This week we are back to the old meme: Republicans eating their own.
How come this only happens to Republicans, the usual suspects whine?
The answer is that the Republican Party is a different animal from the Democratic Party. And as I look around the blogosphere this morning I see that everyone agrees with me. Roger Kimball gets it, almost:
That’s the thing that scares people about the tea party. It operates outside the jurisdiction set down by the other parties, be they Democratic or Republican. All those sources of patronage, wells of political preferment, reservoirs of prestige, perquisites, and power: That’s what politics as usual is about. It has built up an impressive institutional structure.
That's OK as far as it goes. But here is commenter ZenPundit on a ChicagoBoyz blog about NPR's difficulty in understanding the Tea Party.
First, a majority of the Left are still in the “community organizer”, Alinskyist, protest theater, organizational front group, grievance-victim-social-justice paradigm adhered to and honed since the 1930’s by the Marxists, Social Democrats, organized labor and the New Left. They want a centralized nanny-state themed to race and gender issues and approach politics with a vanguard mindset where talking points are issued by the leaders and everyone must stay in lockstep.
We need to understand that the Republican Party, though it certainly deals in "wells of political preferment, reservoirs of prestige, perquisites, and power," only does it to a limited extent. It offers jobs to people who work in the federal government when Republicans are in power. Otherwise Republicans go about their daily life in the private sector. That makes the Republicans much more loosey-goosey.
But the Democrats are different. The whole point of the Democratic Party chaps is to organize a patronage system for themselves and their clients fed by government revenues. If you are a Democrat you probably earn your living in the education establishment, or a health/welfare bureaucrat or client, an NGO activist, or a government program benefits recipient. Your whole life is organized around the continuance of that government salary or benefits. Obviously, Democrats cannot relax for a moment. They must stay organized in their citadels of government largesse, ready to repel insurgents at any moment. Because if the Republicans ever took that money away...
The Democratic machine presents an awful power to the world. It has to. For anyone that breaks ranks, well, there's always the ancient threat: That's a nice little teaching job you got there. Pity if anything should happen to it.
But we should take our inspiration from that other formidable political machine, the Soviet Union. It specialized in frightfulness, right up until the day that it collapsed, as the Marxists like to say, of its internal contradictions.
The problem with the Democratic Party is that it has promised itself and its supporters loot and plunder that cannot possibly be delivered. Sooner or later the whole thing is going to collapse, because it will just run out of money.
When people worry about the lack of unity in the Republican Party, they have a point. But in the long term, this lack of unity is a strength. The really scary thing is the rictus of smiling unity in the Democratic Party. The day that smile breaks will be a day to behold.