A reader doesn't want to cut Goldberg or Limbaugh any slack:
There exists in every organization, whether it be a football team, a business, a political party, or a military, a point at which it is to the individuals folly to continue to subordinate their will in favor of the directives of their individuals. A quarterback shouldn't follow his coaches plan to run into the wrong end zone, an administrative assistant should not follow his bosses directions to engage in illegal business practices that will ultimately bankrupt the company, soldiers should not follow orders to round up Jews and send them to the gas chamber, and even generals committed to the idea of civilian control of the military must still at some point do what they can to dissuade their civilian superiors from a disastrous course.
It is so tempting to praise the famous discipline of the Republican coalition of the past few years, from Bush to Delay to Rush, as a critical component of what felt like great strength and success. But the failure to recognize that line where individuals needed to press back against the direction of their leaders was also an essential component of why so many of their actions resulted in catastrophe.
There is no easy guideline for when you need to stop being a team player who just tows the line and become a conscientious dissenter. But individuals who follow orders well past that point should definitely be considered lackeys, hypocrites, complicit accomplices, or worse.
Ideological lickspittle, perhaps?
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