Erick Erickson’s Gaffe

Michael Kinsley defined a “gaffe” in politics as a moment when the candidate inadvertently tells the truth. I suppose the same rule applies to punditry. Leading wingnut blogger Erick Erickson, in a long reflection on Newt Gingrich’s marital infidelities and political apostasies, gives a plug to Rick Perry. Its terms tell you all you need to know about the enemies of reason and liberty now falsely calling themselves “conservatives”:

I hope for a Perry rebound. He’s on his first wife still and has the most consistent record of conservative policies. And we hate the same people and institutions. We have the same general world view. [Emphasis added.]

For Erickson and his ilk, having “the same general world view” doesn’t mean sharing goals or principles; it means sharing hatreds. What binds the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party together is the same thing that binds al Qaeda or the FARC or the IRA: hatred.

I’m not among those who want progressives to emulate the right wing’s capacity to play on hatred, or its capacity for lying and cheating. But we need to know that we confront, not a normal political party, but a hate group.

Hate them back? Why reduce yourself to their level? Don’t get mad. Get even.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.