I, So-Called Conservative
Over on Autonomist, my friend Rocco DiPippo — to whom I am tremendously indebted for non-blog-related reasons — writes:
…politically speaking it was idiotic for Republicans to showboat over the Foley matter. And incredibly, after the Foley revelations, Republican pundits lined up to publish a self-flagellating stream of articles saying how it might be “good” to lose the Congress, since that would teach Republicans how to be Republicans again.
Well that might be a reasonable strategy in peacetime, but it is madness during war, especially when you are willing to risk having people with a demonstrable, 40-year- long track record of appeasement coupled with an aversion to things military, attain power. So, in essence, though the Republicans rightly stressed that America’s first order of business is successfully waging war against a particularly virulent, widespread enemy, some of those same Republicans were willing to jeopardize this country’s safety by handing power over to a group of people who, in their adolescent haze, do not think we are actually involved in a war. These so-called conservatives and so-called Republicans are plain stupid, or utterly hypocritical. …
Now, there’s a good chance that the War on Islamist Terror will be lost, a million Iraqis will die and endless investigations aimed at impeaching Bush and Cheney will soon commence. Aren’t you glad you stayed home instead of voting?
Although my motivation had nothing whatsoever to do with the Foley matter — to which I paid almost no attention — I am not timid in the least to admit that, not only did I not stay home, I voted for Sheldon Whitehouse. If that makes me a “so called” whatever, so be it.
Here’s my bottom line: As soon as the national GOP began acting under the rationale of “what are they going to do, vote for Democrats?” — which they’ve been doing for longer than most of us would like to admit — the party became a detriment to the war on terror and, perhaps even more importantly, to everything that makes this country worth defending against terrorists. They became a detriment even to those social causes that they sought to leverage (e.g., same-sex marriage and abortion), and they became a detriment to the economic causes that are supposed to be the sine qua non of Republicanism.
If conservatives intended to assert themselves on this broad, self-defining slate of issues, it had to be with this election. These are, all of them, long-term issues, and the rapid slip among the “right” party required equally rapid correction: proving the possibility of defeat to the Republicans and the reality of responsibility to the Democrats. Doing so was neither stupid nor hypocritical, but considered and consistent. As to whether it will prove correct and effective, we can only pray.