Sunday, May 20

In the year 2000 (and 7)

Is the GOP in the midst of a major shift? This article goes further to say:

"The Republican Party is falling apart," said one insider to me recently. "The GOP has become the party of neoliberal corporate globalism, not the party of conservatism," said another. Perhaps election 2008 will be the last hurrah. Other than Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter, the GOP presidential candidates are a joke. The rest are all neoliberal, interventionist globalists.

Look how we've derailed...

Iraq is a huge mistake, a neocon experiment in utopianism, and we are paying the price. Bush's foreign policy is not conservative. It is Wilsonian nation building. The transformation of the Middle East to liberal democracy is Jacobin, not conservative. And it is because of the neocon war machine in the Middle East that we are hated.

The point of this article from Britain says that basically, these last few years are the high water marks of the Neocons. I can't really single out what the ideology of Neocon is other than it's a major force in the current presidency.

The article says this is the end of an era. It points to two events: the ousting of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank and the death of Falwell. Their importance according to the article: Paul Wolfowitz used to be number two at the Pentagon, or an insider, and Jerry Falwell got this whole thing started by organizing the Bible Belt into a voting block. Trouble doesn't end there, the attorney general is under pressure to resign, Tony Blair, Bush's biggest international ally is leaving in the next few weeks, and in search of a legacy, the President threw an immigration bill, that no one apparently seems to like, at the wall in an attempt to get something to stick. But, as the article doesn't say explicitly, the President seems to be going down like a leaky rowboat.

From the Times:

If Bush and Dick Cheney, his vice-president, are the last men standing with responsibility for the Iraq war it is only because they are protected by their four-year terms of office. One former Bush stalwart told me: “If we had a parliamentary system, Bush would have lost a vote of confidence and have resigned by now.”

The perception I have, as a young person, is that the Republicans are made up of two main groups: the Constitutionalists for small government, and the Bible folk for telling everyone what's right and wrong. Lately, the Bible folk have been dominating and the situtation that we're in now is from their lead. For the sake of winning elections, perhaps the one side has been quiet and just went along, after all, both groups have more in common with each other than with any democrats.

Look at the presidential debates. There's Ron Paul and the rest of them. He said, without justifying 9/11, that the attacks may not have come completely out of the blue and all the rest of them, led by Guiliani deny it. Since then the people on Fox News, have all tried to paint Paul as a conspiracy theorist. If the Republicans can't recognize their own mistakes or at least confront them, then they're never going to win any more major elections, which is a pity.

(Fox News has been annoying me lately. As of late, their agenda seems less veiled than usual and their news seems more like tabloid material.)

The young conservative Politically Upwardly-mobile People I know (would that make them "Pups"?), many of whom are on the blogosphere, seem to be oriented much more towards the Constitutionalist side. Not very many young people really want to go around telling other people whether they're right or wrong or how to live. After all, it's my generation and future ones that have to live with gay people, for instance.

Like the Titanic with the iceberg of Iraq, it seems now the GOP is splitting into two groups and the Bible people are staying GOP while for the Constitutionalists find libertarianism and classic liberalism much more attractive.

I don't know what the future political landscape will look like. Two parties? Three? I think 2008 seems particularly well for 3rd party candidates as both parties lack strong leaders people like.

The Republican Party of Lincoln, Teddy, and others is a grand old party which would be a shame to see evaporate. However, in the grand scheme of things, for better and worse, political parties aren't permanent fixtures. After all, back in the 1850's and 60's, the Republicans were the liberal activists and the Democrats were the conservatives. Nowadays, it seems hard to tell both parties apart.


Erik Opsal said...

So where then do the Neocons fall? I wouldn't put them in the constitutionalists or the Bible belters.

And I don't know if both parties lack strong leaders. I think any of the democratic frontrunners, whoever wins, will have a serious following after the primary.

Brad V said...

Interesting analysis; I can empathize with a good portion of it.

To beat a dead horse, though, you say vis a vis Ron Paul: "He said, without justifying 9/11, that the attacks may not have come completely out of the blue and all the rest of them, led by Guiliani deny it."

Paul also never said the attacks were unjustified or beyond any expected/acceptable scope in the second debate. No caveat in all his time on the topic.

I can comprehend his "Golden Rule" guide for non-interventionism. The hypothetical about China he laid out certainly hit home.

But his absolutist line, his failure to qualify his "objective" observation of history with a shred of subjectivity as an American, and his tendency to interpret things conveniently in retrospect all disturbed me during the famed Giuliani exchange.

Now, the howling crowd disturbed me too. I don't want Paul removed from debates at all - he brings many other worthwhile concerns to the crowd. But I do think his statements on the 911 attacks and foreign policy were a) extremely unwise given his audience, and b)just as extreme as Bush's, but in a different sense.

Mike said...

The president and his people seem kind of like Bible Belters to me. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think the neocons would fit in more with the Bible folks.

It may have been the heat of the moment. All the candidates were excited and the crowd wanted blood. Sure, that's what he thinks and stands by it, but I think probably he should have been a little more tactful.

On the other hand, it's given his name some attention on the news, which is good. I think it's funny some want to kick him out. Kicking out the person with whom one disagrees at a debate doesn't make for an interesting debate, just more of an agreement session.

I agree with you about his absolutestness. It'd be quite hard to completely disengage the rest of the world in 4 or even 8 years. There could be a large amount of chaos. Being so yes or no turns away some people. But I guess, what's the role of a leader?