The Radical Right Claims Victory

Just in case some of you think I'm nuts when I write about the radical right, consider the message leading rightwinger Richard A.Viguerie blasted immediately upon the defeat of the president's immigration proposal:

[C]onservatives using blogs, e-mail messages, websites, radio talk shows, cable TV, and direct mail were able to rally the American people to beat the Bush Administration and the business establishment.
Translation: The radical right once again ran circles around and beat the leadership of the GOP.

OK, you say, there's a vocal group of conservative screechers but in the end they're just talkers. They can't really threaten anybody, right? I say, yes they can--and from Viguerie's own press release, they did.

Viguerie warned that Senators who have voted for cloture on the Bush Amnesty Bill, on any of the three votes so far, will face the wrath of conservatives--and he even named three certain individuals to make sure there isn't any confusion.

“Presidential aspirants John McCain, Sam Brownback, and Chuck Hagel have permanently burned their bridges with the base of the Republican Party and destroyed any chance they might have had of being nominated for President of Vice President.”
But I claimed here that the radical right operates as its own party--rewarding Republican politicians when they carry their water, and slashing and burning whenever anyone goes off message.

Where's the evidence?

Well, if it's not evident in this week's series of votes, I suspect you'll never see it. But here's what Viguerie--again, a leading rightwinger--has to say about George Bush, the political leader of the GOP:

As it is, the GOP and many members of Congress will see a significant loss of financial support because of President Bush’s betrayal of Republican Party principles (Read: the radical right's agenda).
Conservatives are supposed to be one element within the GOP's big tent, but they certainly don't act like it. They have an "our way or the highway" mentality--and, of course, many already operate outside of the Republican Party for this reason. It's a trait, btw, that is evident among reactionaries of the left and the right everywhere and almost always leads to their eventual defeat.

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