What lessons will Republicans draw? You might think that the impending defeats in New York and New Jersey would drive home the need to broaden the Republican coalition. A candidate like Hoffman would have been the better candidate for New York's 23rd CD; a candidate like Daggett the better candidate for suburban New Jersey. Republicans have to find ways to accommodate both types of candidates and both kinds of constituencies.
But the risk is that the party will draw a very different conclusion. From the New York experience, Republicans will be tempted to draw the lesson: Always nominate the more conservative candidate. From New Jersey: We need to drive pro-environmental fiscal moderates out of our party and into the Democratic Party where they belong!
The point that Frum misses as he calls for more moderation is the aftermath of electing these so called moderates. Sure by lowering the standards of conservatism, we can have all kinds of people running around with the letter R after their names. But when the votes are needed to bring about conservative reform or to stop disastrous liberal legislation, these so called moderates have time and time again failed to deliver.
The moderates Colins, Snow and Specter all folded like a house of cards and thus caused America to throw away $800 billion dollars on a failed stimulus package. Perhaps if either of these moderates held a fiscally conservative belief, we would not be looking at a $1.4 trillion deficit for 2009.
Many in the base, myself included, are sick and tired of such fair weather friends. We are tired of so called moderate Republicans running as conservatives and then legislating as full on liberals. It isn’t just a question of ideological purity; it is a question of integrity. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Sadly, many conservatives are hard pressed to find such integrity among the so called moderate Republicans.
If loosing New York and New Jersey to the Democrats mean we get a better class of Republicans, then so be it. What is the point in winning all three races only to find out that you ended up with two liberals anyway?
In the end, the quantity of Republicans should not trump the quality of Republicans.
Via: The Week Magazine