The money quote:
“By the fruit the tree is to be known,” Lincoln wrote. “An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. If the fruit of electing Mr. Clay would have been to prevent the extension of slavery, could the act of electing have been evil?”
This is where my biggest beef has been with what I have called the zampolit wing of the Republican party. They simply are not willing to accept less than perfection, and those that do work to get some forward progress on an issue are party hacks who sold their souls for votes.
Well, they can only do that for so long before someone decides that enough is enough. Sooner or later, those derided as "party hacks" will start swinging back. Of course, they often get blamed by the purists, who claim that had they would not have been forced to criticize their ostensible allies if the "sellouts" had just been willing to stand on principle. It's never the self-proclaimed "base" that is at fault... it is those who don't kowtow to the self-appointed commissars who host a radio talk show, or write a column, or who have a blog.
And they expect that every time they do that, things can go back to normal. Well, they are wrong. Perhaps they should ask themselves if they would work with someone who constantly snipes at them, and not only that, then turns around and expects all to be forgiven after uttering some of the most vicious slanders possible.
The time for forgiving has passed. They have a choice - they can actually treat those who agree with them more than they disagree with them as people whose help they need to win elections and thus influence policy, or they can act like commissars while I find better uses for my time. Why should I lift a finger to politically empower those who think I have sold my soul?