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The Conservative Crack-Up
June 1, 2007 3:04 AM   Subscribe

In 2005 Howard Fineman of Newsweek proclaimed the coming conservative crackup to be at hand. In response, Phyllis Schlafly gazed into her crystal ball and saw the Harriet Miers nomination as the springboard to a revitalized conservative movement. Quoting Mark Twain she assured the conservative movement that "the report of its death is greatly exaggerated." Here in the Spring of 2007 the conservative crystal balls are proving Fineman was right. The New Yorker quotes Newt Gingrich as saying President Bush has presided over a Republican Party in “collapse”. Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan's speechwriter, opines in the Wall Street Journal that ""President Bush has torn the conservative coalition asunder." R. Emmett Tyrell, who predicted in 1992 that conservatives would be "laid low by too little imagination" in the face of "infantile liberal folly" never envisaged the crack-up would come instead from a volley of self-inflicted wounds.
posted by three blind mice (81 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
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.

So now, what, the Sith Lords win in Episode VII? And they are Democrats?

Good analysis, though. I love people getting called on their predictions. Although I think the real reason, the underlying structure of their problems, is a set of inherent contradictions working themselves out.
posted by imperium at 3:13 AM on June 1, 2007


I wonder if fear of domestic pushback is all that's keeping 'em from pulling a Gleiwitz incident to start a war against Iran?
posted by pax digita at 3:41 AM on June 1, 2007


Newt's just posturing to ride-in at the last moment, run for President, and rescue the right.

Considering the strength (or lack thereof) of the current crop of Republican contenders, and conservative voter's overall lack of enthusiasm for any of them, it's quite possible for Newt to do an end-run around the mess (and expense) of the primaries and mount either a "draft Newt" movement or an independent challenge...and succeed.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:03 AM on June 1, 2007


Wow. Howard Fineman has never actually seen Star Wars, has he?

That said, evil contains the seeds of its own destruction.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:03 AM on June 1, 2007


Say what you like about Thompson, but is politics now for ugly showbusiness people?

Oh, and Newt?! Ha ha!
posted by imperium at 4:19 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whenever Republicans are in trouble Democrats give them exactly what they need. This time it's testing the presidential waters with the first woman/black candidate. It'll be Fred Thompson vs. Hillary and she'll be destroyed. Conservatives will have 4 more years to destroy life on our little green ball.

Argh.
posted by null terminated at 4:19 AM on June 1, 2007


Whenever Republicans are in trouble Democrats give them exactly what they need. This time it's testing the presidential waters with the first woman/black candidate.

U-huh. Because chauvinistic cynicism is exactly what the democrats need.
posted by Jimbob at 4:39 AM on June 1, 2007


I'm really hoping we replace those nasty conservative statists with wonderful liberal statists in 2008.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:51 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I dunno, analysis pieces like Fineman's never seem to me to have much relevance to longer-term political trends. And he was hardly ahead of the pack on this one; the split between neocons and some of the Republican base has been obvious since long before Katrina (see Pat Buchanan before the Iraq invasion), the split between ideologues and business Republicans on immigration (which Fineman doesn't mention) has equally obvious for a long time.

One relatively solid Republican victory and the press'll be breathlessly writing the opposite headlines: "The Right Renewed" and "The Republican Resurgence: How Long Will It Last?" That's how this kind of trend journalism works.
posted by mediareport at 4:58 AM on June 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


No no, the conservatives are the Empire... and that's a good thing.
posted by Jahaza at 5:19 AM on June 1, 2007


If Dumbya causes the collapse of the Republican party, can we say they were hoist with their own retard?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:36 AM on June 1, 2007 [11 favorites]


The beginning of my own sense of separation from the Bush administration came in January 2005.... What I came in time to believe is that the great shortcoming of this White House, the great thing it is missing, is simple wisdom. Just wisdom--a sense that they did not invent history, that this moment is not all there is, that man has lived a long time and there are things that are true of him, that maturity is not the same thing as cowardice, that personal loyalty is not a good enough reason to put anyone in charge of anything, that the way it works in politics is a friend becomes a loyalist becomes a hack, and actually at this point in history we don't need hacks.

It took her until 2005 to realise this?

