Back to Frum, my favorite bit was this:
The most centrally planned sector of the American economy is energy. The federal and state governments command utilities to buy certain percentages of their electricity from wind and solar, regardless of price. The federal government commands that ethanol be mixed into gasoline, again regardless of price. Governments subsidize favored “green technologies” with grants and tax credits. Meanwhile a non-green technology, the incandescent light bulb, has been banned outright.
“Socialists” did not make this mess. Every one of these distortions was championed by President George W. Bush and remains the declared policy of congressional Republicans. Republicans have chosen energy command and control because the market-maximizing alternative is an energy tax – and taxes are ideologically taboo.
Look at most of the policies being pushed by Progressives, most of the big ones are explicit recognition that central planning is a failure and that market mechanisms have to be used. Our understanding of what works and what doesn't has changed radically. Every time someone on the right shouts socialism they reveal that they're paying no attention to what people on the left actually profess and believe.
As a side note, this will probably be my last post focusing on the right. I think I get somewhat too emotional about the subject to write about it in an even-handed manner and will avoid explicit references from here on. There may be one last post on media bias but that will definitely be it (thinking about what to include in that post and proving my point without writing a paper is what led me to the conclusion I'm too emotional on the subject). For a final clarification, my critique has always been of the far right, not the Republican Party proper. I'd classify myself as actually being most comfortably characterized as a member of the Progressive wing of the Republican Party, if that wing still existed. An updated version of that which existed at the beginning of the 20th century to account for what we've learned since then* of course, but the basics of Teddy Roosevelt's philosophy sits well with me. The reason I get so worked up about the subject is that I feel so betrayed by the dissolution of what I feel to be the most sensible combination of philosophies that American politics has enjoyed and I blame this dissolution on the far right.
[Hat Tip: Ross Douthat for the Frum link]
*I feel the big advantage that Progressives have is that most of us have the humility to know how much our understanding of the world has changed over the course of time and to know our beliefs about what works must change with experience and knowledge, there is no such thing as a principle that is fixed despite the evidence, except for toleration and mitigation of harm.