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Andrew Sullivan joins LGF’s Charles Johnson in kissing off the current ‘conservative’ movement

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While Andrew Sullivan has been hard to peg on some issues (and catches heat on all sides for many) , he’s been clear that he was searching for U.S. conservatism to reflourish. As he notes in his latest column, he’s supported Reagan and Bush and Clinton and Dole and Bush and Kerry and Obama, so for Sully, it must be painful, yet easy to write “Leaving the Right,” citing many of the same reasons Little Green Footballs founder Charles Johnson did for leaving a movement that is driving the comservative movement — and the GOP — over a cliff (see my earlier post). A sampling of Andrew’s kiss off to the whack job right wing:

I cannot support a movement that claims to believe in limited government but backed an unlimited domestic and foreign policy presidency that assumed illegal, extra-constitutional dictatorial powers until forced by the system to return to the rule of law.

I cannot support a movement that exploded spending and borrowing and blames its successor for the debt.

I cannot support a movement that so abandoned government’s minimal and vital role to police markets and address natural disasters that it gave us Katrina and the financial meltdown of 2008.

I cannot support a movement that holds torture as a core value.

I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.

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I cannot support a movement that is deeply homophobic, cynically deploys fear of homosexuals to win votes, and gives off such a racist vibe that its share of the minority vote remains pitiful.

…I cannot support a movement that would back a vice-presidential candidate manifestly unqualified and duplicitous because of identity politics and electoral cynicism.

I cannot support a movement that regards gay people as threats to their own families.

I cannot support a movement that does not accept evolution as a fact.

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I cannot support a movement that sees climate change as a hoax and offers domestic oil exploration as the core plank of an energy policy.

I cannot support a movement that refuses ever to raise taxes, while proposing no meaningful reductions in government spending.

I cannot support a movement that refuses to distance itself from a demagogue like Rush Limbaugh or a nutjob like Glenn Beck.

Go read the rest. As I said in my post on Charles Johnson’s departure from the movement, I really don’t see an easy way back to the party of limited government with the disturbing stranglehold of the theocrats on the GOP and its fealty to the likes of Rush and his dittoheads. Not that I have any advice that the GOP would care to take, but where are all the country club Republicans and moderates? Why aren’t noted conservatives in a race to publicly call out the jackbooted thugs and bible beaters who are holding them hostage?

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Part of the reason, of course, is that the movement’s political strategy that is now so beholden to a voter base that is rife with under-educated, easily massaged-by-messaging populace that spends way too much time believing and spreading conspiracy theories, irrationally fearing brown and black people, and trying to control private behavior they abhor, yet they often commit themselves because of their own tortured, hypocritical madness. The small-government traditional conservatives are far outnumbered by these know-nothings, but as long as the fundies and crazies just behaved like sheep, everything was fine. Naturally, when the fringe wing finally noticed that, aside from getting their SCOTUS picks, they weren’t receiving anything by lip service to its social agenda, there was going to be a move for a coup when the Republicans went down hard in defeat in 2006 and 2008.

Now the beast is awake, caterwauling and calling for hard-right “purity” in the movement; nothing will make it cease at this point, and thus it’s time to abandon ship — the beast has stepped on the auto-destruct sequence button. Other sane conservatives need to come to their senses, swallow their pride, and save their own movement.

And as I’ve said before, with an opposition party in such distress, why are our Dem leaders so obsessed with not offending the know-nothings, bigots and bible beaters? They will never get their votes, and the folks in the middle of the road are tired of the slacker-*ss behavior on the Hill — for instance, many of them want not just a public option, but single-payer health care (they live in the real world as opposed to Beltway world), and yet they see both sides caving to interests other than those who put them in office. I don’t know how much more weakened the GOP could be before some spines were grown by these Dems.

Related:
* Don’t pass out – Little Green Footballs post: Why I Parted Ways With the Right

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How Teach for America evolved into an arm of the charter school movement

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When the Walton Family Foundation announced in 2013 that it was donating $20 million to Teach For America to recruit and train nearly 4,000 teachers for low-income schools, its press release did not reveal the unusual terms for the grant.

Documents obtained by ProPublica show that the foundation, a staunch supporter of school choice and Teach For America’s largest private funder, was paying $4,000 for every teacher placed in a traditional public school — and $6,000 for every one placed in a charter school. The two-year grant was directed at nine cities where charter schools were sprouting up, including New Orleans; Memphis, Tennessee; and Los Angeles.

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Commentary

Why do conservatives hate Oberlin College so much?

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When I was an undergraduate at Oberlin in the mid-Aughts, there was a student in my class year who was obsessed with 19th-century British Royal Naval culture. Every Friday evening, he would host a sing-along in a dorm lounge, for which he would bring xeroxes of historical sea shanty lyrics and pass them around so that we could sing along, waving our glasses of “grog.” This was a semi-established event — he had distributed flyers around campus advertising the weekly British Royal Naval sea-shanty singalong and grog-drinking event, which would extend late into the night. Though he was not a resident of the dorm where it took place, he was welcomed into the lounge by its members, and became a fixture of sorts.Like many well-endowed liberal arts schools in rural areas, Oberlin College functions as a sort of de facto social welfare state, and is designed to encourage and cultivate one’s passions, even if they are not strictly academic. Thus, after writing up a proposal for the student-run activities board, the same student, the British Royal Navy culture guy, was able to plan, organize and execute a ticketed Royal Naval Ball, held in the atrium of the science center. The event featured 20 dishes of authentic British era-appropriate cuisine, cooked by student chefs, several courses of wine and port, and a violinist present to play period-specific music. The whole affair culminated with a traditional, British partner line dance — its sole inauthenticity the fact that we didn’t pay attention to our dance partners’ genders the way the Brits would have.
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2020 Election

Here are 5 reasons why 2020’s down-ballot races could reshape America’s future

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The political press always tends to focus mostly on the marquee race for the White House but that's especially true this cycle, as Donald Trump runs for a second term. He demands attention and his antics enrage his opponents and delight his supporters in equal measure.

But national reporters risk missing the big picture by centering so much of their reporting at the top when many of the most important political battles in 2020 will take place further down the ballot.

Trump is catnip for reporters and their editors, but the dearth of coverage of downballot races didn't begin with his election. As the news media in general faces structural changes—with print circulation declining and much of their work moving into digital spaces that are more difficult to monetize--publishers have cut back on reporters assigned to the state and local government beat. Nevertheless, Trump has arguably worsened the trend by getting so much airtime— one estimate suggested that over the past four years, Trump has taken up, on average, 15 percent of the entire daily news cycle on the three leading cable networks, nearly three times what Obama did.

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