Thursday, January 3, 2008


I sent the following to members of a conservative group on Yahoo. A member of the group was complaining that Nancy Pelosi and friends had bascially gutted spending for the Border Fence designed to keep out illegal immigrants. My response speaks to the current situation, where single-issue conservatives are doing great damage to the conservative cause.

I have been talking on here [in this group] about the practical politics -- the kind that ends in electing good (not necessarily great) people to Congress and passing good (not great) legislation. My impression is that I'm talking to myself.

In 2006, the American people (a large majority of them) voted for candidates who opposed border security and voted against candidates (e.g., George Allen, Rick Santorum) who supported border security. That is called a political reality.

Now, we're reaping the fruits of the 2006 disaster. The Democrats would not be doing what they are if they didn't feel 2008 will be a bigger disaster for Republicans. They're raising twice as much money as we are, which is a very ominous development.

Many of my fellow conservatives have reacted to the situation I described by attacking . . . Republicans! People like John Kyl and Lindsay Graham and John McCain are not the problem. That is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

In many states (see Santorum mention above) opposition to illegals is NOT a winning issue. In 2006, it wasn't even a winning issue in border states, where the Dems did very well. No Democrat who opposed the fence was defeated in a re-election bid. NONE.

The prevalent notion in this group seems to be that Republicans got beaten becaus4 they weren't "conservative" enough. There is no evidence that point of view is correct.
The way you win on issues is NOT by attacking your political friends. It is by building coaltions of like-minded citizens. It is also by contributing to conservative candidates, something the Republican base has NOT done.

As long as Republicans continue shooting the (Republican) wounded things will go from bad to worse. Ideological fantasies are not going to repair an awful situation.

We conservatives have to stop blustering. We need to wake up and wise up. Otherwise we will have no real say in what our government does.

steve maloney


SJ Reidhead said...

Funny how great minds think alike. I've been working on a Pink Flamingo post for two days documenting the same subject.

SJ Reidhead
The Pink Flamingo

Sockless Joe said...

(1) This is a primary. We're supposed to discuss who we want to put forward. Telling staunch conservatives to pick a mediocre-at-best candidate on the hope that such a person might persuade independents with their wishy-washiness sounds like the Kerry2004 plan. The Republican primary voters are more strategic than you give us credit for, witness Specter 2004. (Oh, and look how we've been rewarded for that!) Your Yahoo group is almost certainly not representative of the GOP electorate.

(1b) Within the context of strategic primary voting, just how many major issues must a candidate botch before he is disqualified?

(2) McCain has committed several sins against the party that do not end with immigration. (And look how he's come around on that issue!) I might overlook McCain's immigration position if I didn't hate several other of his positions, the most significant of which is campaign finance regulation. I'd still vote for him in the general election in a heartbeat given the opposition.

(3) Do you really think Santorum's problem (or Allen's) was border security?!