The GOP predicament: Outraged by conservatism while indifferent to evil

Former House speaker John Boehner recently came up in two items that, taken together, powerfully illustrate why the national GOP has been such a joke.

First, he denounced Ted Cruz as “Lucifer” and a “miserable son of a b****.”  Second, he joined Barack Obama in a cutesy video skit about how the outgoing president will pass the time after stepping down.  They laugh, watch Toy Story 3 together (yes, really), and joke about being able to drink and smoke in private life.

Previously, Boehner has gushed that he “absolutely” trusts Obama.  Since he broached the subject of comparing politicians to demons, note that Boehner’s buddy is so devoted to slaughtering babies that he repeatedly voted to let hospitals starve newborns to death and routinely demonizes Boehner’s pro-life constituents.

What is Cruz’s sin?  Preferring a more aggressive strategy to defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and executive amnesty through the appropriations process.  That’s it.  He’s “Lucifer” for refusing to follow Boehner’s fear of getting blamed for a government shutdown…never mind that blame easily could have been pinned on Obama, or that past Republicans successfully did the same thing to get Bill Clinton to accept their budget.

Such a defective moral calculus is appalling, but it clarifies that protecting Americans’ lives, their freedom, their health, and the Constitution was never Boehner’s priority.  Conservatism was just a collection of constituencies worth the bare minimum effort necessary to keep voting, but not worth enough to risk angering the press, alienating more lucrative interest groups, or making Capitol Hill a less comfortable place.

The real mission of most Beltway Republicans is not conservatism, but maintaining the influence, prestige, and sense of self-importance attached to the status quo.  Sure, they disagree with Obama on plenty, but they know that his agenda won’t make Washington, D.C. less important to and influential over people’s lives…while Ted Cruz would.

All this despite public opinion on abortion being increasingly receptive to the pro-life message even among groups liberals assume they have locked up, Americans opposing Obamacare from the beginning, and unrest over immigration festering so long that Donald Trump’s tough (but insincere) immigration talk got enough voters to ignore virtually everything else about his politics, character, and competence to nominate him for president.  So by choosing expediency over principle, Republicans wound up with neither.

Capitulation on all three issues is outrageous, but it’s abortion that best proves that the GOP suffers a deficit of decency, not just of competence.  Boehner previously boasted that he wanted to be the “most pro-life speaker ever”; that “respect for life has never been a political position for me, it’s just who I am”; and that it’s a “moral obligation” to fight for the preborn. 

To anyone who really means that, who believes abortion is evil, such chumminess with someone like Obama is inconceivable.  Yet Boehner says risking political capital to stop literal baby-killers makes you evil, and spending your career championing those baby-killers at the expense of every political responsibility does not.

It’s one thing to be friends with well meaning but misguided neighbors, and quite another to overlook willful support for violence against children from someone whose job is to know better…especially after proving you’re not above condemning people over disagreements, by spewing hate at another colleague for vastly smaller offenses.

The unprincipled, unhinged, and unelectable Trump is clearly the wrong instrument for Republicans’ reckoning, but if the impending disaster ends with the GOP blown away and conservatives free to build a new, principled party on its ruins, there may be a silver lining to this farce yet.

Calvin Freiburger is a Wisconsin-based conservative commentator.  His work can primarily be found on Live Action News and his personal website, Conservative Standards.  Follow him @CalFreiburger.  

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