Diary

I Think Jonathan Chait is Right (which makes me kind of sad)

I enjoy a decent percentage of what I read in the New Republic.  It’s far from perfect, but when I’m confused about a stance the left has taken, I’m more likely to read some level of sane articulation there than anywhere else.

That said, I don’t like Jonathan Chait. At all.  Chait is one of those hyper-partisan “wingers” who adds nothing to the debate most days. His lens is colored so brightly blue that it causes him to take viewpoints that have no relationship to reality.  He’s most embarrassing when he tries to explain what “the right” is thinking and doing. (In the interest of full disclosure, there are days I’d put Erick in the same bucket.)

So it’s not without sadness that I agree with Chait today (after filtering his usual tiresome liberal bile):

This is four Senate seats put at serious risk by running right-wing primary challenges, plus one enormous liberal domestic policy accomplishment [NSBS: Referring to Specter and ObamaCare]. In all these instances, conservatives either celebrated the right-wing primary challenge or, at the very least, quietly accepted it. There was very little pushback at the time from the party establishment, other than a feeble effort in Kentucky. I have seen no recriminations whatsoever in hindsight. And yet it seems perfectly clear that the effect of these challenges has been a disaster from the conservative perspective.  You don’t have to love Sue Lowden to understand that a 90% chance of Lowden winning is better than a 20% chance of Sharron Angle winning. Nor is there any recognition on the right that conservatives paved the way for health care reform by driving Specter out. In conservative lore, the Pat Toomey primary challenge remains a glorious triumph, when in fact it’s a disaster of historic proportions.

I understand that this point of view doesn’t hold sway here at RedState, but as a right-of-center moderate from Massachusetts (who likes impure politicians like Scott Brown, Bill Weld, Joe Lieberman, and even Evan Bayh), I find my agreement with Chait today very sad.  Movement conservatives forget sometimes that there are only two parties that matter in America, and that at a time like this we moderates (aka the cherished Independents currently swinging so hard toward Republicans in many states) would like a place in the Republican tent– this time. After all, thoughtful people are seeing that the entire American experiment in limited government is at risk, and we aren’t happy about it. To think that races that if won could stop Obama’s agenda dead in its tracks might be lost at some altar of ideological impurity sickens me. There’s simply too much at stake right now.

Yes, I understand that the mantra here is “Conservative in the primary, Republican in the general,” but I fear that supporting people like Toomey and Angle in the primaries might have unintended affect of keeping Obama’s agenda alive.

Just one citizen’s honestly arrived at perspective.