Identity in Difference

As opposed to, say, Aaron Marks at the Next Right, who maintains that "Republicans will likely never see another day in the majority if its electorate only supports candidates with impeccable conservative credentials," John Hawkins of Right Wing News is a strong proponent of the proposition that the best way forward for the GOP is not to embrace moderate positions, and hence approximate the right wing of the Democratic Party, but rather to hold a hard conservative line on issues across the board. At the tactical level, however, Hawkins has been arguing for the appropriation of what he calls liberal and left-wing discursive political practices. There is no outright contradiction here, since tactics as such are non-partisan phenomena, as it were, but the tension is certainly noteworthy, and has not gone unnoticed by other conservative commentators (Donald Douglas at American Power provides links to a few responses).

From the perspective of duopoly critique, however, the paradox is clear and involves a kind of identity in difference by which partisans on either side of the duopoly divide become more similar to one another in order to differentiate themselves from one another more starkly. Perhaps this is just one more case of the narcissism of small differences.

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