David Limbaugh (yes, brother of that Limbaugh) has a message for all those liberal-types and namby-pamby conservatives who aren't down with the Tea Party: the more you act like or say that Tea Party Conservatives are extremists, that just shows what an extremist you are.
I'm surely not the only one who notices the persistent efforts of the leftist establishment and certain establishment Republicans to portray mainstream conservatives, especially those inhabiting the tea party movement, as radicals and extremists. The more they push this theme the more they marginalize themselves.
You see, according to Limbaugh, Tea-Partiers can't be extremists, because they believe in everything that is right and good. And so, those who hold that the people who believe in all things right and good are extremists must themselves be the real extremists:
They reveal a great deal about themselves when they call "extremists" patriotic Americans who believe in the American ideal, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, originalism, the rule of law, blind justice, equal protection under the law, strong national defense, limiting government to its assigned constitutional functions, the Second Amendment, the nondiscriminatory application of freedom of speech and expression, the free exercise clause, a reasonable — not unduly expansive — interpretation of the establishment and commerce clauses, protection for the unborn, judicial restraint, federalism, the separation of powers, the free market, racial colorblindness, the existence of good and evil in the world, equality of opportunity rather than of outcomes, law and order, immigration control and border protection, motherhood and apple pie.
First of all, anyone who says he believes in apple pie has got to be an extremist, if only because he takes it that in having to avow belief in apple pie, there are people out there who don't. Who doesn't believe in apple pie? Anyone? So who's he up against? Well, sure, it's a rhetorical flourish… but what on Limbaugh's list isn't? It's not that anyone in the debate doesn't believe that lower taxes and fiscal responsibility would be great… just if we didn't have to prop up banks that would otherwise drag the country down the drain or find some way to stimulate the economy in a way that doesn't take advantage of the fact that so many are suffering. Who's against the rule of law, blind justice, freedom of expression and speech, free exercise of religion? Who doesn't believe in real goods, real evils? Anybody? Really, it's all a long list of stuff nobody really rejects, well, except Originalism and the stuff about the unborn. But reasonable people disagree about those things. Ah, but here's the rub: Tea Partiers have a quick tendency to use terms like 'fascism' or 'tyranny' or 'socialism' or 'communism' to describe those who disagree with them on the details. That's what makes them extremists — they refuse to acknowledge that those with whom they disagree have good intentions, reasons, a love for their country, and a vision of justice.
Now, here's the problem: if Limbaugh can't see liberals (or even moderate conservatives) as committed to blind justice, free exercise, and fiscal responsibility, too, regardless of how they come down on originalism and abortion, then isn't that the real face of extremism?