Knowing as I do that virtually every article which purports to tell some important person or group what they "should" or "must" do is just so much prosaic shouting into the abyss, let me explain (in an ironic twist) why Young Conor Friedersdorf should stop writing articles in which he advises the GOP to stop doing thus-and-so.
But first, to prove himself a member in good standing of genus Punditus Americanus, Young Conor is obliged to go take a leak on the Tree of Both Siderism, which as you know must be refreshed daily by the wee-wee of poltroons. So here we go, with emphasis added:
Why Republicans Should Make 'Conservative' a Taboo Word
Now that every GOP candidate invokes the label, it is increasingly useless in describing what the party wants in a presidential nominee.
Last week, a caller to the Rush Limbaugh radio program raised the question of how Republicans ought to choose their nominee for the 2016 presidential election. "The future of our country depends on a great executive," he said, "and not a great politician." He then offered a specific example. "The best president in my mind, the gentleman president of all time, is George W. Bush," he said, adding that "he conducted himself as professionally and proficiently as possible."Conor, name for us please one person, anywhere, with even 1/100th the throw-weight of Boss Limbaugh who thinks that competence is irrelevant and that any environmentalist or feminist will do.
On a different radio show, the host might have pointed out that the Bush Administration actually failed several hugely consequential tests of skill and competence, illustrating why proficiency really is a vital quality in nominees for the presidency. Alternatively, he or she might've argued that while proficiency is, of course, a desirable quality, political skill is every bit as important as executive experience. But Limbaugh sidestepped that debate, staking a claim familiar to anyone who has listened to his program in any election cycle going back to the 1990s.
"Before we get too far out of control starting to talk about what we need, who we need, what kind of person we need to be the next president of the United States," he declared, his voice booming, "there's only one qualification that interests me, folks. It's the only chance we have to restore this country. It's the only chance we have to begin the process of reversing this transformation that Obama has begun. We have got to nominate a conservative Republican. It's the only way we're gonna win. Going out and finding a good executive doesn't matter. That's not what we need."
Just get "a conservative."
The singular focus on ideology, without regard for experience or governing skill, will strike some observers as an example of what's wrong with Limbaugh's belief system. In fairness, there are plenty of others who believe what America most needs is just to elect a feminist or a libertarian or an environmentalist to the White House.
For the rest of you, take a lesson: when a Conservative or Libertarian or Beltway toady says "too be fair", that's the moment they stick the Both Siderist knife in.
But to get on with Young Conor's larger thesis -- that the word Conservative needs to be held in a locked box until the Kings of Wingnuttia can explain exactly what it means --
...When talk radio hosts say that Republicans need to nominate a conservative, it may seem as though they are trying to offer substantive analysis, but I am not sure that's the case. At this point, the word is as much a dodge as it is a declaration. Invoking it creates the illusion of agreement as most everyone in the audience nods their heads. Mega-dittoes, Rush, of course we should nominate a conservative. But these listeners will soon be deeply at odds about contested primaries. Absent this word, conservative, Limbaugh and commentators like him would be forced to describe what they want in a nominee with some precision, rather than leaning on a verbal crutch that enables them to avoid specific claims.-- I say, why bother?
Being designated as a "Real Conservative" by the Brain Caste of the Right has been nothing more or less than the Aryan Certificate for Republican office seekers and pundits for decades now --
In Nazi Germany, the Aryan certificate (German: Ariernachweis) was a document which certified that a person was a member of the Aryan race. Beginning in April 1933 it was required from all employees and officials in the public sector, including education, according to the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.
-- and there is no possibility that the definition will be upgraded to anything other than "A Conservative is whoever Boss Limbaugh says is a Conservative" for the foreseeable future because robbing words of their meaning has been the plan all along.
Honestly, I don't know why Young Conor would single out "Conservative" for special handling, since it is long since ceased being a word at all, in the conventional, Oldspeak sense.
Instead "Conservative" is one of hundreds of deeply meaningful duckspeak mouth-noises made by millions of the worst citizens in America to signify loyalty to their tribe and their big, righteous hatred of Liberals, who are the Eternal Enemy of All Good Things. It is the product of the GOP's long and very successful program of dispensing with communicating reality-based ideas altogether in favor of mass projectile vomiting bellyfeel/good words about those "principled...moral...humane... family-oriented" Republicans and bellyfeel/ungood words about the "sick...pathetic...traitorous... lying" Democrats every time they open their pie-hole.
Or are you too young to remember this?
So why single out "Conservative" as a word which has been ideologically neutered by the right when they have gone to such trouble to gut the meaning out of virtually every other word as well?
Consider that "budgets", for example, are now magic incantations which make "2 - 3 = 5".
"Compromise" means shutting the fuck up and doing everything we tell you to do or we'll blow upt the economy.
"Bipartisanship" means deliberately sabotaging the basic machinery of democratic self-government.
"President" means either "A noble, white, Christian man who must be obeyed and deferred to without question" or "A Kenyan Commie tyrant usurper who must be uniformly opposed at all costs" depending on party affiliation.
"Voter Fraud" is an entirely imaginary problem against which no quarter can be given, including outrageously draconian measures which coincidentally results in disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters who also just happen to usually vote for the other party.
"Election Fraud", on the other hand, is an actual plague on our democracy which can be safely ignored because "Freedumb".
"Standing Your Ground" means it's legal to shoot black people in America as long as you leave no witnesses.
"Second Amendment Rights" means it's patriotic for crazy old klansmen to the point guns at cops.
"First Amendment Rights" means your absolute freedom to have a teevee a radio show and spout lies all day long without someone calling you out or boycotting your ass.
"Fox" means you can dress up bigotry, paranoia and lies in short skirts and push-up bras and call it "News".
"Science" is a Liberal Commie hoax.
"Jesus" is a white American Republican patriot who wrote the Constitution.
"Women" are uterus containment and transportation devices that come in many colors and styles.
"Racism" is something Liberals do.
Pick one, Conor, Pick 'em all. Or pick from the hundreds more I didn't have time to list.
Only quit pretending that this is bug in the system when it is quite plainly its main feature.