This game where Republicans think they can out-wit the loose liberals of political ideology is a failed tactic. The typical liberal has very little personal conscience and view themselves as part of a collective whole, so they tend not to take personal responsibility for their actions. In the extreme, this is why they are willing to blow themselves up as terrorists. In the norm, they will lie to your face because they have no sense of personal responsibility—rather they focus on collective salvation. Norquist I believe thought he was smarter than his political opponents, and that he could get the White House to support his actions as a change agent in the Middle East. But he fell in love with a Palestinian woman and began to soften his position. From there his enemies, the people he was trying to convert, used him as a platform of insurrection from the inside out. In the battle Norquist tried to wage in the Middle East, it was he who lost and it likely started in his bed.
As much as Republicans like Norquist try to utter the conservatism of their actor president Ronald Reagan, they discover quickly that they are too easily led astray under pressure. I have a lot of personal experience with this from my own community, which contains some of the strongest Republican elements in the United States. I have been invited into their inner circle, but I keep my distance because they lack conviction. They don’t stick to their principles as stringently as I require and are too in love with the power of their position instead of the essence of their political philosophy.
Norquist as much as the political left wishes him to be the face of extremism for his desires toward tax reform and smaller government is a dangerous moderate because of his softness on issues of conservatism when the rubber hits the road. Clearly his marriage to Samah Alrayyes was a turning point for him, which led to likely a prolonged war in Iraq because of Norquist’s proximity to President Bush. The strategy formed by the Republican Party through Norquist and Karl Rove was one that favored his bed mate, and not the hard lined conservatives from Kansas—which is a polite way to put it.
I’m sure Samah Alrayyes is a nice lady—people tend to become friends and lovers with people who they share some things in common—whether it is a love of power, prestige, or a breakfast ritual. When a man decides to put a ring on the finger of a woman, it is usually not just so that he can have sex with her, it’s so that he can share other parts of his life with a spouse. But a man is crazy to think that a woman won’t have an influence on him once she’s in his daily life. That’s usually not a problem so long as the man isn’t trying to sell himself as the savior of the Republican Party while trying to bring peace to the Middle East with the kind of mind games that belong on day time soup operas. At that point a line was crossed that Norquist cannot return from. He blew his credibility and his years of fighting for conservative causes because he fell for the exotic appeal of a foreign culture.
It is one thing to respect a culture and its people—to even be friendly to them. There are a lot of people who I like from different cultures—some of them come from communist backgrounds and I try to help them see the wonders and joys of capitalism because I want to see them improve their lives. But, I have to maintain my emotional distance from those people because they think differently. If I feel I cannot convert them over to a right way of thinking according to my viewpoint, I don’t bang wine glasses with them. I drop them like a dirty rag before they get too close. It looks like that’s what Norquist should have done in 2002 and 2003—but he didn’t. He might make a nice husband and friend to the Arab world but a leader in the Republican Party he has forfeited. Conservatives like me aren’t going to put up with it. So we are having this ideological battle now because we are between major elections.
The left may enjoy the spectacle because they don’t fight each other—they assimilate toward the same collective ideology easily. But to me they also aren’t relevant to the debate. Republicans have to stand for something or they will be like Grover Norquist—full of a lot of tough talk, but soft in their core and easily swayed by skirts and lobbyists because their real love is not the ideology or philosophy of conservatives, its in the power they wield as beltway insiders. I don’t think Norquist is a bad person, or even had bad intentions. But he’s weak at his core and has allowed himself to be a carrier of Muslim radicalism into the roots of American politics and that means people like him have to be shoved aside for more conservative representatives less in love with power, and more in love with conservative philosophy.