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View Diary: Birch Society Republicans: America Now Has Three Major Political Parties (425 comments)

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  •  Exactly what I was going to say. (7+ / 0-)

    In his day he was the dangerous loon calling for nuking China, et cetera, but compared to the current general, run of the mill Congressional GOPer, he's almost Moderate.
    He was, however, the crack in the dam. Before him, Republicans kept their thoughts along these lines to themselves. Being a Bircher or a Goldwater type was considered by most people in both parties, to be way out past the jetty.
    But he legitimized the crazy.
    And then Reagan put a smiley face on it and it went national.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:20:12 AM PST

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    •  Goldwater's (11+ / 0-)

      presidential campaign and the resulting Johnson landslide had two political effects, one obvious and immediate, the other hidden and long-term.

      The first was a public pulling-back by the Republic Party from all forms of extremism, not necessarily because the party leaders thought Goldwater crazy or extreme, or didn't agree with him (though many did not), but be cause he lost bigtime. It was operationally the same thing as what the Democratic Party did in the wake of McGovern's lopsided loss to Nixon in 1972 - head for the center.

      The second was happening completely out of public view. Horrified by the extent of Goldwater's defeat, and quite certain that the US was well on its way to becoming a communist country that would confiscate their fortunes, a very small group of very wealthy mean, including Richard Mellon Scaife, James Olin, Adolf Coors and three or four others, came together and made a pact. They pledged to put in millions of dollars a year (and this was back when a million bucks was real money) to build a conservative infrastructure. They took their seed money and founded think tanks, lobby shops, Young Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom campus groups, publication houses, and much of the rest of the apparatus of what we think of as the modern conservative movement (not Fox News, and not the religious right, though, those came later). They knew this was going to be a long struggle, and they pledged to donate that funding for as long as it took. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent every decade from then on.

      They didn't have to wait very long; their first big win, the Reagan presidency, only took 16 years to achieve, but they didn't stop until they'd achieve complete success. That happened in 2000.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:13:40 PM PST

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      •  The timing for their effort went to 1972 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        antirove, NoMoreLies

        and the Powell Memo for creation of the main infrastructure of the initial Business Republicans' Powell System.

        Paul Weyrich went out and talked with Adolph Coors, who committed to funding Heritage Foundation and followed up helping raise the money for the whole system of corporatist think tanks.

        AEI and the rest were up and running within a couple of years.

        These Bircher Republicans remained outside the main tent until 1984, when they started getting big money from the far right billionaires. From there they began a slow process of replacing business Republicans over most of the country. This continued till 2004, then renewed strength in 2010.

        The various Powell System organizations have also fallen in line, more than not, with the ideological imperatives of the far right billionaire group.

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:38:21 PM PST

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