In the interests of full disclosure; a lot of my diaries begin with a reply to a Diary written by someone which becomes so long, with so many points that I move it and change it to become a full fledged essay. No one has elicited these replies from me more than Mike (gamecock) DeVine. As such, This Diary begins as a reply to his most recent post, “Cultural Battles Lost Despite, Not Because Of, Dobson And Reagan”
In particular, I was in the process of typing a reply agreeing with Mike’s basic premise in this statement:
Had other conservatives helped both before and after Dobson and Reagan entered the fray, and had the political spine to fire bureaucrats and “Bork” their judges been present (albeit based not on personal smears, but rather via objections to the unconstitutional Oath violating “living Constitution” interpretation mode), we would have fared better in the culture wars.
1994 came as a result of a systematic propaganda attack on churches and Christians by the Clinton Administration. There was a coalition that formed under the Republican banner between Second Amendment proponents, Christian Conservatives, property rights advocates, over taxed small business owners, First Amendment proponents etc. etc. who by and large are disinterested in politics and would rather be left alone to pursue their lives and exorcise their GOD given rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, (or better, "Property"). This was/is a disparate group who would be content to let Washington play its games so long as it left them alone and would have no use for each other and live by the axiom "live and let live". As such, and as we all know, the Republican Party gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 20 years and the Senate for only the second time in the same period.
Then came the formation of the RMSP whose stated goals were to slow down and reverse the "rightward lurch" represented by the sweeping Republican victories of that election.
Never mind those victories came from championing basic conservative principles, Conservative Judeo Christian principles, property rights, fiscal discipline, an end to judicial tyranny, opposing gun control, funding for organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts and their funding for anti-Christian art projects, opposing the radical sex education agenda of Clinton’s Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, opposing the radical environmentalists agenda and on and on.
The RMSP and their ilk have worked tirelessly from then on to bring our Party back to the North Eastern Establishment, Rockefeller Republican position of big government anti SoCon, Country Club (or whatever you wish to call it), Republicanism. The policies of Rockefeller, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and so on.
What followed was a 10 year period where the Republican Party quietly worked to expand their power by expanding the very government they had promised to not only limit…but roll back in 1994. A period when all the groups who had worked so hard to get Republicans in a position to effect the change these groups wanted in order to get Big Brother off their backs, out of their way, and out of their lives were ignored and given the back of the Republican Leadership’s hands.to be fair...there were a lot of us who saw this happening but shrugged our shoulders because it was our guys doind it...but that's what happened none the less.
Of course the do nothing moderate leadership of the Party had their excuse. We don’t have A Republican President until 2000 when the excuse became the lack of Republican Control in the Senate, (Never mind the deal cut by Trent Lot to “Share Power with the Democrats despite having the votes to send Herr Daschle packing).
Finally comes the 2004 elections When W decided he'd run a base election. The message was on winning the War on Terror, the dangers of big government and ending judicial tyranny. We turned out Churches and SoCons by emphasizing the need for Conservative Justices who look to the original intent of the founders in forming their opinions on Constitutional Law. Values Voters, property rights advocates, fiscal conservatives and hawks on the War on Terror set to work turning out the Republican base. There were events like Justice Sunday I, II, and III that educated Conservative Christians on the opportunity presented by the 2004 elections to forward the goals of Liberty by doing something that had never been done before. No Party in history so far as I know had ever won a second term for a President while simultaneously expanding the Party majorities in both houses of Congress. Not only that; Republicans had not had control of all three branches of government in 70 years. I don’t think anyone can legitimately state that 2004 was anything but a base election and that an appeal to SoCons and values voters. And I can’t see anyone disputing the result.
So, what was that result and the reaction of the RMSP and other “Moderates” in the Party?
I’ll never forget my shock at the kneejerk reaction of the usual suspects to those sweeping victories. At the very time that the press was full of stories about how the Democrats had lost in such a stunning way because they had so alienated “Values Voters” and would have to develop strategies to bring those voters back into the Democrat fold, our “Moderates” were engaged in a discussion on how terrible this was for the nation and how we were alienating the great middle in this country by allowing the “Extreme Right Wing” to have such influence within the Party.
