A Short History of the GOP's Long Decline

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gop degeneration.jpg

"Conservatives are like the biblical Jews who had to wander through the desert for 40 years until that generation of immoral, corrupt leaders had passed away," he said. "We are not going to get to the political promised land with this leadership. They don't have vision—they don't have an idea of where they want to take the country."

That's a quote from conservative direct-mail king Richard Viguerie, the "funding father" of contemporary conservatism who is disgusted by the way the GOP has governed as a ruling party. Viguerie has launched a web site and book called Conservatives Betrayed to make his case.

He's quoted in a great story by the SF Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead (a Reason contributing editor, btw) on how conservatives lost control of the "Republican Revolution."

Lochhead's piece is cited in the new edition of our weekly take on the news, Reason Express. To get Reason Express, written by Jeff A. Taylor, delivered directly to your inbox, go here.

Image courtesy of Time story mentioned below.

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  1. *sigh*

    But as long as there are democrats, these disgruntled republicans will suck it up and vote straight ticket again and again.

  2. Maybe, just maybe, all these disgruntled GOPers will begin to realize that they’ve screwed themselves by locking us into a two-party system, and take steps to loosen things up a bit in the coming decades. That would be lovely.

  3. Who are the last two helmet heads in that line?

  4. Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert

  5. “You don’t make a lot of friends in politics when you take things away from people,” Kasich argued. “It’s hard. Look at all politicians; look at the governor of California. His popularity has gone up as he’s passed more stuff out, and when he wanted to take something away, he became unpopular. … When you run in a political campaign and you face a million dollars worth of ads that tell everybody that you’re trying to throw their grandmother out in the street, it’s tough.”

    This guy makes a great point. You can’t blame it ALL on the politicians. Those people who think it’s the government’s job to take care of their grandmothers are where it all starts. There is a demand for politicians who will pander to the whiners, and it is being met. Damn the whiners.

  6. whiner = somebody who has a problem that you don’t.

  7. Dan T.

    Why does someone else’s problem automatically become mine?

  8. I’m often confused with Reagan’s portrayal as a “true conservative.” Is being a religious fundamentalist and lowering tax rates all it takes? Can you really be a conservative while you dramatically increase military spending (and waste), vigorously pursue a failed (and wasteful) drug policy, and support terrorism overseas?

  9. Dan T.,

    No, to whine is “to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way: He is always whining about his problems.”

    I swear that as much as I detest the GOP, the idea of the Democrats thinking they have some sort of mandate to do stupid stuff makes me positively ill. I’m voting Bull Moose.

  10. Pirate Jo,

    Isn’t it primarily OTHER politicians (and their campaign flunkies) who create the perception that Guy A wants to throw Grandma out to the curb without her arthritis medication?

  11. Timon19, you have a point. For example, if Bush hadn’t passed that obscene Medicare drug prescription bill, would anyone have said he was throwing grandmas out into the street?

  12. A better example is

    grandma’s being thrown to the street because they can’t afford to pay the Medicaid part D premiums. Your house or your drugs? You can only afford one and Bush is forcing you to pay the Medicaid plan. Make a choice granny!!

    See that’s how it works.

  13. Dan T.

    Why does someone else’s problem automatically become mine?

    It’s called the “social contract”.

  14. Why does someone else’s problem automatically become mine?

    It’s called the “social contract”.

    I must have been drunk when I signed that. I don’t seem to remember it.

  15. Why does someone else’s problem automatically become mine?

    It’s called the “social contract”.

    I must have been drunk when I signed that. I don’t seem to remember it.

    Incidentally, Dan T., do you distinguish a difference between ‘social’ problems and ‘individual’ problems? If so, what are the qualifiers for falling into either category?

  16. Pirate Jo, your problems are individual problems. Dan T’s problems are social problems.

  17. social contract……….you know damn well that will incite a riot around here……social contract…….that’s funny.

  18. Social contract … are you guys SURE it doesn’t have something to do with drinking?

  19. Social contract….Isn’t that how you catch VD?

  20. “Promote the GENERAL welfare..” That means sewers, bridges, and not dying of TB because you are poor.
    But Im more than willing to be shown where Im wrong.
    “Provide for the COMMON defense….”
    That dosnt mean the military is a tool for private profit, or empire. Ditto comment above.
    all caps MUTT, and sorry if I stepped on Mutts toes.

  21. Richard Viguerie, the “funding father” of contemporary conservatism…

    I thought the funding father of contemporary conservatism was Richard Mellon Scaife. He’s bankrolled damn near everybody. Makes Soros look like a skinflint.

  22. “For example, if Bush hadn’t passed that obscene Medicare drug prescription bill, would anyone have said he was throwing grandmas out into the street?”

    Yes, actually. George Bush didn’t dream up prescription drug coverage all by himself. It was a huge issue going back to the late 1990s.

    Bush put through his lousy plan because he had to do something about the issue or he would have been toast. Yes, absolutely, any politician that didn’t give granny her pills would have been accused of throwing her out in the street.

  23. Richard Mellon Scaife bankrolls Regnery Publishing. What makes that little outfit really interesting is that it consistently gets its right-wing Coulter-kampf crap onto the NYT bestseller list, and yet requires huge infusions of money from Scaife every year.

    He also throws money at AEI, although I don’t know if he personally funds the chair Ron Bailey used to hold.

    So anyone, that estate tax is EVIL, huh?

  24. I’m often confused with Reagan’s portrayal as a “true conservative.” Is being a religious fundamentalist and lowering tax rates all it takes?

    Reagan was divorced and rarely attended church. As CA governor he deferred, on principle, to the people’s wishes by liberalizing abortion laws. I do not recall any claim by Reagan that he was “born again” (unlike Jimmy Carter). Even if he were resurrected today, with his mind restored to full working order, there is little chance he would nominated as a presidential candidate by the present GOP.

  25. Hey MUTT:

    That’s not what “general welfare” means.

    “With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”James Madison, letter to James Robertson

    Kevin

  26. The only thing wrong with this post, is it ignores history. Republicans have always, always promised us less freedom (just like the Demos) and a more facist religious based state.

    From the day that the Reagan/Bush regime backed random road blocks, the drug war, random drug testing and and increase in law made directly by sectarian crazies.

    Republicans have promised again and agian to imitate such luminaries as Franco and Castro, Putin and Mao, and we now act surprised that they have delivered on their promises?

    Gosh, Libertarians are an interesting breed. And definitly prone to excepting blind promises from those who would rape them.

    Next up in the Libertarian world:

    Why it is a good thing to be used as food for aliens!

    Hitlers concentration camps were good for Germany!

    China is the only place where the free market really functions!

    Liberals Bad! COnservatives who oppose all liberty-GOOD!!!!

    Libertarians have made themselves an even bigger joke then they were. All Hail the State. And the Glorius Republican party who turned us into the United Soviet States of Amerika and the Libertarians who supported them without question.

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