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November 17, 2010

DeMint Fanbois Unite!

Yeah, like I could let this go without comment. Several social conservatives (I'm assuming; I only recognize a handful of names on the list) are peeved at what they think is unfair criticism of Senator DeMint in the wake of the election.

To be honest with you, I think they're trying to seize a bit of victimhood away from Sarah Palin on behalf of DeMint. There was coverage in the papers and the cable news networks about the possibility that Palin cost the GOP some pick-ups in the House and Senate. Oh, and here at the HQ too, I guess. You know what I didn't see? People saying that it was Jim DeMint's fault. [Update: Commenters point me to this Politico piece wherein Lila Munkovski criticizes DeMint. Compared to the wall-to-wall "analysis" on TV, blogs, and newspapers that Palin was subjected to, this is weak sauce.]

Nevertheless, several social conservatives, eager to seize credit...or, um, blame on behalf of DeMint have issued the following fatwa pronouncement:

[1]We do not expect or advocate for ideological purity in the Republican Party, but we do expect the Party’s leadership to rein in those who unfairly attack Senator DeMint, who instead should be given credit for what he has done, and done with such class, honor, humility, dignity and patriotism.

[2]Since Republicans in and affiliated with the Senate who have attacked Senator Jim DeMint have an agenda, and may not heed calls to reason from the Republican leadership, let it be known that continued attacks, whether indirectly or anonymously, will result in conservatives’ responding in word and deed.

[3]Conservatives will not only challenge and beat more Republican senators in Republican primaries, but conservatives will stop funding and volunteering for the NRSC and the RNC. Instead, conservatives will send their money to, and volunteer for, Senator DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund and the candidates Senator DeMint supports. In fact, it would be our goal for the Senate Conservatives Fund to raise more money than the NRSC.

[4]Conservatives will also work to defeat in Republican primaries those Republicans who retain consultants who criticize or try to undermine Senator DeMint.

There's a bit of preamble, but it contains such awkward (and in a few cases just plain wrong) English, that I won't inflict it on you. (Seriously, to whoever wrote this, go look up the word "unilateral" in a dictionary. It doesn't mean what you think it does.) Definitely click over to see who signed on, though. You'll recognize a few names.

But I want to give a bit of advice to these would-be defenders of Senator Dear Leader (not to be confused with President Dear Leader, the other fellow with an apparent cult following these days).

First, and most importantly, it does no good to threaten the "Party leadership" that they better shape up or else (statement [1]) while simultaneously vowing that no matter what they do (statement [2]) you still plan to defund their organizations and vote them out of office (statements [3] and [4]). Y'see, since you've already declared war, your apparent enemies (?) have little reason to give in to your demands. You showed your cards. Since you obviously have no intention of doing anything other than flipping out on the GOP, there's no point in adopting a policy of appeasement.

Second, I will be astonished if you guys manage to respond "in word and deed" to "indirect and anonymous" attacks on Senator Dear Leader. Right off the bat I'm wondering: how does one meaningfully respond in word and deed to an attack made anonymously? How would you even know at whom to make a response? Or are you saying that anonymous attacks will be met with, err...defunding the NRC and the NRSC and voting against GOP senators in primaries? Because we get that part. Frankly, I just don't think you'll be all that good at it.

Third, a whole bunch of conservatives are now pissed at you for childishly seizing the name "conservative" and purporting to speak for all of them. It's a tone thing. Don't be that guy. It provokes an indignant response: just who the hell are you? Oh, I see you're those people who signed your names to the bottom. I get that. But, again, I don't know most of you folks from Adam. And several of the organizations that appear associated with this pronouncement haven't been all that noteworthy in conservative circles for a few years. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have you on board. But don't you dare try and throw our folks overboard. They're in this too, thank you very much.

In short, grow up. The GOP just made massive gains in the House and Senate. Instead of pulling together to kick the shit out of Obama and the Democrats during the lame duck, you want to beat up your fellow conservatives and Republicans for imaginary slights to your Senator Dear Leader. Trust me when I say that Jim DeMint and his putative place within the "movement that is the successor to Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Jr., and other great progenitors of the conservative movement" is less on the minds of the average GOP voter than you think.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:03 PM

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