So, what happens when the Republican Party becomes too bat-shit insane for... Republicans? Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC) recently found out after losing his primary battle to a Tea Party-backed candidate; apparently they throw you out of office for not being radically conservative enough. Inglis's crime against conservatism seems to be that he still had at least one foot in reality. No small feat for a Republican from South Carolina.
David Corn related the story of Inglis's primary defeat on Tuesday in Mother Jones and it's worth the quick read. Inglis recalled a meeting he had with a bunch of teabaggers during which he realized that there would simply be no communicating with people who are so utterly divorced from reality. Here's the money quote:
"I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there's a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life's earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, 'What the heck are you talking about?' I'm trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, 'You don't know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don't know this?!' And I said, 'Please forgive me. I'm just ignorant of these things.' And then of course, it turned into something about the Federal Reserve and the Bilderbergers and all that stuff. And now you have the feeling of anti-Semitism here coming in, mixing in. Wow."
Wow, indeed. Inglis went on to identify what perhaps represents one of the greatest threats to true conservatism, and maybe by extension Republican national influence in the coming years. Inglis said that during his campaign many conservatives urged him to deride President Obama as a socialist. But, Inglis felt differently. "It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...This guy is no socialist," he told David Corn. "When we start just delivering rhetoric and more misinformation...we're failing the conservative movement... We're failing the country." Well said, Mr. Inglis. Well said.