OK, from the start I admit that I am not the best candidate to play peacemaker, but the matter is too important to ignore. Conservatives, various flavors of Republicans, and more than a few flame-throwers just out to stir up the fighting have been going after each other on and off again for more than a year now. There have been manifestos demanding surrender by the majority to a rabid few, there have been some folks so offended that they say this is the end of the Conservative Movement, there have been good-faith efforts by some very fine people to try to mend fences, there have been gentle reminders that some folks have gone very angry without checking the facts, and some have pointed out deliberate attempts to lie about what certain officials have actually said on an issue.
A depressingly large number of Conservatives have, once again, taken up the ridiculous chant that losing is winning if it rids the Movement of ‘impure’ members. That Republicans who survived losing seats would decide to become more Conservative (I warned last year that the opposite would happen. When they lose seats, the GOP starts thinking the public wants more Liberals, and they start acting that way. I also warned the readers long ago, that the My-Way-Or-Else Conservatives were the greatest threat to the Republican majority in Congress, and that the Democrats would be happy to accept Napoleon’s advice, ‘do not interrupt your enemy when he is making a great mistake’.)
So, here we are. Republicans are the minority party, the public does not trust anyone in office because pretty much all the character attacks left marks, some of the best-qualified people are staying out or leaving the work because of how anyone gets treated, who seriously tries to tackle the hard jobs, and the tone of debate on issues has gotten so foul that no discussion ever lasts even an hour before personal attacks begin.
You did that. Yes, you. So did I. The cast is made up of folks who either caused the fights and derailed the discussion, or they stood by and let it happen. Yes, that’s a generality, there are some few people of honor who tried their best to stop the implosion, but they were ridiculed or ignored. Enough people were hell-bent on taking the Conservative Movement over the cliff, that we are now flying headlong towards the rocks. My question here, is what we do now.
Don’t bother with the issues here. As I said, the Republicans are in the minority of Congress, and even Republicans would rather heckle the President than help him get work done, so it’s not as if we are in charge of the legislation train. And Conservatives? Shoot, a bunch of them are going around pointing fingers at the others and saying they can’t call themselves Conservatives unless they troop along with the mob, and “purge” Conservatism of anyone they deem unworthy. There’s a phrase for that: Malignant Narcissism. It makes Conservatives a flea on the back of a very small dog in a very big dog pound. It’s going to be a while until Conservatives have the clout to get D.C. to take them seriously, and I hope we can all agree that is not a healthy thing.
The question here, really, is what everyone wants. To some degree, I think we feel the need to vent, to let loose some frustration and to find someone who will listen to us. I could point fingers (and you know how much I am tempted), but really the only thing we can do now is start to survey the damage and figure out how to rebuild. But even before that, we’re going to have to get the screamers to give it a rest, so we can find out what options are even possible.