Monday, October 24, 2005

Downfall of the Christian Lip-Service Coalition

You know, I do have friends who are conservative.... Family members, even.


Don't cry, libs -- I get out of dinner conversations with my soul and integrity intact. But I've gotta say, the Miers thing really has the crunchy people all kinds of turned up. I mean, religious conservatives I've talked to are almost giving Bush the Clinton treatment. Almost. I haven't heard any screaming innuendos about Laura Bush and dildos on the White House Christmas tree just yet -- just like in their favorite Hillary Clinton fable -- but it's early.

I'm also waiting for them to train their dogs to bark ferociously at the mention of W's name, just like they trained the pups to do with Bubba.

I guess this is what happens when, after being a true believer for five years, you wake up one day and finally realize that all you ever were was just another vote for an economic agenda and all the talk of loving God, kicking gays and saving unborn babies were just red meat electoral devices to tickle your ears and exploit you, nothing more.

If I were that dupable, I'd be pretty angry, too. But would I have the right to be so angry for being so easily dupable?

It's a valid question.

Dick Polman, our local Inquirer's sterling national political correspondent, details the cleavages in the Republican party in today's paper

[I]t's getting very personal. Consider the insult directed at Bush the other day by conservative commentator Jonathan V. Last. After learning that high-court nominee Miers had stated in 1989 that she couldn't recall "the last time I read a whole book," Last remarked: "Those who voted for George W. Bush were promised a mind like [Antonin] Scalia's for the Supreme Court. Instead, they've been given a mind like George W. Bush's."

Mark Rozell, a political analyst at George Mason University who tracks the conservative movement, said: "There is so much bitter frustration right now. Conservatives were out of power for so long, and once they got into power, their expectations were so high. But those expectations are not being met.

"So they're firing not just at Bush, but at each other. The conservative movement has always been, in a sense, a dysfunctional family. They get along well when times are good, but when times are bad, you start to see all these fights between purists and pragmatists."

H.L. Mencken, the famed political commentator of yesteryear, remarked during the New Deal that the Democratic Party comprised "gangs of natural enemies in a precarious state of symbiosis." That's also a fair description of the GOP during the Bush era. The factions that muted their differences when Bush was riding high - small-government conservatives, religious conservatives, war-hawk "neocons," big-business conservatives - now appear to be forming a circular firing squad, and hunting for betrayers of the movement. Similar actions will occur during the next few years, as conservatives seek a presidential candidate who can restore purity and rescue the movement from Bush's alleged transgressions.

For instance, the religious conservatives, who care about values, are now openly attacking the business conservatives, who care about money. Tony Perkins, who runs the Family Research Council, launched an assault the other day on Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former corporate lobbyist in Washington, because Barbour is bringing new casinos to his state. Meanwhile, Gary Bauer, another religious-conservative leader, is attacking Grover Norquist, a prominent tax-cut activist, for his decision last week to share his economic conservatism with an audience of gay Republicans.

My God, as if it wasn't clear that these people were all one big repressed, self-immolating mess before....

Yo progs, there is hope!



Blogger Todd said...

It's been 160 years since we've had major party political upheaval. If the corporate world weren't so afraid of the lack of clarity, one or both parties might've folded their tent already.

I can't decide which has been more juicy to watch: the Miers nomination, the Katrina fiasco, or the Rove/Cheney betrayal/treason. More fun is sure to come.

24/10/05 18:54  
Blogger Todd said...

Jeff, you've lost me on the election bit. I never ran for public office in my life. So if I was supposed to win an election, it's news to me.

Don't come crying to me about the Dems, my friend. I've never voted party lines, and in over two decades of presidential voting, I've only voted for a major party candidate once; never a winner, not even Bill Clinton.

I've long said the D's are too conservative for my political tastes, and though I've supported the occasional Republicans when they've been good people, my distaste for the two-party system is a big aspect of what drives my fandom in politics.

Nice try, bud, but I'm still having a lot of fun watching the R's self-destruct: a good counterpoint to the post-68 Dems.

25/10/05 10:00  

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