Movement Conservatism Is A Compromise
Apropos of my post the other day arguing in part that the GOP’s “movement conservatism” is really just an amalgam of the views of disparate GOP constituencies rather than a coherent governing narrative or philosophy, Ted Cruz makes my point for me:
Right now there is a divide, say, between the views of John McCain on the one hand and the views of Rand Paul on the other. I like and respect both men, and I would say that my views are somewhere in the middle.
An implication of my argument on this subject is that the GOP’s rigidity the last few years isn’t explainable as a matter of “sticking to principles” but instead is explainable as an attempt to hold on to core constituencies who have come to have little or nothing in common. In effect, rather than being a governing philosophy, movement conservatism’s rigid positions represent an implicit, though perhaps subconscious, compromise necessary to keep core constituencies with adverse interests and beliefs from leaving the coalition. The GOP’s refusal to compromise on anything the last few years becomes much easier to understand when put in this context – it cannot be expected to compromise with Democrats when its own positions are already compromises amongst the GOP’s own constituencies.
Eventually compromises that well serve neither set of adverse constituencies must fall apart if and when one or both of those constituencies make the compromised issue a higher priority.
Story via Memeorandum.
(Update: I added an additional sentence at the end of my penultimate paragraph shortly after putting this post up).