“The problem with Burkean conservatives is there are not enough of us and not enough rich ones…” From a must-read article in The American Conservative on “Obamacons”, dissident Republicans who couldn’t bring themselves to vote GOP in 2008. Where will they go next? Could they become a force in the land? Some are disillusioned with their adopted candidate, especially on foreign policy. Others are willing to give him a second chance. Andrew Bacevich, Scott McConnell and Bruce Bartlett all weigh in:
For Bacevich, the concern is the way the free market erodes social and civic values. Bartlett is convinced that “the working class is getting screwed” and frames his criticisms in terms of American fairness and the depredations of the plutocracy, which he believes has captured the Republican Party. “When you think of what you want to conserve, you think of the best aspects of your country, and for me it was the 1960s. If you strip away the radical social movements, it was a more equal country, economically equal. Less power to Wall Street and more power to the middle,” McConnell says. “Now we are developing an income structure like Brazil’s.”
Conservatives praising the Sixties! Unheard of. So could they end up finding a new home on the Left? Probably not:
Bartlett is open to the idea, but he finds the prospects dim. “I think one of the things liberals could do for dissident conservatives is what the right did for dissident communists and dissident liberals,” he says. “They nurtured them. Those conservatives understood that these apostates were powerful allies. But the left is too stupid to recognize the opportunity that is there.”
UPDATE: Thanks to Neil Mackenzie for pointing out an error in the original post.