Friday, October 05, 2007

A Piece of the "Pubbie Puzzle"

Dreher points to an article by David Brooks, and excerpts a couple of snatches.

We'll post one of those snatches as a followup to our P-Mac post of the other day:

Over the past decade, religious conservatives within the G.O.P. have argued that social policies should be guided by the eternal truths of natural law and that questions about stem cell research and euthanasia should reflect the immutable sacredness of human life.

But temperamental conservatives are suspicious of the idea of settling issues on the basis of abstract truth. These kinds of conservatives hold that moral laws emerge through deliberation and practice and that if legislation is going to be passed that slows medical progress, it shouldn’t be on the basis of abstract theological orthodoxy.

I think that this excerpt has nicely outlined the pieces of the "Republican Puzzle," albeit Brooks' article covers a lot more ground and Dreher has some quibbles with the above passage.

This morning, J Weber was bemoaning the Dobson Declaration, which certainly springs from the sorts of issues mentioned by Brooks. P-Mac had brushed into this, as well.

There is no question that the Republican Party has three large and distinct elements (and a number of smaller ones) which have been more-or-less united on several issues over the last 30 years. Those elements consist of Burkean Conservatives (usually including the 'religious Right' and the Federalists); Big-Biz/country-club Pubbies (often including "low-tax" advocates), and the Libertarians (generally 'economic conservatives' who oppose all 'social' programs on principle.)

All of them are proponents of national security, but NOT all of them are "interventionists." All of them are proponents of "individual responsibility" but NOT all of them are "compassionate conservatives." As to "limited Government" it's a very mixed bag. (Think, for example, of the ExIm Bank, loved by the Fortune 50 biz-types and distrusted (at best) by the Burkeans, or the Ethanol Mandate, embraced by Big Ag, including farmers, and despised by libertarians and 'community'-oriented Conservatives.)

Also see here where Dreher quotes approvingly of Rick Perlstein's pre-obituary obit for the Republican Party coalition.

Business Republicans, sick of fiscal indiscipline and weary of religious conservatives, are abandoning the party for Democrats (who, post-Bill Clinton, are far more friendly to free trade). Younger religious conservatives, who don't necessarily share the rightist economic orthodoxy of their parents, are drifting heavily into the independent camp. Increasingly, it seems, there's no there there for the Republicans.

Oddly, the Pubbie coalition is wobbling at the same time the Democrat Coalition of FDR is also very weak.

This should be a very interesting 5 or 10 years.

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