Friday, September 17, 2010

CONSERVATIVE OBSERVATIONS

While I do not think Christine O'Donnell will win in Delaware, I am not so sure as I was on Tuesday. Mike Castle threw everything at her and she still prevailed. Now, after initial dissent, the Republican leadership have lined up behind her. Moreover, she has now raised over a million dollars. For a small state like Delaware that's pretty impressive.

Now the mainstream media is lining up against her, likely with an intent to showcase her as the poster child of extreme conservatives. They have rolled out old video.In this year, this kind of mud slinging probably helps her, not harm her.

Have conservatives thrown away a Senate seat that Castle was sure to win? That's still likely, but there has been a bubbling resentment by conservatives for many years. Conservatives have always been told we can't win, until we do win. Many establishment types will bemoan this as a missed opportunity, but what they fail to see is that her victory best represents the overall message. Conservatives have decided we're not playing by the party's rules anymore. Christine O'Donnell may not be the right messenger this year, but her candidacy could lay the foundation for a genuine conservative that can clearly articulate our principles to even the bluest of states like Delaware. A short term loss could still pay long term dividends and real change.

Conservatives that have been defeated by moderates always endorse the moderate, but moderates like Castle and Murkowski have yet to endorse the conservatives that sent them packing. As I type, there are indications Murkowski will mount a write in campaign in Alaska. Why shouldn't conservatives be angry when the establishment supports people who demonstrate political impiety in defeat?

To be clear this resentment has reached a boiling point precisely because the Republican Party had failed to live up to its principles when it held power. For six years the party of "limited government" embraced big government policies, but dared to suggest it was better than what Democrats would have done. The Republican Party justified ordering a full course meal on the grounds that the Democrats would open an "all you can eat buffet". It was the Bush/Delay/McConnell years that pushed us to the edge, and Obama was the final straw that led to the marches.

Pragmatism is a wonderful notion in ordinary economic down cycles, but ordinary people tend to see dire trends long before the entrenched elite. The surprise and sometimes outrage in this years' primaries reflect poorly on the Republican leadership's sense of urgency. They just don't get it. Average Americans know in our gut that we are on a road to economic ruin if we do not alter this course and conservatives in particular have determined that moderate statist Republicans are no great compromise in the balance. The stakes are too high. It is now time to roll the dice. I said a few days ago I had so many concerns with Ms. O'Donnell that I could not vote for her in a general election as I feel her incapable of articulating my views and would thereby subject them to ridicule in the offering. I no longer feel this way.  

I am all in on principle. I too am tired of hypocritical Republicanism. Limited government means less government. Less reliance on Big Brother. A commitment to principles that reject government as a servant of the people and restores its proper role as the defender of individual rights and liberty.

Populist movements like the Tea Party as a matter of history emerge when there is a clear lack of inspired leadership. Inevitably from every movement comes a leader motivated to take up the mantle and advance those great principles. Every man and woman running for office, the Presidency especially are going to have to clearly state where they stand on the role of government. Republicans will need to prove their limited government bona fides and many a Democrat will need to shun the Keynesian economic model.

Why abandon pragmatism? Because pragmatism is just Democrat light.Pragmatism may seem like wisdom, but all too often it is cowardly accommodation adopted by elites to satisfy selective interests. No more. Conditions in this country risk undoing everything we know and love as Americans. It is time for principled conservatism to meet the demand for fiscal sanity. The time for pragmatism is finished. It is the elite political class in both parties who are responsible for the state of affairs. We can and shall, I believe meet the daunting challenges laid out before us. If we do not, if we listen to the voices of "reason" and trade principle for pragmatism, then we shall be a generation unique in all of American history. We will be the first to have earned both the scorn of our fore fathers and posteritys' contempt.   

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