March 2, 2007
1986 ALL OVER AGAIN (via Kevin Whited):
Far right feeling left out (JULIE MASON, 3/02/07, Houston Chronicle)
Leading American conservatives are fed up with President Bush and the Republican establishment, and they don't give a toss for the party's 2008 presidential front-runners, either.
At this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual, three-day gathering of the far right and its leaders, the mood is feisty and disgusted -- but not just at Hillary Clinton, this time.
"We as conservatives need new leaders," Richard Viguerie, the conservative father of political direct mail told hundreds of cheering conservatives in a Washington ballroom. "Just because the Republican Party has a death wish doesn't mean we have to go down with them."
1981, Reagan, O'Connor, Viguerie & Bill Moyers (The American View)
Richard's new book written with David Franke is titled "America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New And Alternative Media To Take Power." At the national level, however, conservatives -- by re-electing Mr. Bush --have not taken power, as Richard says, accurately, in his memos to conservative leaders. The temptation is to say that Republicans have taken power, not conservatives. But, even this is not true because Mr. Bush's government with its huge deficits and un-Constitutional programs has not been Republican -- at least not Republican as this tradition was originally in modern times starting with Barry Goldwater.
In his talk with Moyers, Richard said that since Ronald Reagan, "we've not had a president who governed as a conservative." He predicted that after the 2004 election, there would be "a war" for the heart and soul of the GOP and this war would be between traditional conservatives, like himself and Reagan, and the "big government Republicans."
But, if this is true -- if there is such a war -- why did Richard vote for George Bush, who is the biggest of all Big Government Republicans? Why didn't he wage this war before this year's election by refusing to vote for Mr. Bush?
And Richard's memory is playing tricks on him regarding Reagan's alleged conservative governance. As previously noted, when I was the Editor of his "Conservative Digest" magazine in the early 1980s, we were constantly criticizing Reagan because he was naming to top Administration jobs scores of people who were not conservative Reaganites. In fact, we devoted at least two entire issues of the magazine to this topic.
In an "Open Letter" to Reagan in the July, 1982, issue Richard accused the President of "détente with Liberals" and said "most of your major appointments are not conservatives." Another issue of our magazine, as I have said, made the case against Reagan Supreme Court appointee Sandra Day O'Connor who has proven to be anything but a solid conservative. And we failed miserably in getting Reagan and his administration to focus on the so-called "social issues" which included abortion.
Mr. Reagan was no traditional small-government conservative. He only talked about reducing the size of the Federal Government. Among other things, in 1982, he signed into law the biggest tax increase in American history up to that time. When Reagan left office, the Federal Government was the biggest and most debt-ridden national government up to that time.
Richard, and many other Christian conservatives, need to wake up. "The war," at the national level, between traditional conservatives and Big Government Republicans is over. The Big Government Republicans won.
Some of you may be too young to recall that conservatives hated President Reagan then just as much as they hate W and McCain today. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 2, 2007 8:34 AM