There has been much ink spilled and bytes consumed in the past week over that tea party letter asking Republicans to, in effect, shut up about social issues. This is a problem that both sides have had in the past.
And let's be clear here, it is not that these groups wants social issues ignored. They just want socially conservative issues ignored. They're cool with repealing don't ask, don't tell — just ignore the judiciary usurping the role of the people or their legislatures dealing with gay marriage.
Some social conservatives have wanted federal government involvement in their issues at the expense of fiscal integrity and some fiscal guys have wanted government involvement in their issues while ignoring life, gay marriage, etc.
As Baseball Crank noted the other day, there is more than one "I" in coalition. Both sides must work together as best they can and it is inappropriate for either side to want to shut up the other side.
The fact is I completely agree with Jim DeMint. You cannot be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative and vice versa. The libertine sensibilities of many a fiscal libertarian will lead the country to social ruin causing government spending to bail out society and the spend-thrift nature of many Republican pro-life statists will lead the country to bankruptcy.
As a Christian, I recognize that the smallest possible government is in my best interest because all men are sinners and the less of them in charge of me the better off I will be. I just wish the secularists would understand that no society can survive undermining the traditional several thousand year old preference for the heterosexual nuclear family and life.
Now, I know many of you disagree with that and I cannot persuade you otherwise, but I do think there is common ground in this disagreement. It goes back to the idea of federalism, recognizing it no longer exists, and committing to restore it.
Our founders did not intend, nor did any governing coalition or black robed master at the Supreme Court intend, for this nation to have a national common morality. Unfortunately, in the twentieth-century our black robed masters decided over time that we must.
Ideally in this country, if you want gay marriage and abortion in California you should be able to have it. If I want real marriage and no abortion in Georgia I should be able to have it. And ultimately when California collapses in on itself those of us who upheld the nuclear family can fight over the leftover land.
That is the way the country was designed and intended. The thugocrats at the Supreme Court decided they had a better idea and now you and I must both adhere to a common morality, which over time has favored a secular society of libertine morality, which many of us believe will ultimately cause the destruction of our society. But that's neither here nor there.
What is here is that whether you are for fiscal or social issues, neither side can afford to shut up when the folks in Washington insist that federalism is out and black robed thuggery and bureaucratic fiat are in.
it is both naive and ridiculous for any group on the right — and by the way more and more surveys are showing that tea party members are rather socially conservative — to tell social conservatives to shut up when ultimately social conservatives have been, by black robed tyrants, forced against their will to fight at the federal level instead of the state level.
Certainly, given the times we are in, fiscal issues are of paramount importance. But many of us remain concerned about the daily slaughter of children in this country as well as the constant undermining of real marriage and the nuclear family. And just as you and I both know that the nation cannot survive our profligate spending, I also know our national cannot survive the destruction over a few decades of the social structure put in place over several thousand years, ordained in the sacred texts of major religions, and shown throughout history to provide the most stability in society.
So we're forced to work together as a coalition with a large swath of common ground. But for those of you who ultimately care not one whit about social issues, you are going to need to join those of us who do and fight like hell to restore federalism instead of just saying let's have it without any recognition of the fact that we no longer do have it.
UPDATE: I have to say, having posted this now a couple of hours ago, there is a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the libertarian set. Let me put this another way, saying "no taxpayer funded abortion and weed for everyone" is all well and good until it happens. Then the rest of society is forced to pay to pick up the pieces of the potheads. Therefore, you have much more government in the end.
Likewise, saying "no taxpayer funding of abortion, but hands off my uterus" sounds terrific (for some), but for the fact that the issue should be handled at the state level and we are forced to deal with it at a national level. So yeah, I guess you can be a social liberal at the state level, but it seems pretty damn hard at the federal level to take that position with all of the implications therein.
And that leads me to the final point — in elected politics the "fiscally conservative social liberal" is as real as a unicorn.