Monday, April 11, 2005

Right Wing Elites

The Moose argues that the GOP is increasingly out of touch and has lost its touch.

As the Moose has noted, our public life has a distinctly pre-9/11 feel to it. In the political realm, President Bush's popularity numbers increasingly reflect where he was before the terrorist attack on America. Indeed, it might be his popularity is the victim of the nation's success in this war.

Although the Moose is not arguing that W. is a Churchillian figure, the President is suffering from a similar fate as the English Prime Minister. The major difference, of course, is that Bush was re-elected. However, last November, the war was on the front pages with ongoing chaos in Iraq and the dramatic reappearance of Osama shortly before the election. In the aftermath of the successful Iraqi election and the absence of terrorist attacks, the war on terror has receded in the public's consciousness.

Instead, there is much more focus on the Republican's domestic agenda, and that is not a good thing for the GOP. As the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates, even Republicans themselves are not enamored with their party's agenda. You know the GOP has tsouris when "One third of Republicans say Democrats in Congress should prevent Mr. Bush and party leaders from 'going too far in pushing their agenda"! And about a third of elephants are not wild about W's social security scheme.

The Republican domestic agenda has run out of steam. Well, not exactly - they still seek to reward their corporate cronies and posture for the religious right. What was once said about the former Governor of Texas, "Pass the Biscuits Pappy" O'Daniel can also be said about the GOP. - the aim of the Republican Party is to save the soul of the poor man and the wealth of the rich man.

But for the rest of America, including Main Street Republicans, the cupboard is bare. Tax cuts have lost their appeal and the GOP has lost all of its credibility as the party of small government.

Of course, everything could change and the war against terror could return to center stage in an instant. But as long as the focus is on the domestic front, the War Party has nothing to say.

The current political situation is eerily similar to the period of 93 and 94 - an incumbent party has misinterpreted the results of the election, overreached on a domestic policy initiative, became identified with a controversial social agenda and the congressional wing appeared mired in corruption.

What is most damaging to the Republicans is that they appear out of touch with America. For years, the right's rap on the left was that it was dominated by intellectual elites who couldn't relate to America. That can now be said of the right. The conservatives are now a mix of inside-the Beltway egg-heads and K Street hustlers. The Schiavo case and social security privatization are two issues that illustrate the gulf between America and the right.

And who believes that most Americans are abuzz about activist judges? Browse through a Walmart and see if the folks are aflame about the nuclear option. No, the Federalist Society bow tie types are as out of touch as the tie-dye Berkeley types.

Today's right is more comfortable on K Street than on Main Street.
-- Posted at 8:30 AM | Link to this post | Email this post