign trail. “Conservatives always campaign by saying that government doesn’t work. Then they get elected, and prove it.”