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The Rise and Fall of the Right
Posted by: Jon Henke on Friday, August 24, 2007

Many people have been predicting that we're heading into a "Permanent Democratic Majority" period. Sean, at My Election Analysis, examines that hypothesis and finds it unpersuasive, arguing that "one should beware supposed seers bearing deterministic theories of history."

He makes a strong case. Read it.

I tend to view the Republican Party and the Right as it is described by The Economist:
...the conservative movement is at its most deadly as an insurgency. The movement was born during the 1964 Goldwater campaign as a revolt against the liberal establishment. It enjoyed its glory days when it was battling Hillarycare and trying to impeach Bill Clinton. A Clinton presidential nomination would undoubtedly reunite and re-energise the movement. Deeply rooted in gun clubs, anti-tax groups, right-to-life groups and Evangelical churches, American conservatives will never be reduced to the feeble status of their British cousins.
The Limited Government movement will always be reinvigorated by the excesses of the Government and of the Left, both of which can be relied upon to provide fuel for the fire that burns and feeds the Right.

Ultimately, though, the movement is a reaction to the excesses of government, and reactions rise and fall as the public draws and re-draws its lines.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

There will never be a permanent move to the GOP or to the Democrats — it’s more like a pendulum. However, limited government will be forced on both parties by reality (and by limited government, I include limits on foreign policy interventionism and military spending as well). It likely will be a Democrat who pushes it most effectively, like Clinton did when he worked with the GOP to make major welfare reform a reality. Sort of an "only Nixon can go to China" thing. Blair already shifted Labour away from the far left, Schroeder did that with the SPD, even though he never really got the left wing under control.

The thing is that the biggest threat to limited government isn’t from socialists or the "left," but from big business and some of the so-called "right" who would prefer to have a government-business cooperation to assure profits and avoid true competition and accountability. These groups work with both Democrats and Republicans, and often use the left as a boogey man in order to gain power.
Written By: Scott Erb
There will never be a permanent move to the GOP or to the Democrats — it’s more like a pendulum
Were that such were the case. Our country would be in far better shape than it is today. As it is, your "pendulum", in reality, is a bit one sided. The nearly 75 years of the democrat dominated Congress, was answered by approximately a quarter of that of republican Domination.

the remainder of your comments are pure fantasy, and therefore not out of character for you.
Written By: Bithead
But Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger meant that in the last 55 years (1953-2008) 36 years were under a Republican President. Congressional domination was due to the power of incumbency and also the fact that so many Southern Democrats were conservative, yet still running as Democrats. This meant, for instance, that Reagan had a defacto majority in Congress even when Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the House.
the remainder of your comments are pure fantasy, and therefore not out of character for you.

And, of course, it is typical for you to insult and ridicule without giving any substance or counter argument. In debate you lose the point if you do that. Usually it means that someone doesn’t have a counter argument, but doesn’t want to admit he is wrong.
Written By: Scott Erb
The Congress during Reagan still spent like drunken sailors. Although it may have been partial onboard with Reagan for some things, small government wasn’t one of those things.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
How much did Reagan really push for small government? How much did he really push for more ’federalism’? His presidency was the one when the government forced states to change drinking age laws to a uniform 21. You can go kill and die in a war, get married, and vote, but you can’t have a glass of wine with your dinner at the Olive Garden! I think Reagan’s heart was for smaller government, but his heart also was opposed to trading arms for hostages. Yet somehow, that’s what happened.
Written By: Scott Erb
If it takes 8... 12... 20 years of Democratic presidents to get the right back on its feet, well, that’s a chance I’m willing to take! :)

You might also realize that the current pendulum swing in favor of the Dems is a result of "Limited" government going into the realm of incompetent and slow-reacting government ("From the people who brought you Iraq and Katrina!"), which the public sees in just as bad a light - if not worse - than excessive government.
Written By: Oliver Willis
With a majority of elected Republicans being nothing more than a Democrat "Lite", what’s the difference?
Written By: Jay Evans
URL: http://
"Congressional domination was due to the power of incumbency and also the fact that so many Southern Democrats were conservative, yet still running as Democrats."

Actually this is a large part of why Democrats maintained control of Congress. The one thing Presidents do consistenly is lose seats for their parties.
Written By: Sean

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