The sights of the rats deserting the sinking ship doesn't exactly stir my sympathies. Particularly as the issue she's really furious about is immigration.
posted by jokeefe at 5:39 AM on June 1, 2007


Jimbob: I'd love to see any Dem win. I just doubt their electability in a general election (unfortunately).
posted by null terminated at 5:41 AM on June 1, 2007


Wait, wait, so these people are predicting that a particular political movement won't be dominant forever... and people are impressed by this?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:44 AM on June 1, 2007


null terminated, you have to consider not just the unelectability of the likely Democratic ticket but also the unelectability of the Republicans. It is not a given that in a Clinton/Thompson race Thompson will stomp her; like Giuliani Thompson is not the person he appears to be on TV and there will be a lot of time for that to come out between now and the election. Combine that with the willingness of fed up people to hold their noses and vote for any Democrat, combined with the increasing mood of the Right's base to sit the election out, and it's anything but a sure thing.
posted by localroger at 5:48 AM on June 1, 2007


On Thompson - Fred's got problems because his entire persona is an "act". His "big business lobbying" ties, his lack of support from the fundamentalist, his status-quo-to-neocon opinions on the war, and some forthcoming things regarding his support for "Scooter" will do him in. The man chastises Michael Moore for taking sick people to Cuba whilst chewing on a Cuban cigar!

The cohesiveness of the right, a web of loosely connected special interests has broken down hard, primarily amongst the independents. Events like the budget, the war, and Terri Schiavo made them chose which side they are not. Rove's electoral scheming to use wedge issues to pry ~1-5% slivers of the vote away was genius, except for the fact that destroying the middle means no more swing voters. And as the negativity heaps up on the President, and he continues to get crazy and say mind-numbing things, it's just going to get worse.

Al Gore may say don't impeach the President - I say the Democrats need to play the vulnerable majority and put it on the Republicans - we'd have open government, but the Republicans block us. The only way the troops are coming home is if the Republicans stand up. The only way this administration will be held accountable for their misdeeds, including via impeachment, is if the Republicans call for it.

Last thing - every one of the rights "wedge issues" have now become a double sided wedge - they need to be exploited at every opportunity.
posted by rzklkng at 5:57 AM on June 1, 2007


The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors...
posted by rtha at 6:01 AM on June 1, 2007


It's an ugly situation now for both parties. It's time to try to get new blood into the government. Can another part succeed? I hope so.

The Republicans don't even resemble what they did in the past. The current administration has grown government, restricted states rights and diminished our stature internationally.

Unfortunately, the democrats have played right into their game. They offer little or no resistance and it's a shame.

One hopes that in 2008 a democrat wins the presidency. It's time for the Bush/Clinton eras to end. Let's get someone new in there.
posted by zymurgy at 6:12 AM on June 1, 2007


Boy, I really don't get the hype about Thompson. He sounds like a bad parody of a southern senator and doesn't seem to have anything interesting to say at all. I realize that I've been horribly wrong before but I can't see him getting any long term traction. But republicans seem to love their fake cowboys and fake southerners so who knows.
posted by octothorpe at 6:39 AM on June 1, 2007


It's obviously the Dem's turn now so what's new, it's theirs to lose. Can they find a way? You bet they can and sorry, but null terminated has it right about water testing or novel experimentation - it will be a happy day in neo-con land should Hillary, especially, win the nomination.

All the Dem's need to do at this point is think average. Run a candidate and campaign that offer middle class, middle age, parent-types 4 years of peace, prosperity and general non-weirdness and they're in. [yes I know, "weird" is flamebait, apologies - it's a short way of saying to back away from emphasizing a list of fringe issues, to promise not to engage in lunatic pre-emptive wars, and to not warp their language processing centers on a daily basis with statements like "I'm the decider"]
posted by scheptech at 6:41 AM on June 1, 2007


Conservatism can never fail; it can only be failed.

null terminated-- It's a fair point that there's anti-woman and anti-Obama feeling in the electorate... but especially for Obama, those people are localized in states that vote against truth, reality, and justice anyway. I think Hillary would have a harder time, in terms of overcoming prejudice, than Obama.

rzklkng-- the fact that Thompson's persona is baseless and fake certainly does not mean that it will do him in. See Bush, George W.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:44 AM on June 1, 2007


It's obviously the Dem's turn now so what's new, it's theirs to lose.

Yeah, but in contrast to an organised conservative movement which was ready to take power after the malaise of the Carter presidency, the Democrats have NOTHING. No ideas, no candidates, nothing that even resembles an organised political agenda. In the wake of the conservative crack-up, all America has to fill the gap is the staggeringly weak descendant of a damaged dynasty and a bunch of spineless, whiney talking heads.

