Religious Leaders Support Cordoba House, Denounce Growing Anti-Muslim Sentiment

Shiplord Kirel: Fan of USPS, Goodyear, and Oreo8/12/2010 1:11:37 pm PDT

re: #12 Charles

These aren’t right wing religious leaders, that’s for sure. The right wing is lost.

It is indeed. My involvement with conservative politics dates back to 1964, when I was a teenage volunteer for the Goldwater campaign. A few years later, my yellow-dog Democrat parents took me along when my mom was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention. They hoped I would witness the process in all its populist glory and be converted from my wayward Republican ways. What I witnessed instead was the Chicago convention riots and the establishment muscling Hubert Humphrey into the nomination. This confirmed to me that I had been on the right track. My parents were deeply disillusioned themselves.

A lot of water flowed under the bridge in the meantime, but I stayed with the conservative cause until fairly recently. In retrospect, I had been growing uncomfortable with what passed for conservatism for many years. I opposed the Clinton impeachment, for example, regarding it as a facetious witch-hunt.

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems that the rot really started in 1980, when the Reagan campaign made a conscious effort to recruit the nascent religious right as a GOP voting bloc. This involved the kind of compromise that everyone condemns but that all politicians practice. As with so many things that turn out badly, it seemed like a good idea at the time. It would scarcely have seemed possible that a bunch of Bible beating nuts could actually take over the party of Teddy Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller, and Barry Goldwater. They could help at the polls, though, and with grassroots activism (a traditional weakness of the GOP) so compromise we did.

Our creation has devoured us now, and Republican conservatism as I knew it has not so much changed as ceased to exist. This process has accelerated with astonishing speed since the 2008 election, with the nuts now fully in charge and the adults either marginalized or driven completely out of the party.

I persisted as long as I did because I thought the nuts would fall flat on their faces and the rest of us could re-build the movement along rational lines. That is impossible now, we are past the point of no return.

The other day, when Robert Gibbs denounced the “professional left,” I suggested that Obama might be trying to construct and define a new right wing to replace the one that has gone over the cliff. I wasn’t joking at all.
Obama is pretty much center-right by global standards anyway. Perhaps we are just catching up with the rest of the world in defining the terms. The self-declared conservatives who attack him are off the scale entirely, a xenophobic mob of quacks and charlatans who have no awareness of, or concern about, what goes on in the rest of the world.