Meanwhile, conservatives began to fight back against the left's uncorroborated assertion of right-wing racism. While MSNBC focused laser-like on one Confederate flag at an anti-Obamacare rally, those same MSNBC hosts laughed at Mitt Romney's adopted black grandchild (Melissa Harris-Perry), suggested that someone ought to "p***" and "s***" in Sarah Palin's mouth (Martin Bashir), used anti-gay slurs (Alec Baldwin), shook down businesses over race (Al Sharpton) and labeled words like "black hole" and "Chicago" racist (Chris Matthews). Race, the right realized, was an obsession only for the left.
And in the aftermath of the left's successful 2012 "war on women" meme, the right began to fight back, too. Beginning with the left's attempted deification of amoral Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, who filibustered for 11 hours on behalf of the murder of 21-week-old fetuses, the right refused to be cowed. Abortion is a real moral issue with real lives at stake, and no amount of leftist badgering could back conservative Americans off their attempts to protect the unborn.
The cultural battles gradually made their way into the political arena, too. Freed from the burden of the beige and blundering Romney campaign, conservatives stood up against the growth of government on moral, not merely practical, grounds. Obama's signature program began to collapse the moment Americans awakened to the deep immorality of government-controlled medical care. Sen. Ted Cruz's government shutdown strategy, right or wrong, highlighted conservative opposition to the state as cradle-to-grave caretaker. American distrust of government, for the right reasons, soared.
This does not mean the battles are over for conservatives. They're just beginning. The media have already geared up toward nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016 (The New York Times whitewash of Benghazi this week was only the beginning). The DC-run Republican Party has a disheartening way of crippling its own conservative base in order to cut deals. But 2013 could go down as the year that conservatives moved beyond standing athwart history shouting "stop," and began shoving in the opposite direction, which could make 2014 historic.