John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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The Conservative Movement In Crisis

Posted on June 27, 2013
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Conservatives are getting their butts kicked and if they don’t start changing their tactics and their approach to issues, liberalism will dominate the mainstream for years to come.

On gay marriage, abortion, immigration reform, the Farm bill, simple governance, the left-wing has momentum and a plan.

Look what is happening to George Zimmerman.   He is being railroaded by an all too eager media.

Look at the response to the Gay marriage decision.  You would think that we had just won the Second World War.  This wasn’t V-J Day though.  With V-Gay Day.  And conservatives could only shake their heads and wonder what happened to American society.

Conservatism has been hijacked by red-necks, ruffians and rubes.    And because of that, they have lost their credibility with the vast middle of this country.

Where is Bill Buckley when you need him?

Rush Limbaugh is a pale substitute.  He has a brain; he chooses not to use it.   Sarah Palin is no substitute at all.   She is an idiot.

The clergy has also lost its mojo.  The sex abuse scandal has left a mark and the clergy has lost its moral authority.   When was the last time that most Catholics checked in with the Bishops before they cast their vote?

Ralph Reed leads the Faith And Family Coalition.  I like Ralph, but he is a political hack, an organizer, a mover and a shaker.  He is no respected member of the clergy, that’s for certain.  Google him sometime.

The Heritage Foundation cites a study on immigration that is authored by a guy who believes that there are inherent IQ differences between the races, probably based on the size of their brains.  Are you kidding me?

The Heritage Foundation used to be a place where Republicans went to get good ideas.  Now it is the place where Republicans go to get attacked.

Heritage came out against the Farm Bill.  It came out the immigration bill.  It came out against any deal with Obama that cuts entitlements or raised any taxes, even among the 50 percent of the country that pays nothing in taxes.  It believes that the states shouldn’t establish core educational standards.  It is still opposed to the Prescription drug benefit that actually deployed the Medicare reforms that the Heritage Foundation used to call for, back when the Heritage Foundation could afford to be for something.

Now, all Heritage does is run primary campaigns against conservative Republicans (for not being conservative enough) and says no to everything else.  And by everything, I mean everything.

Heritage is joined in this mindless exercise of endless opposition by the Club For Growth.   CFG’s claim to fame is run a website called “Primary Your Congressman,” and by putting pressure on Members of the House to not stray from their conservative line, they have insured that John Boehner never, ever gets a majority of his majority when it really counts.  Club for Growth came out against  the Farm Bill, despite the fact that is cut 20 billion dollars in food stamps.  That’s a lot of cabbage.

The conservative movement spends so much of its time attacking itself and its allies, that it does nothing to move the ball forward on key issues.

  1. Instead of trying to dominate the media, it ignores it.

  2. Instead of trying to influence the culture, it focuses on becoming a sub-culture.

  3. Instead of trying to offer reform ideas of its own, it criticizes Republicans who offer their own reform ideas.

  4. Instead of engaging in intelligent, intellectual debate, the movement relies on sound bites and sarcasm.

  5. Instead of getting on the right side of history, the movement glorifies the past without defining the future.

  6. Instead of throwing open our arms and welcoming people, the movement advocates shutting down doors and building fences.

  7. Instead of embracing cultural diversity and trying to find common ground among the many different types of people, the movement enforces a rigid orthodoxy:  Either you are with us or you are against us.


The conservative movement cannot survive on its current trajectory.  It is losing and losing big on just about every issue.  It is eating its own.  It is not producing any good, revolutionary ideas.  It is on the defensive, and I don’t even think that it knows that it is on the defensive.

It is fighting to preserve the past and not fighting to define the future.