Most of my conservative compatriots are hanging with conservative politicians in South Carolina right now. I have family commitments keeping me away from the shindig but my mind is in Charleston--for a few moments anyway.
The conservative movement and the interrelated Tea Party Movement have been doing serious grunt work searching for, grooming, training and supporting mostly Republican candidates with strong economic and fiscally conservative credentials.
There's no time to get tired.
Everyone from Moody's to the Chinese know that America needs to cut back it's profligate spending. Big government Republicans, and even many Tea Party Republicans have trouble with this concept when the rubber meets the road.
Exhibit "A": Texas. Governor Perry had to threaten vetos and actually veto, a Texas Congress that is overwhelmingly Republican. Even some Tea Party candidates folded like cheap suits when the pressure of big interest groups or party leadership came to bear. It was a monumental struggle to get a super majority to NOT raid the rainy-day fund and NOT increase taxes. In Texas. That should send shivers down the spines of every fiscal conservative nationwide.
This happened in Arkansas, too. Two Arkansas Republicans (ostensible Tea Party types), Rep. Lane Jean of Magnolia and Rep. Matthew Shepherd of El Dorado, want to run nationally for the U.S. Congress to fill Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross' vacated positions. Both of these state representatives raised taxes. It's convenient to be against increasing taxes when one runs for office. Tougher, when faced with an actual budget with other people's money.
Just a thought: If you can't take the political pressure at the state level, you're going to be a big ole pushover at the national level.
In Texas, there are some principled conservatives, though. At the Redstate Gathering, Michael Williams who is running for the House and Ted Cruz who is running for the Senate will both be speaking. They're good conservatives.
In Arkansas, an Army reservist, Harvard law grad Tom Cotton runs for Mike Ross' seat.
In Florida, Adam Hasner runs for the Senate.
And then, there's the dreaded contested primaries where a big government Republican sits in a seat where a conservative should be. Those races are uncomfortable. They are tense. But they are necessary.
Neither the House nor the Senate have enough solid conservatives yet with the majorities to push through fiscally sane economic policy that would save a safety net for future generations while cutting the fat.
The Democrats will demagogue all the way to economic oblivion. They should be ignored--and so should big government Republicans.
Conservatives and Tea Partiers can't get tired now. In some ways, the real fight has just begun. We have a good start, but not enough votes to get the job done.
The House is vital because Republican leadership need to realize that the Tea Party wave was not an aberration. The Senate just needs a solid majority of solid fiscal conservatives.
We have just over a year until the election. In the meantime, there are going to be some bloody primaries. It's a time for choosing good candidates. We must choose wisely.