David Frum wrote the most asinine piece in The Atlantic. He asks when will the Republican leadership fight back? One would think he was talking about fighting back against Democrats, but no he was talking about their favorite bloodsport fighting back against the “extreme elements” in the Republican Party. Which is really the majority of the party’s base. Wow, what a winning strategy.
Eric Cantor tried to appease Republican radicals. They turned on him anyway.
John Boehner has tried to resist them. They just overwhelmed him.
Mitt Romney tried to join them—and in doing so fastened onto his party the platform that lost the presidential election of 2012.
At some point, Republican leaders must recognize that they have a fight on their hands whether they like it or not. If they refuse to join that fight, they will be devoured anyway. If they surrender, they condemn the whole conservative project in America to the destructive leadership of fanatics (and the cynics who make their living by duping fanatics).
This lesson keeps being administered. Republican leaders repeatedly refuse to learn.
Cantor certainly had some good votes, but as Erick Erickson aptly noted this week his problem was he was too focused on representing K Street than his constituents. His voting record went south and he got the boot. Why should Republicans in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District vote for somebody who stopped representing them?
Speaker John Boehner lacks leadership ability, and has conceded way too much. A strong Republican-led House is the only thing stopping the train wreck of the Obama administration from stopping even more of its harmful agenda. We need leadership who will stick to their principles, draw a line in the sand. There is differing opinions on where that line should be… fine, find it and stick to it.
Mitt Romney tried to become one of us? He never was! Mr. Severely Conservative was an “etch-a-sketch” candidate who did not earn the trust of the base and so a lot of the base stayed home. And let’s be clear, Mitt Romney lost the election, not the Republican platform.
It is misguided to think Republican leadership haven’t been engaged in a fight. They’ve been fighting their base for quite awhile, and the base is now fighting back. We see it when they refuse to support conservative candidates in general elections, and seem more concerned about fighting the Tea Party than they are fighting Democrats.
Then Frum says we need leader the GOP needs to model is not Ronald Reagan, but Tony Blair. Tony Blair? Why? Because he fought off the more extreme elements in his party. If we want GOP leaders to model any UK Prime Minister let’s look at Margaret Thatcher.
The Iron Lady had a spine, and that is what the Republican leadership needs to grow.
The key for victory for Republicans is to stand on conservative principles and stop fighting against the people whose support they need to win. They need to fight liberalism not with action, not talk, but they keep giving away the farm. They keep caving. That’s what we’re tired of. Everyone knows we are not going to get a conservative agenda out of Washington right now. But what we would like to see is Republicans forcing the Democrats to come to the right rather than Republicans continually sliding to the left.
They need to first do no harm. Stop the bleeding.
Let’s see some real spending cuts now instead of increasing spending at a slower rate. Balance the budget, force the Senate to put forth a budget instead passing never ending extensions. Demand a secure border before discussing immigration reform. Those are some things Republican leaders can do to start with.
But they have to stop listening to the K Street consultant class and start listening to their constituents. Trust can’t be demanded, it must be earned. Republican leadership can’t afford to live in Frum’s fantasy. They must wake up to reality and come to understand and respect their constituents and the base of their party once again.