The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne had a hard time hiding his glee about current difficulties facing the right in an op-ed published today entitled “Run-Down Republicans; Where Is The GOP’s Agenda?” In it, Dionne blamed all of America’s problems on Republicans without referring to any of the good news or the responsibility the minority party has for the bad: “No, the most important development is the collapse of purpose in the Republican Party and the sense of exhaustion at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
After suggesting Republicans had no fresh ideas, Dionne used health savings accounts as an example: “Virtually no one other than the president -- oh, and perhaps a few ideologues and insurance companies -- sees HSAs as anything approaching a comprehensive solution to the nation's growing health-care problem.” Well, E.J., isn’t that really your view inasmuch as you won’t be happy with anything less than a universal healthcare plan fully funded by taxpayers?
That aside, Dionne concluded by stating unequivocally that conservatism is on its last legs:
“The collapse of conservatism is not primarily DeLay's fault. It's possible to live with contradictions and evasions for a long time -- but not forever. Conservatives got a longer lease on life than they deserved, partly because the war on terrorism obscured what was happening and partly because their opponents on the center-left lacked their own driving dream. The point of coming up with a new approach to governing is not to win some election or to satisfy querulous reporters asking, ‘What's your alternative?’ It is to provide the energy that this crowd no longer has and to solve problems that the current majority is powerless to deal with.”
I guess E.J. must have written this piece before this morning’s announcement by the Labor Department that the economy added more jobs in the past three months than in any first quarter since before the stock market bubble collapsed, and that over five million jobs have been added since Conservatives fought for tax cuts in 2003.
Conservatism’s dead, E.J.? Hardly.