Oh, sure, your average conservative will insist his belief system is based upon a passion for the free market and limited government, but that's mostly a cover story. Instead, the vast team-building exercise that has driven the broadcasts of people like Rush and Hannity and the talking heads on Fox for decades now has really been a kind of ongoing Quest for Orthodoxy, in which the team members congregate in front of the TV and the radio and share in the warm feeling of pointing the finger at people who aren't as American as they are, who lack their family values, who don’t share their All-American work ethic.
This article should be required reading for everyone confused by the epic parade of idiocy on display in the current GOP primary.
and a PS from the equally indispensable Charles Pierce, commenting on the source of the philosophy to which all serious GOP contenders must adhere.
Recall it because now, in 2012, every single one of the four remaining Republican candidates for president essentially have signed onto Charlie Duke's program. Oh, they've shined it up. It's not draped in camo any more, and the four of them are considerably less well-armed than the people who were pushing this 20 years ago, but they've all come around to the basic notion. What was once the province of people who were flirting with armed sedition is now a position that any Republican who wants to have a serious chance at national office has to take. Rick Perry based his entire campaign for presidency on this very point, and now he's heading up a group of Tenther SuperFriends on behalf of N. Leroy Gingrich.