If any dispositive evidence of modern conservatism's flight into progressive madness was still needed, the Wall Street Journal's editorial on Paul Ryan's budget -- "the only serious governing document in town" -- should suffice. It seems, according to the Journal, that the GOP's Nihilist Revolution is but inches away, though, regrettably, inches away it still is:
One bad sign was a no vote from Denny Rehberg, who is running for Senate in Montana this year against Democrat Jon Tester. Mr. Rehberg thinks he's inoculating himself on Medicare, and he even issued a press release saying "I simply refuse to gamble with something as important as Medicare." The real gamble is to continue on the current path that will ruin Medicare, and Mr. Rehberg's vote suggests he's from the remaindered pile of the GOP's Tom DeLay status-quo wing.
Back in the day -- that of the Gingrich Revolution, father of the Nihilist Revolution and spawn of the Reagan Revolution -- Mr. DeLay was about as "status quo" as Newt himself. Indeed, DeLay was so ideologically committed to rolling back America's civilized odometer, he frothed and fulminated himself straight into a felony conviction. Now that's dedication.
Yet, though devotedly felonious he was, DeLay wasn't crazy -- or at least he wasn't crazy enough to advocate Medicare's demolition. That ideological tumor of inspired madness awaited Stage III, or the third generation (see above), of contemporary conservatism's metastasis: the ill-schooled, ill-mannered, ill-tempered tea party, a ghoulish phenomenon of ghastly ignorance triggered by the historic election of an altogether accomplished black man.
The resulting panic that rippled throughout the charmless herd of the old radical right -- i.e., the new tea party -- has in all probability yet to attain its outermost extremism. The WSJ's relegation of Tom DeLay to the derogatory status of liberal or moderate Republicanism is suggestive enough of the GOP's ideological ballooning process; yet implosion likely won't come until a collapse is forced through electoral puncture.
And God bless him, Paul Ryan is providing the pin.