Friday, March 09, 2007

Memo To The Republican Right: Play Nice, Pretty Please!

A pretty good column by E.J. Dionne in today's WaPo--a timely corrective to David Broder's latest absurd knee-jerk endorsement of anything labeled "bipartisan," no matter how lame. The gist of Dionne's piece:
Hand-wringing over extreme partisanship has become a popular cause among learned analysts. They operate from Olympian heights and strain for evenhandedness by issuing tut-tuts to all sides, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

But the evidence of recent days should settle the case: This administration has operated on the basis of a hyperpartisanship not seen in decades. Worse, the destroy-the-opposition, our-team-vs.-their-team approach has infected large parts of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. That's a shame, since there are plenty of good people in both. Still, the tendency to subordinate principles to win short-term victories and cover up for the administration is, alas, rampant on the right.
Pretty good column, as I say, until the last paragraph:
All of which leaves conservatives and Republicans who care about the rule of law with a choice. If they keep going along with this White House's way of doing business, their own cause will continue to suffer long after the president's term is over. Principled conservatives should be the first to want to clean up these stables and end the hyperpartisanship.
The problem is that "principled conservatives" who "care about the rule of law" have long since been marginalized or even driven out of the party. And how exactly has the so-called conservative cause been "suffering"?

The right has continued to use their vicious tactics and even to escalate them because they have been highly effective as tools for seizing and retaining power, and because no one has punished them for it. They will continue down the same path until they face retribution--undeterred by high-minded hand-wringing on the WaPo op-ed page.

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