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June 16, 2004
Matt Y on Top of His "Game"
Matt-Y plugs us into a good read of his own devising. Agree with him or not, it's a well-written piece that keeps your interest.
The column is about take-your-piety to work day; about how odd it really is to take a week off from the business and work of the country in Congress - especially at this time of the year - to pay constant tribute to President Reagan.
Worried about high gas prices and jobs moving overseas? There's a bill in the House that's supposed to address both problems, but it got shelved temporary [sic] in favor of symbolic resolutions and floor statements in praise of Ronald Reagan. Indeed, all real legislative work came to a halt for a week in order to make room for Reaganophilia. Instead of debating the nation's problems, the Senate floor was treated to a debate between Majority Leader Bill Frist and Armed Forces Committee Chairman John Warner regarding whether or not the Pentagon should be named after Reagan.I don't care about all that trash — that gotcha "blogism" — whether Matt-Y is a moderate or he is a sheep in wolf's clothing.
We're all firebrands at one point or another. Blogs are about letting it all hang out. That one can be paraded around the blogosphere for one or two references to .. anything you're thinking of right now .. without looking at the body of work, is pathetic.
But so goes the world.
Clearly Matt-Y is a moderate in all senses of the word. He advocates no revolution; he mixes it up with his opinions regarding war, fiscal policy and racial dynamics. More often than not, he falls on the left side of discernment. But not always.
Back to the piece.
An old friend of mine [BB-how old can he be?] is on the federal payroll nowadays as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He got orders recently to go to Iraq, where I expect the troops don't get much time off, even for something as important as Reagan Day. At any rate, I honestly don't know how much attention he pays to defense politics inside the beltway, but someone in the Marine chain of command must be frustrated at the slow pace of work in Congress on this year's Defense Department authorization bill and, even worse, on the supplemental appropriations that are supposed to finance continued operations in Iraq. Given that Congress took Friday off despite already being behind schedule you might think they worked extra hard Monday through Thursday in an effort to get something done. You'd be wrong.
Lastly, Matt-Y should be proud of this turn of phrase: There’s your modern conservatism: not much interest in the substance of policy, but really fond of Ronald Reagan.
Beautiful. Go read the rest.
OK, one more slice:
A healthy, sane political movement enjoying a monopoly of political power would be loath to waste a minute dilly-dallying when there's such a grand agenda to achieve. But while Republicans may like their agenda, they love their political power. And as I wrote last week, despite Reagan's political success, "Americans really do want the government to solve their problems, clean their air and water, educate their children, cure their sick, and keep them safe from terrorists and defective products alike." The trouble with the conservative agenda isn't just that it won't do these things, but that conservatives don't think the government should do these things. Most people want government to do more, but Republican leaders want it to do less.