Thomas Friedman Finally Gets It: The GOP Isn't Conservative, It's Radical

Who knows what finally made Tom Friedman come around. Maybe it was watching the live stage version of Tod Browning's Freaks -- otherwise known as the 2012 GOP Primary -- for the past year. But he finally stopped writing those "We need a

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Who knows what finally made Tom Friedman come around.

Maybe it was watching the live stage version of Tod Browning's Freaks -- otherwise known as the 2012 GOP Primary -- for the past year. But he finally stopped writing those "We need a third party that's exactly like Obama's Democratic Party" columns and correctly identified the problem for once:

...when all the Republican candidates last year said they would not accept a deal with Democrats that involved even $1 in tax increases in return for $10 in spending cuts, the G.O.P. cut itself off from reality. It became a radical party, not a conservative one. And for the candidates to wrap themselves in a cartoon version of Ronald Reagan — a real conservative who raised taxes, including the gasoline tax, when he discovered his own cuts had gone too far — is fraudulent.

Until the G.O.P. stops being radical and returns to being conservative, it won’t provide what the country needs most now — competition — competition with Democrats on the issues that will determine whether we thrive in the 21st century. We need to hear conservative fiscal policies, energy policies, immigration policies and public-private partnership concepts — not radical ones. Would somebody please restore our second party? The country is starved for a grown-up debate.

Some of us have been saying this since, oh, about twenty years.

A party that refuses to raise taxes on anyone, ever, when taxes are at historic lows isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that wants to roll back successful programs like Social Security that have been a bedrock of American society for nearly three quarters of a century isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that's openly at war with Progressive Era reforms like unions and child labor laws isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that refuses to make cuts in defense when the U.S. currently spends more than the next 14 countries in the world combined isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that denies the scientific consensus of climate change isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that seeks to repeal a law that was decided by the Supreme Court nearly four decades ago isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that advocates the forced deportation of 12 million immigrants isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that denies basic facts about the deficit isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that wants to pull out of landmark treaties the United States helped write isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party that invites white supremacists and fringe organizations like the John Birch Society to its most important conferences isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party whose leaders compare the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler and Stalin on the floor of the House, who threaten impeachment if they don't get their way, and who sow doubt about the President's citizenship isn't conservative, it's radical.

A party whose presidential candidates claim that states should be able to ban contraception and that the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional isn't conservative, it's radical.

And so on.

You're a little slow on the uptake -- but better late than never, Tom.

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