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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US: a shift away from conservatism « Previous | |Next »
November 4, 2008

An interesting article on McCain's electoral strategy by Ezra Klein, one of the bloggers at American Prospect. What it doesn't do is describe the tectonic shift in the US electorate away from Reagan conservatism--a generational shift, if you like. A new political landscape is in formation, if you take the polls seriously. Its back against the wall for the Weekly Standard crowd for, according to Bill Kristol, an Obama administration and a Democrat Congress means a more debilitating nanny state at home and a weaker nation facing America's enemies abroad.

McCain is basically defending the states that Bush won in 2004 as Obama is seen as the antidote to the disaster of the Bush years. The Bush states of Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina are in play. Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico are judged to have turned blue. It's defending the base as it were from the Democrat threat to take the centrist states and districts from the Republican side.

The GOP is poised to take a beating in congressional races. Will the business wing of the Republican party become reconciled to a Democratic majority--- if for no other reason than self-preservation. If so, then that will leave the evangelical/Southern wing of the party in effective control. Will the logic of bigotry, fanaticism and xenophobia that now grips and motivates the Republican party base deepen, and trash the virtues of democracy and constitutionalism?

If the Republican Party is driven back into the deep South and deep West then the GOP is in for a long stay in the political wilderness. Will Sarah Palin be its political voice? She reckons she's the one.

Even if Obama wins the religious fundamentalist right will continue to shape the way America understands school prayer, creationism, public displays of religious symbols, proselytizing in schools, abortion, gay marriage, religious warfare and foreign policy--its public cuture. No doubt, they will express strong support for conservative policies in the forthcoming ballot initiatives (plebiscites) on social issues in many states.

The Bush administration's legacy is going to haunt the US for quite some time as it is highly toxic. As Tom Engelhardt says the legacy President Bush and his pals are leaving behind includes:

A wrecked economy, deflated global stock markets, collapsing banks and financial institutions, soaring unemployment, a smashed Republican Party, a bloated Pentagon overseeing a strained, overstretched military, enmired in an incoherent set of still-expanding wars gone sour, a network of secret prisons, as well as Guantanamo, that "jewel in the crown" of Bush's Bermuda Triangle of injustice, and all the grim practices that went with those offshore prisons, including widespread torture and abuse, kidnapping, assassination, and the disappearing of prisoners (once associated only with South America dictatorships and military juntas).

As Michael Schwartz argues the Iraq that has emerged from the American invasion and occupation is now a thoroughly wrecked land, housing a largely dysfunctional society.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:48 AM | | Comments (4)


The right is discredited bacause the religious right is discredited. It has strained credulity to breaking point.
The more outlandish its claims the bigger the resulting disasters and now even blind Freddy sees through it.
Or does (s)he?
Its easy to identify from one's own experience with this yearning to return to a better but vanished and lapsed reality- melancholy and nostalgia are potent euphorics.
So, once the disillusion sets in and they realise that Obama is no more the answer than anyone else, then people will forget the errors of the nutters and the nonsenses of the religious right instead become reinforced. Then people begin to hit out, unless they somehow find it within themselves to adjust to reality. But not on current form.
There is no guarantee that America won't continue to slide, so you wonder at theimplications, if other power formations rising to fill the void try to inflict a physical premium on this obese, ageing and denialist civilisation.

It’s not "really" the candidate- the Obama or the Mccain who is running, It’s their advisers, vice presidents and interested factions, at least put these guys pictures in the paper somewhere, (and dart manufacturers excellent opportunity here). Candidates can be lovable like Rover, but the others are ringing the dinner bell.
A special suggestion to all your Independent undecided voters, you can be a real maverick by just writing your spouses or enemies or my name as a write in candidate... What a way to show ‘em media elites...

I wouldnt call it a shift away from "conservatism". Instead I would call it a shift away from the psychotic mind-set that has held USA in its thrall in recent decades.

The psychosis as displayed and described in Kristols's piece which is really a description of his own deadly psychosis, and those of his right-thinking fellow travellers.

All sponsored by chairman Rupert who is now presuming to lecture us on the necessary foundations for us to fully participate in the forth-coming frontier "culture".

Voters in California, Florida and Arizona supported constitutional amendments to outlaw gay marriage. Voters in Arkansas banned adoption by unmarried couples. In Nebraska a measure to end affirmative action in state hiring practices passed easily. Over 18,000 same-sex couples will have their unions invalidated in California.

The hardcore religious right, who drove the placement of these bans on the ballot in the three states and spearheaded the campaigns for their passage, succeeded in not only mobilizing their followers -- who were led to believe that gay marriage would spell the end of religious liberty for Christians -- but in casting the issue in a way that appealed to more moderate voters as well.

Maybe its only a partial shift from conservatism? Is the passage of Prop 8 in California to stop same-sex marriage --marriage equality--- just temporarily delaying the inevitable?