The conservative crack up


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rick_reno
October 12, 2005, 08:06 PM
"Blame the Administation" - that's a new one. This article has a number of hot buttons mentioned; the Miers mess, immigration, deficits, etc.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9651882/

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush may have no military exit strategy for Iraq, but the “neocons” who convinced him to go to war there have developed one of their own — a political one: Blame the Administration.

Their neo-Wilsonian theory is correct, they insist, but the execution was botched by a Bush team that has turned out to be incompetent, crony-filled, corrupt, unimaginative and weak over a wide range of issues.

The flight of the neocons — just read a recent Weekly Standard to see what I am talking about — is one of only many indications that the long-predicted “conservative crackup” is at hand.

The “movement” – that began 50 years ago with the founding of Bill Buckley’s National Review; that had its coming of age in the Reagan Years; that reached its zenith with Bush’s victory in 2000 — is falling apart at the seams.

In 1973, Karl Rove met George W. Bush, and became the R2D2 and Luke Skywalker of Republican politics. At first, neither was plugged into “The Force” — the conservative movement. But over the years they learned how to use its power.

By the time Bush was in his second term as governor, laying the groundwork for his presidential run, he and Rove had gathered all of the often competing and sometimes contradictory strains of conservatism into one light beam. You could tell by the people they brought to Austin.

To tie down the religious conservatives, they nudged John Ashcroft out of the race and conducted a literal laying on of hands at the governor’s mansion with leaders such as James Dobson.

For the libertarian anti-tax crowd, they brought in certified supply-sider Larry Lindsey as the top economic advisor.

For the traditional war hawks they brought in Paul Wolfowitz, among others, go get Bush up to speed on the world.

For the traditional corporate types – well, Bush had that taken care of on his own.

But now all the constituent parts are — for various reasons — going their own way. Here's a checklist:

Religious conservatives
The Harriet Miers nomination was the final insult. Religious conservatives have an inferiority complex in the Republican Party. In an interesting way, it’s the same attitude that many African-Americans have had toward the Democratic Party over the years. They think that the Big Boys want their votes but not their presence or their full participation.

And what really frosts the religious types is that Bush evidently feels that he can only satisfy them by stealth — by nominating someone with absolutely no paper trail. It’s an affront. And even though Dr. Dobson is on board — having been cajoled aboard by Rove — I don’t sense that there is much enthusiasm for the enterprise out in Colorado Springs.

I expect that any GOP 2008 hopeful who wants evangelical support — people like Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum and maybe even George Allen — will vote against Miers's confirmation in the Senate.

Corporate CEOs
For them, Bush’s handling of Katrina was, and remains, a mortal embarrassment to their class, which Bush is supposed to have represented — at least to some extent.

These are people who believe in the Faith of Management — in anticipating problems and moving mass organizations. They also like to think of themselves as having a social conscience. And even if they don’t, they are sensitive to world opinion.

The vivid images from the Superdome were just too much for these folks. Recently, a prominent Republican businessman, whom I saw in a typical CEO haunt, astonished me with the severity of his attacks on Bush’s competence. And Bush had appointed this guy to a major position! Amazing.

Main Street: Smaller government deficit hawks
This is an old-fashioned but important core of conservatism: people who think federal spending should be relentlessly reduced, and that we should always view with suspicion any proposals to increase the role of the federal government in local and private life.

After binges of spending and legislating, backbenchers in the GOP, especially in the House, are in open revolt, having gathered around Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana and Sen. John McCain in the Senate. They tend to view the “Leadership’s” spending habits with alarm.

Isolationists
An old term, but still applicable. With the fall of Communism in Europe and Russia, the old anti-Communist wing of the conservative movement lost its role. Now the isolationists of old are back, and with a new crusade: immigration.

The relatively unchecked flood of illegal immigrants into this country is indeed a legitimate cause for alarm. But in the eyes of this crowd — one leader is my MSNBC colleague, Pat Buchanan — the Bush Administration is doing nothing.

Neocons
They think that the Middle East can be remade, and this country made safe, by instilling a semblance of democracy in the Fertile Crescent and beyond. But they seem to have given up on the ability of the Bush Administration to see that vision through.

They want more troops, not fewer; more money, not less; more passion, not the whispered talk of timetables for withdrawal.

Besides championing democracy, we need to show strength and resolve, they believe — and they are no longer convinced that Bush can show much of either.

Supply-siders
This is the one faction that the president has yet to disappoint in a major way. He pushed through two major tax cuts, and is pushing more — targeted ones — in the wake of Katrina.

