Via National Review:
I don’t know what’s more grating, the quasi-bigotry that has you calling religious Christians low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types or the bravery-on-the-cheap as you salute — in that winsome way — your own courage for saying what (according to you) needs to be said. Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren’t special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren’t a martyr smoking your last cigarette. You’re just another columnist, talented and charming to be sure, but just another columnist. You are not Joan of the Op-Ed Page. Perhaps the typical Washington Post reader (or editor) doesn’t understand that. But you should, and most conservatives familiar with these issues can see through what you’re doing.
That was Jonah Goldberg, lashing out at Palin-bashing columnist and newfound darling of the left Kathleen Parker and her latest screed, this time against evangelical conservatives.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There is nothing wrong with disagreement within the party. In fact, if we all agreed, it’d be a pretty boring party. But there’s a way to go about disagreeing with each other that fosters a healthy debate rather than a polarizing one -as Parker’s columns now routinely do. Related to that, there are many writers (both conservative and liberal) out there who know that the more contrarian they are against their own, the more limelight they’ll get. Some of those same writers will write just for the very sake of being controversial, so much so that you have to wonder whether or not they really believe half the stuff they put on paper (or the computer screen).
Parker’s “point” is that the GOP needs to move beyond evangelical conservatives if it hopes to remain a viable party, because those types of values voters are – to paraphrase – killing the party. We lost, and it’s because of evangelical Christians! Right. Did Parker even pay attention to the exit polls beyond the little bit she quoted in her opinion piece? Newsflash: The economy was the driving force in the election, not social issues, not the war on terror. History shows us that when this country isn’t doing well on the domestic front the American people will kick the incumbent President’s party out of control of both Congress and the WH. Perhaps if Parker hadn’t been so busy playing up to the Beltway Elite by firing off anti-Palin column after anti-Palin column for the last two months, she’d have been able to see the writing on the wall.
Something else Parker didn’t stop to think about in her rush to scribble things like how the GOP Convention “[felt like] an annual Depends sales meeting” is that it’s not just Christian conservatives who line up together on issues like gay marriage, abortion, and not completely eliminating expressions of faith in the public square, but secular conservatives largely line up with them on those and other similar issues as well. You don’t have to be an evangelical voter to be able to see that gay marriage is bad for society or that abortion is wrong or that teaching explicit sex ed in the classroom is inappropriate. You don’t have to say your prayers every night to know that there is a moral component to almost every issue we face, and to understand that there is nothing wrong with taking moral considerations to heart when deciding how you feel about an issue. The bottom line is that whether a voter is a Christian or not, compatible secular arguments can be made for or against whatever social issues a Christian argument has been made for or against.
A shining example of this can be found in liberal California, where a majority there voted to ban gay marriage. Was this as a result of a massive wave of conservative evangelical Christians going to the polls in CA? No, it was a direct result of a massive wave of Obama voters making their voices heard. They’re ok with him – but not ok with the idea of a man and a man marrying.
Apparently Parker believes that the GOP should “look” more like the Democrat party. Perhaps this stems from the newfound “respect” she’s been given from some of the same liberals who used to treat Kathleen Parker like she’s now treating other conservatives. If “looking like” the Democrat party means looking like this, then thanks – but I’ll pass. That said, there’s no question that our party needs to attract more people – but by the same token it doesn’t have to do so at the expense of a large group of voters who for years have been attracted and who have stayed loyal to the party whose views most closely resemble their own. We don’t have to sacrifice our core values in order to win over new voters.
Read related thoughts via The Anchoress, who is far less charitable towards Parker than I am.
Update – 3:50 PM: Patterico quips:
Between Parker’s martrydom and Barack Obama’s “Being the President (Elect) Is a Lonely Job” schtick, we’re surrounded by selfless, courageous people, aren’t we?
It’s a very special time.