Dead Right

Dead Right

Dead Right

Dead Right

Synopsis

Reviewers agree that this book is one of the most important statements about conservatism in a generation. It is a sobering reminder that, on the heels of the 1994 elections, Republicans had best not become complacent. The release of the paperback has been strategically placed on the 100th day of the 1st session of the new Congress.

Excerpt

A cynical cartoonist once depicted a bratty boy urging his younger brother to look for Christmas presents in the basement. "But last time I did that, you locked me in the cellar for three hours!" the little brother protests. the older boy suavely replies: "This time I won't."

I kept thinking of that exchange in the aftermath of the Republican congressional victory in 1994. Make no mistake: I cheered the results of that election as lustily as any Young Republican with a file folder full of resumes to mail. But conservatives tempted to suppose that the Republican breakthrough in Congress portends a dramatic reduction in the pretensions of the federal government need to keep their eyes on the cellar-door latch as they rush downstairs.

The danger is not that history will repeat itself, that the mistakes and disappointments of the Reagan years will be replicated by the new Republican Congress. the medieval historian Robert Lopez used to tell his graduate students: "History never repeats itself. It only seems to, to those who don't know the details." the danger instead is that conservatives and Republicans will make new mistakes and encounter new disappointments so long as they continue to succumb to the great temptation of the Reagan years: to attempt to use government for conservative purposes rather than to push it back within its proper limits.

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