As much as I despise the Republicans, I am hard-pressed to look forward to the redux of Carter that the Democratic victory will likely deliver.
posted by three blind mice at 6:53 AM on June 1, 2007


ZenMasterThis, a lot of people thought there was no difference between the two major parties back in 2000, so they threw their votes to Nader. So, by my count, they made TWO serious errors - a Gore presidency, while it wouldn't have been radical, certainly would have been radically different than a Bush presidency, and secondly, Nader wouldn't make a very good President.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 6:57 AM on June 1, 2007


Jimbob: I'd love to see any Dem win. I just doubt their electability in a general election (unfortunately).

That must be why Edwards and Obama both beat all of the republican contenders in nation-wide polling.

The idea that a republican will win in '08 is absurd. Unless we nominate Hillary.
posted by delmoi at 7:03 AM on June 1, 2007


three blind mice, that's like the criticism that the Dems haven't been able to win because they can't offer an alternative to the Republican agenda. It seems to me, though, that in the hands of a skilled political campaigner, the issue becomes - "Look, the Republicans, due to both incompetence (Katrina, Iraq, 9.11 intelligence warnings) and corruption (Abramoff, US attorneys firings, no-bid contracts), have demonstrated that they are absolutely incapable of running the country in a healthy, long-view manner." They don't necessarily NEED to present an alternative - although, of course, I agree that some vision would be better. But the point is that we're in a plane that's in a nose-dive - we NEED to get rid of the pilot who's responsible for putting us in this position, we don't need to shoe-gaze and debate strategies as catastrophe looms ever closer. Incompetence and corruption are perfectly vaild issues, it seems to me.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 7:04 AM on June 1, 2007


In 2005 Howard Fineman of Newsweek proclaimed the coming conservative crackup to be at hand. . . . Here in the Spring of 2007 the conservative crystal balls are proving Fineman was right.

and not a moment too soon!
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 7:11 AM on June 1, 2007


Hate for Hillary will temporarily heal the crack-up enough for a Republican to get elected, unfortunately.
posted by gubo at 7:14 AM on June 1, 2007


rzklkng-

I'm not disagreeing with your points, but you're missing the reason for Fred Thompson's appeal and the reason why should he be the nominee (I think ultimately if he runs, he will), he'll obliterate Hillary or Obama in the election.

The reason is because the 2008 election won't be as polarizing as 2000 and 2004. The importance of the Crazy Christians has been overblown and their power is in decline as the more moderate Republicans have realized that they are an albatross and are destroying the party (Terry Schiavo, anyone?). The 2008 election is going to be about who is 'for real' - who is smart, who appeals to the broad-base of America and who makes you feel comfortable. This won't be an election of ideas, necessarily, but an election of who will make the better LEADER as this is what has been missing for years.

Thompson gives off the aura of being 'for real'. He's reasonably intelligent, he's straight talking, he comes across as a leader. Say what you will about Reagan, he was a leader and people believed in him and the values he stood for. This election is going to look for true leadership, integrity and smarts. We're not talking John Kerry/Al Gore smarts, but we're talking leadership smarts that a large swath of America can get behind.

Nobody on the Republican list currrently can do that - they're all too devisive for one reason or another. Thompson can credibly straddle the gap in ways that Guiliani and McCain cannot and win the Republican base. In a national election I think he's extremely electible.

So yes, as someone else said, it *is* cynical to say that Hillary and/or Obama would get tromped by Thompson. There's no way in hell that "America" (that wide swath between the coasts) will vote for a man with the name of "Obama" or a woman of Hillary's standing. Period. End of sentence. The Democrat's best bet is for Gore to make a last minute run, and I still think he'll be trumped by someone like Thompson.
posted by tgrundke at 7:17 AM on June 1, 2007


Mock on, happy Lefties! We are down but hardly out...we will recoup and take charge once again! Why? Because Democrats don't know what the hell they want or are doing and the American public has become conservative for some time now...just get us the right guy and we will chase you folks back to Moscow.
posted by Postroad at 7:20 AM on June 1, 2007


I agree that some vision would be better. But the point is that we're in a plane that's in a nose-dive - we NEED to get rid of the pilot who's responsible for putting us in this position, we don't need to shoe-gaze and debate strategies as catastrophe looms ever closer. Incompetence and corruption are perfectly vaild issues, it seems to me.

It does not solve the problem if the Democratic party can't fly either.

Mock on, happy Lefties! We are down but hardly out...we will recoup and take charge once again!

