I rarely use the phrase “thinking conservatives” anymore, since there seem to be so few left. But there are still a handful, and one of them has written an enlightening piece about the idiotic kerfuffle over the Burlington Coat Factory mosque in Lower Manhattan.
Writing in a conservative Washington newspaper called the Washington Examiner, libertarian Gene Healy argues that the dust-up is a distraction so that conservative voters won’t notice that Republicans don’t want to do the hard and unpopular work of cutting spending. Healy, a vice-president at the libertarian Cato Institute, writes:
The “mosque” controversy isn’t about property rights or religious freedom. It’s a bogus issue seized by the GOP establishment to distract the rank-and-file from the party’s reluctance to shrink government. . .
You see, cutting government is hard, and often unpopular. No surprise, then, that Boehner would rather play urban planner than embrace Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s “road map” for shrinking middle-class entitlements.
Faced with difficult choices, the alleged party of small government always retreats to the lazy politics of Kulturkampf. Hey, that guy’s a “card-carrying member” of the ACLU! Ask me about my flag-burning amendment!
John Cornyn, R-Texas, head of GOP efforts to take back the Senate this fall, plans to make the Park51 “mosque” a major campaign issue. It’s all too typical: Feed the rubes conservative identity politics, and, with luck, they’ll be too distracted to notice you’ve grafted a Republican “K Street Project” atop the same old edifice of Big Government.
The establishment Right wants to play the Tea Party movement for suckers. It remains to be seen whether they’ll play along.
If any of you conservatives have the gumption to think for yourselves, his entire piece is worth a read.