Lest we think that Mr. Walsh is merely extrapolating some blogging lefty's twitter account into the Carefully Articulated Viewpoint of the Other, Walsh drags in some big names in European philosophy to demonstrate that the other side is motivated by Satan (or, at least, a bunch of Commies):The Romney fiasco should be the death knell of the Washington Generals approach to competing against the Democrats, and the whole lot of the Old Guard — starting with weepy John Boehner — should be tossed out and replaced with those who can distinguish between strategy and tactics and who understand that the only acceptable strategic outcome should be total victory over the modern Left and its alien, imported ideology. After all — that’s certainly the other side’s goal.
Of course, that depends on whether you see the current conflict as simply politics-as-usual, in which both sides share the same basic values and aspirations, and differ only in methods (the Boehner approach); or as a struggle between individualism and collectivism, which has been going on in Europe since Rousseau and his evil love child, Karl Marx, but is still relatively new to these shores. But extending the olive branch toward an opponent who’s not prepared to extend to you the slightest shred of moral or political legitimacy is suicidal.What Mr. Walsh does not mention, blinded as he is by the fact the modern Left finally won an election, is that both moral and political legitimacy has to be continuously earned, or it withers away. The Congressional Republicans, by their conduct since the first governmental shutdown, have done a good job of trashing it through a stupid impeachment, periodic government shutdowns, and a debt limit fight poorly understood by the public, until the credit downgrade, and reams of unsettling rhetoric in the style of Robspierre. Presidential Republicans gave us an oopsy-daisy war. The Republican Primaries gave us a cattle call of the comically unready, and Mitt Romney, who gives Mr. Walsh dyspepsia. Given this record, Mr. Walsh should worry less about the Left, and be concerned a to whether the American people are willing to concede to the GOP "the slightest shred of moral or political legitimacy"
Mr. Walsh is upset (as I am) by the end state of GOP fecklessness, though he blames those confounded Rockefeller Republicans (all one or two of them), rather than the people who need the blame. In his dismay, he cries:
The reason no one speaks for the GOP is that there’s nothing to speak for — no principles other than accommodation, and thus no message.And that cry is nonsense. To many, the main principle of the the GOP for the last several years has been confrontation, and no underlying message behind it. Boehner is in his fix now because the GOP has allowed itself to appear pointlessly pugnacious time and time again.
That said, I do agree with Walsh's conclusion:
And until [the GOP gets a message], something at once fundamentally American and electrifyingly appealing, it’s not going to find its voice.
I have a feeling, however, that Walsh and I are not going to want the same message.