. . . has come down and our betters have had just about enough nonsense from the unruly urchins who inhabit the less respectable neighborhoods of the online right. Having the unmitigated gall to poke at one of tenderest of Mitt Romney’s myriad soft spots, it seems Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have unleashed the hellish fury of the entire, supposedly non-existent, conservative establishment. One after another, the finger-wagging fops whose duty to actually safeguard the legacy and integrity of conservatism have erupted from their months-long episode of intellectual catatonia in a great polemical freak-out.
Bless their hearts.
I suppose I should feign shock and outrage at this sudden spasm of concern for ideological consistency, but given the fact that it’s about as predictable as it is phony, I just can’t seem to work up the indignation. Having witnessed the transformation of the online right over the past three years as our purported opinion leaders went from wide-eyed chroniclers of a nascent popular uprising to full-throated advocates of Main Street to meek, mousy bystanders in a battle royale, I guess I’ve come to terms the general uselessness of our ideological overlords. Given their broad abandonment of principle over the past several months, the idea that I’m suddenly supposed to give a damn what they think strikes me as a little bit comical.
Spare me the histrionics over “shameful rhetoric” used against a guy who has shown no compunction toward using it whenever it suits his own needs. We’re talking about a man who has done his own share of bashing corporations, done his level-best to cripple his opponents’ general election chances, engaged in his share of class warfare skirmishes, and even employs the very man who introduced “Vulture Capitalist” into the Republican electoral lexicon.
Whether you support Rick Perry or any of the other candidates in the race, make no mistake about it: The sudden rush to Mitt Romney’s defense is as lacking in principle as the man it seeks to defend. It has nothing whatsoever to do with defending free enterprise, and everything to do with clearing the path for the “presumptive nominee“. The fact that nearly the entire conservative establishment has credulously latched onto Romney’s assertion that questioning his business practices is tantamount to anti-capitalism stands as just one more piece of evidence that we are being herded toward a preordained outcome.
Never before has there been such unanimous outrage among our purported sentinels of the conservative movement in favor of a man who has done so little to deserve it. And, irrespective of the rhetoric used in the challenges to his record, Romney and those who would thrust him upon resistant conservatives through browbeating and disingenuous shaming need to draw a lesson from their efforts. There are consequences to assuming and perpetuating the posture of inevitability and the failure to provide due diligence, and pouring on the frantic condemnation upon the first sign of an effective counter-effort does nothing to mitigate them. It only serves to confirm long-held suspicions and stiffen resistance.