DrewM at Ace of Spades has a thoughtful post that posits a “let it burn” philosophy: i.e., since a majority of Americans, consisting of an unholy alliance of the ideologically fanatical, the congenitally ignorant and the merely greedy, now seem to be fully behind the big government/big spending model, conservatives should stop supporting Republicans who think that we can stop the socialist steamroller with itty-bitty compromises that utterly fail to address the economic threat of Democrat policies – and the moral threat that underlies those policies – stick to our guns and let the fiscal cliff happen.
Some Republican politicians are now taking a somewhat different tack: let’s compromise with the Democrats on tax hikes because then they’ll own them, and own the resulting economic recession, too. My response to this is: Really? Are you so sure the Democrats will get the blame? And how will people know to blame the Democrats? Are the mainstream media outlets all of a sudden going to develop a passionate desire to tell the unvarnished truth? And will it, in fact, be true that the Democrats deserve all the blame if Republicans cave? My view is if Republicans give in on taxes, in return for a promise to cut spending somewhere down the road, then they (a) will at least be seen as partly culpable for the ensuing acceleration of economic decline by voters at large, (b) will alienate the conservative base for not sticking to principle, and (c) will be seen by everybody and his brother as complete suckers for being taken in, once again, by empty Democrat promises of budgetary and entitlements reform that’s supposed to occur at some vague future date scheduled to coincide more or less with the Second Coming.
The Republican Party is going to go the way of the Whigs if it does not grasp one very important fact upfront: the Democrats have reversed Von Clausewitz’s classic formulation and are now waging war against their own country through the means of politics.
I’d be interested in hearing readers’ thoughts on the subject.
Update: William Tucker suggests political ju-jitsu.