West's Right Wingers Are Banking Left

Conservatives taking a more moderate tack in face of unfriendly world
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2008 3:12 PM CDT
West's Right Wingers Are Banking Left
President Bush speaks to reporters, Monday, May 19, 2008, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

There’s a distinct leftward tilt rippling across the western world, Gabor Steingart observes in Der Spiegel. From John McCain to England’s David Cameron to Germany’s Angela Merkel, conservative leaders are softening up and drifting toward the middle. To see why, one needs only look at three of the world’s marquee cities: Baghdad, Beijing and New York.

Iraq shows the downfall of militarism, China reflects a dark, deregulated past, and Wall Street’s subprime crisis is an indictment of a corporate-friendly present. But even as the public turns against conservative ideology, righties can benefit if they position themselves as moderates and stave off a too-radical correction. For, Steingart concludes, "what is seen as clever politics today will then be labeled as betrayal." (More John McCain stories.)

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