Exploring the Eclipse of Equality

Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

First as Tragedy: New messaging rules from Karl Rove

In Domestic Politics on March 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

There were several confrontational events to write about today. In fact the material is so rich that it was hard to decide what to highlight. For example, there was “the slap heard round the world” for Joe Biden. There was the rise of the Coffee Party (in media coverage at least), and there is the health care end game. All of these deserve posts of their own. What stood out among these, however, was the performance of Karl Rove in defense of his new book “Courage and Consequences.”

My title for this post draws on one of my favorite Read the rest of this entry »

The Party of Lincoln: Civil War, Seccesionist Republicans and American Trauma

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I was just reading a column by E. J. Dionne that got me thinking about a few themes in American politics.  Dionne presents the Governor of Texas as an extreme rightist who has embraced positions far to the right of George W. Bush. He also suggests that Perry, who yesterday won the Republican Party primary for governor, has voiced support for secession from the United States. This is interesting because Sarah Palin’s husband has also been associated, to some unspecified degree, with Alaskan secessionists in the past as well. Palin had also supported Perry in the defense of his governorship. This comes together in a picture of the new right as something like the modern day incarnation of the Antebellum South. As I have heard it put, it is difficult to find the edge of the right fringe, much as it was back in 1964.

I am now trying to decide if the fear of the right is based on reasonable expectations of secessionist proclivities (however unlikely these are to be realized), or if the civil war is acting here as a kind of chosen trauma for progressives who fear the past. This makes some sense if we remember that the progressive movement was a creature of the Republican Party under figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Robert LaFollette, and that the Republican Party was created in order to combat the secessionist south. Progressive tendencies within the Republican Party were alive and well until around the late 1960s when New Yorkers like Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits were closing out their careers.

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