Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Death of the GOP (and the end of the empire)

This has always been the Republicans' war, no matter how enthusiastically most of the Democratic leadership initially supported it. The war we're supposedly "winning" has been the overarching theme of the McCain campaign, and he doesn't seem comfortable talking about anything else – unless it's why we must guarantee the borders of every obscure ex-Soviet "republic" for all time. The prime-time speakers at the Republican convention echoed the party line on the war, ad nauseam, and the entire event was one long paean to militarism and the glory of war. There were more uniforms in that convention hall than at the graduating ceremonies of West Point and Annapolis combined, and all the talk was of valor on the battlefield. Perhaps they should change their name to the Praetorian Party.

Justin Raimondo explains.

The history of this crew (the neocons) is too well-known to go into here in any detail: indeed, their narcissism has provided researchers with an overabundance of material that documents their hegira from far Left to far Right. Suffice to say that this vexatious faction entered the bloodstream of the conservative movement during the Cold War years, when pro-war (that's the Vietnam War) Democrats jumped ship and joined the GOP in protest over "McGovernism," i.e., a Democratic Party that rejected the politics of LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, and the neocons' favorite Democratic politician, Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-Boeing).

The sudden infusion of a bunch of highbrow leftist intellectuals into the conservative movement was welcomed by the organs of respectable conservative opinion, such as National Review. A few dissenters, such as Russell Kirk, Pat Buchanan, and the editors of Chronicles magazine, warned their fellows of trouble to come, but they were ignored. The neocons were bringing not only intellectual respectability and attention from liberal redoubts in the media and academia, but also hauling in plenty of dough. The big conservative foundations poured money into neocon projects and subsidized their up-and-coming intellectual dromedaries, driving out dissenters and imprinting the movement with their peculiar obsessions – first and foremost, an unmitigated militarism.

I was watching Sarah Palin give a speech (with the lines we've heard her say over and over) this morning in Maine. That "unmitigated militarism" was on display again, with Palin repeating her ridiculous mantra about thanking our veterans for our freedoms (that they are somehow "fighting for" all the way over in Iraq) as if we would somehow be less free if we weren't occupying a country THAT DID NOT ATTACK US. I suppose we were less free as well after our defeat in Vietnam, eh, Sarah? Did we suddenly lose our right to protest when we left that southeast Asian country in humiliation?

“I would hope at least that those protestors have the courage and the honor of thanking our veterans for giving them the right to protest.”
-Sarah Palin hilariously scolding her own supporters when they simply couldn't hear her.

I was listening to neocon Dennis Prager (in his own mind he is a "conservative") say the other day on his radio show that if the Democratic Party were the same party it was under John F. Kennedy (and presumably Truman, FDR, ad nauseum) then he would be a Democrat. This is typical of today's so-called "conservatives" (I love putting the word in quotes as there is little resembling true conservatism left in the current conservative movement) who know nothing of the history of real conservatism and their own beloved GOP. Robert Taft opposed Roosevelt's fascist New Deal as well as the interventionist foreign policy of the Democrats of his day. That was real conservatism, and I guess Prager wouldn't like it much, preferring the big government of FDR, Truman and Kennedy over Taft's constitutional republic. I wonder how Prager would vote if Joe "Warfare/Welfare" Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for president and Ron "End the Empire" Paul was the Republican nominee? I think we know the answer.

Senator Robert Taft

A Real Conservative

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