Submitted by LowDownCentral on Fri, 09/24/2010 - 11:22
by Lance Thompson
The media has focused on the growing rift between new conservative stars and their Tea Party backers versus the old guard establishment Republicans. This difference has been highlighted in races in Florida (Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist), Alaska (Joe Miller over Lisa Murkowski), and most recently Delaware (Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle). In each case, a conservative outsider has overcome long odds to beat an experienced but more moderate candidate backed by the Republican establishment. This trend shows every indication of continuing.
Christine O’Donnell, now the Republican candidate for Delaware’s open Senate seat, will face Democrat Chris Coons in November. Polls show O’Donnell trailing in double digits. This is a familiar situation to conservative candidates this year. Marco Rubio trailed governor Charlie Crist by double digits in the Florida primary before winning the Republican Senate nomination. Crist then declared himself an independent (refusing to return the millions in Republican campaign funding he had already received), and again took a double digit lead. This race has reversed to Rubio’s advantage. Joe Miller in Alaska was also behind in the polls before his win over Lisa Murkowski.
In all of these cases, old guard Republican strategists and pundits warned voters that the conservative Tea Party candidates were too extreme, and would not have the appeal to win. Let’s examine both arguments individually.
First, in an era of rampant and unchecked socialism rammed through by an ultra-liberal President and Congress, there is no other possible cure than a conservative resurgence. We didn’t get socialized medicine, skyrocketing debt, and a crippled economy by half measures and bipartisanship. We arrived here thanks to a Democratic steamroller that paved the way for every item that’s appeared on the liberal wish list for the last two generations. The only way to reverse this trend is to put strong, principled, undiluted conservatives in office and in power. Moderates will not do.
Second, the fact that Tea Party candidates are prevailing all over the country, in states previously thought too blue to bother, demonstrates that the enthusiasm, power, and momentum this election year is with conservative candidates who connect with the people. The pundits who now tell us that these candidates, once nominated, can’t win the general election are the same ones who told us earlier that these candidates would not win in their primaries.
Have we not nominated moderate conservatives before? Wasn’t John McCain known for reaching across the aisle? Wasn’t he always tougher on conservative Republicans than he ever was on Democrats? His even-handedness and bipartisan reputation was supposed to guarantee support from independent voters and the press. Instead, his inept campaign was so ineffective that an opponent with no executive experience, less than one full term in the Senate, and no discernible aptitude for world leadership beat him handily in 2008.
And even when the Republicans place moderate, established, electable candidates on the ballot, and they do actually win, they are notable undependable when needed most. Moderate Arlen Specter enjoyed the support of the GOP and President Bush over conservative challenger Pat Toomey for the 2004 Pennsylvania Senate primary. Specter prevailed and paid back the GOP with liberal votes on the judiciary committee and by switching parties prior to his 2010 re-election bid. He failed to win the Democrat nomination, and is now thankfully out of politics. Moderate electable candidates do not serve conservative causes or interests.
If we believe in conservative principles, we must nominate and elect conservative candidates. This year, more than ever, watered-down, moderate, half measures are not enough.
The American people are restive. They are preparing to throw out a record number of Democrats from Congress and state governments across the country. If the Republicans who replace them don’t put our nation back on the right course, they will be thrown out as well. We won’t get a second chance to get it right.
Christine O’Donnell is a principled conservative. She deserves our support. The establishment may fight her tooth and nail. But Christine O’Donnell has already defeated them. They just don’t know it yet. Burt Lancaster said it best in the film “Sweet Smell of Success,” when his character, powerful columnist J. J. Hunsecker, tells struggling publicity agent Sydney Falco that Falco’s influence is over. “You’re dead, kid. Go get yourself buried.”