Is America Better Off or Worse if Conservatives Will Do Anything to Win?

by Jim Geraghty

Also in today’s Jolt, a discussion of Kurt Schlichter’s new book and just how far conservatives can or should go to win when they feel the future of our constitutional republic is at stake:

Kurt Schlichter wouldn’t claim to be the next WFB — few of us do, and I suspect that he would similarly roll his eyes at the tired, “you’re no William F. Buckley” sneer from lefties. But Kurt is attempting to do one part of the equation, which is paint a picture of what we’re fighting to achieve. His new book, Conservative Insurgency, is not pure righty wish fulfillment; in Kurt’s vision of the not-so-distant future, things get worse before they get better. And perhaps in response to that national decline, the next generation of conservatives gets tougher — and perhaps a bit more ruthless. One intriguing and troubling aspect of Kurt’s future conservatives is that they’ll do anything to win:

Sixteen years of defying the liberal establishment’s merciless counterinsurgency had endowed them with a ruthlessness that would ensure they would not hesitate to aggressively impose their conservative vision when given the chance. That ethic remains today within the conservative movement, even as critics now question whether the movement has strayed too far from the norms and values it had sought to revitalize.

. . . Even today, the norms and customs that preceded the Obama administration have not been completely restored. A generation of conservatives has arisen that never experienced them; they largely know only political/cultural warfare in which principle does not always take priority over expedience.

[Kurt's fictional future president, Carrie] Marlowe’s “conservative court packing” illustrated the challenge. Faced with a liberal Supreme Court, Marlowe did not hesitate — not even for a second — to drive the impeachment of three liberal justices so she could pack the Court with insurgent jurists. She did the same in lesser courts — Obama had overseen the end of the filibuster to create a majority on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Marlowe engineered a scheme to repack it by adding 10 new seats.

These, and other similarly aggressive actions, brought howls of outrage from liberals. A few more traditional conservative voices objected, but in vain. Sixteen years of facing ruthless aggression by the Obama and Clinton administrations had left the insurgents utterly indifferent to their objections and pleas for mercy.

Kurt envisions a big, effective alliance between the traditional Right and younger, Libertarian-minded voters. As one character describes it:

There was also drug law reform, which would bring in a lot of young people, libertarians, and especially minorities who were seeing a shocking number of their young men locked up. This was a tough bridge for cons to cross — hell, watery-eyed stoners lazing about on their moms’ couches halfheartedly watching reruns of Star Trek: Fifth Generation is everything we hate. But again, this was where conservative principles about small and limited government started crossing streams with our electoral self-interest.

Did you ever see Ghostbusters? Not the remake but the original from back in the 1980s? Do you remember the power of crossing the streams? They had these lasers and if you crossed the streams it was really bad, except at the end of the movie they did that to destroy the giant marshmallow man. Anyway, we crossed the streams with drug law reform. I guess liberalism was the giant marshmallow man. And we sure fried it too.

Kurt’s a fan of Easter eggs as well. From one section featuring an interview with a future Hollywood producer:

[Honda makes no effort to lower his voice as he speaks into his phone about the pioneering conservative comedy series about men under siege by a liberal world that he helped produce. "Cam, my man, here's my idea. Ready? We reboot Dudes as a movie . . . Listen, three words. Channing. Tatum. Junior. Hello? You still there? Yeah, well you talk to Jim, then my people will talk to yours. Two words. Ka. Ching! Bye now!"]

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