Deep in their collective memory bank, Bush and Rove remember what happened when Daddy moved his lips and raised taxes. But now that the son has been reelected, will he move his lips, too? If the conservative crack up is to be complete — and I think it will be — the answer is yes.

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R.H. Lee
October 12, 2005, 08:17 PM
I'm still not sure what a 'neocon' is. I think it's just a pejorative term for the big government liberals who currently occupy the Whitehouse. To equate them with William F. Buckley is comedically absurd.

SIOP
October 12, 2005, 08:25 PM
To equate them with William F. Buckley is comedically absurd.

Actually, Buckley is the personification of "neocon", those that talk a conservative game but, in fact, promote collectivism, intrusive government, the U.N., world government, etc.

beerslurpy
October 12, 2005, 08:38 PM
Neocon is just the republican word for socialist. The republicans were doing great until the Contract with America got subverted (circa 9/11/2001) by the fans of expensive, intrusive government.

The outer coat of varnish is that of liberty and conservatism, but it is still the same collectivist turd it was under the democrats. I honestly dont see a split besides that forming between the president's henchmen and the conservatives who elected him. I think conservatives know what they want, but the people whose job it is to deliver have proven themselves unworthy. Many are just growing sick of the endless betrayals.

MechAg94
October 12, 2005, 09:37 PM
I always figured neocon was a made up word that journalists think up so they can define it as anything they want.

On the other hand, I figured it was for people who think they are conservative because they disagree with the leftist Democrats, when it reality, they are just not socialists. I sure there are a million opinions.

RealGun
October 12, 2005, 09:58 PM
Seems to me that the President and Congress are very much in sync, including some Democrats. The President may be a lightning rod, but he doesn't do all this stuff single handedly.

SIOP
October 12, 2005, 10:00 PM
Seems to me that the President and Congress are very much in sync, including some Democrats.

The fact that Bush is in sync with Democrats ought to tell you something right there.

longeyes
October 12, 2005, 10:02 PM
Neocon is just the republican word for socialist.

Or...imperialist?

FeebMaster
October 12, 2005, 10:09 PM
when it reality, they are just not socialists.

Yeah right.

AirForceShooter
October 12, 2005, 10:14 PM
The measure of a man is not how he gains power but how he uses it once he has it. It's not an exact quote but it gets the idea across.

I hate to say it but I think the Congress is going to wind up Democrat in '06.
The Bushies are really a train wreck in motion. I had such high hopes.

AFS

rick_reno
October 12, 2005, 10:52 PM
I hate to say it but I think the Congress is going to wind up Democrat in '06.

I don't think the Democrats are in much better shape - they're just not in control. I believe there are less than a dozen Republican seats that could be in contention in the House - and with a year to go before the mid-term elections a lot can happen. I confess, I don't know which is better - have the Republicans lose the House and FINALLY get the message - or have them barely retain control and MAYBE GET THE MESSAGE. One thing that is obvious is they haven't gotten it yet, but that might be a factor in their leadership - which appears to be non-existent from the top down.

beerslurpy
October 12, 2005, 10:56 PM
Repubs in the house are actually very conservative already and I dont think they are going to lose any seats there.

The senate is full of rinos, but i dont think there is much room for movement.

The presidency isnt currently up for grabs.

davec
October 12, 2005, 11:01 PM
You know how they call libertarians Republicans who like to smoke pot?

Well neoconservatives are leftists who like a militaristic based foreign policy.

The wikipedia article on the subject is rather fair i believe.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism_in_the_United_States

Chrontius
October 12, 2005, 11:02 PM
Definition of Neoconservativism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism_in_the_United_States)

carp killer
October 12, 2005, 11:28 PM
When Bush said he would sign the AWB if it reached his desk, that is all I need to know. :fire: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:

AZRickD
October 13, 2005, 12:02 AM
"I expect that any GOP 2008 hopeful who wants evangelical support — people like Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum and maybe even George Allen — will vote against Miers's confirmation in the Senate."

Not a defensible position.

Rick

Standing Wolf
October 13, 2005, 12:31 AM
Conservatism will be around long, long after Bush has retired.

javafiend
October 13, 2005, 01:38 AM
The president has lost his mind. (http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7509.shtml)

President George W. Bush’s temper tantrums are on the rise with White House insiders reporting increasing tongue-lashing of staffers, obscenity-filled outbursts and a leader driven to the edge by what he sees as party disloyalty and a country that no longer trusts him.

beerslurpy
October 13, 2005, 01:44 AM
Conservatism will be around long, long after Bush has retired.

