As a citizen I don't like the consequences of this crusade, but you have to respect the conservatives for their successful strategy in gaining control of the national agenda. Their stated and open aim is to change how America is governed - to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich and privileged benefactors. They are quite candid about it, even acknowledging their mean spirit in accomplishing it.
Their leading strategist in Washington - the same Grover Norquist - has famously said he wants to shrink the government down to the size that it could be drowned in a bathtub. More recently, in commenting on the fiscal crisis in the states and its affect on schools and poor people, Norquist said, "I hope one of them" - one of the states - "goes bankrupt."
So much for compassionate conservatism. But at least Norquist says what he means and means what he says. The White House pursues the same homicidal dream without saying so. Instead of shrinking down the government, they're filling the bathtub with so much debt that it floods the house, water-logs the economy, and washes away services for decades that have lifted millions of Americans out of destitution and into the middle-class.
And what happens once the public's property has been flooded? Privatize it. Sell it at a discounted rate to the corporations.
What's right and good doesn't come naturally. You have to stand up and fight for it as if the cause depends on you, because it does. Allow yourself that conceit - to believe that the flame of democracy will never go out as long as there's one candle in your hand.