Political Realignment Watch

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Fun fact: The latest Conservative Index [pdf], the John Birch Society's scorecard for congressthings, gives Senate Democrats a higher average score than Senate Republicans. Of course, this being the Birchers, both parties finish pretty miserably. (It was Birch Society founder Robert Welch who pegged Eisenhower as a "conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy," so they've been down on the GOP for a while.)

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  1. If the Republicans weren’t still trying to take over America through fluoridated water, they would probably get a better rating from the Birchers. As far as calling the Birchers “conservative” I would guess that when it comes to issues like global trade, the war in Iraq, and confrontations with North Korea and Iran, they are probably a lot closer to if not identical to the Kos left than they are to the mainstream right.

  2. I cannot sit back and allow Communist indoctrination, Communist infiltration, Communist subversion, and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

  3. How dare those Birch people use a traditional definition of conservative! I mean, what does tradition have to do with conservatism? The real conservatives need to take back the GOP from the “God-Is-Great-Now-Let’s-Invade” wing of the party. If that is identical to Kos-style leftism, so be it, though we both know that the JBSociety folks and the Kos folks have completely different rationales.

  4. John Birch Isolationists have been kicked out of the conservative movement for 40 years now. The fact that the KOS people are equally insane but for different reasons doesn’t make the Birch people any less insane or their ideas any more relevant. The fact is you can’t tell one nut, right or left, from another these days. Whether it be Pat Robertson claiming 9-11 was punishment from God for the U.S. homosexuals or KOS posters claiming 9-11 was an inside job and Dick Chaney plans to declare marshal law, or the Birches claiming Eisenhower was a communist or John Kerry claiming Joe Lieberman is the next Dick Chaney, it is all just different flavors of the same insanity.

  5. You know, nothing would piss off the major parties more than seeing a large number of people vote Libertarian. Show your outrage–vote Libertarian.

    That’s as good a slogan as any that I’ve seen from that august party.

  6. As far as calling the Birchers “conservative” I would guess that when it comes to issues like global trade, the war in Iraq, and confrontations with North Korea and Iran, they are probably a lot closer to if not identical to the Kos left than they are to the mainstream right.

    Hell, “Mr. Republican,” Robert A. Taft himself, was “probably a lot closer to the Kos left” on those subjects than to what passes these days for “the mainstream right.”

  7. I notice that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), one-time Libertarian party candidate for president, got 100% from the Birchers.

  8. Seamus,

    You are right. Fortunately the Republicans renounced isolationism and embraced internationalism and free trade. If the 21st Century Democrats think protectionism “anti-globalization” and isolationism are the answer to their problems more power to them. Of course when they do that, they better be prepared to embrace their fellow travelers in the Birches and Buchananonites. Actually, I think if Buchanan would renounce the religious right and come out pro-choice and pro gay marriage, he could probably do a lot better as a Democrat than he would a Republican, especially if he renounced Catholicism and came out as a former theocrat who has now seen the light. The media would love him as a way to discredit the religious right. It is just crazy enough to work and Buchanan is just cynical enough to try it if someone would convince him that it would work.

  9. “Actually, I think if Buchanan would renounce the religious right and come out pro-choice and pro gay marriage, he could probably do a lot better as a Democrat than he would a Republican, especially if he renounced Catholicism and came out as a former theocrat who has now seen the light.”

    In other words, if Pat Buchanon were to renounce 90% of his political beliefs, he could be popular among the minority faction of the Democratic Party that support isolationism.

    Gee, that IS damning for the Democrats.

  10. “In other words, if Pat Buchanon were to renounce 90% of his political beliefs, he could be popular among the minority faction of the Democratic Party that support isolationism.”

    I can’t speak for Pat, but those are not 90% of his beleifs. They are about half if that. Mostly Buchanan is anti-free trade and isolationists. If you take religious element away from Buchanan, you get the Daily Kos.

  11. We agree, John, that the Republican flip-flop on isolationism is a good thing. However, I’m not sure they’ve truly embraced “free trade” given the (farm) subsidies and (lumber) tariffs they support.

  12. Exactly how many of these views would fit in well in the current Democratic Party? He has more than 3 major interests John. The only reason he’s vocalizing the isolationist tendencies as much as he is is because the current administration isn’t doing much other than things that isolationists disagree with.

  13. And John continues to equate those of us with non-interventionist tendencies as isolationists.

    I do not want to be cut off from the rest of the world, but would like to stay out of it’s barbaric conflicts. I know that’s impossible to do 100%, but if we stopped galavanting around the globe, shooting at the natives, and bombing them into democracy (that was the plan, right?), then I think we’d be a helluva lot better off than we are now.

    I’m thinking more people would be cool with the US if we were actually practicing free trade and not trying to force “democracy” down people’s throats.

    Oh, and of course, there’s the huge mistake we made back in 1948 that hangs like an albatross around our necks.

    So I know that American hasn’t followed my policy presription in years, and I submit that maybe that’s why we’re in the trouble we are now.

    Back on topic – did anyone notice how bad the senators rate? Christ. And Jeff Flake came in with a 67…not too bad for AZ. I see that Kolbe is a total Nob, according to the birchers. Doesn’t really surprise me…he seems like a nob. 🙂

  14. It would be more accurate to say that the Republicans under Bush have implemented a version of isolationism far more extreme than that advocated by the Birchers.

    The effect of Bush’s military and foreign policies have effectively made the United States a pariah in much of the world and increasingly isolated Americans in terms of travel and safety overseas.

    By contrast, during the nineteenth century, “isolated” Americans could travel without passports and the United States political system was regarded as inspiration for oppressed people everywhere.

  15. John:

    …when it comes to issues like global trade, the war in Iraq, and confrontations with North Korea and Iran, they are probably a lot closer to if not identical to the Kos left than they are to the mainstream right.

    What?? The Birchers are for free trade. They just oppose the World Bank and the IMF, as all principled conservatives should. And let’s give credit to those on the mainstream right who opposed, or who now oppose, the Iraq war. They were and are right, in both senses of the word.

  16. John:

    Fortunately the Republicans renounced isolationism and embraced internationalism and free trade.

    The principled traditional conservative position is to embrace free trade AND a foreign policy that countenances intervention only when it’s necessary for the protection of Americans lives and property.

  17. What Lowdog said.

    Also, I’d by far rather have the Birchers in a position of power than either the Bush administration or the Kos left.

    BTW, one of the few candidates for president who is clearly more objectionable than King George is war hawk Hillary.

  18. To be compleat, I shoulda said: “The principled traditional conservative position is to embrace free trade AND a foreign policy that countenances intervention only when it’s necessary for the protection of Americans lives and property and liberty

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