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Jeffrey Hart, a professor emeritus of English at Dartmouth College, joined the National Review as a cultural critic in 1962 - two years before Goldwater's Presidential campaign, which is considered one of the important catalysts for the rise of the modern conservative movements. Many of you have heard that Hart came out in support of Obama this year.

Well, Hart goes even further today with an article in The Daily Beast titled "The Republicans Are Now the Stupid Party":

On November 4, two thirds of voters under 30 voted for Obama. That’s the future. A large majority of voters with college educations voted for Obama. That represents the best informed segment of the electorate. So, how did everything go wrong for the Republicans?

Hart goes on to argue that the heart of the GOP's descent is related to their full-embrace of Christian fundamentalists. Hart's hero, Barry Goldwater, was a Western libertarian who hated Jerry Falwell and supported Roe vs. Wade. Nixon and Reagan played the Southern Strategy but mostly gave token support to the fundies. George W. Bush with the help of Karl Rove, on the other hand, took the fundamentalists quite seriously and made the Republicans a nearly purely Southern fundamentalist party:

Does any reasonable person not believe that gays and lesbians deserve respect and equality? Not today’s Republican Party. Expert translators from Arabic have been dismissed for being gay. And applicants for the post of certified public accountants in the Iraq Green Zone have been asked about their view of Roe v. Wade.

Both Obama and McCain supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. An embryo is a cluster of cells the size of the period at the end of this sentence. It takes a strange mentality to equate that with a seriously ill human being. (Bush, August 2001: "It’s wrong to destroy life in order to save life.")

But science never sleeps, and embryonic stem cell work has been going on around the world in advanced nations, as well as in state or privately funded laboratories here. Harvard is planning a new billion-dollar science campus, with a major cell-research laboratory. Promising advances of various kinds are being explored world-wide.

So here we are in 2008. With its indispensable Southern and, more widely, evangelical base, the Republican Party has become the stupid party.

Hart goes on to rip Sarah Palin, her ignorance and the fact that the Republican base fully embraced her. I recommend everyone read it. It's a piece written not by a liberal Democratic blogger, but rather one of the pioneers of the conservative movement. It's a damning indictment of the present Republican Party.

Originally posted to John Campanelli on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Republicanfreude (30+ / 0-)

    Cindy McCain: "This Is A Time When We Take Off Our Republican Hats and Put on Our American Hats" (I guess they admit they're mutually exclusive)

    by John Campanelli on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:00:22 PM PST

  •  Wheels have come off the Republican cart (4+ / 0-)
    Oh sure, the party will regroup, but so long as they insist on pandering to the religious right they will get the same result as 2006 and 2008.

    I believed, but I'm damn glad it is now reality.

    by alasmoses on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:09:24 PM PST

  •  Awesome, can't wait to tell my "conservative" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    friends they're stupid, and don't take my word for it ...

  •  Rove created a Frankenstein monster (8+ / 0-)

    and now the GOP is stuck with it.

    •  Their big tent has become more like a big top (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, Uncle Cosmo, vacuumslayer

      It's full of freaks and con artists and carnies. You have to pay to get in, and when you do, the hucksters and the thieves come straight for you, looking to see what you can offer them, all while giving you a friendly smile as they judge your gullibility.

      But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

      by banjolele on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:40:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just as important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wf, The Raven

    As the Republicans descent into Know-Nothingism, is the simple fact we stopped sucking ourselves. Obama has changed the game forever.


    by W Lane Startin on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:18:56 PM PST

    •  That is a very important point (0+ / 0-)

      The Democrats had a long sojourn in the wilderness. We had to restructure the Democratic Party and change a lot of how we did things before we could return to power. And this election was a lot closer than it should have been.

      We haven't reformed enough.

      But we're on the way. Just as the conservative republicans tortured us with oppressive social legislation, we learned to leave that stuff alone. Maximize freedom, avoid telling people what to do.

      We are unified now, much more than before. Not a patchwork quilt of single-issue demands and grievances. The economy is our best issue. Focus on jobs, healthcare, education.

      Stay on message. Be disciplined, follow though on promises. These are all fairly small things but together they make us a better choice.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:47:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It really is a pleasure! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacuumslayer, Crabby Abbey
    To watch the rethuglican party implode like this! I wonder what they are going to do when they finally realize that if they want to remain a national party that they have to dump the evangelicals? I see the party splitting down the middle, never to be unified again. And that is a very, very good thing!!!

    Attention Waxman Staffers! Clean up on aisle 1600! huttotex 3/27/07

    by reflectionsv37 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:22:08 PM PST

    •  They cant really dump them.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reflectionsv37, vacuumslayer

      they will continue to "humor" them, but they will be marginalized. Without them, they just don't have enough numbers to viable.

      Their days of calling the shots are done, however. They have nowhere else to go, so they'll fuss and throw tantrums for a few years, then finally settle down when they realize they can't go off on their own and have an impact.

