Republican Pride

The basic asymmetry of American politics is that there are more conservatives than there are Republicans, while there are more Democrats than there are liberals. This is why Nancy Pelosi wasn’t able to persuade anything like a unified caucus to vote for her government takeover of health care, and why Democratic Congressmen were competing for permission to vote against the bill.
Why is it, though, that while conservatives outnumber liberals by anywhere from one and a half to two to one, depending on the poll, there are significantly more Democrats than Republicans? There are a number of answers, but one of them is that conservatives, as a group, are insufficiently loyal to the Republican Party.
Back in our far-left days, we used to claim that there was no difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. (“Don’t play good imperialist/bad imperialist” was one mantra.) That was stupid. Today, there are some on the right who say there is little or no difference between the parties–you hear this, for example, from some in the tea party movement. This is equally stupid. There are important differences between the parties, and the most practical thing conservatives can do in the political realm is try to build up the Republican Party.
Of course the Republicans aren’t perfect. Of course they spent too much money when they controlled Congress. But the history of the Republican Party is, on the whole, a proud one–far more so than that of the Democratic Party. This is a theme to which I intend to recur in the months to come.
In the meantime, let’s leave it with this: we were often critical of President George W. Bush. When he left office, I gave him a B- grade overall. But President Bush would have vetoed Pelosicare. This is the stark difference between our political parties: the Democrats are hell-bent on dismantling free enterprise and advancing government power over every aspect of our lives; the Republicans are not. Conservatives cannot afford to be neutral or indifferent as between the parties, nor can they afford the narcissism of third-party vanity campaigns. Conservatives must work every day to strengthen the Republican Party–it’s the only hope we have. And, yes, strengthening the party will sometimes mean drawing the line at a Dede Scozzafava. But purity is not our object here; victory is.
More to come.

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