“[C]onservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.”
[W]inning elections isn’t sufficient. As the founder of the Heritage Foundation, Edwin J. Feulner, explained in a speech shortly after Ronald Reagan won the presidency, conservatives also must win in the realm of policy. Put another way, political power should not be viewed as an end in and of itself, but rather the means to achieve the policy outcomes that will save the country.
Williamson invokes the common refrain that “the differences among us are minor compared with the differences between us and them, which are fundamental.”
Unfortunately, there are some fundamental differences between grassroots conservatives and the party strategists in Washington. Those differences get to the heart of whether conservatives will win in the realm of policy.
It should come as no surprise The New York Times would bury news of a conservative victory over President Obama on page eight. The lead paragraph said it all:
Senate Democrats, bowing to united House Republican opposition, dropped reforms of International Monetary Fund governance from a Ukraine aid package on Tuesday.
The real question is whether this was merely a moment in time or a seminal shift in how congressional Republicans will approach future showdowns. And to be clear, future showdowns are inevitable if we are to achieve any conservative policy victories.
Conservatives in the House and Senate recognized that Democrats were the ones responsible for holding up the aid to Ukraine by insisting on the inclusion of the controversial and unrelated IMF provision. As that narrative began to take hold and House conservatives made their opposition known, Reid relented.
Agree or disagree with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ron WydenSenate Democrat Average5% on policy — and let’s be clear, there is a lot to disagree with — the fact that he makes merit-based decisions, often to the frustration of the professional lobbying class in Washington, is a welcome change.
By contrast, another Capitol Hill publication ran a story profiling which lobbyists and special interest groups would thrive if there was a minor shakeup within House Republican leadership. Phrases such as “number of downtown confidants” and “new significance to a number of players on K Street” punctuate the story.
Nothing perpetuates the Washington Ruling Class — and America’s dissatisfaction with Washington — more than this corrupt nexus. The collusion between Washington’s power players does not breed contempt formed out of some deep-seated jealousy; rather, it stems from the very real sense that Washington’s priority is Washington.
Can a political party that refuses to challenge the most vicious mischaracterizations of its views win at a national level? The Republican Party seems intent on finding out.
The Republican Party–the allegedly conservative party–claims to stand for economic freedom. The 2012 Republican Party platform proclaims, “We are the party of maximum economic freedom and the prosperity freedom makes possible.” How is it consistent with the principles of economic freedom–that a worker should be free to set his own wage requirements–to say that government can force an individual to work a job that violates their personal religious principles?
Yet the rush to trample economic and religious freedom in an effort to save face with The New York Times was breathtaking. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who used to be one of the great champions of freedom before he became a Senator, said he hoped Gov. Jan Brewer would veto the religious freedom legislation. Sen. John McCain followed suit.