Just go an e-mail press release from Log Cabin where Executive Vice President Patrick Sammon blames the GOP loss on social conservatives:
Republicans lost this election because independent voters abandoned the GOP. . . . Social conservatives drove the GOP’s agenda the last several years. Their divisive agenda alienated the mainstream Republicans and independents who determined this election’s outcome. Social conservatives should take responsibility for this loss.
I do agree though with the better part of this statement:
Democrats didn’t win because of anything they stood for. They won because of Republican mistakes. GOP leaders lost sight of what brought our Party to power in 1994. Limited government, lower spending, high ethical standards and accountability, and other unifying GOP principles attracted a broad coalition of support including fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, mainstream Republicans, libertarians, and independents. Now we’ve lost the U.S. House because Party leaders turned their backs on the GOP’s core principles and catered only to social conservatives.
It wasn’t so much catering to social conservatives as it was catering to K Street. The GOP got too accustomed to being the party in power and sought to stay in power by ladling out the pork.
Twelve years ago, the Republicans ended forty years of minority status in the U.S. House by campaigning on a series of conservative principles, drawn largely from the vision of Ronald Reagan. But, by 2006, they weren’t running on much beyond holding onto power.
No, Log Cabin has it only half-right. The GOP didn’t merely cater to social conservatives. By 2006, congressional Republicans, by and large, no longer stood for much of anything besides clinging to power. And they lost that tonight.