John Cole:

You know the thing that I find most amusing about the NY race is that what they are basically telling every moderate Republican across the country is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a loyal Republican for decades, it doesn’t matter if you know the district and the people, it doesn’t matter if you fit the district, and it doesn’t matter that you have given decades to the party.

What matters is orthodoxy, or obedience to principles of fiscal responsibility the GOP hasn't actually lived up to in a generation and fealty to discrimination against gay couples and banning all abortion.

This is effective as a rallying cry, but someone open to persuasion is confronted by some uncomfortable facts. The first is that these conservatives have yet to tell us what spending they would specifically cut.

By spending, I mean entitlements and defense, the only two areas where any serious effort to cut the debt will be found. Which entitlements does the GOP propose slashing? (Yes, slashing really is the only option to get us back to fiscal sanity.) Which war does the GOP propose ending? Which troops does it believe should be brought back to the US or laid off? How will Medicare by saved?

On the social issues, the practical questions are just as salient. We know that the GOP is horrified by gay people and our relationships. So what rights does the GOP believe gay couples should have? Civil unions? Domestic partnerships? Or nothing but psychiatric treatment? Which specific rights that straight couples have should gay couples be denied?

And on abortion: does the GOP favor making abortion illegal in all cases if Roe is overturned? Or legal in some respects? Again: I have no idea what the actual policy is. Until these proposals are actually fleshed out, we should regard this upsurge as therapy, not politics. But we should also encourage the practical policies to be spelled out.

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