"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Friday, January 27, 2012

What we talk about when we talk about conservatives

Never mind all the guff about Ronald Reagan. Reagan was an amiable-seeming father figure who did what his wife and her astrologer and Exxon told him to do. He regularly fell asleep in Cabinet meetings and by the end of his term didn't know where he was half the time.
Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater and Newt Gingrich pretty much invented the modern conservative movement by harnessing the power of Barry Goldwater's Birchers and bigots, funded by corporations eager to buy the kind of legislation (or lack of it) that would allow them free rein to empty America's pockets without having to give any of  it back.
You can learn all about this from just about any mainstream political history text, but I would recommend Rick Perlstein's Nixonland to anyone who really wants to learn how American politics got to be the witchbag of corruption, sleaze and demagoguery it is these days.
Also, the film Boogieman, which chronicles Lee Atwater's work appealing to Southern racists to make the GOP the party of the Confederate States of America.

And if this had been written about anyone else, it would leave welts on their back, but it will simply roll off of Newt's carapace while he tells his half-bright supporters about the big bad liberal New York Times and how they are out to stop him from saving America.



Dave said...

Boogieman is an excellent "watch". Personally I love digging up stuff on Atwater. He remained a lying piece of shit right to his last breath.

A true conservative. Something the Harperites can be proud of.

SeattleDan said...

Cannot recommend Nixonland high enough. Great book. I'm looking forward to Perlstein's next one.

Rev.Paperboy said...

Perlstein's earlier book was about Barry Goldwater and rumour is that his next one is going to be about Reagan and the "birth" of the neoconservative movement