GOP's Dilemma: Constitutional Conservatism, or Permanent Minority Status

Posted by Brian
Americans Believe In Conservative Principles, Distrust Big Government 
If, as the headline says, that Americans are essentially conservative, how is it that Mitt Romney and the Republican Party got their asses handed to them on Tuesday?
The problem isn't that the GOP is "too conservative", as the establishment Republicans (think Karl Rove) like to say, it's that the Republican Party is not seen as trustworthy to be the standard-bearers of conservatism. They're pretenders.
"Compassionate" Conservatism
After eight years of George Bush and Republicans being Democrat-lite on spending, immigration, and foreign and domestic policy and trade, who can blame voters for rejecting them?
The problem is that for too long, moderates in the Party have told us that we need to compromise with liberal Democrats, and that Americans just want us to "get along".  But, it's amazing that compromise, in their vernacular, means that we as conservatives need to move the ball to the liberal side of the line, but rarely if ever vice-versa. Compromise to them is accepting a decrease in the amount of increase in the budget, which is seen as a "cut" in Washington-speak.
DO What You Say
The public indicates that it agrees with much of what Republicans say, but feel betrayed by what they actually do.  Cutting spending and shrinking the size of government reverberates as a message and as a platform, but when all we ever see is more spending, and the government expanding year after year, people are going to become tired of these "promises".  And we are.
A huge part of the problem with the GOP is that there is nobody in the leadership who is both capable of communicating, and then actually willing to carry out, a coherent, conservative message and principles.  There are rank-and-file conservatives that are capable, but they are relegated to being foot soldiers, while the "establishment" Republican leadership limply gets rolled over by the hard-core leftists of the Democrat Party.
GOP Leadership Is Flaccid
Another huge problem for Republicans is that they are reactive versus the Democrats being pro-active.  The Democrats rarely, if ever, are caught flat-footed by the GOP, while for the Republican leadership is in a constant state of being on defense. Whether on taxes, immigration, foreign policy, a national tragedy, or natural disaster, when the Democrats politicize the issue, the Republican leaders have the deer-in-the-headlight look, and seem unable to articulate a coherent thought.  The sad thing, at least for many of us out here watching this, is that it is not rocket science as to what the Democrat response is going to be on any given issue.  They've been recycling the same memo for forty years.  You would think that they could send out someone to not only respond to the Democrats, but to blow them out of the water with answers based on conservative principles which every American could easily understand. Someone like Marco Rubio comes to mind, not because he is Latino, but because his conservatism isn't based on the latest poll or focus group.  It is who he is.  Part of the reason that Americans are suspicious of Republicans is that they have people like John Boehner weepily trying to explain something that is not in their heart and mind.  Their answers are calculated and driven by the latest poll, as they try to straddle some imaginary ideological fence, so as not to "offend" anyone.  What is offensive is that we have these leaders who think we can't see this, and are constitutionally incapable of articulating a coherent answer based on sound conservative principles and/or the Constitution.
Social and Economic Issues
IF the GOP doesn't find candidates who can tackle issues like immigration, gay rights, the made-up "war on Women", and the class warfare fraud, with some level of competency, the GOP as a party will go the way of the Whig Party.  The issues are not as complicated as the GOP would have everyone believe. The problem is that they have let the Democrats and leftists dominate the discussion with lies and half-truths while offering up feckless responses.
One challenge is that the future GOP are going to need to be teachers as well as politicians,  The 2012 election is a glaring example of how ignorant a large portion of the electorate is on many of the issues that are out there.  The Democrats were able to get away with a campaign of smears and lies precisely because of this ignorance.  The whole war on women meme was driven by outright lies!  "Republicans want to deny you contraception".  "Romney will overturn Roe v. Wade."  The fact is that Romney and the Republicans couldn't do either.  The contraception issue was settled in the 1972 case of Eisenstadt vs. Baird. Both are settled law.  Romney could no more deny women contraception or abortion than he could walk on water. But this didn't matter.  There was literally no one on the Republican side to make this rather simple case:  The contraception issue was not to deny women the right to contraception, but whether other people should be required to pay for the sexual behavior of others.
