Why I am not a Republican.
The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs. Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.Social Conservatives and Fiscal Conservatives are not exactly two peas in a pod. Bush panders to the social right constantly, while paying almost no attention to the spending-cutters. The fiscally responsible will not put up with this forever. Eventually there will be a crash in the Republican Party, and if nothing changes, the fiscal wing will abandon them.
Republicans could reform the budget rules that stack the deck in favor of more spending. Unfortunately, senior House Republicans are fighting the changes. The GOP establishment in Washington today has become a defender of big government.
(Hat tip, Andrew Sullivan)