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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mush from the wimp

That conservatives welcomed Mitt Romney and shunned Chris Christie says a lot about the state of the movement.

Romney's appearance at CPAC won him the applause he long sought from conservatives who typically had a hard time hiding their contempt. His appearance was hardly front page news (except in his hometown) and his message was the usual collection of blah.
“I left the race disappointed that I didn’t win,” he said. “But I also left honored and humbled. We’ve lost races before in the past but those setbacks prepared us for larger victories.”
But it's hard to see how prepared conservatives really are. The story of the annual DC ritual is not the men who were there -- Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Karl Rove -- but the one who was conspicuous by his absence.

Christie was shunned for his embrace of Barack Obama during the aftermath of Sandy. For the conservative warriors, the only appropriate embrace is opposition to the second-term president. And to the issues that Obama and an increasingly large percentage of the American public supports.

The division is even wide within the party where old bulls like Newt Gingrich continue to rail while the more realistic members of the party embrace change.

It seems appropriate a schism on gay marriage re-opened on the same day as Romney's farewell to CPAC. No one has taken more positions on the same topic as our Man Myth.

But the divide is symbolic of the wider rifts in the party between those who have led them to the precipice of irrelevancy and those looking to pull back before the party goes the way of the Whigs.

Social issues are not the only place conservatives refuse to face reality. From Paul Ryan's budget to the perorations of Mitch "Make Obama a One-Term President" McConnell, the movement continues to target repeal of Obamacare as their No. 1 priority.

That refusal to accept the clear mood of the public should give liberals some hope -- but not too much. Just as Democrats finally got their own act together, it is possible the GOP will too. But they have a long way to go in coming closer to the mood and tone of a younger, browner nation that finds their bona fides as something out of the Neanderthal Era.

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