the right as cultural movement, ct'd

Gene Healy says Republicans think that their voters are stupid:

By 2012, our national debt will be larger than the entire U.S. economy, according to the International Monetary Fund. So what's on the front burner in Washington these days? Zoning issues in lower Manhattan!


The establishment Right wants to play the Tea Party movement for suckers. It remains to be seen whether they'll play along.

Will Wilkinson is less charitable to "the base":

I don’t find this believable. This idiotic foofaraw could be a distraction only if the GOP rank-and-file actually cared more about the size of government than the cultural politics of American identity. But they don’t. It’s not even close. American conservatism is a movement consumed by protecting and asserting a certain fabricated conception of the traditional American way of life against imaginary enemies.

Needless to say, I think Will has a point here. You can argue that the party, the people that tend to vote for it, and the media that cater to those people all feed off of each other. But in any case, the modern kulturkampf-obsessed GOP didn't arise in a vaccuum.

I'd really rather be wrong about all of this.


RW said...

The only thing that would be worse is if that impetus propelled this groupthink to prominence with power.

Remember that lady who stood up during the last campaign and worried out loud to Senator McCain about Barack Obama being a Muslim and it played on national TV and the Senator found himself defending his opponent?

I think that was the sign post of what was ahead. Welcome to the dumbed-down future. The trailer park replaces the parthenon.

We live in a place where people calling themselves civil libertarians actually don't see how speaking against "Miranda rights" makes them a hypocrite.

Justice Hugo Black, that one-time Klansman who turned into that liberal so-and-so on the Supreme Court was once asked if the rulings coming from that evil "Warren Court" aren't just making it harder to prosecute suspected criminals. And he said "of course it is. the entire Bill of Rights was meant to make it hard for the state to prosecute people. That's what it's supposed to do. They didn't want to make it easy for the state."

That musta got lost somewheres...

Gino said...

i've read both of these several times now and i have to admit i see a lot of what i used to be in them, though not presented accurately.

there is a little more nuance to some of these threads of thought than the images portray.

but when it comes time for TV and soundbites, its always the toothless folks that i've never met in the movement that seem to get the facetime.

much of what drives the movement is wishful thinking, but it takes some time for the thoughtful ones to realize that. what there once was will never be again, and its hard to accept sometimes.