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Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Conservatives, Misunderstood

For John, BLUFI am not sure this book is the straight word.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a review of the E J Dionne, Jr, book "The Triumph of the Hard Right".  The title of the book is Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism—from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond and the publisher is Simon and Schuster.  It is a 532 page book and is selling for $30 in the dead tree version.

The Reviewer is Garry Wills, not to be confused with Columnist George Will.

Here is the lede plus one:

Everybody told everybody early in this year’s presidential campaign (during what was called Trump Summer) that we had never seen anything so sinisterly or hilariously (take your choice) new.  But Trump Summer was supposed to mellow into Sane Autumn, and it failed to—and early winter was no saner.  People paid to worry in public tumbled over one another in asking what had gone wrong with our politics.  Even the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, joined the worriers.  After Mitt Romney lost in 2012, he set up what he called the Growth and Opportunity Project, to reach those who had not voted Republican—young people, women, Latinos, and African-Americans.  But its report, once filed, had no effect on the crowded Republican field of candidates in the 2016 race, who followed Donald Trump’s early lead as he treated women and immigrants as equal-opportunity objects of scorn.  Now the public worriers were yearning for the “good old days” when there were such things as moderate Republicans.  What happened to them?

The current Republican extremism has been attributed to the rise of Tea Party members or sympathizers. Deadlock in Congress is blamed on Republicans’ fear of being “primaryed” unless they move ever more rightward.  Endless and feckless votes to repeal Obamacare were motivated less by any hope of ending the program than by a desire to be on record as opposing it, again and again, to avoid the dreaded label RINO (Republican in Name Only).

In a way, I am kind of lost here.  I am a Tea Party Republican, but I don't think of myself as an extremist.  I know extremism when I see it.  Martin Bormann is an Extremist.  Professor Bill Ayers is an Extremist.  I believe in the rule of law.  Unlike Ms Whoopi Goldberg, I have never suggested I would leave the country if this or that candidate were elected President.

Maybe it is a lower case "e" extremism.

Frankly, it seems that Mr Wills wants Republicans who are Moderate Democrats.  What kind of an option would that offer the voters?  None.  And where would Conservatives go?

Here is a quote from the Book Review:

It is appropriate that this feeling has been in alliance with the Confederate South, the loser of a war it still thinks it should have won.  The rest of the Republicans may not be as racist as the South, but they cannot prevail at the federal level without it.
Does Mr Wills not remember the racism that surfaced in Boston during the busing crisis?  That was Democrats.  Racism in inherent in the Democrat party.  The suppression of the Second Amendment in Chicago is because of racism, is it not?  This is just not a balanced look.

Then there is the paragraph intro:

This feeling that superior people have license to circumvent democracy is still with us…
Was this not Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the beginning of the Obama Administration?  This idea that the Democrats play by the rules and the Republicans don't is rubbish.

I do agree with Mr Wills regarding racism in the United States:

The idea that America has somehow outgrown or transcended racism is an ever-renewable delusion. Some hoped that the election of a black president would mark the end of racism. But in fact it blew on the embers of racism we have beneath us all the time.
Then Mr Wills wonders off into birtherism.  Give me a break.  Is Barack H Obama not still President, seven years after being sworn in.  All those Republicans who wonder about President's place of birth or his religion still pay taxes.  They still sign up for the military, or continue their military service.  They do not use their Second Amendment gun rights to retreat into the woods in guerrilla bands.

The issue of racism is an issue of fairness, of equal rights, to all.  This is something Republicans believe in.  Interestingly enough, members of the "right" are concerned about oppressive use of the police powers, which puts them in the same camp as minorities.

And, of course, in this Presidential Race it is the Conservative Republicans who have a Black and two Hispanics in the race. 

Yes, I will pony up $15.99 for the Kindle version of this book, just not right now.  I have a couple of books I am working right now.

That said, frankly, the Review is not what encourages me.  Rather, it is the Author, Mr Dionne, and the need to keep looking to see how the other side views one.  No party operates in a vacuum.  Even a dictatorship needs to worry about who might be lurking in the shadows.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This link is behind a pay wall, at least at this point.  In a short time it may be open to all.
  Yes, Virginia, People from Cuba are Hispanic.

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