“Conservatives led by lobbyists and luddites like Joe the Plumber have abandoned talk about the good and replaced it with talk about the right. The good can be negotiated as hard cases arise. The right is non-negotiable. It is immutable. It is either respected or infringed. If you believe, as Joe and the NRA do, that the Second Amendment is an absolute right to personal firearms ownership—not merely that it’s good for something, like self-defense or recreation, but that it’s an immutable right—then even background checks or limits on multiple-magazine purchases or just simply talking about compromise and offering real sympathy to survivors is an infringement on that right. In this ideology . . .
talk of social responsibility in the exercise of rights becomes synonymous with socialism. This is the ultimate problem with the modern movement that clubbed traditional conservatism to death, squeezed into its clothes, and now traipses around like it owns the place. Even if you believe that discussion of social responsibilities is the same thing as socialism—and frankly, only an ignoramus could—you can’t fight socialism by becoming a sociopath.” – Adam Weinstein, Joe the Plumber: “Your Dead Kids Don’t Trump My Constitutional Rights” [via gawker.com]