Civil War on the Right - A Doomed Ideology

Discussion in 'Congress' started by BlackAsCoal, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. BlackAsCoal
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    BlackAsCoal Gold Member

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    Civil War on the Right

    By E. J. Dionne Jr.
    Friday, October 24, 2008; A19

    Conservatives are at each other's throats, and here's what's revealing about how divided they are: The critics of John McCain and the critics of Sarah Palin represent entirely different camps.

    One set of critics, skeptical social conservatives, are precisely the people McCain was trying to mollify by picking Palin as his running mate. This includes the faithful of the religious right who remember McCain as their enemy in 2000 and parts of the gun crowd who always saw McCain as soft on their issues.

    That McCain felt a need to make such an outlandishly risky choice speaks to how insecure his hold was on the core Republican vote. A candidate is supposed to rally the base during the primaries and reach out to the middle at election time. McCain got it backward, and it's hurting him.

    A Pew Research Center survey this week found that among political independents, Palin's unfavorable rating has almost doubled since mid-September, from 27 to 50 percent. Whatever enthusiasm Palin inspired among conservative ideologues is more than offset by middle-of-the-road defections.

    Even on the right, she hasn't done the job. In The Post tracking poll released yesterday, Barack Obama drew 22 percent of the vote from self-described conservatives. That's a seven-point gain on John Kerry's 2004 conservative share.

    Yet the pro-Palin right is still impatient with McCain for not being tough enough -- as if he has not run one of the most negative campaigns in recent history. This camp believes that if McCain only shouted the names "Bill Ayers" and "Jeremiah Wright" at the top of his lungs, the whole election would turn around.

    Then there are those conservatives who see Palin as a "fatal cancer to the Republican Party" (David Brooks), as someone who "doesn't know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin" (Kathleen Parker), as "a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics" (Peggy Noonan).

    These conservatives deserve credit for acknowledging how ill-suited Palin is for high office. But what we see here is a deep split between parts of the conservative elite and much of the rank and file.

    For years, many of the elite conservatives were happy to harvest the votes of devout Christians and gun owners by waging a phony class war against "liberal elitists" and "leftist intellectuals." Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.

    The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity -- and Sarah Palin. Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans, learned manifestoes by direct-mail hit pieces.

    And then there is George W. Bush. Conservatives once hailed him as creating an enduring majority on behalf of their cause. Now, they cast him as the goat in their story of decline.

    The conservative critique of Bush is a familiar rant against his advocacy of big government and huge deficits -- now supplemented by horror over his embrace of actual socialism with the partial nationalization of big banks. And, yes, a fair number of conservatives were never wild about the adventure in Iraq.

    Things are so bad that the internecine warriors on the right have begun copying the rhetoric of the old left. In a Washington Times column this week upbraiding dissidents such as Brooks and Noonan, Tony Blankley, the conservative writer and activist, fell back on an old left slogan, asking them: "Whose side are you on, comrade?"

    This is a revelatory question. It arises when a movement has lost its sense of solidarity and purpose, when the "sides" are no longer clear. There is no unified "right" or "center-right," which is why we are no longer a conservative country, if we ever were.

    Conservatism has finally crashed on problems for which its doctrines offered no solutions (the economic crisis foremost among them, thus Bush's apostasy) and on its refusal to acknowledge that the "real America" is more diverse, pragmatic and culturally moderate than the place described in Palin's speeches or imagined by the right-wing talk show hosts.

    Conservatives came to believe that if they repeated phrases such as "Joe the Plumber" often enough, they could persuade working-class voters that policies tilted heavily in favor of the very privileged were actually designed with Joe in mind.

    It isn't working anymore. No wonder conservatives are turning on each other so ferociously.
    E. J. Dionne Jr. - Civil War on the Right - washingtonpost.com
     
  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Time to look for something else. Socialism is the answer. Yes it will need a tweak, but only a tweak or two. And since it has already started its progress around the world in the wake of the global collapse of laisse-faire capitalism it shouldn't be too hard to plan its integration into national economies.
     
  3. BlackAsCoal
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    BlackAsCoal Gold Member

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    When that battle begins, the centrists in the Democratic Party become the new right.
     
  4. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Yes.

    What is really happening we see writ small on this board.

    There are people seriously interested in understanding the facts who will let the facts lead them to whatever conclusions one can make of them. They are both conservatives and liberal. they are coming at this problem with presuppositions to be sure, but they are also terrible interested in knowing the truth of the matter no matter how much that truth doesn't jibe with their presuppositions.

