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July 11, 2005

32 Flavors of Conservatism

As we all shake and shiver over whatever Dark Spirit Dobsen has summoned and Bush is going to nominate to the Court, it's worth remembering that, though the Christian Right is the loudest member of the GOP's coalition choir, they're not the only one. Hell, they may not even be the most important one. That plaudit probably goes to Big Business. And what business wants, the Church may not.

The religious movement is emphatic on States Rights, they desperately want the authority to outlaw all manner of liberal hedonism in the legislatures they own. Business, however, is just the opposite: they want uniformity in the federal code. They want a Court that won't allow significant changes in the current law. As John Engler, CEO of the National Association of Marketers Manufacturers (an uber-powerful business loby), said, ""what [we] want is a judicial climate that's predictable and certain". The Christian Right wants one ready and eager to massively rewrite laws and precedents. The two are opposed.

How Bush splits this is anyone's guess, but it's worth taking a look on what the quieter, richer, pieces of his constituency want. Business Week has a rundown of business friendly nominees (and their church-supported alternatives) that's worth a read. If Rehnquist retires, my guess is Bush would pick one from column A, one from column B, giving each group someone they could be happy with. As Matt wrote earlier, we should expect Bush to nominate as many conservatives as he can. But we should also remember that there's more than one type of conservative, and the GOP is going to have its own battle over which type to nominate.

July 11, 2005 in The Supreme Court | Permalink

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Comments

The CorpCons can be accommodated with a Gonzales-type of conservative - one or more. The TheoCons MIGHT be satisfied with a Gonzales-type if the wink/nudge were given that a few key issues on their agenda were going to be dealt with as refinements (narrow abortion rights even further, for instance) as opposed to revolution back to the 19th century. If multiple vacancies are available, maybe Bush would have to grant one post to a social/religious ocnservative, but unless that person is fully acceptable to the biz guys, it won't happen.

You are correct that the corporate interests are the main body to satisfy in this - and this is consistent with Bush's past. The TheoCons make the most noise, but their only alternative is to stay home on voting day. That would result in their power actually being lost, so it may be an empty threat.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jul 11, 2005 5:20:11 PM

I mentioned this last week, but Bush has brought in Ed Gillespie to put some spin on his SCOTUS pick. It will be Ed's job to "sell" the nominee to the public and to the media. Ed Gillespie is definitely a Big Business guy. He runs a multi million dollar DC lobbying firm that is pro-big business. The SCOTUS pick will have a very direct effect on the business of many, or even all, of his lobbying clients.

Posted by: sprocket | Jul 11, 2005 5:35:26 PM

A really good post, Ezra.
Many of your readers understand about conservatives only what the propaganda machines such as Moveon.org or democraticunderground feeds them. They have a one-dimensional cartoonish view of conservatives. They think every conservative is a religious fundamentalist. They cannot fathom anyone rejecting homosexual marriage or unlimited abortion upon demand unless they were. Who here would believe that conservatives could think of business as a producer of goods and services instead of the left's Marxist view of a terrible master to it's slave workers?

It's really good that you bring this to their attention.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 11, 2005 5:35:53 PM

the left's Marxist view

BS, RZ. The Marxists view business as bad. Others on "The Left" view oppressive, irresponsible businesses with opprobrium.

Funny that you use such broad strokes whilst praising Ezra for using a finer brush.

Posted by: TJ | Jul 11, 2005 8:20:03 PM

NY Times story today about a curious intersection of the religious and business conservatives over, of all things, the Kelo decision and the power of states to condemn private property for public use. Regret I can't provide a link (lazy).

Zimmerman---"One last time: If it's a possessive, it's just I-T-S; if it's meant to be a contraction, it's I-T-apostraphe-S. Scalawag."

Posted by: Tony the Pony | Jul 11, 2005 11:20:18 PM

There has always been a conflict between the social & corporate conservatives within the Republican party. Simply, the social cons want the government to interfere with the personal issues of life- abortion/contraception, prayer in school, regulating popular culture, etc. The corporate cons want less government 'interference' with taxes, regulation- more libertarian than so-called 'true' conservatives. Neither side really fits well but with the ascendancy of the social cons-the Republican party has radically changed their political party. The social cons distrust/fear the corporate cons as the CC's can (& do)push the idea that the market is the end all & be all & if the market permits pernicious ideas (as viewed by the SC's)-so be it there is money to be made. Possibly a party split will occur in time but both sides would lose power if another political party formed so the alliance will hold for some time.

Posted by: bigd504 | Jul 12, 2005 12:53:13 AM

Zimmerman---"One last time: If it's a possessive, it's just I-T-S; if it's meant to be a contraction, it's I-T-apostraphe-S. Scalawag."

When you have nothing else, do what 'Tony the Pony does and pick at punctuation. It's small and petty.
By the way, you are supposed to capitalize the first letter of the first word of the second sentence that you connect using a semicolon, dumbass. http://people.whitman.edu/~hashimiy/scolon.htm

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