Friday, October 23, 2009

Quote of the Day: David Frum on "Republican fratricide"

Credit this Canadian conservative for speaking the harsh truth to his fellow Republicans:

From the point of view of most Republican commenters online and on the air, party loyalty is a highly variable principle. As they see it, third-party races by liberal Republicans who want to combine environmental protection with fiscal responsibility are selfish indulgences. But third-party races by conservative Republicans who want to combine pro-life appeals with their economic message? Those are completely different. Those are heroic acts of principle.


But the risk is that the party will draw a very different conclusion. From the New York experience, Republicans will be tempted to draw the lesson: Always nominate the more conservative candidate. From New Jersey: We need to drive pro-environmental fiscal moderates out of our party and into the Democratic Party where they belong!


[A] political formula that encourages Republicans to write off the suburbs, the Northeast, and California is not a formula for a national majority. It's a formula for a more coherent, better mobilized, but perpetually minority party.

It's always painful to lose. But defeats can be useful if they lead to wisdom. In this November's races, however, the risk is real that Republicans will lose much -- and learn nothing.

That's a fairly long QotD, but make sure to read Frum's post in full, as it delves into how Republicans are tearing each other apart in New York and New Jersey, two key races this fall.

I can't say I've ever cared much for Frum -- and I certainly don't want Republicans to listen to him, given that his very sensible outlook could actually rescue the party from the the brink of oblivion -- but in a party, and a movement, of increasing extremism (moderates out, teabaggers in), he's a voice of reason, relatively speaking, in the dark wilderness of American conservatism.

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