Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Republican crackup?

Andrew Sullivan predicts a civil war (or an uncivil war) in the Republican Party, but for some reason (can someone explain this to me?) can’t make consistent distinctions. He talks about realists and neocons in foreign policy, but characterizes paleocons as realists. I thought that the paleocons were isolationists. Have I missed something?

And there are obvious disagreements in domestic policy as well, but the fault lines aren’t altogether clear here either. Do paleocons, for example, prefer small government or government promotion of morality? What do neocons think about domestic policy? Are ambitious attempts at nation-building only for Iraq and Afghanistan, or for the U.S. as well?

One could say that these are the growing pains of the new majority party, or one could predict blood and gore (small g) and guts. Sullivan for obvious reasons chooses the latter.

I wish this smart guy could shed more light than he’s willing to do.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Sullivan is a formerly-clear thinker who has become increasingly confused ideologically due to Abu Ghraib and the rise of "gay marriage" to the status of a national issue. He is one of those hawks who cannot stomach the ugly side of war, and one of those semi-social conservatives who cannot stick to conservative principle when an issue hits too close to home.

His analysis of conservatism and the Republican party is distorted by 1) the fact that he did not grow up in America; 2) the fact that he is not, at heart, a real social conservative and therefore doesn’t fully understand either social conservatism or its political appeal; and 3) his anger at President Bush for nominally opposing "gay marriage." Therefore, I wouldn’t take Sullivan’s writings on conservatism and GOP prospects too seriously.

That said, there are serious reasons for worry about the conservative movement and the GOP. Sullivan raises some of the fundamental questions here, though his answers aren’t all that great.

We should also keep in mind that politics, unlike truth, is always relative. Yes, the GOP and the conservative movement are in more trouble than they seem to be. But this trouble is probably matched by the more evident trouble in which the liberals and Democrats find themselves.

Of course another "con" missing from the latest of Andrew’s increasingly strident and non-intellectual posturing is that of the "theo-con". A term I would use to describe many of NLT’s posters.
Andrew first went off the mark when he realized the Catholic Church had become a sanctuary for many trying to avoid their homosexuality and, in the ensuing struggle, had become pedophiles.
In his mind it became the Church’s sin, not the homosexual priest’s sin in using his position of trust and power to the Faithful.
Andrew is a really intelligent young man, and one of the best writers you can read today, but his "sexual identity" has completely taken over his logic.

Sullivan reached a new low the other day (March 18, to be exact, but there doesn’t seem to be a permalink) when he took a lazy backhanded swipe at people who don’t think Terri Schiavo should be executed without due process, treating it as if the case involves nothing more than a straightforward matter of "dying with dignity" and saying nothing about awkward facts such as the ambiguity of evidence regarding her condition, her husband’s financial stake in her death, his abandonment of her for another woman, and the wishes of Terri’s parents and siblings.

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