By God I feel sorry for them. Andrew Sullivan:
The eyes roll, I know, when I cling to the word "conservative" like others cling to their, er, Second Amendment rights. But I'd be dissembling if I did not argue that on a whole array of issues, Obama is simply and unequivocally the more conservative candidate.
Of course he is. But those I feel sorry for are those conservatives who still seem to associate, or wish to associate, "conservatism" in any intelligible fashion with the Republican Party. That conservatism is gone, boys, probably forever, just as liberalism for a century has been disconnected from its ideological roots of free-market economics. Liberalism today means almost the precise opposite of 19th-century liberalism. Yet no one cares. Its meaning today is its meaning today, which has been its meaning since roughly the 1930s--as distinguished from modern progressivism, which is sort of the rowdy children's version of adult liberalism, which itself is a hybrid of sober New Dealism and a pragmatic, internationalist foreign policy.
What's more, in the face of the GOP's anarchic reactionaryism modern liberalism has morphed into the only true conservatism to be had: it stands to preserve and protect those American institutions which have become our traditional means of greater social stability: namely, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, public education, the earned income tax credit and the like. The Republican Party is actively hostile to governmental means to the ends of social stability; in short, the Republican Party has kissed conservatism goodbye.
And it would seem the party really means it. Who is the base already pimping for the 2016 contest? Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, two religious fanatics who wouldn't know Edmund Burke from Moe, Larry or Curly.
But back to this conservatism and Republican Party business, which is but symptomatic of old ways of thinking dying hard. It goes without saying that authentic conservatives will have nothing to do with today's manic GOP, but their prejudices are to be found as well in their indefatigable resistance to formally allying with the Democratic Party. Give it up, conservatives. You might as well be miserable with the rest of us under the Dems' big tent. There's simply no place else, which isn't all wet, to camp.
By the way, in the wake of the formal treaty of political entente you are still welcome to call yourselves "conservatives"--even if you're actually today's liberals.