Now, it is important to make a distinction between attacking the GOP base, which the Camp plan, COLA cuts and amnesty do, and criticizing the authors of stupid GOP policies, which the Camp plan, COLA cuts and amnesty are.
We need to criticize stupid policies, and those who think them up. In fact, we Republicans need to be fighting among ourselves loudly and vigorously over policies – and we are. There’s a fight for the soul of the GOP, and that’s good news because a lot of us weren’t sure it still had a soul.
This internal argument over ideas will lead to a stronger Republican Party. But attacking our own base will lead to a stronger Democrat Party.
We should be challenging people like John McCain, whose track record of never winning and unearned media adoration have made him the GOP’s Danica Patrick – mercifully without the nipple-flashing selfies.
In our increasingly wussified culture, we shy away from rousing fistfights. I say let’s go a few rounds. It’ll do us all some good. But we need to remember that McCain, for better or worse, exemplifies a substantial chunk of the GOP – and we Republicans all need to figure out a way to get along. A third party means one party rule, and you know which party that would be. That’s why every time a disgusted conservative quits the GOP, Hillary smiles.
Most importantly, we need to look at ourselves critically. As much fun as it is mocking the RINOs and the squishes – and it is – what is most important for conservatives is to listen to critiques of our own tactics and strategies. It isn’t fun, but we need to do it.
For example, as much as we adore Ted Cruz, there are serious people on our side who question his tactics and wonder about his strategy. If you simply disregard someone of the stature of Thomas Sowell because you don’t want to hear his conclusions, then you are being foolish. If Ted Cruz has failed to carefully read and think over Sowell’s recent critique, he’s wrong.
The most important part of arguing is not making your own arguments; it is hearing and learning from your opponent’s. Let’s see where the arguments take us. Let’s not sugarcoat hard truths – guys like Dave Camp and John McCain cry out for mockery. But let’s pay particular attention to constructive criticism of our own positions, our own ideas and our own strategies. We conservatives have made mistakes – not as many as our opponents claim, but more than we had to. We need to improve, and no one improves through praise. People improve because they listen when others point out where they screwed up.
This intramural argument isn’t a problem for us – it’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to convert the GOP from a party that likes to call in airstrikes on its own positions into one that takes the fight to the real enemy. You know, just like they teach at Ft. Benning.