We're entering the summer vacation season, and conservatives continue feeling confident that an electoral wave is going to wash over the opposition come November. Polls show there is a great and growing dissatisfaction with Washington, which is not new, except the face this time around is that of Barack Obama, and the public is revolting over his administration's incessant attempts to grant the federal government ever more power and resources.
But success in the fall is not guaranteed, and even if it ends in a GOP takeover of the House, as many predict, questions remain. Have Republicans learned anything from the disasters of '06 and '08? Will Republicans embrace real conservatism and put some real restraints on Obama's lust for power? Will conservatives be able to make a mark on the country, or will they return to their fecklessness during the Bush years?
One disturbing tendency of the old regime is coming back: Fiscal conservatives are already selling out social conservatives in an attempt to build winning coalitions without them. How many times must the GOP learn this is suicide? To win, conservatives must have not a "truce" between fiscal and social conservatives, as Gov. Mitch Daniels has unfortunately called for, but a strong, healthy alliance, with the common goal of victory.
This is perfectly acceptable to most social conservatives. Social conservatives will happily break bread in the cause to support tax cuts or any conservative attempt at fiscal reform. Do you find social conservatives supporting a minimum wage increase or opposing term limits and balanced budget amendments?
And yet some libertarians not only refuse to work with social conservatives, they're actively seeking out and supporting causes in direct opposition to the core beliefs of social conservatives.
Comes now the news that fiscal conservative leader Grover Norquist, a man who prides himself on forming grand working coalitions, has joined the board of a group called GOProud, calling the group "an important part of the conservative movement" with a commitment to "core conservative values."
It's a gay group. And Norquist thinks social conservatives are going to accept this absolute abandonment?
Traditional marriage and the right of religious people to speak out against homosexuality as a sin are "core conservative values." Proposition 8 in California -- defending the institution of marriage, the only thing the GOP won in 2008 -- was victorious because culturally conservative blacks and Hispanics joined the GOP coalition.
Norquist wants to take the GOP in the exact opposite direction now, full speed ahead, the consequences be damned.