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Sunday NYT: The Right: Down, but Maybe Not Out

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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-20-07 09:53 AM
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Sunday NYT: The Right: Down, but Maybe Not Out

The Right: Down, but Maybe Not Out

This is a very good article in which the political careers of Jerry Falwell and Paul Wolfowitz are compared and contrasted to illustrate the unbelieveable success and endurance of the Conservative Movement in the United States in the last 50+ years. Yes, with the blatant failures of the Bush presidency, they may be "down" right now, but the article explains why we would be foolish to consider them "out".

"WITH the death on Tuesday of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Baptist minister and founder of the Moral Majority, and the announcement on Thursday that Paul D. Wolfowitz would resign from the presidency of the World Bank, two major figures in the modern conservative movement exited the political stage. To many, this is the latest evidence that the conservative movement, which has dominated politics during the last quarter century, is finished.

But conservatives have heard this before, and have yet to give in. Weeks after Barry Goldwater suffered a humiliating defeat in 1964 to Lyndon B. Johnson, his supporters organized the American Conservative Union to take on the Republican Party establishment. After failing to unseat Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976, Ronald Reagan positioned himself for the 1980 election. The conservatives dismayed by the election of Bill Clinton spent the next eight years attacking him at every opportunity. And after failing to win a conviction of Mr. Clinton following his impeachment, Republicans, far from retreating into caution or self-doubt, kept up the pressure and turned the 2000 election into a referendum on Mr. Clintons character.

What accounts for this resilience or stubbornness? For one thing, since its beginnings in the 1950s, conservatism has been an insurgent movement fought on many fronts cultural, moral and philosophical. Leaders on the right, as well as the rank and file, have always believed that defeats were inevitable and the odds often long.

Consider the careers, or cases, of Mr. Falwell and Mr. Wolfowitz . That the two were polar opposites in almost every way says a good deal about the movement they served for one thing about its ability in its formative years, the 1970s and 80s, to make room for a constellation of agendas."

Entire Article:

We, as a Party, could learn some lessons from the Conservatives. No, not that corporate allegience is key, either... We need to learn that dogged determination against the other side is what we need in order to prevail from here on. We need to be fearless and pro-active. And, finally, we need to cultivate and mobilize the base of the Party. You don't see the Republicans calling the far Right and the Religious Right in their Party "whackos" or trying to govern and elect their candidates around their preferences. Neither should the Democrats.

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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-20-07 09:58 AM
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1. Newt thinks they are the key to his takeover.
Some address at Liberty University. He can't be bothered to actually run for president, he expects a coronation. What a fascist that guy is. Since when did he become Mr. Religion? When it suited his nefarious purpose. I'll take Mr. Natural instead.

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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-20-07 10:05 AM
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2. I LOVE your illustration, but my point was this:
Edited on Sun May-20-07 10:09 AM by Totally Committed
The Democratic Party leadership seems to be ducking and covering whenever they can, taking all manner of necessary and valid charges and remedies "off the table". The DLC is running rough-shod all over the place and seems to be succeeding in turning the Party leadership AWAY from the Leftist ("Liberal") base of this Party, and the ideals that brought Lefties like me into the Party in the first place.

If this Party embraced THEIR base the way the Republicans embrace their conservative base (which, wasn't always their base, as you will read in that article...), we, too, will be able to parlay the last elections into a successful win-back of our country. I believe we are lost otherwise.

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