I saw this on NRO this morning. The other day, I went around and around with some sheeple that I suspected were campaign volunteers for Ed Gillespie, the Liberal Republican running for Senate in Virginia. If you look in the comment section of that last linked post you’ll see me in there all over the place. My argument is a simple one. If you don’t see a choice on the ballot that represents your interests, not voting is always a choice and often the right one. If you’re choice is a child molester and a rapist, no one would fault you for refusing to endorse either option with your vote. In fact, everyone would applaud you for staying home and doing the right thing.
That’s the thing hod carriers like Jim Geraghty either don’t understand or would like you to ignore. The latter is a strong possibility as this has been explained to him dozens of times. A self-governing people not only selects amongst the options available, they decide on the options. One block offers up their preferred choice. Another block offers up their choice. The people unsure of which block is right ultimately decide the winners. Some will reject all of the options and seek out an alternative. They can’t do that if they always select from the offered choices.
The sheeple of the GOP insist the dissenters are being unreasonable. After all, staying home means the other side wins. They always claim the dissenters are looking for perfection and that’s the dissenters are being childish. That’s obnoxiously stupid, which reinforces the sense amongst the dissenters that the hod carriers simply don’t respect the opinions of the dissenters. Frankly, it is the only reasonable conclusion. If every time you raise an objection you’re told to shut up and sit down, what other conclusion can you draw?
What’s irritating about the “perfection” claims is they are easily disproved by recent elections. Conservatives of all stripes, even paleos, came out in force for the GOP is 1994, 2000, 2004 and 2010. The latter election was fueled by the populist uprising called the Tea Party. Their aim was to reform the GOP, not embrace it. Ever since, the GOP has made war on these people, driving out of the Tea Party wherever possible. Telling these people that perfection is the enemy of the good enough, when they have been living that life and got nothing but abuse for it, is a kick in the teeth.
The problem for the GOP is that no one believes them. The Bush years were a disaster for the Right and the GOP. I suspect a lot of Tea Party types would run back to them if the GOP leadership was at least willing to admit they bungled things in the Bush years. Guys like Jim Geraghty, no one’s idea of a deep thinker, would do the most good popularizing these confessions, not defending the privileges of an increasingly alien party establishment. But, offering up profiteers like Ed Gillespie in a winnable Senate race, however, says the GOP is more concerned with purging their party of voters than fighting the Liberal Democrats.
This can’t last. It is why UKIP is about to drive a beer truck through the Tories. The large number of Euro-skeptic in England need a party. The large number of diversity and immigration skeptics need a party. If the main parties refuse to speak to the issues important to the people, the people will inevitably find someone who will. In the fullness of time, the GOP’s decision to make war on the Tea Party will be seen as the turning point similar to what the Compromise of 1850 was to the Whig Party.
People on the Right are the most likely to accept half a loaf. It is their greatest flaw, one that the Left has expertly exploited since the birth of the American Left. The reasonableness and politeness of the Right is its broken window, through which all of the Rousseau-ist rats have entered. The party that pretends to represent the Right can no longer demand their voters reach into the bowl and select a turd for their turd sandwich. Half a loaf is one thing. Half a turd is beyond the pale.