Thursday, October 11, 2007

Republicans. Listen.

Tony Blankley:

"In my column last week, I argued for electoral pragmatism by my fellow conservatives (e.g. better a Giuliani Republican than Hillary). About two-thirds of my self-identified conservative Christian e-mail respondents strongly disagreed."

I've been trying to drive this home with my conservative friends. Most religious conservatives will simply not vote for Rudy. Period. It may anger you, but it's reality. Can someone call Iowa and New Hampshire and tell them this?

That response reminded me of a very shrewd observation several years ago by Robert William Fogel that: "Coalitions spawned by religious movements are more ideological than partisan." The current Republican-conservative coalition that started forming under Richard Nixon and reached its zenith under Ronald Reagan would never have become a national governing coalition without the powerful impetus of the expanding religious movement in America. Without the conservative social-religious faction of the coalition, the remaining fiscal conservatives, free marketers, hawks and country-club Republicans would routinely come up short of a national majority.

Blankely argues, as most of you do, that we are only shooting ourselves in the foot if Rudy is our nominee and we stay home on election day. He makes this point:

"Those of us who have stayed in the fray have had to constantly wrestle with our consciences as to whether we are making a reasonable compromise — or whether we are becoming power mad political hacks.

No doubt there is a danger of becoming precisely the sort of swamp creatures we came to Washington to rid the nation of when we said we wanted to drain the Washington swamp. But perfect purity of principle in application is not a functioning governing process — it is a posture. And whether one is a Washington professional or a citizen voter, anyone who considers himself a person of good conscience, must have the courage to judge whether the net effect of his political decision advances one's moral objectives or not"

But where is the line drawn? I don't think it is "perfect purity" to demand that our candidate at the very least value human life as it's being born. I don't think it is "perfect purity" to desire our candidate agree with us on immigration, gun rights, campaign finance reform, and gay marriage. Letting one or possibly even two of these issues go is one thing. But the host of them adds up to a nominee that might as well be a Democrat. That isn't purity, that's promiscuity.

Blankley ends with this:

"But in the practicality of democratic elections we cannot make such a similar commitment to every one of our governing ideals. Elections are very specific and limited choices between different outcomes. The decision not to vote, or vote for a third-party candidate with no hope of winning, is itself a moral choice for the outcome such a vote will effectuate. People of conscience will have to decide whether feeling pure by voting "none of the above" is the highest ethical act or not."

This is a good argument. Very good. The problem is that millions and millions of Christians will never read it. The problem is millions will not agree.

I'm growing tired of this. We need to stop trying to convince people to vote for Rudy before Rudy is even our nominee. The simple and right answer to me is to NOT NOMINATE RUDY.

If we do, then we can have this argument. Not that it will make much difference.