Yeah, Postroad, that's my fear, but I'm not one of those Lefties. I'm one of those moderate conservatives who is so utterly disgusted with the Republican party I will probably never vote for them again. The party is rotten to its core and blaming Bush for the sins of the party ain't working for me. Gingrich, Noonan, Buckley and the rest of the conservative intellectual leadership sat idly by and did nothing, said nothing, and supported this Administration. I'm out baby.

I am actually willing to give the Democrats a serious chance to win me over for the long term. If they would only try. I held my nose (literally) and voted for Kerry in the last election, but the stink coming from the present cast of candidates will keep me away.
posted by three blind mice at 7:36 AM on June 1, 2007


Phyllis [shit eating bar]Schlafly

There, fixed that for you.
Back to Moscow? Haha! Postroad made a funny!
Lefties=Soviet communists! ROTFL!! How original!
posted by nofundy at 7:40 AM on June 1, 2007


Politics, especially for the average man-in-the-street, is a cult of personality. That's why so many people think Shrubya is a "religious" man, even though his actions prove otherwise. The Republicans have been masterful at creating and maintaining these illusions - witness conservative deification of "The Gipper".

Some candidates actually have plans and ideas ( I think Edwards stands head and shoulders above the rest of the Dems), but without a marketable personality meme, good luck getting the public to pay any attention. It's easier to be cocksure and deluded than it is to actually grapple with problems and issues.

OTOH, if there is any time when an issues-oriented candidate has a chance, it's now. I am cautiously optimistic for the Dems.


What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:57 AM on June 1, 2007


Mock on, happy Lefties! We are down but hardly out...we will recoup and take charge once again! Why? Because Democrats don't know what the hell they want or are doing and the American public has become conservative for some time now...just get us the right guy and we will chase you folks back to Moscow.

Postroad, you might want to change your password. I think tadellin's got your old one.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:00 AM on June 1, 2007


Postroad: "... just get us the right guy and we will chase you folks back to Moscow."

Psst, Postroad. Umm, Moscow's not Communist anymore. You really should pay more attention.
posted by octothorpe at 8:05 AM on June 1, 2007


And the conservatives are ripping-pissed that the White House refers to Mary Cheney and Heather Poe as both 'parents' of Mary's new baby, Samuel.
posted by ericb at 8:06 AM on June 1, 2007


The Republicans want to lose this one. They need a Democrat to be in office when the chickens come home to roost, to be associated in the public mind with the pain of the consequences of their incompetence, irresponsiblity and neglect. They need a Democratic president during the collapse of the Iraq adventure, during the period when we're forced to recognize the real rate of inflation and unemployment, the flight of jobs and industry, the staggering debt, the initial costs of trying to retool to mitigate global warming, the shrinking dollar, the insane costs of the war in every kind of coin there is. They need someone to be responsible now and take the hit for everything. They need him/her to be associated with the pain so that they can come along in 2012 offering a bright new day of sunny optimism. They want a Jimmy Carter. Or they would if they had any brains, and a few do.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:09 AM on June 1, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'm more interested in (and heartened by) by a growing hope that the Republicans' ability to steal the election is collapsing: H.R. 811 would require a paper trail on electronic voting machines (and many states have similar legislation in process), and Florida's Governor Crist has moved to restore felons' right to vote.
posted by nicwolff at 8:31 AM on June 1, 2007


Mock on, happy Lefties! We are down but hardly out...we will recoup and take charge once again! Why? Because Democrats don't know what the hell they want or are doing and the American public has become conservative for some time now

A Gallup poll from April indicates that:

* 49% of Americans think the government should redistribute wealth via "heavy" taxes on "the rich" (47% disagree)
* 66% think that the rich contribute "too little" in federal taxes
* 66% also think that wealth should be distributed "more evenly"

Homophobia is evaporating, and 58% are dissatisfied with the amount of effort the government is putting into environmental issues. 57% think abortion should be legal in "all or most cases", and as for a national health service...
posted by stammer at 8:43 AM on June 1, 2007 [6 favorites]


Bush was never Conservative, and neither are most of the people whining now--they're the GOP, and they are perfect examples of it---since Reagan, they've been about legislating Christianity, growing the government while trashing it, rewarding cronies and friends and not the rest of us, making the rich richer thru no-bid contracts and deals and tax cuts, criminal acts of all sorts, and running up massive deficits. They are none of them conservative.