As Ram Emanuel and George Sorros were out working to recruit social conservative candidates to challenge Republicans in Red States, John McCain, Tom Davis, Charlie Bass, John Danforth, and other left wing Republicans were busy using the RMSP to coordinate with groups like:
- Christy Todd Whitman’s Its My Party Too, (Now the Republican Leadership Conference)
- Republicans for Choice,
- Log Cabin Republicans
- The Freedom Project
- The RIPON Society
- Green GOP
- The Human Rights Campaign
- Humane USA PAC
- Leadership Encouraging Excellence PAC
- New America Foundation
- Planned Parenthood Republicans for Choice
- Rely On Your Beliefs
- Republicans for Environmental Protection America
- Republican Majority for Choice
- Republican Reformation/Republicans who care
- Republican Youth Majority
- Republicans for Environmental Protection
- Wish List
- Tuesday Group
- Senate Centrist Coalition
And others I'll be outing as I find them.
the last two, The Tuesday Group PAC and the Senate Centrist Coalition are the groups in the House and Senate formed by Republican Members elected to those bodies who meet on a weekly basis to strategize how they are going to work to thwart the Republican Caucus in the House and Senate and help the Democrats advance their “Moderate agenda! They also work with the RMSP and use their PACs to support liberal candidates to run as Republicans and force the Caucus leftward.
These groups worked for two years to help the Democrats stall W’s judicial nominees, pass the leftist environmental agenda and block drilling in ANWR. They worked to push the caucus leftward and supported every big government spending bill that came along. They were helped, of course, by President Bush refusing to use his veto pen since he didn’t need SoCons and Fiscal Conservatives to vote for him any more.
They endlessly attacked the Social Conservatives who turned out to make history in 2004. We’ve had Charles Grassley investigating Christian Ministries and trying to enforce subpoenas of Christian organization’s financial records in a fishing expedition to discredit and destroy those ministries with no probable cause and no allegations that any crimes had been committed what so ever. We’ve had the IRS sending out letters sent to pastors under the Bush administration threatening pastors who dare to tell the truth about what we face as a nation from the pulpit. We’ve had Republican Leaders attack us endlessly browbeating us to shut up and get in line because "we need to expand the tent" and attract "moderates and independents". We've been called "Purists" and "Jihadists" for daring to think the Party should stand for something and shouldn't promise the electorate anything they have no intention of delivering.
We had the future standard bearer for the Party putting his name on the most anti Constitutional attack on the first Amendment in history passed by a Republican Congress and Signed by a Republican President which was opposed by the conservatives in Congress passed by these “Moderates” in league with the big government loving Democrats. As a result of that, we’ve had the SEC fining conservative groups for funding candidates, get out the vote drives, voter education initiatives, and even going so far as to bring charges on a film company for advertising a documentary they had created because it was supposedly an “In Kind” contribution and was about a Democrat candidate for POTUS. The result? 2006 when we lost it all!
Then there is the 2008 election. Starting with the Primaries we were presented with an openly social liberal candidate from NY, A Jonny come lately Governor from Mass with a 12 year record as a social liberal who magically converted to the social conservative side within months of announcing his candidacy and insisted he was a fiscal conservative despite bragging about his socialist health care system in Mass and promising a big government bailout of Detroit. Let’s not forget a socially conservative Governor who never saw a big government program he didn’t love and was fond of taxing the citizens of Arkansas to pay for it.
Finally, after 2 years of the party tearing itself apart because of candidates who did not represent all the coalitions that won in 1994 and 2004, we end up nominating everyone’s last choice in the primaries and the enemy of anything conservative in the Republican Party. A War hero who destroyed the First Amendment, Advocated gun control legislation gave the Democrats cover in filibustering Bush’s Judicial Nominees, A member of the RMSP and the Ripon Society and 2007 recipient of the RMSP Chaffee Award, and on and on. We watched in horrer as he and our representatives raced to pass a $350 Billion Farm bill, (I wish we could go back to the days when they were only spending $350 Billion), and then a $750 Billion TARP Bill.
