Where are the Conservatives in the Republican Party? Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Where are the Conservatives in the Republican Party?

15 February 2007 at 11:37:46 AM

Disclaimer before I excerpt some of Patrick Barkman's editorial in the Cleburne (Johnson County) Texas newspaper. I'm not a Republican, have never been a Republican and will never be a Republican. I'm not always happy with what goes on with my Democratic representatives but I've been appalled at the hard right turn that Republicans seem to have taken in the last 5 years or so. Therefore, while I don't, like the author, miss the Republican party, I do wonder what the definition of *conservative* really is.

Somewhere along the way, the party I remember, the party of grownups, the “Daddy” Party, disappeared and was replaced by a political clown car packed to overflowing with a variety of subtle and unsubtle racists, closet monarchists, religious hucksters and tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists.

It’s hard to say when the change happened. Maybe it was right after the Oklahoma City bombing, when the primary concern of the Republican Congress was that the general public might assume that all paranoid overweight losers in home-made camo were somehow psychotic, so they actually invited these “militia” idiots to testify about secret weather-altering satellites and CIA mind-control experiments.

Maybe it was later in the Clinton years when Republicans like Sam Johnson could stand on the House floor and claim that the president was a Soviet agent, and not be immediately carted off in a sport jacket with no sleeves for an extended stay in a padded room. Maybe it has been the influx of tele-Pharisees, blasphemers and outright frauds like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who have anointed the Republicans as “God’s Own Party” and can pretend that Jesus really wants a cut in the capital gains tax. ...

A balanced budget, lowering the federal deficit, restricting the reach of the government; all these ideas have been tossed out the window, treating them like quaint relics from a bygone era you might encounter in some dingy roadside museum. Nowadays, the only definition of Republican that counts is how quickly you can kiss the hem of George W. Bush’s robe and pledge absolute, unwavering loyalty to anything and everything he and his pack of Nixon-era rejects happen to stand for that particular week.

It’s frankly embarrassing to watch parades of politicians parrot the line that the president is all-knowing and all-powerful. Everything he says or does is always right. Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. Anyone who says otherwise is a traitor. Which brings up another cringe-inducing trait of the current warmed-over Falangists who constitute the GOP: their pathetic tendency to sling words like “treason” at anyone who dares to question any utterance of a leader they are about one giant statue away from worshipping like the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il.

Precisely the same Republicans who did everything short of endorsing Slobodan Milosevic for president when Bill Clinton finally intervened in Bosnia, now screech that anyone who has any doubts about the bloody fiasco in Iraq is in cahoots with al-Qaeda. Under this twisted logic, embodied in Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, the same liberals who are usually denounced as anti-religious secular humanists nevertheless secretly long for the iron hand of Sharia law.

This willful denial of reality is just another example of how the Republican Party has systematically abandoned everything it ever stood for in a blind rush to deify George W. Bush. Now that the Bush presidency has collapsed, the party is collapsing with him.

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