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Conservatives &First things . . . Richard Falknor on 20 May 2009 09:30 pm

Will Republican Leaders Build On The California Victories?

“The California Ballot Initiatives, Federalism and Colin Powell’s GOP”Rush Limbaugh

I had e-mails from people today, ‘Oh, wow, Rush, this is great, look at what the Republican Party has just been handed.  This is a great, great issue in the campaign.’ Ah, ah, ah, ladies and gentlemen, you must understand something.  The Republican Party today is not the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan.  The Republican Party today is led by people who think tax cuts are a bygone issue, who think tax cuts are no big deal anymore, just like they think Reagan is no big deal anymore.  The people running the Republican Party are going to look at the results in California and see a problem.  They are not happy with these results, and let’s just see what the Republican Party does with these results, see if I’m not right about this. 

Let’s see if the Republican Party ignores this or makes hay out of it.  My guess is that people running — and we’re gonna have some conservatives, Republicans make hay, don’t misunderstand — but the people running the party or those who want to run the party are gonna ignore this.  This is not what they want.  They want growing government, too.  They just want to be power players in it.  This vote from California last night, that brings Ronald Reagan back to life, and that’s the last thing that the Republican Party, the people running it today, want.(Underscoring Forum’s.) Rush Limbaugh May 20, 2009 

Mr. Limbaugh is quite right about what we call the Republicans’ own civil war. 

The Republican Establishment, as Rush points out, “wants growing government, too.  They just want to be power players in it.”

Republican politicians in charge of growing government, nationally and at the state level from 2001 through 2007, haven’t changed.  And they really don’t believe they did the wrong thing.

Yet the discontent among the grass roots continues to grow alarmingly.  It could crystallize around some unforeseen development – – just as the gross abuse of expense accounts by British Members of Parliament this week forced the resignation of the speaker of the House of Commons for the first time in around three hundred years.

This morning, for example, Erick Erickson, the editor of the widely read and respected blog RedState, declared – –

“The NRSC Admits Conservatives Should Shut Up and Stand Aside

The NRSC’s endorsement of Charlie Crist is a repudiation of the base of the GOP. It is a tacit admission that the Republican Senate caucus intends to write off the majority of the Republican base in favor of a new base.

In other words: send the NRSC your money, then shut the hell up.

That is precisely why we must not send one dime to the NRSC, let alone a penny.

The NRSC and Senate Republican leadership are huddled in Washington right now privately patting each other on the back for the Crist endorsement and reassuring each other that this is just an angry backlash from unrealistic conservatives who don’t understand the dynamics of 2010 — they are the experts and we’re the noise”
(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Yesterday, Erickson counseled

“The NRSC has decided to play favorites. And their favorites are increasingly at odds with the base of the GOP. If the NRSC wants to distance itself from the base, the base should distance itself from an NRSC that is showing increasingly bad judgment.

They can take cold comfort in thinking we’re just upset because they endorsed a liberal. The reality is we expect them to in some cases. But this case they did not have to, should not have done so, and must be made to pay a price.

Here is the list of donors to the NRSC. I encourage you to go through the list. If you see people you know, tell them how the NRSC wants their money, then wants them to shut up.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Whether it is Rush’s analysis, or RedState’s outrage, or, locally, an apparent Virginia conservative withdrawal from active Party support, these are grave developments. 

Yet we see little evidence that the past Republican authors of government growth, whether the Bob Ehrlichs, the Ed Gillespies, the Bob McDonnells, or the current U.S. Senate Republican leadership will genuinely try to come to terms with the conservatives.  The approach of the governmentalists has hardened over the years. Their campaign consultants are likely in place, shaping detailed itineraries with “tested” talking points.

But the most difficult thing for these big-government Republicans?  As hard as talking through differences in policy may be for them, respecting the base enough to have such good-faith conversations is even harder.  And that is a recipe for failure.

It seems we conservatives now have a doubly hard task:  to try to contain the Obama Revolution while bringing about a “revolution” in our own Party’s leadership.

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