*I have been on hiatus for awhile due to my wedding. This post was composed several weeks ago because a hot topic was the scapegoating of the Social Right by the GOP establishment. Still try to enjoy it.
In the aftermath of the dismal 2008 election results, the Republicans are certainly scratching their heads trying to figure out just what went wrong. But more than just scratching their heads, the powers that be in the party are pointing fingers. And not surprisingly, none of the fingers are directed at themselves.
Yet the narrative being constructed from such establishment luminaries as David Frum, David Brooks and Kathleen Parker tell their readers that the Republican disaster of 2008 was the fault of conservatives, both from movement types but mostly the varying components of the Christian Right.
Yes, you read that correctly: the reason the Republicans are losing is because of their base, the only remaining part of the coalition is the reason the Republicans are losing. It can’t be endless wars, the revolting amount of pork spent by the “fiscally responsible party”, the shameless bailouts, the incalculable national debt, the horrific mishandling of the economy, rampant corruption within the party, bad trade policies, a reprehensible open borders immigration policy, or just plain old incompetence. You‘re right, David Frum, it’s the fault of voters who care about abortion and gay marriage.
Even some talking heads on the Left like Mort Kondracke are placing the Republican loss squarely on the shoulders of conservatives. Mr. Kondracke asserted on Fox News that conservative (rather, Republican) talk radio was the reason because talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were too polarizing and setting policy.
This is laughable itself because rather than manufacturing any of the policies that have led to Republican repudiations in 2006 and 2008, the talk radio parrots merely supported them, as they usually end up supporting whatever the party decrees anyway.
How can talk radio be destroying the party when it is one of the party’s biggest assets? While the hosts might criticize the party at certain times, they do have a near monopoly on the radio air waves, which is an avenue to bash the other party all day long. They always come back to defend the party line, and always support their dismal candidate, even when that candidate is John McCain.
What this whole episode reveals is the real animosity felt by the Republican Party toward any and all conservatives. The GOP is not concerned about any of the issues conservatives care about (even beyond the social ones). Their only goals are to win elections and increase their power, not what is best for their country.
But isn’t it ironic that these liberals-in-conservatives’ clothes (Frum, Brooks, Parker, and throw in Jonah Goldberg) habitually infuse into their writings that these social issues are “lost” while every time those issues actually make it to the ballot, the results leave the values voters victorious? If these issues still resonate with a majority of the voting public, why show such ugly contempt for them and the voters that support them?
Yet all this outrage should provoke some sort of reaction among the conservative base of the party. It was becoming clear to me, and I hope it will for millions of others, that the Republican Party only views the Christian Right and values voters with contempt. They are pawns for the establishment, nothing more and nothing less.
The Republican Party has screwed itself up, there is no doubt about that. But why are they lashing out at the only people who faithfully support the party? These are the people who still came out in droves to vote for John McCain, the scourge of conservatives, when this was the man who was supposed to attract independents and moderates?
The party and the neocons (FYI: The people who actually set the agenda) are sore that they lost yet again and need to find a way to blame someone else. These people are wailing that Sarah Palin lost the moderates and independents for them. But could it also be that maybe, just maybe, John McCain lost them himself?
It has been said before that being a neocon means never having to admit you were wrong. Fortunately for them, they found a group to blame their failures on.