"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
- Winston Churchill -
One week ago, on July 7, ultra-conservative pundit Ann Coulter wrote a piece calling for the resignations of Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney (and by inference, her father, DICK) from the Republican Party. While her column was full of the usual hysterical hyperbole about liberals and the Democratic Party, I was struck by how such a widely-followed conservative commentator went after her fellow Republicans, and such notable ones at that.
For Bill Kristol and the Cheneys have long held esteemed positions in what the Republican Party has become: a bastion of rabid neoconservative ideologues, intent on using pre-emptive military action, perpetual war, and even torture to force the rest of the world into forming U.S.-style governments at gunpoint.
The very next day, conservative Republicans Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan took up the discussion and sided with Coulter on Joe's MSNBC-TV Morning Joe show. Said Scarborough, "[this] may be beginning of the Republican Party finding itself on foreign policy...there is a conservative wing of the Republican Party that believes we shouldn't be the party of endless wars...the entire policy went wildly off track when the United States' government decided that they were going to rebuild Afghanistan and when they decided we were going to engage in counter-insurgency instead of counter-terrorism. We'd better come home sooner rather than later, because the current course...is disastrous. The Republican Party HAS been the party of permanent war, total war, since George W. Bush's 2nd inaugural. When George Bush said that he and the Republican Party would 'end tyranny across the globe,' he promised to export democracy. It was dangerous then and it's dangerous now that Barack Obama seems to be doubling down on it in Afghanistan."
Buchanan offered this observation: "The neoconservatives, basically William Kristol, [Charles] Krauthammer and others say he's [RNC Chairman Michael Steele] has got to go [for saying that Afghanistan is Obama's war]; McCain and Lindsey Graham pounded him terribly. Ann Coulter came out and said some of the things that some others have said on this set...is that he's got a perfect right to raise the issue of Afghanistan...the debate should not be shut down and shut off by firing this guy for simply raising the issue."
Scarborough went on to raise the point that"...Bill Kristol does not own the Republican Party---his idea of endless wars, of neoconservatism...the Republican Party has lost its way, and it seems that Ann Coulter now joins forces with Ron Paul, Pat [Buchanan], myself, and quite a few other conservatives who are very concerned about the Republican Party being the party of endless war...whether we're going to continue promoting Wilsonian values across the globe when our own country is in desperate need of rebuilding."
That's quite a rebuke to the warmongering, torture-advocating Cheneys, who, along with fellow war criminals Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, and all the mindless parrots over at Fox "News" like Charles Krauthammer, turned us into a militaristic and aggressive nation and have completely dominated our foreign policy for the past decade. Perhaps this does finally repudiate the arrogant, aborrant, and aberrent neocon stranglehold that has been placed on the GOP for so long. Clearly, it represents a schism within the GOP establishment, as does the current Tea Party phenomenon. The conservative movement, which in varying degrees defines and controls BOTH the GOP proper and the Tea Party, has basically nothing of substance to offer this country today. The loud calls to "take this country back" do not clearly define FROM where TO where. The advocacy of a return to deregulation and free market policies is a proven recipe for failure, and, very recently, nearly destroyed our economy completely. The trend toward more corporate power is also a suicidal step toward economic slavery for all but the wealthy. And a return to aggressive, pre-emptive military action across the globe will not only bankrupt the country financially, but may very well involve us in a war of mass destruction in which we all lose. The conservative stances on nearly every issue embrace past failures, and that simply won't do for a country which needs and deserves far better! So I don't know for sure how all this will shake out. The old, tired elephant is very slow-moving, not that bright anymore, and has become very stinky, so I don't know how palatable their supposed resurgence will turn out to be beyond this fall's election. But, as of this writing, it is quite encouraging and entertaining to see all of these fractures developing within the conservative movement and the Republican Party!
UP NEXT: OUR UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH THE MILITARY