Monday, November 03, 2008

Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the Republican Party

It's a good time to recall just how severe what Dick Cheney and George Bush have done to the Republican Party really is. As historian Sean Wilentz lays out in How Bush Destroyed the Republican Party Rolling Stone 09/04/08:

The Republican Party, having presided over the longest conservative political ascendancy in U.S. history, now finds itself out of touch with the American people, held hostage by radicals who have forsaken basic values like respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. The ideological factions and interest groups that now make up the party — the foreign-policy neoconservatives, the religious right and the pro-business, anti-tax radicals — are increasingly angry and inflexible in their demands. At the beginning of the conservative ascendancy, it took a politician with the skills and magnetism of Ronald Reagan to hold those forces together and build a national majority — and Reagan's America was far less diverse, and far more suspicious of Democrats, than the nation is today. Now the old Navy man John McCain, the last of the Reagan-era Republicans — bearing the wounds of war and politics, his party's ultimate prize his at last — finds himself swimming against strong historical tides. In the end, even if he should somehow manage to evade the flotsam and jetsam of a shipwrecked GOP, he may well find himself pulled out to sea by the inexorable and unprecedented undertow of the Bush presidency. [my emphasis]
There's a video of Wilentz discussing his article, too.

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