Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Watch on the right

Strange musings in the Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. One on Republican congressional strategy; mobilise the base on Iraq, tax cuts and the evils of cloning (I thought neo-conservatives were once supposed to be supposed to be secularists? That was a very long time ago). Article exemplifies Republican strategy outlined in the excellent Off Center I am currently reading, no thought as to the consequences of current strategy in Iraq or the budgetary position, but that would be policy rather than politics. A curious article on how feminists are in league with banks, objectively speaking against the traditional family. It is by Allen Carlson who is prone to this pseudo-populist talk. Still good to get an admission that:

Consider, to take one recent instance, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, enacted last year, after a long delay, with support from congressional Republicans. A controversial clause that would have prevented abortion protesters from filing for bankruptcy to avoid paying court-ordered fines had stalled the measure. After the Senate rejected this provision, GOP leaders drove the bill through both houses of Congress and gained an enthusiastic signature from President George W. Bush. In a nutshell, the new law makes a "clean start" after filing for bankruptcy much more difficult for families with at least one wage earner. Instead, most affected households will find themselves essentially indentured to a bank or credit card bureau, paying off their debt for years to come. "A new form of feudalism," one critic calls it.
The rhetoric 'the base' is now central to Republican strategy as National Review demonstrates:
Conservatives scratched their heads in confusion last month when Republican senator Jim Talent withdrew his support of a bill to ban cloning — he is a pro-lifer, but appears to have trimmed his sails in response to a well-funded a state ballot initiative that seeks to legalize cloning. Talent now may need to repair ties to his base, because he definitely will need overwhelming conservative support if he's going to beat back a challenge from Claire McCaskill, the 2004 Democratic candidate for governor.
An example of how in the context of low turnout opposing something is popular can be a winner as Off Center shows.


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