Monday, November 8, 2010

The Scourge Of Republican Purity Activists

Well that didn't take long: fresh off a republican win that left everyone grasping for metaphors we find some conservatives trying to re-argue lost causes and threatening current and future successes with a rigid purity test that few could pass and for which they have no standing to impose on the rest of us.

MC speaks primarily of Dan Riehl and Mark Levin but, we are sure, there are others. Unpleasant, nasty people as people, Riehl and Levin have taken it upon themselves to lecture the rest of us about what can or cannot constitute an appropriate choice in any given republican primary. They do so in strident, repulsive and frequently ad hominem ways. Given less to reason than outrage, they focus on the dreadful Christine O'Donnell and roundly condemn anyone who thought Mike Castle would be the better candidate for the general election. There is, really, no question about this but the purity activists insist that this isn't true. In fact, some of them go so far as to say her loss is a win. MC walks away from discussions where down is argued strenuously as really being up. We're not fond of Kool-Aid on either side of the political aisle.

The problem is not that republicans have different ideas as to whom to endorse at a convention or vote for in a contested primary. It's that one small group takes unto itself anathema-like powers as to those with whom they disagree. MC thinks this is a threat to future GOP successes and shows the shallowness of political thoughtfulness on their part. The purity activists here tend to (that dreaded word) bully those who disagree with them. But being nasty politically merely fits in with their personalities. Republicans who want to (continue to) win simply have to be fearless and either ignore these types or push back. We're doing the latter at this point, no doubt to be followed by the former. These people are, after all, mostly marginal. The goal is to keep them that way.

Idiotically, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie has come under fire from these, well, idiots. His crime was to tell David Gregory on Meet the Press that Delaware was a lost senate opportunity. Yes, MC wishes Mike Castle was more conservative. In a fit of purity, Delaware put up the flaky Christine O'Donnell and the results were a classic foregone conclusion. And no--why should we have to say it?--MC doesn't think she deserved the media ridicule and piling on that she received. But Delaware isn't a Tea Party state. Is it apostasy to say so? Apparently to some but we think they point toward permanent minority status. No thank you.

MC is a big admirer and supporter of the Tea Party movement. Being judicious in running such candidates doesn't contradict that support. In fact, MC thinks it showcases our understanding of what has brought it to prominence. Slap-dash anywhere and everywhere foisting of those kind of candidates is simply unwise if not ignorant. The smugness of Riehl and Levin, to say nothing of those like them, is suffocating. By themselves, they do precious little to actually help republican candidates win. Contrast this with Governor Christie criss-crossing the nation in support of all kinds of republican candidates.

MC wants republicans to be a durable, lasting governing party which, we believe, best represents the views and values of the American people when we don't stray from who we say we are. The purity activists fancy themselves guardians of the cause but, in fact, they are the leading edge of an ideological position which, if allowed to become preeminent, assures our defeat.