Except for the weepy bits, I’m really starting to like this guy:
Minutes into his stump speech at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner here, as hundreds of Republicans poke at chicken and mini-potatoes, Richard Mourdock chokes up, his voice cracking over the sound system, all the way to the bar at the back of the room.
“Honestly, as I look at our nation’s capital, I feel more frustrated with Republicans than Democrats,” says Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer. But “bipartisanship has taken us to the brink of bankruptcy. It is not bipartisanship we need, it is principle.”
The audience bursts into applause.
This is the kind of conservative zeal that some voters say has been missing from longtime Sen. Richard G. Lugar, the 80-year-old elder statesman who is now in the fight of his political life.
“It is not bipartisanship we need, it is principle.” Emphasis mine. Because that’s what this election is all about. Principles, not programs. Principles, not programs. Principles, not programs.
Conservatives are in the middle of two electoral cycles, both of them crucial to the future of the republic. The first is the campaign against Barack Obama and his consigliere, Jake Lingle, and four more years of their destructive, soul-corroding political ethos, punishment disguised as compassion, dependency disguised as public charity — in short, a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. Even as the economic consequences of modern liberalism bring one state or societal edifice after another crashing down — something its policies are frankly intended to do, for its own enrichment — Obama and his gang are preparing to redouble their efforts. In just one term, they have to be happy with what they’ve wrought so far. Imagine what they can do in two.
But conservatives have another, equally important battle to win, the battle against the likes of Sens. Dick Lugar and Orrin Hatch, two antediluvians who richly deserve retirement at the hands of challengers Richard Mourdock and Dan Liljenquist — pour encourager les autres, if nothing else. Since the passage of the 17th amendment, the Senate has turned ineluctably into a life peerage, a millionaires’ club whose arcane rituals and ludicrous notions of noblesse oblige ought to embarrass the freemen of a free republic. Whatever good “Dick Nixon’s favorite mayor” and the singing sensation from Utah have done in the past, it has long since been outweighed by the trouble they cause now.
Probably neither of these senators understands why his head is the chopping block, for by their lights, they’ve just been doing their jobs: introducing legislation and bringing home the bacon, all the while celebrating the chimerical virtue of “bipartisanship.” Which, when you stop to think about it, is really just another name for a racket in which both sides share the swag and the public suffers, a vice disguised as a virtue.
For decades, conservatives have been gnashing their teeth as one Glorious Revolution after another is co-opted by the “Washington establishment,” and a crop of scrubbed virgin freshmen is quickly seduced and corrupted by whorehouse pork-barrelism and, worse, programism.
What the Tea Party and other conservatives are saying is simple: Enough. Stop. No mas. Don’t we already have enough laws, enough regulations, enough encroachments on liberty and — more important — isn’t it about time we rolled them back, striking useless laws from the books, eliminating some or most regulatory agencies and severely (and permanently) constitutionally hamstringing the others? Conservatism can be “progressive” too — back to the future. But we’ve let the “progressive” Left push us around for so long that now they openly mock and question the Constitution itself, and regard conservative fidelity to it as a kind of cultism.
The Constitution is not a set of prescriptive programs; it is a statement of principles. Much to the Emperor Hussein’s horror, it is indeed a charter of negative liberties, welded in place because the Founders knew and understood man’s fallen nature and his continuing fallibility. Like the impregnable walls guarding Dr. Morbius’ compound in Forbidden Planet, it was designed to withstand the monsters from the Id, the self-destructive passion for political power inherent in any human enterprise, kept at bay only through constant vigilance.
It’s not like Dr. Morbius’s demons have finally punched through Madison’s solid Krell steel on their own, but that we — like the defenders of Constantinople in 1453 – have abetted the monsters from the Id by losing faith in ourselves. That’s left our social structures weakened, as one entity after another has fallen or been handed over to the “progressives” and — in the immortal words of Leslie Nielsen as Capt. J. J. Adams — “their own subconscious hate and lust for destruction.”
But even when the socialists get what they want, they can’t hang on to it. Their beloved Forward-leaning Soviet Union, collapsed in less than a century, taking most of international communism with it. Seismically speaking, the same thing is happening here. As my colleague, Victor Davis Hanson, notes over at PJ Media, “The temple of postmodern liberalism was rocked these last few weeks, as a number of supporting columns and buttresses simply crashed, leaving the entire edifice wobbling.” That temple, too, will come down; the only question is whether our nation will go with it.
And that’s why the RINOs like Lugar and Hatch have to go. The GOP cannot offer a credible alternative to the destructive hate and social division of the Democrats — the party, let us remember, of slavery, segregation, secularism and sedition — unless it cleans out its own Augean stables first, removes the collaborationists and rejects “bipartisanship” as an absolute good in itself, instead of an occasional, pragmatic means to an end.
As currently scripted, the end of this movie is not in doubt, but a rewrite may save us yet. Otherwise, as Dr. Morbius cries, we face a future of “Id, id, id, id, id.” And that’s a forbidden planet we don’t even want to visit, much less live on.