One of the reasons why I usually write about how conservatism relates to culture is because when you write too much on politics it’s easy to devolve into a whiney little kid arguing in the sandbox. Cut to the back and forth between Maureen Dowd and Dana Perino:
As the politicians droned on and my Irish skin turned toasty brown, I worried that Governor Brewer might make a citizen’s arrest and I would have to run for my life across the desert. She has, after all, declared open season on anyone with a suspicious skin tone in her state.
We are in the era of Republican Mean Girls, grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.
Dana’s response is rather funny, but again, she might as well say that Washington, DC insiders are still passing notes and gossiping about each other like they were still in high school:
One night her name came up at a dinner attended by members of both parties. Someone told a story about how at a past dinner she’d been a guest and had been droning on and on in a catty way and that one of the men at the table wrote on a cocktail napkin and passed it to another. It said, “What happened to her?” Sigh. Who the heck knows?
No one is “mean” to Maureen. She opened her head-locker long ago, wrapped the sweaty gym shorts of liberalism around her brain, and weird things started fomenting in there. Like Bill Maher, John Cusack, Joy Behar, Kathy Griffin, and a whole host of other liberals, they’re just angry people.
Conservatives just need to stay positive. Particularly, like the Andrew W.K. Conservatives I described in a recent blog post. If an opponent is a jerk, “staying positive” doesn’t mean you can’t fight back, either. Think of it like this: if your message is a saturation bombing run of awesome comebacks it’s going to look really cool to a lot of people. However, regular people don’t like to hang out on an open battlefield, particularly one where gobs of firepower are used for middling adversaries.
Maureen Dowd could be taken out with a verbal sniper round (I italicized ‘verbal’ since Arianna Huffington has an itchy trigger finger when it comes to accusing conservatives of encouraging violence. Sorry liberals, but I can’t help but use analogies influenced by my military past).
The point is, it’s easy to intellectually dispatch these rodeo clowns and move on. The American people need answers right now, and we need to provide them. The New York Times is concerned that the Tea Party is doing just that.
The Tea Party is a thoroughly modern movement, organizing on Twitter and Facebook to become the most dynamic force of the midterm elections. But when it comes to ideology, it has reached back to dusty bookshelves for long-dormant ideas.
Dormant ideas? I suppose basic economics has been lost on liberals for years, but for many conservatives they certainly haven’t been “dormant.” It’s just harder to shoot the messenger when the messenger is The Constitution, The Founding Fathers, and some of history’s most brilliant economists. Liberals have always been able to demonize their conservative opponents, but it’s trickier when to do so puts you at risk of coming out against the nation’s founding. Liberals would mirror the Tea Party’s brilliant strategy, but it’s hard when you view the Constitution as a “living document” that means whatever it is you say it means…
Let’s put them into complete freak-out mode by making a classical education on the issues a long term commitment.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to pray to Aqua Buddha.