Sunday, November 02, 2008

George W. Bush is the Conservative Movement

No doubt conservative Republicans will try to spin itself away from George W. Bush as their party goes down in Tuesday's historic defeat. It's been happening for some time already, this notion that Bush "really wasn't a conservative." This is a common tactic for any authoritarian movement, described so perfectly by George Orwell in 1984. "Oceanic society ultimately rests on the belief that Big Brother is omnipotent and The Party can do no wrong."

Or, to put it another way, conservatives are crybabies. "Daddy's perfect!!" is their mantra. Only, "Daddy" represents not any one leader but the conservative movement itself. When convenient, the Party will toss Bush aside as a traitor and a sellout, as a closet liberal who betrayed the principles of conservatism. Reality is irrelevant. Truth is irrelevant. All that matters is the Party and the movement. Daddy is Perfect. Daddy Can Do No Wrong.

So you can expect the spin from the hard right in the future, as Republicans try to convince themselves that America is overwhelmingly conservative, and it was the "liberal" George W. Bush who cost them the election. The Democrats who will win the election, what of them? Naturally, they won because they ran as conservatives. Yep. All these new Democrats are really conservatives. But the Democratic Party is still ultra-liberal, and Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ.

It's a funny little bit of jujitsu, one designed purely to deflect any and all criticism, truth and logic be damned. There is no point, really, in trying to appeal to logic or find flaws in these arguments. These are not arguments in any real, adult sense. These are excuses, whiny tantrums spluttered by screaming toddlers who can't have their way.

Don't let conservatives spin away George W. Bush. George W. Bush was, and shall always remain, the very face of the conservative movement. He was practically worshipped as a religious figure for years; the Christian Right never really liked that Jewish Messiah, anyway. Too liberal. Always talked about the poor. Always denounced the wealthy and the powerful. Naw, Dubya is our Messiah now.

Republican conservatives have failed because conservatism itself has failed. Nobody likes them and what they represent anymore. Perhaps most Americans never did. The GOP only managed to fight the 2000 election to a tie (and credit must be given to Al Gore's hideously awful campaign). By September, 2001, Bush's approval ratings were already sinking. Then the terrorist attacks struck on 9/11, and America just lost its mind. And the Republicans played that fear and madness like a pipe organ for years.

And now, at long last, Americans have sobered up enough to figure out the scam. It won't work anymore. And conservatism is about to be handed its second consecutive defeat at the polls. This one will prove far more painful, with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress with healthy majorities. Karl Rove's hubris of a permanent majority lies in tatters, and it will hopefully remain so for many years.

The lesson of the 2008 election? Nobody Likes Republicans. Nobody Likes Conservatives.

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