Maybe it is in Republican DNA, as this opinion writer opined yesterday in the Los Angeles Times (hat tip: TPM)
But there is another rendition of the story of modern conservatism, one that doesn't begin with Goldwater and doesn't celebrate his libertarian orientation. It is a less heroic story, and one that may go a much longer way toward really explaining the Republican Party's past electoral fortunes and its future. In this tale, the real father of modern Republicanism is Sen. Joe McCarthy, and the line doesn't run from Goldwater to Reagan to George W. Bush; it runs from McCarthy to Nixon to Bush and possibly now to Sarah Palin. It centralizes what one might call the McCarthy gene, something deep in the DNA of the Republican Party that determines how Republicans run for office, and because it is genetic, it isn't likely to be expunged any time soon.I found that very interesting. And the whole piece deserves a full read.
This country needs a healthy - and by that I mean real, realist, intelligently rigorous opposition. More Ross (see particularly this and this Bill Moyers program from July in a discussion about conservatives and their future) and Andrew Sullivan than Sarah. She represents a sickness or as Noonan suggest media mischief.
I wish it were just media mischief. I don't think she or her follows or the wackos on radio are so easily dismissed or ignored.