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June 8, 2006
How To Overcome Conservative Battle Fatigue

My debut at the Examiner as a founding member of the Blog Board of Contributors appears today, discussing the manner in which conservatives can defeat political fatigue and exert more influence over policy. Other bloggers and I have discussed this topic extensively, and in my column I attempted to bring all of the elements together:

Many conservative voices have asked recently whether the Republican Party has any capability of representing conservative values.

After all, Republicans have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress for the past five years, yet we have seen discretionary spending go through the roof, an explosion of earmarks, a curious lack of the veto, and a belated and misguided effort at border control that hearkens back to the failed Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill of 1986.

Under these circumstances, conservatives may wonder with some justification whether a continued association with the GOP unfairly tarnishes true conservative values.

I discuss the drawbacks of schism and third-party adventures and the lasting damage an election boycott will bring specifically to conservatives. After the debacles of Denny Hastert's amazingly foolish defense of a non-existent sanctuary privilege of Congress and the pork festival in the Senate, this argument may fall on deaf ears -- but it's still an argument worth making. Now more than ever, we need to disconnect conservatism from the fiscal irresponsibility and the lack of accountability that GOP leaders have provided, but we need to do so in a way that allows conservative leadership to replace it instead of liberal democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Engagement is the key principle, as well as straightforward criticism of policy and implementation that shows our independence from non-conservative leadership. The only way conservatives can rise to power is to work within coalitions; we do not constitute a majority, but within the Republican Party we can achieve that objective while acting responsibly. Stamping off in a huff ensures our ideological purity but also guarantees that we will have no influence on policy for at least a generation.

Churchill went into the wilderness, some point out, but no one let him back into power until Britain was besieged by Nazi Germany. And even then, he led a unity (coalition) government.

Read the whole article at the Examiner, and let's discuss it here.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 8, 2006 6:57 AM

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