John Cole is shrill

John Cole wonders what the Washington Republican establishment now stands for that any good conservative should care about.

John Cole — a genuine conservative Republican, not a professional turncoat — is not a happy campler. Cole ends a long reflection on the bad behavior in Right Blogistan with respect to the fake “fake memo” escapade with a grim resume of the current situation:

What I see going on around me is that my party is in power. We control the Presidency. We control the House and the Senate. Republican appointees outnumber Democratic ones on the Supreme Court, and we are poised to add more. We own talk radio. Cable news tends to be neutral to conservative (it certainly is not liberal or progressive- some outfits may have anti-Republican reflexes). We have all but eliminated partisan debate in congress, playing by rules much tougher than anything that was in place. Where there were once no conservative (or few) newspapers, there are now several. We have numerous conservative online journals. Hundreds of publications that all push the same point and pass on the same message.

And it still isn’t enough. Everything is under attack if it does not toe the same hard-right line. The university, the institution of marriage, journalism as an enterprise, the medical community, the legal community, every foreign institution, the United Nations — anything that doesn’t cater to the conservative need for instant gratification in the form of message adherence and submission to the new doctronaire — must be destroyed. Look at the recent behavior of Republicans in Congress towards REPUBLICAN APPOINTED CONSERVATIVE JUDGES. Forget ‘screw me once, shame on you.’ This new breed of fanatacism is “Slight me in any discernable way, even a mild disagreement, and I will publicly destroy you.”

And for what?

– So Tom DeLay can stuff his pockets with PAC money?

– So the banking interests that bankroll Washington can get their bankruptcy bill, ensuring higher and higher profits and usurious interest rates?

– So Jim Sensennbrenner can put people in jail for broadcasting things he finds obscene?

– So that Congress can insert itself into your marriage, change your end-of-life decisions, because they don’t like them?

– So we can make sure gays don’t get married?

– To make sure something like evolution and other nasty science things aren’t taught in school?

What, exactly are we trying to accomplish, and why, exactly, should I be in favor of it? Other than Iraq and Afghanistan, which are going well and are a success (yet still works in progress), what have we accomplished? I’m serious. Remind me what we are trying to do here — why this is a good thing.

All right, then. The GOP has lost this vote. Now the Democrats have to figure out how to gain it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: