Reclaiming the Party: Part III
As you may know, WordPress alerts me every time some other site links to mine. Some of you exploring types may have already visited the blog The Pink Flamingo as a result of the recent comment. Although neither my blog nor myself are mentioned specifically by name, you will find a link to my work in the line “the far right nut-jobs hate him”. So what is my great sin that causes the author of the Flamingo to label me like that? My criticism of Senator Lindsey Graham. Then again, most of the radio and TV talk show pundits dislike Graham as the writer points out including: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Now does agreeing with these famous folks automatically make me right? Certainly not, but it does clearly illustrate that displeasure with Graham is widespread. Going on, The Flamingo claims that I dislike the Senator primarily for being “honorable and courageous” First of all; I can’t really speak about Lindsey’s honor. Maybe he is honorable (and I certainly hope he is), or then again he might not be. However, being a political opponent of his does not require me to demonize him. Just because I disagree with much of his politics does not automatically mean that I think he is dishonorable. Is he courageous? Again I can’t say for certain though it must take a good bit of courage to face the angry crowds awaiting the Senator back home in South Carolina. Despite the total political assignation rampant in today’s society, character attacks and political sparring can be mutuality exclusive. On the other hand, this article labels ideologues such as myself as “irrational, demigod with delusions of grandeur, a mentally unstable creep who thinks he is big enough now to destroy the GOP”, “hates Republicans”, “nasty little libertarian nut-job”, and “doesn’t believe in defending our country”.
But let’s change topics and move north to the special election in the 23rd New York district. Due to the promotion of former Rep. McHugh, that district is holding a special election to fill his seat. As in most races, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have their nominees, but there is a twist. I’ve said in the past that a Northern Republican is simply a Southern Democrat. Given their increased tendencies for social liberalism and government expansion, their positions are often radically different from Virginia Republicans. Such is the case with the Republican candidate in 23, Dierdre Scozzafava. She supports abortion, gay marriage, the stimulus package, bank bailouts, and higher taxes.
Now besides the two major parties, New York politics also has the Conservative and Liberal Parties. As their names indicate, these parties support either conservative or liberal candidates or positions. Although these parties do support the major party candidates, they break with them when the choices are deemed insufficiently conservative or liberal. As Scozzafava is undeniably liberal, it should come as no surprise that the Conservatives have chosen their own nominee, Doug Hoffman. Ah, but here is where the plot thickens. As a conservative Republican, does one support Scozzafava, the establishment Republican nominee or Hoffman, the more conservative candidate? Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. King (NY-3) have endorsed Scozzafava. RNC Chairman Michael Steele has also come out in support of her. For Hoffman we have a laundry list including: Governor Perry, Governor Pawlenty, Senator DeMint, Rep. Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh to name the most prominent ones. And just yesterday, Mitt Romney chose not to endorse any candidate, a clear slight of the GOP nominee. For anyone who’s read anything on this blog, I don’t have to tell you where I stand.
Although the race in New York will not settle the feud between conservative and liberal Republicans, it, just as the case with Lindsey Graham, demonstrates the growing rift between the so-called establishment party vs. the grassroots base. Can a party exist without principles? Can principles be successful if not channeled through a party? Are we truly “Republican for a reason” as the RPV slogan goes? In order to avoid splitting the party and our own increasing marginalization, conservatives must stand strong. To twist a quote from Gingrich, we have to simply, calmly, methodically reassert American conservatism. Liberty, limited government, personal responsibility, these are our principles. Does embracing these values and expecting our leaders to do likewise make me a “right wing nut-job”? If so, so be it! I’m not ashamed to say that I love our country and the Republican Party far too much to let it be devoured by the establishment jackals. Now where do you stand?
Update: Scozzafava has bowed out of the race!