I hear that Rush Limbaugh is telling people that they have no choice but to drink the Republican Kool-Aid in the 2010 elections. Given the track record of the forces still in control of the Republican Party, this is tantamount to saying that we let the American republic go gently into the dark night of National Socialism. It also implies surrendering the sovereignty of the American people on the altar of the economics-without-borders money powers whose machinations terrorized the nation into the arms of the Obama faction in the fall of 2008 (with a telling, indispensable assist from G. W. Bush.)
Now Obama's socialist putsch is rousing the conservative instincts of the American people. The Bush-Michael Steele Republicans see it as their job to exploit this reaction for political purposes, but without letting power fall into the hands of any true conservatives. It's a delicate maneuver, in which media Judas goats have an indispensable role. (Wikipedia has an excellent definition of Judas goat that's worth reading at this point. In essence, "The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards the Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.")
Predictably, Rush Limbaugh (like the media personalities at the supposedly conservative Fox news network) is going about the work of herding angry grassroots Americans into the Republican sheep-pens, where they will be shorn of their character and liberty more slowly, but just as surely, as at the hands of the Obama faction. To accept his analysis, however, requires that we forget that G. W. Bush's surrender to socialism in 2008 was the culmination of years of missed opportunities and betrayals by Republicans to whom well intentioned conservative voters delivered control of the White House or the Congress (or both) from 1994 to 2006.
I know that some of these well intentioned conservative voters want desperately to believe that it was the bad old media or the wily bad Democrats who not only kept the Republican leaders from making good use of those years, but forced them to preside over the biggest spending spree in the nation's history up to that time. The Bush Republicans threw fiscal conservatism to the winds and paid no more than incompetent lip-serve to the agenda of restoring the nation's moral principles. Meanwhile, in the critical areas of education and national sovereignty they betrayed bedrock conservative principles by promoting the national government's liberty destroying control of our schools and colluding in the sovereignty destroying neglect of its Constitutional responsibility to secure our national borders.
Is the charitable view of the Republican leadership's sins justified? It might be, if we could believe that the violation and neglect of conservative ideas and principles was unintentional. Knowledgeable People have a hard time doing this, however, since they know that the Bush wing of the GOP has a long and consistent history of opposition to conservatism. In light of that history the failure to respect conservative ideas and principles during the years of Bush ascendancy looks suspiciously like reversion to type.
I was reminded of this today as I read this piece by Byron York on the washingtonexaminer.com website. York reports about "a revealing moment in a new book, scheduled for release next week, by former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer."
Bush was preparing to give a speech to the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC. The conference is the event of the year for conservative activists; Republican politicians are required to appear and offer their praise of the conservative movement.
Latimer got the assignment to write Bush's speech. Draft in hand, he and a few other writers met with the president in the Oval Office. Bush was decidedly unenthusiastic.
"What is this movement you keep talking about in the speech?" the president asked Latimer.
Latimer explained that he meant the conservative movement -- the movement that gave rise to groups like CPAC.
Bush seemed perplexed. Latimer elaborated a bit more. Then Bush leaned forward, with a point to make.
"Let me tell you something," the president said. "I whupped Gary Bauer's ass in 2000. So take out all this movement stuff. There is no movement."
Bush seemed to equate the conservative movement -- the astonishing growth of conservative political strength that took place in the decades after Barry Goldwater's disastrous defeat in 1964 -- with the fortunes of Bauer, the evangelical Christian activist and former head of the Family Research Council whose 2000 presidential campaign went nowhere.
Now it was Latimer who looked perplexed. Bush tried to explain.
"Look, I know this probably sounds arrogant to say," the president said, "but I redefined the Republican Party."
This suggests that G. W. Bush prided himself on the fact that the Bush ascendancy in the Republican Party eliminated the conservative movement as a viable force in American politics. Now, with so many Americans boisterously asserting their belief in conservative ideas and principles, the apologists for the Republican Party would surely prefer that this intended aspect of the Bush legacy be locked out of sight for safekeeping. "We're your only hope against Obama," they proclaim. "Give us the power." In true Machiavellian fashion they won't say to conservative Americans "Give us the power; we want to continue destroying you." They just say "give us the power."
Through fear of Obama some conservatives will follow the Judas goat media leaders into the political slaughter pens one more time. Like the panic of a drowning victim, their fear actually makes them fight against those who try to offer them real aid. It blinds them to the fact that the Republicans now promising deliverance set conservatives up for failure in the first place. They don't really oppose Obama's goal. They just think he's moving toward it too hastily.
Keeping all this in mind, I must disagree with Rush Limbaugh. I see a desperate need for a third alternative for America. Whether you call it a party or not is immaterial. My advice is to put no faith in the Republican Party label, the Republican Party leaders, or the Republican Party candidates. That doesn't mean voting against all Republicans. It just means voting for no one just because of the Republican label. Right now, if the label says anything to conservatives, it reeks of duplicity and betrayal. The election of 2010 should be like the Passover recounted in the Bible. Only the politicians bearing the mark of true conservatism should be passed over by the conservative angel of political judgment.
But what will signify, like the lamb's blood that marked the dwellings of the Israelites, the presence of a commitment to conservative ideas, principles and policies? For my part, I look for a proven dedication to the principles on which the United States of America was founded, starting with the self-evident truth that we are all endowed with unalienable rights by the will of the Creator God. Every element of real conservatism can be deduced and articulated as a logical consequence of that truth. So by looking for the people determined to conserve American liberty I will find the only conservatives worthy of the name. What about you?