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Dissent in the GOP

Are old-line conservatives itching for a fight with the neocons?

The second thoughts on Iraq are re-exposing old ideological fault lines among GOP factions–Wall Streeters, Main Streeters, budget balancers, libertarians, and neoisolationists–that see their own policy priorities jeopardized. The fight within the GOP, [conservative activist Richard] Viguerie predicts, “will dwarf what took place in the ’60s and ’70s” –between the Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller wings of the party and later between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan…

“It’s going to be early on November 3 that the battle starts for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and it’s not going to be neat and clean.”

Even if the GOP returns to its traditional roots, I don’t believe the neocons will be driven from power easily. They are masterful behind-the-scenes operators with powerful friends in the media, and, if history is a guide, flexible enough to change sides if necessary to get what they want.

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