The Underrepresented Conservative Base

Tune your television to any political talk show during this venomous
electoral season, and you're bound to hear a bunch of pundits
speculating on the future of the Republican party. Even before the Mark
Foley e-diddling scandal broke a couple of weeks ago, conventional
wisdom held that the GOP was headed for a seriously weakened majority
presence in Congress, and perhaps even minority status in one of the two

For the first time in quite a while I've found myself agreeing with the
conclusions of most political prognosticators on tv, yet I disagree with
the reasons they usually give for the Republicans' decline in
popularity. You see, the thing about conventional wisdom is that the
truly wise among us have little to do with its evolution. The fact that
the majority of opinion-meisters and political junkies sometimes reach
the right conclusion, doesn't mean that the logic they've used to get
there is sound. Their ability to occasionally place the right bet has
more to do with the law of averages than anything else. Any blackjack
dealer in Vegas will tell you that if you hold on 15 every time it's
dealt to you, eventually the house will bust on a hit to a lower hand,
but doing that doesn't make you a shrewd card player.

Again and again we've heard that the primary reasons why the GOP is in
trouble is because its leadership supports an unpopular war, or because
it has failed to reach out to "moderates" within the American voter
base. And, of course, most recently a new element has been added to the
equation, which is the notion that Congressional Republicans are all
conspirators in some evil plot to molest children.

None of this twaddle has any basis in reality, it's just more useless
conjecture from the ever-deteriorating Jurassic media, but it gets a lot
of folks worked up into a snit, so in the absence of any genuinely
thoughtful analysis, rhetoric such as this continues to get peddled as
the truth. Just as color blind people rely on the positions of the
signal lights on a traffic semaphore to inform them of when to stop,
slow down, or go, the drive-by press relies on equally limited vision in
the arena of political discourse to tell them what is real and what
isn't. Transpose the red and green lights at an intersection, and
eventually some unfortunate, color-blind driver will end up slamming his
car into a crosstown bus. Replace common-sense thinking with biased
assumptions, and people like Chris Matthews will be unable to avoid
repeated head-on collisions with reality.

Even though practically every news agency in the country remains fixated
on the Congressional Page scandal for the moment, no rational person is
going to vote Democrat this year because they think all Republicans
condone homosexual pedophelia, or because they believe that the party of
Bill Clinton, Robert Byrd, and Gerry Studds has suddenly become a
fountainhead of morality. No, the average American voter is a little
smarter than that, no matter what the pollsters would have us believe.

As for the war, the majority of U.S. citizens may not be happy with the
way things are going in Iraq at the present time, but when you ask them
if the Democrats would do a better job of handling that particular
situation, the answer is a resounding no! Apparently, even though things
aren't going as well over there as we'd like them to, most Americans
aren't ready to throw in the towel just yet, and they know that if the
Democrats had their way, that's exactly what would happen.

Regardless of what you may hear on television these days, the only thing
you have to do in order to figure out why the GOP doesn't have the
backing it once did, is to ask the people who make up its foundation
what they think. I've been doing just that for the past year or more,
and I can tell you with a reasonable amount of certainty that
conservatives believe they are no longer being represented, either by
Congress or the President, and THAT is why the Republican party is in

Remember in 2004 when every right-wing talking head was saying that the
Democrats were only interested in voting AGAINST George W. Bush, not FOR
anything? I certainly couldn't argue with that assessment at the time,
and all I'm asking now is what have the Republicans done in recent years
that should motivate me to vote FOR them in November? Let's see, they've
increased domestic spending by leaps and bounds... violated the First
Amendment to the Constitution via the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform
Act... allowed a commission on the 9/11 atrocities to be formed that was
so riddled with corrupt leftists that its findings aren't worth the
paper they're printed on... turned a blind eye to the massive illegal
alien problem facing our nation, until public opinion forced them to
draft legislation that sorta, kinda deals with the issue... and caved
into pressure from the left to treat captured terrorists as if they were
nothing but rambunctious Boy Scouts!

Gee, that's real inspiring stuff, no?

Sure, the Bush tax cuts were a nice change of pace back in 2001, and in
spite of the high price of gasoline over the past couple of years, our
economy keeps humming along at an impressive clip, but what about the
ever-rising cost of health insurance, the inevitable collapse of the
Social Security system, or the deplorable state of our public schools?
It's easy enough to blame our government's inability to correct these
problems on Democrat obstructionism, but the fact remains that the
leadership of the GOP has failed repeatedly to pressure its more
left-leaning members to vote for the kind of proposals that the vast
majority of Republicans support.

Should every right-wing voter in the country just bite the bullet one
more time, and reelect the same public officials who have proved again
and again that they are incapable of advancing the conservative agenda
in Congress, or should we send the GOP a message that we refuse to
settle for incompetence, no matter how much worse a Democrat-controlled
Congress may prove to be? The Republican party has spent the last few
years politically alienating me and everyone like me, and now we're all
supposed to believe that everything will be sunshine and lollipops if we
just "stay the course?"

Yeah right, and if I click my heels together three times and say the
words "there's no place like home", I'll wake up tomorrow in an America
where honor, integrity, and statesmanship have replaced political
correctness, media soundbites, and mindless partisan rhetoric.

Maybe losing the House of Representatives for a couple of years is
exactly what the Republican party needs to wake it up and give it a
great big shove back toward its conservative roots. Ronald Reagan didn't
win by the biggest landslide in electoral history by kissing up to
liberals, and neither will any future Republican candidate. Retaining
control of both houses of Congress this time around may only serve to
embolden the more "moderate" (aka liberal) elements within the GOP,
while further estranging its right-wing base, and if that happens,
Republicans can kiss the White House good-bye in 2008.

By Edward L. Daley

Owner of the Daley Times-Post and Founder of the Conservative Convention
2007 Project -