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Dash of Pepper

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The GOP should not become Democrat Lite
The Gazette Staff
Conservative Republicans are being bombarded by a daily drumbeat about the need to "reform" the party in order to rebuild. These voices, calling themselves "reformers" are, in reality, old line moderates, usually in the northeast who never met a conservative idea that they like and only lent grudging support to the likes of Ronald Reagan. They largely gave George W. a pass because he spoke a language they love, called "compassionate conservatism."
Conservatives need to get on top of a hill somewhere and yell out at these people: "Conservatives didn't lose the election. The only conservative running was Sarah Palin!"
Conservative ideas didn't lose either. How did Obama win? By promising a tax cut, for Pete's Sake. But this is still a fifty-fifty nation.
The game was lost, yes partly because of the economy, but also because John McCain was a terrible candidate. Platform speeches just aren't his forte. The people running his campaign were also terrible. They mishandled Sarah and did not take full advantage of her natural political talent. (More on that whole mess in a later column.)
They ran away from the Rev. Wright hate speech issue. That's another hallmark of the old Northeast moderates: "We must be polite and civil even when the other side hits us over the head with a two-by-four." Kinder, gentler doesn't work in a blood fight and politics is a blood sport, not a national tea party.
The Obama campaign, going back on his promise to use public funding, and flush with cash, bombarded the airwaves in the battleground states. Meanwhile, McCain, ironically the champion of that dreadful piece of legislation called campaign finance reform (McCain/Feingold act), found himself without a voice. Even so, in terms of the popular vote totals, Obama's win was not a landslide. Getting the vote out effectively in the battleground states gave him the electoral votes he needed.
When a New York Times so-called ‘conservative' pundit starts advising that the Republican Party broaden its reach and head more to the middle, I say run for the hills. Doesn't he recall we just tried exactly that in the past election and got clobbered?
What these people are really saying is that the GOP should become Democrat Lite, as if core beliefs don't matter. The great Margaret Thatcher once said that compromise indicates a lack of leadership. (Gee, I still miss Maggie!)
Yes, the Republicans need fresh faces and new voices. But if they return to the tepid Republicanism of the 60s and 70s, they will spend the next 20 years in the wilderness.
I hope when all this silly navel-gazing finally ends, the true conservatives voices will win the day. A Palin-Jindal ticket sounds good to me.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 14:23  

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