In light of the saga of New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election, National Review Online will be posting a symposium on the supposed civil war among Republicans that John touched on last night. This is what I had to say in response to the questions framed by NRO.
Speaking of a civil war, it is helpful to recall that the Republican Party was founded in opposition to “those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery.” (How judgmental; how extreme!) True to its heritage, the Republican Party now stands as the bulwark against the Democratic Party’s totalizing impulse to assert control over American life from birth to death and the residual zones where life and property remain private.
With a twinkle in his eye, Bill Buckley used to characterize a liberal as someone who wanted to reach into your shower and adjust the temperature of the water. He was, as usual, on to something, as we see in this liberal hour.
There aren’t many conservatives or Republicans who don’t understand the imperative of resisting the project in which Obama and the Democrats are engaged. Republican Party leaders in New York’s 23rd unfortunately found one, but congressional Republicans have maintained a remarkably united front in opposition to Obama. Rumors of a civil war among Republicans have been sown mostly by the media adjunct of the Democratic Party with the intent of dampening opposition to the liberal project by stigmatizing it as extreme.
Buckley’s rule of prudence dictated the support of the rightward-most viable candidate in any given race. Once Republicans learned that Scozzafava was a liberal, and that they had a viable conservative alternative in Doug Hoffman, they left Scozzafava in droves. In my view, the wish is father to the thought that the story of New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election represents a civil war among Republicans.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
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