The way Ezra Klein tells it is largely the way I remember it, too. Antecedents of President Obama's policies -- an individual mandate in health insurance, cap-and-trade on emissions, and some willingness to raise taxes to close deficits -- can be found in Republican policies of the George H.W. Bush era. I supported them then and support them now, though in a way that comes from the right side of the political spectrum rather than the left. More specifically:
My column from this morning's Roll Call explains why and how what House Republicans are doing to themselves on the budget in 2011 is what they did on a smaller scale in the late 1970s. It didn't work out well back then either.
GOP Has Put Itself Into a Corner on the Budget
By Stan Collender
Roll Call Contributing Writer
March 29, 2011, Midnight
The media is full of stories today commemorating what would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday.
Most of what's being reported includes some mention of the fact that Reagan is still venerated in GOP circles, that he's still an icon, and that most of those who are thinking about running for the Republican nomination for president are trying to claim that they are the modern-day embodiment of Reagan and the person best-suited to carry on his legacy.
My question is whether, in spite of the deification, Ronald Reagan would fit in with today's Republican Party as well it wants us to believe.
There's no doubt that some of Reagan's actions would be a perfect fit. The big increases in military spending, his tax cut, and his firing of the air traffic controllers when then went on strike are three perfect examples of policies and actions that would go as well today as they did 30 or so years ago.
Paul Krugman's column in today's New York Times, which discusses many of the themes I've been posting about lately, is right on the money in every sense of that phrase.
Here's the column in its entirety.
The New Voodoo
By PAUL KRUGMAN
We shouldn't be surprised that David Frum got fired from the American Enterprise Institute for violating the Republican party line on health care. Notwithstanding the Palin/McCain campaign rhetoric, the GOP has been hostile for years to to mavericks, independent thinkers and, frankly, almost any kind of thinkers.
Even so, I was struck by this post from Frum's wife, Danielle Crittenden:
We have both been part of the conservative movement for, as mentioned, the better part of half of our lives. And I can categorically state I’ve never seen such a hostile environment towards free thought and debate–the hallmarks of Reaganism, the politics with which we grew up–prevail in our movement as it does today. The thuggish demagoguery of the Limbaughs and Becks is a trait we once derided in the old socialist Left. Well boys, take a look in the mirror. It is us now.