Now that the Republican Party -- the conservative voice in mainstream U.S. electoral politics -- has attained the most thoroughgoing control of Congress that it has enjoyed since 1928, it's an appropriate time to take a good look at modern conservatism.
U.S. politicians and pundits are fond of saying that America's wars have defended America's freedom. But the historical record doesn't bear out this contention. In fact, over the past century, U.S. wars have triggered major encroachments upon civil liberties.
Voters have a right to know where the allegiance of their lawmakers' lies. They should be asking if their elected representatives have sworn to serve ALEC first. And if so, those should be the first to go.
In a time of a recession when jobs are hard to come by, Grover Norquist has invented a job for himself. His job is to make sure that those in Congress take a loyalty oath to say that they will never raise taxes.
Jews who lived for centuries as good citizens of Arab countries would have loved nothing more than to pledge loyalty to a "Muslim and democratic state" in return for the same freedoms, rights and protections that Arabs enjoy today in Israel.
California's Constitution requires state employees to pledge to take up arms to defend the state against enemies. The oath was added in 1952; it was hardly justifiable then and is a bizarre anachronism now.