And in terms of conservatives, there are some running and these people are not supporting them at all--they all know that their ideas are rejected by most Americans.
posted by amberglow at 8:47 AM on June 1, 2007


This whole Radical crowd (and that's what they are) has gotten what they paid for. And they're all still full of shit--this whining now is simply to salvage at least some power by disassociating from Bush's bloody failures.
posted by amberglow at 8:49 AM on June 1, 2007


Speaking of rats leaving a sinking ship, White House Counselor/Insufferable Prick Dan Bartlett is leaving politics. Since Mr. Bartlett is an ardent supporter of the War in Iraq and, at 36, is under the recruitment age, I'm sure he will be enlisting.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:52 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I want to say at this point that the Dems could run anyone to the right of Kucinich and they'll coast to victory, but in 1995 everyone thought Clinton was toast in '96, and we know how that turned out.

2004 was the last hurrah for the GOP-Conservative Christian marriage. They got their 4M Christians to the polls by putting gay marriage bans on state ballots. But 2008? Consider:

-- After 27 years with some modicum of power in government, the GOP has never been able to deliver any ban on abortion other than a few parental notification laws (mostly at the state level) and the partial-birth ban. And for the True Believers in The Marriage, it's looking more and more like they've been had.

-- Katrina really was the Emperor Has No Clothes moment for the church, especially for Catholics. A lot of people finally saw first-hand The Marriage was hurting the poor. Some just rationalized it with their FEMA debit card stories and dirty bathroom urban legends, but more still got angry.

-- And, of course, Iraq. And I think a lot of them are just frozen and fatigued by the quandaries. Leaving will make it worse. Staying will make it worse. Their kids e-mail home about the daily IEDs and shootings. But we have to stay. But staying is just putting their kids in the line of fire between the factions.

But Christians aren't going to run to the Dems en masse. If Obama wins the nom, they may, since he speaks their language. But abortion remains the elephant in the room. And until Gen X and Gen Y start voting more heavily, it's going to remain so.

So, you'll see Christians, absent some INCREDIBLE HORRIBLE DEPRAVITY THAT MUST BE CONSTITUTIONALLY BANNED that is so repellent that the GOP could actually use it to muster some interest, stay home in 2008. There's some talk that as many as 25% of those who voted in '04 may not vote. I think it will be closer to 10%, but even then, we're talking hundreds of thousands of voters out of the mix and not voting for the GOP nominee. And that assumes you don't have Obama's preacher tones and Biblical passages rousing a few of them to go donkey.

Fred Thompson, obviously, is the wild card in this race. They voted for Reagan knowing full well he was a Deist and divorced, so Thompson's box of contradictions and hypocrisies and Montecristos may not be a factor... if he can get traction and not come across like another stuffed shirt like Dubya. But Brownback has little support, and while Huckabee is the ideal candidate for the new generation of emergent evangelicals and Rick Warren types, the older core believers think he sounds like... a Democrat. And they're not about to vote for Giuliani or McCain because they both scare them; Romney is a Mormon, and everyone else suffers from an identity crisis or is Ron Paul.

Even then, you'll still see conservative Christians sit out this election and leaving The Marriage altogether, turning away from Falwell and back to Schaeffer. And honestly, the GOP doesn't know if it wants to save The Marriage -- and lose power in 2008 -- or end The Marriage -- and lose power in 2008. And that's partially why you have 12 candidates on their side. The winner has a shot at dictating the future of the GOP. The Marriage is what finally gave the GOP enough core support to give them all three branches of government. Now, having frittered away their power, they have to figure out how to get it back -- or if they're about to get their 40 years in the wilderness just like the one liberals are just coming out of.
posted by dw at 8:53 AM on June 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Why do the conservatives have to blame Bush for everything?
posted by spiderwire at 9:07 AM on June 1, 2007


The winner will be a conservative. Sorry to tell you all this.

Have a nice day.
posted by tadellin at 9:07 AM on June 1, 2007


i think there's a good chance that both parties may split ... although it's more likely to happen to the republicans ... it seems as though the winner of both parties' nominations will be known months before we usually know ... or that one or both parties may go to their conventions not knowing who will win

add to that the unpredictability of world affairs and most americans' digust with both parties and i think 2008 may be a watershed election, either giving us a new leader who will set the tone for many years ... or more likely, showing us that our system is hopelessly broken and must be changed
posted by pyramid termite at 9:15 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bah the Peggy Noonan article is excellent at doing what people want to hear the most : that somebody else faulted them. Yeah right.

YOU VOTED HIM , TWICE. Now that' something nobody wants to hear, expecially (but not limiited to) the delusional republican audience so busy finding fault in liberals and vice versa, both not noticing the bipartisan agreement was to waste billions on a utterly useless war , while embracing policies of outsourcing and corporate welfare as if the alternative was necessarily an economic 9/11.

