Today, in editorializing about Scozzafava’s collapse, the normally astute editors of The Wall Street Journal join the ranks of those chronically infatuated with equating the supposed extremism of the right with that of the left. This apples-to-oranges nonsense is made only worse by the editors’ absurd acceptance of the “litmus test” argument about supposed conservative rejection of those who don’t “agree with them on every issue.”
Unfortunately, this kind of analysis is something that could be found in a not-so-good high school student newspaper, and is deserving of some questions for the WSJ editors:
First, please name any major conservative politician, pundit, talk radio show host or blogger who has ever seriously said – or even implied – that a Republican candidate need agree with them on every issue. Please be specific.
Second, who is it – specifically – that is as “bloody-minded and intolerant of all dissent as the hard left is at the Daily Kos,” and on what issue or issues in particular? Because comparing a conservative’s intolerance of politicians who fail to support our soldiers, or who appease terrorists, or who confirm extreme activist judges, or who constantly embrace big government spending, or who support economy-killing environmental policy, or who “negotiate” a form of socialized medicine… with those on the left’s intolerance of those who don’t do enough of these things is absurd.
Third, which “right-wing blogger or talk show host” prefers “having Democrats in power because it drives up their own ratings,” specifically? Rush? Sean? Levin? RedState? National Review Online? Who?
Fourth, who is calling for a candidate in Illinois, California or Connecticut to sound like Tom DeLay, specifically? And, what if some conservative did? Which specific principles, issues, or policies advocated by Mr. Delay would be worthy of trading for a coveted congressional or senate seat?
Fifth, Democrats did not drive Joe Lieberman out of the party in any practical sense. He still caucuses with them and still votes with them on most issues not involving middle east policy. And even if the ant-war left crazies did force him to run as an Independent Democrat, how is that comparable to the Hoffman-Scozzafava situation? Scozzafava isn’t even close to a Republican much less a conservative. Lieberman was the Democrats’ VP candidate just 6 years prior to his switch. He is – on most issues – liberal.
This is the fallacy of the “litmus test” argument. It’s ridiculous to suggest that having even a bare minimum of standard of a belief in liberty, limited government, fiscal responsibility, strong national security, respect for life, American exceptionalism and a general sense of getting the government to leave us the hell alone is some kind of litmus test.
Until conservatives stop comparing that which is not comparable – and stop trying to “make nice” in an environment where our way of life is under attack – the Republican Party and the health of our nation will flounder.