Yesterday I wrote about an Ezra Klein post in which he looked at the new Pew survey of political typology and concluded that some liberals and conservatives can find common ground, at least in theory:
... the Pew survey shows there's some common ground between steadfast conservatives and solid liberals. Steadfast conservatives, for instance, tend to believe that the system is tilted towards big economic interests and that Wall Street does more harm than good. Liberals agree with them on all that....But what do conservative really mean when they express skepticism about big corporate interests?
Today I found a post at Townhall by Steve Deace expressing outrage at "the GOP's worst treachery yet" -- Thad Cochran's runoff campaign in Mississippi. The post is full of griping about corporate influence on the Republican Party establishment -- and if I quote it selectively, it'll be easy for you to imagine that, yes, there really is a lot that liberals and conservatives can agree on:
That message [from the GOP establishment] is this: if you threaten our corporatist gravy train we will go harder after you then we ever have Democrats....But in the same post, Deace writes this:
Years of betraying its base has put the GOP establishment in a bind. They can't raise money off their base anymore, so they have to raise the money it takes to remain in power from corporatist lobbyists. Except pursuing the policy aims of those corporatist lobbyists enrages the base all the more, and the vicious cycle of dysfunction continues.
Don't vote for anymore corporatist Republicans in red states/districts.
... the GOP establishment used Obama/Alinsky race-baiting tactics against their own base, in order to drive out to the polls in a GOP primary the same low-information-voters that put and kept this Marxist in the White House....So to sum up: establishment Republicans are "corporatists," but they're also enablers of the Democratic Party -- a party now composed entirely of "hard Leftists" with "Marxist tendencies." (Also, too: Alinsky!)
Today's Democrat Leaders are no longer bleeding-heart liberals but hard Leftists. They’re Social Reconstructionists with Marxist tendencies.
Meanwhile, the base of the GOP is growing more conservative and libertarian in response to this new ideological threat. We recognize we cannot negotiate with the New Left, but must defeat it. The problem is the GOP establishment often acts as a de facto human shield for these Statists, so we rarely get a clear shot at them on a national stage.
Does this make any sense? Obviously, if you're a believer in logic like Ezra Klein, it doesn't. I don't think it makes sense either. But however illogical this argument may be, Deace expects movement conservatives to nod enthusiastically in agreement. And, to judge from the comments and Facebook likes, that's what they're doing.
This crazy talk reminds me of the right-wing populism of an earlier era, which regarded international bankers and communists/socialists/anarchists with equal wariness -- and seemed to regard them as part of the same phenomenon, an urban-sophisticate conspiracy to screw rock-ribbed rural patriots out of their wealth and their rights. (Racism was involved in that worldview as well -- the cities were awash in Jews and Negroes. Deace, in this post, chides establishment Republicans for "bolster[ing] the legitimacy of the propaganda of our race-baiting opponents on the Left.")
You don't have to find this worldview coherent. You just need to know that its believers will never really find common grounds with liberals, because they hate liberals -- or, as they call us, "Marxists."
So please, folks: stop trying to make the left/right synthesis happen. It's not going to happen.