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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Somewhere, Edmund Burke is gracefully excusing himself to go vomit.

So The Mount Vernon Statement is out. It's intended to be a restatement of conservative principles set out in the 1960 Sharon Statement, which is more than a little funny given that conservatism is based on the existence of a basic set of eternal verities.The new manifesto is a Frankenstein bolted together from the body parts of "all major elements of the conservative movement – economic, social and national security."

Here's the cast that put The Statement together:
The proceedings will be led by former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, senior statesman of the conservative movement.  He will be joined by more than 80 national grassroots conservative leaders representing tens of millions of conservative activists including: Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Becky Norton Dunlop, president of the Council for National Policy; Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center; Alfred Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator; David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union; Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America; David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society; T. Kenneth Cribb, former domestic policy adviser to President Reagan; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government; Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness; Richard Viguerie, Chairman,, Kenneth Blackwell, Coalition for a Conservative Majority; Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring and Kathryn J. Lopez, National Review and many others.
Waldo made a prediction the other day about what would be contained in the Statement. He was more or less wrong. The Mount Vernon Statement is a platoon of words marching across the landscape seeking to avoid ideas, except for two:

1)  elderly Reaganites are trying to deal themselves back into the game groups like The Club for Growth have largely taken over on the economic side.

2)  the Christianists have so taken over the movement that they have to be pandered to in order to get a signoff and the claim that everybody's singing  "Kum-by-ya."

Seriously: when's the last time you heard any conservative remind an audience that Ed Meese is the movement's Yoda? You can go to the bank on that if Grover Norquist is involved, it's noting but self-promoting Sugar Pops.

All this lot has done is draft up a porridge that allows all the players to say they are on the same page while continuing to pursue their own ends. The Statement changes nothing. The haters still hate; the antitaxers still want to cut taxes while bribing their base on borrowed money; the national security sorts still brown-nose Dick Cheney. And Elaine Donnelly will forever be DADT's fag hag.

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