I really liked this:
Anyway. I am almost more frustrated by the means of the current right more than the ends that they are pursuing. I hate the idea that political gains could be made by lie, deceit, and manipulation. More importantly than my desire to see a more pure political process is that I do not believe political gains made by such methods are sustainable. Republicans may have accomplished electoral victory this year but there will be a big question whether or not they accomplish legislative victory; the former is worth nothing without the latter. When you gain political momentum on false pretenses...for example, by lying about Obama and demonizing his intentions, you aren't winning an argument in the minds of the American people, you're just scaring them. And the Democrats can obstruct just as easily as Republicans can, and scare the American people right back.
I think the thing that conservatives should always remember is that I think that big government policy wins by default. When there are major crises, and the problems seem intractible, the people ultimately demand that "someone" do something about it, and that someone tends to be Uncle Sam. You can look at the New Deal post Great Depression, or TARP in 2008 by a "conservative Republican". When there is a crisis, government intervenes. Back to the topic at hands, Republicans have been playing a scorched-earth policy here. Cause gridlock, spread misinformation about Obama. Win the battle. I fear that conservatism in general, something that I sympathize with as illustrated by the essay I linked above, will lose the war as a product of this kind of strategy. Because we can make gridlock now, and the Republicans will come back to power. But ultimately government must function, and it must function effectively. Because if it doesn't, there will be more crises, and government will inexorably expand.
Conservatives should be less short-sighted. The foundation of a strong conservative movement won't come from cheap sound bytes put forth by idiot news casters on Fox. They'll come from real thinkers who don't need to beat their political adversaries with lies - they can beat them with better ideas and stronger arguments. That was the movement that Buckley and Goldwater supposedly started and it lasted a generation. The movement of intellectual hacks like Palin and Gingrich will last two years. If that.