It happens every election cycle. Readers who think Republican and conservative are synonymous get very cross with me for valuing conservatism over the GOP and for not getting passionate enough about party loyalty and every single race. If you ask me, this is the rightwing version of the lefty blogger mentality. On that side they invest profound philosophical meaning in being a Democrat — even though Democrats simply believe whatever the most self-described Democrats say at any given moment. Over here on the right we have folks who get obsessed not so much with ideological purity as party loyalty and, in the process, define them interchangeably. They think insufficient obedience to their priorities is proof of secret liberal leanings and bad faith. Here’s a typical example. From a reader objecting to an earlier jokey post:
If you were really rightwing you wouldn’t be so gleeful about losing both houses of Congress and telling jokes. That is the problem, so many RINO columnists and members of Congress who secretly agree with the Democrats on almost everything, or maybe disagree on one issue, yet pretend to be “rightwing”. If you gave a s**t, you wouldn’t be joking. The Democrats don’t when they lose. Oh, for a few Republican leaders with the intensity of the old Newt Gingrich or of Daily Kos. I’m surprised you don’t have the courtesy to your readers to tell the truth about yourself, or if you won’t do that at least hold a respectful silence for a few days out of courtesy for the NRO readers who actually believe in conservatism (since you are taking their money for your columns). Except for what Kathryn wrote, if someone showed me the Corner’s comments about the election and asked me to guess their source, I would have said it was written by a bunch of intellectual Democrats who had been asked to spin it from the Republican side, and perhaps were trying to be gentle to some Republican friends. I suspect that after the first decade of the Democratic Congress, some of the intellectual Republicans who think this is just a mental chess game with no consequences will regret it. Others will have moved to the Democratic party by then, since they always agreed with it.
Me: Well, it may be true that some Democrats don’t make jokes when they lose. But many of those people are humorless pains in the butt who think politics is a religion and a total philosophy of life. I see no reason why I should be ashamed for not being more like those humorless bandersnatches.