The consequences of sitting out elections
As a follow-up to his post on Friday (which I noted here), National Review's Jim Geraghty spells out in stark terms the consequences of any efforts by conservatives to sit out the 2006 elections out of disgust with the GOP:
Your effort to re-conservativize the Republican Party in Washington by staying home this year will have the effect of massacring the actual conservatives and empowering the moderates who you disdain. Perhaps we can call this counterproductive maneuver “RINO-plasty.”Yes, I know there is disgust with the GOP for its spending, for its wimpyness on borders and judges and the Democrats in general. But think again about Jim's question: Are you really willing to throw away a decade’s worth of work and go back to square one?
But that’s okay, the staying-at-home-conservatives insist. The GOP will win back the House and Senate in 2008, establishing a true conservative majority.
Maybe. But as I mentioned, what kind of lengths do you think the Democrats will go to in order to keep power once they’ve got it? Does the “Fairness Doctrine” ring a bell? You think Pelosi and Reid wouldn’t try that tactic to hinder conservative talk radio? How about McCain-Feingold 2.0, with a particular focus on controlling “unregulated speech” on the Internet and blogs?
Think the MSM was cheerleading for Democrats in 2004? How much more fair and balanced do you think they’ll be when their task is to defend Democratic House and Senate majorities AND elect President Hillary Rodham Clinton? My guess is, they’ll make the CBS memo story look accurate and evenhanded by comparison.
Think the GOP can prevail in close races once they’re out of power? Ask the members of the military who had their ballots in Florida blocked. Ask Doug Forrester how well his anti-Torricelli campaign worked when he suddenly faced Frank Lautenberg at the last minute. Ask Dino Rossi. Ask Democrat Tim Johnson if he’s glad the last county in South Dakota to report its results just happened to have enough of a Democratic margin to put him over the top in 2002.
Once the Democrats regain control of Congress, a GOP takeover is going to be exponentially harder than it was in 1994. You’re never going to catch the Democrats as flatfooted again.
Why are so many conservatives hell-bent on cutting off their nose to spite their face? Are they really willing to throw away a decade’s worth of work and go back to square one?
We usually like looking at the Daily Kos crowd insisting for an immediate pullout of the troops or impeachment hearings right this second and we laugh at them for their ludicrously unrealistic expectations.
But apparently the Kos are not the only ones with an all-or-nothing mentality. Sometimes in life you have to use the West Coast offense, nickel and diming your way down the field instead of going for the long bomb. If I want a more conservative government, I get it by electing the more conservative of the two choices, even if he isn’t as conservative as I would like. I do not get it by sitting on the sidelines and pouting, and letting the less conservative guy take the reigns of power.