Outside looking in

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN…. I’ve read conservative blogger Rick Moran periodically over the years, and while he’s very conservative, I tend to think he’s someone I could at least have a reasonable conversation with. His blog is called “Right Wing Nuthouse” — which doesn’t exactly scream “sensible moderation” — but Moran’s content isn’t as unhinged as the name might suggest.

A post he had yesterday on “anti-reason conservatives” was especially interesting. Moran sees his fellow conservatives throwing a fit about the Republican Party, and desperately trying to drag it sharply to the far-right, and he seems to think they’re making a terrible mistake.

What is it that possesses certain conservatives to fool themselves so spectacularly into believing that they can create a majority out of a minority?

That kind of alchemy hasn’t been seen since Nostradamus tried to turn lead into gold. In the case of far right conservatives who think that they can turn their meager numbers into a ruling majority all by themselves, the disconnect from reality would normally call for an intervention — except they reject anything from anybody who doesn’t agree with them 100%. […]

The recent Gallup poll showing that 40% of Americans see themselves as “conservative” was leapt upon by these morons as “proof” that their brand of anarcho-conservatism dominates the political landscape. Would that it were true. The fact that there are a dozen different definitions of “conservative” depending on where you live doesn’t seem to penetrate. And the pogrom they wish to carry out against “moderates” who agree with them on 90% of the issues they hold dear but fail their ever more spastic “litmus tests” guarantees Democratic dominance for the foreseeable future.

To clarify, Moran doesn’t seem to be arguing for a more moderate GOP. Rather, I get the sense that he’s simply opposed to the coordinated purge of anyone who isn’t entirely right-wing on everything from the Republican ranks.

Moran was especially troubled by an item that claimed the Republican Party “has been hijacked” by moderates, who have driven conservatives in the party “underground.”

It’s worth noting, of course, that many far-right observers apparently live in an alternate reality. As for Moran, he described the writer as evidence of “Anti-Reason Conservatives — those who reject reality in favor of persecution complexes, wildly exaggerated hyperbole, and a frightening need for vengeance against their imagined ‘enemies’ — despite the fact that those imagined foes agree with them on virtually everything they think they stand for.”

For his trouble, Moran was, predictably, criticized by other conservative bloggers.

It’ll be interesting to see just how common Moran’s perspective is, or isn’t, in conservative circles in the coming months. Those criticizing him imagine a scenario in which Republicans return to electoral dominance by making the party smaller, more right-wing, and more rigid and uncompromising. The True Believers will thrive, the argument goes, just as soon as the heretics are driven away.

I don’t imagine Moran is alone in thinking the activist base is making a terrible mistake, but are there other conservative voices willing to take the heat and say so publicly?