Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Jokers To The Right

There's been a lot of angst, mostly not but entirely from the other team, about the flaky nature of the opposition Right these days. This is a typical lament.

The Left is befuddled that so far there's little if any backlash against the alleged gun nuts, birthers, "death panel" opponents, militia members, and red-baiters who have figured in a prominent role in the various town halls held across the country over the last month or so. For me, this is easy to explain: flaky or not, the public at large fears nothing of those people. Instead, the public is tremendously afraid for the future of the economy and has very little if any confidence in the Obama Administration's ability to handle it.

That said, the liberals are correct to say the mainstream Right should do a better job policing what comes out of the broader Right into the public debate. In particular, the mainstream Right should reject any no-enemies-on-the-Right mentality. The biggest reason for this is actually very practical. The mainstream Right has the chance, right now, to reclaim the control over the dominant narrative of American politics (and with it political power) if it's willing to take the risk of putting real alternatives forward. But nobody is going to substantially change their opinion about the fundamental priorities of our country based on a dispute over a birth certificate.

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