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Backlash against Welfare MothersPast and Present$
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Ellen Reese

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244610

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244610.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

. The Rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats

. The Rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats

(p.132) (p.133) 8. The Rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats
Backlash against Welfare Mothers

Ellen Reese

University of California Press

This chapter examines the rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats in the 1980s and 1990s. It argues that many corporate leaders became mobilized around a highly conservative domestic agenda in response to international competition, declining profits, and a wave of regulatory reforms, and increased pressure on politicians to move rightward on social policies. Republican gains in the 1980s and 1990s were partly related to their ability to mobilize resources. The rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats at the end of the century reflected shifts in both elite and electoral politics. Attacks on welfare mothers provided Republicans with fertile ground for attacking liberals and uniting its disparate constituents: racial conservatives, nativists, the Christian Right, and neoliberal corporate elites. Meanwhile, Democrats, seeking to retain their support among white voters and business donors, retreated in their support for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

Keywords:   Republican Right, New Democrats, regulatory reforms, social policies, electoral politics, welfare mothers, racial conservatives, Christian Right, Aid to Families with Dependent Children

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