The truth that no one ever admits about moderate national candidates is that they are unelectable. This is especially true on the right because the right’s coalition needs social and fiscal conservatives so much more than they ever admit yet with moderate candidates, those are the first things to go. Much like right now, moderate republicans promise us a victory (it rhymes with Ritt Momney). But what actually happens?
George Bush I = lost;
Bob Dole = lost;
John McCain = lost.
Only when we run someone like Bush I who is at least promising to be a conservative or tea party House members, do we win. If Republicans run someone who is moderate on everything they will lose. Now the conventional wisdom challenges this assertion on this morning’s politico.com.
Politico published a story on our Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell and his rising star within the Republican party and his national presence as he takes over the Republican Governor’s Association. It notes his sharp turn from social conservative to Mr. Moderate. Before he ran for Governor, Bob McDonnell got the nomination easily because of his strong background in the Virginia legislature as a social and all-around conservative. I cheered him. I was in his corner. However, he has done almost nothing for his base since being elected. If Bob McDonnell came to me asking for my vote for U.S. Senate or any other political office I would flat out reply “no thanks.” He has drifted. He failed us on Planned Parenthood funding and at this point I can’t name one socially conservative position he has taken. In some ways this is really dangerous because uninformed voters view him as a friend they can trust when in reality he is simply fixated on becoming Vice President.
We need true believers and I am afraid McDonnell has lost his way — lost his conviction. He has been a pretty good governor, but we need more than that from our governors. Yes we need a balanced budget, yes we need better roads in Fairfax. But we also need to be pushing the conversation to the right. Look at the great work Governor Sam Brownback is doing in Kansas where he just signed into law an abortion ban after 21 weeks based off of fetal pain. The states have to lead on these issues and make Washington listen to the people. That is what we need — more conservatives with convictions. Because office holders that are simply being politicians for the sake of ambition do us no good. If someone asked me what excites me about Bob McDonnell, the only thing I could think of is that his term is ending and that our A.G. will likely be running for his seat. That is it.
Michelle Bachmann said it best. You cannot win in 2012 without social conservatives getting out to the polls. These are the people that knock on doors in the rain — the true believers. These people make phone calls after work. Moderates on the other hand, vote for the guy with the best sound bite. But make no mistake, moderates get excited about candidates that a party is excited about. Take Barack Obama for example, the left loved him and the sheeple in the middle followed. No one on the right got excited about John McCain’s straight-talk express and neither did the middle — even though he was a moderate “Maverick” candidate!
Even moderates admire conviction and passion more than they admire moderation. There is no party support for moderates! Moderate voters don’t look for the candidate with the most moderate views they look for the candidate that is exciting and engaging with the best logical ideas. Many times this may be the moderate candidate, but that correlation is coincidence more than it is causation.
I hope Bob McDonnell either gets his act together or retires to Tidewater because the last thing we need is what he and politico are selling. These conservatives who have lost their way can be more dangerous than moderate republicans that are straight about where they come from. What good is supposedly having a point of view if you aren’t willing to implement it.