Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Right Fractures Into Factions

The American political right is fracturing into factions. Unlike any other issue, the illegal immigration issue has created sharp new divisions between the more racist elements of the American right and the far more pragmatic probusiness conservatives, mainstream conservatives, and the religious right social conservatives. One strong evidence of this is problems over at Polipundit, one of the Web's largest traffic "conservative" blogs.

Polipundit, the blogger, not the website itself, has recently taken on a strongly antiBush stance from the far right, even accusing Bush of "treason" for allowing so many illegal immigrants into the U.S. to eventually gain U.S. citizenship. Instead of allowing this right wing website to continue to be an umbrella for several different sorts of "conservatives", Polipundit basicly demanded that all guest bloggers on his site either agree with him or get lost. This edict has caused this site to bust apart at the seems, leaving only the most conservative and far right of elements remaining.

Some guest bloggers on the site, such as Lorie Byrd who represents a far more pragmatic form of mainstream "conservatism" have left and formed her own far more reasonable blog. Others such as DJ Drummond, who is the most intellectual and gifted of the Polipundit guest writers also seems to be no longer posting there either. And California attorney, Jason Javitz, who is more of a probusiness conservative also hasn't posted there for a while either.

I have a tendency to "cruise" several blogs each day, and I would find some features on Polipundit where I had to respond with a leftist response to some issues because I hated to see the left and also liberalism so malaligned in some posts. I would find it especially bothersome when antilabor or antipoor people positions were sometimes promotted. Certainly not every person on the left, or every position argues for a reasonable or workable viewpoint that is argument proof, but then again neither does the right either.

I found you could have a reasonable political dialogue with some on this right wing website, but others would prefer to simply to shout you down with an insult and offer no supportable opinions whatsoever. With the new sharp turn to the right it should only become worse over at Polipundit and foot traffic will likely drop considerably. I lack the masochistic tendencies to want to go over and offer opinions only to get abuse, rather than have a reasonable dialogue. Likely others will feel the same as well.

The problems over at Polipundit are a mircosm of the problems facing the political right at this time. But there are also many fractures within both the left and in the Democratic Party at this time as well. Whether the left or even the Democrats can take some advantage of the split in the right to make a decent showing and change Congress towards the left is yet to be seen. Unfortunately some largely pragmatic Republicans have already lost out to more far right opponents in some primaries. So many Republican ranks are filled with the far right in some U.S. communities, while more pragmatic Republican such as Portland, Oregon attorney Ron Saxton defeated his right wing opponent Kevin Mannix, in the Oregon Republican primary for governor. Nationwide Republicans make up about 34% of voters, and Democrats about 37%. It is up to the independent voters to break towards the more moderate of the candidates to defeat the far right in November. Whether this happens remains to be seen.

The political right is doing itself great harm to purge itself of it's more pragmatic elements, but that might also be what helps to defeat this ideology and paint it as the wacky fringe ideology that it really is. Other than some very conservative districts, it is hard to imagine that enough persons are not hooked up right and want to elect screwball extremists to represent them. But like all extremists, the damage they do to themselves is far worse than that of any opponent. The far right is currently doing an admirable job of falling on their own sword right now.

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