Another quote from the same Dowd column:
"It’s funny that the moviemaker stirring up the fuss is an icon of the
right, a man the president’s father aped when he said, ‘Read my lips:
No new taxes.’ When I interviewed Mr. Eastwood in 1995, he said he
thought his party was onto something with its nostalgia for the old
values. But he also said he was more libertarian than conservative: ‘The less you mess around with people, the better off people are.’ That
attitude is passé in the Republican Party. The Christian right thinks
that the more you mess around with people, the better off people are.
It is eager to dictate social, cultural and marital behavior, with an
assist from the man whom it boasts it put back in the White House."
But the enforcers of conformity-through-fear have always turned on their own when easier victims become thin on the ground. In Salem, once all the odd-ball types had been burnt, only then did the pointing fingers turn to the pillars of the community.
As Joseph Welch, an attorney representing the Army said to Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin). Here Welch defends the reputation of Fred Fisher, a member of his staff. Fisher had been a member of a radical group for four months in college many years earlier. At the time of the hearing he was Secretary of the Young Republicans League in his hometown, Newton MA. :
"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really
gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness."
"You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long
-Welch to McCarthy