McCain, Republicans, and the Movement DeLay criminalized

Originally posted 2008-05-23 13:31:25 -0500; bumped by GH. The best part? This phrase: "...how little life is left in the movement that Goldwater began, Nixon brought into power, Ronald Reagan gave mass appeal, Newt Gingrich radicalized, Tom DeLay criminalized, and Bush allowed to break into pieces."

George Packer in this week's The New Yorker article The Fall of Conservatism details much, much more than what he perceives as the demise of the Republican control.

As one inkling of proof of the descending chaos, Packer writes "Among Republicans, there is no energy, no fresh thinking, no ability to capture the concerns and feelings of millions of people. In the past two months, Democratic targets of polarization attacks have won three special congressional elections, in solidly Republican districts in Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi."

Whether or not you buy into Packer's premise that the Republicans are almost bankrupt and powerless, his analysis bears much to chew on as we head into the Presidental election season:


Buchanan gave me a copy of a seven-page confidential memorandum—“A little raw for today,” he warned—that he had written for Nixon in 1971, under the heading “Dividing the Democrats.” Drawn up with an acute understanding of the fragilities and fault lines in “the Old Roosevelt Coalition,” it recommended that the White House “exacerbate the ideological division” between the Old and New Left by praising Democrats who supported any of Nixon’s policies; highlight “the elitism and quasi-anti-Americanism of the National Democratic Party”; nominate for the Supreme Court a Southern strict constructionist who would divide Democrats regionally; use abortion and parochial-school aid to deepen the split between Catholics and social liberals; elicit white working-class support with tax relief and denunciations of welfare. Finally, the memo recommended exploiting racial tensions among Democrats. “Bumper stickers calling for black Presidential and especially Vice-Presidential candidates should be spread out in the ghettoes of the country,” Buchanan wrote. “We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.” Such gambits, he added, could “cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half.”

Whether or not you sense a scarey premonition in that blast from the past, you gotta love this sentence: "The fact that the least conservative, least divisive Republican in the 2008 race is the last one standing—despite being despised by significant voices on the right—shows how little life is left in the movement that Goldwater began, Nixon brought into power, Ronald Reagan gave mass appeal, Newt Gingrich radicalized, Tom DeLay criminalized, and Bush allowed to break into pieces."

According to Packer, even Pat Buchanan, "paraphrasing the social critic Eric Hoffer," gets that the Republicans are the party of crony corruption:

'Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.'"

If you have the time, the entire article is well worth the read.

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indeed. Who could forget the nepotism at the CPA; McConnell's wife as Sect'y of Labor; and the soon-to-be-permanent employees burrowing in. ("Burrowing in" or "Ramspecking" is the process of converting appointees and/or staffers into permanent federal service.)

The incoming administration will have a very ugly batch of personnel issues from "day one", starting @ DOJ.

you've got a potentially verbally lethal piece -- be it long or short -- just on that concept of burrowing in, rooting out and burning deadwood/driftwood as a result of the Bush Administration and GOP's rampant cronyism contagion.

You've got the dry, biting wit to pull it off nicely.

Just sayin'.

I fear that McCain's running mate, who I predict will be Mitt Romney, will be our next President. The Republican party has dedicated decades to appealing to the lowest common denominator of mean-spirited pettiness.

After viewing the line up of VP picks today, I tend to agree with you about Romney. It is not even a question of who would be best. The question is "Who is the least crazy?" But before any on the Democratic side of the aisle start feeling all warm and cozy jammies in their incipient domination, remember that Everything That Comes Together Sooner Or Later Falls Apart.

We are at as much risk as a nation from extremists on the Left as we have been from extremists on the Right. The adrenaline and emotions released by Movement politics are the death of Reason, regardless of the ideology. It all comes down to a bunch of self-interested thugs leading a horde of slab-footed peasants brandishing burning staves into the villages to rape and pillage with impunity. All in the name of an ideology. Which, by the principle of enantiodromia, will turn into its opposite given enough time.

but I am surprised he left out the media's role. I don't think much of any of this would have been possible were it not for a complacent and sometimes willing press. In fact, I think the media is leading us down the same path again and what looked to be impossible a year ago could very well happen in November. The media is about as out of touch as the ruling class in D.C.