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-   -   Revenge of the Reality-Based Community: A tale of Republican exile. (http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=282632)

KevinNYC 11-27-2012 03:26 PM

Revenge of the Reality-Based Community: A tale of Republican exile.
 
Revenge of the Reality-Based Community
My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong.


Interesting article from Bruce Bartlett about how a Goldwater-Reagan Republican became an outcast in today's Republican Party. He first states his conservative bona fides.
Quote:

For more than 30 years, I was very comfortable within the conservative wing of the Republican Party. I still recall supporting Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater as a schoolchild. As a student, I was a member of Young Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom at the height of the Vietnam War.......My first real job out of graduate school was working for Ron Paul the first time he was elected to Congress in a special election in 1976. (He lost that same year and came back two years later.) In those days, he was the only Tea Party-type Republican in Congress.

After Paul’s defeat, I went to work for Congressman Jack Kemp and helped draft the famous Kemp-Roth tax bill, which Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1981. I made important contributions to the development of supply-side economics and detailed my research in a 1981 book, Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action......

Then he mentions what happened to him after he started criticizing George W. Bush too early.
Quote:

But as the Bush 43 administration progressed, I developed an increasingly uneasy feeling about its direction. Its tax policy was incoherent, and it had an extremely lackadaisical attitude toward spending. In November 2003, I had an intellectual crisis.....Suddenly, I felt adrift, politically and intellectually. I now saw many things I had long had misgivings about.....I began writing columns that were highly critical of Bush’s policies and those of Republicans in Congress—all based on solid conservative principles. In other words, I was criticizing them from the inside, from the right.

He gets quoted in a NY Times Magazine article critical of Bush and finds out that his fellow think tank conservatives aren't even aware of it because reading the Times is like Pravda to them
Quote:

Until that moment I had not realized how closed the right-wing mind had become. Even assuming that my friends’ view of the Times’ philosophy was correct, which it most certainly was not, why would they not want to know what their enemy was thinking? This was my first exposure to what has been called “epistemic closure” among conservatives—living in their own bubble where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction.

He finally learns what happens to professional Conservatives when they go off the reservation. The think tank he works at tells him his work is causing concern among their millionaire donors and then his book on Bush finally gets him in true trouble.
Quote:

My book, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, was published in February 2006. I had been summarily fired by the think tank I worked for back in October 2005. Although the book was then only in manuscript, my boss falsely claimed that it was already costing the organization contributions. He never detailed, nor has anyone, any factual or analytical error in the book. Among the interesting reactions to my book is that I was banned from Fox News. My publicist was told that orders had come down from on high that it was to receive no publicity whatsoever, not even attacks. Whoever gave that order was smart; attacks from the right would have sold books. Being ignored was poison for sales. I later learned that the order to ignore me extended throughout Rupert Murdoch’s empire. For example, I stopped being quoted in the Wall Street Journal.* Awhile back, a reporter who left the Journal confirmed to me that the paper had given her orders not to mention me.

http://www.theamericanconservative.c...sed-community/

There's also an interesting bit about what he thought he knew about Keynesian economics from second-hand sources and what he finds out when he starts reading Keynes himself.
Quote:

After careful research along these lines, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s.


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