The Corner

ORR NOT

No, of course, the election won’t revolve around Ms. Orr, but appointments such as this contribute to the mood music of politics, as do phenomena such as, say, the inability of a distressingly high number of the GOP presidential hopefuls to come to grips with basic scientific knowledge (that whole evolution thing). In themselves, none of these things make much of a difference. Taken cumulatively, they do. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not writing this in the belief that a degree, even quite a high degree, of social conservatism is necessarily a vote-loser. It clearly isn’t. Take it too far (and we could debate what “far” means), however, and the GOP starts to run into political difficulty. We saw this, for example, in the aftermath of the Terri Schiavo case. To take another instance, it probably played a part (remember the Michael J. Fox controversy) in the defeat of Missouri’s Jim Talent. You may say that it’s important for the GOP to stick to its principles (as the more robust social conservatives would define them), and that’s fine. Sadly, I suspect that Hillary Clinton would be only too pleased to agree. She’d be right to.

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