The ideology of movement conservatives is not simply partisanship. It is an attack on American democracy itself
On three dramatic occasions, factions have tried to use foreign affairs to wrest control from a president they hated. In the earliest days of the republic, when Americans were painfully aware the country might not survive, men split into two political camps. The Federalists supported President Washington and his efforts to show international powers that the American government was strong enough to last. The Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, insisted that the administration’s establishment of a national bank proved that Washington was turning the fledgling democracy into a European-style monarchy. But while the Republicans’ protests irritated the notoriously thin-skinned Washington, they gained little traction against the father of the country.