This is a frustrating time for conservatives. President Obama and others in the Democrat Party are shredding the Constitution with abandon en route to creating an entitlement-dependent society ruled by executive fiat. The so-called leadership of the Republican Party is not only failing to call them out, they’re attacking movement conservatives who do. Many movement conservatives I know, admire and respect (like this one) are stating openly that it’s time to give up on the Republican Party.
Don’t do it.
The Democrat Party must be stopped and defeated, and the only political organization that can realistically succeed in doing so is the Republican Party. No new political party has succeeded since the Republicans themselves emerged in the 1850s, and current election laws and modern voter attitudes assure the continuance of the current Democrat-Republican duopoly. All the Republican Party needs to succeed is new leadership. Movement conservatives need to remain part of the party to help replace the failed leadership with principled conservatives. The opportune time to do so is right around the corner.
The 2014 midterm elections should return control of the U.S. Senate to the Republicans and solidify the party’s control of the U.S. House. Historically the President’s party almost always loses big in the second-term midterms, and it appears that the political atmosphere is ripe for a continuance of that trend. The senate seats that are up in 2014 are those that were swept into Democrat hands in 2008, the Democratic wave accompanying Obama’s first election. Republicans need to pick up six net seats to seize control, and seven Democrat-held seats that are up in 2014 are in states carried by Mitt Romney last election. Democrat incumbents in three of them have already surrendered by retiring, and the other four red-state Democrats are in big trouble. And if a big wave develops, up to five more seats in blue or purple states could also flip to the GOP. These include open seats in Iowa and Michigan and Democrat incumbents in New Hampshire, Colorado and even Minnesota. Despite the best efforts of the President, his party and their mouthpieces in the mainstream media, public attention is firmly focused on the failure of Obamacare and how the Democrats they elected lied to them about it. A big wave that snares as many as 11 seats, though a stretch, is nevertheless entirely possible.
In the House, both parties will trade vulnerable seats, but Republicans could still pick up a couple handfuls of net new seats.
Some conservatives have complained, with some justification, that Republican control won’t matter if control is turned over to the current RINO leadership of the party. But the current leadership doesn’t have to be the leadership that takes control in 2015. Even if Mitch McConnell survives his primary against conservative Matt Bevin, grassroots conservatives can and should pressure Republican senators to elect a new majority leader. How about leaving the leadership position in Kentucky, in the capable, principled hands of Rand Paul! Similarly in the House, the party can and should replace Speaker John Boehner with a reliable conservative like Georgia Rep. Tom Price.
Conservatives took control of the party away from moneyed “Me Too” establishment liberals in the 1960s and again when Ronald Reagan ascended to power. We can do it again. This is accomplished by strong conservative showings in contested 2014 primaries. Weak-kneed members like Sen. Roy Blunt, who currently succumb to Obama and Reid, can be made to succumb instead to ascendant conservative power. It has happened before. It can, and must, happen again. (UPDATE: Just days after Blunt urged U.S. House members to ignore conservative groups’ calls to defeat the Murray-Ryan budget deal, Blunt saw the light and voted against it.)
But in order to achieve strong conservative showings in the upcoming primaries and thereby influence other senators and representatives, disgusted principled conservatives need to hang in there to fight that fight. As tempting as bailing out may seem, that would be counterproductive and foolish.