They "Try and Thrawrt Attempts at Expanding the State, Period."

Republican Chuck Hagel just does not understand his party's role in this whole democratic process.

Via Think Progress

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), the chairman of the Atlantic Council, recently sat down for an interview with the Washington Diplomat. In the interview, the former senator touched on a variety of topics, including what he feels is the need for the United States to “unwind” from the war in Afghanistan. Towards the end of the interview, Hagel says that while he has “no plans to renounce his membership in the party,” he finds that the Republican Party of which he is a part is not “presenting any new alternatives, any new options, or any new thinking“:

“I don’t see them presenting any alternatives, any new options or any new thinking,” Hagel said. “If the Republicans get back in power, what are they going to do? There is no articulation. It’s just a ‘no no no, I’m against Obama because he’s a socialist and he’s taking America in the wrong direction.’ That’s certainly an opinion, but what about you, Mr. Republican? What would you do?”

In fact, leading Republicans like Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, and Peter King have proudly embraced the “no, no, no” agenda. Hagel told the interviewer that he remains confident that his party will once again rebuild itself. “The Republican Party will find a new center of gravity,” he said. “I think they’ll let this nonsense play out. It’s like a bad storm — it just has to go through.”

"Nonsense" is a pretty strong word, Chuck. Careful or you will soon find yourself purged.

(h/t to "J" for the most excellent title)

Daniel Larison on Erik Kain and Conservatism

Via The American Conservative

Daniel Larison writes:

As I have said before, I don’t think the GOP will win the House, but if that did happen it would primarily be bad news for the Republican Party and the conservative movement. If that seems a little too counter-intuitive for you, let me explain. Should the GOP somehow win the House, they will not have earned it and they will not deserve it, and they will proceed to destroy themselves in very short order. Arguably, there was nothing worse for the American right than to be given the free gift of winning the 2002 midterms, because this win encouraged them to pursue the policies that proved to be their undoing, and a similar win in 2010 would have the same effect of enabling Republicans’ most destructively self-indulgent impulses. As one horrified by the prospect of Republicans in power, Erik should look forward to this.

After all, even if the Republicans won the House there would not be much that they could do once in office, except waste their time as they did in the ’90s hauling executive branch officials before committees to testify on this or that outrage of the week. They would likely be stymied by the Democratic majority in the Senate on any major legislation, and Obama would veto just about anything they passed if it somehow got to his desk. At the same time, Obama would make them into a much more effective foil for his arguments once they had some hold on power, and out of frustration they would become increasingly obsessed with “getting” Obama and become even less interested in representing the interests of their constituents.

The Closing of the Conservative Mind

Preach it, brother Frum

We are likely soon to have a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, maybe the U.S. Senate too. And what will that majority do? The answer seems to be: They have not a clue. Unlike the Republican House and Senate majorities of 1994, unlike the Republican Senate majority of 1980, these new majorities will arrive with only slogans for a policy agenda.
..
The loser is a conservative political movement waiting at the end of the intellectual conveyor belt for a product that increasingly arrives so shoddy and defective that it might as well not come at all.

(h/t @mattyglesias)