Kathleen Parker

Election Day has produced fresh fury from self-proclaimed "conservatives" promising never again to read me or fellow apostates who criticized the Republican ticket.

This is, of course, their right, but is this really the way to go about salvaging the Republican Party?

Yes, absolutely, let's start censoring people who entertain ideas and opinions that make us unhappy. Now there's a sure path to enlightenment!

Columns will survive or not as the market dictates, but the blistering response to a dozen or so fellow turncoats reveals something deeply wrong with the conservative movement, such as it is. Or was.

First, from my own mail a quick sampling for context:

"It's time you made it official and jump on the liberal bandwagon for good," writes Tammy. "Bow down to your 'messiah,' who you helped to crown. And prepare for the 'left-wing change' you have brought upon us. I join 57 million loyal American patriots in asking you to please announce your departure from conservatism and Republican Party."

Then comes this from Bill: "I would like to ask you politely to go away from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Conservative Republicans in Tarrant Co. will no longer read your column. You would save us the expense and headache of a boycott against your column if you would simply keep your column in The Washington Post where it obviously will pass for a conservative opinion piece."

Finally, and representative of more than a handful, come these pearls from Stephen, a beacon of Socratic equilibrium: "I weep to see a------s like you telling us how grateful we should be to see this piece of s--- rule our great country. Go to h---you dumb piece of s---." Point taken, Steph, though a tad redundant.

Where to begin? As the circular firing squad commences and Republicans begin seeking answers to what went wrong -- and who will lead them through the desert -- here's one for the suggestion box: Don't shoot the messengers.

The impulse to blame someone -- anyone -- for what went wrong last week reminds parents of when a toddler falls down. Hurt and embarrassed, he will often walk up to his mother (or caregiver, as the case may be) and slap her to shift attention and assign blame.

In similarly childish behavior, those disappointed by Obama's election are slapping the heretics who expressed doubts about the McCain/Palin ticket. It's their fault that Obama won.

Good thinking. And turning on the kitchen light creates a roach problem.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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