The conservative crackup

We’re getting to the end of the conservative movement that really kicked into gear with the election of Ronald Reagan, and now we’re seeing the inevitable final stages, as the loons on the far right start reeking havoc on the Republican Party.

Future historians tracing the crackup of the Republican Party may well look to May 8, 2010, as an inflection point.

That was the day, as is now well known, that Sen. Robert Bennett, who took the conservative position 84 percent of the time over his career, was deemed not conservative enough by fellow Utah Republicans and booted out of the primary.

Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform — a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation — and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a “myth,” sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting “efforts to create a one world government.”

You can read the rest of the article for some of Glenn Beck’s greatest hits.

What’s left of the conservative movement and the Republican Party?

We have the Reagan worshipers who have become so dogmatic that they think tax cuts solve everything at every time in history, regardless of the circumstances. These folks seem to forget that George W. Bush enacted huge tax cuts that would be followed by the greatest economic collapse in 80 years. These folks also turn on former allies like Bruce Bartlett and David Frum who dare top open a debate on how conservatives might adapt to the changing circumstances of today’s economy.

Then we have the religious right, who’s leaders keep getting caught up in sex scandals. All these folks who preach morality can’t keep it in their own pants. Most of the public has tuned out these self-righteous fools at this point.

We also have moderate Republicans who would like to see the government spend less and who also tend to be social liberals. These reasonable folks abandoned the party and the conservative movement long ago.

And finally we have the Tea Party clowns. Many of these folks are angry as hell – some are angry at everybody, while others don’t know why they’re angry. As noted above, they can be a force at times, and they may be the GOP’s not-so-secret weapon in the fall as anti-incumbent fever hits new highs.

Or, they may just turn off everyone else with their peculiar brand of crazy. Nuts like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and and Michelle Bachman can rile up these nut jobs, but they may end up giving the Democrats a lifeline as well.

Most people don’t like the crazies. The GOP did a great job for years of exploiting the loony left and painting the Democrats with a broad brush, and now the tables are turned, and the Tea Party folks are giving Democrats some good talking points for the fall.

We’ll see how it plays out.

Sarah Palin sinks to a new low

She’s a national embarrassment.

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

This is what the right in America has come to, which shouldn’t be a surprise when one celebrates ignorance and mediocrity.

Democrats should thank the Club for Growth

It’s amazing how much damage the Club for Growth has done to the Republican Party. Susan Demas looks at the fallout.

No group has done more for the party than Club for Growth, the Washington-based anti-tax group dedicated to weeding out RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

I mean, of course, the Democratic Party, which has been the chief beneficiary of this strategy blessed by the GOP to become even more conservative. Mission accomplished.

Recently, CFG President Pat Toomey stepped down from his job to rid Pennsylvania of the scourge known as Sen. Arlen Specter. In doing so, Toomey’s bludgeoned the Republican Party far more than a few conscience votes by the moderate Republican. Because Specter just switched parties and will almost certainly coast to re-election in 2010. But not before casting critical votes on budgets, health care and cap and trade.

Now the Dems have 60 seats in the Senate, just as soon as the courts finally rule for Al Franken in Minnesota. He’s had a consistent lead and it only looks to be a matter of the GOP running out the clock. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there’s a resolution introduced by a Democrat in the Senate for “Pat Toomey Day.”

The GOP may be “pure” but it has also become far smaller — with only 21 percent identifying as Republicans in the latest Washington Post poll.

Four years ago, when over-confident Republicans thought they would be in the majority forever, the idea of purging the party of moderate Republicans had significant support on the right. How do they feel now?

When you’re in the minority, you need to expand support. Driving away Republicans like Arlen Specter just doesn’t make sense. Listening to many Republicans, however, I don’t expect this to change any time soon. The prevailing sentiment on the right at the moment is seething anger, so don’t wait for cooler heads to prevail.

All this is great news for Barack Obama and anyone who supports his agenda.

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