Best headline of the day: “The Obama administration is making the case for conservatism better than Mitt Romney ever did.”

U.S. President Obama gestures as he responds to a question during a news conference with Britain's PM Cameron at the White House in WashingtonThis headline is from a piece at the left-leaning, written by John Dickerson. I don’t know who he is but he has given us an insightful, perhaps brilliant, piece of writing here. To find such wisdom and perception at a leftist rag like Slate is jaw dropping.  So be it, I’ll take it.  Here’s a taste:

The Obama administration is doing a far better job making the case for conservatism than Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, or John Boehner ever did. Showing is always better than telling, and when the government overreaches in so many ways it gives support to the conservative argument about the inherently rapacious nature of government. 

First let’s get our terms straight. Conservatives are not the same as Republicans. The former believe in a philosophy which stays roughly fixed and the latter belong to a party that occasionally embraces the philosophy but deviates when necessary to win elections, pass legislation, and follow the selfish aims of those who are in office and want to remain there. Conservatives argue against the expansion of government, whereas Republicans sometimes enlarge it to please their constituents or themselves. Republicans also sometimes botch foreign policy operations and spin themselves silly in their aftermath, which is why the Benghazi revelations are left out of this grand unification theory.

Though some of these scandals will allow Republicans to score points in the daily tally of who is ahead and who is behind, there is a larger benefit to conservatives that goes beyond the fall in the president’s approval ratings or the boost Republican Senate candidates may get in 2014. Those outcomes rely on further adjudication of these issues. It may turn out that President Obama had nothing to do with any of them. It could simply be rogues in various agencies. Or, maybe President Obama orchestrated the whole kaleidoscope of wrongdoing on the White House whiteboard. You don’t have to embrace either of those theories to see that it’s much easier to agree with the conservative notion that government is a mess. We have enough evidence of that already. 

That a lefty writing for a leftist website could write the words quoted above either contradicts my belief that lefties don’t understand the world they live in, or it confirms my other belief that lefties are smart and do understand how the world works but just don’t care so much for that as they care for their leftist agenda of big government controlling every nook and cranny of everybody’s life.  A corollary to that theorem has to be that occasionally even they feel threatened if they get a bit too much of what they want.

I can only find one thing in what Mr. Dickerson says to quibble with, and it is just a quibble. He says Republicans sometimes deviate from conservatism to win elections. I’d say the opposite is true, that it is precisely when they abandon and malign conservatism that they lose elections. There are many examples, Both 2008 and 2012 are prime examples as are 1996 and 1998. That so many Republicans believe they must deviate from conservatism in order to win elections is what has earned them the moniker as the “stupid party.” The prime example of how Republicans win when they articulate conservatism well is 1994. Since then, Republicans have largely abandoned the very thing that worked so well for them in 1994. In fact they began renouncing conservatism almost as soon as the 1994 election was over and have continued on that course since, much to their detriment.  How ironic that someone from the Left understands Republicans better than they understand themselves.

All of Mr. Dickerson’s article is highly recommended, and you shouldn’t short change yourself by reading only what I have quoted above.  Read the whole thing It’s worthwhile.

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