Dick Armey: Conservatives Lost Their Way

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in General Politics

When you have a Republican like Armey slamming James Dobson on Newsmax.com, you know things are bad in the Grand Old Party.

Dick Armey on the sad state of conservatism:

In an interview with Ryan Sager, author of the book “The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party,â€Â? Armey said the GOP was “adrift and rudderlessâ€Â? in its commitment to small government.

When pressed by Sager about what he feels is wrong with today’s Republican Congress, Armey – who became majority leader when the GOP took control of Congress in 1994 and retired in 2003 – said: “The criteria of choice in just about every behavior you see in Congress today is politics. Where in the hell did this Terri Schiavo thing come from? There’s not a conservative, Constitution-loving, separation-of-powers guy alive in the world that could have wanted that bill on the floor.

“That was pure, blatant pandering to James Dobson. That’s all it was. It was silly, stupid, and irresponsible. Nobody serious about the Constitution would do that. But the question was will this energize our Christian conservative base for the next election.â€Â?

Sager asked why it seems that Christian conservatives are more powerful now than in the 1990s. Armey replied: “To a large extent because Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There’s a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn’t work unless it’s dumb . . . These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic.â€Â?

Republican moderates…you can take your party back from the religious right. But you’ve gotta get out there to the primaries and vote. You can’t sit back and let zealots like James Dobsons roll their religio-political machine over your values. You can’t let them continue to undermine the Constitution, but you have and they will continue to do so if you just sit around thinking, “Well, at least they aren’t Democrats.”

And by the way…Dick Armey is calling the Republican base stupid and intellectually lazy?! Whoa.


This entry was posted on Saturday, September 30th, 2006 and is filed under General Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Dick Armey: Conservatives Lost Their Way”

  1. m.takhallus Says:

    You read things like this and you start to get that tingle, that longing for a third party that brings together libertarian Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats. Such a nice, fat, juicy middle. And no one seems able to corral them.

  2. Polimom Says » Dobson’s gang of thugs Says:

    [...] (h/t Donklephant) [...]

  3. alexking.org: Blog > Around the web Says:

    [...] Dick Armey: Conservatives Lost Their Way – I wish both parties would swing back towards the middle instead of going to extremes to force voters to choose solely on hot-button issues. [...]

  4. Charlie Says:

    I was really impressed with what Rep. Armey had to say. He makes some excellent points.

  5. jaggai Says:

    [...] Dick Armey: Conservatives Lost Their Way – I wish both parties would swing back towards the middle instead of going to extremes to force voters to choose solely on hot-button issues. [...]

  6. The Republican Civil War: Who Wins, Who Loses? at QueerTexan.com Says:

    [...] Andrew Sullivan urges the GOP to return to conservatism in his new book, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R) refers to the evangelicals who influence his party as “thugs,” Kansas Republicans switch parties to run for office as Democrats — all of this begs the question: if Republicans really lose big time in three weeks, will there be an Civil War (of sorts) for control of the Republican Party between evangelicals and traditional conservatives? And, if the Jesus crowd wins, will moderates move en masse to the Democratic party — essentially turning the “party of the people” into the “establishment” party? [...]

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