Wednesday, April 25, 2007



Giuliani seemed desperate. Along with the standard Republican election year pablum about raising gasoline prices and lowering taxes for the rich-- except they never mention the gas or who exactly taxes get lowered for-- he was running around screaching that unless he's elected president, the U.S. would be attacked by al-Qaeda. After all, it was Rudy who met the Arab armies on the Hudson and defeated them, right. Yeah, sure-- if you're a Republican primary voters in South Carolina.

Today's issue of the American Conservative leads with an article by Associate Editor, old line reactionary W, James Antle III decrying how this year's conservatism is tied-- with an anchor-- to the Bush-Cheney failed policies in Iraq. "Wartime, the argument goes, is no time for conservatives to demand ideological purity. Or, as Noemie Emery put it in an emblematic essay for The Weekly Standard, 'in a time of national peril, the test is a luxury [conservatives] cannot afford.'"

He cites both pro-choice/pro-gay/pro-immigrant/pro-gun control Giuliani and anti-tax cuts/pro-amnesty/campaign finance reformer crazy old man from Arizona McCain ("between the two of them, they make virtually the entire conservative domestic agenda-- lower taxes, limited government, gun rights, the pro-life cause, and the defense of traditional marriage-- negotiable"). But they're supporting the Bush Regime on Iraq, so for the 28% of Americans who agree with that policy... they're the GOP frontrunners.
In fact, it would be difficult to find a Republican who hews closer to the party line on Iraq than the two frontrunners. McCain is adamant that if U.S. forces were to withdraw, “the consequences would be chaos, genocide, and, sooner or later, we go back.” Or we end up with terrorism on our own soil: “If we come home, bin Laden and [deceased al-Qaeda leader] Zarqawi, they are going to follow us.”

Giuliani agrees. “When you listen to these debates in Congress, and you listen to the politicians debating, you sort of get the impression that they think we’re in control of whether we’re at war or not,” America’s Mayor explained to pundit Sean Hannity. “It doesn’t matter what we think. They’re at war with us. They want to come here and kill us.” ... In many respects, they are more fervent believers in the Bush Doctrine than the current president.

Conservatives hate McCain for many reasons, the most cutting being on the character issue: he's an undependable asshole and egomaniac. But they have specific ideologically-based problems with him too, even though his voting record is excruciatingly right-wing and couldn't be called anything other than extremist by anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together. But what the greed and selfishness wing of the party will never forgive him is his opposition to endless tax cuts for millionaires and his refusal to toe the party line, if just on that one vote. "McCain’s rationale for opposing the second President Bush’s tax cuts sounded much like Ted Kennedy’s. The Arizona senator said, 'I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.'" This and other tax stands by McCain, writes Antle III should disqualify him from being considered for the presidency by the wingnuts but instead even some of the most rabid greed-and-selfishness caucus spokesmen, like Lawrence Kudlow, support him. And Antle III makes the obvious case that Giuliani is even worse, from a far right perspective, mostly because he's pro-choice.
Nevertheless, Giuliani now leads in every national poll. A plurality of Republicans seem ready to nominate a man who, as mayor of New York City, issued proclamations celebrating Planned Parenthood Day, donated money to the hard-line pro-choice group NARAL, and spoke glowingly about the “distinguished tradition” begun by Margaret Sanger. In some surveys, he leads his nearest rival by double-digit margins.

Many wingnuts however will never support either McCain or Giuliani. "The anti-tax Club for Growth has pilloried McCain’s economic record, and the Arizona senator has been equally hostile to them. James Dobson, a leading religious conservative, has said flatly that he would not vote for either Giuliani or McCain in the general election. A high percentage of Republicans don’t know the full extent of Giuliani’s social liberalism. A Wall Street Journal poll found that a majority of the former mayor’s own supporters would have reservations about backing a pro-choice, pro-gay unions candidate."

Six in ten Republicans are dissatisfied with what they're being offered. Many would rather lose with Newt. Otherwise the entire GOP strategy comes down to one thing: "It's the War, stupid." According to one far-right loon writer for the GOP propaganda sheet Weekly Standard, "Iraq 'overwhelms everything as the major issue in the eyes of the base.' While Giuliani is pro-choice, he should be preferable to conservatives because '[t]hey see him as a more ruthless George W. Bush.' Giuliani 'would have taken Falluja the first time,' for example, or 'would not have been fazed by whining over Abu Ghraib and Club Gitmo, and would have treated critics of the armed forces and of the mission with the same impatience he showed critics of the police in New York.'" The same kook said she would rather vote for Joe Lieberman than Brownback or Hagel, who don't support Bush as strongly as the ex-Democrat. Even across-the-board far-right nutcase and Cheney shill Hugh Hewitt says, "For a majority of the GOP primary electorate, it is the war, the war, the war."

And somehow these imbeciles having watched-- and enabled-- George Bush and the Republican Party, grievously damage the national security of our country, somehow think that either ex-prisoner of war McCain or the mayor of the city that got bombed who didn't hide under a desk the way Bush did would somehow be the best leader. Because they're both Bush mini-Me's? Neocon con artist William Kristol of the Weekly Standard has been campaigning for Lieberman to be the GOP vice presidential nominee based almost solely on his rabid support for Bush's Iraq agenda-- and at the same time he's screaming that the 17 Repugs in the House who voted against Bush's escalation should all get primary challengers.

Antle III is less sure than his extremist fellow-travellers that nothing matters but continuing Bush's unpopular endless occupation of Iraq. "The conservative domestic agenda is already stalled under a president who supposedly agrees with most of it. Territory ceded to leaders who don’t may be impossible to reclaim... To say that conservatives can compromise on first principles but cannot disagree about how best to wage the war on terror is to urge the abandonment of the issues that built the Republican majority in favor of the issue that tore it down. Conservatives who surrender on every other fight in exchange for the single-issue hawks’ promises of victory are accepting a fool’s bargain.


So, we're told, the war in Iraq is now overwhelmingly "the" issue of the right-wing base? To the extent that for many of them it obliterates all other issues?

But this isn't even a "conservative" issue. There's nothing about conservatism that makes the invasion and occupation of Iraq part of its packet of issues. What seems to have happened is that the Moron Conservative Movement adopted the grossest moron of them all, Chimpy the Prez, as its figurehead and then--ever eager to shut those delicate brains off--revamped its approach to ideology such that what's "conservative" is now defined as "What Chimpy Sez." It's true that Chimpy throws hard-core movement conservatives ideological bones with religious-type stuff like opposition to stem-cell research and, well, whatever "position" was being advanced in the disgraceful Terry Schiavo episode. But mostly that provides cover for doing the bidding of the high-capitalist "greed and selfishness" conservatives.

How on earth did this become the bottom-line conservative issue when the Bush regime still hasn't told us why we were invading Iraq? (Of course we have been told why we have to stay the course . . . er, why we have to stay now that we're there: to win!)

Remember, when the Bush regime neocons first signaled the intention to invade Iraq, the loudest opposition came from conservatives, who pointed out, among other things, that this had nothing to do with the conservative agenda. Of course once the invasion became official Bush doctrine, and therefore by extension official moron-conservative doctrine (see above), the conservatives who opposed it seem to have vanished from the face of the earth.

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