Only one of two parties is likely to control Congress in 2006: The Republicans or the Democrats. Nobody else (Libertarians, Constitution, Green, etc.) has a snowball's chance in hell.
But what is really getting to me is the fact that the theme seems to be that the base has been wronged by some sort of perfidy of the part of the Republican officeholders in Washington, DC, in general, and President Bush in particular - with his stance on immigration as the big reason. It's really a myth, and sounds like more of an excuse.
For one thing, pretty much while he was running, President Bush was quite open about what he was going to push for. It included a guest-worker program, and he was not really inclined to try to go after people who had already been here for years. He was also quite open about adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. They knew this was what he was supporting pretty much since he ran. There has been no repeat of "Read my lips: No new taxes."
This is why I find complaints like the one from Tapscott to be disingenuous:
I argue that since the GOP has demonstrated that it cannot be relied upon as a vehicle for achieving conservative reform, the significant question then is how do we get to that new consistently conservative party and make it a winner? In my humble opinion, that is a discussion of far greater importance than whether we should let ourselves be suckered yet again.Mr. Tapscott, Bush told you from day one what he favored. I defy you to go back and find one thing that comes even close to "suckering" conservatives. He was up front about what he was supporting.
TKS takes a somewhat similar tack:
The party's leaders have to re-learn a pretty important principle - if you fight with your base, you're probably going to lose. Perhaps once in a great while, it's necessary and worth it. But if you act like your base voters' concerns are insignificant - like immigration, or the FBI's ability to pursue corruption, even into the halls of Congress - they will despise you.Again - the presumption seems to be that President Bush is in the wrong. This is pretty arrogant if you ask me. As I have discussed earlier, it is just as easy to see how President Bush might view the situation. And to be honest, he probably has more of a valid complaint with the than theanthe base has with him.
Peggy Noonan, though, did get one thing right:
I have a feeling we're at some new beginning, that a big breakup's coming, and that though it isn't and will not be immediately apparent, we'll someday look back on this era as the time when a shift began.Here, she is on to something. Over the last eight months, a clear split has developed. On immigration it is most apparent. There are hard-liners who insist their methods be followed, or else. There is a quieter group that is also speaking out. Some of them are on my blogroll, others I probably haven't come across yet. They want our leaders to solve the problems facing this country - and trust that they will use their judgement, not rely on polls or the loud screams of a vocal and angry minority. It's something called leadership, which is very rarely appreciated at times.
At this time, the stakes are much higher than they were in 1976 or 1991/1992. The Democratic Party at this time has shown it is not interested in dealing with the war on terror with the seriousness needed to win this war for our country's survival. This is THE issue of our time, not earmarks, immigration, the size of the federal budget, or even congressmen on the take. Are conservatives really going to place the small issues (in the scheme of things) over the survival of this country? If this is truly their decision, then they are no more worthy of support than the DailyKos/MoveOn crowd that had been marching the Democrats over the edge.
In the last eight months or so, I have come to a grudging admiration of John McCain. He's been willing to make calls and take the lead - even when it ticks off Republicans and/or conservatives. The Gang of 14 has worked very well. Good judges have gotten confirmed - including two to the Supreme Court. Some haven't made it, but it's a lot better than seeing many of them constantly filibustered. While he is far from my first choice for President (Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are better selections, in my opinion), I wouldn't be too upset to have McCain in the Oval Office.
One thing for sure: Conservatives no longer get my automatic support, because I'm no longer sure they get it.
UPDATE: The Anchoress also discusses this as well as some baseball.