Prof. Glenn Reynolds, the "Instapundit", is the latest right wing figure of note to declare that the Republican Party is headed for unmitigated disaster in the coming elections. The problem, he argues, is that the Party leaders in the White House and Congress didn't pay attention to the blogs. If they had they would have known that a number of policy decisions they made in the past year, from the Terry Schaivo case, to the Harriet Miers nomination, to the Dubai ports deal, to opposing immigration reform, to their unwillingness to ruthlessly root out corruption in Congress, alienated some major portion of their base.
At the end of this process, the Republicans have managed to leave every segment of the base unhappy, mostly over things that weren't even all that important. It's as if they had some sort of bizarre death wish. Looks like the wish will come true . . . .Read the whole thing here.
As I've said before, the Republicans deserve to lose, though alas the Democrats don't really deserve to win, either. I realize that you go to war with the political class you have, but even back in the 1990s it was obvious that we had a lousy political class. It hasn't improved, but the challenges have gotten greater. Can the country continue to do well, with such bad political leadership? I hope so, because I see no sign of improvement, no matter who wins next month.
My reaction -- what self-serving bullhockey!
Are we to turn the party, the government, the conduct of the war, and everything else over to a bunch of narcissistic amateur loudmouths with keyboards?
The Democratic Party is going down that path right now, and the results are not pretty, nor do they promise to lead to good government.
Do we really want a government that responds dutifully to direction by the Kossacks and Move Oners? Neither should we want a Republican majority to follow the prescriptions of the conservative bloggers. There are good and rational reasons for every one of the policy decisions that the Instapundit denounces. Certainly the Schaivo stance was controversial. So was the Miers nomination..., and so on. But in each case the decision was eminently defensible, and I usually supported the leadership's positions.
I applaud the Republican leadership for having the courage to take difficult stances, even if they were unpopular with the ideologues of "the base".
Remember, "al Qaeda" is Arabic for "the base."
Blogging is fun..., I certainly enjoy it. But like journalism it is essentially an irresponsible game. Those who actually have to wield power cannot allow the ideological enthusiasms of their respective "bases" to determine their decisions.
These are, as John Keegan recently remarked, mean and dangerous times. The issues at stake are far too important to be turned over to tumescent fringe elements in either party. The center must hold.