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Posts Tagged ‘richard viguerie’

Right-Wing Stunts and Tea Party Froth on the Eve of Conservatives’ Big Yearly Conference

Right-wing leaders gather at a Masonic “museum on Americanism” to sign a statement aimed at giving the Tea Party movement a set of principles.

February 17, 2010 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference approaches, Washington is abuzz about the new kid in town — the Tea Party movement.

Like any conference, this one, which kicks off tomorrow, will have its yearly star, likely to be drawn from the ranks of that rancorous mob of discontents. The whole shebang will conclude with a closing address by Fox News personality Glenn Beck, Rupert Murdoch’s community organizer and  online convener of the 9/12 March on Washington. (You may recall the 2007 queen of CPAC, Ann Coulter, made big news for calling John Edwards, then a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, “a faggot” — an accusation he has since disproved in a rather spectacular fashion.)

In a bid, perhaps, not to be shunted to the wings of conservatism’s center stage, a group of old-school conservative leaders will gather today to put their signatures on something they’re calling the Mount Vernon Statement, named for the tangential location of its ceremonial signing, which will take place at a venue that sits on land once part of George Washington’s original estate. The Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism, where the signing will take place, is run by the National Sojourners, an Masonic organization of past and present military officers.

The statement will sound an ominous chord, likely to win the favor of Tea Party activists, about the message of change for America so identified with the Obama presidential campaign, even asking if “this idea of change” is “a dangerous deception.”

The idea for the statement, say organizers, is the Sharon Statement on which the New Right was formed in the early 1960s. The Sharon Statement was a declaration of principles, not specific to any one issue, but rather to the philosophy of the conservative movement during its salad days under the leadership of the late William F. Buckley.

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Right Wingers Marching in DC Is Big News — But the Same Old Faces Are Pulling the Strings

By Adele M. Stan, AlterNet. Posted September 14, 2009.

The men behind the religious right make a comeback with the Tea Party movement.

Glenn Beck will tell you that this weekend’s march of right-wing activists on Washington was six months in the making.

Don’t believe a word of it. Try 40 years.

As disgruntled white taxpayers joined conspiracy theorists, gun enthusiasts, state-sovereignty activists and outright racists on Pennsylvania Avenue, the long-time leaders of the American right, whose pedigrees go back to the 1964 presidential campaign of Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., no doubt witnessed a day they thought might never come.

Never before has the right taken to the streets in such numbers. (Estimates range between 50,000 and 100,000 attending the post-mach rally at the U.S. Capitol building.) Marching has long been the province of the left, most notably in the civil rights movement. But the election of the nation’s first African-American president, a moderate liberal, in a time of economic crisis, yielded right-wing leaders the gold of backlash.

While the foot-soldiers of the Tea Party movement give it a more secular appearance than its recent predecessors, the movement is the right’s replacement for a religious right that has weakened since 2004, when it helped win a second term for George W. Bush. The tactics, however, are the same: just as the religious right subverts the Christian faith in the service of its authoritarian, business-friendly goals, so, too, does the Tea Party movement subvert the American civic religion — that faith characterized by love of country, invocation of the Founders and veneration of the Constitution.

At the dawn of the cultural evolution of the 1960s, a handful of right-wing activists and intellectuals banded together to form a philosophical movement that became known as the New Right. These were the people who won Barry Goldwater the Republican presidential nomination, only to see their candidate meet disastrous results in his race against Democrat Lyndon Johnson of Texas. But the right is never truly defeated; its leaders are patient, and they learn from their errors. When they’re out of power, they stay busy, building institutions and mailing lists, all the while waiting for their moment to strike.

And so, in 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency, largely thanks to the tireless efforts of New Right leaders.

Out of their tiny numbers, they went on from the Goldwater campaign to found the religious right, a textbook example of ground-level organizing that led to a national electoral victory with the election of Reagan. And they are at it again.

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