Meanwhile capitals went to China, bought production for dirt cheap, cashed trillions from US and Europe by selling elcheapo by containerfuls, but I guess a fraction of almost nothing was actually enjoyed by chinese workers. Yet hey it' so cool to buy that chinese junk at $0.5 ! It's good, my wage is also decreasing, it's almost becoming a need !
posted by elpapacito at 9:48 AM on June 1, 2007


The winner will be a conservative. Sorry to tell you all this.

You mean we'll actually have a real conservative like Obama in office as opposed to the radical plutocrats and Christists we've been dealing with for the past eight years? Hooray!
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:52 AM on June 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


the GOP has never been able to deliver any ban on abortion

The GOP is never going to ban abortion. They had a Republican president, Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and a Republican-majority Supreme Court. What else do they need? If they were going to do it, they would have done it already.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:55 AM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Conservatism has become something tribal - It is not about anything in particular anymore."

This is a quote from one of Andrew Sullivan's readers. It, to me, is dead on. People who run around using the term conservative to describe a pack of candidates who are authoratarian, big government, destroyers of privacy and choice quite clearly have no idea of what actual conservatism entails.

I have gone far past the point of being able to take people involved in the disgusting theocratic Republican spectacle as anything but idiots or evil sons a' bitches. I know this goes against the open-minded landscape of MF, but I cannot contain the disappointment and repulsion I feel for the whole scene.


PS This is coming from somebody who VOTED for Bush in '00 (I was eighteen, imagine getting AIDS your "first time").
posted by lattiboy at 10:37 AM on June 1, 2007


PS This is coming from somebody who VOTED for Bush in '00 (I was eighteen, imagine getting AIDS your "first time").
I voted Bush in '00 as I was just on the tail end of my 'personal growth moment', transitioning from a passionate conservative to something fuzzier. It was the first time I seriously considered a Democrat vote, but the concept of 'Compassionate Conservatism,' a fiscal responsibility married to a real push to help and support the less fortunate, was enough to give me pause. That, and the commitment to avoid costly and foolish nation building exercises.

And, as they say, we see how well that turned out. Bush was what I needed: the final confirmation that the ideological camp I was drifting away from had been smoke and mirrors from the beginning.
posted by verb at 10:43 AM on June 1, 2007



You mean we'll actually have a real conservative like Obama


I think Obama is the only real human being (with thoughts and a mind) running for president, but to call him a conservative of ANY stripe is painfully incorrect. He is a liberal, and that isn't something people should run away from or try to deflect. People on all sides underestimate the widespread liberalism that GW and friends have helped to foment.
posted by lattiboy at 10:46 AM on June 1, 2007


Bush was what I needed: the final confirmation that the ideological camp I was drifting away from had been smoke and mirrors from the beginning.

You know, that is the saddest thing to me. That "compassionate conservatism" (in principal!) is (I believe) really what this country wants, but it has been forever stained by the current regime.
posted by lattiboy at 10:53 AM on June 1, 2007


The GOP is never going to ban abortion.

Exactly. And the sad thing for the Religious Right is it's taken 27 years for them to realize they'd been used. They would have stood a better chance with a populist movement than with a political movement, but they paid their money and took their choice.

And, unfortunately for them, that choice has their fortunes sinking with the GOP's.
posted by dw at 11:27 AM on June 1, 2007


They would have stood a better chance with a populist movement than with a political movement, but they paid their money and took their choice.
The irony is that they have always fancied themselves a populist movement fighting against "the liberal political hegemony." After all, it took the politically-appointed Supreme Court 'legislating from the bench' to make abortion legal when the country really opposed it, right? Eh?

Carry this forward a few decades and the cultural consensus -- by a landslide -- is that abortion, while certainly not a happy-joy-joy event, should be legal and available for all women and only limited restrictions are acceptable. The tables have turned; the pro-choice movement was the populist one and the conservative christians are left holding the 'legislate against the will of the country' bag.
posted by verb at 11:40 AM on June 1, 2007


lattiboy : You know, that is the saddest thing to me. That "compassionate conservatism" (in principal!) is (I believe) really what this country wants, but it has been forever stained by the current regime.

Yeah, that ship has sailed, been torpedoed and sunk in the harbor. Anyone who tries to sell the "compassionate conservatism" thing is going to have a steep hill to climb.

"We are conservatives who want to show our compassion..."

"You mean like the last time this was trotted out and your compassion manifested as war, torture, spying on your own people, and leaving them to die in the wake of a national emergency? That kind of compassion?"

