The First Rule of Conservatism is: You do not play the race card on a fellow conservative. (h/t: Instapundit)
The Second Rule of Conservatism is: YOU DO NOT PLAY THE RACE CARD ON A FELLOW CONSERVATIVE.
Now a moment for the definition of terms. By “playing the race card” I mean concluding from a logically fallacious set of premises that someone is a racist without their being any overt evidence of that racism.
This is not the same as calling out a fellow rightie on a particularly racist comment or display. If Glenn Beck were to suddenly say “I can’t stand those dirty Chinese,” it would not be playing the race card to say “Yeah, Glen, that was kind of racist. You should apologize.” When the wingnut-osphere jumped on Trent Lott with both feet after he seemed to suggest that things would be better if the Dixiecrats had won the presidency in 1948, that was but a necessary policing of our own.
But that’s not what Becky has done. He has adopted the Garafalo argument, hook line and sinker, for no better reason than to needlessly disparage those who might favor Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination.
Principled conservatives can argue over whether Gingrich is really one of us or not. But to pretend that his proposed policies differ in no significant way from Obama’s is to argue something demonstrably false. Gingrich may not be a Tea Partier; he cannot be an Obama Democrat.
That Beck has so tiresomely elided these differences indicates how erratic a tribune he has become.
UPDATE: Ladd Ehlinger got to this yesterday, with the same headline. But he doesn’t have a cool .jpg, does he?
MORE UPDATE: Riehl World View chimes in as well, and makes an important point about Gingrich:
Newt Gingrich has pledged to appoint Supreme Court Justices with an originalist view of the Constitution. That is no small issue; it’s a critical one for both Conservatives and Libertarians. In contrast with Obama’s two appointees, that alone is reason enough for Tea Party voters to support Gingrich over Obama. Add in the fact that any GOP administration, even one of a so-called Progressive Republican, would be subject to significant internal and external influence from the GOP’s Conservative and Libertarian wings and you can begin to appreciate just how foolish are Beck’s recent ramblings.