We met near Greenlake, the same place we met seven years ago. A former Republican mover and shaker at the State and King County level going back decades, he is no longer active in GOP politics (nor interested in being identified here), but now, as then, he was interested in the Reagan Wing and our mission to win the WSRP for the conservative cause.
And he handed me a print-out of an online article. He must have known it would enter my bloodstream. The article had escaped my attention, probably because it was authored by a boring pseudo-conservative commentator for a strongly left-leaning blog. You know, the kind of guys who treat Chris Vance, or now, Uke the Lesser, as if they represent the conservative point of view.
“What Kirby Wilbur will mean as state GOP chair” by John Carlson. I carried it home and afflicted myself with its bent.
John Carlson has been around Republican circles for a long, long time, chiefly as a print and broadcast media commentator, but he has also entered the campaign frey and ran for Governor in 2000. More on that another time. He has, all that time, despite strong and consistent ties to the GOP Left, purported to represent Conservatism, and the article amply illustrates central pillars of his thought: the mindset that has permeated the Washington State GOP, dominated our long history of self-defeat, and literally and severely ruined the Conservative Movement in our State.
He wants to assure us that Kirby is just like him.
And I am of the mind that, until Kirby gives us some indication otherwise (which is counter-indicated by his recent promotion of AG Rob McCain-na), we should believe Carlson. And knowing Kirby’s insider history (as I do) isn’t even necessary to make the case. Carlson does it for us.
The Conservative “credientials” are the same for both Carlson and Wilbur and consist entirely of words: they have expressed conservative ideas on the radio as talk show hosts. But, John assures us, that performance was just words, and it will go no further than that. Kirby will not ACT as a conservative as a chair, John tells us, because Kirby knows the difference between words and reality.
John does not leave us without example. Kirby, he tells us, would have supported Mike Castle in Delaware, whom Carlson calls “moderately liberal.” Castle is a pro-abortion, tax and spend, stimulus-supporting, radical environmentalist, gay rights, open borders gun-grabber. “Moderately liberal?” By Carlson’s standards Adolf Hitler was “moderately anti-Semitic.”
Moreover, Kirby will support pro-abortion candidates without discrimination, most particularly Mr. McKenna, whom Carlson has already anointed as our 2012 nominee for Governor. It is in the specific case of the Inalienable Right to Life that Carlson is most explicit about the difference between “words” and reality. Carlson and Wilbur have both taken turns, over the years, expressing a pro-life point of view. This, Carlson tells us, is being “devout.” “Devout” people can say things and sound, at once, deadly serious and profoundly emotional about something. Bill Clinton was being “devout” when he looked into the camera and told America, “I did not have sex with that woman.” But there is no reason to assume it would effect their politics. Electing candidates, like McKenna, who are deeply committed to protecting the fifty million dollar Washington State abortion industry, even forcing participation in their abortion drugs on pharmacists, does not keep you from being “devout.” “Devout” is just words.
When Carlson served on the steering committee for the 2006 U.S. Senate Candidate, pro-abortion, tax and spend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg-endorsing, gay rights, amnesty-endorsing liberal Mike McGavick, the candidate was committed to keeping the Abortion industry protected from any inconvenient legislation. That was the real world. “Politically street smart and pragmatic” as Carlson explains. Doing what you have to do to win, as Carlson explains.
But McGavick was also, rhetorically, a “devout” Catholic and, in his own, imaginary way, “against abortion.”
“Devout” is just words. Politics is the real world. (According to Carlson.)
“How do you [assemble] winning coalitions in a blue state like Washington?” asks John. “Simple. You understand that you’ve got a different customer base.” To Carlson, the conservative things he and Wilbur said on the radio were just catering to a “customer base” like serving hamburgers to Americans and now that Kirby is talking to a wider audience the message will change, like serving snails to Frenchmen. Gosh, who knows where this will take us? The Party could become pro-abortion like McKenna or support massive increases in Federal spending like Castle or Amnesty for 30 million illegals like McGavick. Sure. That would win elections. In a blue state, John tells us, we need to be “street-smart pragmatists” and elect “moderate liberals.” You get there, he says, with a “message and mechanics.”
That’s what your friends have been trying for 30 years, John.
So Carlson’s treatise effectively defends Kirby against any charge that he will Chair the Party as a conservative. I hope it’s not true. It remains to be seen.
But for Carlson and McKenna and McGavick, though not for Wilbur, there is the same redeeming factor there is for Luke Esser. Each of them is a “devout Catholic.” Each of them mouths words that sound consistent with conservatism. And each of them display a stark contrast between the “devout” part, the part of them that is only words, and the “real” part, the part of them that is their behavior. The redeeming factor will be the Catholic Church. Because the Magisterium recognizes no schism between words and the real world — and in the Catholic Church you can still be excommunicated. When the revival for which many in that faith pray comes, the four men at the top of this paragraph should, for their sabotage of Life, alone, for being accessories to the murder of countless innocent children, face that purportedly eternal consequence.