I've been reading the Washington Monthly for more than 30 years, and while its passion for neoliberalism has led it into some nasty conservative traps before - welfare deform at the top of that list - this piece takes the cake.
Right-wing operatives have decided that prisons are a lot like schools: hugely expensive, inefficient, and in need of root-and-branch reform. Is this how progress will happen in a hyper-polarized world?
No, of course not. What a stupid question.
There is no conservative "war on prisons." There is a conservative war on government-run prisons, and a conservative war on all non-white, non-Xian, non-straight prisoners.
Sure, conservatives would like nothing better than to fire all the government-employed prison guards and set free all the Aryan Brotherhood lynch mobs.
But when it comes to keeping dusky-hued, muslim and/or gay prisoners in the privatized hellholes run by corporate criminals like Corrections Corporation of America, conservatives are all about wasting as many billions of tax dollars as possible.
Yes, we desperately need massive prison reform as close as we can get to tearing the whole stinking edifice down and starting from scratch. The only way to do that is with trillions of dollars in anti-poverty programs, education, substance abuse treatment, drug legalization and a huge expansion of social services.
But that's not what we're going to get if we let conservatives take the lead and set the rules.
Seriously, Monthly: Do you not, after the overwhelming evidence of the last four years, accept the fundamental truth that conservatives are interested in two things only:
- establishing permanent white xian male supremacy- diverting all tax dollars to rich, white, xian males.
Interpreting conservative claims and efforts through any other lens is political malpractice and terminal naivete.