      "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...the Great Oz has spoken."

      by jkay on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:42:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really do believe... (0+ / 0-)

        they are done for at least a generation. They have alianated so many different factions of the American public that all they have left is those that want to drown the federal government in a bathtub and the religious whackos. They can no longer win with that, particularly since we just gained a huge new voting block of minorities who in the past, have been brutalized by republican ideals. As long as they keep voting, the republicans don't stand a chance of winning an election in the near future.

        Attention Waxman Staffers! Clean up on aisle 1600! huttotex 3/27/07

        by reflectionsv37 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 01:55:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hart gets on that hit list and also becomes (0+ / 0-)

    persona non grata in the GOP circle. I won't be surprised if he becomes democrat too.

    Rabindranath Tagore-"Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it."

    by joy sinha on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:23:29 PM PST

  •  Stupid is putting it politely (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, vacuumslayer, jkay
    It looks more like a mental illness to me.
  •  Articles like this bother me (0+ / 0-)

    one guy's opinion, I know but dangerously close to Coulter like claiming Dems are anti America. Just like that stuff didn't ultimately pay off for the Repubs, neither will this for the Dems.

    Stuff like this does no favors for anybody. I fear the Dems are heading down the same arrogant path that the Repubs did. If you're smart, you won't.

    •  Except there's a huge difference. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, vacuumslayer

      They're "anti-American" claims are bogus.  The "anti-intellectual" claims are true.  I don't think it's arrogance when it's factual!  :)  And I'm glad someone is calling them out.  

      •  Well "factual" or not (0+ / 0-)

        it is arrogant and untrue to claim an entire Party and everyone in it is stupid. This assumes that the opposition, by default, is intelligent...and that's hardly the case. The Republicans don't exist in a vacuum.

        My point is that it's equally silly for people use these sorts of 1st grade tactics to undermine someone because they disagree.

  •  I heard Barry Goldwater Jr. speak not long ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Barry Goldwater Jr. gave a lecture I went to not long ago, and he said he was voting for McCain just because he believes you should stick to your party and try to make changes from within... but the guy he was really wanting to back was Ron Paul; he was pretty libertarian.

    Anyway, he said that the Republican party is in horrible shape now, and he blamed it on the Christian right.  He said his father, though religious, would never have stood for religion getting so tangled up in the party, and that the Republican party shouldn't be so distracted by and obsessed with abortion and gay marriage.  He didn't give his own personal stance on those issues, but I got the feeling he was kind of "mind your own business" about it - possibly even in favor of them.

    "Does anybody know what the difference between a bulldog and a hockey mom is? The bulldog gets vetted!" - Bob Barr

    by Front Toward Enemy on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:35:37 PM PST

    •  Look at their candidates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Front Toward Enemy

      he GOP always seems to pick the dumbest candidate. Reagan was a b-grade actor without intellectual curiosity. Bush 1 was a cypher who cowtowed to the far right. Bush2 is a person who makes a virtue of ignorance, never reads a book and didn't sober up until he was forty. He like McCain partied away their youth and came to prominance by virute of their fathers. Both he and McCain were at the botom of their respective classes in college and both belittle academic accomplishments. The GOp is indeed the dumb party and they want it that way!

  •  I think it's quite (0+ / 0-)

    humorous that they're using the same wedge issues against each other now that they've used on the rest of the country for years.

    -- Hope is the adrenaline of the mind. --

    by Druid800 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:40:02 PM PST

  •  Minority party over a barrel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They found themselves in a precarious position. They were the party of business, especially big business, and the wealthy.

    But there weren't enough of them to win elections. So they needed to absorb a voting bloc. Preferably, one not being served by either party and open to persuasion.

    Civil Rights and the rise of the Evangelical movement (over mainline denominations) gave them that opening. No one else wanted this bloc of voters.

    Problem is, when you bring in a group that has numbers when you have none, they will inevitably take over.

  •  The Republican coalition of the super rich, (0+ / 0-)
    free-market fundamentalists, cultural conservatives, and right-wing evangelicals, may be in the process of crashing and burning. I devoutly hope so.

    But the superrich are still with us, and they will not concede power. They will be looking to form new coalitions that can draw voters in, so that the interests of the superrich continue to be attended to.

    So, yes, we can celebrate. I will celebrate, for sure, the fall from power of the religious right. Our county will be a cleaner and saner place. But we also have to remain vigilent.  We need to keep strong majorities in COngress thru 2016, and re-elect Obama in 2012, in order for our agenda to make significant progress. And in some form, under some popular cover, the moneyed interests will be there to fight us.

    Vote John McCain for a Hundred Year War!

    by Fiona West on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:52:54 PM PST

  •  Your link (0+ / 0-)

    goes to the 2nd page of the article

  •  Your link (0+ / 0-)

    goes to the 2nd page of the article

  •  Well, thank goodness it's ok to come right out (0+ / 0-)

    and say it now. I've been saying it for years, but I'm sure had I had a large audience for my all-too-obvious observation, I would have been accused of being shrill or mean.

    The Republican party is a party that embraces stupidity and mean-spirited willful ignorance. I guess now that a conservative has said it, I will finally be believed.

    That being said, kudos to him for seeing the light and for this diary. Recced!!

    I'm just here to give DK hipster cred. "Vote" McCain

    by vacuumslayer on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 01:03:04 PM PST

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