Still going strong at age 90, Phyllis Schlafly has been a heroine to American conservatives for more than half a century.
Best known for her successful effort to derail the proposed Equal Rights Amendment backed by liberal feminist groups and a significant number of GOP moderates back in the 1970s, she has long argued that the American conservative movement’s purpose is to influence rather than "echo" the Republican Party, an article in The Washington Times notes.
The newspaper reports Schlafly has issued a powerful warning to those she describes as Republican Party "kingmakers" – the political consultant class and Wall Street elites backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: Don't turn the 2016 presidential nomination contest into a coronation of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
In 1964, Schlafly published "A Choice Not an Echo,"
a landmark book that became the motto for Arizona Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater's conservative grass-roots political movement. Fifty-one years later, she updates that classic with a warning to her fellow Republicans.
In her update, the Times observes, she argues that the GOP frequently chooses losers because Wall Street and the political consultant class exert a negative influence on the party. These groups benefit economically from championing moderates over conservatives, according to Schlafly.
She warns that the process may be repeating itself in the 2016 race with regard to a Bush candidacy.
Schlafly points to closed-door events which "have been held for Republican megadonors to select who will get the big money that went last time to Mitt Romney."
The mainstream media are also cheering on the ex-Florida governor, she adds, citing as evidence "a New York Times article about how 'Jeb Bush is so smart, so intellectual and so well-read'" and describing in detail what books he has on his Kindle, the Washington Times notes.
Schlafly urges grass-roots conservatives to rise up and resist a Bush coronation.
"Do you get the message that the media buildup for Jeb Bush has begun and that the 2016 Republican National Convention may simply nominate for president another Establishment loser candidate?" she asks, the Washington Times reports.
Schlafly differs sharply from the GOP establishment on issues like immigration and granting President Barack Obama "fast-track" authority to negotiate foreign trade agreements.
"It makes no sense for the Republican Congress to turn unrestricted negotiating power over to a president who has already demonstrated that he has no regard for the rule of law, constitutional restraints, or the separation of powers," she wrote late last year.
which quoted liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's arguments against fast track, made it clear that by supporting Obama on the issue, Republican leaders could be laying the groundwork for a tough political battle with much of their party's conservative base.
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