Where did all the moderate GOPers go?

1984 – Ronald Reagan wins re-election by a landslide, creating the era later known as “Mourning In America.”

1994 – Newt Gingrich  strong arms himself into the national scene and issues his infamous “Contract On America.”

2005 – A chastened Arlen Specter apologizes to the entire GOP and White House for daring to state that he would use his independent judgment in the next Supreme Court nomination vote. The GOP never forgave him, and Specter then moved across the aisle.


Before you go hog wild, this is not your usual conspiracy theory. According to Wikipedia,

A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.

This particular theory is not so much a theory, but fact. The actors were not acting in secret plots, but announcing their plans in public.


Here are some names for you to chew on: Bob Packwood, Mark Hatfield, Lowell Weicker, John Anderson, Charles Mathias, Susan Collins, and John Heinz.

You might even want to add George H. W. Bush,  Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to this list, because given how many times Reagan raised taxes, compromised with Democrats, and refused to outlaw abortion (although his team clearly added onerous regs and roadblocks), Reagan would be banned from today’s GOP. Nixon? for all his crimes and faults, he signed the EPA into law, he successfully directed SALT negotiations with the USSR, he fixed Social Security and VA funding, and he began discussions with our other arch-enemy, China. Imagine that. TALKING to your enemies. Negotiating with them. Coming up with peaceful solutions. Today, that would be considered treason, especially if some black Kenyan muslim was the one seeking negotiations.

Long before TeaBuggery became acceptable in American society, the attack on moderate GOPers was well underway. An unholy tri-part alliance was made with conservative religious leaders in the 1970s. It was then that rancid and disgusting groups like Moral Majority began to take form.  Another leg of this ultra-conservative tripod was a collection of superrich and very, very conservative billionaires and millionaires, who thought that John Birch was too liberal, and the KKK was a nice way to air one’s sheets out.  The last leg? rabidly conservative pols who hate compromise.  And so, christian conservatives, political conservatives, and conservative old rich guys joined forces and started their attack on our political system.

Actually, in retrospect, they were brilliant about it – and the Democrats were asleep at the wheel. We had had so many successes, that too many Democrats were simply willing to sit back and relax. Even if they suspected that there was indeed a right wing conspiracy underway, and that it would attack each and every part of government and society, they did nothing.

Shame on them.

Here are just a few of the incredible successes the ultra-conservatives have had in the past 40 years.

a. think tanks.

b. local elections.

c. rehabbing Ronald Reagan

d. attacking the media

e. claiming ours was a conservative country

f. schooling, books, charters, and worse.

g. church – state separation

h. TeaBuggery

a. Think Tanks:
In retrospect, I cannot think of a better example than this one. It took planning, it took money, and it took time (perseverance, too). When the first think tanks were created, (ignoring the Carnegie created a century ago), they had one goal, keeping conservatism and capitalism alive and well.

The first of these groups, the Hoover Institution, Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute filled a void that no one even knew existed. Under the guidance of Lewis Powell, (former USSC justice), they were soon attacking anything that smelled of redistribution, regulation, and that might conceivably help those in need.  Together with the national Chamber of Commerce, they forged an alliance that has been destroying every liberal and moderate gain since Teddie Roosevelt and FDR.  Want some examples? ACORN. ALEC. And that’s just the letter a.

But the Think Tanks also did something else. Soon, moderates and on the fence politicians found pamphlets on specific bills on their ride to the Capital. These think tank products started off rough and amateurish, but soon took on a gloss and more professional look. In many cases, these documents and briefings provided your normal congresscritter or senatwhore THE ONLY BRIEFING THEY EVER SAW ON THE ISSUE OR A PARTICULAR BILL!  Given the short attention span that apparently thrives in Washington, the Think Tanks timed their pamphlet dropping on the day before and the day of a particular vote.

