Daniel Larison’s points about the utility (or futility) of a conservative senator exulting in his party’s minority status are fair enough. (Though some of it should be understood as the hyperbole of a political movement that doesn’t know what else to do besides rally the faithful and hope that this 1964 is followed by 1980 soon.) But the reformist project is specifically aimed at trying to direct the conservative movement and the Republican Party toward what it understands to be a more productive direction. Much of what reformist conservatives do, however, practically guarantees that this audience will never listen to them. Yes, many conservatives don’t want to have the conversation that reformists are trying to start. But nobody wants to have a conversation with someone who treats them with contempt. The “Henry Clay” article wasn’t even the best example of that contempt posted that day!
If their point of view is that Hannitized conservatives can’t be reached, then the reformists need to develop an entirely different strategy. Of course, I suspect that deep down they know moderate Republicanism divorced from the conservative base is an even smaller rump and one that historically has been just as dependent on Democratic overreach to win elections. Outside of Senate races in Maine, that is.
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