“The religious right isn’t what’s wrong with the GOP. It’s the pervasive, unthinking, unreflective nationalism. It’s the arrogance of thrice-divorced adulterers reaching for the banner of traditional families, and it’s the arrogance of men who prosecuted a poorly planned war, on weak intelligence, presuming to lecture us on national security.” ~ Ta-Nehisi Coates
And I’d say that, along with a lack of creativity, it’s this lack of “Niebuhrian humility” as Ta-Nehisi puts it, that’s sinking the GOP right now. It’s this sort of arrogance that leads to inertia rather than evolution, and shouting matches rather than dialogue. It is fertile soil for hypocrisy.
In my “big tent” post I wondered whether there was a way for all the disparate ideological wings of the conservative movement (and non-movement) to come together. I remain of the opinion that this is indeed possible, and I think that the response from “vanilla-neocon” Reihan Salam to his critics is a great example of this possibility in action. And beyond mere rhetoric or tone, it is the grace of humility (and the potency of good-humor) present in Reihan’s response but also in the critiques laid at his feet by Freddie, Matt, and Daniel that allows for such an exchange to take place.