Thursday, August 2, 2007

Will the Real Conservative Please Stand Up

It all started with the first quote (& that was all I was going to post, originally) but I kept finding more in the article--a speech given at a Princeton University conference: The Conservative Movement: Its Past, Present, and Future." by "token liberal" Rick Perlstein in 2005--worth reading & remembering.

"I didn't like Nixon until Watergate" | Campaign for America's Future

"''Conservative' is a magic word that applies to those who are in other conservatives' good graces. Until they aren't. At which point they are liberals.'" - Digby

I've noticed that, too...

We should all "support the troops"... unless they say something with which we disagree politically, in which case they become traitors.''

From the same article:

"I get the question all the time from smart liberal friends: what is conservatism, anyway? They're baffled. "As far as I can tell, anything someone on the right does is, by definition, ethical. It's not about the act, or even the motivation. It's about who's perpetrating it." It has become the name for a movement that can scream from the rooftops that every Supreme Court nominee should have an expiditious up-or-down vote, then 15 seconds later demand tortuous proceduralism when that nominee is Harriet Miers. Flexibility is the first principle of politics."


"In conservative intellectual discourse there is no such thing as a bad conservative. Conservatism never fails. It is only failed. One guy will get up, at a conference like this, and say conservatism, in its proper conception, is 33 1/3 percent this, 33 1/3 percent that, 33 1/3 percent the other thing. Another rises to declaim that the proper admixture is 50-25-25.

It is, among other things, a strategy of psychological innocence. If the first guy turns out to be someone you would not care to be associated with, you have an easy, Platonic, out: with his crazy 33-33-33 formula--well, maybe he's a Republican. Or a neocon, or a paleo. He's certainly not a conservative. The structure holds whether it's William Kristol calling out Pat Buchanan, or Pat Buchanan calling out William Kristol."


"For the stations of the cross of a conservatism in power include not merely Sharon, Connecticut, but Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; not merely Mont Pelerin, but the competing Indian casinos whose money was laundered by conservative groups on Jack Abramoff's behalf. Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon Johnson's ties to Bobby Baker. Now Republicans have made Bobby Baker their majority leader. His K Street Project is a lineal descendant of the attitudes and actions that constituted Watergate: Richard Nixon calling for the heads of Democratic donors and howling, "We have all this power and we're not using it." The American Conservative Union has made defending him to the death a point of conservative honor.

Ask yourself, What would Barry Goldwater say?"


For the rest, follow the link above or below.

It also appeared online in 2005: Rick Perlstein: 'I Didn't Like Nixon Until Watergate': The Conservative Movement Now - The Huffington Post)


Elmo said...

Follow the money, and you'll find a Retardican. It's all their agenda comes down to. The people be damned.

repsac3 said...

I don't know, elmo... There's some Cons I respect...

And there is some kinda intelligent theory underpinning their movement, even though it doesn't shine through, or seem to actually work for people...

I will say this, though... Unless you/they have money going in, being a Con doesn't seem to benefit you & yours... It isn't good for society as a whole, either...

I don't hate 'em... I just disagree with 'em...
(Except for the real assholes, of course... But I dislike them regardless of party...)
((Yes, I think there are, too.))