The conservative base of the Republican Party is ready to follow leaders who it knows will fight. Unfortunately, most Republican leaders today are go-along-to-get-along collaborationists awaiting their return to the head of the public trough.
Because they ran such candidates in 1992, 1996 and 2008, Republicans were beaten four times by a self-admitted draft dodger and an articulate but inexperienced naïf whose past remains a cypher.
Twelve Republican senators (including geriatric, half-hearted 2008 presidential campaigner John McCain) and 169 GOP House members (including local Reps. Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach) voted in favor of the Rep. Paul Ryan-Sen. Patty Murray budget "compromise" that eases the mandatory legislated spending caps (sequester) imposed by Congress in 2011 and allows a $63 billion increase in the discretionary budget, but does nothing to reform entitlement programs, the main contributors to growing deficits and debt. The deal also raises certain "fees" — also known as taxes.
The deal is fiscally irresponsible and out of phase with traditional GOP values, but it allows big-government, establishment Republicans to re-open the spending spigot to which they are as addicted as Democrats.
Arguably worse, at least for Republican electoral prospects, the dull GOP House Speaker, John Boehner, publicly castigated the party’s conservative base for standing on its principles in the face of this deal, opening a divide between an energetic base Republicans need, but whose principles remain clear, and elected Republicans whose motives — and principles — are in doubt.
Both liberal Democrats and establishment Republicans are working assiduously to slander and discredit the conservative grassroots. But, in the end, reality trumps rhetoric.
The grassroots conservatives have a much firmer grasp of America’s fiscal problems than the political class that created those problems. Big-government politicians have used government power to provide financial benefits to favored constituencies and interest groups and made financial promises America can’t keep, which will, if unreformed, lead the nation to economic ruin.
David Kahane wrote (from the left): "(T)here’s nothing wrong with either the conservative or Republican base. Frankly, you guys terrify us, you and your damn fascist Tea Parties. Is there anything more frightening than seas of grandmothers waving American flags and singing ‘patriotic’ songs? I don’t think so. But the bozos driving your clown car need a complete upgrading in order to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, and one that current crop of ‘leaders’ is simply not up to. … If there’s one lesson you need to learn from the debacle of 2008, it’s this: never, ever, ever again nominate a man who tells you he’d rather lose honorably than punch our lights out."
National Review’s Michael Walsh observed that the Ryan-Murray deal "should serve to stiffen the resolve of conservatives to capture the levers of the Republican party — even if it takes a few (more) years in the electoral wilderness."
Dent, Gerlach and other GOP lifers tell us that Republicans must win elections in order to "do things" that meet their "conservative" principles and restore America, when, in fact, they have again contributed to America’s demise.
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing. … You will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:15,16)