Given our current situation, it’s deeply ironic that moderate Republicans spent the last few years completely ignoring conservative concerns and insisting that if only the dumb right-wingers would listen to them, they’d create a majority that would last for 40 years.
Let’s see, there was Campaign Finance Reform, the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, No Child Left Behind, The Gang-of-14, Harriet Miers, the Dubai Port Deal, illegal immigration, out-of-control earmarking, deficit spending, the bailout, and probably another half dozen different disasters that I’m blocking out because they’re too painful to think about.
Then, after all of that, these RINOS helped to nominate the least conservative GOP nominee since Richard Nixon and only a few months later, many of those same people turned right around and supported his opponent, the most liberal Democratic nominee in American history.
You know their names: Lincoln Chafee, William Weld, Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley, Wayne Gilchrest, Richard Riordan, Douglas Kmiec, Scott McClellan, Ken Adelman, & Michael Smerconish among others.
At least one of them should have the common decency to reprise that great line from Animal House,
“(Y)ou can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You (screwed) up – you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it!”
But, no, the very same people who systematically, methodically advocated positions that have destroyed the Republican brand with the American people are once again preparing to deflect the blame if John McCain loses the election.
There are a couple of stories out there that foreshadow the “blame Palin” strategy they’re going to use to do it. The first is from medianet_width='300'; medianet_height= '250'; medianet_crid='442312984';
Let me make a simple prediction: John McCain backs the bailout, he loses the election. The Republicans in Congress back this bailout and they lose 5 seats in the Senate and 20 in the House — minimum.
Jim DeMint was telling me the calls to his office were running 100-to-1 against the bailout, so it didn’t exactly take Nostradamus to figure out it was a bad idea politically. Besides, anybody who understands conservatives knew it would be a disaster if McCain signed on to the bailout because the Republican base hates socialism and they loathe deficit spending. So, how can a candidate — who’s keeping conservatives on board primarily via his reputation for fiscal conservatism — possibly sign onto a socialistic, 700 billion dollar bailout with a month to go before the end of the election without having his campaign take a major hit as a result?
That being said, I think McCain still has an outside shot to win and I hope he does so. He is a flawed candidate, but he would also be an immeasurable improvement over Barack Obama. But, whether McCain wins or not, there must be some big changes made in the Republican Party.
We don’t need a purge — political parties that are losing elections need to add more people, not kick them out — but, we need to take a page out of the Left’s book. By that I mean there are plenty of moderates in the Democratic Party, but the Dems take care of their core supporters first and the people in the middle have very little political say. That should be even more the case in the Republican Party, where conservatives make up a larger share of the party faithful than liberals do in the Democratic Party.
We’ve gone the “compassionate conservative” AKA “Democrat lite” route for 8 years and it has been an unmitigated political disaster, so it’s time to stop listening to the same people who’ve burnt the Republican Party down to the ground. We need to retool our agenda using the conservative principles that have been at the root of every success the Republican Party has had over the last 30 years. Once we do, the American people will regain confidence in the GOP and the slide into oblivion the party has been experiencing will be reversed.