Think all conservatives are buying into the current agenda? Check this out:
I’m not the biggest fan of Eisenhower or Nixon, but they (and Reagan) are clearly preferable to this post-Reagan Republican Party. Those presidents won national majorities for a reason. They weren’t strict conservatives, but they certainly weren’t any less conservative than the Bushes, McCain, or Romney. They didn’t pretend they were going to abolish the welfare state — often, they didn’t even pretend they would cut the welfare state — unlike so many of today’s Republicans, who don’t follow through but do use their rhetoric to polarize. That gives us the worst of both worlds: big government plus the delusional sense within one party that it represents the antithesis of big government and may freely hate other Americans who don’t mouth the mantra. And what goes for big government goes for Judeo-Christian values, a strong national defense, and all the rest: the GOP’s rhetoric occupies a separate mental compartment from its actions, even as its voters and ideological apologists continue to believe that there is a profound moral difference between them and the rest of the country. It’s a losing strategy, and worse, it’s made the country ungovernable even as government grows.
That was Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative. His article, “Is the GOP Still a National Party?” hits many nails on many heads as to the current state of Republican politics.
The ideology of suburbia (“porky populism,” with its hatred of organic food and fetishistic attachment to SUVs and Wal-Mart) and the most intense expressions of heartland Protestantism, together with certain Southern good ol’ boy attitudes (less overt racism than a scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours ethos), are the matrix of GOP and “conservative” identity. The financial and neoconservative elites have designed ideologies of their own to integrate with this matrix: neocons spin their foreign policy as an expression of values (God and America are practically the same thing, aren’t they?), as a token of Protestant-Jewish solidarity (support for Israel), and as necessary for national honor and the Southern economy (wars and bases). Wall Street relies on Mitt’s 47 percent myth: the people who aren’t part of the GOP coalition are lazy and lack self-responsibility; i.e., they are sinful and un-Protestant, while the Gospel makes you rich and happy.
Your turn, “porky populists.”