There were some real lessons of the elections not just from this past week, but also going back to the elections of 2009 when Republicans elected two Governors and lost a special congressional election.
For years, we’ve had establishment Republicans tell us we need to find common ground with Democrats. They say we need to compromise. They say we need to be a big tent. They say we need candidates that will appeal to the “middle.”
The notion of compromise is what caused the Republican establishment to support weak candidates in an effort to secure power regardless of what that would do to the principles of the party. Some recent examples include:
- Dee Dee Scozzafava, the liberal Republican from up-state New York was backed by the establishment for a special election in 2009 to fill an open seat in the US congress. How were they rewarded? Ms. Sozzafava dropped out of the race when it was clear she was going to come in 3rd behind a true conservative 3rd party candidate and a liberal Democrat. Then she promptly endorsed the Democrat who went on to win the seat and was re-elected last week.
- The establishment Republicans not only supported liberal Mike Castle in Delaware, they helped destroy the ultimate nominee Christine O’Donnell. Conservative values are much better protected by an O’Donnell loss without compromising our values than with a Castle win. Had Castle been elected, it is likely it would have benefited Democrats far more than Republicans. He would have allowed them to claim “bi-partisan” support for much of their agenda that he would have voted for.
- The biggest example of how the “power over principle” establishment could have really hurt the ideals of the Republican Party was by supporting Charlie “Gumby” Crist early on against Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race. Crist showed himself to be the most malleable politician of our time. His core value is power, principle be damned.
Had the establishment had their way in the Florida primary, the Republican party may have lost out on one of its truly shining stars and possible presidential candidate in six or ten years in Marco Rubio. With the explosion of the Hispanic population in the US, that would have been a real shame. In the name of power, how many other potential superstars have the establishment squashed before we ever heard of them?
We would have also lost out on a chance to knock down liberal conventional wisdom. Sharp conservative women, blacks and Latinos like Rubio scare liberals. They realize that conservative “minorities” fly in the face of everything they preach about the greatness of “Robin Hood” style government. They know that Marco Rubio and Susana Martinez, the new Latina Governor of New Mexico, destroy the image that only the Democrats can understand the Hispanic population. They know that smart, conservative women like Michele Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell, Kristi Noem, new member of the US House from South Dakota, and Sarah Palin destroy the myth that only the Democrats understand the needs of women. They know that South Carolina electing black Republican Tim Scott to the US House ends the myth that all white conservatives in the South are racist.
So, we’ve seen the establishment compromise our values when it comes to candidates, what areas might they compromise in the next congress? Taxes? I hope not. Social Security? Time to reform it and include personal ownership. Spending? We are on a path to destruction…to compromise now puts the “death” of the country on their hands. Regulation of our personal lives? Haven’t they taken enough liberty away? I can’t even buy a happy meal in San Francisco anymore because the San Francisco city council believes they are smarter about raising my boys than I am.
We can list hundreds of other areas that conservatives will be encouraged to compromise…all of them will be detrimental to the American way of life.
If Republican politicians focus on consensus and compromise in 2011, they will have betrayed themselves, their principles, and, most important, they will betray the voters who have loudly said enough.
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