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.

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.

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?

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.


* Don't pass out - Little Green Footballs post: Why I Parted Ways With the Right