Win or lose …


There used to be a spirit of solidarity binding all the embattled members of the conservative movement. But with conservatism ascendant, that spirit has eroded. Should Bush lose, it will be like a pack of wolves that suddenly turns on itself. The civil war over the future of the party will be ruthless and bloody. The foreign-policy realists will battle the democracy-promoting Reaganites. The immigrant-bashing nativists will battle the free marketeers. The tax-cutting growth wing will battle the fiscally prudent deficit hawks. The social conservatives will war with the social moderates, the biotech skeptics with the biotech enthusiasts, the K Street corporatists with the tariff-loving populists, the civil libertarians with the security-minded Ashcroftians. In short, the Republican Party is unstable.

New York Times Magazine
How to Reinvent the G.O.P.
August 29, 2004

Republicans and conservatives are quarreling over Congress’s intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, and the rising influence of Christian conservatives. Some Republicans in Washington and statehouses are balking at federal tax cuts in the face of deficits or spending cuts, while a few are worried that the war in Iraq will lead to more foreign entanglements. Republicans are beginning to whisper in the past tense as they discuss Mr. Bush’s signature second-term measure, the revamping of Social Security.

Conservative commentators and blogs are even warning that Republican divisions could turn into turmoil once President Bush begins his fade from power. “The American right is splintering,” the sometimes-conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote in a column for The Sunday Times of London headlined, “Bush’s Triumph Conceals the Great Conservative Crack-Up.”

New York Times
Squabbles Under the Big Tent
April 2, 2005

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