Friday, August 26, 2005

A Lesson for the Left

Courtesy of George Will:
In the 1960s, just as conservatism was beginning to grow from a fringe tendency into what it has become -- the nation's most potent persuasion -- it was threatened by a boarding party of people not much, if any, loonier than Sheehan. The John Birch Society, whose catechism included the novel tenet that Dwight Eisenhower was an agent of the Kremlin, was not numerous -- its membership probably never numbered more than 100,000 -- but its power to taint all of conservatism was huge, particularly given the media's eagerness to abet the tainting. Responsible conservatives, especially William F. Buckley and his National Review, repelled the boarders, driving them into the dark cave where, today, they ferociously guard the secret of their size from a nation no longer curious about it., which claims 3.3 million members and is becoming a tone-setting tail that wags the Democratic Party dog that is mostly such tails, adopted Sheehan during her Crawford demonstration, organizing 1,627 vigils around the country to express solidarity with her. But the Democratic Party, whose democratically elected chairman is Howard (``I Hate the Republicans and Everything They Stand For'') Dean, is not ripe for lessons in temperate rhetoric, which may be why the Republican Party has far fewer worries than it deserves.

1 comment:

Larry Rasczak said...

This is just the fruition of something that has been going on since 1968. Take my Dad for example, poor Pittsburgh Irish Catholic. FDR meant food on the table when he was growing up in the Depression. Flew a bomber in WW2. Die hard Democrat to the core. I remember my Mom making up hundreds of sandwiches for "the poor people's march on Washington" and boycotting grapes for Cesar Chavez.

Then came the 1968 convention. After the riots the McGovern comission was set up to "reform" the party and they gave it over to the Anti-War radicals. Not suprising McGovern was the nominee in 1972. That was the first year my Dad voted for the GOP. He HATED it, but he kept muttering "lesser of two evils".

Then came Roe v. Wade. As a Catholic he could only back pro-Life Democrats (yes there were some of them long ago, heck Dick Gephart was one WAY back when). These became fewer and fewer, and the party kept moving further and further left. Abortion, ERA, Nuclear Freeze, Gay rights, appeasement and a total inability to support the defense department; these became the hallmarks of the DNC. Dad became a "Reagan Democrat" even as my older brother voted for Anderson because he was afraid Reagan would start WW3.

By 1984 my dad was stuffing envelopes at the Regan campaing headquarters. As Regan used to say "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, they left me."

Millions of people are like my Dad. Conservative Democrats and Moderate Democrats have been leaving the Democratic Party for over three decades now. The radicals accepted, even encouraged this. Yes it meant loosing "a few elections here and there", but as the Tip O'Neils of the world died off and the Ronald Reagans just plain moved to the GOP, that made it easier and easier for the radicals to gain control of the Democratic Party itself.

Of course this means they are effectively gaining a larger share of a continually shrinking market, but if they could understand economics they wouldn't be Democrats now would they?

So as the party moves further left, more moderates and conservatives leave; which makes it easier for the radicals to move the party further to the left, causing more moderates and conservatives to leave, which makes it easier... lather, rinse, repeat.

Howard Dean's current position is sort of like that of the last surviving officer at Little Big Horn. "Well Lieutenat, the good news is you are now in command of the regiment...."