"... Uh no, the other kind..."

I look forward to someone using that as part of their platform.
posted by quin at 12:15 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


They would have stood a better chance with a populist movement than with a political movement, but they paid their money and took their choice.

But the reason they bought GOP is that the GOP was for sale.
posted by nofundy at 12:58 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thompson gives off the aura of being 'for real'. He's reasonably intelligent, he's straight talking, he comes across as a leader. Say what you will about Reagan, he was a leader and people believed in him and the values he stood for. This election is going to look for true leadership, integrity and smarts. We're not talking John Kerry/Al Gore smarts, but we're talking leadership smarts that a large swath of America can get behind.

I agree that Thompson seems much more electable. Then Guiliani, McCain, or Multiple Choice Mitt. (Mitt seems like the most electable of the three right now). I do think he'll have a fair chance against Hillary. And that's why I hope she's not the nominee.

There is a real chance that someone other then Hillary may win the democratic nomination, and I really don't get why you guys are so defeatist about her.

I read a lot of political blogs and in comparison you people are just so defeatist. "Oh we can't win", "oh Hillary will win the nomination and it will be more of the same bullshit". "Oh the country is more conservative," bla, bla, blah.

The fact is, almost 50% of the population identifies themselves as democrats. In '04 it was 30%. Even on basic issues people are much more Liberal now.

If you think that the democrats aren't articulating an alternative position, I'd urge you to look at the Edwards campaign. They've been consistently liberal for years, much more so then Obama.

I find Obama to be an annoying centrist, but the fact is he'd still be a lot better then Hillary (and polls are showing him to be more electable as well).

If you're unhappy with the though of a Hillary or Thompson presidency, I'd urge you to get involved now, while it actually matters.
posted by delmoi at 1:09 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush's Amazing Achievement
posted by homunculus at 1:45 PM on June 1, 2007


Peggy Noonan has had her tongue up Reagan's ass for so long now that she should be charged with necrophilia.
posted by troybob at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush's Amazing Achievement
Well, he's a uniter, not a divider.
posted by verb at 1:58 PM on June 1, 2007


Bill O’Reilly on Mitt Romney: “He’s got the jaw going on, the little gray thing in there. And I think that means a lot in America.”
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on June 1, 2007


The GOP is never going to ban abortion. [...] If they were going to do it, they would have done it already.

To put it another way, the GOP wants to ban abortion the way they want to catch Bin Laden. In other words, they don't, because politically it's worth more out there as a shadowy evil than reined in to the point where you'd actually have to start talking about facts and details you'd rather your base didn't consider.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:17 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Our "president" just called a majority of his base racist xenophobes on what is currently the hottest and most sensitive issue on the political horizon.

I'll go out on a limb: Edwards/Obama or Gore/Edwards or Gore/Obama, by 10-15, including Florida and Ohio and Colorado, the entire upper midwest, and all the usual blue states.

Romney/Thompson, Thompson/?, or Gingrich/Thompson, perhaps? None of them can win. There is nothing on the horizon short of a huge terrorist attack that could change the dynamics now in place, which is to say a republican death spiral. Postroad, kiss my ass and let's make it a wager.
posted by spitbull at 3:39 PM on June 1, 2007


Guys you don't get it you should get rid of the two : GOP and DEMS

GET RID OF THEM

you need at least two other powerfull parties
posted by zouhair at 3:50 PM on June 1, 2007


If you think that the democrats aren't articulating an alternative position, I'd urge you to look at the Edwards campaign. They've been consistently liberal for years, much more so then Obama.

TOTALLY. Edwards is the only one even close to being progressive or liberal. He's been way in front of both Hillary and Obama (partly because sitting Senators suck as candidates and he has more freedom), and he's shown real leadership on many issues already.

"'Conservative' is a magic word that applies to those who are in other conservatives' good graces. Until they aren't. At which point they are liberals."
posted by amberglow at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2007


"The winner will be a conservative. Sorry to tell you all this.

Have a nice day."


Snarky Response a: Wow, that new TrollBot 3000 system is sure prolific!

Snarky Response b: Thees word "conservative," I do not theenk eet means what you theenk eet means...

Seriously though, if all goes to hell in a handbasket, the winner *might* be a Republican, but short of maybe Ron Paul, I don't see any actual conservatives running on the GOP slate.
posted by stenseng at 4:10 PM on June 1, 2007


Brownback and Huckabee are conservatives, stenseng--i'd say they're the only real ones running.
posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on June 1, 2007


they're both social and economic conservatives.
posted by amberglow at 4:21 PM on June 1, 2007


Yeah, uh, except, not really.

