We’ve all heard and read and seen the stories of the um…spitting contest, going on between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. It’s just early theater for the 2016 primary, and it’s only begun.
But the debate has raged for some time now over whether or not the Republican party is too extreme, too conservative.
(Will Bill Bolling please pick up the white courtesy phone? Bill Bolling to the courtesy phone.)
It’s the 2013 playbook of the Democratic party, Cuccinelli, Jackson and Obenshain are extreme, they’re radical, they’re crazy.
Or, roughly translated, they know what they believe and they’re not afraid to stand up for that.
In 2009, Bob McDonnell ran and won with solid conservative creditials. This year’s tax-portation increase and gift-gate are tarnishing that image. But his long-term record is solidly conservative.
But seriously, the party as a whole is too far to the right?
Can you say that with a straight face when four out of five of the last GOP Presidential candidates included Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney?
The cry is that the GOP needs to move to the middle or walk across the aisle gets louder and louder.
How come the Democrats are never expected to walk across the aisle?
Fact is, the rank and file Republicans don’t want to move to the middle, and a recent poll by the Pew Research Center verifies that [H/T The Washington Post]
Republicans aren’t happy with the party. But not because it’s too conservative.
Look at the five key issues surveyed: Gay Marriage, Immigration, Abortion, Government Spending, Gun Policy.
On three out of five Republicans were pretty equally divided over whether the party was conservative enough or not conservative enough. Those three aren’t what you might expect: Gay marriage, Abortion, Gun Policy.
Where the Republicans surveyed said the party was definitely not conservative enough? Immigration and Government spending, with Government spending being far and away the biggest area.
Would you know that by reading the mainstream news?
Heck, would you know that by listening to our Congressional leadership?
Here’s the reality that all Republicans understand, or certainly should: Our government takes too much of our money and spends to much of our money.
Frankly, if you can’t start from that basic premise then you have no business in public policy.
That doesn’t mean that government doesn’t have a place and doesn’t need to spend money on certain things. But there’s a whole lot of illegitimate bastard programs out there that need to go away.
Problem is, we have very few small government Republicans in office anymore. That was pretty clear last week when only one of Virginia’s nine Republican Congressmen voted to stop the NSA from gathering phone records.
Perhaps Congressman Griffith remembers that line in the Virginia Republican Creed that reads, “That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations.”
The last time my taxes were raised, it was by a Republican.
While he does focus more on the social issues, Ralph Reed writes in The Washington Times:
We have seen this movie before. Similar calls for retreating from conservative principles echoed after defeats in 1992, 1996 and 2008. In 1993, the chairman of the Republican Party said after George H.W. Bush lost the presidency that the party should “not cling to zealotry masquerading as principle and the stale ideas of a dead and dying past.” Sixteen months after these comments, Republicans won control of the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.
Look, the bottom line here is that Republicans don’t win when they compromise. They don’t win when they retreat from core values.
Republicans win when they run and govern as conservatives. They win when the stand up for their values and beliefs.
In 1992, George H.W. Bush lost when he abandoned his “Read My Lips, No New Taxes” pledge.
Twenty-one years later, some Republicans are still making the same mistake.
Image: Mimi and Eunice