I see "pragmatists" everywhere I look in the Republican Party -- those who say we must always be more concerned with not offending so-called moderates than with advancing our principles. The irony is that no one is less pragmatic, in the end, than these self-styled pragmatists because their prescriptions are a recipe for failure.
Most recently, of course, the Republican branch of the political correctness sect insists that we must not oppose Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the Supreme Court because her confirmation is inevitable and by opposing it, we'll gratuitously alienate Hispanics and women -- as if they haven't already been conditioned by the liberal press to believe conservatives are ogres regardless.
What's missing from this analysis is that one of the main reasons Republicans have lost favor of late, reflected in their trouncing in the 2006 congressional elections and in shrinking GOP party identification percentages, is their alienation of the conservative base. The best-kept secret is that with 60 percent of Americans still considering themselves conservatives, Republicans only need to be true to their conservative principles to win again.
While I've always considered it hyperbolic to suggest there is no difference between the parties, I find it increasingly difficult to defend this position. Beltway Republicans, with notable exceptions, spend half their time groveling to the forces of political correctness, conceding the ideological turf wars to liberal Democrats and agreeing to operate within the four corners of the liberal- and relativist-dominant media culture without a fight.
Take, for example, the Republicans' approaches to Obama's newly announced Draconian CAFE standards and his cap and trade proposal. In response to both, they virtually concede the cultish dogma that man-made global warming is destroying the Earth, rendering them powerless to battle to save capitalism. Likewise, how many of them fight for nuclear energy instead of knuckling under to the left's destructive fear-mongering on this no-brainer alternative energy source?
Similarly, on Obama's obsession with consummating the already-started process of socializing American medicine, many Republican leaders are talking about massaging his plan at the margins rather than challenging its inevitability and opposing it head-on. The only thing inevitable about nationalized health care is that it would destroy the best medical system in the world. Yet where are the GOP Paul Reveres?