Part of me feels like I should know better than to keep linking to Carter Wrenn, associated as he is with Jesse Helms, but I can't help it if he keeps making good, straightforward points. Here he is on conservative infighting:
“But the phrase that keeps running through my mind is ‘two wars and an economic meltdown’ – as in seven years after 9/11 we’re still fighting two wars and how did we miss avoiding an economic train wreck that has left everyone from Wachovia to General Motors gasping for air? I’d like to meet the political genius who’s clever enough to explain that away and win the subsequent election.
“Here’s the debate Republicans need to have: How was it possible for the Republican Party to embrace policies that led to two unending wars and an economic meltdown? Once we have figured that out then maybe we can risk worrying about politics.”
I've been trying to avoid this future-of-conservatism stuff for two reasons. First, I have exactly zero influence on the conservative movement, and my allegiance to it is highly contingent. Second, the biggest problem was with the actual governance from the Bush administration and Congress when it was Republican. It was practice, not theory, that ruined everything.
Also, Wrenn wrote on N.C. Governor-elect Perdue's plan to create an endowment for future campaigns that pledge to forego negative campaigning. He calls it an “incumbent protection scheme,” and I'm inclined to agree. (Although I wondered for a second whether Wrenn, who pioneered negative television ads in North Carolina in the campaigns he managed, was seeking to protect his legacy… No, he's right: as annoying as TV ads can be, they're part of the process.)
EDIT: You know what? Allegiance is definitely the wrong word. Affiliation, perhaps?
EDIT 2: Scott from Politics of Scrabble points out that my paragraph implies that affiliation and influence are prerequisites for commentary. He's right, and I didn't mean to say this. I only meant that a lack of affiliation and influence makes commentary entirely optional.