... well, ok, this actually IS another Murphy post. Sorry.
I've been thinking a lot about some of the things Mr. Murphy said on the latest podcast. On some points I tend to agree with him: there is an anti-intellectual section of the conservative base; sometimes we (active Republican primary voters) make the good the enemy of the perfect; the GOP needs to find a way to reach out to new voters. All of these things are true. I even have many of the same reservations about Michele Bachmann that he does vis a vis the general election. I'm a Pawlenty man myself, for what it's worth.
But I'm bothered. Bothered by the general tone Mr. Murphy takes about certain aspects of our party. For example, I'm a little nonplussed by his easy conflation of social conservatives with "the crazies", a general dismissiveness of the Tea Party, and his tendency to lecture conservatives on their inflexibility to "deal" with this administration.
What would Mr. Murphy have us do? For eight years- maybe a long as 12 years, depending on your perspective- the Republican party abandoned their small government principles and found plenty of "deals" with the Democrats that left ordinary voters with the not-untrue perception that the GOP was perfectly willing to spend, spend, spend to buy votes... which Mr. Murphy seems to be suggesting we do. And what was the result of all this bipartisan, reach across the isle, compassionate conservatism, "not crazy" behavior? Voters sent our majorities down the river, electing a man that can only be described with maximum charity as "college campus director of burn the country to the ground fun time brigade".
So now, all of us committed conservatives should buy some "deal" that would cause even the most cynical carnival barker to blush like a... well, like... like a big blushing THING... on the premises that we were going to get a 3 to 1 return on the abandonment of our principles! Step right up, step right up, this MAGIC MACHINE will turn your SCRUPLES into ELECTORAL GOLD! Come one, come all!
I'm sorry, Mr. Murphy. We have been to the fair and we've ridden the rides, and all we got at the end was dizzy and broke, oh yeah and our spine was left somewhere in there next to the papier-mâché clown...
If there's a debt deal that truly cuts spending, reforms entitlements, or makes sense of the rotten tax code, I and most of my fellows will be happy to support it. Well, not happy happy, but happy enough. Because we know that we have two missions in life: to maintain our principles, and to beat this President in 2012.
But don't whine to us about how "the crazies" won't accept a phantom, non-existent, completely imaginary "deal" that was clearly shopped around by the Administration to the gullible rubes at the New York Times and the dapper, not-crazy, well read, singular David Brooks, Esq., he of the Hattan of Man, long may he live, such a nice boy, so reasonable, truly a paragon of Manhood and what a fine dancer. Us dumb morons who are scared to death about the financial collapse we are experiencing RIGHT NOW in REAL TIME are just not going to get on that crazy train again, sorry.
One final bit, and I promise the vitriol is spent: the Tea Party isn't crazy. I'm not a Tea Party guy, never attended one, don't follow Palin on Facebook, you get the idea. But the Tea Party people are my people in a real way. The way that I, and a lot of us conservatives are, realizing that this whole thing we call the American Experiment isn't a perpetual motion machine. The whole point of a democracy is for active, concerned citizens to keep it rolling, and right now I don't see any other political group who is fighting to give us all a little bit longer. When people like Mr. Murphy talk about winning elections, we actually agree with him- we just don't think winning on any term is a real victory. Because if we just win, but don't move the pendulum back towards sanity, we haven't won anything at all, and the end result is the same- horrors beyond imagining.