Nationally and statewide, conservatives have been like spurned lovers. Like the wife who once proved useful in maintaining a home base for a disinterested spouse whose true passions lay elsewhere, restive conservatives who demanded more love and attention have been turned out of the house and in some case issued a divorce decree.
Michael Filozof documents the repudiation of the conservatives and their agenda in his excellent article (found in the American Thinker) entitled, “Is the Republican Party Finished?”
Filozof points out the lame-duck session proved the Republican Party once again does not represent the interests and passionate concerns of conservatives--even after the conservative tsunami of the 2010 elections. For conservatives, the results of the lame-duck session are stomach turning.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spectacularly failed to hold his caucus together to even delay ratification of the START treaty until the 112th Congress is seated in January. Republican leftists Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski sided with Democrats to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, forcing the gay agenda from the streets of San Francisco right into the U.S. Marine Corps. Congressional Republicans agreed to cut FICA taxes for Social Security (which is underfunded already) and expand the Democratic Party's welfare state constituency by extending unemployment benefits -- in exchange for maintaining current tax rates for a paltry two years. The deal will add billions to the deficit. Tea Party darling Scott Brown, mocked by Obama for driving a truck in his insurgent 2009 campaign in which he stole "Ted Kennedy's seat" from the Democrats, voted for Obama's agenda on all of these issues.”
Why was there such a debacle in view of the fact all Republicans knew the voters’ feelings demonstrated by the results of the 2010 election?
First, Filozov writes, Democrats are Machiavillian. They know how to exercise power ruthlessly and they did so; whereas Republicans have not ruthlessly pushed their agenda since the time of Henry Cabot Lodge.
Why don’t Republicans hotly pursue their agenda? It’s because they don’t have one, at least not a conservative one that is different from the Democrats.
Part of the reason for a lack of an agenda which incites passion and unity, he continues, is that “conservatives today are essentially in the same position that the radical Left was in back in the Sixties.” The “establishment” was essentially still conservative. “The radicals found themselves with nowhere to go but the streets. Today’s “Establishment” is as uniformly leftist, and conservatives are as unwelcome in the halls of power today as the radical Left was 45 years ago.”
The result of the left Establishment’s control of institutions is that Republicans, at least in many respects, began to ape leftist establishment values, becoming part of and enablers of the establishment’s values.
In brief, Republicans lost their first love and became lukewarm.
So what do conservatives do?
In order to move forward, Filozov continues, conservatives [such as the Tea Partiers, among others] are going to have to “begin in the streets, capture a political party and convert it to their agenda, and follow up in the courts when they lost elections.
“Even more importantly, conservatives are going to have to learn to exploit national crises to advance their agenda.” [Never let a crisis go to waste!]
Not that there aren’t or won’t be plenty of crises. There’s a virtual banquet, including the national debt, the dollar, inflation, nuclear proliferation, illegal immigration, and on and on.
If the Republican establishment doesn’t woo back and engage conservatives by espousing conservative alternatives, they are doomed.
Conservatives will divorce the establishment just as the Left divorced the establishment during the Sixties.
That is because the restlessness of conservatives, who are thus far at least somewhat willing to live under the same roof as moderates within the party in the hopes they will be listened to and enabled to share power, will turn to the establishing of a third party.
In other words, conservatives will divorce the establishment just as the Left divorced the establishment during the Sixties.
Establishment intransigence will not win back conservatives; nor will vague promises that conservatives’ concerns will be addressed in the vague and indeterminate future woo back the disaffected ranks.
The observations above are applicable to the Republican Party in Delaware, for what is true nationally is true locally as well.
The Delaware GOP, if it is to survive, much less present alternatives to the current Democrat agenda, will die if it continues aping and wooing Democrats while repudiating conservatives within its ranks, for disaffected conservatives will not continue to support a party which has promised much, taken much and delivered little to the conservative partners it has relied on for votes and support. Conservatives will not continue to support an organization which has too often and not so subtly displayed a “Conservatives Not Welcome” sign in the Republican house. In brief, conservatives will not continue a marriage of convenience with a party which often displays hostility almost as severe as the Democrat establishment.
So there it is.
The Delaware GOP has to reconcile, learn to love and to share the household with a spouse it fell out of love with a long time ago. And the conservative spouse must learn to start heeding and responding to overtures when and if given.
Is it possible?
I think so. I hope so. I pray so.
Otherwise, a divorce is inevitable.