August 8, 2009

Be Regional Differences What They May, Yankee Republicans Must Be Made to See Their Own Drift

Justin Katz

To be sure, Jon Scott doesn't articulate anything that followers of the intra-Republican debate 'round here haven't heard, but that doesn't mean he isn't treading precarious ground:

"New Yankee Republicans" are fiscally conservative, believe in our nation and our troops but have little passion for social issues. "Live and let live... just don't make me pay for it," they say. "Leave us alone to make choices for our families, our businesses and our faith." These voters lie dormant because they rarely have candidates who reflect their beliefs.

That's not to say that a candidate who is pro-life shouldn't say so. The best message is one that a candidate can say with conviction. But in an area whose history is woven with rugged individualism, the focus must be on a strong message of liberty.

From where I sit, the area's "rugged individualism" is in need of repeated defibrillation. Even New England libertarianism has the taint of desiring to be left alone... to collect government largess in peace or to guard collected wealth against economic challenge. Similarly, practitioners have "little passion for social issues" because they're protecting either the public trickle that leftists have lured them to suckle or their own private indulgences. (I don't mean to implicate Jon, specifically, in any of this.)

What promoters of the "moderate" vision of Northeastern Republicanism fail to incorporate into their political philosophies is the Rip Van Winkle snooze into which our society has been lulled by liberals' perversion of the concept of liberty — allowing, encouraging, skin-deep pleasures as an opiate to anesthetize against the crushing of soul-deep rights.

In order for a Republican or (more broadly) right-of-center coalition to function, "New Yankee Republicans" have to acknowledge that the seat of individual liberty is currently to the society's right, and that it isn't sufficient to ignore social issues, allowing the Democrats to heave them left. The result of such attempts was evident in Lincoln Chafee and will likely be the downfall of the Moderate Party: The effort to prove disinterest in "imposing our will" when it comes to social issues will translate into acceptance of liberals' imposition of theirs.

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If social issues could be isolated from the public sphere, some sort of "truce" declared in which both sides would stand down, then Mr. Scott's prescription might make some sense.

The Democrat Left ain't about to stand down. They're still going to push abortion (such as federal funding under Obamacare); they're still going to push homosexual marriage; they're still going to push de facto abolition of Second Amendment rights as soon as they see an opening; and they're still going to push open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens (and of course taxpayer funded health care under Obamacare).

The illegal alien problem alone blows to smithereens the "moderates" claim to support fiscal responsibility, since adding tens of millions of people to the welfare rolls (and thus reflexive Democrat voters) alone will bust the budget (as is already underway).

(Not only that, but we saw how well the moderates' admonition that Republicans should have a "big tent" and not "alienate" Hispanics worked out for John McAmnesty.)

So what Mr. Scott proposes - via Grover Norquist and his "leave us alone" fig leaf for "moderate Republicanism" a/k/a RINOhood - is merely ceding the field to Democrats on every issue except, perhaps, military matters.

"Democrat Lite" candidates effectively collaborating with the Democrat Left is hardly the stuff to motivate this mythical "New Yankee Republicans" much less anyone else. The continued decline in New England in the numbers of the very type of elected "Republicans" that Mr. Scott refers to proves the point.

The type of people that Mr. Scott is advocating for - since they are really social liberals hiding under the guise of "leave us alone" and agree with the Democrats on nearly every issue - should instead join the Democrat Party and run as "moderate Democrats" - it is the Democrat Party of Comrades Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Schumer that desperately needs "moderates," not the Republicans.

As the record of Chafee, Snowe, Specter and Collins and their sandbagging of Republican ideals and policies show, what real Republicans need to do is NOT support any "moderate Republican" under the siren call of "lesser of two evils" - but instead to actively oppose "moderates" in primaries and withhold their vote entirely if the only choices on the ballot are a "moderate Republican" or a Democrat, for effectively one is only choosing between two Democrats.

Posted by: Tom W at August 8, 2009 8:05 PM
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