alien & sedition.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
  Viguerie Is Having None of It - But Don't Get Too Excited

Via Daily Kos, here's Hotline reporting on conservative patriarch Richard Viguerie's reaction to Bush's SOTU. As you can probably guess, he's not thrilled.
The underlying message in this State of the Union Address was directed toward the Democrats: In effect, we can work together--let's make a deal. The underlying message directed toward the conservatives was: You have no place else to go.

He did not acknowledge any mistake in pursuing the liberal, big government policies that have driven the Republican Party from power on Capitol Hill.

He did not announce any changes in personnel in a conservative direction.

He did not announce that he will veto any increase in discretionary spending.

He did not call for the downsizing or elimination of any government programs.

He did not call for eliminating the corporate welfare shelled out to big business.

He did not announce that he will veto any legislation that contains 'earmarks.'

He did not launch a serious war on the institutionalized government corruption between big business, their lobbies, Congress, and the Administration.

He did not announce any significant initiatives to protect traditional moral values.

Accordingly, conservatives must continue to declare their independence from the Republican Party. We must act as a Third Force in American politics, seeking to draw both major political parties to the Right. Conservative principles and goals take precedence over partisanship. We will support Democrats and Republicans alike when they do the right thing, and oppose Democrats and Republicans alike when they do the wrong thing.

Take the third-party threat with a grain of salt. As Hotline notes, "Viguerie is the press's to-go guy when there's a need to quote a conservative who thinks some other conservative isn't conservative enough."

There is certainly serious and growing dischord within the conservative movement, much of it centered around conservatives' great sense of betrayal by the Bush administration. Viguerie's statement captures many of their complaints. But if you're looking for signs of the conservative movement breaking apart, don't look for them in Viguerie. He's something like a right-wing version of Ralph Nader: a lot of credibility based on his past, but far more willing to be schismatic than most of his comrades.

If he were to create a conservative third party, it would likely have about as much impact as Nader's Greens: it could swing a close election, but would mean little to nothing in the long run.

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