The Nature of the Conservative Divide

April 2, 2012  By Charles N. W. Keckler and Ryan L. Cole


The various turns of the Republican presidential primary have made it clear that there is a division in the GOP unlike anything since 1996.  There is, however, no consensus over what defines the sides of this split.

The media, largely left-of-center itself and with no deep understanding of conservatism, imagines a debate between “Romney” and a multiple-personality “Not Romney.”  They also characterize the gulf as between a notional Establishment and the base (or Tea Party), or simply between those less or more “conservative.”  (This last is the position promoted for obvious political reasons by Sen. Rick Santorum and Speaker Newt Gingrich.)  Read More…