The impact was not immediate, but over time, the Think Tanks became the welcome source of information, if only because such information was totally lacking from other sources, even opposing party leadership. If there was anything that changed how Congress viewed new legislation, it was the Think Tank. All too often, all this hard work and preparation left the Think Tank version of reality the only one providing input into a legislative move.

b. local elections.
How the Democrats effed this up was and remains unforgivable.

Some decades ago, the GOP actually spent money starting up training centers. They taught folks how to answer questions (and ignore them) from the media, how to deal with adversity, and how to attack their liberal opponents without shame or remorse. They gathered thousands and thousands of young, bright, shiny faeces, had them run for local office, get their political feet wet, and even provided funding and attacks on their opponents. Thousands of offices were then filled, filled by ultraconservatives often masking their true selves and ideals.

By sweeping so many local offices, they accomplished several feats. They got experience, priceless experience, even if they lost at first. They took control of local agendas, driving home the ideas of socialism being bad, taxes being worse, and insisting that ours was a christian, conservative nation. Many of today’s GOP congresscritters came up the ranks in this way, trained, aggressive, and unwilling to compromise. If took years, but the planting, fertilizing and reaping of ultra-conservative pols was incredibly successful. Just look at the House today. They marched in lockstep with the White House during Bush, and continue to do so now.

And the Democrats slept. The bastards.

c. Rehabbing Ronald Reagan

When Saint Ronald left office, he left the country in deep trouble. It was ideologically split, some small parts of the GOP were ever more aggressive, and the Democrats seemed to be in disarray. On top of this, Ronald Reagan left office with his reputation in tatters. His approval rate sucked, people were glad to see him gone, and slowly, but surely people began repairing what he had broken.

And then something amazing happened. Ronald was crowned as the savior of the nation. Groups began demanding the naming of airports, federal buildings, and more after him. His name was bandied about as the savior of the nation, the Great Communicator, the man who personally tore down the Berlin Wall. And it was all false. If anything, Reagan was mediocre, at best, and his many failings inflicted endless pain, even death, unnecessarily (think AIDS).

I was shocked at how recent history was being rewritten, but there it was. They kept at it for so long, that the lie behind it was never discussed, and later, never exposed. Yet, because no one bothered to speak truth to those pushing this meme, the meme took on a life of its own. Saint Ronald is now a political fact, not fiction, although the latter is far more accurate.

d. attacking the media

Yet again, the Democrats fucked this up. Most of the Media was never “liberal” or “Conservative” or really connected with any political movement or party (except some specific liberal or conservative rags, like National Review or New Republic). The media surely had tendencies, conservative more often than not,  but also more often than not, they tried to report news. The media of the 60s refused to report on Kennedy’s dalliances. The media of the 90s could not resist spewing about blow jobs.

The corrosive impact of the attack, “Liberal Media” continues to echo today. Given the utter monopoly over talk radio by Reich Wing Whack Jobs, it would be ironic, but sadly, there is no room for irony these days.

This constant attack had two direct and damaging results. It convinced the public that this lie was in fact, fact. (no one in the media had the balls to stand up to this devious attack). Next, and probably more harmful, they convinced the Media itself that saying anything that might be construed as liberal would be attacked, so predictably, the media took great pains and began to avoid doing so. This attack turned a generally non-partisan media into a conservative mouthpiece, simply to avoid the attack of being partisan.  Sheer brilliance!

e. claiming ours was a conservative country

Another brilliant move. When you hear that constant drumbeat, that ours was a conservative country, based on christian values, (Newt, Kain, Perry, and Bachmann used this meme repeatedly during this election) you start to believe it. Especially when no one contradicts you about it.

When you poll Americans on specific issues, the only logical  conclusion is that we are a mix of liberal, moderate and conservative ideas. In fact, the general population is far more liberal than any of the 2012 GOP presidential platforms, alarmingly so. Alarmingly, only because there were no rational alternatives offered by the candidates. There were no moderate ideas (loved by the general public) and certainly no liberal ideas (supported by the vast majority of people).