The left has been able to smear the GOP as being anti-"Immigration".  Yet no one, no one(!), from the GOP challenges the Democrats on the fact that the issue is not about "immigration", but IS about allowing individuals to enter the U.S. "illegally", and at will.  The Democrats have been able to steer the debate as an "anti-Latino" issue, when in fact it is a law and order issue, as well as a national security issue.  It is well known at this time that jihadist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are exploiting the lax security at our southern border to move people across, and that it is only a matter of time before many of the major drug cartels savagery spills across the border into California, Texas, and the other border states.  Some of it already has.  Even though over one-third of  Americans believe that securing the border is more important than "comprehensive reform", John Boehner is already out there talking about comprehensive reform, and how to work with the Democrats to make it happen.  And he thinks this will get Latinos to come to the GOP?  It won't. History proves it.  What is going to get any group to the party is to bring them together around common ground and a common message.  We know that the Dems are going to try to keep the country divided along every line that they can.  The challenge for conservatives is show how their individual success is intimately intertwined with the success of the nation as a whole. There are many successful people today because of the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc, and countless others.  Because of Berry Gordy and Motown, many others became successful beyond their wildest dreams.  Success needs to be celebrated, not demonized.  Yet there are few on the conservative side who are out there trumpeting success. Worse, the GOP leadership is more likely to try to find common ground with the Dems in punishing success to make them seem "compassionate".
GOP Convention Speakers (Clockwise) Haley, Sandoval, Davis,
Fortuno, Cruz, Love
We hear a lot about "diversity", but what is diversity really? To liberals, diversity is the cynical notion that there has to be a certain number of blacks, a certain number of Hispanics, whites, etc. How those people think is of no import.  Only what they look like. To a conservative, diversity has nothing to do with color.  It has to do with diversity of thoughts, opinions, viewpoints, regardless of skin color. If I am a businessman, I want the best person for a position, regardless of what they look like.  I am interested in the ideas that they bring to the table which is going to help my business be the most successful that it can be.  The same goes for who I want running my country.  This notion, from the likes of Chris Matthews, that I oppose Barack Obama because he's black, is laughable on its face.  I would argue that Chris Matthews is racist because he is obsessed with all things racial.  He has some kind of Aryan guilt complex which has manifested itself into this ridiculous notion that any critique of Barack Obama is ultimately based on the fact that he is black.  This is true in the way that liberals, in general, look at and perceive blacks. The whole "affirmative action" concept is racist.  But, contrary to common perception, it's not racist against whites, but against minorities.  The whole idea is that without affirmative action, blacks are incapable of making it on their own merits.  This is hogwash.  The sad thing is that it starts at a young age, where minority children are taught that the deck is stacked against them (a favorite Obama phrase). It is, to steal a phrase, the "soft bigotry of low expectations".  And the liberals are masters at it.  They are great at telling you what you can't do, or what you are incapable of, all because of the unfairness of life.  You are just a loser in life's lottery.  They counter that, of course, with the promises of those things that they can provide you,  while erecting a multitude of the very roadblocks, in the form of regulations, red tape, and mandates, which hinder every step you take. As conservatives, we need someone to articulate to everyone, regardless of race/orientation/gender, that each one of us has it within themselves to do great things, and that the role of government is not to provide cradle to grave security, but to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of  opportunities which await you if you are willing to work for them.
If the GOP is going to be viable in the future and not go the way of the Whig Party, the answer is not to become more like the Democrats, but to be the antithesis to their agenda.  The GOP needs to give the people a stark choice of ideology, not the milquetoast one we have offered up the last 6 elections.  The John McCain's, Lindsey Graham's, and the influence of the Bush's in the Republican Party need to be culled, and replaced with the DeMints, Rubio's, Scott Walker's, and other solid Constitutionalists.  It needs to start taking place at the town, county, district, and state levels, all the way up to Congress and the Presidency.  The American people say time and again that they believe in conservative principles and distrust big government.  It is up to us to find those leaders who can articulate and govern by those principles, and get rid of those who can't or won't. It needs to start now, or this great country is in for some very dark days ahead. (And no Chris Matthews, that isn't a racial reference).


The Breitbart News Network/Judicial Watch post-election survey released today is a warning to those who have argued, in the wake of the 2012 election, that the way for the Republican Party to broaden its appeal is to compromise on core principles of limited government and the rule of law.
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