Rot on the Right

G.O.P. Conservatives Win a Rhetorical Victory, But Deprived Of Reagan's leadership and the Soviet enemy, their fractious movement is in disarray. Some look beyond Bush for a new champion.

Judging by the doctrinaire platform going before the Republican Convention this week, the conservative coalition that Ronald Reagan constructed 12 years ago seems as robust as ever. Just below the surface, however, the right wing suffers a mid-life crisis that threatens its future -- as well as the party's. The movement lacks an inspirational leader, a unifying cause and an external enemy big enough to outweigh its internal divisions.

A symptom of the malady: Pat Buchanan, who assaulted Bush from the right in the early primaries, is searching for a new label to replace "conservative." His sister and campaign manager, Bay...

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