[Vision2020] Delighting Conservatives

Art Deco deco at moscow.com
Wed May 23 18:38:48 PDT 2007

Two items that should really delight conservatives:

>From The Week:
France: Really Leaning Right? 


The French have moved to the right-or so we hear. Their election this week of the fiscal-reform candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, over Socialist Ségolène Royal is being portrayed as an embrace of conservatism and a rejection of the welfare state. Sarkozy's own rhetoric bolsters that view, as he colors his speeches with toughly worded appeals to a "new work ethic" and "respect for authority." He even calls himself an Américain, a French term used these days almost as a synonym for "fascist." But France's new president is no neocon. In fact, he's not a conservative in the American sense at all. He's merely more conservative than most previous French leaders. The political yardstick marked left, center, and right covers a different section of the spectrum on either side of the Atlantic. 

In the Gallic context, a right-winger doesn't resemble anything close to a Ronald Reagan. He's more like a Bill Clinton or a Tony Blair-tempering a respect for market economics with a strong commitment to social services. Sarkozy's version of tax reform, for example, envisions a cut in the top income tax rate from 60 percent all the way down to . 50 percent-still among the highest in Europe. And his plan to reduce France's bloated bureaucracy doesn't call for a single job cut; he simply proposes not replacing some of the civil servants who will retire in the next few years. Add to that his pledges to ban "golden parachute" payouts to corporate executives, make all national museums free, and legalize gay civil unions, and Sarkozy starts to seem more left-wing than most Democrats. In foreign politics, as in foreign policy, perspective is everything. One country's conservative is another country's liberal. 

Susan Caskie
Deputy editor/International 

>From The LA Times:

According to a tally by Three University of Indiana scholars, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's daily commentaries contain an average of 8.88 instances of name-calling per minute, or one insult every 6.8 seconds.

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