Peter J. Wirs wrote a column recently discussing the problems and choices facing Conservatives this election season.
Congressional Republicans and the national Republican party have more or less forsaken their Conservative base. While the Republicans controlled Congress under President Bush, government spending -- outside of the Iraq war -- exploded (pardon the pun.) Entitlements went up. Earmarks became part of the political vocabulary.
Meanwhile, there was no progress in advancing the Conservative agenda socially or politically.
Republicans faced the consequences of their actions in 2006 when they suffered massive defeat at the polls. Conservatives shunned Republicans because the Republican party had abandoned Conservatives.
Now the Republican presidential nominee is a perfect example of the recent RINO (Republican In Name Only) control. Through media manipulation -- The New York Times endorsed McCain in February, only to savage him after he secured the Republican nomination -- and party politics, we have at best a second-level RINO candidate in John McCain.
To quote my February post: "With McCain's abridgement of free speech (McCain-Feingold,) his support of amnesty for illegal aliens (McCain-Kennedy,) and his embracement of the "governemnt should handle manmade global warming" concept (McCain-Lieberman,) McCain has shown that he is not only willing to compromise, but eager to appeal to Liberal sentiments."
Wirs points out that Conservatives have choices:
1) Abandon Republicans completely at the polls so that Democrats can take total control. This is with the hope that in four years Republican politicans will have hit bottom and realized the error of their ways. This is the equivalent of letting the burning house burn to the ground then rebuilding from scratch.
2) Support all Republicans at all levels, with the idea of regaining control of the party -- even though those who betrayed Conservatives would still be in control. This is the equivalent of fighting the fire vigorously in the hope of saving the building.
3) Support McCain while ignoring Congressional RINOs. This would prevent Obama from winning but still leave Reid/Pelosi in power. (No "burning building" analogy comes to mind!)
My own thought is to support McCain as much as possible. An Obama presidency would be disastrous for years, with Democrats also controlling Congress. The possibility of him appointing Supreme Court Justices -- which the next President may have the opportunity to do -- is terrifying, given the crazed decisions of recent courts. (e.g., habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo Bay detainees; expanded eminent domain interpretation.)
We must then be selective in our support for Republicans. Conservative candidates must be supported with all the energy and resources we can muster. RINOs can look to their Liberal supporters for votes. Find key issues that are important to you -- illegal immigration, national defense, global warming, for example -- and see how candidates have voted on those issues. (Remember with RINOs you can't always go by what they say.)
At the same time we have to force local Republican politicians to toe the Conservative line. We must form the farm system that will supply future Conservative Representatives and Senators. At every level we need to evaluate where candidates stand philosophically. We have to start thinking long-term so we can avoid having RINO candidates as our only choice.