Friday, September 22, 2006

Supporting the Cause

Roger Abramson seems to be a lightening rod for local conservative bloggers who expect their fellow conservatives to walk in lockstep behind whoever the standard bearer happens to be. Be that as it may, Abramson's statement of his approach is exactly right.

Writing seriously about politics involves weighing the relative importance of two kinds of concerns that sometimes seem almost mutually exclusive. On the one hand, there are public policy concerns that center around the ideas that animate serious political discussion. On the other, there are the pragmatic concerns that center around needing to take sides when the various available options are less than ideal. Some people are more dominated by policy interests and will tell the party to go screw itself if it fails to acknowledge their concerns. Others focus more on party politics, and they will defend party interests no matter how far afield they may go. Many, perhaps most, of us find ourselves somewhere in the middle.

Martin Luther once said that he would rather be governed by a competent infidel than by an incompetent Christian, and one does not have to be an elitist conservative to regret that sometimes one must choose between political agreement and personal competence. For those who care more about political ideas than about counting noses, there is no delusion that weak candidates, poor presentations, and half baked ideas serve the long range interests of conservatism. For those who promote conservative ideas in the face of a wider audience, as opposed to those who use them as wedges to cobble majorities, having a strong base from which to build an argument is a tantamount concern.

People who have those types of concerns are not merely out to help self-proclaimed conservatives win. They are also out to make sure that the conservatism that wins means something and makes a difference. Abramson has declared his support for both Corker and Bryson. That in the process he also wishes that they would do a better job of presenting themselves strengthens, and does not harm, the conservative cause.


Anonymous john h said...

The Oracle, as usual, speaks wisely. Blind, non-questioning belief works well with pets, but offers little for an adult who believes in freedom of choice.

Keep the faith, Oracle.

1:11 AM  

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