They're big government authoritarians when it suits their desire to legislate morality at the federal level.

Huckabee in particular can hardly be described as a fiscal conservative - he supported a handful of tax increases and fairly large state government spending hikes in Arkansas.
posted by stenseng at 4:43 PM on June 1, 2007


Actually, they don't want big govt to do anything or add anything--they want to conserve the unequal things that exist now. They've been against roe v. wade from the start and never wanted it passed. But neither will proactively remove it--and neither can remove it.

Arkansas had like 49th out of 50 states in school spending and other stuff--they needed more money. I don't think providing a minimal level of govt services makes anyone a liberal. Not all tax increases are verboten to real conservatives--see military funding and all things that are always funded.

Neither is trying to eliminate the Education Dept. or all public assistance either--that doesn't make them non-conservative.
posted by amberglow at 4:51 PM on June 1, 2007


GET RID OF THEM

The coalition if interests will still exist if the Demopubs were broken up. We have a two party system at the constitutional level.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:03 PM on June 1, 2007


we need to dump the Electoral College and get proportional representation--then we could have more viable options. (I know it won't happen)
posted by amberglow at 9:01 PM on June 1, 2007


I'll go out on a limb: Edwards/Obama or Gore/Edwards or Gore/Obama, by 10-15, including Florida and Ohio and Colorado, the entire upper midwest, and all the usual blue states.

In Seattle, Gore's book signing sold out in three minutes. People are listening to him. He's on point, he's ethical. He's got a brain. And he WILL mobilize people all over the country to become active in making this country a better place.

If, or most likely when, Al Gore enters the race, he will obliterate all of the competition, first democrats, and then republican, including Fred Thompson. He is a superstar in an age when politicians need to be superstars to make a difference.

If for some reason, Al Gore doesn't run, which isn't likely, John Edwards will be the Democratic nominee. Similar to Gore, he is willing to take a stand. Wishy-Washy will not cut it this time, and those contenders that try to appeal to everyone will run afoul a newly energized Democratic party! The term "liberal" is no longer a dirty word!

Unfortunately,Gore/Edwards will never run together on the same ticket. Obama is likely to run as the VP for either of these two. I personally like his wife, however. She rocks!
posted by barrista at 10:16 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


stammer, regarding:
'57% think abortion should be legal in "all or most cases"'

--I'm not sure about the source material here, since the abcnews link says the article is no longer available. The only paragraph that's available there says:
"...public support for legal abortion is highly conditional: In some cases, such as to save the woman's life, it's overwhelming; but in others--notably, solely to terminate an unwanted pregnancy--most Americans oppose the procedure."

I believe the trend today in America is toward more restrictions on abortion.
posted by torticat at 10:55 PM on June 1, 2007


Barrista, why do you say Gore/Edwards is out as a combo? It would rock . . . I'm just curious.

I agree that Gore would own the job the moment he announced. or shortly thereafter. Even the few sensible republicans I know feel ashamed about what was done to Gore in 2000, and recognize the historical mistake that represented.
posted by spitbull at 9:33 AM on June 2, 2007


Gore is not running. Look at how the media treated him during the book stuff just now--and it was about them! He's not going to go thru that again, and doesn't have to.
posted by amberglow at 11:09 AM on June 2, 2007


What would be smart is for Edwards to lock him in as a Cabinet member now--EPA or something.
posted by amberglow at 11:10 AM on June 2, 2007


Al Gore has more important work to do than heading the absurd bureaucracy of the EPA. I do believe he will run, right after he wins a Nobel prize.

The press can kiss my ass too. 50 million American voters got ripped off when GW walked into the White House with the help of his daddy's and Big Dick Cheney's friends. And we're still mad about it. Another 10 million or so have since been utterly sickened by the Bush gang.

Payback is going to be a bitch. No one can resist delicious revenge.
posted by spitbull at 2:32 PM on June 2, 2007


The press can still make or break a candidate. They only have to recycle their 90s script for him (as they're doing for Hillary already).
posted by amberglow at 2:58 PM on June 2, 2007


Gore could make the EPA an actual working and powerful organization--no president would refuse him funding for stuff nor turn down his ideas.
posted by amberglow at 2:58 PM on June 2, 2007


That's really what i'd like to see now--each of the top 3 making some Cabinet choices.
posted by amberglow at 3:00 PM on June 2, 2007


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