This week, Paul Ryan gave a fascinating speech at Heritage Action, a tea party-allied organization that has fashioned itself as the guardian of conservative purity. The speech called for unity. "To quote William Wallace in Braveheart," he said, "we have to unite the clans."
But his speech was actually a repudiation of everything the tea party has done. Not only that, Ryan also took shots at the congressional Republican leadership, and even the current GOP presidential candidates. He didn't call anyone out by name, but if you understand what's happening now and the conflict that has roiled the Republican Party for the last seven years, the critique was hard to miss.
Not surprisingly, for much of the speech he blamed conservatives' own sins on progressives, Democrats, and Barack Obama. That has become a familiar refrain - It's their fault that we've become such monsters! - but when you say that, you're still acknowledging that the sins exist. Let's start here: