alien & sedition.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
  This Time I Really Mean It

At Conservative Battleline, Craig Shirley says it's time for conservatives to consider declaring their independence from the GOP -- emulating the actions of the "Manhattan Twelve," who, in 1971, confronted Richard Nixon over his deviations from conservative orthodoxy:
True conservatives are now faced with this choice once again. In order to save their ideology, should the conservative movement declare it’s independence from the Bush Administration and the GOP? The arguments for doing so are compelling.

The immigration bill, most conservatives believe, is a sellout of everything they hold dear – the rule of law, justice, freedom and sovereignty. But rather than listen to the grassroots American people, the GOP elites are listening intently instead to their master’s voice, corporate America....

The war has held together the unhappy shotgun marriage of the elitist GOP and the populist conservatives, but the D-word (“divorce”) is now on the lips of many in the movement.

The arguments for at least a trial separation are legion; from steel tariffs to federal mandates to the states educational systems, to the biggest entitlement since the Great Society to the corruption of Republican “lawmakers” and Enron and the GOP K Street walkers, whose main job is to convince GOP lawmakers into doing un-Republican things. Arrogance, ignorance, the unseemly pursuit of power over principles and betrayal of conservatism are the hallmarks of the current GOP.
Shirley doesn't really identify who the "GOP elites" are -- the Bush administration, one supposes, but who specifically, and why should we believe that they will continue to be the party's "elites" in 2009? And would conservatives have as much leverage with a self-absorbed lame-duck as they did with Nixon, who after all was about to seek re-election? What about the candidates for 2008? And what does a "divorce" from a major party mean? A third party?

In fact Shirley is simply calling for the conservative movement to lead the party, as it did in the 1970s. Unfortunately for Shirley, the movement is a lot less coherent now than it was in the days of the "Manhattan Twelve."

At any rate, Shirley and his compatriots got their way on the immigration bill. Articles like this one might serve as reminder not to mistake conservative sound and fury for any actual plan to break with the GOP.

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