On the Craig mess, today's talking point is: "Why do the Republicans always give in to these accusations? Why don't we hold tough and fight?"
The right question is: Why do we always hold tough long enough to reach the point of scandal?
If we have any principles at all, anything we really want to accomplish by holding office, why do we allow so many easily compromised politicians to stay on our team?
In other words: Why do we enjoy being blackmailed?
It's a fact
that the sexual blackmailers are on the left now. Wasn't always the case*, but it's emphatically true in the last 20 years. Unless there's a way to purge the feminist and gay activists, we simply have to accept this as part of the conditions of the battlefield, and adjust our strategy accordingly.
What's the right strategy? If we have any principles at all, if we want to be free to push those principles, we need to thank
the sexual blackmailers for helping us to clean up our team. Thank them for providing a useful signal.
The main editorialist at Catholic World News has been running an informative series
of comparisons between the Boy Scouts and the Roman leadership. His point: The sexual blackmailers have been pushing the Scouts for many years to Celebrate Diversity by taking in more homosexual scoutmasters, and more generally to abandon Christianity and carry the leftist torch. The Scouts haven't given in, and the blackmailers haven't even gained any traction. The Roman church (in America anyway) has adopted nearly all of the usual leftist principles.
What's the diff? The Scouts are perhaps the only major institution that still puts reputation first. They reject a scoutmaster who shows any sort of dubious tendencies, and they kick him out before
his dubious tendencies can do any damage either to the boys or to the group's reputation. The Roman church follows the modern course: hold tough, use Due Process as an excuse, keep numerical "power" at the cost of total blackmail and total loss of principles and credibility.
We're seeing similar failures in many realms. Astronauts in diapers, baseball players in steroids. We've lost the guild mentality,
the idea that your primary job is to maintain the reputation and grandeur of the profession. We've replaced it with a quantifiable lust for numerical and tactical
wins, which aren't even wins.
When you know players will be tested for drugs and disqualified, the team doesn't really gain anything by keeping a Barry Bonds on the roster. When you know politicians will be tested for sexual hypocrisy and disqualified, the team doesn't really gain anything by keeping a Larry Craig on the roster.
= = = = =
* In fact, the all-time champion sexual blackmailer in American politics was good old J. Edgar, who was also the all-time champion anti-Communist. I'm not sure when the practice shifted over to the left, but it must have been after Hoover died.