    In a pinch, when reality forces it on them, they'll fucking change their minds because they want truth more than they want to prove that they were right

    And then there are the partisan loyals who are simply anti-intellectuals.

    They will make the facts fit their theories no matter absurd that is.

    For EXAMPLE....please note how many former Bushites decided BUSH was socialist.

    I mean how fucking stupid can anyone possible be?

    These people hate thinking.

    And they hate thinkers even worse.

    These are the people unwilling to talk about issues, who love the character assassinating posts.

    These are the nitwits who destroy thread after thread.

    But they vote so it behooves us to at least TRY to get through to them.
     
  5. BlackAsCoal
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    BlackAsCoal Gold Member

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    That's all true my wise friend, but clarity comes responsibility. It is the weight of knowing. Being wise enough to see the truth is only part of the equation. The other part is being courageous enough to act upon that truth .. and that my brother is where we fail. There are legions of more people who can see the truth than there are those who act upon it.

    Cognitive dissonance is a powerful mindfuck that will not allow the mind to see, not allow any thoughts of acting upon the obvious.

    If you take just a small step back and look, you are wise enough to see the same patterns of behavior in democrats. Truth isn't partisan, and if illegal spying on Americans was wrong when republicans did it, it's equally wrong when democrats are doing it. If "collateral damge" was an evil term when republicans used it as an excuse for dead innocent Iraqis, it's just as evil a term when democrats use it for dead innocent Afghanis and Pakistanis.

    Immediately the minds of Obama supporters have swung into dissonance mode and have pre-formed excuses why it's somehow different.

    As we celebrate the death of the right-wing monster, be careful we aren't creating a new one. The forces behind Bush and the neocon horde have not gone away. They are now the forces behind Obama. As a critical thinker, it must be difficult for you not to see that. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't vote for him, but surely you have to know that those forces that manipulated the knuckledraggers on the right to do their bidding, are smart enough to read the writing on the wall, smart enough to do what conservative ideology cannot do, adapt.

    You're correct, there are a lot of idiots here whose sole purpose is to foster the religion of anti-intellectualism .. but I don't come here to talk to them, not interested in converting anyone. I come to talk to people like you brother. People who can see. Because as I've said, there are a lot more people who can see, than there are who will act upon what they see.

    We need more than just thinkers, we need thinking fighters.
     
  6. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    IMHO while it is true that the Republican party has it's problem, I will submit to you so does the Democratic Party as and ever increasing number of people now call themselves independant. It is my belief that one of the primary reasons for this is both parties have been hijacked by special interests right and left. In the Republican party it is a rigid adherence to a plank that leaves no room for others that may be fiscally conservative yet socially liberal. In the Democrat party the same thing applies only in reverse. Each party has it's special interests groups that virtually own the partys now, like the energy sector in my party and the environmental sector in the democrat party. This I think is what continues to drive people to the center and more more to declare themselves as independant. Look at the recent "bailout" of wallstreet for your example if you will, fully 70 to 80 % of Americans depending on which poll you looked it were NOT in favor of giving away 700 billion dollars, however both democrats and republicans alike could care less what the people they represent wanted and did so anyway. so is it any wonder that more Americans do not want to be associated with a party.
     
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  7. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    as a moderate democrat, i am hardly happy with my party. i feel like obama is not the man that should be running....i dont know how we got from point a to b ...the only thing worse is the gop choice of palin. mccain had a real opportunity to select a woman candidate and take the woman's vote away from obama. he failed.

    i would love to see a president that will unite this country and move us forward. i dont see that in either candidate but the republican rhetoric has gotten totally out of hand in trying to make part of the country "real" americans. that has sadden me deeply and allows me to vote for obama. *gagging like a cat coughing up fur balls*

    had mccain picked a decent vp...male or female...and stuck to his words of no negative campaigning it might have been different.
     
  8. BlackAsCoal
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    BlackAsCoal Gold Member

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    The reality is that America has morphed into a plutocracy. The giant hole in the concept of democracy has been breached and money now rules America. The seat of power has been moved form Washington to Wall Street.

    Environmental groups did not win in the bailout .. money did.

    There is only one "special interest" that matters in America today .. money.

    We are a plutocracy, and you cannot defeat a plutocracy with the mechanisms of a democracy.
     
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Ya the far left complaining about the right. Ohh look the usual suspects too. Remind us again how the looney left does not control the Democratic party.
     
  10. BlackAsCoal
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    BlackAsCoal Gold Member

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    Thanks for popping in and reminding us of exactly why the right is dwindling.
     
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