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Krugman: 'We may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism'

RAW STORY
Published: Friday November 10, 2006

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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman suggests that the results of Tuesday's midterm election may signal that the era of "movement conservatism" is coming to an end.

"But we may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism -- the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s," Krugman writes in Friday's edition of The Times.

"This alliance may once have had something to do with ideas, but it has become mainly a corrupt political machine, and America will be a better place if that machine breaks down," Krugman continues.

Excerpts from Krugman's column:

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Why do I want to see movement conservatism crushed? Partly because the movement is fundamentally undemocratic; its leaders don't accept the legitimacy of opposition. Democrats will only become acceptable, declared Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, once they "are comfortable in their minority status." He added, "Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate."

And the determination of the movement to hold on to power at any cost has poisoned our political culture. Just think about the campaign that just ended, with its coded racism, deceptive robo-calls, personal smears, homeless men bused in to hand out deceptive fliers, and more. Not to mention the constant implication that anyone who questions the Bush administration or its policies is very nearly a traitor.

When movement conservatism took it over, the Republican Party ceased to be the party of Dwight Eisenhower and became the party of Karl Rove. The good news is that Karl Rove and the political tendency he represents may both have just self-destructed.

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TIMES SELECT SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE REST OF KRUGMAN'S COLUMN AT THIS LINK