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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Conservatives Learn the Exact Wrong Lesson

Mosiac shows Hercules fighting the Nemean Lion
Ta-Nehisi Coates has been putting in some really stellar work over at The Atlantic for a while now, but he really deserves some sort of headline award for his post, "Hippies Wander Into the Lions' Den, Maul Lions." In it, he points out that crazy lefty ideas like marriage equality and marijuana legalization were big winners Tuesday night. Issues that the Republican Party thought were fairly safely on their side and only fringey nutjob politics turned out not to be so safe at all. The right had laughed at these things as weak and crazy liberal goofiness -- right up until weak and crazy liberal goofs cleaned their freakin' clock. This was not an election in which rock-ribbed conservatism was endorsed by the electorate. No, this was an election where barefoot, who-cares-who-you-love, tofu-chewing, pot-smoking, Prius-driving, gender-neutral Occupy Wall Street types smacked the rightwing stupid[er].

It was, in Coates' words, "one of the most progressive nights in American history, and arguably the most progressive night in American history in some 40 years."

Which makes this reasoning a little hard to figure:

The Hill:

Conservative leaders on Wednesday lashed out at Mitt Romney, saying his attempts to paint himself as a centrist and hide his principles cost him the presidency.

They vowed to wage a war to put the Tea Party in charge of the Republican Party by the time it nominates its next presidential candidate.


“The battle to take over the Republican Party begins today and the failed Republican leadership should resign,” said Richard Viguerie, a top activist and chairman of

He said the lesson on Romney’s loss to President Obama on Tuesday is that the GOP must “never again” nominate a “a big government established conservative for president.”

Really? Because judging from the outcome, I'd say the "lesson" was actually the plural "lessons," that they were many, and that they include things like "don't attack better than half the electorate as sluts," "race-baiting doesn't work anymore," "people don't trust Wall Street," and "keep your crazy-assed theories about rape and pregnancy to yourself." Of course, I'm not a big, important towering intellect like Richard Viguerie. America went all gay and weed happy because it was so conservative, I guess.

Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, and Allen West all lost because they weren't conservative enough either, right? Michele Bachmann barely held onto her seat -- meaning she would've been a lot safer if the Tea Party's rightest of rightwing nuts was more conservative, right? Am I getting this argument correctly? Because so far, it's making no damned sense at all.

You have to give them credit for trying to make this drooling moron of an argument make sense, but an A for effort is all they get. The result is still that drooling moron of an argument. The Hill quotes Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots calling Romney a "weak, moderate candidate hand-picked by the country club elite Republican establishment."

"[Voters] didn’t see a clear distinction so they went with what they know," she said.

I guess because a moderate is like a giant squid or something -- everyone knows they exist, but few have actually seen one. The sight of a moderate centrist terrified voters into the arms of the exact opposite of what they wanted. Because it only makes sense that's what you'd do, right? Just like if an election was between a Whig and a Nazi, everyone would go with the Nazi -- because they know what Nazis are all about. So an electorate hungering for a "true" conservative chooses a hippie pinko over the Moderate Mystery Box. That just stands to reason, right? You'll excuse me if I keep asking, because when you try to following this line of reasoning, it's so hard to tell if you're still on the pavement or careening off a roadside cliff.

There's a civil war brewing in the Republican Party. Unfortunately for them, they've chased out all the moderates and the crazies vastly outnumber the sane. The "Mitt wasn't conservative" enough crowd is going to win. And they're going to go off in search of a candidate who demands war with Iran, stoning gays, and who won't be able to shut up about how many rape babies America should be blessed with. That's their idea of a winner.

Man, those hippies are going to eat these fools alive.


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