Democrats have a lot to answer for on this. But it takes time, patience, dedication, and education of a nation. So long as the DINOs were in office, it was virtually impossible to take the steps necessary to correct this lie. Perhaps now will be different.

f. schooling, books, charters, and worse.

Yes, Darwin lost the first trial. Scopes was found GUILTY, not innocent. And it took that state 40 years to repeal the offending statute. But the Conspiracy never stopped working. Their successes in Ohio, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and other states only took place because of years of preparation, years of hard work, and never admitting defeat.  Evolution is a lie, stem cells are a mortal sin, birth control is the devil’s work, and abortions bring satan ever closer to taking this dog-fearing, dyslexic, nation over.

Today, our schoolbooks are a mess because of Texas. (They virtually control content for the rest of the country). America’s history is being destroyed as we speak.

Charter Schools? Privatized public options? These do nothing but destroy the public education system. Their quality is often worse than the schools they seek to replace. Worst of all, the cronyism and possibility of bribery and abuse makes this system a disaster that will haunt us for a generation. (think private prisons as an example. We used to fear the Military – Industrial complex. While it still poses a danger, the Jail-Industrial complex, and the Charter School-Industrial complex are just as dangerous.)

g. church – state separation

How many Democrats stood up to W’s attack on the separation of church and state? Who complained when Bush funneled billions to conservative christian groups, often cutting out effective, working, public systems? This was, is, and will be a disaster from which it will take a generation to recover.

If we fail to stand up to this, our nation will self-destruct. To counter this, join up here:  Freedom From Religion Foundation.  In fact, our Chicagoland chapter is finally set up, and it looks like I will be the local secretary. Proudly.

h. TeaBuggery

When your opponent scores a huge victory, all you can do is acknowledge it, congratulate them, and move on.

That is the case with TeaBuggery. Forget the moronic hats, forget the moranic signs, forget the misspelling, the old, fat, white, folks demanding that the Federal Government keep their hands of medicare. This was a huge victory for the Phil Grams, the KKKarl Roves, the Kochs, and other ultra-conservative bastards around this country.

This was a con job, the likes of which we have not seen in politics before. It was an artificial concoction, intended to confuse the public like a shiny lure in fish infested waters. And it worked. This small collection of hyper-conservative, anti-government, functionally illiterate, generally unread, misinformed, Fox News Viewers actually became a viable movement. Underwritten by billionaires, supported in secret, it gathered Republicans, only conservative ones, renamed them, and gave them temporary shelter and cover. Given the bashing that conservative Republicans were due (thanks in no small part to the Cheney Bush administration), the creation of TeaBuggery changed the focus, the story, and prevented the backlash against conservative GOPers.

Now, it is common knowledge that the TeaBuggered movement is little more than a relabeling of the worst of the PNAC Assholes, the failed NeoConMan movement, and generally little more than a a collection of wild-eyed, Todd Akin/Joe Walsh imbeciles whose favorite mantra is TAX CUTS!  But it took 2 long, dank, dark, dangerous years to make it common knowledge.

Just this week, there were three separate reports that TeaBuggered candidates were being laughed at in person. After repeating one of their idiotic, non-thinking positions, during town hall meetings and one debate, the crowd jeered in one case, and in two others, openly laughed and booed the TeaBuggered candidate.

Joe Walsh is rapidly retreating from his Macaca moment, in which he displayed his stunningly large scientific and medical ignorance about female reproductive systems.  (Tell me, please, why are these anti-government freaks so intent on forcing, even increasing federal government involvement into women’s vaginas?)  Todd Akin went from a shoo-in, to a shoe in the mouth candidate in one easy step. The only ones who still support him are Hucksterbee and other religious assholes.

I predict that Tea Buggery is here for some time, but that their power will be substantially and permanently curtailed as of this November.