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Conservatism Still Ascendant even if Democrats Prevail

As the woman who would be Speaker should the Democrats win a majority in Congress remains virtually invisible, the New York Times reports (via Best of the Web) that “Democrats have turned to conservative and moderate candidates who fit the profiles of their districts more closely than the profile of the national party.

Indeed, some of these candidates “have views on issues like gun control and abortion that are far out of step with the prevailing views of the Democrats who control the party. On some issues, they may even be expected to side with Republicans and the Bush White House.

Should enough of these candidates prevail next week, the Democrats will indeed recapture the House of Representatives. And while that would certainly be a defeat for the GOP, it would not be a defeat of conservatism — nor necessarily a victory for liberalism. Despite winning its majority on conservative ideas in 1994, in the most recent Congress, the GOP has hardly governed as a conservative party.

At the same time, as Republicans have moved away from the small-government ideas which have defined our party at least since Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980, “a new CNN poll finds most Americans still agree with the bedrock conservative premise that, as the Gipper put it, ‘government is not the answer to our problems — government is the problem.’” (Via Instapundit).

Given that “54 percent of the 1,013 adults polled said they thought [government] was trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses,” it seems the the GOP might be in a stronger position to retain control of Congress had congressional Republicans promoted more policies to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

That a number of Democrats are running on conservative ideas — and that the GOP has, in large measure, run from such ideas at least in terms of domestic policy — a Democratic victory next week, as I’ve said before, will hardly represent a realignment. Instead, it will show that more than a quarter-century after the Gipper’s election, his ideas continue to appeal to the American people.

And maybe a GOP loss (or a narrow victory) will convince Republicans to return to the ideas which have so helped our candidates in the past.

UPDATE:  In a great piece in the Wall Street Journal, with a theme similar to that of this post, Michael Barone, perhaps the shrewdest analyst of the American political landscape writes, “ideas are more important than partisan vote counts..”  He doesn’t “know what the results of the midterm elections of 2006 will be. But I doubt that they will have the sweeping partisan or policy consequences of the midterm elections of 1874 and 1894, or 1938 and 1994.”  Now that I’ve whet your appetite, as with anything by Barone, just read the whole thing.

UP-UPDATE: Looking at the same articles, Captain Ed finds that this “shows the success of the Reagan message, and once again underscores the profound impact he had on American politics” and observes that if:

the Republicans find themselves in trouble at the midterms, it may come in reaction to the extent that they have failed to grasp the Reagan message. The smaller-government message will still win elections, but the question may be for whom it wins those contests when the GOP fails to tend to its Reagan legacy.

Read the whole thing!

US Soldier Argues Against “Cut & Run” Conservatives

Last week, PatriotPartner made his views known about conservatives sitting out the Congressional election next week.  And I agree, the stakes are too high when the opposition party refuses to acknowledge our nation is at war.

Stanley Kurtz at the National Review Online received similar sentiments in an email from a most important source — a US Solidier fighting the War on Terrorism on the ground.

Sir, you are spot-on about not sitting out this election.  Many of us in uniform are anxious about this election.  Anyone can read and see from the news reports that the enemy here in Afghanistan and in Iraq is cranking up their efforts to produce many more American and allied casualties before the election, during the supposed holy month of Ramadan.  We fear the enemy will be greatly emboldened if the party of cut-and-run wins and will crank up even worst offensives in the hope of our withdrawing all support of both manpower and materiel to our democratically-elected allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, just like our weak politicians did after the 1974 elections to our South Vietnamese ally.

We conservatives don’t have the luxury of sitting out this election, because if the wrong politicians are elected, they will cut off all funding for military operations in Iraq, dooming our fledgling, democratically-elected ally to death and dismemberment.  Everyone around the world, from the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the palaces in North Korea and Iran will be watching this election, this choice before the American people.  Will we stand up for Liberty and continue to support our fledgling, democratically-elected allies of Iraq and Afghanistan, or will we abandon them, like our weak politicians did after the 1974 elections?

The choice is yours to make, I pray along with every fighting man and woman in uniform today, that you will make the right one and not give up on us. We will win any war you commit us to, as you have repeatedly done so in 2002 and in 2004, but we need you, the American voter, to secure our rear while we continue to fight abroad those that attacked us on September 11th.  Don’t give up on us, because we will never give up on you.  Remember only you, the American voter, can lose a war by enabling the weak politicians to deny us victory.  May God Bless you all and our great Nation.

Sincerely,
A Soldier in Afghanistan

First, a big salute to this brave American.  He/she is a true hero and deserves his/her perspective to be heard loud and proud.

There is no question in my mind that the stakes are too high for conservatives to sit out or cast a “protest” vote in order to punish Republicans.  We are in a global world war against an ideology that is hell bent on destroying Western civilization through terrorist attack on our people and our economy. 

All other distractions are just that — and they are not worth obsessing over when our lives and way of life is at stake.  The alternative choice in this election doesn’t take this threat serious and would rather fight to give American civil rights protection to terrorists.  The disconnect from reality among Democrat leaders is simply mind-boggling.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)