Conservatives Without Conscience

Conservatives Without Conscience

John W. Dean

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0143038869

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


On the heels of his national bestseller Worse Than Watergate, John Dean takes a critical look at the current conservative movement

In Conservatives Without Conscience, John Dean places the conservative movement's inner circle of leaders in the Republican Party under scrutiny. Dean finds their policies and mind- set to be fundamentally authoritarian, and as such, a danger to democracy. By examining the legacies of such old-line conservatives as J. Edgar Hoover, Spiro Agnew, and Phyllis Schlafly and of such current figures as Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, and leaders of the Religious Right, Dean presents an alarming record of abuses of power. His trenchant analysis of how conservatism has lost its bearings serves as a chilling warning and a stirring inspiration to safeguard constitutional principles.

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Cognition.” * 64 This study examines the psychology of political conservatism, basing its findings on a mass of data: forty-four years of studies by social scientists investigating conservatism, using eighty-eight different techniques and involving over twenty-two thousand participants. 65 Because its results are founded on empirical information drawn from experiments and testing—and conservatism views itself as grounded in

governing. Today they have a tough-guy (and, in a few instances, a tough-gal) attitude, an arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their extreme thinking. Incivility is now their norm. “During the Father Bush period, there was a presumption of civility,” Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute observes, but “we lost it under Clinton,” when conservatives relentlessly attacked his presidency, and “then the present President Bush

widespread, although it appears Republicans may have warned one another before the scandal blew up so as few of them as possible would be implicated.) Gingrich, while claiming to be “a person of faith more than I go to church,” in typical authoritarian fashion sought to define the scandals he created by portraying Republicans as godly and Democrats as antireligious liberals. And he knew how to do it. “Gingrich had come to believe that the politics of perception was everything,” historian Dan

lobbying sector. * When he became Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich deputized then majority whip Tom DeLay to make sure House Republicans were getting their share of campaign dollars from K Street, and to inform the lobbying firms and trade associations that if they wanted access to GOP leaders, they should hire Republicans to lobby. 34 This undertaking soon became known as the K Street Project. DeLay was assisted by Pennsylvania Republican Senator Richard

Lewis L. Gould, Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans (New York: Random House, 2003), 488. 21. See Joseph Scotchie, The Paleoconservatives: New Voices of the Old Right (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1999). 22. William Rusher, “Toward a History of the Conservative Movement,” Journal of Policy History, vol. 14, no. 3 (2002). See also Kirk, The Conservative Mind, 476. 23. Historian Jennifer Burns has called this “a rare work of history that

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