The Straw That Broke The Conservative’s Back

Ken AshfordRepublicansLeave a Comment

Discussing the Georgia v. Randolph case (which I touched upon here), A-list blogger John Cole – a staple in the right blogosphere – announces that he has had enough:

My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end. I am not voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008- unless, of course, Cindy Sheehan is the Democratic candidate. These ‘conservatives’ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness.

Cole comes from the small-government wing of the Republican Party, so it’s easy to see why he is outraged:

[T]he modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistributing wealth like their brethern on the left, instead have decided that the state must have excessive rights in order to ‘protect’ us all from whatever the imagined fear du jour might be. Meanwhile, no one is left protecting us from the religionists and the the state itself.

In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own.

On Cole’s defection, Glenn Greenwald writes:

Cole is not some fringe theory-libertarian or doctrainaire Goldwater conservative whose numbers are quite small. Instead, he represents a type which makes up a big bulk of the Republican Party. He’s a common sense conservative who basically believes that the Government should, when possible, stay out of our lives and that we should err on the side of restrained Federal Government intervention.

As the NSA scandal among many other things illustrates (and, from what I can tell, the real wake-up call for Cole was the Schiavo travesty), the Bush Administration has been operating for many years from the opposite premise, and conservatives like Cole are feeling extremely alienated from the comprehensively non-conservative Republican Party.

The Democratic tent just got bigger.  Welcome John.