Is it the tiniest bit heartening that some conservative columnists and talk show hosts have started to discuss the failings of the Republican party, even if they haven't yet gotten the courage to address the failings of conservatives? As you know, I found out the hard what – twice – what happens when you do that – you have inbreds named Kenny following you around accusing you of being a communist. I wouldn't mind if the stalkers were intelligent and willing to debate, but the fact is that there's no difference between the right and the left when it comes to clinging to unsupportable opinions.
Laura Ingraham is the latest to take on Republicans, opening her column today with: "If you've ever wondered what America might look like as a one-party country, Republicans are trying to help you out."
Sure, that's pretty tame by my standards, but at least she's taking baby steps. She and they have to. If you've making big money as a conservative pundit, you can only push until your audience pushes back, and by then, you've probably alienated quite a few.
Unfortunately, conservatives who know just how off course those who fancy themselves to be conservatives actually are, i.e. people like me, all three of us, know that people like Ingraham are not leaders, they're followers. They're putting out feelers in hopes of finding like-minded timid souls who, together, might be able to sway thinking conservatives (a tiny minority), who will then approach their less enlightened friends and family members. Then, by George (ha-ha) at the turn of the century, we'll have ourselves a movement again!
It used to be damning with faint praise to say that "she means well," but we're loaded with ineffective Ingrahams. On Huckabee's Fox program last Saturday, Ann Coulter, who wasn't shy about taking on Huckabee during the campaign or even on his own program, labeled herself as the person who calls people on the right to account. Except that she doesn't. What she does (as does Rush Limbaugh) is she calls people on the right whom she doesn't like to account. Both she and Rush have barely grazed George Bush, and when she has, it's always directed at something specific – some act, not the man, even as Bush himself in recent days has tried to shift blame for his failings to nameless Republicans and to his fear that the financial markets would collapse if he didn't "abandon his principles."
Still, that makes Bush a better critic of himself than those who's job it is to keep watch and to criticize for the sake of country, party, and ideology, It's incredible to me that conservatives still regard Bush as one of theirs, and it's even more incredible that Bush does indeed seem to be the best of the lot. And in a few days, our watchdogs will be able to direct all their criticism at Obama, then the current President - where it will belong. So why didn't they direct their criticism at President Bush for the past eight years? It couldn't have been because he was doing a great job, could it?
Conservative journalists and… um… entertainers have been irresponsible, and they're the ones who need to be held accountable. But they're the very ones who will now "move on," and their readers and listeners will be only too happy to move on with them. Now they won't be distracted by any Republicans in power and can direct all their efforts to targeting liberals. That sets the stage for the next major failing if ever Republicans regain power again.
It's sort of the domestic version of what's going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but without the rockets. Conservatives will never have peace until they realize that the problem lies within, and that attacking liberals and democrats is a perverse diversion that only worsens their predicament.
Only when conservatives can unite around core principles and demand that their own leaders follow those principles, will they have a chance of prevailing in the war of ideologies… oh, and maybe save the country in the process.