If the Republican Party continues on its current path it will nominate either John McCain or (given a Super Tuesday miracle) Mitt Romney, who are not bona fide conservatives. In doing so, the GOP will demonstrate that it no longer represents conservatives and has placed a higher value on winning an election than standing by its principles.

The GOP didn’t get to this point overnight. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of President Bush who, in spite of his excellent nominations to the Supreme Court of Samuel Alito and John Roberts, his consistent pro-life stands, and his persistent prosecution of the war on terror has done little else to further conservative principles. Government programs have expanded dramatcially under this President’s watch and spending has gone through the roof.

There’s little reason to think that John McCain or Mitt Romney would govern much differently from President Bush. I think they both would stand frim on pro-life and terrorism issues and follow the President’s lead. Beyond that, I don’t expect that there would be much more we would see from their administration that would follow conservative principles.

However, I do not intend to sit on the sidelines come November. The stakes are far too high for conservatives to sit out this election. With the retirement of so many Republican congressmen this year it likely that both the House and Senate will not only remain in Democratic hands but their majorities in both houses will be much larger. It’s safe to say that conservatives don’t want to put either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House with a Democrat controlled Congress.

That’s exactly why conservatives should stop whining about how McCain and Romney don’t represent their values. More conservative candidates like Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and even Mike Huckabee are being tossed aside in favor of more “electable” candidates. Conservatives have had their chance to select someone who reflects their values. Instead, they have decided to put winning above principles. Given the dynamics of this year’s election that is understandable. But that’s not necessarily the right thing to do.

If a Democrat wins the White House this year (and there is a good chance that will happen) perhaps Republicans will take a good hard look and see how abandoning their conservative principles led to their defeat. It’s a lesson that they should have learned from the 2006 election.Until they do learn it, they shouldn’t expect to win many more elections.

Filed under: ConservativePoliticsRepublicansTom

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