The Corner

A Warning…

…from Can She Be Stopped?:

“‘Depend upon it, sir,’ said Dr. Johnson, ‘when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’ Hillary’s election should be concentrating the minds of Republicans and conservatives wonderfully. But it isn’t yet. And if we’re not careful, the disappointment many of you feel with the state of your party will translate into an exhilarating but potentially suicidal journey as the primary season gets under way in earnest in 2007. The road you should travel, the path you should take, is the one marked “Danger: Hillary Approaching.” But there are nascent signs that you may take another road, a road into the interior of the Republican Party itself. Many on the right will want to use the primary to lead the GOP and the country into some very dangerous territory–ideological purity.

“Occasionally in politics, a small but influential caucus of idealists decides that what its party really needs is a Purification Ritual. To stress the importance of ideological purity, the caucus will stage a protest candidacy against a mainstream politician and the political party that chooses him, because the party and the politician have betrayed the caucus’s highest ideals.

“The conservative movement that undergirds the Republican Party is especially fond of threatening the GOP with a Purification Ritual on every matter under the sun. Even Ronald Reagan’s presidency wasn’t good enough for many conservatives, who continually declared themselves good and ready to form a third party whose sole purpose would be to divide the GOP–to injure the party and prevent its candidates from winning elections. This was, presumably, a form of tough love, an effort to force change on a recalcitrant party. Or at least that’s what the Purifiers usually say. But in fact they are doing what insurgencies always do–engaging in destruction and calling it revolution.

“The GOP’s conservative base is very susceptible to the temptation to Purify, because even though the Republican Party and the conservative movement are enemies of the Left’s utopian politics, we are often guilty of indulging in our own form of utopianism when it comes to politics and politicians. We cannot bear it if they don’t devote themselves to all our policy hopes and wishes, and we experience a yearning to punish them for their heterodoxy. That’s where the Purification Ritual comes in….

“[T]his is no time for Republicans and conservatives to be quixotic. You have to get over the hunger to seek exile and isolation for those fellow Republicans with whom you disagree. In this coming election, it is vital for the nation’s future that you resist the siren song of Purification. You must not hold ideological purity more dear than partisan victory in the coming two years.

“Yes, it’s time to fight, but it’s not time to fight one another.”

I wrote these words late last year. I beg you to read my book and listen to me, because the way people are talking and acting these days, you are going to make me look like a prophet. The subtitle of my book is “Hillary Clinton Is Going to Be the Next President of the United States Unless…” Don’t make me look like a prophet. Please.

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