From the Journal:
The jobless rate is hanging high — for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush. Finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected.
OK, let’s have our minute of Schadenfreude … now let’s talk about why this is significant.
As an economist, I’m supposed to believe in incentives; and the remarkable cohesiveness of conservatives has a lot to do with incentives.
Show some independence, and you’ll face a lavishly financed primary challenge from the Club for Growth. Be a loyal soldier, and you will be taken care of — through what’s commonly referred to as “wingnut welfare.”
Thus, lose an election, and a think tank with the usual funding sources will create an America’s Enemies program for you to direct. Mess up the occupation of Iraq, and you’ll be appointed to run the World Bank; mess up there, and there’s still a chair waiting for you at AEI.
But it appears that wingnut welfare is breaking down when it comes to former Bush officials. Is this the beginning of the end for movement conservatism?
No, its just the beginning of the ‘George W. wasn’t a real conservative’ campaign (so conservatism can’t be blamed for his mistakes).
Maybe there’s just too many of them to deal with. It’s like being faced with an ally’s refugees when a crisis hits.
Re-education camps, perhaps?
Perhaps not for conservatism; the beliefs of conservatives have withstood reality for generations, and almost certainly will continue to do so.
Nothing makes me happier than knowing 2,000 passively evil idots who sold out their country can’t find work. I invite them to go to Iraq and look for opportunities there. Fox keeps saying there’s a big democratic success story there.
I think three million Iraqi widows will be delighted to see them.
In related rumors, former Bush appointees are queuing up for space under bridges in the better conservative suburbs and rural districts with Wal-Marts (possible employment?), an increasing number of beat-up Lexuses are being seen with their back seats folded down to provide sleeping space, and refrigerator cartons are going for record prices on the spot market.