The conservative blame game
It has been said that nature abhors a vacuum, but you can't prove it by the space between the ears of some in the Republican Party today, or in the conservative movement for that matter.
Take columnist Kathleen Parker for example, who in her most recent column lamented the presence of "oogedy-boogedy" religious conservatives within the Republican Party and derisively referred to them as the "low brow" crowd.
She went on to suggest that such people should just keep their faith to themselves; essentially saying they should either cease to have their values informed by their faith, or cease to cast ballots on the basis of their values. Of course, this seems rather selective, as one could just as easily ask her and others in the socially liberal camp to do the same.
Given that an AP/IPSOS poll demonstrated that 40% of the Republican coalition was comprised of evangelical conservatives, (Parker's "low brow", "oogedy boogedy" set), and, assuming she's interested in GOP electoral success, it would seem that math isn't exactly her strong suit.
One should note that the cultural views she seems to have a problem with are nothing new in this country. In fact, they've been around since before this was a country. What's new, (or newer), in American politics are the cultural liberals who demand that people (via government) actually sanction their behavior.
Keep in mind that while the GOP was busy losing the recent elections, gay marriage was rejected in three more states, (even California) - an issue that has won thirty out of thirty-one elections across America. Not exactly a national outcry for social liberalism.
By the way, Ms. Parker is the same "conservative" columnist that was celebrated by the mainstream media for her denigration of Governor Sarah Palin. The same who, just a week prior to the election, penned probably one of the most sexist columns written by a supposed "conservative" woman that I've ever seen, in which she suggested that the only reason McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate was because he had the hots for her.
Anyone this vapid no longer merits serious attention.
Then there's Mike Huckabee, who's pushing a new book that takes some real classy potshots at other members of the conservative movement, especially libertarians who happen to believe in small government and sound money. This is the same strain of American thought that Reagan once referred to as the "heart and soul" of conservativatism.
Of course Huckabee's probably the guy who's most responsible for making John McCain the Republican nominee this year, not exactly a big help to the movement.
And let's not forget those from the McCain campaign itself (OK, not exactly a bastion of conservatism) that committed some of the most blatant C.Y.A. in recent election history by trying to blame Sarah Palin for McCain's loss while the ballots were still being counted. The anonymous smears attempting to portray her as some backwoods rube where not just low class, but telling as to where this crowd was coming from to begin with.
What everyone needs to understand is that the biggest part of the GOP base is conservative all across the board, meaning in terms of social policy, economic policy, foreign policy and the size and scope of government.
Moreover, the same can be said of the American people. When you break it all down to its constituent parts, a consistent conservative approach to government, economics, taxes, foreign policy and culture is where the largest plurality of the American people are...and where the GOP needs to be.
Any one conservative group that calls for the others to be subordinated and/or assigned blame for Republican loses is not only wrong, but ignoring reality.
The blame for the GOP's current situation lies with those that have forgotten this truth. Those that went on spending binges with tax-dollars that would make drunken sailors blush; those who pushed for amnesty for illegal aliens; those who decided to subordinate social and cultural issues in elections to the point where some conservatives wondered what was in it for them anymore.
These are the people who don't deserve to be anywhere near a leadership position again.
In the end, this is all a tempest in a teapot fomented by some very small people doing the equivalent of jumping up and down and yelling "look at me!" They won't matter.
But the conservative movement will matter. It will go on, and it will grow. It will do so precisely because it's rooted and grounded in the reality of the human condition and the values upon which our country was founded.
We believe that the chief ends of government are to protect individual life, liberty and property. We believe in lower taxes, sound fiscal policy, smaller government, strong national defense and the traditional culture and values that have made the United States the greatest nation on the face of God's green Earth.
So to those who would seek to marginalize one faction of conservatives at the expense of another, let me just say that there are more of us than there are of you. Meaning there are more of us in this party who would consider ourselves "comprehensive conservatives". And we're not going anywhere.