The Bright Line
By Bruce Walker
February 28, 2011
After the election of Obama many conservatives saw little reason to support the Republican Party. McCain was only the most recent and perhaps the most obnoxious Republican nominee to treat conservatives like pariahs. Since the Great Depression, Republicans had only nominated two conservatives to be president, Goldwater and Reagan. Before Phyllis Schafly wrote her stirring book, A Choice Not an Echo, in 1964, Republicans had nominated RINOs at seven straight conventions. How bad has it been? Since 1920, two Republican presidents, Eisenhower and Hoover, had actually been courted by Democrats to be their party’s presidential nominee. 1940 Republican Party nominee Wendell Willkie had supported FDR as a delegate to the Democrat party’s 1932 convention. The pox of RINOs is not new.
After 2008 conservatives wanted a bright, clear line of principles. On one side put those who wish America to slide into a stupor of secular welfare statism, whether the collapse falls from Marxist revolution or Fabian devolution. On the other side, let us have our champions: those who blow the trumpet of liberty, follow the light of Providence - those who grasp and love the miracle of America and know the wellsprings of its greatness.
Our foe: the chameleon politician, the mendacious media, the entrenched bureaucrat in the vast organs of Leftism, and the cadres of such hate that they dare not speak it want the lines blurred. They exhort moderation, compromise, pragmatism, globalism, social justice and other bland flavors of Jell-O. They lust, however, for power, for destruction, and for fear. They need empty suits – John McCain, Charlie Crist and such – as phony standard bearers of an imaginary political opponent.
We cannot subsist on cynicism. Disdain for RINOs is ultimately a distraction. We must have the Republican Party as a vehicle to recapture our country. This means robust use of primaries and conventions, and we saw that in the 2010 campaign: everywhere a RINO ran, a true conservative contended for the nomination. Sometimes, like Rubio in Florida, we won the nomination and the general election; sometimes, like O’Donnell in Delaware, we won the nomination but lost in November. But the message to anyone listening was clear: do not lead us, but follow us. We will honor you with power and prestige, but only on condition that you hear us and that you tune out the chattering voices of the established Left. Actions define that, and so far the actions speak well of our victories. Consider the marquee issue, Obamacare.
The House leadership quickly scheduled a direct vote to repeal Obamacare. Every Republican in the House supported the bill to repeal, while every Democrat except for three voted against that bill. In the Senate, the vote against Obamacare was a procedural vote, and every Senate Republican supported repeal, while every Democrat voted against repeal except Webb, who did not vote and has announced that he will not seek re-election.
The state government opposition to Obamacare is just about as sharply divided along partisan lines. The new Republican governors in Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Maine have already, very quickly, reversed the position of their Democrat predecessors and are fighting Obamacare in the courts. Several states have moved beyond simple litigation. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Maine, Texas and Oregon have passed or are considering nullification resolutions, which would effectively determine by state legislative action that Obamacare is unconstitutional. In all of those states but Oregon, the Republicans held or gained control of the state legislature (Nebraska is nominally nonpartisan, but not really.) Republicans almost control the Oregon Legislature after massive gains in November. Republicans in state government are driving the opposition to Obamacare.
These votes are tying down Democrats in the House of Representatives and in the Senate to votes which they cannot run away from in 2012. Moreover, Obamacare votes and executive actions at the state level are tying down Democrats in state legislatures and governors’ mansions to support for socialized medicine. And, of course, every major Republican who might be the nominee opposes Obamacare, which means that the other component needed for repeal of Obamacare – and also needed to institute the first true Conservative Revolution, in addition to control of the House and a filibuster proof Senate majority – the White House, may be won.
The conservative majority of this country has always known that all we needed was an unrigged boxing match, a race without doped horses, a contest of clear ideas. If Republicans stay true to our principles, then we will have – at long last – the chance to make our land again a beacon to the world and a promise to our grandchildren.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.