Principalities & Powers

Desperate Pretense

After two years of desperate pretense that the Bush administration is but the long afternoon of the Reagan era, many of Mr. Bush's conservative supporters now begin to suspect that morning in America is fast lurching toward chaos and old night. The President's apparent willingness to consider tax increases, despite his best-known campaign promise, and the return of Secretary of State James Baker from Moscow last spring wearing little more than his underpants have disabused many on the right of any illusions they may have harbored. They are late, but they are not alone, and far from the Beltway comes the unsettling murmur of rebellion, this time not from the tenured revolutionaries of the left or the tax-exempt populists of the right, but out of the swamps and hills of the American heartland.

When David Duke announced in 1988 that he would run for the Louisiana state legislature, few paid much attention. Mr. Duke first gained national headlines in the early 1970's, when he won fame for being a member of the Ku Klux Klan as well as a college graduate, and he has run for office several times before—most recently for President in 1988. Any almanac will give you a complete list of such also-rans, from anti-Masons and Know- Nothings down to the candidacies of Angela Davis, Dr. Spock, and Lyndon LaRouche. But then Mr. Duke won the legislative race, the almanacs had to be rewritten, and ears, even inside the Beltway, began...

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