Actually I would say that 80 percent of the conservative (and normally pro-Bush) talk show hosts are anti-miers at the moment, and a lot of callers are complaining about betrayal. Conservatives are really catching on that Bush is not one of them anymore and I think the trust has left the building.

The Laura Bush accusations of sexism are particularly retarded. Talk about borrowing a page right out of the left wing playbook. It is doubly stupid when you consider that the critics are suggesting Janice Rogers Brown as an alternative.

This revolt over Miers is a great opportunity for someone in the Senate to grow a pair and demand a real conservative nominee like JRB. It wouldnt weaken the party and it would allow republicans to wrest control at least partially away from the collectivists.

longeyes
October 13, 2005, 01:53 AM
So what's next, a mutiny and Bush playing Capt. Queeg...?

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 10:40 AM
Actually, Buckley is the personification of "neocon", those that talk a conservative game but, in fact, promote collectivism, intrusive government, the U.N., world government, etc. To me, that's a "retro-con." More like what "conservative" (establishment) was considered to be in the 1960s. The new conservatives, or the "recently shifted from left to right, D to R" is much more libertarian than the retro-cons.

cuchulainn
October 13, 2005, 10:49 AM
If the conservative crack up is to be complete — and I think it will be — the answer is yes. Every time one party/movement or the other finds itself in a tailspin, especially near an election, we hear predictions of its demise. It never happens.

Bush's problems are a sign of the demise of neither the GOP nor the conservative movement. :rolleyes:

RealGun
October 13, 2005, 11:14 AM
The fact that Bush is in sync with Democrats ought to tell you something right there.

Indeed...somewhat the uniter rather than divider.

Waitone
October 13, 2005, 11:36 AM
Republican have no choice but draw a line between themselves and the Bush administration. They simply can not campaign on Bush's governance. Meirs' nomination is where the line was drawn simply to begin the rebuilding of the republican party in 2006. If a side effect is to take Bush to the woodshed so much the better.

Power in DC is done by building a great big tent while out of power, then opening the flaps when in power. The fact that republicans no longer stand for anything identifiable is no surprise. The 2006 election is the beginning of the process to re-identify themselves.

RealGun
October 13, 2005, 11:55 AM
The fact that republicans no longer stand for anything identifiable is no surprise.

That's an opinion, not fact.

TexasRifleman
October 13, 2005, 12:03 PM
Actually, Buckley is the personification of "neocon", those that talk a conservative game but, in fact, promote collectivism, intrusive government, the U.N., world government, etc.

Maybe you need to read more from Buckley and company. Most of the issues of National Review for the last several months have had some article or another bashing Kofi Annan and the UN for one thing or another.

I think you'll have a very hard time making the case that WFB is a neocon.

wingnutx
October 13, 2005, 01:34 PM
Actually, Buckley is the personification of "neocon", those that talk a conservative game but, in fact, promote collectivism, intrusive government, the U.N., world government, etc.

His magazine National Review has an editorial position against the war on drugs, against gun control, and against the UN in general. I think you may be mistaken.

longeyes
October 13, 2005, 04:21 PM
Take your pick: Emperor (Neo-Con) or Socialist Party (Neo-Comm).

Then there are the rest of us.

We are in the throes of massive political change. All bets are off. I don't believe that Hillary, if elected, can govern America. But I don't know who can any more.

Scottmkiv
October 13, 2005, 05:27 PM
That's an opinion, not fact.

Then would you care to give a definition of Republican, that all elected Republicans adhere to? Even loosely?

xd9fan
October 14, 2005, 03:10 AM
if there was real leadership this thread would not exist.

RealGun
October 14, 2005, 07:50 AM
Then would you care to give a definition of Republican, that all elected Republicans adhere to? Even loosely?

They chose not to be Democrats for various reasons. Look at the platforms. There is no ancient tribal mantra to which they are accountable. Parties evolve with the times. Those who think some founding principles have been betrayed are trying to make rules where there is no game. Look at the current Congress, what they support, and recent administrations and you will define the party. If you want to find what you might call true conservatives, look to a wing or individuals within the party. If parties on the whole were too radical, away from the center, they wouldn't win elections.

I will bet you that in more recent years a huge number of people are Republicans, simply because the abortion rights issue is bipolar, and each of the two major parties has staked its claim to one side or the other. That has zero to do with what Democrat and Republican used to mean (or should). Granted, it does not necessarily mean that party affiliation indicates how one feels about abortion, but it would be the basis of a good guess.

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