Friday, November 7, 2008

Bathtub Drownings

Andrew Sullivan quotes David Frum, one of too-few conservatives who openly winced before the hideousness of Sarah Palin:

College-educated Americans have come to believe that their money is safe with Democrats - but that their values are under threat from Republicans. There are more and more college-educated voters.

So the question for the GOP is: Will it pursue them? This will involve painful change, on issues ranging from the environment to abortion. It will involve even more painful changes of style and tone: toward a future that is less overtly religious, less negligent with policy, and less polarising on social issues.

That's a future that leaves little room for Sarah Palin - but the only hope for a Republican recovery.
To be clear, I couldn't care less if the Republicans ever recover. I would be perfectly content to see them cling ever more tightly to their small and diminishing redoubt centered on the Confederate states until their party is, to borrow a phrase, small enough to drown in a bathtub.

But taking Frum at his word and in his spirit, I am not sure how much pain is involved. The demand is nothing more than to drop the disgusting mendacity most recently personified in Sarah Palin and exemplified in "drill, baby, drill" and the all-hours-Ayers poo fling. These constructions are false, small, and vile, and anyone who suffers pain at the prospect of letting them go should let go his political or leadership aspirations.

Again, I am not the one to be giving advice to the GOP, but inasmuch as the matter is on the table, here goes: be as "conservative" as you like, but support realistic and thoughtful solutions to problems, and promote candidates who do the same. If that's a contradictory exercise -- if "conservatism" as you understand it is incompatible with thinking and acting seriously about public policy, then please find a different hobby.

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