...but this article by P.J. O'Rourke (a staunch conservative, and a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard) is a pretty interesting summation of the many areas where American political conservatism has cooked its own goose, as well as a stinging and very fair indictment of the pettiness of what's been passing for our political discourse.
Good reading. It brought home to me the fact that there is a conservative argument that doesn't include discriminatory social positions, the unwanted and illogical correlation of the free market with Christian virtue, or one-note stridency about abortion rights. There's an argument that has nothing to do with the culture wars, and everything to do with fiscal responsibility. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who isn't in support of "fiscal responsibility," and to my mind, the debate should be about how to achieve it in a way that serves the American people. Instead, the Republican party has allowed itself to become the party that wants to legislate private behavior, enshrine discrimination in the Constitution, and appears to support a fiscal policy that amounts to social Darwinism.
Call me an optimist, but I have to believe that there are conservatives who have clear, compelling arguments. Why can't we hear them? I think that O'Rourke is right: the Republican party has abandoned a principled message to consolidate a base that can't understand it.