I found this column to be by far the weakest of the three. Still worthy, but not critical reading. The one rather large exception to that is this paragraph:
"The deeper danger is that one-party rule will spell the final triumph of the administrative state—“final,” that is, for as long as that system could last. While it does last, there will still be elections, but they will determine only which Democrat or (every 24-36 years perhaps) RINO gets which office and rides in which limo. The fundamental direction and behavior of the government will not change. Except to become larger, bossier, more intrusive, expensive, and expansive, and less competent. Neither Douthat nor anyone else even attempted to refute this argument. Maybe they just lacked the space?"Since FDR, who have our "conservative" president's been? Eisenhower? Hardly. Yes, he was anti-communist, but many Democrats were in those days as well. His largest achievement is the Interstate Highway system -- a massive government program. He presided over the creation of the "missile gap" and JFK ran to the right of him on space, defense and lowering taxes against Nixon. Left of a Kennedy is never a great place for a "conservative" to find themselves!
Nixon? Again, anti-communist, but less so in his presidential years. He opened China, presided over the creation of the EPA, the clean air act, took us off the gold standard, instituted wage and price controls and founded OSHA. Doesn't have that "conservative" sound does it?
Reagan? Well, MAYBE there is the "every 24-36 year RINO". Again, staunch anti-communist at a time when most Democrats were all in on the "better red than dead" bandwagon, but seriously, is anti-communist ALL that counts as "conservative"? Reagan was much like JFK -- lower taxes and more defense, but not really. He signed on to the FICA tax increase which was HUGE. He did preside over economic growth for the first time since the early 1960's. Yes, I think Reagan was a great president, but pretty much proves how far left we have gone -- even Reagan could only slow the rate of growth in the Federal government and administrative state.
HW Bush? Seriously? Read my lips -- he RAISED taxes. If the idea of "conservative" is to RAISE taxes, but by less than a liberal, then why bother?
W? Mr "kinder and gentler", huge new prescription drug benefit? Yes, again, he staunchly opposed our enemies, but is that REALLY the only "conservative" value out there?
My argument is that the "Administrative State", or more precisely, "Administrative Law" undermined America and made it a ripe target for BO to put it out of it's misery. I see no chance of Trump making any serious headway against Administrative Law, and while I'm glad to see Decius realize the "danger", the fact is that this scourge of freedom is still mostly unrecognized, and once it is recognized, it is such a powerful monster that it is hard to imagine it being killed -- or even seriously wounded.
This is a topic I need to study in far greater detail -- the book referenced from this post is now on order.
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