Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The fundamentalist GOP legacy

This Cynthia Tucker column is so spot-on:
Falwell was among a handful of ambitious activists who saw the potential in marrying the Republican Party to ultraconservative Christianity, an alliance that magnified the influence of the South in national politics and boosted the fortunes of a born-again governor named George W. Bush.

Ascendant Christian conservatives forced traditional Republicans -- those who believed in a more circumspect government that stayed out of adults' bedrooms as well as their pockets -- to swallow their principles. The Grand Old Party is now hostage to a group of flat-earthers who deny evolution, mock gays, denounce stem cell research, suspect contraceptives and believe all Muslims are going to hell. Indeed, some of them actually want a conflagration in the Middle East because they believe it will hasten the Second Coming of Christ.
The GOP sold its soul for some narrow electoral victories. The country could actually stand to benefit from a future non-insane Republican Party, as despite how utterly it has failed there are doubtless individuals out there with good ideas. Personally I don't care who comes up with a workable plan to deliver health care to all Americans; if it turns out to be a quasi-private corporation model that could succeed, so be it.

I have no earthly idea how honest Republicans might go about reforming their party, but for starters more of them will have to acknowledge just how off course they went. Easier said than done, no doubt, but the first step is the hardest.

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