Mention entitlements and most conservatives go ballistic, yet it is a sense of entitlement that has driven this most recent expression of conservatism for the last thirty years.  It all began with the college conservatives, led by Karl Rove, believing that they were smarter than everyone else and therefore were entitled to take over the Republican college establishment.
    After succeeding in this, that cadre of people merged with the likes of Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay and they set about to remove from the GOP all moderate/liberal voices - the "squishes" as Atwater called them - because they believed themselves to be the true conservatives and were entitled to dominate the Republican Party.
    Having purges the GOP of anyone who did not kiss Newt Gingrich's ring, they set about taking over the Congress and did so in 1993 believing that they were morally and intellectually superior to the Democrats and therefore entitled to dominate the Congress.  This they did in a display of pure partisan power and vicious personal attacks on anyone in their way.  Once in office, they instituted a reign of terror that destroyed or beat into submission any dissenting voices in either party because they believed they were entitled to rule in pure unadulterated Machiavellian terms.  There would be no more room in Congress for nice guys, for bipartisanism or was winner take all and take no prisoners.
    They and their allies in the media took that concept to the nation and were able to parlay it into control of the White House with the election of George W. Bush, the protégé of Karl Rove, the original architect of the new conservative movement.  The great circle was complete.  The "entitled ones" controlled the Supreme Court, the Congress and the White House.  
And, in spite of having no electoral mandate from the voters in either 2000 or 2004, Bush brought to the White House the same sense of entitlement that pervaded the Congress.  Bush was to be obeyed because he was entitled to it.  He was God's appointed man in the White House.  And he was entitled to be a Commander-in-Chief, even if he and his allies had to trump up a war, because he believed himself entitled to be a "great President." All sense of meritocracy was gone; it was pure divine ordinace.
    Well, the "entitlement conservatives" have had a great run and the American people have come to a new appraisal.  What the polls show and the November election revealed is that, in the judgment of the voters, Rove, Bush and company are neither morally or intellectually superior to anyone!  They are competent to run neither domestic nor international affairs.  They have returned to the Washington a level of cronyism and lawlessness that has not been seen in government since the days of Warren G. Harding.  The level of criminality that is being revealed at almost every level of this administration suggests that, what this latest eruption of conservatism is entitled to is repudiation at its best and disgrace or imprisonment at its worse.

Tags: Armey, conservative, entitlement, gingrich (all tags)


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