Typically, when Democrats find themselves teetering on such a disastrous precipice, Republican “moderates” stumble onto the scene to provide them an avenue of escape.
It should be glaringly obvious from the widespread Democrat excommunication of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (D.-CN) that the Party is verging on political implosion. That is, of course, unless those GOP “moderates” once again ride to the rescue. It has happened before.
According to liberal orthodoxy, Lieberman has committed numerous cardinal sins, chief among which is that he possesses a sufficient shred of intellectual honesty to give credit to the Bush Administration where he deems credit to be due. Certainly this does not qualify Lieberman as a “conservative,” but any degree of honesty in his thinking puts him squarely to the right of his party’s “mainstream.” Therefore, it will not be tolerated.
Other major Democrat players have dabbled in the risky business of “moderation,” with consistently disastrous results. With hard-core liberal activism proliferating on the Internet in the past few years, the true emotions and intents of the left can no longer be cloaked or restrained behind a seemingly benign party façade.
Thus, those who stray from the liberal “reservation,” even to a slight degree, are immediately branded as traitors and publicly maligned for their heresy. No less pivotal a Democrat than Hillary Clinton has had to learn this lesson the hard way.
At more than one liberal gathering in recent months, Hillary has been jeered and heckled by the crowds for her infidelity to their demands for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Seeking to convince mainstream America that she is not of the “cut and run” crowd, Senator Clinton attempted to stake out a policy position that neither supports the President nor abandons the war on terror. But among liberal hard-liners, such posturing will not fly.
Rather, they insist that the party adopt an inflexibly left-wing stance that calls for retreat and invariably condemns America while ignoring any flaw or threat on the part of its enemies. Such was the template that undergirded American leftists throughout the Cold War, and they have no intention of abandoning it now.
Yet seasoned Democrat politicians, though no less sympathetic to the causes and loyalties of the hard-left, nevertheless see a need to appear somewhat temperate in order to retain the support of a sufficient number of Americans necessary to win elections.
As a result, observant citizens have been treated to an entertaining, albeit ineffective “balancing act” by high-profile Democrats, whereby they seek to advance the liberal party line while hopefully not appearing to be out of touch with traditional America. Since the advent of the alternative media, the ploy has not worked. Yet they remain mired in this failed strategy for lack of any reasonable alternative.
Fortunately for them, the situation is far from hopeless. Typically, when Democrats find themselves teetering on such a disastrous precipice, Republican “moderates” stumble onto the scene to provide them an avenue of escape.
Primarily, as Democrats finally recognize the necessity to move to the “right” in order to gain wider appeal, clueless Republican hacks misinterpret the action, assuming instead that the most advantageous position is in the political “center.” Ultimately, the “me too” wing of the GOP attempts to counter this Democrat tactic by pressing their party to do likewise, which results in a leftward shift among the Republicans.
Such unprincipled political posturing seems reasonable to those whose entire world exists within the boundaries of the Beltway. But to real America, the resultant “moderation” of the party is thoroughly dispiriting. Ultimately, irrespective of electoral gains or losses, Democrats retain an inordinate control of the agenda.
Already, grassroots conservatives are becoming aware of a disturbing movement within the GOP to foist a more “centrist” presidential candidate on them in ‘08. Two of the biggest names being floated are former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and Arizona Senator John McCain.
Despite the hopes of those consummate pragmatists of the Republican “inner circle,” the nomination of either would lead to electoral disaster. Hardly appealing to a “wider following” as hoped for by party strategists, the elements of liberalism embraced by McCain, Guiliani, and their type are as appealing of a mix as a few drops of dishwater added to the Perrier.
Similarly, on a host of issues from immigration to pork barrel spending, the track record of Congressional and Senate Republicans, along with the President, has hardly been something to inspire conservatives.
It has always been counterproductive to attempt to defeat liberals by being like them. And it is inarguably wrong to adopt the basic tenets of liberalism under the assumption that such things are actually good for America.
A far more courageous and principled approach would be for the GOP to firmly anchor itself in conservative principle, and make no apologies for doing so. Thus, it would establish a standard that no pandering Democrat could credibly mimic.
The Democrat Party is desperately flailing as it pursues the unfathomable task of establishing an agenda that will pacify its radical base while appealing to the American mainstream. Liberalism is in retreat.
This is no time to allow Republican “moderates” to hijack the Party and take it down a path that follows the American left into oblivion.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.