Again, I’ve gone through all this to reply to my friend Mike (Gamcock) Devine’s excellent post on whether we’ve lost the Culture Wars. I encourage all here to click the link and read his post. You won’t be disappointed.
His remark which I replied to above is the money quote. We've not lost the Culture war because we fought it and lost...1994 and 2004 were prime examples of that. Those two elections were largely driven from the bottom up by social Conservatives and the grass roots movement the Ivy League crowd finds so distasteful.
I would add one other point before closing this. It’s time we as a party stopped referring to the Culture Wars as if it has meaning for Christian Conservatives only. The term "Culture Wars" IMHO refers to and effects every aspect of conservatism. The debate as to whether the Government has a right to seize property without just compensation is a cultural issue. The debate whether the Federal Government has the power to force state and local governments to take bailout or stimulus money so the Federal Government can use receipt of those funds as a pretext to dictate to those state and local governments what they will do is a social and cultural issue. Whether the Federal Government can take away your right to posses and bear arms is a cultural issue. Name the issue, excess spending, quotas in hiring, abortion on demand, confiscatory taxation, welfare and every single issue we’re dealing with that calls into question our Constitutional rights and responsibilities and involves the Federal Government infringing on those rights and liberties is a “Cultural” issue. It’s high time to come to the realization that we are cultural conservatives on our pet issues whatever faction we belong to and that when one aspect or faction of the conservative movement is attacked, we are all being attacked.
We need to realize as one faction loses ground…the enemy of our republic penetrates deep enough to flank the other wings of the party and gains the field upon which we fight. I’ll surprise some of you by saying we need each faction and even the RMSP and their allies but we can not tolerate them when they work against us and if they refuse to be team players…in which case they must be sent packing!
We’ve lost battles in the culture wars because our leadership refuses to take the field of battle. We’ve lost ground because as in “Brave Heart”, our Lords have marched us onto the field of battle and used us for their own self aggrandizement and as a way to live comfortably in the power they’ve amassed for themselves at our expense. All this only to ride off the field at the crucial moment when the battle is at it’s apex and their participation is all that’s needed in a final push to win the victory.
We win when we fight on our ground and stand on conservative principles in the culture wars! When we compromise we lose! We can’t win if we don’t fight and we’ll never fight till we’ve thrown the bums out and replaced them with George Washingrons, US Grant’s, William T Shermans, George S Pattons and "I SHALL RETURN" MacArthur’s who know that in a fight like we are engaged in, there is no alternative but to fight. There is no substitute for victory. That the very existence of our constitutional republic and the survival of our liberties depend on taking the field of battle, grabbing our ideological enemies by the throat and not letting them go until their breath is taken from them finally and irreversibly.
We will not preserve this “last great hope of mankind on earth” until we’ve destroyed our ideological enemies completely and utterly and refuse to allow them one inch of ground! We shouldn’t be focusing on how we hold the line or what we need to do to slow them down. We shouldn't tolerrate those who would appease them in the name of bipartisanship and expanding the big tent. We need to finall all make up our minds that each compromise we allow with our enemy brings us one step closer to the chains of bondage and WE MUST NOT QUIT WITOUT A FIGHT!!! We need to finally realize that this is a fight to the death and there is no substitute for the total destruction and utter annihilation of our enemies both inside and outside the party!
That’s the lesson of Reagan vs the Soviet Union. That’s the lesson to be learned from 1980, 1994, and 2004. That's the lesson going back to WWII when Chamberlain tried to reason with the unreasonable and traded away an entire people and an entire nation without a shot being fired in the name of "peace in our time". Lest we all forget...the appeasement crowd led by Neville Chamberlin were still negotiating with Hitler and offering deals after he had destroyed Poland and finally resigned after the Blitzkrieg was unleashed upon France the Betherlands and Belgium. Let’s stop apologizing for who we are and stop supporting those who insist on apologizing for us! and above all...let's stop appeasing the left and the MSM!
In short…Right on Mike…let’s get to work and hold our leaders to account!