Extremists and buffoons

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Bad Government Republicans, Commentary, Election 2008, Had Enough Yet?, HD-20, HD-52, Right Wing Lies, Uncategorized at 3:01 pm by wcnews

This is a great analysis of the state of conservatives, and what yesterday’s bailout vote may mean for it’s future, The Coming Conservative Crack-up. The writer, Paul Waldman, shows how the far-right - in particular the Republicans Study Committee (RSC), of which our own John Carter is a member - is becoming less and less relevant.

The members of this group (which has more than its share of extremists and buffoons) offered as the cure to our current woes the removal of regulations on businesses and a suspension of the capital-gains tax, as though they were the congressional equivalent of those Japanese soldiers hunkered down on remote islands, unaware that the war had ended years before and that their side lost.

Not that anyone much cares what the Republican Study Committee thinks. But its desperate attempt to head off government intervention into the smoothly humming operation of the free market, comical though it might be, tells us something about what our politics will look like after this election. The conservative movement that has dominated American politics for the last three decades is sputtering toward the end of its relevance. Its various factions, so willing in the past to put their differences aside in service of the goal of obtaining and holding power, are heading for a civil war.

Waldman goes on to describe how some in the conservative movement are hoping for a “crushing loss” this election cycle like in 1964 that would then bring on a “dramatic rebirth”. Then he shows how GOP presidential nominee John McCain used the Vice Presidential nomination of Sarah Palin to shore up the third pillar (social conservatives) of conservatism - the other two being national security and business conservatives - in an attempt to once again bring them together to elect a Republican president. Putting the social conservatives at the top of the list may just bring about that crushing loss.

Bumping abortion and other social issues to the top of the Republican agenda isn’t how things are supposed to work — those issues are supposed to be the opiate for the Republican masses, doled out generously at campaign time with the understanding that they’ll have little importance once power is obtained.

With a big loss in November the foundation that those pillars stand on will be destroyed.

If McCain loses the election, each of the three main conservative factions will have a case to make about the others’ failure. The war the neocon dreamers cooked up turned out to be a disaster, one in which virtually every Republican was implicated. Future Democrats will only need to say, “Oh yeah? Well you thought the Iraq War was a good idea!” in order to put Republicans on their heels. The Palin pick will no doubt be seen as one of the worst in memory, more embarrassing than even Quayle, offering a rebuke to every social conservative who embraced her with such lip-quivering joy. And the economic disaster that came right before the 2008 election convinced nearly the entire country that deregulation failed, the free market can’t be left to its own devices, and government must be the guarantor of economic security.

In other words, all the pillars that have held up conservatism for so long are crumbling. When the dust settles, it will be difficult to know just what it means to be a conservative. Is a conservative who doesn’t proclaim the perfection of the free market and the evil of government still a conservative? What about a conservative who thinks his comrades ought to quit yapping about gay marriage and get into the 21st century? What about a conservative who wants to accede to the public’s desire for a less bellicose foreign policy?

One of the right’s greatest strengths in the last few decades was that they knew precisely what the answers to these questions were (no, no, and no, in case you’re wondering). But if they go down to defeat five weeks from now, they won’t be so sure. And nothing is less appealing to the public than a political movement that doesn’t know what it believes.

The reason this article is so important is because what it means for Texas in 2010. EOW has long contended that the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary will be a blood bath. And, with Texas usually being two years behind national trends, in 2010 those same three pillars above will more than likely be put to the test all up and down ballots across the state in GOP primary. It will also leave some opportunities for party-switching for the more sensible Republicans.

But here in Texas we have our own group like the RSC, it’s called the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI). If you look at the Board and Staff, it’s easy too notice some of the most extreme conservatives in the Texas Legislature, including state Rep. Dan Gattis (HD-20) from Williamson County. It’s also likely that if the Diana Maldonado’s very conservative, Gattis connected, GOP counterpart is elected, he will fit in quite nicely with this crowd. To see what they’re all about, all one has to do is check out their upcoming event, Election Integrity Luncheon.

Please join TCCRI for the first of many issue-specific policy luncheons that will feature in-depth discussion of the most important issues facing the 81st Texas Legislature. Special guest Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State, will serve as keynote speaker. Secretary Rokita will address the Indiana photo identification law that was ultimately ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Other speakers include State Senator Craig Estes and State Representatives Phil King and Betty Brown

That’s right, with all the real problems we have going on right now, our state’s group of extremists and buffoons want to concentrate on the a problem they invented, a wedge issue - the sham of Voter ID. It’s a solution in search of a problem.

It’s possible losing the majority in the Texas House would be enough for the Texas GOP to take stock of it’s party and change direction. Don’t bet on it though. Instead they can wait two more years for a crushing loss and start planning their rebirth.

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