Rats leaving the sinking ship December 12, 2009 | 05:34 pm

So, there has started to be a mini-trend of notable conservative bloggers suddenly discovering, to their shock and amazement, that Conservatism today is racist, homophobic, misogynistic, global-warming denying, irrational, anti-science, and hateful. Here’s Andrew Sullivan’s GBCW letter, and here’s from from Charles Johnson at LGF. I especially like the one from Little Green Footballs, because among other things, he complains about:

8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)

Given the amount of vitriol that blog has spewed at Muslims, claiming to be offended by the amount of hate speech in other right wing blogs is ironic indeed.

But what is most notable, at least to me, about their professed reasons for leaving conservatism, is that the vast bulk of the reasons were blatantly apparent in conservatism decades ago.

What, you’re suddenly aware that the religious right has an out-sized influence on Conservatism? Where were you when the Moral Majority was around? The conspiracies and hatred directed to Obama? Have you forgotten the hatred and vindictiveness directed against the Clintons? Remember the Clinton death lists? Suddenly discovered that most Conservatives are racist? Google “The Southern Strategy”. Not believing in the rule of law and violating the constitution? Two words: Iran Contra. George Bush Sr., Ollie North, and that whole crowd committed high treason while in office. Selling classified weapons systems, which the Patriot missiles were and still are, to an enemy of the United States, which Iran was and still is, is high treason.

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. This is nothing new, people. The conservatives have gotten somewhat worse over the last 8 years or so (and even then, you didn’t see this coming say, six or even two years ago?), but it’s a matter of degree, not kind. So the question is, what has changed recently, say last 12 months or so?

I can think of just one thing: the Republicans have lost power. And, baring a total collapse of the Democratic party (which isn’t impossible, or even that unlikely if they keep pissing on their base), aren’t likely to ever gain it back. The modern conservative party, aka the Republican party, is a rump party of the south.

It’s easy to be a Yankee’s fan. They’re always at least contenders. It’s much harder to be a Cub’s fan. Without the visceral thrill of conservative victory, without a permanent conservative majority, suddenly they find there is no reason to be conservatives.

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  • http://www.smokejumperit.com Robert Fischer

    The Republican party has become more explicitly xenophobic and loony over the course of the last decade, with Fox News really leading the charge down that particular hill. Not winning is irrelevant. After all, not winning plays directly into the self-conception of the oppressed minority (the white middle-class Christian oppressed minority). Besides, it’s not like people are defecting to the Democrats (well, aside from Arlen Specter, anyway, and we know why).

    It’s just that things have gotten so bad that the sane people can’t tolerate it anymore. Sure, these people were around in the Republican party before, and some of them even in the upper echelons—but they weren’t the ones making the most noise and defining the identity. Thanks to Fox News and the internet, that’s changed, and the moderates in the Republican party (for a pretty loose definition of “moderate”) are abandoning ship and have been for a while. The more moderates abandon ship, the more the unbridled lunatic fringe dominates the conversation, which drives more moderates away. It’s been a downward spiral for a while now, and it looks like the wave has finally hit the blogs now, too.