“It’s often said that conservatives seek out converts, while progressives seek out heretics. That’s too often true of the green community. Everyone’s supposed to pass all these tests of consistency and commitment before they’re allowed to speak out. Gore’s got a big house. Arnold’s got Hummers. Lester Brown probably pees in the shower. We constantly worry about whether people deserve to speak out about the environment, whether impure spokespeople will tarnish the movement, whether offering people too-easy personal solutions will anesthetize or stupefy them, whether passing imperfect legislation will forever exhaust our political capital. As I’ve said before, these are the worries and preoccupations of people accustomed to being losers–people who don’t believe their cause is broadly compelling.”
I’m not sure it’s a right or left thing–Illinois conservatives have been killing their own for years now. It is a problem inherent in any movement, going right back to New England Puritanism: are you pure or do you go for a majority?
Also the dynamics are tricky. The other side will use any impurity against you, if only because hypocrisy is easier to prove, and easier for the masses to understand, than substantive wrongness. Even if you disavow purity and hold your nose while embracing the freshly painted green Governator.