You know the Republican Party is going through a rough patch when party veterans start comparing the GOP to the undead. That's what Larry Hunter did in a story in The New Republic.
Hunter, who helped draft the economic sections of the Contract with America and served as an economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was quoted as calling the current Republican Party a "dead, rotting carcass with a few decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version of 'Weekend at Bernie's,' handcuffed to a corpse."
Hunter went on to say if the Republican Party doesn't change its leadership it "will pollute the political environment to toxic levels and create an epidemic that could damage the country for generations to come."
The idea of zombies handcuffed to a corps might not make much sense, but Hunter sure gets his point across. The quote comes from an article by Bruce Bartlett that looks at the conservatives who have lined up behind Barack Obama's campaign. The "Obamacons," as they're known, include repentant neoconservative theorist Francis Fukuyama, blogger Andrew Sullivan and Jeffrey Hart, the senior editor of the National Review. Bartlett, a conservative himself, writes that some on the right have been attracted to Obama "out of a genuine affection and a belief that he may actually better embody movement ideals than McCain."
Obama's strongest support seems to be coming from the right's libertarian strain, which like the candidate's pragmatic choices on advisors, support for school vouchers and plans to curtail the powers of the Patriot Act, according to Bartlett. Besides the color provided by Hunter, the best quote Bartlett dredged up comes from the wife of former National Review publisher Wick Allison. She wrote in a piece in The Dallas Morning News that Obama's "life story embodies the conservative values that go to the core of my beliefs."