Monday, July 14, 2008

November to Remember?

Leon has an excellent post over at Redstate concerning what most of us have come to terms with at this point. November will likely be a month to forget for the GOP and it's loyal supporters. The debacle of 2006, an unpopular (although improving) war, an economy that at least appears to be in serious trouble, and the fact that there seems to be a new virus going around that causes registered voters to break out in hives when the word Republican comes up - all these factors will likely make this a November to remember for very few Republicans. But does disaster for the GOP necessarily mean disaster for conservatives?

Those of us who are conservative first, and Republicans only as long as they are the party that best represents our values, can take heart if this election does go the wrong way. I'm not advocating that anyone sit this one out. There is far too much at stake, and far too many important issues that we cannot afford to surrender to liberalism at this point. I for one will fight for and support every conservative candidate I can in this election because I believe that conservatism is what's best for this country and its future. But if we do suffer heavy losses - if we end up with large majorities in both houses and Barack Obama - it certainly won't be the end of the world.

For one thing, this is evidently the only way the GOP leadership will wake up and realize that they've lost the plot. A long stay in the majority gave too many Republicans too much power, and it went straight to some of their heads. They veered remarkably off course, engineering some of the largest spending increases in history and completely failed, with a GOP president in office, to advance any meaningful conservative policy. As Leon points out, we had a chance to show the majority center-right public that the GOP was serious about cleaning up its act after the 2006 elections. Instead of electing party leaders who were serious about reform, we continued down the same path. And although the current leadership has fought some battles well against an inept Democratic majority, they have failed to lead on the big issues - especially earmarks.

Perhaps, if nothing else, a bloodbath in November will finally pave the way for true reform within the party. We must support McCain this fall - we may not like him, but Barack Obama is not an option if we care anything about this nation. And more importantly, we need to support true conservatives in our primaries. It's time to clean house, and if it takes a drubbing at the poles, and 4 years of Jimmy-Carter-like-policy to make the public see once again that liberalism fails - every time - then so be it.

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