Adam Nagourney, "G.O.P. Right Is Splintered On Schiavo Intervention," New York Times (natl. ed.), 3/23/05, A14."Social" works in the Schiavo case, but a broader term is needed to encompass those conservatives for whom certain economic issues (e.g., deregulation) also trump concerns about federalism or separation of powers.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Process vs. social conservatives
I'm certainly not the first one to notice that the Republican position on the proper role of government these days seems rather contradictory. An article in the Times this morning on the Schiavo story, however, introduces an illuminating distinction. There is no "Republican position" as such -- instead, Republicans are divided between "social conservatives" and "process conservatives" (quoting David Davenport of the Hoover Institute). For social conservatives, social issues trump concerns about the allocation of power within the fractured American political structure, while the priorities of process conservatives are exactly the opposite.