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Fareed Zakaria has a very sharp op-ed in the Washington Post this week dissecting conservatism’s longtime “diet of despair” and how conservatism’s traditional rhetoric of “decay, despair and decline” has created an anti-American mentality among the set that very self-consciously claims to love the country more than everyone else.

But one section in particular crystalized something that has been nagging me over the last few weeks, especially when tea party conservatives denounce compromise and deal-making as if they are bad things, when the smug Ted Cruz goes on about waging a “multi-stage, extended battle” to change Washington or, as Zakaria notes, John Boehner utters with exasperation that “the federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years!”

Zakaria’s reply is spot on:

But what has been the result over these past 60 years? The United States has grown mightily…

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