One great failure of modern liberalism has been the persistent lack of appreciation, among its adherents, for the unintended consequences of policies they advocate.
Steven Chapman writes about proposed new federal mileage standards:
Our lawmakers can command auto executives to do whatever is necessary to make their cars use less gas.
But the likely results of this particular mandate bring to mind the movie "Bedazzled," in which a guy sells his soul to the devil in exchange for seven wishes -- only to find that every time he gets a wish, it turns out to have a major catch. Asking to be rich and powerful, for example, he's transformed into a Colombian drug lord whose confederates are trying to kill him.
We shouldn't be surprised that many neocons are ex-liberals who converted following the attacks of 9-11. The neocons and the modern Republican Party are the new Utopians, believing they can will their vision on a complex world, commanding it to conform with their intentions. To be sure, they espouse different policy positions post-9-11, but their post-conversion approach to the world is the same. They continue to confuse their own ideas and intentions with possibilities and actual outcomes in the real world.