Together, President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were supposed to usher in a new era of liberal dominance. The defeated conservative remnant, it was predicted, would then turn against each other, bereft of ideas and reduced to cannibalizing their own movement.
Election results in places as varied as Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have complicated the first part of this storyline. This week, a meeting of the nation’s leading conservative activists, intellectuals, and political leaders hopes to disprove the second.
On Wednesday, more than 80 conservative thinkers and organization heads will come together to ratify a joint manifesto ahead of the 2010 elections. Dubbed the Mount Vernon Statement, its goal is to unite the right — economic, social, and national security conservatives — under a set of shared principles. The idea is to make different conservative groups feel part of the same team and also to bind them in a common intellectual enterprise.