Truce In The Culture War

by digby

I keep hearing it. Perlstein weighs in:

Is Nixonland over? One pundit's opinion:

Reaganism has had it in California...[the] handwriting [is] on the wall for right-wing populism everywhere.

By right-wing populism I mean the backlash politics which emerged in reaction against Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. It made its appeal to ordinary people--those earning $45,000 to $65,000 annually, for whom I invented the term Middle America. The thrust of the appeal was distinctly egalitarian or anti-elitist. The implicat6ion has been that the patricians and intellectuals who planned the Great Society were leses attuned to the true needs of thecountry than hard-hats....

The Reagan approach was tested in many different votes on Tuesday.... The acceptability of liberal ideas [was] emphasized by the triumph of Proposition 13, providing for the use of gasoline taxes for public transit. Another test came int eh gubernatorial primary. On the Democratic side, the key figure was Edmund Brown Jr. He is the kind of limousine liberal right-wing populists love to put down. he comes from an illustrious family (his father is former Gov. Pat Brown), enjoyed an expensive education at Berkeley and Yale Law School, and has been identified with all kinds of liberal causes from peace in Vietnam to racial harmony.... On the Republican side teh winner was Houston Flournoy, a political scientist from Princeton who takes the progressive stance in politics. He swamped, by a 2 to 1 majority, Reagan's hand-picked Lieutenant Gov. Ed Reinecke....

Thus the rout of Reaganism in this state announces what seems to be a national possibility, the possibilty of closing the parenthesis on the era of backlash politics which has been so strong in the coutnry since Ronald Reagan rode out of the TV movies back in 1966.

The pundit was the Washington Post 's Joseph Kraft, writing on...June 4, 1974. I adjusted the column's actual income threshhold ($10,000-$15,000 annually) for inflation. Right-wing populism: good bye to all that!

Plus ├ža frigging change.

To those who are arguing that the culture wars are over (or almost over as soon as we agree to make abortion an issue for the states) with those who see things more clearly here's a sense of where we actually are today:

That one really has it all. Race, gender, choice and ... torture. (Is that going to be a new culture war issue, I wonder?)

I'm sorry, people who think this way aren't agreeing to any truce. They are regrouping.

Update: Here's that principled conservative Mitt Romney, who has already switched once on this issue, yesterday:

Republican Mitt Romney, a potential candidate for the White House in 2012, accused President Barack Obama on Friday of answering to the "most extreme wing of the abortion lobby." Even if the administration "will say nothing on behalf of the child waiting to be born, we must take the side of life," the former Massachusetts governor told House Republicans at a weekend retreat, according to his prepared remarks.