Stepping Onto the Right’s Shining Path

In case anyone is keeping score, it’s now nearly a month since the 2012 elections took place, and signs of a “struggle for the soul of the Republican Party” remain faint and marginal. Sure, there’s lots of talk about better messaging and fresh leadership and “outreach” to this or that constituency, but with the exception of a mild shift by some conservatives on immigration reform and a grossly overstated “rebellion” by an even smaller group against Grover Norquist, there’s not much there there.

But if we’re all being encouraged to shoot fireworks in the air every time a Republican admits that conservative ideology might not be infallible, we should pay some attention to those on the Right who are moving in the opposite direction, viz. a personal manifesto from Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle who has publicly gone guerilla by joining the Breitbart Shining Path. A small sample from a large rant:

The political class in Washington has degraded America. Republicans and Democrats blame each other, and nothing gets done. The media exacerbates the problem, fans the flames and encourages false notions of “civility” and “objectivity” while pushing “bipartisanship” that doesn’t actually solve problems.

While this charade perpetuates indefinitely, America grows weaker. She’s digging herself deeper into debt and isn’t even searching for solutions to her problems. Entitlements and government overspending gets worse every day while laws go unenforced and Americans are murdered in terrorist attacks. Nobody in Washington seems to care.

The institutional left thrives in this declining environment. Record numbers of people are on the government dole instead of being excited to work and succeed. So-called “social justice” is implemented in place of real justice. Kids across the country are fed “Occupy” propaganda in school after their teachers take away their home-made lunches in place of “cafeteria nuggets.”

Many political consultants and career politicians on both the left and the right think this is a game. It’s not.

The journalists at Breitbart News know that. And they show it day in and day out. That’s why I’m joining them.

Now and then in this tirade Boyle refers to the determination of his and his new colleagues in “Andrew Breitbart’s army” to go after “corruption” among Republicans as well as Democrats. Best I can tell, “Republican corruption” refers to GOPers who haven’t joined Breitbart’s Army. He never comes right out and associates his former employers at The Daily Caller with this pestiferous RINOism, but the self-dramatization of his job change certainly implies so–which is interesting, since the DC has fished in the very same scandal-mongering and conspiracy-theorizing as the netizens of the Breitbartian Shining Path.

Betsy Rothstein of MediaBistro has great sport with Boyle’s cri de couer:

Matthew, please step away from the computer and put the metaphor down. You’re sounding like a cleaning service on drugs. Cult deprogrammers please take note. We’re getting into the weeds here of all that’s going to be needed to brainwashing Boyle back to his true self. You have a tough job ahead of you

But if you can find a better example of what James Vega, J.P. Green and I called “the politics of warfare” in a Democratic Strategist piece a little over a year ago, I’d probably pay money to be spared reading it. Yeah, Boyle (who is 25 years old) sounds a lot like an overgrown sophomore who just discovered Che Guevara, but the last thing the Daily Caller needs is a data point suggesting it’s insufficiently militant in its service to The Cause.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.