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Yeah..I was right the other day…and Buckley would agree, I think.

December 6, 2012

The former Republican National Committee Research Director, David Welch, had a piece in the New York Times recently, crying about how Tea Party members and other right-wing crazies were giving poor John Boehner so much trouble. In part:

Fast forward half a century. The modern-day Birchers are the Tea Party. By loudly espousing extreme rhetoric, yet holding untenable beliefs, they have run virtually unchallenged by the Republican leadership, aided by irresponsible radio talk-show hosts and right-wing pundits. While the Tea Party grew, respected moderate voices in the party were further pushed toward extinction. Republicans need a Buckley to bring us back.

(Quoted from the RightScoop article that quotes the NYT article; I couldn’t bring myself to go to the NYT site.)

Except that I cannot believe William Buckley would be happy with collapse of the Washington Republicans. I’ve read some of Buckley’s writings, and I subscribed to National Review for many years when he was still running it – and while he could sit there slouching, sounding so patrician in that lockjawed way of speaking he had, he would prove to be much more aligned with the Tea Party than the country club Republicans we have running things today. (I think his speech patterns came from his a collision of Northeastern upbringing and his father’s Texas roots.)

Welch tries to make a comparison between the Tea Party and the John Birch Society, which Buckley publicly disavowed. The Birchers were finding Communists under every bush, but actually, history has borne out that there were a lot of Communists in our government in the 1950s…and there continue to be, today. Just remember, they now call themselves “environmentalists.” Welcome to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But Buckley famously defined a conservative as someone standing athwart history, yelling “Stop!” I believe that is EXACTLY what John Boehner needs to do right now, and he obviously is not going to do so. Instead, he removed vocal conservatives from important Congressional committees without telling them why as punishment for they vocal opposition to his beliefs and plans, and he has already publicly disavowed the Tea Party in particular. He caved the day after the election. He tries to talk tough, but there is no heat in it. At the end of the day, he will throw his conservative colleagues under the bus to look like he was the guy who “got things done.”

He will get things done. We will all suffer for it. If this is the New Republican Party, I want no part of it.

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