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The Ideological-Purity Canard

At the conclusion of his column today, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Jr. insists:

But all this [races leading up to the 2010 mid-term elections] underscores the real difference between the two parties. The Democrats will remain an intricate coalition that struggles to hold together the left, the center and bits of the right. Republicans, as Arlen Specter could tell you, are the ones opting for ideological purity.

Of course it does. The Democratic Party — led by those three well-known spokesmen for political centrism,  Obama, Pelosi, and Reid — is an extraordinarily intricate coalition characterized by amazing ideological diversity. It is a party that has given us (for starters) nationalized health care; nationalized student loans; record-breaking spending, deficits, and debt; a huge new entitlement program; the federal government essentially owning the nations’ largest bank and largest automaker; a federal “pay czar”; cap-and-trade; higher taxes (with much higher ones on the way); obeisance to labor unions; subsidization of abortions; liberal Supreme Court justices; unparalleled polarization; and unprecedented partisanship. You know, that centrist Democratic Party, that intricate political coalition.

In every election in which Democrats get hammered or are about to get hammered, it seems, liberals like E.J. return to their one-trick pony. They attempt to label the GOP as the party of “ideological purity” and worse. The Democrats are open-minded, flexible, pragmatic, moderate, don’t you know. Republicans, on the other hand, are narrow, dogmatic, mean-spirited, inflexible, rigid. Or so this stale narrative goes.

The truth is that the GOP is riding a fairly remarkable political wave right now, and the polling data tell us why: Obama and the Democrats are seen as profligate, ideological, and out-of-control liberals who need to be stopped. And as I pointed out here, even life-long Democrats, having witnessed Obama and Obamaism up close and personal, are planning to vote Republican.

In the age of Obama, and with astonishing speed, the nation is becoming more conservative and more Republican. Liberals like E.J. Dionne can’t stand this fact and are increasingly unable to process it.

For those of us on the right, it will be a fun few months watching all this play itself out — and it will culminate, I suspect, in a perfectly delightful November. Who knew ideological purity would turn out to be so darn popular?



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