Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Speaking Of Apostates

Sensible, Burkean Conservative David Frum takes on the Tea Party.

David Frum - who like Ted Cruz is a Republican from Canada but unlike Ted Cruz is not an insane, raging asshole - has some sage words about how the GOP has gone off the rails.

I give you some nuggets if you're just too tired to click through:

Republicans were not content merely to replace one president with another. They also campaigned on the most radical platform the party since 1964. They wanted the biggest possible mandate. Instead they got whomped.
Republicans have insisted on maximal goals because they fear they face a truly apocalyptic moment: an irrevocable fork in the road, with one path leading to socialist tyranny, the other to the restoration of the constitutional republic. There sometimes are such moments in history of nations. This is not one. If the United States has remained a constitutional republic despite a government guarantee of health care for people over 65, it will remain a constitutional republic with a government guarantee of health care for people under 65. 
 But effective parties make conflict work for them. Hate leads to rage, and rage makes you stupid. Republicans have convinced themselves both that President Obama is a revolutionary radical hell-bent upon destroying America as we know it and that he's so feckless and weak-willed that he'll always yield to pressure. It's that contradictory, angry assessment that has brought the GOP to a place where it must either abjectly surrender or force a national default. 
 Large organizations are inherently vulnerable to capture by tightly organized militant tendencies. This is how a great political party was impelled to base a presidential campaign on the Ryan plan—a plan that has now replaced the 1983 manifesto of the British Labour Party as “the longest suicide note in history.”
 Non-politicians say what they believe. Politicians sooner or later arrive at the point where they believe what they say. They have become prisoners of their own artificial reality, with no easy access to the larger truths outside. This entombment in their own artificial reality was revealed to the entire TV-watching world in Karl Rove’s Fox News election night outburst against the Ohio 2012 ballot results.
 Americans understand that the business of the nation is ultimately settled by a roomful of tired people negotiating their differences in the small hours of the morning: everybody gets something, nobody gets everything. It’s a grubby business, unavoidably, and most of the time, Americans understand that. They build statues to Martin Luther King. They elect Lyndon Johnson.
It’s a tempting shortcut to throw up one’s hands and say, “I’ve seen the best of it. The future holds only darkness.” It’s especially tempting for a party that disproportionately draws its support from older voters. The fact is that for those of us over 50, the future offers us as individuals only decline leading to extinction. It’s natural to believe that what happens to us must happen to the world around us. Who wants to hear that things will become much, much better for humanity shortly after we ourselves shuffle off the scene? 

I think the word that sums this up is: "Damn!"

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