Monday, May 08, 2006

Changing conservatives here and in US

Interesting article by Charlie Cook on the shifts in the Republican Party:
For years, the foundation of the Republican Party was built upon eight pillars of equal importance. Those pillars were (in no particular order): cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, balancing the budget and being fiscally responsible, creating a strong national defense, opposing communism, emphasizing free enterprise, getting tough on crime and emphasizing social issues. Over the last 20 years or so, however, the size and number of those pillars have been reduced so that today, the GOP foundation is teetering rather precariously on just two pillars: social conservatism and tax cutting. The inherent wobbliness of this foundation and the increasing tensions between the tax cutters and the social conservatives will shape the look of the Republican Party for the next decade.
What lessons might this hold for the Australian right? We can see a shift towards social conservatism as a rallying point. Amidst the hype around the Centre for Independent Studies' thirtieth anniversary few have picked up its increasing focus on the preservation of traditional gender roles. it is the policy of CIS notables, such as peter Saunders and Barry Maley, to reduce female paid workforce participation. Note also Sinclair Davidson aligned with the CIS who comes close to a supply side belief in the miraculous power of tax-cuts as an incentive. See also the musing of CIS guest Jim Wallace on moral decline. For an example of where we may end up, this NY Times piece on increasing conservative hostility to contraception in the US:
For the past 33 years — since, as they see it, the wanton era of the 1960's culminated in the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 — American social conservatives have been on an unyielding campaign against abortion. But recently, as the conservative tide has continued to swell, this campaign has taken on a broader scope. Its true beginning point may not be Roe but Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that had the effect of legalizing contraception. "We see a direct connection between the practice of contraception and the practice of abortion," says Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, an organization that has battled abortion for 27 years but that, like others, now has a larger mission. "The mind-set that invites a couple to use contraception is an antichild mind-set," she told me. "So when a baby is conceived accidentally, the couple already have this negative attitude toward the child. Therefore seeking an abortion is a natural outcome. We oppose all forms of contraception."


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