bloated scale and power of the federalrngovernment, and both candidates agreedrnwith the Clinton-Gore policies on NAFTA,rnthe World Trade Organization, tradernpolicy generally, immigration, a globalistrnforeign policy, and civil rights and affirmativernaction. There was, as I recall,rnsome muffled verbal swordplay overrnabortion and budgetary matters, but atrnno point in the debates did either Republicanrncandidate reveal any fundamentalrndisagreement with the worldview,rnvalues, and political ideals endorsedrnby Mr. Clinton and his running mate.rnSuch remains the case today, and therntwo most damning accusations the Republicansrncan think of to launch againstrnMr. Clinton’s policies are that he hasrnstolen Republican ideas and languagernand that he has allowed some Iraqis to remainrnalive. If the distraction of seriousrnconservatism by scandal-mongering wasrnnot a deliberate plan to subvert a seriousrnright, then surely scandal-mongering hasrnflourished because it remains the onlyrnmeans that the Republicans and what todayrnpass for “conservatives” have to showrnthat they disagree with Bill Clinton at all.rnBut whatever the cause of the obsessionrnwith scandal, conspiracy, andrncrime, the result is that both the GOPrnand the conservative movement arernclose to being smashed. Only a few daysrnafter the failure of the vote against thernPresident in the Senate, liberal Republicansrnwere congregating in Florida tornplan how to take over the party from thernincompetents of the right. Leading therncomplaints about the conservatives,rnConnecticut Governor John Rowlandrnlamented that conservative dominancernhad “alienated women, union members,rnimmigrants, minorities, the elderly,rnteachers, homosexuals and environmentalists,”rnas the New York Times reported.rnThe good news, the governor reportedrnsarcastically, was that “the rich peoplernand the business people still like us. . . .rn[But] unless they can vote four or fiverntimes each, we’ve got some problems inrnthe next couple of campaigns.”rnWell, Governor Rowland is probablyrncorrect about his last point, but it may bernnoted that the constituencies that he is sornworried about alienating are the corernconstituencies of political liberalism.rnThere probably are no policies and positionsrnthat any party could adopt thatrnwould attract “women, union members,rnimmigrants, minorities, the elderly,rnteachers, homosexuals and environmentalists”rnthat would not be liberal to leftwing.rnEvery one of these constituenciesrnconsist, in practice, not of the actual citizensrnand voters but of powerful organizedrnlobbying blocs that define the interestsrnand agendas of their members inrnterms of the left. There is simply no wayrnfor the Republican Party to win thosernconstituencies (or at least the organizedrnblocs that claim to represent them) withoutrnbecoming entirely indistinguishablernfrom the Democrats, which is more orrnless exactly what the Republican left hasrnalways wanted. It should be noted alsornthat, throughout the discussion of theirrncoming takeover of the GOP, at no pointrndid any of the liberal Republicans mentionrnthe actual merits of the positionsrnthat would appeal to these constituencies.rnTheir discussion was confined simplyrnto the question of how to gain theirrnvotes and the naked mechanics of graspingrnpolitical power by doing so.rnNevertheless, the liberal Republicansrnhad a point, which is that the “conservative”rnwing has proved itself a dismal failure,rnan embarrassment, and a danger tornthe party. Perhaps more to the point, itrnhas proved itself to be a danger to seriousrnconservatism, in part by insisting on Mr.rnClinton’s removal despite the obviousrnobstacles to accomplishing it and thenrnabysmally failing to remove him at allrnand allowing him to emerge from theirrnattack with more power than ever, and inrnpart by talking and thinking about virtuallyrnno other issue except Mr. Clintonrnand his immoralities for the last severalrnyears and thereby distracting conservativesrnfrom elaborating serious politicalrnideas and mobilizing a coalition aroundrnthem. It is precisely for that reason thatrnthe current crop of “conservative” leadersrnin the Republican Party should berndispatched to the nearest brick wall andrnfollow their discredited “leader” Mr.rnGingrich to political nirvana.rnAnd those who succeed them shouldrnnot be the governor of Connecticut andrnhis cronies but real leaders able to articulaternan authentically conservative critiquernof Bill Clinton and the New Agernglobalism that has oozed out of him andrnhis administration, a critique that attractsrnand speaks to the concerns and interestsrnof Americans, regardless of which powerrnbloc purports to represent them. Ofrncourse, what should be done is not necessarilyrnwhat will be done. By now, it isrnprobably impossible for anyone in thernRepublican Party to achieve leadershiprnwho is neither the flaccid sort of conservativernthat has led the party to its currentrncontretemps or the sort of liberal thatrnGov. Rowland and the New York Timesrnwould admire. During the years whenrnconservatives were jabbering about whornkilled Vince Foster and how much lootrnBill and Hillary scraped out of Whitewaterrnand what the President told VernonrnJordan to tell Sidney Blumenthal, nornone bothered to talk about real ideas,rnreal issues, or real leadership, so that today,rneven if those real things showed uprnon the doorstep, very few Republicansrnwould recognize them. I, for one, do notrnregret the ignominious finale of the greatrnimpeachment caper of the last few years.rnBill Clinton is indeed some of the evilrnthings his adversaries claim he is, but thernevil he has done to this nation is dwarfedrnby that wreaked by Franklin Roosevelt orrnLyndon Johnson, to name only two ofrnthe most dangerous and harmful politicalrnfigures in our history, and we can survivernMr. Clinton and his silly little girlfriendsrnas easily as we can survive fraudsrnlike Newt Gingrich and Jack Kemp,rnwhose main contribution to conservatismrnwas to cripple and corrupt it. If therndefeat, humiliation, and disasters thatrnthe pseudoconservatives of the GOPrnhave brought upon their own party andrnmovement result in their disappearancernfrom American political life, that is anrnoutcome every serious conservative canrnonly welcome. If it accomplishes nothingrnelse, it would at least clear the way forrnthe emergence of a movement that at lastrncould confront the left, in both parties,rnon the real evil it has inflicted on the nationrnand its people instead of sniping atrnand snickering over the insipid crimesrnand misdemeanors in which we havernbeen forced to wallow. firnVisit Chroniclesrnon the Webrnwww.chroniclesmagazine.orgrnand send your lettersrnto the [email protected] 1999/35rnrnrn