I ocassionally like make-believe, so I occasionally read Ross Douthat:
Since Bush left office, conservatives have been willing to acknowledge his failures as a fiscal conservative and to promise more responsibility on deficits and debt. This has been a necessary and important shift, responsible both for the energy of the Tea Party in the 2010 midterm elections and for the current Republican ticket’s (relatively) brave proposals on entitlement reform.
Well of course conservatives have promised fiscal responsibility. After all, conservatives excel at two things: 1) promising prudence and 2) spending gobs of money we don't have, especially on wars of choice and disgraceful tax cuts. They promised fiscal responsibility under Reagan and delivered huge debt. They promised fiscal responsibility under H.W. Bush and delivered more huge debt. They monolithically battled fiscally responsible Clinton on reducing debt, and then redelivered on huge debt under W. This time, though, they really mean it. They promise.
I've no doubt that Douthat himself is sincere in his professed anti-debt passions. What he can't seem to accept as a fundamental, ineradicable tenet of the New Conservatism, however, is that conservatives love debt--the huger the better. They aim to crank it up so intolerably high that only defense spending on more offensive wars and interest paid on debt can be tolerably budgeted: the "bathtub" theory of ... prudence.
It should go without saying that not all conservatives are in the ideological tub for Grover. Some genuinely hate today's debt because they genuinely love blaming a black Democrat (you know how "they" are) for it. Other conservatives pursue fiscal responsibility by degrading the nation's credit rating. Yea, verily, they do the Lord's work in mysterious ways; in fact, they likely mystify even the Lord on this one.
Finally we come to Douthat's fantasy about "the current Republican ticket’s (relatively) brave proposals on entitlement reform." Mr. Douthat, the current Republican ticket is proposing to do absolutely nothing about the one entitlement most in question--Medicare--for 10 years. Mitt Romney would have served two full terms and been out of office for two additional years before any changes take effect. Is that the "relatively" part? Or did you mean "laughably"?
I don't mean to rub it in, Mr. Douthat. I believe you're sincere and I know you're hurting. But I also know you've got nothing to work with. Your party is a collection of cowards, demagogues, racists, Gantrys, profligates, nitwits and nihilists--and it is going down by the weight of its own depraved incoherence. Take it off, take it all off, Mr. Douthat--screw up your own courage and just take it off all life support.