Even more surprising is the Journal’s suggestion that parties are a healthy phenomenon.  In an age characterized by violent opposition to faction and party Walpole’s writers stand out as exceptions in their favorable reaction….No wonder, then, that Burke looked back on Walpole as a practitioner of party government with such pleasure.  Burke, the zealous missionary of party, had only praise for Walpole.

Sir Robert was an honorable man a sound Whig.  He was not as the Jacobites and discontented Whigs of his time represented him, and as ill-informed people still represent him, a prodigal and corrupt minister.  They charged him in their libels and seditious conversations as having first reduced corruption into a system.  Such was their cant.  But he was far from governing by corruption.  He governed by party attachments.  The charge of systematic corruption is less applicable to him, perhaps than to any minister who ever served the Crown for so great a length of time. ~Isaac Kramnick, Bolingbroke & His Circle

In his assessment of Walpole and his enthusiasm for faction, Burke did not do himself any credit, since Walpole was assuredly the master of what the Opposition called corruption–the buying of placemen and loyal MPs with Treasury money, the purchase of hack writers to shill for Government policy, etc.–and to govern by party attachment did appear to Bolingbroke and ought to appear to American conservatives as something deeply pernicious for a republican system or indeed for any mixed constitution.  It does not speak well for the “spirit of party” that Walpole and his associates were the ones who enthusiastically endorsed party government and fashioned the myth of a virtually permanent two-party politics.