10.25.2013 1

Are faux conservatives more dangerous than liberals?

WP_OpinionBy David Bozeman

Columnist Kathleen Parker, who inexplicably passes for conservative, has penned yet another hit piece on Ted Cruz, this time stating that he is a “mirage, an idea conjured in a fantasy that can’t be realized in reality.”  She continues, “if Cruz’s voice drowns out the so-called established voices, Republicans may as well start investing in camels.  The desert awaits.”  We get it, Kathleen, you’re so much smarter than us wingnuts.

If an alien landed and observed the state of political discourse, it could easily believe that Ted Cruz and a dwindling band of kooks are the most dire threats to our public life.  Forget the disastrous, unpopular transformation of American health care — that is a mere prop in the larger tale of the Ogre Ted Cruz.

Of course Parker and her fellow lapdogs of conventional wisdom would argue that they are looking out for the GOP, pointing out such tactical blunders as the Tea Partiers overplaying their hand.  Funny how advice from moderates always amounts to conservatives tabling their agenda and keeping their mouths shut.

Simply, if Ted Cruz is extreme (which we are to axiomatically treat as a stigma, if not a disease), it is largely because the Republican mainstream is extremely mushy and uninspiring.  Ted Cruz doesn’t need to shut up — the GOP needs to grow a backbone.

Ted Cruz appears extreme because the conservative movement as a whole does not champion its own.  Outside of talk radio and a few scattered outposts, conservative commentary is mostly void of any passion, humanity or a “we got your back” spirit of camaraderie.  Charles Krauthammer and even Thomas Sowell spent much of the shutdown sorting out winners and losers, with commentary akin to updates on a chess match.

Liberals, by contrast, rally behind their own, thus Barack Obama, an avowed extremist who promised the fundamental transformation of the United States, can actually pose as a moderate looking out for everyday Americans.  Ted Cruz bears the label of an out-of-touch extremist because few if any on his side will rally to his defense.  Ted Cruz is a victim of the high school social network mentality, where the cool clique decides who it’s ok to laugh at and make fun of.  The senator, of course, wears a giant kick-me sign on his back, and the Kathleen Parkers go along, deathly afraid of not fitting in, uninterested if the dork in the hallway might possess a redeeming quality.

Conservative moderates, always style-conscious, never stand behind the likes of Cruz and Sarah Palin, even when the criticism devolves from policy and tactics to the personal, the snarky and nasty.  Heck, if anything, they’re leading the charge.  Recall that Parker urged Sarah Palin to remove herself from the 2008 ticket and wrote that the governor’s appeal was largely superficial.

Yet when conservatism wins?  Hey, I was with you all along!  Ronald Reagan succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations, so even the tier of moderates who opposed him for the 1980 nomination (including his future VP George Bush) had to embrace the Reagan legacy.  The loony, faded B-actor, bordering on senility, is regarded by some today as a model of moderation and bi-partisanship!  Of course those who say it don’t mean it — they’re only using the former president to shame and destroy opponents of our current president.

The moderates cite anemic poll numbers for Republicans to justify their Hate-Cruz fest.  But the president’s ratings (in the low 40’s, according to the latest Gallup) and the Obama-care numbers remain unimpressive, too.  Besides, polls fluctuate and Americans need not succumb to the notion that speaking on principle costs votes.  Anyone who keeps telling you to be quiet clearly does not want you to talk — ever.

At least some honest liberals out there will engage conservatives in honest debate.  Furthermore, liberals don’t leave their own flailing in the wind.  Ted Cruz did not speak for 21 hours on behalf of the Tea Party.  He spoke directly to the American people and valiantly fought the good fight.  The notion that he is a partisan extremist took on a life of its own thanks to the self-appointed know-it-alls and those who call themselves conservative but bloody up their leaders for the sake of their own shallow reputations.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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