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Tue

07

Apr

2009

Bailing Out the Neo-Cons
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 18:36
by Jayne Lyn Stahl

We're now witnessing the neo-carnage that has resulted from neo-cons Newt Gingrich, and his "Contract on America," and Ronald Reagan's buyout by Barry Goldwater conservative Republicans.

It would be wise not to forget the Goldwater factor which, since the presidential race in 1964 in which the former Arizona senator suffered seismic defeat to LBJ, has been among the greatest disparities not merely in ideology, but in socioeconomic disenfranchisement.

Forty-five years ago, when Goldwater lost handily to LBJ, a president whose social programs were not unlike those of our current president, Goldwater supporters then rallied behind Ronald Reagan in his presidential bid in 1981.

Though Reagan was a liberal Democrat, in his youth, he took the Goldwater bait because he needed not just the numbers, but the demographics, to get reelected. While it may have appeared that Ronald Reagan went to the same country club as Goldwater, Reagan was not a Goldwater Republican. He was just doing what he had to do to keep his power base.

And, ultimately, it was Reagan who kept the neo-conservative movement in America alive and kicking such that a Texan oil baron, George H.W. Bush, was able to become president, in 1989, and the neo-conservatives were able to accomplish a bloodless coup of Congress in 1994.


Ironically, it was his appointment of Dan Quayle and pandering to the radical right, more than the faltering economy, that lost Bush the presidency, and surprise, surprise, who did he son, heir-apparent to the throne, claim as his mentor - Barry Goldwater.

You might ask, what does the Goldwater factor have to do with Barack Obama? Well, let's not forget that Obama's nemesis, in the 2008 presidential race, was Arizona senator John McCain who succeeded Barry Goldwater in the Arizona senate. Let's also not forget that the platform on which Sarah Palin ran is one that would make Barry Goldwater lick his proverbial chops.

So, while searching for the center, President Obama might take heed of what was George H.W. Bush's Waterloo, an attempt to please Goldwater conservatives. Much of the carnage, and misdirected anger, we're witnessing now, both here and abroad, arises from the recognition that the American dream has been driven to the brink of bankruptcy not just by the bankers, but by those who would have us believe that they are doing the Lord's work.

Priority number one for our new president: distance yourself from the Goldwater Republicans.
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