Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is a revolt brewing?

A revolt may be in the works - and not against the Republican establishment. Instead, the target may be against the people who say they speak for the base - talk show hosts and various big blogs.

This revolt is coming from the rank-and-file, and it's been brewing since the Harriet Miers nomination was derailed. At the time it was derailed, a plurality of conservatives were disappointed that the nomination was pulled. Six months later, President Bush still gets angry when asked about it.

The next strike was the DPW deal. Several pundits and politicians decided to go along with objections to the deal raised by a union - and it was heightened by attacks from various folks, many of whom were hard-liners on immigration. Once again, the spokesmen for "the base" created problems, this time for those who are serious about having moderate Arabs on our side in the war on terror - and one of "those" is President Bush, who now has two reasons to stick it to the base.

But it is on immigration where the biggest split is occuring. An analysis of polling by Matthew Dowd, a USA Today cover story, the election of Chris Cannon in a primary that was touted asa referendum on immigration, and polling by the Tarrance Group all show very strong support among Americans and Republicans for a comprehensive split. But you would not believe that if all you did was read the major conservative blogs (Malkin, Powerline, Captain's Quarters) or listened to talk radio.

And this "echo chamber" is going to be the subject of a revolt. Largely, this is because of the fact that on the right, struggling against political correctness and groupthink has been a hallmark. Most of this has been against the mainstream media and the left... but the emerging "groupthink" on the right isn't going to fare much better. In fact, the 2008 primaries may see talk radio taken down a notch. Right now, the big three frontrunners are Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney - all of whom are distrusted/disliked by portions of the base: Giuliani for his positions on social issues, McCain for campaign finance reform and his constant clashes with the base, and Romney for the fact that his position on pro-life issues as governor was one of a "freeze" on abortion laws, and for an earlier pro-choice position.

The 2008 nominee could very easily be someone the echo chamber doesn't like. That's not a bad thing. If having a President who had to poll for a good vacation spot (and thus showinghe cannot make decisions on his own) is a bad thing, do we want someone who is a sock puppet for an echo chamber, and who demonstrates that same inability to make decisions - albeit in a different manner than the President who has to conduct a poll before deciding where he goes on vacation.

But Giuliani, McCain, and Romney all shows signs of being leaders, much like President Bush has been. This is a good sign for the GOP in 2008. If the Democrats purge Lieberman for his support of the war on terror next month, then the Republicans could benefit from having a nominee who has fought with the base in the past.


Pondering American said...

Awesome I going to put this on. Your right they are going to scream. The fringe is showing signs of trying to destrou other possibles including Gov Huckabee and Se Huckabee

SJ Reidhead said...

I am so glad someone else gets it! I've been harping on this over at The Pink Flamingo for several months now. Thank you very much. If it weren't for the Pondering American I would feel like the voice in the wilderness. I am glad I am no longer alone. To back up what you have said today, you might want to check out The Subway Canaries. My most recent post deals with this.

Incredible post. Much needed.

SJ Reidhead

SallyVee said...

Harold, you put your finger on something very important: right wing groupthink. Yes yes yes, that's it! This tightly coordinated, redundant, and terribly boring pattern that has emerged... well, it is making me want to scream. I hate to say it, but Rush has become one of the worst among radio talkers. And his Mini Me, Sean Hannity. If I hear one more hysterical report about the "New York Slimes" I swear, I am going to subscribe! Yeah, I get it already. Now shut up and tell me something I don't know.

I think some of this groupthink is a result of our conservative "prosperity" and success. In order for players to distinguish themselves among the majority, they have to find niches. So they are heading more and more in the direction of Kook Land. Think WorldNutDaily and Jerome Corsi. They and many other Right Knights have all turned on president Bush, big time, which is the most revealing and repellant fact of all.

Yes, Harriet Miers was a tipping point. But before that it was last year's Liberals are Stealing Christmas jamboree. I remember telling a friend: I would rather live without Christmas than have Bill O'Reilly save it for me. It was just gross overkill. Every news show, radio show, and blog was flogging that scare story like an old Yule mule.

And then Dubai Ports Deal -- yep. That was the last straw for me. And it was when I had to confront my own Arabophobia and start [finally] recovering from the shock of 9-11. I bought into the DPW hysteria for about 24 hours, then quickly snapped out of it. But the tsunami that washed over the country, and the ensuing victory of the demagogues is astonishing and a little frightening in retrospect. To some extent, I think the same Right Knights who helped engineer that debacle are still high on the DPW smack down, and they mean to do the same with immigration, regardless the cost to our nation and our security.

You are so right. I am revolted. And I am in full revolt against the manipulating extremists. They are dangerous, and they don't care if they destroy the GOP and continually undermine our president -- though of course these high minded people profess to love and support our troops. Yeah, sure. These nuts are every bit as bad as the Kos Kids, Michael Moores, Cindy Sheehans, Algores, and the rest of their ilk.

[END OF RANT -- sorry, you really touched a nerve and you've spoken out like very few others.]

Harold, one thing I didn't quite get was your last point, about Lieberman, etc. Can you dumb it down for me please?