Admiral David Farragut uttered those famous words at the Battle of Mobile Bay. It is his example and these fighting words that conservatives must embrace as our motto.
I admit, that as a genuine conservative, a native of Philadelphia, I embraced pragmatism. I was wrong. You see when you’re a conservative Republican in Philadelphia and you spend four years as I did trying to elect Republicans in the City of Brotherly Love, you are quite familiar with defeat. Trying to get them elected there well, it is an example of political masochism. It’s just that painful. So, you embrace anyone who just has a hope of winning because you are so tired of losing. Getting twenty five percent was considered progress. In 1994 I pulled 42% for Santorum. Unimpressed? He got 19% city wide.
I’m not trying to sound like a whiner here, but to those who have criticized the "pragmatists", I thought I’d point out that not all conservatives come from deep red states. In fact, I came from deep blue. Not liberal, just blue.
Background aside, I’m all in now because I have been reminded now of all the times the so so called "moderate" Republicans have stabbed us in the back. Let’s recap:
1.) James Jeffords: I forgot about him. He ran for re-election in 2000 and promptly became an independent eight months later and caucused with Democrats. Gavels went with him. He was a Republican from Vermont. Just take what we could get they said. We got the shaft.
2.) As a Philadelphian, I am quite familiar with Arlen Specter. When I first registered to vote in 1984, I actually registered as a Democrat. Like my parents. Like the rest of the city. Arlen was running for his 2nd term in 1986. The two Democrats in the primary was a moderate-right Auditor General named Don Bailey and then Delaware County Congressman, Bob Edgar. Had Bailey won, I would’ve voted for him over Specter, but Edgar won and he was far to the left of even Specter. So I re registered Republican and pulled the lever for Specter.
In 1992, Specter was getting heat for grilling Anita Hill, much to the delight of conservatives and the fallout from Oliver Stone’s "JFK" on the "magic bullet". His opponent that year? Lynn Yeakel. Way to the left of even Arlen Specter. Held the nose and pulled the lever for Specter. Fast forward to 2009. He votes for Obama’s budget. Toomey re-emerges to challenge. The party comes to the defense of the five term incumbent as they always do. He switches to Democrat. For those who were surprised when he said he did it because it gave him the best chance to be re elected, I can tell you I was not surprised. Frank Rizzo said the same thing when he ran as a Republican for Mayor in 1987 and 1991. It’s a Philadelphia thing. Either way, he stabbed us in the back.
3.) Then there’s Elton Gallegley in Maryland, not endorsing Andy Harris and repeated in MIchigan. Two moderates screwing the conservative in a fit.
4.) Then there’s Charlie Crist right here in Florida. I’ve written about him here and apologized for the five votes. Once again I went pragmatic. And once again I was betrayed.
5.) Then there’s the refusal of Mike Castle to endorse Christine O’Donnell. And even Bill McCollum who I voted for as yet not endorsing Rick Scott.
6.) Lastly is the straw that broke this "pragmatic conservative" camel’s back. LISA MURKOWSKI. She got the job because her daddy appointed her to fill his unfinished term after he was elected Governor. The most blatant example of political nepotism in American History. And now she launches a slash and burn write in campaign because daddy promised her a job for life. I guess the voters didn’t get daddy’s memo.
I am finished with compromising. I am over pragmatic sanctions for the less conservative, but more "electable" Republican. Lisa Murkowski has demonstrated that conservatives are not taken seriously by the Republican Party. Why should I continue to support someone if they deride everything I believe in or merely embrace a few issues for political convenience? We are and have been the base of the party. We have been loyal,faithful, active and involved. And the "electable" ones break out the long knives whenever we are determined to fight for something, make a stand for conservative principles. When the moderate loses, it’s because of the "extremists". Yet, it was us "extremists" who swallowed our pride, compromised our core principles because they were the most electable. They love those conservative extremes when we vote for them, but when they take office they treat us as Falstaff was treated by Henry V. We were denied. We were an embarrassment to them. We were there to amuse them and in turn our values were abused and ridiculed.
I don’t apologize for previous pragmatism, but I know I’ve been played for a sucker. No more. Earlier this week, I said I would not vote for Christine O’Donnell if I were a resident of Delaware in a general election. I’ve changed my mind. Here’s why. I have the same reservations about her ability to win and articulate conservatism, but how can she be worse than what we have endured in Washington? What qualifications must you possess to be worthy of office? All of those "electable" types in both parties have accumulated almost 14 trillion dollars in debt. I’m pretty sure O’Donnell could have done that without those lofty credentials. For that matter if we selected 535 people out of a gigantic hat to serve they could have spent 14 trillion just as easily without the pretense of superiority in the doing. Sure, the hole would be as great, but at least they wouldn’t treat us like a bunch of simpletons unworthy of their gaze.
I am tired of being abused and told I must continue flagellating myself with a moderate whip. The pain is too great, the cause is too worthy, the stakes are too high and our country deserves better. It is time to grab the fiddle from the paws of the establishment and break it to pieces, for Rome is burning.
I am tired of politics being a game, when a nation is at risk, but I am inspired by the memory of Admiral Farragut. Our Cause is right because our country is great. Our principles are right for they are grounded in a humble love of country and devotion to its liberty. It is time to seize the moment, hold our heads high and go forward. From now on "DAMN THE TORPEDOS! FULL SPEED AHEAD!